After the historic TLC pay-per-view and it’s main event which saw Randy Orton become the first ever WWE World Heavyweight Champion, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one anticipating last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw. Let’s see what went down!
– The Authority came out and lovingly unveiled their new Champion, who walked through the crowd of superstars gathered on the ramp with a real swagger. He then proceeded to cut a heated promo from the ring about how jealous they all were of his success. John Cena interrupted him and demanded that he defend his title against Daniel Bryan. I know this is his way of appeasing the marks who boo him, but it’s still pretty cool of him to consistently put the guy over on television. After the whole arena chanted “Yes!”, the power couple booked the match for the main event. WWE are really going for it lately!
The Rhodes Brothers v Big Show & Rey Mysterio: Cody and Rey were excellent again picking up from where they left off the night before, until Big Show got in there and slowed the pace right down. During his spells, the announcers took multiple “selfies” and the camera crew constantly cut away from the action to film them doing so. This was absolutely ridiculous – very stupid and harmful to the presentation. Eventually the pace quickened and order disappeared from the match. Big Show hit the knock out punch and Rey Mysterio the splash from his shoulders onto Goldust for the win. After the bell, more sportsmanship.
– Randy Orton burst into the office to demand reassurances from The Authority, which he got. Sometimes I notice how funny Kane looks in his suit. Bless him.
Fandango v Dolph Ziggler: Summer Rae is just out of this world! I don’t think there is a woman on earth as perfect as she is. This was a short but decent match, which Ziggler “stole” with the roll-up.
Big E Langston & Mark Henry v The Real Americans: The modern day Nation of Domination were teaming again. This match is about as close as WWE can come to a race war. It was a tough, physical match and an entertaining one to boot. Langston secured the win for his team.
– What I saw next made me rub my eyes. It was a really bizarre segment with Damien Sandow as “Bad Santa” and an elf AJ Lee (I think). It was advertising some “Battle for Christmas” next week on Raw. Whatever this is, it looks insane – good or bad, I’m not sure yet.
Ryback & Curtis Axel v Tonnes of Funk: Xavier Woods and R-Truth were at the announce table for this one. I was surprised to see that the two fat dinosaurs were still a team. Ryback decimated Tensai after Clay refused to tag him in. He shellshocked him for the win, with Curtis Axel not even having to feature in the match. Clay then came into the ring and splashed his partner several times. I guess they won’t be partners anymore next week. The two faces at the announce table made the save, chased him off and danced with his girls – ouch.
– CM Punk was out to address The Authority before his match against The Shield. The app users would be determining his two tag partners. Beforehand, he called out Triple H to explain what problem he had with the Best in the World. To my surprise, Shawn Michaels came out instead and told him to focus more on the guy who kicked him in the head, than the boss.
The crowd chanted “You sold out!” and HBK played them like a fiddle, showing the charisma that made him one of the best ever. When the crowd started to chant “One more match”, they both legit smiled and Punk cracked wise. The two had a certain tension going on before The Shield came out for the match. This wasn’t the most dramatic segment of the night, but I think it was the most important, because of what it could hopefully lead to at Wrestlemania.
CM Punk & The Usos v The Shield: The app voters chose well in terms of match quality, but I would have rather seen something different like Los Matadores. It wouldn’t have made much sense, but would have been entertaining. I noticed a Tweet at this time that pointed out that four of the five matches up to this point had been tag team matches. That’s not the best. Roman Reigns was sporting the huge black eye that he received at TLC.
This was a truly great match with tremendous athleticism exhibited by every single guy involved. There were too many cool spots to list. Reigns made amends for his mistake on Sunday by getting the pinfall victory after a spear on Punk. However, his epic Superman punch on one of the Usos earlier in the match was the clear highlight. Ambrose had been busted wide open by Punk in the match. It was the PG-era equivalent of Foley and Funk in Japan. The Shield showed a united front again and picked up the big win. Every time you think they are done, they never are.
– There was some kind of multi-diva tag team match. I’m afraid to say that I unprofessionally flicked through Punk’s Twitter page throughout the match. Put Paige and Emma from NXT onto the main roster, and I will pay more attention. AJ won it for the heel team with a wicked Shining Wizard.
– Randy Orton cut an enraged backstage interview with Renee Young, in which he said that everybody in the world should kiss his ass.
Randy Orton(c) v Daniel Bryan (Main Event Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship): I expected fireworks from this match and in terms of the contest I wasn’t disappointed. Randy Orton is so underrated when it comes to facials, selling and all-round heel psychology. The man literally bit Bryan on the knee to escape a leg lock – that’s some old school shit! There was a lot of sound technical and mat work from both guys, as well as some fast paced striking. Daniel Bryan also got in on the biting when he went for a chunk of the champion’s face.
An earth shattering superplex from Orton was upstaged when Bryan pulled of a Super Hurricanrana. “This is awesome” chants were flowing – indeed. The final moments were of real high intensity with lots of near falls and impact spots. I thought the LeBell lock would be enough, but Orton got to the ropes. As Bryan closed in on a momentous win, The Viper hit him with a blatant low blow and took the easy escape via a DQ loss. John Cena ran down and attacked him, before checking on Bryan. When he turned around, he took a mean RKO for his trouble and the broadcast went off the air. As Michael Cole said, it was a “pathetic” ending to an otherwise excellent match.
This would have been a 9, but for the screwy finish to the main event. Perhaps I was delusional to think that Bryan was going to win clean and give Orton a taste of his medicine. Regardless of the winner, that match deserved a better conclusion though. The Punk and HBK segment was cool and should cause a storm of gossip. Everything else was more than okay. A thumbs up show for me!
Thanks for reading,