Paul Heyman cuts a promo to start the show. Paul says he won’t stand in CM Punk’s way of regaining the WWE Championship, and therefore he must say goodbye. Punk comes out looking puzzled. Punk convinces Heyman to be in his corner this Sunday and they embrace.
^This felt like a legitimate time waster. Heyman saying he’s leaving just so Punk can talk him out of it. What’s the point?
Mark Henry destroys the Great Khali. He lays out Hornswoggle after the match.
^Henry is still a monster. WWE won’t let us forget it. They also won’t take Khali off our television screens, despite my protest.
Chris Jericho approaches Teddy Long and Booker T. He wants to be in the Elimination Chamber. Booker says Y2J can be in the match if he beats Daniel Bryan tonight.
^Jericho and Dbry? Best in the world at everything he does versus the American Dragon? This is worthy of a mark out moment. I’d speculate that this one could end up on the best of Raw and Smackdown 2013 release next year. Jericho being in the Chamber would bring legitimacy to that match.
Vickie Guerrero is backstage with Paul Heyman. Heyman wants a stipulation for the match on Sunday and says he will do anything for it. They get Vince on speakerphone and Vince agrees to the stipulation that the Rock will lose the WWE Title if he is disqualified on Sunday.
^You can just smell the setup here. Heyman seems like a glutton for McMahon’s punishments.
Another Fandango vignette is shown. I’m almost halfway to being mildly intrigued.
Daniel Bryan goes one on one with Chris Jericho. Jericho wins using the codebreaker.
^This was excellent fast paced, non-stop action! Easily the highlight of the night for me; both men delivered and Bryan really showed what he can do in the ring with top notch talent. That diving headbutt looked legit, even if it really wasn’t.
John Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus defeat the 3MB. Cena pins Mahal after simultaneous finishers on all three opponents. They each talk on the mic after the match.
^Squash match to put over the strength of team WWE. I’m surprised to see the 3MB used this week after not appearing at all last Monday.
A backstage segment is shown from earlier today where Big Show knocks out both Yoshi Tatsu and Alex Riley.
^It takes a real tough guy to knock out two NXT jobbers. Couldn’t we see a handicap match instead?
Big Show knocks out Matt Striker and leaves rather than having an interview.
^I’ve never cared much for Striker and his overdone commentary, so this interview was the definition of perfect in my book. I don’t think Show is getting the title back on Sunday, but his anger over the paint situation on Smackdown was fueled nicely in these two segments.
Jack Swagger defeats Zack Ryder using the patriot act. Swagger cuts a promo after the match and introduces us to Zeb Cutler, a real American who served in Vietnam. Cutler talks about this not being an America that he recognizes.
^Nobody thought Ryder would win here, but at least he got in a little bit of offense. Haven’t seen Uncle Zeb personally since he was the manager of Justin Hawk Bradshaw(JBL). I’m not sure if a manager will make Swagger any more interesting, but at least WWE is making an effort with his character.
Dolph Ziggler is backstage and wants in the Elimination Chamber match to stop Jericho. Teddy makes Ziggler against Kane for the final Chamber spot tonight.
^I’d be curious to see how WWE books Ziggler for the ppv if he doesn’t win his match against Kane. Surely you can’t leave last year’s Raw Chamber spot-monkey standout off the card completely? Terrible booking if they do.
The Miz goes one on one with Cody Rhodes. Antonio Cesaro is on commentary. Cesaro gets involved and causes a DQ. Cesaro swings Miz around by his feet on the outside and smacks him against the barricade repeatedly.
^I love how WWE has kept this rivalry fresh, and I love seeing the Miz as the aggressive face. I just think the role works for him and people just need to embrace the change.
Tensai and Brodus Clay defeat Primo and Epico. Tensai pins Epico to win the match.
^If this is tag team wrestling as defined by WWE, I can do without it. Primo and Epico are too good for this, and Brodus isn’t nearly good enough to be featured this way. It’s not entertaining.
The Shield comes to the ring and calls out their three opponents for this Sunday. They talk some more and call out Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback one last time. The lights go out and come back on and the six men are brawling. Team WWE gets the upper hand in the brawl and chases off the Shield.
^Despite the same thing happening nearly every week with these six individuals, I’m very excited for the Chamber match on Sunday. All six guys possess a ton of talent and seeing the wrestling ability of the Shield will be a nice treat for some fans who aren’t familiar with their prior work.
Alberto Del Rio defeats Damien Sandow using the cross armbreaker.
^This was a bit too short to call it good, and fifteen minutes with these guys could’ve stolen the show. Del Rio will probably be World Champion all the way until WrestleMania and putting him over as the dominant face with the win is good strategy. I just wish the match had been given a few more minutes.
Bo Dallas attacks Wade Barrett backstage.
^Here’s hoping Dallas can find his character and make a big splash on the main roster. With all the rivalries Barrett has had and the stacked mid card not doing much, it would only make sense that we see some sort of multi man match for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania. I hope it doesn’t take away from early on success that Dallas could achieve.
Wade Barrett goes one on one with Kofi Kingston. Barrett wins the match with the elbow on the outside before tossing Kofi back in the ring for the pin.
^As often as we’ve seen these two go one on one, they never fail to deliver something new. This one was unique, and the dominance of Barrett shined yet again. I can’t get over the transformation he’s undergone since returning from that elbow injury.
Kane defeats Dolph Ziggler to qualify for the Elimination Chamber.
^Like his counterpart Dbry, Kane managed to have a pretty good match with Dolph. Kane being in the Chamber leads me to believe that Team Hell No will end up dropping the titles before Mania and going one on one at the big event. Ziggler NOT winning here makes me wonder what WWE will do with him for the show. I don’t see him cashing in before WrestleMania, so I’m hoping he’ll at least wrestle an impromptu match in New Orleans.
The Rock comes out and cuts a promo about buying a car from a crackhead. Punk comes out and they end up brawling. Heyman helps Punk get the upper hand as he delivers the GTS to the Rock. Punk leaves with the title over his shoulder to end the show.
^By far, this was some of the most annoying mic work the Rock has done since his return. It wasn’t funny, and it wasn’t entertaining, and worst of all it had no relevance to the storyline. Punk beating on the Rock was the most enjoyable part of the entire segment. I don’t want to see a guy come out every week and cut promos. I want to see the WWE Champion wrestling matches on a regular basis, and I honestly believe WWE could’ve booked the Rock in entertaining rivalries without having him hold the title. Solid ending to the show.
Two good matches and a bunch of quick ones. One good main event segment. This Raw was less than mediocre. I like that Rock and Punk have some hype going into their rematch, and I’m sure it will be a good one. Despite the lack of anything great on the show, I’m very much looking forward to the Elimination Chamber this Sunday.
I’ll have the Smackdown Analysis up on Friday, and our EC Predictions will be up late Saturday night. Also, if you’re friends with me on Facebook then you can message about joining up for our Elimination Chamber trivia challenge on Sunday night at 6PM! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
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