TV Recap: Monday Night RAW: Pre-Elimination Chamber Episode

Well, RAW got interesting fast.

We started the show with all the Elimination Chamber combatants in the ring having a great debate. We wind up with a few matches being made thanks to Corporate Kane. In addition to Randy Orton taking on Sheamus, we get John Cena vs. Cesaro and Daniel Bryan vs. Christian, the latter starting off the show. Christian showing a bit of his heel side again, often taunting the crowd. It makes sense, as Christian is the only one to lose to Orton and being a face has gotten him nowhere. Fast paced match sees Bryan win after a number of reversals into a pinfall rollup.

Bryan is not done yet. Kane announces yet a second match, against him. Bryan and Kane go at it until the Corporate stooge gains control and bashes the arm of Bryan numerous times until the ref calls for the disqualification. So Kane just wants to hurt Bryan. This worries me even more, as I don’t see Daniel Bryan vs. Kane as WrestleMania material. Not a great way to kick off RAW. The Kane/Bryan segment was barely a match. Brought the show’s momentum down very fast.

The comedy match between Santino and Fandango didn’t help matters at all. It was more about showing more of Emma. That was it.

Backstage, Mark Henry cut a promo promising to induct Roman Reigns into the Hall of Pain. Unfortunately, Henry turned out to be just fodder for the big man, and Reigns makes short work of the World’s Strongest Man with a Superman Punch followed by the Spear. Seth Rollins celebrates with Reigns while Dean Ambrose looks a bit distraught and then beats up the downed Henry while Rollins and Reigns look on in confusion. Suddenly, a Wyatt Family appears on the TitanTron, promising the end of The Shield come Sunday. Roman Reigns gets on the mic and challenges the creepy trio to come down to the ring… and they do! We get a six-man staredown, but Bray leads his flock out of the ring before the stables came to blows. I’m looking forward to their match most for Elimination Chamber.

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Backstage, Cody Rhodes and Goldust plug the newest kids toy, WWE Stackdown. Goldust tells a story about ripping off the wings of butterflies and putting them on his pet hamster so it could fly. Wade “Bad News” Barrett arrives in time to end this stupidity by delivering bad news, kicking all the toys on the floor. Great way to plug product.

In the ring, Jack Swagger and Kofi Kingston have a short, but solid match which finds Swagger forcing Kingston to tap out to the Patriot Lock. His opponent for Sunday, Interncontinental Champion Big E. Langston makes his way out for his match against Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal. During the match Zeb Colter picks up a mic and talks through it, riling up the crowd. Langston wins after two Big Endings, and promising to put Colter in adult diapers.

Another promo for Alexander Rusev. Forget the talk, let the man wrestle!

Boy, they are churning out the matches tonight.

We get a nice segment featuring Ron Simmons as part of WWE’s tribute to Black History Month. Man, I miss the good days of wrestling.

John Cena vs. Antonio Cesaro. If I would have said “This is Awesome,” would you have believed me? Well, it was. The live crowd thought so too. Incredible match, Cesaro was the MVP of it without a doubt, but Cena certainly showed he can wrestle outside his comfort zone once again. After two teases, Cesaro was able to toss Cena around in the Big Swing, Suplex him from the ring apron while standing on the second turnbuckle, hit a gut-wrench Suplex, and every European Uppercut in his arsenal. It was not enough, as Cena was able to counter a Neutralizer attempt and a clothesline later, throw Cesaro with the Attitude Adjustment for the pinfall victory. I will tell you, Cena took a damn beating in this one. Once again, a reminder, even though most of us are sick of seeing Cena always win, he can put on good matches when he has to. He did it with CM Punk, Chris Jericho, and Daniel Bryan. My only gripe was Michael Cole saying that Cesaro and Cena have similar wrestling styles. Thank you Jerry Lawler for quickly fixing that blunder and talking some sense into Cole.

Yet for some reason when it comes to Randy Orton, everyone forgets how to throw a slam.

Backstage: Triple H and Orton are blabbing about Sunday. A rambling Orton tries kissing up to the COO, but does so by bashing Batista, who just so happens to be standing behind him. Orton runs away in time for Alberto del Rio to arrive in a neck brace and threaten Grax, who shoves him into some equipment. Triple H is unhappy at the aggression. Yawn. Batista is really not as special as WWE is trying to make him. It’s just not working.

We get a recap of the feud between Titus O’Neal and Darren Young. Renee interviews Titus who says he will take out his former partner once and for all, as he begins his rise towards championship gold. I love Titus, he can certainly be a champion one day. He cuts great promos.

The Wyatt Family mauls Los Colonadores and Sin Hunicara. This was just a match to show off the big burly bruisers in Luke Harper and Erick Rowan and what they can do to little guys. Rumor has it Rey got himself injured again. Time to retire! If they want to keep the Rey Mysterio name, maybe Camacho will put on the mask, and this way Hunico and Camacho can get back together as a team… Sigh. Second yawn.

The New Age Outlaws will defend the WWE Tag Team Championship against The Usos this Sunday at Elimination Chamber. Tonight, we get Jey Uso vs. Billy Gunn. Production crew does a great job of not paying attention to the match and keeps the camera on the announce team who are joined by Road Dogg and Jimmy Uso. The commentary was a bit more entertaining than the match. Gunn dominated until Jey stole the win with a quick reversal and rollup.

The main event saw Randy Orton face off with Sheamus. Very similar to their match the day after WrestleMania 29, by that where the crowd chanted for everyone else. However, the match got interesting when Orton back-suplexed Sheamus into the announce table. Decent back and forth, with Orton missing on his attempt for the RKO allowing Sheamus to charge up for the Brough Kick. The Shield then ran in, giving the Celtic Warrior the DQ win. Cena, Bryan, and the rest of the Chamber participants rushed in and began to brawl. The lights go out, and The Wyatts are in the ring staring down the Shield! All hell breaks loose as Monday Night RAW comes to a close.

There were about five or six CM Punk chants, one JBL chant, and I think I heard one Randy Savage chant as well. It seems the live-crowd was more into the feud between Shield and Wyatts. The Chamber match seems good, but I have a gut feeling Orton will walk away with the WWE World Championship. My guess is they will present the new title at WrestleMania 30? Orton racked up the losses this month, losing to everyone else involved in the Chamber in singles matches, except for Christian. So, does that mean the swerve is Christian winning? Hahaha. No. My gut is Orton retaining because there really is no one else to serve up to Batista as fodder. Unless Cesaro wins. That would be cool.

The Elimination Chamber preview column will come later this week, but we look ahead to SmackDown where nothing else will be hyped since they always conclude RAW with the old fashioned big brawl.

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