WWE Raw TV report - Cena vs. Punk for shot at Rock's title



WWE Monday Night Raw


February 25, 2013
Dallas, TX

Robert McCarron
Brock & Triple H Battle
Mr. McMahon opened the show tonight, walking to the ring with the assistance of crutches. Vince called out Heyman for their fight, which brought out the manager of champions himself. Paul said he wouldn't take it easy on Vince tonight, and cut off his own speech to spear Vince. Paul hit Vince with his own crutch a couple of times before Vince hulked up and grabbed the crutch. Vince turned the tables and beat down Paul until Brock Lesnar entered. Brock backed Vince up, then TIME TO PLAY THE GAME began. Triple H, in no hurry, walked to the ring and began a battle with Brock. The two brawled. HHH whipped Brock into the post on the outside, busting Brock open big time. Brock bled quite a bit here. There were chairshots, lots of blood, spinebusters and more before Brock bailed and tried to brush off the attack. We basically saw Triple H get his revenge on his loss and the attack on Vince a few weeks ago. So, I guess they wrestle now for more revenge? The brawl was great, but I'm surprised they did so much with still a few weeks to go before WrestleMania.

The Ryback vs The Show Off
Ryback beat Dolph, despite plenty of interference from AJ and Big E Langston. This was Ryback's most competitive Raw match in a while, maybe even ever. Dolph got a lot of offense in, but finally lost to the Shellshock after Big E did his best to get his friend's boyfriend the win.

A trailer for Halle Berry's "The Call" aired. David Otunga has a minor role.

CM Punk Speaks
Tonight is more important than John Cena, more important than the Rock, and more important than WrestleMania. He said that tonight is about CM Punk, the single most important superstar of this era. He closed by calling himself God. JBL did that already, and honestly, did it better.

There will be a new Hall of Fame announcement tonight~! Oh, it's now. Donald Trump, y'all. Worst of the HoF video packages so far.

Thank Punk It's Not A Mania Match
Mark Henry squashed Great Khali with the World's Strongest Slam, hopefully ending my fear that they were building these two for WrestleMania. This great battle quickly led to a shill for The Marine 3.

Another promo for FAN...DAN...GO aired. Still estimating his debut date as November 4, 2013.

Miz TV featuring Jake Hager, Wayne Keown, and Jose Rodriguez
Something tells me Zeb won't be taking us behind the curtain so much tonight, unlike his video posted to his YouTube channel over the weekend. Well, an awkward beginning as no one knew they were live and Miz' mic didn't work, and you could hear someone yelling to the ring to "Go, we're live" at least twice. Miz, Zeb, Swagger, Ricardo, and Del Rio were all in the ring to start. Zeb and Del Rio went back and forth about 'illegals', the Mexican citizenship process, Del Rio's people, yada yada yada. This was really the first time Zeb basically called out Mexicans specifically. Anyway, finally, Del Rio challenged Zeb and Jack to do something to "make us leave." Swagger then said his only line of the night, "We will see you at WrestleMania... We the people!"

WWEActive: Jack Swagger blindsided Miz on the entrance ramp during the break.

Next week will be "Old School Raw" again. I remember the first one being pretty fun. Although, I can't even remember last week's Raw so I may be mistaken.

Tale of Who Should Win vs Who Will Win
Randy Orton pinned Antonio Cesaro again with an RKO out of nowhere. Cesaro and Orton wrestled an even bout, with Orton even tossing in a few throws to sort of match the offense of Cesaro. The finish saw Orton catch Cesaro in mid-air with an RKO as Cesaro was trying to hit a flying clothesline from the middle rope.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan said he could beat the Prime Time Players by himself while blindfolded. Kane said he could do it with one arm tied behind his back. Vickie and Brad Maddox appeared, with them making D-Bry and Kane vs PTP'ers for tonight. Bryan would have to be blindfolded, while Kane will have one arm tied behind his back. Brad Maddox was fantastic here talking over Vickie and getting sad when he was shushed.

For whatever reason, we got a replay of the WrestleMania 21 buildup video featuring John Cena and JBL doing a Few Good Men parody.

Miz vs Jack Swagger was made for tonight.

Sheamus' Oscar Snubs
Sheamus, in a tuxedo, came out to discuss last night's Oscars. Sheamus said he was upset with the academy for overlooking the great actor Wade Barrett. Sheamus cut to a trailer of Dead Man Down again, the move that Wade has a small part in. Sheamus mocked Wade's small part. Wade came out and called Sheamus jealous. After a few words between them, Wade went for an attack but Sheamus ducked and tried a Brogue Kick. Wade ducked that and bailed.

They're Still Best Friends
R-Truth pinned Cody Rhodes in a basic match. Damien Sandow was at ringside doing commentary. He's still Cody's best friend, even if they don't tag anymore. It's hard telling if they're building Sandow vs Truth, or an actual tag feud between Truth/Kofi and Rhodes/Sandow.

Youtube.com/WeThePeopleZeb - Jack and Zeb talk about illegals stealing our jobs.

Team Hell No vs Prime Time Players
Team Hell No beat Titus O'Neil and, after recovering nine months from an injured knee (or not), Darren Young. Bryan wrestled blindfolded, while Kane wrestled with one arm tied behind his back. Bryan started the match with comedy. Young and Titus had whistles, and they were confusing Bryan as to where the two were. Bryan also kicked Kane not realizing it was him. Kane got a tag, and beat down the PTP'ers with one arm. Kane pinned Darren after a chokeslam, and afterwards Bryan's blindfold was removed and the two celebrated their victory.
Dean Ambrose and those two other guys came down to the ring, challenging the entire roster to create an army to stop The Shield from bringing justice and honor to WWE. Seth spoke, talking about their Pay Per View wins over the last three months. Seth asked if there was anyone else who wanted to step up against the Shield. Sheamus came out, challenging the Shield to fight him on the ramp. Roman and Dean took him up on it, but Randy Orton snuck in the ring to RKO the remaining Seth Rollins.

Miz vs Swagger
Jack Swagger beat Miz with the Patriot Act in a fine match. The two went back and forth for a while, until Swagger got the advantage and worked on Miz' leg for a lengthy period. With Miz lame, Swagger locked in the Patriot Act ankle lock, which Michael Cole still can't properly name, for the submission win.

Cole and Lawler blatantly shilled Sonic fast food, with a tray filled with unhealthy goodies on the announce table in front of Lawler.

A recap video of last week's main event angle was played, with Rock debuting the new title belt and Punk attacking Cena with the old title belt.

Tout: WWE is back on the Tout train, showing some fans' thoughts on Triple H's attack on Brock Lesnar.

Backstage, John Cena promoted tonight's main event.

Tout: They aired Undertaker's entrance at a house show in Waco over the weekend. Lawler speculated if Undertaker will return for WrestleMania this year. Well, fifteen minutes from now we may know.

Main Event: God vs John Cena
Cena beat Punk to confirm his title match at WrestleMania. This match had a big main event PPV feel, and the crowd treated it as such. This was the most lively the crowd had been, just a notch above the opening show angle. Punk had control for most of the match, but the end saw back and forth exchanges of submission finishers in a heated series the crowd was really into. Later, the two exchanged reversals of each man's finishers climaxing with Cena hitting a powerbomb to a near fall. Cena followed that up with his top rope leg drop for an even closer near fall that really pumped the crowd up into a frenzy. After a brief back and forth, Cena landed an AA on Punk for another near fall. These two were clicking really well as we went past the 11:05 mark. They did a near count out spot, with Cena making it in just before a ten count for another near finish. That was followed with Punk nailing a GTS for a near finish. Cena countered another GTS attempt into the STFU, but Punk escaped. Then, in an OMG moment, Punk landed a piledriver on John Cena. That takes balls. The crowd responded big to that, and it went with the story that Punk is doing everything he can think of to get his title back. The final sequence saw Punk miss his flying elbow, leading to a hurricanrana from Cena and the AA for the pinfall victory. This was great, and WWE's Match of the Year to this point. They made the right call ending the show with Cena celebrating, because this is what you want the crowd to remember.

Rock vs Cena is official now for WrestleMania. We save Undertaker's return for another week.

That main event stole the show, and did as much as you could do to make the WWE title match at Mania feel like the most important thing in the world. Overall, I'd have to say a good show because of the opening and closing segments. Not much else was promoted for Mania, though. Nothing new, anyway.

Send us a news tip: newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news from this site or from our newsletters, please include a link to www.wrestlingobserver.com

For the most in-depth and detailed news and analysis on pro-wrestling and MMA, always turn to Wrestlingobserver.com/Figure Four Weekly Online, the #1 website of its kind on the Internet. Members receive online access to both the Wrestling Observer and Figure Four Weekly newsletters and growing archives, Wrestling Observer Radio with Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer three times per week, the popular Bryan and Vinny Show three times per week, additional radio shows including Figure Four Daily with Alvarez, Mike Coughlin's Five Star Radio, the Dr. Keith Lipinski Show, The Adam and Mike Big Audio Nightmare, Tough Talk and the Karl Stern Wrestling History Show, the infamous BOARD, and more! Members also have full access to the thousands of hours of audio in our radio show archives which date back to 2005. For your convenience, we offer secure online payments using your VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover card or PayPal account. Don't miss out on the fun, sign up now! Don't miss out on the fun, sign up now!

Want full access? QUICK AND EASY SIGN-UP, AS LOW AS $9.99 PER MONTH!

Who do you think won this fight?