Here we are at the go-home show for the Elimination Chamber! So what do we have?
Well, let's start with the bookended angle of the world title picture. Paul Heyman is ready to tender his resignation, since the vitriol directed at him from the McMahons has negatively affected CM Punk. Punk comes out and they deliver an awesome Team Friendship promo that vows to keep them together when Punk beats The Rock on Sunday. Later in the night, Paul Heyman lobbies for a stipulation to Vickie Guerrero, but he winds up getting Mr. McMahon on the phone. So he finishes firing Heyman! Wait, no, that would be LOGICAL! No, Vince does NOT finish firing Heyman, but actually allows his stipulation to go through, noting that if Rock gets counted out or DQ'd, then Punk gets the title. Now let's FFWD to the end of the show, where Rock cuts a go-home promo for Punk (with some silliness thrown in), which leads to Punk coming out for one last pull-apart. Rock looks to win this exchange with the People's Elbow, but Heyman runs interference, allowing Punk to hit the GTS and walk away with the title belt. And thus, the stage is set for Sunday.
As for the rest of the show?
John Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus warmed up for Sunday's match with The Shield by demolishing 3MB. As if those poor schmucks ever stood a chance. Post-match, they vow to get a piece of The Shield later tonight. That takes us to a later segment with The Shield cutting a promo on their opponents, particularly John Cena. Then the lights go out and the babyfaces appear in the ring to clear out The Shield! They meet on Sunday!
Also, Mark Henry continues to be AWESOME! He destroys The Great Khali in a short squash. THEN HE DESTROYS HORNSWOGGLE! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Mark Henry is STILL my favorite wrestler!
Jack Swagger squashes poor Zack Ryder to drop Ryder's stock even further. Swagger has UNCLE ZEBEKIAH (a.k.a. Dutch fucking Mantel) with him! Swagger polishes off Ryder to give way to Zeb, who identifies himself as Zeb Coulter. Coulter goes off on a huge rant about being a great American and that this country isn't the America that he remembers and reminisces about his ideal America that's free of foreigners and holy cats, this is BRILLIANT! They're playing Zeb as the right-winger with a persecution complex! That's AWESOME! They just might have something here with Swagger!
Also, Chris Jericho threw himself into the Chamber match, because they don't have anyone else they can use Jericho's a former world champion! Jericho earns his way in by beating Daniel Bryan in a damn good TV match! Dolph Ziggler isn't impressed by any of this, so demands his way into the Chamber match and he earns his way in winds up looking like a joke again when he loses clean to Kane. The Chamber match is Bryan, Kane, Jericho, Swagger, Mark Henry, and Randy Orton!
Elsewhere, Big Show is ANGRY! Alex Riley and Yoshi Tatsu are in the back making fun of show and you just KNOW something bad is going to happen to them, because why ELSE would Alex Riley and Yoshi Tatsu be on this show? Sure enough, Show kills them dead. Matt Striker tries to talk to Big Show in the ring and immediately eats the Mayweather Sucker Punch! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! If only all three-hour Raws were Matt Striker getting beaten up on a loop. Show says NOTHING, because he's ANGRY! Later in the night, Alberto Del Rio beats Damien Sandow in a borderline squash. (Btw, nice to see that the writing team broke up the Rhodes Scholars with absolutely ZERO plan for them post break-up! Keep earning the big bucks, guys!) Del Rio vows to beat Show on Sunday.
And that's all I got. Fill in the rest with whatever you want.
So given the new slant of Swagger's character, are they setting him up to face Del Rio at Wrestlemania? How insane would it be to suddenly have Jack Swagger go from a year of jobbing to four months off TV to suddenly back and in a Mania title match?
You could have Swagger take on Sheamus, Jericho ("half-American ain't a REAL American!") or a face-turned Cesaro. The fans might turn Cesaro anyway if he keeps doing awesome things like tossing Miz around like a bag of garbage.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
Didn't see much of this show, but why would Vince ever agree to Heyman's terms for a World title match? Could Kofi be a bigger jobber? Has been a long time since he's meant this little. I don't see things getting better for him anytime soon. Kofi really hasn't had another character development at all and is really about the character about nothing and doesn't have any layers and just is guy smiley that just does the whole boom boom thing and jobs the vast majority of the time. Poor Sandow got completely squashed by Juan Cena the break up of The Rhodes Scholars has sure worked out for him. I missed Miz getting his ass kicked again? I'm a sad panda. If Raw had three hours of Miz getting his ass kicked I'd watch. I loathe the guy. Has there ever been a more unliikable obnoxious, annoying babyface? Mr. Anderson is the only guy I can think of.
Yo Rock save that shit for the post-cameras promo.
Hey maybe the Shield is going over after all.
I loved how undauntedly confident each 3MB member was when he started the match anew. Their positive attitudes would be a great lesson for whatever self-esteem campaign they send Bo Dallas, Fandango, and Naomi to kindergartens to talk about.
btw did anyone see Naomi wrestle on Main Event? In two minutes she more or less outworked every woman in the company in the last six years combined.
Originally posted by thecubsfanMaybe it's just reading too much into Rey's on/off status, but I figured tonight's Mark Henry mauling meant Misterio was disappearing again (no matter what Booker T said.)
There you go. But the fact that they didn't mention Rey being out later that Raw, or on Smackdown, makes me wonder how many times the Chamber people changed just over the weekend. It was just on Friday that Miz said he wanted in.
I'd like to think it's shuffled in part to save Jericho/Ziggler for Mania which means no Jericho/Ryback oddity. I'd like to not think it has anything to do with breaking up Dolph and E.J.
Hey, Jericho vs. Ziggler for the title. jk it's clearly Alberto's time for a while as happy niceman/Latino Mitt Romney/Eddie Guerrer-no. Since when did every top babyfaces have to be br'er rabbit anyway?
Originally posted by Big BadSo given the new slant of Swagger's character, are they setting him up to face Del Rio at Wrestlemania? How insane would it be to suddenly have Jack Swagger go from a year of jobbing to four months off TV to suddenly back and in a Mania title match?
That would be pretty hilarious. I mean, all this can't be happening for any reason but a big program with Del Rio, but sanity makes me think he'll go over Rey at Wrestlemania to build for Del Rio down the road. New lease on life for the A-AA after his confidence & motivation was beaten out of him a bit there for a few months/years.
As it turns out, what an intriguing five months in the life of Jack Swagger those must've been. I must be honest, I did not foresee Jack becoming a tea partier managed by Uncle Zebekiah.
Originally posted by It's FalseBtw, nice to see that the writing team broke up the Rhodes Scholars with absolutely ZERO plan for them post break-up!
01/28: Lucha Libre USA's RJ Brewer is interviewed on ABC's Nightline about his ultra right wing anti-foreigners character (always staying in the character)
02/01: Jack Swagger returns, muttering about being 'a real American', though it takes about 10 more days for us to find out what he means by that.
The thing about the RJ Brewer gimmick is it was good, they lost their TV deal twice due to ratings similar to a test pattern. WWE's done better with this kind of heel on their own, maybe it'll work again here. And maybe it was just a timing coincidence. The Brewer character annoyed me not because it was cheap, but because so much was made of something that clearly amounted to little, so I hope this iteration at least gets someone over.
I want JBL to talk about being managed by Uncle Zeb once, and then never again, but I don't think he's capable of doing such a thing.
The Rock Storytelling itself was not half bad for the story itself (just like the Punk/Heyman bit at the open was not half bad for a segment that meant nothing except 15 minutes of show they didn't have to write and generally felt like something they'd do on a indy show because a car full of guys were running late), but the announcers unyielding hysterics was the most insufferable segment they've had on RAW in a while.
Paul Heyman being forced to keep his word (Paul Heyman!) is a peculiar way to set up CM Punk vs Undertaker.
Originally posted by JustinShapiroYo Rock save that shit for the post-cameras promo.
Hey maybe the Shield is going over after all.
Yeah, I think The Shield should definitely win this one. Especially if Cena's main eventing WrestleMania and I'm assuming Sheamus and Ryback have some sort of matches that give them their heat back. The faces don't need to win at this PPV when they have likely brighter futures in the next month.
Throwing in a last minute stipulation into Punk/Rock makes me a bit uneasy. It's either being done to add some doubt as to the outcome at EC or is going to result in a really screwy SWERVE~! that we don't really need. Unless they're really planning on making the WWE Title match Punk/Cena/Rock at WrestleMania, which is still a very real possibility.
The Swagger thing is pretty interesting. I guess we're going to have to see where this thing goes. Angle pretty much nailed the "I'm All American and I'm An Asshole" thing, but is Swagger goes really dark with his patriotism he could be a good heat magnet. Either way, I'm actually interested in what he's doing, which is an improvement.
Del Rio as a face is kinda boring to me, but maybe it's just that he's feuding with Show. They really should throw Ziggler into the mix soon.
Politically, it's curious Vince would sign off on a hard-right-winger as a heel manager. Naming him after Ann Coulter is even more surprising.
It's similar to Brother Love as a heel, but that was a year after the Jim and Tammy Bakker scandal and not long after Jimmy Swaggart fell from grace. Those were obvious plummets from the heights of influence. Coulter playing heel suggests the writers backstage feel a majority the WWE audience will disagree with him. Where I live (Western NC), that ain't necessarily so.
I'm surprised Swagger isn't getting a chance to run the easy U-S-A! angle against the Barretts and Cesaros and Mahals and Tensais. But it will make him an easy heat machine against Sheamus and Kofi and Del Rio.
It's a fine tweak on the Swagger gimmick, and by gum, he needed someone to speak for him. I'm very OK with this, and I'm eager to see how Coulter plays in various towns.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Was his name Zebediah when he managed Harris Twins in the 90s? If so, did they really feel like they needed to pay attention to continuity when they otherwise ignore it pretty much all the time? Or did they feel like they needed to keep the copyright on the character in case his t-shirts start flying off the shelves.
I think the gimmick is at least taking chances creatively, and the old school Memphis mark in me can just pretend he is called Dirty Dutch.
Besides Heyman's promo (and The Rock's storytime, which I enjoyed), best part of the show was Cesaro Giant Swinging Mr. Mizanin into the barricade over and over.
Miz haters should love Miz as a face. If you hate Miz, what's better than him getting the living crap beaten out of him by a parade of heels every week? Miz is routinely, satisfyingly pummeled every time he shows his face. Every RAW is like Christmas morning for the Miz H8er.
They'vr hit the right tone with BabyMiz only once, and that's when he refused to back down from Brock. I'm beginning to think they have no idea how to book faces any more - Del Rio's working so well because of his natural charisma, not his cubo de venganza picante.
Originally posted by SKLOKAZOID Throwing in a last minute stipulation into Punk/Rock makes me a bit uneasy. It's either being done to add some doubt as to the outcome at EC or is going to result in a really screwy SWERVE~! that we don't really need. Unless they're really planning on making the WWE Title match Punk/Cena/Rock at WrestleMania, which is still a very real possibility.
Yeah, the first thing that comes to mind for me is someone coming out -- perhaps Lesnar -- and attacking ... Punk. Cheap DQ for The Rock, and sets up Vince holding up the title for a three-way at WrestleMania.
Originally posted by HokienauticYeah, the first thing that comes to mind for me is someone coming out -- perhaps Lesnar -- and attacking ... Punk. Cheap DQ for The Rock, and sets up Vince holding up the title for a three-way at WrestleMania.
If we have that, I'm calling a final "rubber match" between Cena and Rock at next year's Mania.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
My goodness. After reading that, now I feel kind of like how I felt when The Wire ended and I missed out on it. But unlike The Wire, there will be no means like DVD seasons to get caught up on this apparently special but little-seen year of NXT.