Before anybody asks about the numbering, please refer to this post, so we're all hopefully back on track.
So it's the first post-Rumble show on the Road to Wrestlemania. CM Punk started the show and he was PISSSSSSSED about losing the title. Vince McMahon quickly interrupted his tirade and told us that Paul Heyman would get a performance evaluation later and if we saw proof that they were all involved with The Shield, Heyman would get fired.
Later, The Rock cut his victory promo, but it interrupted by CM Punk. Punk demands his title back and is more than willing to give Rock his rematch. Rock wants the match now, but Punk rebuts that Rock should come meet him this weekend on the road. (Oh...because Rock doesn't work house shows...I see what he did there!) Punk settles for the one-on-one rematch at the Elimination Chamber PPV! Ok, so it was probably a given that Rock wasn't going to work a Chamber match. Soooo...what IS going in the Chamber?
Well, to answer that, we segue to John Cena. He squashed poor Cody Rhodes like a bug and cut a promo that was longer than the match. Cena said he wanted to face the WWE Champion at Wrestlemania, which drew a response from The Shield! The beatdown was on with no comeback from SuperCena this time. Sheamus and Ryback tried to make saves, but both got systematically beaten down. So it looks like we're on our way to a six-man tag team Chamber match.
As for the rest of the show...uh...do you like comedy? Because there were an awful lot of comedy segments. Nothing I really want to talk about, but we did come pretty close to Matt Tracker's Tensai Gangnam Style idea becoming a thing. Also, Ryback got put in a Make Me Laugh challenge that ended with him wiping out the Prime Time Losers.
Nothing else to write about, except for a good Sheamus/Damien Sandow tables match. No mention of "Team Rhodes Scholars", so it looks like the Scholars may be no more. Speaking of teams, Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler continued their feud, as we found out that Vickie Guerrero re-signed Jericho. They got put in a Strange Bedfellows match against Hell No and lost when Jericho bailed.
Oh, silly me, one more segment!
So Vince brought down Heyman for his performance evaluation. Vince showed tape of Heyman dragging Brad Maddox to a dark corner, where Heyman demanded the camera go off. Unfortunately, the camera stayed on without Heyman noticing. Heyman got in Maddox's face. See, Maddox just kept asking and asking and asking for more and more favors, despite repeated failures. So Heyman was ready to cut off Maddox, noting that at least every time they paid The Shield (Uh-oh!), they would get the job done. And we see The Shield enter the picture, as Heyman lays the verbal smackdown on Maddox until he calls for the death sentence, as The Shield DESTROY Maddox, to presumably get rid of him, once and for all. And then Reigns kicks the camera! Wait, did he know that was there? D'oh!
Back in the ring, Vince is ready to lay down the "YEEEERRRRRRRRRRR..." but is stopped by BROCK FUCKING LESNAR!!! Brock comes in, as Heyman BEGS for Brock to stay away. Brock doesn't listen and he KILLS VINCE DEAD WITH AN F5!!! Closing credits are up and we're out!
So yeah, how's that for a closing segment?
We're on the Road to Wrestlemania!
Until next time! Take us home, NBC's Michelle Beadle!
Just walked into hotel to see Brock Lesnar on #raw. Man, Vegas gets all the fun stuff.
I think Heyman may be the best performer in the entire industry.
Seemed like an inappropriately high number of nonsense standalone comedy segments for the first night of the road to Wrestlemania. Worth it for a mention of Michael Cole's NXT gong and to perhaps set Tensai on the path back to Hip Hop Hippodom. Not worth it due to ANNOUNCERS "TRYING" TO STIFLE THEIR GUFFAWS, the current bane of the biz.
Kind of funny that they set up a whole bunch of matches for the PPV called Elimination Chamber that are not the Elimination Chamber. But I'm fairly sure Booker T will tell us tomorrow that there'll be a Chamber for the WM World Title shot.
Rock vs. Punk Del Rio vs. Show Cena/Ryback/Sheamus vs. The Shield Jericho vs. Ziggler vs. Bryan vs. Kane vs. Orton vs. someone in an Elimination Chamber for the World title shot Miz vs. Cesaro
Maybe the Shield six-man will be in the Chamber under Wargamesy countdown rules to give the show the usual two ECs? EDIT: in other words, exactly what I.False suggested
Vince should really stop trying to fire people face to face. You'd think his soft old man head would learn by now.
I loved the Mafia-style beatdown on Maddox. Heyman mentioning The Shield signaling them to materialize from the darkness in a confined corner is the closest the WWE is gonna get to feeling like The Sopranos. "Take this beating like a man Brad".
As much as I despised the Rumble results, they have some interesting hooks in the water with Lesnar, Punk/Heyman's Sheild Alliance, and Ziggles v. Y2J Jericho to keep my mind off of Rock and Cena 2. I'll just play some COD when either of those two are on screen to vent.
As someone previously brought up the possible scenario a while back on this board, I was expecting Lesnar to suddenly grab Heyman and in a very deathly and menacingly voice say: "So Paul, what's all this about Punk being best in the world?"
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill
that Lumberjills match was pathetic, and not even from a workrate standpoint. It looked terrible when they couldn't even have two people on each side of the ring. What's the point of even having a champion if there are so few people in the division?
It'd be like if they had to create random pairings just so they could have a tag division. Oh, wait.
"Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark
"Don't stop after beating the swords into ploughshares, don't stop! Go on beating and make musical instruments out of them. Whoever wants to make war again will have to turn them into ploughshares first" - Yehuda Amichai
Since nothing really happens at House Shows, I don't know why Punk brought it up. Glorified dress rehearsals and wasn't Punk gone for a month due to his injury and still champ? Pot and kettle there. I guess I am going to Sequelmania.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
I'm presuming The Shield are still out for themselves, but have also been hired on occasion to help Heyman & Punk. Every Shield beatdown has not been directed by Paul E...just the ones that were beneficial to Punk.
Originally posted by JustinShapiroI think Heyman may be the best performer in the entire industry.
THIS. Yes. Did he even get stopped short of claiming that he made Punk the Best In The World?
Also, Vince was apparently shopping at the 1989 Jack Nicholson Joker outlet before choosing a suit last night.
As an overall show, that had a "Bottom 10 Episodes Ever" feel to it. Cole literally had to apologize for how bad the show was two or three times ("I promise! It's getting better!"), it was a three hour death march.
Cena's promo was probably, somehow, the worst part. Everything about that was a mess, from him talking about the Rock/Punk match that hadn't yet been set up (sure, we expect a rematch, but at that point in the show there was no reason for Cena, the character, to think it wouldn't be an Elimination Chamber match), to dumping on the Heavyweight Scene, to trying to sell that ridiculous "A match I have virtually no chance of winning!" line at the end.
I have no interest in Cena/Rock II for a lot of reasons, but chief among them is that the Cena of last night was trying to pretend like he lived in the alternate universe where they booked Cena/Rock II in the one way that could have made it good. This was the "I must win this match, my career depends on it!" guy from right before last Wrestlemania, who vanished immediately after he lost to Rock. They've tried selling the last year as Cena's Worst Year, but he still beat Brock Lesnar and literally turned down title shots after saying he could get them any time he wanted. Had they had the guts to have Cena come out of last Mania as a broken, defeated man and spent a year getting beaten up by Lesnar and losing in meaningful ways, he'd be in so much better shape now, and the idea that he needed to win the Rumble and redeem himself against The Rock would actually feel like the well-crafted story they want us to pretend they could be bothered to tell. I get why they feel they can't turn Cena heel (the thing the company so achingly needs, from a creative standpoint), but will never understand why they won't actually make him look vulnerable when his only storyline is "Let's pretend I'm vulnerable!"
I *did* like Show/Del Rio, though. That was just a good, old-fashioned segment. I'd probably like it less if this was leading to a third straight match, since Del Rio winning back-to-back Last Man Standing matches should mean it's over, but since it's leading to a Chamber match*, I don't mind it, and Show is kind of the only heel (who wrestles) who is actually a jerk in the wrong (even Cesaro was a heel in the right last night).
*(Am I wrong, here? Is it another Del Rio/Show singles match, and then a Chamber match for #1 contender? Seems like a waste not to have Show in the Chamber, and to have Kane/Bryan there but still tag champs. I'd be good with a Del Rio/Show/Ziggler/Jericho/Orton/??? match, where the last guy could be a returning Henry or Christian. Or Ricardo, even.)
To echo what everybody else said, Heyman is brilliant, I loved everything he did out there. Appealing to Vince as "a promoter!", his vow to try to be An Honorable Man and trying to pull off the ultimate lie ("That...wasn't me"), all so great. Vince calling out the old time "look to the crowd" handshake also cracked me up about as hard as it did Vince, and Lesnar just pointing to the corner to silence Heyman (and Heyman begging Brock not to kill Vince) was terrific. There are, as CRZ hinted, a ton of things that don't really make sense there (for starters, Vince theoretically can't "fire" Heyman, right?), but it was a great segment that tried hard to save a terrible, terrible show.
Overall, Rock/Cena II and HHH/Lesnar II have a dangerously high chance of making me tune out again for a while, but I'm holding out hope that they almost have to do Punk/Undertaker now which would be one of only two things they could do to get me through this Oregon Trail To Wrestlemania.
(The other is having The Shield do their Triple Powerbomb to the Wrestlemania Sign to save Punk from having to give all his money to HHH and Cena once they go into MEANINGFUL WRESTLEMANIA SIGN POINTING mode.)
Originally posted by lotjxwasn't Punk gone for a month due to his injury and still champ? Pot and kettle there. I guess I am going to Sequelmania.
Yes, years of sporadic appearances = one month missed due to injury. Same thing. Very astute. What Punk appeared to be getting at was that The Rock only shows up for PPV's, Raw, and the occasional Smackdown. If he is The People's Champion that he claims to be, he would be at those "dress rehearsals" It's a valid point, from a wrestling standpoint, no matter how illogical from the real world perspective.
Originally posted by Reverend J ShaftI love how the hook last year for Cena was "I HAVE to win this match against Rock. I can't afford NOT to win this match against Rock. This match means EVERYTHING to my career."
Unless I face Rock again next year. Then I REALLY, REALLY have to win. CERTAIN DEATH awaits me if I don't win this match.
He had good argument by admitting he could beat neither Punk nor Rock, and he wants redemption. That's a good angle for a two-month build. But it leaves us TWO MONTHS to hear about The Little Cena That Could.
At least he avoided the hey-kids humor last night in his speech. It was good except for jumping the gun on telling us about Rock/Punk at the chamber.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
I think long title reigns with a heel are nails in any promotions' coffin. The longer the heel has the belt the less interest there is in watching the program. The fans get pissed, because he beats certain faces that are over.