RAW Recap: 2/18/13

michael dworkis gets a new belt…

 

It’s Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL.

It could be Eddie vs. Kurt Angle.

Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter.

Maybe not the latter, but now we have Alberto del Rio vs. Jack Swagger. The foreign champion up against the antagonistic American. The gimmick has been used time and again, but it works. It is gold. What is that old saying? If it isn’t broke… Don’t fix it. WWE has a gem with Swagger and Alberto del Rio. Swagger is the modern-day Kurt Angle.

 

Did someone just call me crazy? Well, have you seen Swagger wrestle. By wrestle, I mean wrestle. The guy is an All-American collegiate athlete. Olympic caliber competitor. When he first made his debut, back in the WWE-ECW era, he was suplexing his way to victory. Now, he adds the ankle lock to his finishing repertoire, calling it The Patriot Act. Jack Swagger is following in the footsteps of Kurt Angle in terms of wrestling mat-ability. Combine that with the antagonistic talent of JBL, and you have the perfect heel. Will the former World Champion (yes, Swaggy is a former champ!) continue to succeed and win the World Championship at WrestleMania? We have to wait and see. Right now though, he is the biggest winner WWE has. All I have to say, is…

“We The People.”

Onto Raw!

Last night The Rock retained the WWE Championship in the most predictable match ever. The dirtsheets made me laugh again, one of which, probably written by someone who clearly hopes someone at WWE reads it and says “Hey, this guy really likes us! Let’s give him a job!” Most likely a janitorial position, because the guy said the Elimination Chamber was the best PPV since WrestleMania 28. I nearly got fired from my day job I laughed so hard. It was a decent pay-per-view at best. At best. We have a lot of questions to answer, as to why Cena looked like a doof in the ring, Ryback storming out, and Sheamus taking a nap at ringside? What does Punk do now since he will not get the WWE Title back soon? When-oh-when will Dolph Ziggler cash in? The longer he holds the briefcase, the more I drool with anticipation.

 

Ahem, onto RAW!!

We begin with good ol’ boy John Cena talking about how WrestleMania is coming up fast, and by some crazy coincidence, he gets another match with The Rock, and this time it is for the WWE Championship. Golly gee wilikers. So, Cena sleepwalks through his six-man tag match last night because he has an automatic championship match? That would have been an AWESOME way to turn that angle, but… no. We gets something equally creative, CM Punk rushing to the ring and confronting Cena. The Straight-edge superstar admits to losing fair-and-square last night to The Rock. He reminds Cena that the Cenation leader (did I just say that?) has never beaten Mr. Pipe Bomb one-on-one. After some verbal back-and-forth, Cena is the one challenges Punk to a match. Punk agrees, but to a special stipulation. Cena must put the number one contendership on the line, next week on Raw. If Punk wins, he goes to ‘Mania to face The Rock. Well, that escalated quickly.

Mark Henry devours Sin Cara
Why was this even a match? How did anyone think this was a good idea? Cara does some flying tricks which entertained no one, and Henry made squishy via Strongest Slam. Post match, Henry attempted to turn Sin Cara into paste, but The Great Khali, because there is NOTHING else for him to do, comes down to make the save. Oh THAT will be a GREAT feud. I cannot wait #ifyoucouldnttellthatwassarcasam

 

The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro in a No Disqualification Match
Here we go yet again. Miz, still nursing his injury goes after the United States Champion, but is stopped fast with a vicious assault. Miz is at the mercy of the Swiss Superstar, as Cesaro floors Miz in the ring, goes to the outside and retrieves a few chairs and a Singapore cane! E-C-Dub! Cesaro blasts Miz with the cane, and clobbers him with a chair directed to the injured arm. Cesaro dominates the match, and Miz is in a heap of trouble. Miz tries to rebound, but Cesaro wears him down. Cesaro locks up Miz in the corner and goes for the Shattered Dreams (Goldust reference for you kids), but Miz reverses and sends Cesaro into an awaiting chair. Cesaro stunned, and Miz throws Cesaro face first into a standing chair, and then locks on the figure-four leglock! Cesaro, unable to escape taps out to the hold!
Winner by Submission: The Miz

This will head all the way to WrestleMania, no doubt about that.

 

Backstage, Kane and Bryan argue over events at the Elimination Chamber. Kane tells Bryan to stay away during his match, because he hates snakes since they are dishonest. Behind Kane, is Orton, wondering if Kane is referring to The Viper. Well of course he is. Duh.

Alberto del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
In a match, possibly a sign of things to come, is the champion versus Mr. Money in the Bank. Good lord this is an awesome match. Ziggler and del Rio trade holds, until Ziggler takes control, but the World Champion rebounds, flooring Ziggles with nuermous clotheslines and a tilt-a-whirl-backbreaker. Thanks to distractions by AJ and Rybla… I mean Big E. Langstron. Ziggler wears down the champion, but Del Ro fights back and rocks Ziggler with a HUGE top rope reverse suplex. Damn that was awesome. Del Rio counters Ziggler trying for a DDT into the crossarmbreaker and gets the pinfall. Excellent match.
Winner by Awesome Match: Alberto del Rio

 

Post match, Langston goes crazy and beats up Del Rio. The lights go on in the brain of Ziggler and he tries to cash in, but Ricardo Rodriguez steals the briefcase before Ziggler could do any damage. Del Rio clocks Ziggler with another enziguri for good measure.

Wade Barrett in the ring, shows the trailer for Dead Man Down, and he is in a few scenes. Sheamus interrupts and makes fun of Barrett. Waste.

Brodus Clay, Tensai, and Naomi defeated Primo, Epico, and Rosa Mendes
Squash match. Literally.

 

Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter deliver their State of the Union Address. Perfect set up for Wrestlemania. They pull the shtick about immigrants and how Del Rio represents everything that is wrong with America, and that a Real American Hero like Jack Swagger will save this country. Beautiful segment, which gets interrupted by Daniel Bryan.

Jack Swagger defeated Daniel Bryan
These two had a great match, but it was sadly too short. Bryan wore down Swagger, but the Real American showcased his strength, countering and flooring Bryan a number of times. Bryan did attempt the No-Lock, but Swagger easily made it to the ropes. Swagger countered a leap into a spinebuster followed by a Swagger Bomb and the Patriot Act ankle lock for the submission win.

 

In the ring, Vickie Guerrero brings out Paul Heyman to meet her new assistant… Brad Maddox. Really, this guy is back? Heyman, like most of us do not care for Maddox botching his lines and tripping on the ring stairs while getting into the ring, and voices his intent to leave. Before he could do so, a familiar voice is heard, and Vince McMahon is on the titantron! He says he will be at Raw next week, and promises when he see Heyman in the ring… It will be for a fight. Heyman wets himself as the segment closes.

The Shield vs. Ryback, Sheamus, and Chris Jericho
Earlier on Raw, Sheamus and Ryback were arguing about the loss at Elimination Chamber. I guess they forgot Cena was the one who cost them the match. Anyway, Jericho shows up to rally the troops, comparing The Shield to the nWo and the Nexus, which must be stopped, no matter the cost. The babyfaces take control early on, with Jericho and Sheamus holding down the lead until the trio of justice-servers try to flee, but Sheamus boots Ambrose in the face. Back from commercial, Sheamus is in trouble until he hot tags to Ryback who plants Rollins through the mat with a Spinebuster, followed by the Meathook clothesline. Ryback sets up Rollins for the Shell Shock, but as Ambrose distracts the ref, Reigns spears Ryback, just like the Chamber. Ryback kicks out this time, and Ambrose comes in to work over Ryback. Ryback finally hot tags to Jericho who cleans house. Ryback and Reigns brawl on the floor. Jericho locks Ambrose in the Walls, but Reigns dives in only to be driven off by Sheamus. The ref tries to control the chaos, but Rollins dives off the top with a flying knee, clobbering Jericho and allowing Ambrose to make the pinfall.
Winners by Justice: The Shield

 

Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow comes to the ring and talks about President’s Day. Wow, is this holiday for heels? Every heel has talked about President’s Day being important. In fact, his ancestor, Osias Sandow was an advisor to President Roosevelt and negotiated the New Deal. Sandow is angry at the ignorance of the fans and beats up Kingston, until a returning R-Truth makes the save. The match does not happen.

Promo for Fandango. Sigh… this is what they do to Johnny Curtis?

Randy Orton defeated Kane
Kane controlled the entire match, mostly because Orton just forgot how to wrestle. Bryan comes down to ringside, distracts Kane, allowing Orton to capitalize and hit the RKO for the pinfall win. Looks like Kane and Bryan are breaking up soon.

 

The Rock Celebrates
They bring out a band and everything. Wow. Yeah, ok. The hell? I’ll just get right to it. He makes fun of the spinner belt, saying it looks like a toy. The Rock then unveils the new WWE Championship Title Belt. It is a belt with a GIGANTIC WWE logo front and center, the word “champion” and the Brahma Bull logo on each side. Uhm… Yeah, he wanted to “create” a belt that would be prestigious and timeless. Yeah… I hope this belt is not permanent. John Cena comes out to interrupt but before he can do anything worth mentioning, CM Punk waffles him from behind with the now-retired spinner championship. Punk points to the Rock, and the crowd cheers. I think people would really rather see Punk vs. Rock than Cena.

Anyway, the show ends with a staredown. I hope we get a triple threat at Mania. That would be so much better than another one-on-one with Cena and Rock. Well, Raw ends on a lame note, but hey the rest of the show was pretty damned solid.