WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
Date: 02/14/12 from San Diego, CA.
The Big News: At last, a show for true connoisseurs of unintentional comedy. Also, masochists.
The show started with Kane backstage saying that he will do anything to get John Cena to embrace the hate. He added that by the end of the show, Cena will embrace the hate and someone will take a ride in an ambulance.
We then went to a debate with the wrestlers in the Raw chamber. John Laurinaitis interrupted CM Punk at the onset to thank the WWE board of directors for their support and leave. Punk said the debate wouldn’t end in violence. He suggested that a lot of people assume Laurinaitis has something over the board, but really Laurinaitis has just done a lot of begging. Punk said he will win because he is the best wrestler in the world.
Dolph Ziggler said he is a better wrestler than Punk. He took a shot at R. Truth, saying Truth doesn’t know what state they are in. Truth said that if he is elected, he will trade Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero to Smackdown. Truth continued with an extended version of his minstrel show comedy act. Miz again pointed out he was in the main event of Mania last year and ran down the others. Kofi Kingston said he has been overlooked for too long but that will change at the chamber.
Jericho finally said that he has been in more chambers than anyone and eliminated more wrestlers in chamber matches than anyone. He said he is coming to reclaim Punk’s title. Punk took a shot at him finishing 7th on Dancing with the Stars. Ziggler said this segment was a joke and waste of time. Truth did more minstrel. Jericho got in Punk’s face and Kingston gave Jericho trouble in paradise to mercifully end this segment.
This segment was thoroughly irritating from beginning to end. It was that goofy, annoying WWE atmosphere that takes the edge off everything and actively makes you much less interested in seeing the match. Everyone except Kingston came off so obnoxious. This description probably doesn’t even read that bad, but as far as making me want to change the channel and never order another pay-per-view, this was really bad.
Chris Jericho beat Kofi Kingston. Jericho worked over Kingston briefly. Kingston came back with dropkicks but his springboard attempted was countered into the walls. Kingston got to the ropes. Jericho argued with the referee and Kingston hit trouble in paradise for two. Kingston covered but Jericho got his foot on the ropes. After a sloppy struggle and gouge to the eyes, Jericho hit the code breaker for the pin.
Shawn Michaels arrived and hugged HHH backstage. Elsewhere, Zack Ryder was in Cena’s locker room with a wheel chair, neck brace and flowers. He looked completely preposterous. Ryder said he needed to tell Eve Torres how he feels about her. Cena pointed out that whenever Ryder shows up, Kane murders him. Cena told Ryder to stay in the locker room while Cena went to get Eve. In John Laurinaitis’ office, David Otunga pointed out Laurinaitis isn’t permanent GM yet. Otunga has a plan for Laurinaitis to be permanent GM of Raw and Smackdown.
Randy Orton beat Big Show via DQ. Daniel Bryan watched from ringside. Show threw Orton on the announce table. Coming back in, Orton kicked Show in the head and hit a draping DDT on Show from the top rope. That was a cool spot. Orton went for the RKO but they botched it. Show went down but Orton didn’t, so it was like Show gave himself the move and sold it. There were audible “you fucked up” chants. So Orton went for it again and this time hit it. Bryan then ran in to hit Orton with the belt for the DQ. Bryan hit Show with it as well. This was an okay match with a terrible finish both in concept and execution.
Shawn Michaels came out. It seemed like he was losing his voice and was a bit off. Michaels pointed out it is WrestleMania season and you can’t have WrestleMania without Mr. WrestleMania. Michaels said he was waiting last week for HHH to accept Undertaker’s challenge, so when HHH didn’t, he called Laurinaitis and said he needed to talk to HHH. Umm, the story was Laurinaitis proposed Michaels’ return two weeks ago to the board of directors before HHH refused Taker’s challenge. Michaels said that he thought about it a few days and realized HHH was just baiting Taker. So he called out HHH to come say he would be ending the streak.
HHH joined Michaels and said it was great to see him. HHH said it would be nice to see Michaels more often, a sentiment I’m sure all fans would agree with. However, HHH said he won’t face Taker at Mania. He reiterated that he would have to end Taker to beat him and he isn’t willing to do that. HHH said he isn’t that guy any more. Michaels said that’s exactly who he is, ending careers and showing no mercy or compassion.
Michaels asked if HHH is just a suit now, whether he married that chick and became one of them. He wondered if HHH is a corporate sellout. HHH said he isn’t selling out, but investing in the future. Michaels responded that when someone challenges him and he backs down that makes him a coward. HHH said Michaels doesn’t understand. Michaels is on the ranch without any worries while HHH has responsibilities. The company is going to be his and that responsibility weighs a ton on his shoulders.
HHH asserted Taker isn’t just an opponent. Taker is a brand that is good for business and letting that brand end is bad for business. HHH said that HHH, Michaels and Taker are the end of an era. Their style doesn’t exist and they left it all in the ring every night. HHH said he won’t be the one to end that era because Taker’s all that is left. HHH said he won’t do it for his ego or for Michaels’ ego, doing what Michaels couldn’t.
Michaels said that speech works on a lot of people, but it wouldn’t work on him. Michaels told HHH to look him in the eye and say he doesn’t want to end the streak, say no. HHH looked in Michaels’ eyes and said no. Michaels was taken aback and left. They then played another Taker video. Taker again was calling for the match and they showed him cutting his hair.
R. Truth beat Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler worked over Truth for a while. He was doing sit-ups when Truth rolled him up for the win. I don’t get why Ziggler keeps losing. He ought to be the hottest rising star in the company and they just job him out week in and week out.
Santino and Zack Ryder did brief comedy backstage. Then Tamina pinned Brie Bella with a Samoan drop and superfly splash.
Backstage, a crying Eve Torres walked into an ambulance and Kane shut the doors. I’m not sure if they shot this with the wrong angle or what, but it seemed as if she just randomly decided to walk into the ambulance rather than being chased or coerced. Kane closed the door. Cena attacked Kane. Kane got away and went to drive off with Eve in the back, but Eve just opened the back door and jumped out into Cena’s arms. She then kissed Cena. Of course, Ryder was right there sitting in his wheelchair with the flowers, shocked and upset. Coming back from the break, Eve told Ryder she was sorry and wanted them to be friends. Ryder made an angry face and rolled away for comedy.
CM Punk beat Miz. Miz went for his neck breaker/back breaker combination but Punk cut him off with a head kick. Punk followed with a powerslam and top rope elbow. He went for GTS but Miz escaped and went for the skull crushing finale. Punk got out of that and applied the anaconda vise for the submission.
Raw concluded with an epic final segment. Cena came out and apologized to Ryder. He said Kane’s plan was to turn Cena’s friends against him and the fans against him. Cena tried to act like the crowd was booing him because of this goofy angle. But Cena vowed that this plan wouldn’t work! The crowd chanted “we all hate you.” Cena said that they don’t get that he rises above the hate. He told people to go on thinking he’s weak, as if that’s the central criticism people have of him. He said he will adapt, overcome, and win against Kane and Rock.
Zack Ryder wheeled himself out and then came down to the ring on crutches. He was selling in this comedic manner and making angry facial expressions. Ryder slapped Cena. Cena took off his shirt. As Ryder and Cena were having their big confrontation, the crowd began loudly chanting “throw it back” to the person who caught Cena’s shirt. Ryder went to hit Cena. Cena caught it and shoved Ryder down. A dejected Ryder went to leave on his crutches.
Kane appeared on the screen and said Cena took the true love of his only friend. Kane said that Cena will leave Sunday in an ambulance. Then for good measure he came out and pushed Ryder off the stage in his wheelchair. Why not? Cena freaked out over Ryder’s 80th demise and ran about looking for help. He did the X sign and stood by Ryder as fans heckled him and one person cried. Then Eve Torres came out and everybody booed. And that was that. I hope Ryder is okay.
Who would order Elimination Chamber after watching this show?