Raw Review 2/25/13
Written By DeeAndDanny
Welcome, everybody, to the live WWE Monday Night Raw Review for February 25, 2013, brought to you by ilikewrestling.net. Yes, the end of February is among us, and that only means one thing: one month closer to Wrestlemania. I’ll keep this short and sweet because tonight’s Raw will have more answers than I have questions. The Road to Wrestlemania is a fun ride, but don’t get caught with marijuana on it.
Here’s what to look forward to on Raw tonight:
- Punk vs. Cena X. Okay, so they haven’t had 10 matches yet, that I know of, but this time, the stakes are higher. Kinda. I mean, fighting for the WWE Championship at MITB in Chicago is kinda huge, but this is to go to Wrestlemania and be in the main event… Challenging the Rock for the title! With seemingly no distractions, we should have a winner here. Right?
- Why will there be no distractions possibly? Paul Heyman will be fighting Vince McMahon. This has setup written all over it. The question is, who’s backup will show up? Will it be Lesnar? Will it be the Shield? Will it be someone with absolutely no ties to the McMaHHHon family whatsoever? I hope I’m kidding there.
- Ryback’s been on a slump as of late. By that, I mean his teammates have been on a slump as of late. How will he get his just desserts tonight? Is tonight the night that he will feast on the Shield. The magic eight-ball says, “Ask again later.”
- Brad Maddox. Why?
- Will tonight be the first time I cry over text in a review? Team Hell No’s relationship is definitely on the rocks, and the split seems inevitable. Please hug it out and stay together.
On that note, I hope we will stay together as well for the next three hours. Refresh as necessary, and get ready to get Raw!
- Out comes Mr. McMahon, along with crutches. Hmm… Vince struggles to get into the ring a little, but he smiles to the crowd. Wait, this is the same Mr. McMahon I remember from 2006, right? Vince takes the mic and says that every week between now and Wrestlemania needs something big. I agree. Vince wants to kick that off with a fight! Vince introduces “the ultimate fighter,” Paul Heyman. Heyman comes out in Shield gear. I mean, he’s wearing jogging pants and a WWE jacket-type shirt. Heyman says that he has waited his entire for this fight, and he has been shown as the biggest puss in the universe, but he is all man. A real man’s man. Okay, so not that last part. Heyman makes a crack about Romo, and I love it. Danny Richardson’s gonna complain about how hack that is, mark my words. Heyman mentions how other promotions and the US government has fallen to Vince, but tonight, he’s coming for everything Vince has. Heyman asks if Vince wants to make an executive decision, so before they fight, he wants to say that… Spear! Heyman takes a crutch and is stalking Vince. Shot right to the hip that bends the crutch! Vince struggles to get back up using the ropes, and he catches Heyman’s swing. Vince takes the crutch and jabs him with the crutch. He follows with a strike to Heyman’s back! BROCK LESNAR’s music hits! Lesnar looks angry and slowly walks to the ring. Vince looks petrified. Vince starts to back away and asks Lesnar to stay away. TRIPLE H’s music hits next! Welcome to Wrestlemania season, folks. Triple H comes out, haircut, leather jacket, jeans, and all. Triple H takes his turn to slowly walk towards Lesnar. Lesnar meets him on the outside, and they roll around. Lesnar comes back with a knee and rams Triple H into the barricade. Triple H whips Lesnar’s head into the post. Triple H follows up with another toss, and Lesnar’s busted open! Triple H clotheslines Lesnar over the barricade, and Triple H roars to the delight of the crowd. Triple H gets a crutch, but Lesnar strikes back with knees. Lesnar hits an slam onto the announce table! Lesnar is really busted open right now. His blood’s smeared on the post. Lesnar throws the crutch at Vince and gets a chair. Lesnar goes to hit HHH, but HHH gets a spinebuster! HHH gets the chair and hits Lesnar in the back with it, sending him out of the ring! Well, that didn’t take long. Lesnar walks backwards on the ramp, still smiling as the blood runs down his body. Wow.
1) Dolph Ziggler (w/ the usual suspects) vs. Ryback
Raw really isn’t screwing around tonight. How do you follow up what just happened, though? Ryback’s fired up, and the match hasn’t started yet. Ziggler attempts some mat wrestling, but Ryback’s strength is too much. Ziggler gets a dropkick to the face of Ryback for two. Ziggler tries to leap frog Ryback, but Ryback catches him and slams him back down. Ryback takes Ziggler to opposite turnbuckles and chops him at each stop. Ziggler fights back as the “Goldberg” chants start. Idiots. Ryback bounces Ziggler’s back on the turnbuckle and just drops him down. Ziggler rolls to the floor as we go to commercial. Raw returns and uh… that was a long delayed vertical suplex. Seriously, that was kinda cool to see. Ziggler looks spent outside the ring. On the outside, Biggie Langston actually takes down Ryback with a shoulder block. Then Biggie… leans on the barricade again. Seriously? I gave you props last week for playing it off better, but now it’s a step backwards. Ziggler hits a HUGE DDT off a Ryback missed charge, but it only gets a 2 count! Really nice DDT there. Ziggler gets the sleeper hold on Ryback, and Ryback looks pained. Ryback starts doing mini squats and takes down Ziggler with a modified backpack stunner! That’s the move he used to do, right? My memory’s gone. Ziggler charges at Ryback in the corner, and he runs into a brick wall. Seriously, it was like a Ferrari driving into a wall. Ziggler’s crew tries for a distraction, but it doesn’t work. At all. Ryback picks up Ziggler, and Ziggler gets Shell Shocked!
I love you, Ziggler. Don’t love the posse. Really good showing from Ryback, as well. I like how he gradually keeps on adding moves to his repertoire. Good things.
- Movie preview for a Halle Berry movie. David Otunga’s in it, so that works, I guess. Not really. Just as bad as Barrett’s movie preview.
- Out comes CM Punk. Phew. For a moment there, I thought their match was next. I wonder what he’s going to say though. Must be world-changing. Or that he’s going to beat Cena and Dwayne at Wrestlemania. Either/or. Commercial. Lucky Dallas fans. Must’ve gotten to listen to Cult of Personality this whole time. I digress. Punk promises that tonight will be historic. Something that we will talk to our grandchildren about. It will be the end as well as the beginning. People think it’s a matchup between Cena and Punk. Tonight is not about the match. It is not about John Cena. It’s not about the Rock. Punk makes fun of pointing at the Wrestlemania sign and says that tonight is not about Wrestlemania either. It’s not about the people. The WWE Championship isn’t even what this night is about. Tonight’s about the future, CM Punk! Haha, if you didn’t see that coming, check yourself. Tonight’s about the most important wrestler in this era and eras past. Tonight’s about getting into the main event at the Showcase of the Immortals. Punk has beaten Cena and pinned Rock twice in 4 weeks. He says he’s the Best in the World, and the Best in the World deserves to headline Wrestlemania. We are in the presence of greatness on two feet. Punk is immortal, a legend, the best, the greatest, etc. Punk is God. Move over Wrestling Jesus, we know have Wrestling God. Punk leaves the ring while Cole and Lawler try to digest what they have just heard.
- Next inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame: DONALD TRUMP. Well, it’s New York. Can’t say I didn’t expect this, but whatever. Hey, he brings good press, and he supports the WWE. That’s all I can ask for.
2) The Great Khali vs. Mark Henry
Khali unloads with chops in the corner. Khali looks angry. Moreso than usual, at least. Mark Henry comes back with a shoulder block to Khali that doesn’t knock him down. Henry picks up Khali and walks around the ring. World’s Strongest Slam!
Winner: Mark Henry
- Sneak peek of The Marine 3. They made a third one? And a second one? Doesn’t look too bad, but I have low standards. With that segue, out comes…
- The Miz! Looks like we’re going to have a little MizTV with the World Heavyweight Championship contestants. And Zeb Colter. What’s the over/under on marijuana jokes or the sort? Also, Fan. Dan. Go. Wait, he’s making his debut on Smackdown?!? I’m watching that. Or at least the video that will be put up on YouTube. So everyone’s in the ring, and Miz wants to cut right to the chase. Come on, Dallas. Start a weed chant or something. Be different! Miz asks Colter and Swagger about how their comments about Del Rio. Colter mentions Glenn Beck, and I’m already lost. How racist can this get? Well, he introduces himself and Swagger as “Real Americans.” Colter brings up undocumented immigrants, or as everyone else calls them, “illegals.” Going into the most watched wrestling event of the year, is this the press they need? Anyway, Miz stops the filibuster and asks Del Rio how hard it is to obtain citizenship in Mexico. Miz stops Colter and says that he was asking Del Rio. Colter interrupts, and just make your own comments about immigrants, and Colter’s probably saying it. Colter asks Del Rio, “What is wrong with your people?” I’m not Mexican, but I’m getting a little uneasy about this. Last time I checked, it was the “World” Heavyweight Championship and not the US Title. Colter says that people who stay in the country illegally are criminals. Del Rio mercifully says it’s time for Colter to shut up. Del Rio is heated, and I love the emotion. Del Rio says that America doesn’t belong to Colter or himself. It’s the greatest country because it belongs to everyone. Del Rio says that he’s not different from anyone in the ring or the crowd, and he says that they’re there for the same purpose of supporting their families. Go figure, Del Rio’s giving the America speech to the “real” American. I like this little role reversal, but when Del Rio’s talking. Del Rio says that Colter and Swagger are hiding behind the Constitution. Del Rio says he never met anyone like Colter until two weeks ago, but now he regrets meeting someone like him. Del Rio doesn’t like bullies, and he challenges them to make his people leave, right now. Del Rio looks ready to fight, but Swagger takes the mic from Colter. “We will see you at Wrestlemania. We, the people.” Uh, sure.
3) Non-title: Randy Orton vs. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro
So we’re going with “Apex Predator” this week? What about the Viper? Speaking of which, where’s the Cobra? Okay, maybe I’m just getting a little bit off topic after that MizTV segment. I don’t know. A very leisurely pace to begin the match, but who expected that in a match with Randy Orton? Turns out that Triple H’s twitter really is Triple H. So follow @TripleH. Orton gains momentum with a big clothesline and a huge powerslam. Cesaro conveniently rolls to the apron, and Orton sees it, but Cesaro hangs him up on the top rope. Orton gets his backbreaker, but misses a charge in the corner. Cesaro jumps from the in-between rope and lands right into an RKO!!! What?!
Winner: Randy Orton
What? Wow, that was smooth. Orton looks pleased with his work. But seriously, that RKO even got me to cheer a little watching it. I hope no one heard that.
- Team Hell No is backstage, and Bryan wants to let bygones be bygones. Kane says they need to focus on being together because they have the Prime Time Players tonight. Bryan says that he can beat them blindfolded, and Kane says he can beat them with one arm behind his back. Vickie and Brad Maddox come in, and Brad Maddox is terrible. He says Team Brickie… I’m sorry, I can’t stand this guy. Team Hell No gets their wishes, and Bryan complains that he won’t be able to see. Kane looks on disapprovingly while Bryan still looks confused, saying that he won’t be able to see. At least they’re still together for now.
- Wow. Flashback to Wrestlemania 21 movie promos. Those were awesome.
- Up next: Sheamus’ Oscar Snubs. Huh?
- Out comes Sheamus… In a suit. There’s so many things to say about this, but I’ll wait and see. Sheamus says that he is an avid movie lover, in addition to a friendly, ass-kicking WWE Superstar. He has a beef with the Academy, in that they overlooked a talented actor: Wade Barrett. You’re f’n kidding me, another movie preview?? I LIKE WRESTLING. My face is on fire. Sheamus says he cannot wait to see that movie again. He introduces another movie that shows the acting job of Wade Barrett. They actually show a clip where Wade Barrett is in the movie. Sheamus makes fun of him for not saying anything, and sarcastically says he’s so inspiring, and yet so out of focus. Tom Hanks wishes he could’ve gotten Forrest Gump that good. Sheamus says that Barrett spent the whole movie doing nothing. This, of course, brings out Wade Barrett. Barrett says that he doesn’t need the Oscars’ red carpet; he’ll have his own at the movie premier. He says Sheamus will be drowning his sorrows at some rundown Irish pub. Well, then. Sheamus says that there will be a lot paparazzi, so Barrett should tell them to get his good side. But with that nose, he doesn’t have a good side. Barrett ducks a Brogue Kick and says “Not tonight.” You’re damn right, not tonight. So, that was a thing.
4) Cody Rhodes vs. R-Truth
Welcome back, Mr. Truth. Damien Sandow is ringside as the special guest announcer. He’s also wearing a nice suit, so good on him for that. R-Truth dances around a bit, and he apparently loves to air-hump now. Rhodes misses with the Disaster Kick, but Rhodes targets Truth’s knee. Sandow looks confused by the term “bromance,” and it’s hilarious. Someone better get a picture of that on Twitter or something. Rhodes snapmares Truth and locks in a full nelson, but Truth fights out of it with a couple of elbows and a slap. Rhodes charges, but Truth catches him with a Lie Detector.
Sandow tries an assault, but Truth sees it coming and sends him out of the ring, leaving Sandow to stew on the stage. Ahh, alliteration.
- We the People video about jobs. I don’t know.
5) Daniel Bryan must wear a blindfold, Kane must have one arm tied behind his back: Team Hell No vs. Prime Time Players
Oh, good Lord. Bryan almost puts Charles Robinson in the No Lock. I love it. Titus has the whistle and is distracting Bryan with it. Both the PTP have whistles haha. Titus gator barks, and I missed hearing that. Darren comes in and hits a very beautiful suplex into a bridge. Kane instructs Bryan to move, so Bryan rolls out to the ground and avoids an elbow drop from Titus. Kane helps him up, but Bryan hits him with a forearm, but Kane looks like he understands the predicament he’s in. Kane gets the, uh, blind tag, and comes in, uh, on fire. Kane hits the PTP with a variety of clotheslines and elbows. Kane goozles Darren Young and hits a one-handed chokeslam. Not quite like 1997, but it gets the win.
Winners: Team Hell No
Bryan tries to go to the top rope to celebrate, but he trips. Bryan gets the blindfold off, and he looks happy to have won. Kane still has his arm tied behind his back, and Bryan realizes that Kane got the win for them.
- The Shield’s theme is called “Special Op.” Better than “Meat on the Table.” Roman Reigns just looks impressive. Ambrose takes the mic, and I’m excited. He says things are going to get a lot worse. There will be justice and honor. The Shield is the most dangerous unit in the WWE, which makes people uncomfortable. That’s too bad, because they’re there to destroy comfort zones. Reigns says that they will stand there, fight, and win. They will win every single time, and if you don’t believe in the Shield, justice is going to hunt you down. They will grind your bones to DUST! Read the sentence just like that. Reigns calls Ryback a Neanderthal, and he is really the “weak” link of the Shield when it comes to talking. He says they solved the John Cena problem and beat the superhero team. If that wasn’t enough, Chris Jericho wanted to stick his neck out for the WWE, but Rollins dropped his neck with his knee. He asks if there’s anyone else who wants to step up to the… Looks like Sheamus wants to step up again. Sheamus asks if they want to fight, so he challenges them to meet him up there on the stage. Obvious trap, it seems. The Shield bites, but Orton comes in the ring and hits Rollins with an RKO! Well, then. Looks like we have challenger number 4 to the Shield. A huge “Randy!” chant breaks out in Dallas, and things may have gotten more interesting. At least this makes sense, because the Shield did attack him. Did everyone forget that?
6) The Miz vs. “A Real American” Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter)
“A Real American?” I don’t know. Both men look angry, especially Miz after the cheap shot. Miz sends Swagger out and keeps him out with a dropkick. Miz jumps off the apron right into a belly to belly toss by Swagger. Don’t Del Rio and Ricardo have chairs in their locker room? Just an observation. Swagger is just punishing Miz’s midsection with knees and forearms. Swagger hits the Swagger Bomb for a two count. So, does the end game for Swagger involve him joining the SES II? If he’s been brainwashed by Colter, then there must be drugs involved. Either way, there has to be drugs involved. Crap, I didn’t even realize I walked into a weed setup there. Can Swagger just hit an Angle Slam and follow up with a Clothesline from Hell and just end it at there? Miz jukes and jives his way back into the match, and a huge clothesline and boot take Swagger down for a moment. Miz hits the running clothesline into the corner and hits a diving axe handle for two! Miz sets up for a big boot, but Miz counters the counter with a sunset flip. Swagger ties up Miz’s leg on the rope, which fires up Swagger. Miz tries to pull himself up, but Swagger flips him over with a huge chop block. Swagger stalks Miz in an Orton-esque manner and locks in the Patriot Act.
Winner: Jack Swagger
- Uh, Cole and Lawler have Sonic on the announce table. I guess they need dinner. Jerry, I think that’s bad for your heart. Just saying.
- Recap of Rock’s new WWE Championship belt.
- HAHA black guy + dog = awesome Tout. He’s so blown right now.
- John Cena is interviewed, and by that, I mean Josh Matthews is there to see Cena cut a promo in front of him. Cena reminds us that he is fighting CM Punk tonight. You don’t say. He recaps what Punk says and says that Punk is wrong. Cena reminds us that Punk held the belt longer than he did. There’s no excuses. Tonight, you either step up or step aside. He wants to prove to the world that John Cena is back. If you don’t like his face, he’s serving humble pie, and he hopes his critics are hungry. Can he just freestyle? He says part of his entrance song, and that’s that.
7) #1 Contenders’ Match: CM Punk vs. John Cena
Out comes God, without his disciple Paul Heyman. Looks awfully similar to MITB, but without all of Punk’s diehard fans. Speaking of Die Hard… No. I’m not stooping that low. Punk looks like he’s going back to his roots rather than the whole Best in the World thing. Or I guess it’s more of a hybrid. Remember what Punk looks like with hair? I don’t. Punk gets the first offensive move with a headlock takeover, but there’s a lot of fighting for position here. Punk is wearing Nexus colors. Remember when he was leader of the New Nexus? Yeah, me neither. Cena knocks Punk down, and Punk rolls out of the ring as we roll to commercial. Back from commercial, and the pace has picked up markedly. Right as I type that, Punk gets Cena into a headscissors. Cena lifts Punk and drops him with an electric chair drop! Cena comes back with a facecrusher for two. I refuse to call that a bulldog. Punk catches Cena with a heel kick which gets another two count. Cena starts to get momentum, but Punk ducks the flying shoulder block, and Cena crashes and burns on the outside. Punk hits a suicide dive on Cena as we go to another commercial. Wow! Punk reverses the spin-out powerbomb into the Anaconda Vice, but Cena turns it into a pinning combination! Punk calls for the GTS, but Cena almost gets him in the STFU. Punk hits a springboard clothesline but only gets a 2 count. Punk goes for a springboard move again, but Cena sidesteps and locks in the STFU! Punk slips his head out of Cena’s arms and reverses into the Anaconda Vice! Cena counters that and turns it into a modified Crippler Crossface! Punk rolls Cena on his back and gets another two count! Wow. Exchange of punches between the two, and Punk comes out with the upper hand, or kick, I guess, but Cena counters into a spin-out powerbomb! So many reversals, so little time! Cena gets the five-knuckle shuffle, and then there’s more reversals. Cena hits a sit-out powerbomb for a close two count! Wow! I really don’t know what else to say! Cena heads up to the top rope, but Punk crotches him. Punk joins Cena up top and is thinking Superplex, but Cena blocks it and headbutts Punk back down. Cena hits the diving Fame-Asser, but it’s ANOTHER close two count! I know that wasn’t going to end it, but still! Cena gets Punk out of nowhere with the FU, but Punk kicks out! I repeat, Punk kicks out! Punk tosses Cena head first into the Lesnar post, and Cena’s out. Cena somehow wakes up and dives in the ring at the count of nine! Punk hits the GTS, but that’s not enough to put Cena down! Punk goes for a second GTS, but Cena catches the leg and attempts to put the STFU on Punk! Cena locks it in, and Punk doesn’t want to tap out! Punk reaches out for the bottom rope and grabs it! Cena and Punk don’t know what to do. Punk goes down low and hits Cena with a piledriver!!! These two are out of their minds! Punk goes up top for the Macho elbow but misses. Cena hits a headscissors takedown and follows with the FU for the win!
Winner: John Cena
Wow! Wow. Cena looks exhausted but relieved looking at the graphic of Rock/Cena II at Wrestlemania. Cena looks ready for Wrestlemania. End.
Quick Raw Results
1) Ryback d. Dolph Ziggler via Shell Shock
2) Mark Henry d. The Great Khali via World’s Strongest Slam
3) Non-title: Randy Orton d. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro via RKO
4) R-Truth d. Cody Rhodes via Lie Detector
5) Team Hell No (Bryan w/ blindfold, Kane w/ arm tied) d. Prime Time Players via Chokeslam
6) Jack Swagger d. The Miz via Patriot Act
7) #1 Contenders’ Match: John Cena d. CM Punk via FU
The Ten Count
1) I love the Road to Wrestlemania. Tonight was easily the best Raw of recent memory, and with Old School Raw next week, the WWE is stepping up their game, big time.
2) You done complaining about blood now, Internet? Scarcity creates value, and when Lesnar was busted open, it made that fight so much more meaningful.
3) Call me crazy, but I’m excited for another HHH/Lesnar showdown. As long as the two of them are the focal point and not McMahon vs. Heyman, I’m all in. If they bring the intensity like tonight, no complaints here.
4) Team Hell No seems to be back together, but I have no idea what to think, though. I feel like they’re going to make it to Wrestlemania together, but they’re breaking up the night after. Just a guess outta nowhere.
5) Divas who?
6) Orton may be the Shield Killer. Raise your hands if you saw that coming. Now stop lying. I wonder if Orton’s going to do the single-out approach he utilized against the New Nexus a couple of years back. Granted, there’s 3-4 less people, but it won’t hurt to try again.
7) I don’t know, Sheamus. One segment, you’re making fun of Wade Barrett, having fun. Later in the night, you’re serious and challenging the Shield. I know you like to fight, but who’s your priority?
8) The World Title matchup makes me cringe a little. I like Jack Swagger’s new, ahem, swagger, and Del Rio is doing a much better job this time around with a major title. I’m just curious how far they’re going to give the green light to Colter because they already pulled out the “you people” concept. What’s next, and didn’t JBL/other already do it?
9) Cena and Punk. What a match. They brought their A game and really delivered tonight. The beginning was a little slower than I expected, but by the end of the match, there was no dull moment at all. Regardless of you you were rooting for, you can’t be upset with the match as a whole, but however…
10) Was that going to be as good as it gets? You’ve seen Rock wrestle from last Wrestlemania to the past two pay-per-views. Is he ready for this kind of match? Punk and Cena are at the primes of their careers, and the pacing was fast when it needed to be fast. Does the Rock have that kind of versatility to run with Cena? The bar is set high.
Thank you all for following along with me, and join me next week for Old School Raw! I’m DeeAndDanny, this is ilikewrestling.net, and remember to always hide your stash. Peace out!