RAW began with a very brief but convincing promo from Kane outlining his sadistic plans for the night- 1) Making John Cena ’embrace the hate’ and 2) Putting someone would be put in an ambulance; a symbol of the ambulance match set to take place at the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View event.
Next was an Elimination Chamber debate. Basically set up like a press conference and all of the participants in the Elimination Chamber stood behind podiums. A little strange to see but every guy cut a really good promo, each was a pitch-perfect mix of comedy and hard truths (some focusing more on comedy like R-Truth, some more on hard truths like Kofi Kingston). The debate ended in quite a surprising way with Kofi Kingston delivering his finishing move, Trouble In Paradise, to Chris Jericho.
All of the participants in the RAW Elimination Chamber are competing in singles match tonight on RAW. First up: Kofi Kingston vs Chris Jericho. Kofi Kingston, who claimed he had been overlooked for far too long in the debate, began the match by taking it to Jericho and showing a slightly vicious side to him that we haven’t seen before. Jericho then started to get back into it after Kingston’s opening flurry. The match developed into a very good opening match that went back and forth for a good few minutes before Chris Jericho poked Kingston in the eye to the lead to the win.
After a few backstage segments that involved Zack Ryder’s love affair with Eve and John Laurinaitis scheming with David Otunga, a match between Randy Orton and The Big Show was up next. Of course, Daniel Bryan was at ringside. Only to watch, of course. During the match Orton delivered a top rope DDT to Big Show which was hugely impressive and was the most noteworthy thing to happen all match. However, balance was restored when shortly after this impressive move The Big Show botched the finish and led to Orton having to RKO the giant again before Bryan stormed the ring and smashed Orton across the back of the head with his World Heavyweight Championship. The match wasn’t particularly good with the only standout thing to happen being Orton’s aforementioned top rope DDT on the 7 foot Big Show.
Shawn Michaels returned to RAW next! The Heart Break Kid got a huge cheer from the crowd, as expected. HBK delivered a promo that started off in his typical light-hearted style before he introduced Triple H to the mix to talk about The Undertaker. The promo then got serious and saw Shawn Michaels call out Triple H on a lot of things, which then led Triple H to come back with an angered response, even mentioning what everyone knows; that Triple H and The Undertaker are the last of a generation. The emotionally-charged promo ended with Triple H claiming he didn’t want or need to end The Undertaker’s 19-0 WrestleMania streak. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of Shawn Michaels before WrestleMania. This promo was simply amazing. Emotional, real and hard-hitting truths, and that was before another phenomenal video piece from The Undertaker played which, cheif among everything else, showed The Undertaker cutting off his hair (something that was rumoured to have happened months ago during The Undertaker’s time off). Phenomenal television, if you’ll excuse the pun, which you can see here.
Dolph Ziggler vs R-Truth is going to have a hard time following that. Dolph Ziggler, though, is as good a candidate as anyone to put on a top quality match. Ziggler was on top for the majority of this very short match, showing off and proving how good he is. Yet he showed off a little too much with R-Truth picking up the quick victory.
We then learned that Tamina would face Divas Champion Beth Phoenix at the Elimination Chamber PPV this Sunday 19th February. Tamina and Brie Bella had a brief match with Tamina expectedly picking up the victory while Beth Pheonix hyped the match on commentary before having an intense stare-down with Tamina to end this particular portion of the show. Nothing special but at least we see someone challenging Beth Phoenix and hopefully the pair will put on a good match this Sunday.
A video showing The Rock’s recent promotional activity aired next, showing how much work wrestlers do outside of the ring, especially a bona fide movie star like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The Rock is superstar in its purest form.
The Kane and John Cena feud continued next. I didn’t have much hope for this but stick with it, it gets good! Kane locked Eve in an ambulance before Cena attempted the save with an attack on Kane which then led to Eve making a dramatic jump out of the back of the ambulance. It was all very dramatic! Then, something genuinelly shocking happened. Eve and John Cena locked lips in a passionate kiss which left John Cena’s buddy, Zack Ryder, heartbroken and angry. Eve then uttered the line no man wants to hear to poor, weelchair bound Zack Ryder- “I just want us to be friends”. Yes, everyone, Zack Ryder was placed firmly in the FRIEND ZONE. An enjoyable segment, actually. Speaking of the friend zone, listen to this:
Next up was The Miz vs WWE Champion CM Punk. The match went through the motions with nothing really standing out. Not a great main event but still almost on par with the other good match on the show; Kofi Kingston vs Chris Jericho.
To finish the show, the ambulance that Kane drove off in earlier when he thought Eve was in the back was shown reversing back into the arena. John Cena came to the ring to a mix of boos and cheers after he straight-up stole the love of Zack Ryder’s life, Eve Torres earlier in the show. A chant of “WE ALL HATE YOU” erupted mid-way through his promo, which, I believe is a first. Very appropriate too, given the current storyline revolving around hate. The crowd were on top form all night when it came to noise but they stepped it up during Cena’s time in the ring producing numerous loud chants aimed towards the leader of the CeNation. Just as Cena was getting around to talk about The Rock, the injured Zack Ryder appeared. Hurt both physically and now emotionally, Ryder made his way to the ring to confront John Cena. Ryder then proceeded to slap Cena which led to Cena shaping like he was going to hurt Ryder. He inadvertently did, after Ryder fell to the ground but this storyline looks to be very intriguing over the next few weeks. Kane then appeared on the screen and said Cena had finally ’embraced the hate’. The show ended with Ryder being launched off the stage by Kane and being stretchered out of the arena. Certainly a very good end to RAW this week, with this storyline involving Cena, Ryder, Kane and Eve boiling into something interesting after weeks of simmering on the hob of the WWE. Similarly, WWE now have my full interest in this storyline after weeks of me dismissing it. Let’s hope this continues next week.
What to watch:
- The Elimination Chamber ‘debate’
- Kofi Kingston vs Chris Jericho
- Shawn Michaels/Triple H segment
- The Rock’s film video
- The John Cena/Zack Ryder segments
So, what did you guys think of RAW? Leave a comment below or tweet me your views (@DeadmanDRB).