By: Todd Martin
Date: 02/07/12 from Oklahoma City, OK.
The Big News: HHH rejected a match with Undertaker, CM Punk rejected a verbal duel with Chris Jericho and Miz rejected breaking R. Truth’s fall.
HHH came out to start the show. He said that he was going to fire John Laurinaitis at the end of last week’s show. He labeled Laurinaitis a weasel with no redeeming characteristics. However, Laurinaitis flew to Stamford to meet with the board of directors and the board doesn’t want HHH to fire him until they make their decision which could come as soon as Tuesday morning.
HHH next turned his attention to Undertaker. HHH said that there was always a rush and awe for him when Undertaker entered. But last week, he didn’t feel that and instead felt bad for Undertaker. HHH said he knows what he did to Undertaker last year and he wants to remember Undertaker as being dominant rather than being carried out. Thus, HHH refused the match. He said that if they did it again, HHH would have to put an end to it. He added that maybe that’s what Undertaker wants. HHH said that everyone has their limits and he won’t be the guy to push Undertaker past his because he respects Undertaker too much. I thought this was a great promo by HHH.
As HHH went to leave, his music stopped and the lights went out. A video package played with Undertaker saying he wants vengeance and he will offer HHH one more chance at immortality. It concluded that this is not over.
Big Show beat Daniel Bryan via count out. Bryan brought AJ to ringside, assuring her that she would be fine. Show hit punches, heat butts, a body slam and a spear. He went for the choke slam but Bryan countered into a standing guillotine. Show escaped and kicked Bryan off the ring apron. Bryan sold his leg and Show went after him. AJ stopped Show but as Show went to reenter the ring, Bryan attacked Show’s knee from behind. Show charged after Bryan and nearly ran over AJ again. This time he was able to pull up. Bryan then just walked up the ramp with AJ and was counted out.
Bryan on the stage said that Show proved the first time he ran over AJ was on purpose, because he could have pulled up then like he pulled up this time. Bryan said that protecting AJ is more important to him than winning or losing any match. However, after the Elimination Chamber he will still be champion.
Randy Orton beat David Otunga. Otunga came to the ring and said he has never had a boss as good as John Laurinaitis. He asked for the crowd to pray that the board does the right thing by retaining Laurinaitis and he Tebowed. HHH then put Otunga in this match. Sheamus went for the razor’s edge immediately but Otunga escaped. Sheamus hit an ax handle and some punches. Otunga got off a DDT before being hit with the Brogue kick for the pin.
Chris Jericho in the ring said the end of the world has arrived because he spells the end of thievery, plagiarism and liars claiming to be what they are not. He said that all the wrestlers and all the fans are Chris Jericho wannabes. He added that he trolled and manipulated the people because they are wannabes. He said Miz ripped off his act and Punk is the worst of them all. Jericho said he is really the best in the world and Punk is just a wannabe. Jericho said he is back to claim what is his.
CM Punk interrupted. He teased saying something but instead just held up his title. He then turned his back. When Jericho didn’t attack, Punk left holding up his title and smiling. Jericho screamed at him in anger as he left. This was a good segment. It’s bizarre, but I can’t even recall the last segment that was principally built around getting over the idea that the title means you are the best. Jericho wants to be known as the best. Punk has the title. So Jericho has to beat him to prove who the real best is. That’s just perfect.
Randy Orton and Great Khali beat Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett. Khali hit chops and a clothesline on Barrett. He tagged in Orton with a very hard chop. Orton smiled but was cut off by a Barrett neck breaker. Rhodes worked over Orton briefly but Orton made his own comeback. Orton gave Barrett a powerslam and gave Rhodes a clothesline and draping DDT. He set up for the RKO when Khali tagged himself in. Khali then hit a chop on Rhodes for the pin. Then after the match Orton gave Khali an RKO. This was a dumb segment. Khali beating Rhodes is stupid enough, but then having Khali laid out immediately after made that result even dumber.
Tamina, Alicia Fox, Eve Torres and Kelly Kelly beat Beth Phoenix, Natalya and the Bellas. Before the match, Beth said she has beaten everyone and there is no competition left. I figured that was a tease for a feud with Kharma but then Tamina won with a superfly splash over a Bella. Beth and Tamina exchanged looks after that so evidently that’s the next program.
John Laurinaitis approached HHH backstage. Laurinaitis said he is still executive VP and interim GM, at least until Tuesday morning. Laurinaitis said the board is comprised of good people and they will be fair. He said that they adopted two suggestions he had: Shawn Michaels will appear on Raw next week and Kane will wrestle John Cena in an ambulance match at Elimination Chamber. HHH threatened Laurinaitis and Laurinaitis left. Laurinaitis then suggested to Josh Mathews the board will prefer someone like him to someone perceived as cowardly like HHH ducking Undertaker.
Chris Jericho won a 6 pack challenge to earn the right to enter last in the Elimination Chamber match. It’s not a big deal but I think it’s pretty dumb that winning a random match gives you an advantage in a multi-person title match but actually being the champion does not. They did a series of dives early. Truth went for a somersault plancha but Miz didn’t catch him and he took a hard bump on the floor with his head bouncing off the ground. Truth was helped to the back and didn’t finish the match. I’m glad they made that judgment call in this situation rather than just having him work through the match. Of course, it’s easier in this sort of match.
Punk hit a simultaneous neck breaker and DDT on Miz and Ziggler that looked cool. Punk put Miz in the anaconda vise but Ziggler made the save. Punk then put Ziggler in the anaconda vise but Kingston made the save. They did a tower of doom spot. Kingston went for trouble in paradise on Jericho but Jericho reversed into the Walls. Punk broke that up but Ziggler came in with a rollup on Punk for two. Punk hit the GTS on Ziggler but Jericho pulled Punk out and covered Ziggler instead to win. This was a fun match.
After the match, they cut to Kane and Eve Torres backstage. Kane yelled at Eve while she overacted. Kane said that he is afraid of himself. Interestingly, Cena never appeared live on this show. If they mentioned why, I missed it.
This was a second straight solid show. The standout segments were those building up HHH vs. Undertaker and Punk vs. Jericho, as well as an entertaining main event.