Raw Recap: 2/25/13

michael dworkis looks at a RAW with a killer main event…

 

Once again, WWE does not wait until RAW to announce the next inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame. This time we learn the identity of the “Celebrity Inductee” hours before the live program.

 

Donald Trump.

Yes, The Donald is the next inductee into the Hall of Fame. WrestleManias IV and V were hosted at the Trump Plaza, and Donald Trump was personally involved in a few storylines in 2007. He owned Monday Night Raw for a time, and inevitably feuded with Vince McMahon. The rivalry culminated at WrestleMania 23 when Umaga lost to Bobby Lashley, and the stipulation was the loser would have his head shaved. Well, Vince lost the bet, and Trump got to shave McMahon bald.

Onto RAW!!!

We begin with Vince McMahon hobbling to the ring on crutches, and starts right off calling out Paul Heyman. Well, Mr. Heyman obliges, dress in some street fight gear, ready for the fight Vince challenged him last week to a fight. However, Vince is in his suit… clearly not in fighting gear. Heyman strikes, taking down Vince, hitting him with his own crutch. Heyman takes too long and Vince regroups, catches a swinging Heyman, and beats the former ECW boss with crutches until we hear the music of…

… Brock Lesnar. The former UFC champion taunts Vince, but we immediately joined by…

 

… TRIPLE H. Well, it did not take a crystal ball to see this coming, but damn its always exciting to see The Game hit the ring and take care of business. Brock and Hunter brawl all over the arena until Brock goes head first into the ringpost and BAM IS HE BLOODY. There is a BLOOD STAIN ON THE RINGPOST. Brock is crazy, he did not even put his guard up. Wow. Crazy. So much for PG television. Brock, is covered in blood. Triple H bashes Brock with a chair, and this one is done.

Yeah, Brock is a bloody bloody mess. Wow. That escalated quickly.

Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler

Wow. Ryback mauls Ziggles from the bell. Dolph tries some dropkicks and takedowns, but nothing works. Ryback no-sells everything and throws Mr. Money in the Bank all over the ring. Ziggler falls to the floor as we go to commercial… and back from commercial Ryback holds Ziggler up with a stall suplex, and finally drops him, with Ziggler rolling to the floor again. Ryback gives chase, rolling Ziggler in the ring. Big E. Langston interferes and runs Ryback over with a vicious clothesline. Ziggler mounts a short offense, but Ryback shrugs it off, until he crashes into the ringpost. Ziggler spikes the beast with a high jumping DDT, and then goes for the Main Event Sleeper. Ryback fights it… oh CRAP Ryback LAUNCHES Ziggler across the ring. Ziggler leaps and Ryback throws him high with a flapjack, followed by a huge spinebuster, then a powerbomb, and finally, finally, the Shell Shock.
Winner by UNPARALELLED DESTRUCTION AND CHAOS: Ryback

Well, that got intense. They made Ziggler look as talented as Bart Gunn. Ryback destroyed Ziggler. If this was not PG television, I would have thought Ryback was going to pull out a fork and knife and perform an act of cannibalism live.

 

CM Punk comes to the ring, and calls tonight “epic.” He reminds us that tonight is not about The Rock, tonight is more important than WrestleMania, than the WWE Championship, greater than John Cena, greater than anything, that tonight is about the future… CM PUNK. This guy cuts the greatest promo. Give him a championship belt for that. He calls himself an immortal, a god of wrestling.

I agree.

WWE officially announces Donald Trump as the Celebrity Inductee into the 2013 Hall of Fame. Funny stuff.

 

Mark Henry beats The Great Khali
This gets the “Why was this a match” comment of the night. Really, why? Henry squashed Khali while Cole and Lawler made it sound like it was a major accomplishment.

Miz TV: Swagger, Colter, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Alberto del Rio all in the ring together. Wow. Will they acknowledge the arrest? Zeb Colter takes his chance first, firing a shot at Glenn Beck for chickening out. Colter goes right to the topic of illegal immigrants.

I am going to stop for a moment. Now, Colter goes on to state facts about those who cross our borders illegally, and the problems with medical coverage, jobs, etc… Yes, he is a heel character, but get this, the facts they state are true. WWE, Mantell, and those behind this gimmick did their homework. Sure, what they say is considered hateful, racist, and downright nasty, but remember folks, this is a gimmick, a storyline, and it is just television. JUST TELEVISION.

 

Back to Raw, Colter and del Rio exchange words, yes, politically infused words, but wow these guys cut great promos. I wish I could type it word-for-word, but go watch it on WWE.com or the WWE YouTube page.

We get confirmation that Swagger’s punishment will not result in his removal from WrestleMania 29. Alberto del Rio challenges Swagger to a fight, but Swagger says he will get it… At WrestleMania 29.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton
Match starts off even-paced, until Randy Orton busts out a T-Bone suplex?! What?! That came out of nowhere. Cesaro counters back with a swinging gut-wrench suplex of his own. Cesaro now takes over, hitting numerous uppercuts on Orton. Cesaro misses a dive off the second-rope and Orton spikes him with the RKO for the quick win.
Winner via Pinfall: Randy Orton

 

Backstage: Bryan and Kane argue that they can beat the Prime Time Players blindfolded and with one-arm tied behind their backs. Enter Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox, who inform the duo that Daniel Bryan will be blindfolded and Kane will have one arm tied behind his back. Brad Maddox is annoying. We get it. Now make him go away

Sheamus is in the ring and does an Oscar Snubs Segment. Alright, this is a Sheamus making fun of Wade Barrett segment. My wife says this is the greatest segment ever, only because there are two men with thick accents yelling at each other. Well, if there was one redeeming quality to that segment, my wife found it. I could not.

 

R-Truth vs. Cody Rhodes
Damien Sandow is at ringside doing guest commentary, and that is the only good part to this match. I honestly am not even wanting to watch whatever is happening in the ring. Sandow is pure genius. R-Truth won at some point.
Winner by boredom: R-Truth

Post-match Sandow tried to attack Truth, but failed.

Team Hell No defeated The Prime Time Players
Wow. This match is pure comedy. The blindfolded Bryan nearly puts the referee in the No Lock and wanders around the ring until Titus starts to manhandle the tag team champion. After a few stumbles, Bryan falls over the ropes, hot tags to Kane who beats up the Players and chokeslams Darren Young for the win.

 

The Shield hits the ring to cut a promo about how no one can stop them. Sheamus comes to the stage and demands a fight. Ambrose and Reigns charge, but that leaves Rollins in the ring and his struck by Randy Orton, who snuck in from behind and clobbered The Shield member with the RKO.

Jack Swagger defeats The Miz by Submission
Miz takes the fight to Swagger early on, but Swagger comes back, showing off brute force and begins to manhandle the Miz. The Real American weakens Miz down, using a variety of backbreaking holds and wear down submission attempts. Good match, but a bit slow. Swagger gets the win following the Patriot Act Ankle Lock.

Backstage Cena rambles on and on. “I want to hear more” said no one, ever.

Fans Tout their thoughts about Brock and Triple H. Yawn.

Lawler eats food from Sonic. Yuck.

More Tout. Yawn again.

CM Punk vs. John Cena

Finally, it is main event time!! Punk hits the ring to a mix of cheers and boos, as does Cena. Now this is what makes WWE television so great. Cena and Punk exchange basic takedowns, and goes to a stalemate at commercial. Back from the break, and Punk is in control, locking Cena in a leg-to-neck vice. Punk brings Cena to his feet, and Cena comes back with a running bulldog. Cena now takes control, wearing Punk down with a front-facelock. Punk gets back up, and flattens a running Cena with a flying leg lariat. Punk now in control with a headlock. Cena back up, escapes, and runs the ropes, dives with the shoulderblock but Punk ducks and Cena flies to the floor. Punk then dives through the ropes, keeping Cena down. Cean comes back and attempts a quick Attitude Adjustment attempt, but Punk counters with a DDT. Punk has Cena trapped in an abdominal stretch, you do not see that move anymore. Cena fights out, goes for the AA again, but Punk rolls out and locks Cena in the Anaconda Vice! Cena escapes, and goes for the STF, but Punk reaches the ropes, then floors Cena with a diving rope clothesline. Now this match has picked up!! Punk springboards again, but Cena catches him and traps Punk in the STF! Punk fights out, reverses, into the Anaconda Vice! Cena counters it back into the STF! Punk rolls and Cena has his shoulders down, the ref counts, but Cena kicks out at two! The two slug it out, Cena tries a rollup, Punk counters, and another near fall. Punk has Cena wrapped up, but Cena counters into his back-to-side-slam, and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle! Cena goes for the AA, Punk slides out and goes for the GTS, Cena then slides out and Cena then crushes Punk with a HUGE Powerbomb!! Good lord this match is insane!!!! Cena goes to the top rope but Punk meets him, and they fight on top. Cena manages to knock Punk down, he leaps and hits Punk with the big legdrop, but only can get a two count from the ref! This match is awesome. Wow. Punk hits the high corner knee, but misses a clothesline and Cena hits the AA! One… two… NO!! Kick out! Punk kicked out!! Cena gets knocked down, and Punk lifts up Cena for a… for a… PILEDRIVER!!! HOLY SHIT!!! PILEDRIVER! We have not seen a PILEDRIVER in years!!!! Holy crap!!! Punk covers, one… twoooooooooooo Cena Kicks Out!!! Good lord almighty!!! Punk goes for a top rope dive but misses! Cena takes Punk down with a… HURRICANRANA?! What! Attitude Adjustment! One… two… THREE! It’s over!!!
Winner by HOLY CRAP THAT WAS AWESOME: John Cena

Yes, I said it. A match involving John Cena was awesome. You know what, Cena IS a good wrestler and we just have not seen it. Put him in the ring with CM Punk and damn it we got something special tonight. DAMN special. Go back and watch his matches with Kurt Angle and there you will see it. I will admit it, this match was WrestleMania quality right here.

DAMN!

Anyways, now that I have regained my composure, we now know for sure, Cena is going up against The Rock at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship, Jack Swagger will challenge Alberto del Rio for the World Title, Ziggler got crushed, so hopefully he is not getting buried. He is still Mr. Money in the Bank. Set ups are in place for Sheamus, Orton, The Shield, and more to come in the next few weeks. WOW. Tonight’s Raw was incredible.