WWE Raw Report
The Big News: WrestleMania is Sunday. So is WEC.
Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim, Maria, Mickie James, Melina and Tiffany beat Natalya, Jillian Hall, Katie Lea, Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, Layla, Rosa Mendes and Maryse. This was one of those non-matches where they do like two moves and then someone (Tiffany) rolls someone else (Katie Lea) up for the pin. Tiffany winning was kind of odd since I doubt even half of the Raw audience even knows who she is.
This was mostly just a backdrop for Santino Marella anyway. Santino came out in a robe. He still wants in the women’s battle royal and said he is an equal rights pioneer. He then took off the robe and danced around in some skimpy attire as the women laughed. Beth was annoyed and all the other women jumped him. They need to find something new and more substantive for Santino to do, because his act is losing steam.
Chris Jericho beat Jerry Lawler. They traded punches and kicks, with Jericho gaining control. Lawler eventually pulled down the strap and made a comeback with punches. All of a sudden Jericho caught him in the Walls for the submission. After the match Lawler came back with a punch. Jericho left, noting he already beat Lawler. He then vowed to beat the legends at Mania. I’m surprised they didn’t have Ric Flair cut a promo about his watch.
Edge confronted John Cena backstage, and said that they would need to take out Big Show together or they would be sitting ducks. Cena said he’d rather lose on his own than win with Edge’s help. Rey Mysterio beat JBL in a non-title match. JBL worked him over. Rey came back with an enzuigiri, 619 and springboard splash for the pin.
Big Show beat John Cena. Show dominated with power moves. He stood on Cena, brushed off Cena’s moves, threw him into the barricade and choked Cena. He went for the choke slam, but Cena escaped and went for the STF. He couldn’t apply it. Show went for the knockout punch but Cena ducked under and went for the FU. Show blocked that and hit the choke slam for the clean pin. Edge jumped Cena afterwards. I’m glad this was just focused on the match and not the love triangle.
Shawn Michaels arrived in a hearse and appeared in the ring in front of a casket. He said that he’s not afraid and that Undertaker’s streak will end. He noted that Undertaker hasn’t been able to beat him, and that he has played psychological games without retribution. He’ll never get his comeuppance, he crowed. The lights went out and Undertaker appeared in the ring, but Michaels was gone. Undertaker destroyed the set. He then slowly sensed Michaels might be in the casket. He opened it, but Michaels wasn’t there. Taker turned around and Michaels came from under the casket with sweet chin music and a bunch of crotch chops. Michaels did a great job here.
Kane won an eight man battle royal with the Money in the Bank participants. Mark Henry threw out Finlay. Hornswoggle then distracted Henry, allowing Kane to dump him. Kane threw out MVP and Benjamin together. Punk dumped Kingston. Christian threw Punk over the top, but Punk held on. Kane then grabbed Christian and tossed him over the top to take out Punk for the win. I figured Kane would win here, since everyone will figure the winner isn’t winning Money in the Bank and nobody expects Kane to win that anyway.
Raw ended with a compelling segment that worked well on its own but didn’t make a ton of sense if you’ve been watching the show every week. Randy Orton came out and recapped the history of Evolution. He said at that time he vowed that he would ruin HHH’s life, but that he needed to wait until he could assemble a group and HHH had more than ever before to take. They then aired a series of videos that made it seem like Orton won the Rumble, targeted HHH, and then sought to destroy HHH’s family as well.
The only problem with this is that the whole start of the angle a few weeks ago was that Orton was scared of HHH and wanted to wrestle for Edge’s title. An angry HHH then browbeat Orton into accepting a match with him and Orton only accepted because HHH agreed not to touch Orton between then and WrestleMania.
Orton said he did all those horrible things to get HHH to attack him (so why’d you ask for the stipulation that he couldn’t touch you?), because then HHH would feel in control and he could counterattack (so if HHH didn’t attack you in your home you couldn’t have attacked him 3 on 1 the next week?). He further explained that the whole IED thing was a fake (since it doesn’t fit with the new story).
Orton continued by saying that HHH can’t bring his sledgehammer to WrestleMania, because he talked to Vickie Guerrero and if HHH is disqualified at WrestleMania he loses the title. Wait, aren’t the McMahons ultimately in charge? Wasn’t Vickie appointed by them? And if she does have this power, why haven’t the McMahons fired her?
Anyway, long story short, Orton told a great story here, but it made absolutely no sense if you’ve been following the show for the past two months. This was staggeringly illogical for a WrestleMania main event, and yet another example of how they really need long term planning.
The segment picked up with the arrival of a limousine. Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes and security came out to protect Orton. Vince McMahon’s music played, and he strutted out for a fight. Then Shane McMahon’s music played, and he joined Vince on the stage. Finally, HHH’s music came on. They all looked at each other and marched down the stage towards the ring. “Oh my God, it’s on,” Lawler exclaimed. The McMahons beat up security, reached Legacy, and a gigantic brawl broke out to close the show. The setup of this showdown was tremendous.
This show was light on angles. They clearly figure the groundwork is laid for the show, and focused here on recapping the programs and putting the final touches on the key feuds. This was a well constructed show overall, but on its own it didn’t do a lot to make you want to see WrestleMania. Then again, the angles for Michaels/Undertaker and Orton/HHH were pretty good and there’s not a lot you could do to get people all that excited about anything else by this stage of the game. WWE dug its own grave in regards to WrestleMania a long time ago. Regardless of the build, it should be a fun show as WrestleMania always is, and I hope everyone traveling to Houston has a good time.