Event: WWE Monday Night RAW
Airdate: Monday, February 25th, 2013 (USA Network)
Location: The American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas
Results by Ken Hill
“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…”
We go back to January 28, where Heyman was on the cusp of being fired, until the storm known as Brock Lesnar came through Raw and left Mr. McMahon broken in the ring.
We also recap Punk claiming Cena just get it done on the big stage anymore, and Cena’s willing to put his title shot on the line to shut up Punk and prove to everyone that…THE CHAMP…IS…HERE!
We start off big with DA CHAIRMAN, Mr. McMahon, who’s coming to ring on crutches, only 3 weeks removed from total hip replacement surgery. He seems ready for his “fight”, the favor he requested of Heyman for the stipulation Paul asked for at Elimination Chamber.
Vince says that regardless of his condition, he plans on this “fight” and asks for the “Ultimate Fighter” Paul Heyman.
Heyman out in a unflattering track suit. He brings up the “one-legged man in an asskicking contest” scenario. He compares Vince’s chances to that of Tony Romo and the Cowboys. He sees Vince in his suit, and requests a Executive decision, something he’s always wanted to tell Vince…before spearing him and taking one of his crutches. He cracks it over Vince’s bad hip. He winds up one more, but Vince catches it! He cracks Heyman over the head. Down goes Heyman! He winds up…HERE COMES THE PAIN!
Brock Lesnar marches down the ramp, and Vince is stuck in the ring. Lesnar slowly approaches him like a predator…TIME TO PLAY THE GAME! The crowd is going crazy! Is he…IT’S HHH! Here he comes, and Lesnar’s waiting for him! Lesnar charges the Game, and here we go! Triple H with a Thesz press. Lesnar drives him into the barricade, but Trips bashes him into the ring post! Lesnar’s busted open BIG TIME. Hunter clothesline Lesnar over the barricade, but Lesnar catches him coming in and drops HH on the announce table. Lesnar grabs a crutch, but decides on a steel chair…HHH with the spinebuster! Chair shot to Lesnar! He retreats, a bloody mess as the Game stands tall!
Cena and Punk face off for Cena’s title shot, and Del Rio and Swagger face off on MizTV! Meanwhile, Ryback is in action next! FEED! HIM! JOBBERS!
We recap HHH’s big return and the renewal of his war with Brock Lesnar.
Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler w/Big E. Langston & AJ Lee
Dolph shurgs off a lock-up. Ryback shrugs off a waistlock by Ziggler, and just drops Dolph on his face. Big biel out of the corner. Dolph hits a shot to Ryback’s knee and snaps off a dropkick for one before Ryback powers out. Front face lock by Ziggler, but Ryback just powers out. Ziggler tries a jumping DDT on a run-by but Ryback just drills him to the mat with a modified buster. Ziggler’s rammed into the turnbuckle. He gets a boot up on the next go-around, but Ryback catches him and drills him into the turnbuckle for an Oklahoma stampede. I may have been a little prophetic with that “JOBBER” line, Ziggler’s getting whooped here. Ryback seems ready to deliver the Meathook, but Dolph rolls to the outside for a breather, and we go to a break.
Ryback with Ziggler in an impressive stalling vertical suplex for what seems like a full minute or more. he finally drops Ziggler, who rolls to the outside. Dolph rolls back, tries to catch Ryback with a boot, but he gets shoved hard, and Langston DROPS Ryback hard behind the ref’s back. Dolph rolls him back in, but only gets a one count. Dropkick to the head, and again only a 1 for Ziggler. Dolph with another headlock, but Ryback throws him off. Ziggler dodges a charge, Ryback rams into the ring post, and Ziggler with a BIG DDT for a near fall. Dolph jumps into the sleeper hold, but Ryback hits a nice piggyback Stunner to break it! Dolph charges Ryback, but he gets PANCAKED! Wow. Speaking of pancakes, Ziggler gets flapjacked. AJ tries to distract, but Big E.’s knocked off the apron. Zig Zag attempt is blocked, Ryback DRILLS Dolph with the spinebuster, and AJ can only look on as Dolph is SHELL-SHOCKED! Three count!
Hate it when I’m right about a match. Ziggler got outright squashed for 10+ minutes.
We get a preview of the upcoming WWE Film “The Call” featuring Halle Berry and WWE’s own David Otunga. And we see him in there as much as we see Wade Barrett in “Dead Man Down.” BAZINGA!
Here comes CM Punk! We hear from the former champ on his big match with Cena…NEXT!
Sonic’s “Sweet and Spicy Slam” is Cena putting his WM title shot on the line to shut up Punk once and for all, and Punk telling him what a mistake he has made.
Punk in the ring now. Tonight, on live television, we witness history. A story that has been told for years…tonight we see the end of it and the beginning of something new. It is not just an epic match, and it’s not about Cena or The Rock, or even about Wrestlemania, or the people. Shockingly enough, it’s not about the WWE Championship. It’s about the future, which is bigger than the Rock, Cena, or Wrestlemania…IT’S ABOUT PUNK! It’s all about him taking his place in the Showcase of the Immortals that is Wrestlemania. He’s held the WWE Championship longer than anyone has in decades, he’s beaten Cena, he’s pinned Rock twice, and the Best in the World deserves to go to Wrestlemania. We are in the presence of an icon, a legend, the greatest of all time and Punk…HE IS A GOD! Pipe bomb!
We’re introduced to the celebrity honoree in the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame. MONEY MONEY MONEY! Mr. Donald Trump, the mogul, the entertainer, the reality star, and one of WWE’s biggest backers, bringing Wrestlemania 4 and 5 to Trump Plaza. He also beat Vince McMahon in the “Battle of the Billionaires” at Wrestlemania 23 and shaved Vince bald!
A collision of titans is forthcoming! Mark Henry versus Great Khali! Will there be dancing? Will there be wigs split? We find out NEXT!
Mark Henry vs. Great Khali
Khali takes the fight to Henry with a couple of chest chops, then a big one to the head, which sends Henry to the outside. Khali follows him slowly, but Henry rolls back in, catches Khali with a corner splash coming back in, and lifts him up for a BIG World’s Strongest Slam! Three count.
(Had to take a phone call, so I’m more or less guessing on the last part from what I saw in the replay.)
Winner: Mark Henry
We get a preview of Miz kicking some ass in “The Marine 3: Homefront”, coming out on DVD! Speaking of Mr. Mizard, here he comes, as MizTV with Del Rio and Swagger is NEXT!
Zeb Coulter, Jack Swagger, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Albero Del Rio all in the ring. Miz cuts to the chase, makes the introductions. Miz starts off with Zeb and Jack, bringing up the YouTube vids and their issues with America and Del Rio. Zeb brings up Glenn Beck “chickening out.” There’s your glancing shot. Coulter brings up 11 million “undocumented” workers in the country. He says they are what they are, illegal immigrants. Supposedly, the country wants to grant them amnesty as a first step to citizenship. Coulter brings up how Alberto and his people drain “real Americans.” Alberto objects to that. Miz allows Alberto to talk, but Del Rio wants Coulter to continue. Coulter brings up facts, such as it taking 10 years for an individual to claim citizenship in Mexico and that a foreigner cannot own land in Mexico. He goes on to say that Alberto is influencing people to cross borders and take jobs from “real Americans” and that America belongs to them and not Del Rio. Coulter goes so far as to call illegal immigrants “criminals”, and Alberto is fuming, shouting him down. He tells Coulter that America belongs to neither of them, it belongs to everyone. Two weeks before, Del Rio had only heard of people like Coulter, and unfortunately, now he knows one. He hates bullies like Coulter and Swagger who hide behind the Constitution, and challenges Swagger to fight if he has a problem with Del Rio. Swagger says “WE” will see Del Rio at Wrestlemania. WE…THE…PEOPLE!
Very interesting, emotional piece right there. Should be even more interesting to see where this goes with Swagger’s DUI.
Randy Orton in action against Antonio Cesaro…NEXT!
Old School comes to Monday Night Raw next week!
We see on WWEActive that Coulter objected to Miz’s “bias” as an interviewer, setting him up for an ambush from Swagger. WE THE PEOPLE OBJECT!
Non-Title Match: US Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton
Antonio with an headlock and a shoulder block. He locks in another head lock to Orton, who pushes him off, floats over, and hits a clothesline, followed by a throw for a two count. Cesaro with a boot and an European uppercut to the back of Orton’s head. Deadlift gutwrench suplex gets a two count for Cesaro. Love that spot by Cesaro. Orton fights out of a sleeper, but Antonio lays into Orton with some sharp uppercuts. Orton fires back with some clotheslines out of the corner, then a snap powerslam. Snakebite DDT countered by Cesaro, who hangs Orton up on the ropes. Orton reverses a whip, Cesaro gets the boot up, goes for the Very European…RKO OUT OF NOWHERE! Three count!
Cesaro dropped in three minutes? Not a good sign.
Winner: Randy Orton
Kane and Daniel Bryan agree they need to be on the same page when they face the Primetime Players. Bryan even insists on handling it by himself, and claims he could do it blindfolded. Kane scoffs and says he should be the one to take care of Young and Titus with one hand tied behind his back. They argue back and forth before Vickie…and “Team Bricky” Brad Maddox…interrupting Hell No, and each other, saying that Team Hell will do just that, facing the Primetime Players, with Bryan blindfolded, and Kane down one arm. They head off laughing as Bryan is dumbfounded that he won’t be able to see.
Cole and Lawler bring up the Oscars, and Cole brings up a vignette from WM 21, when Wrestlemania “went Hollywood”, and we see the “Few Good Men” parody with JBL and Cena. Very good parody. We then find out that Sheamus plans on presenting some “Oscar award snubs” next. RIVETING!
Sheamus is out next…and he looks quite dapper in that rented tux of his. He says he was disappointed with the Academy last night, not because of Ben Affleck’s weird speech, Jen Garner’s dive into the audience, or whether Seth McFarlane was funny or not. BAZINGA! It’s about how they snubbed one of the greatest actors of the 21st Century…Wade Barrett. We see a trailer of “Dead Man Down.” Sheamus shows another trailer, and “lauds” Barrett for his amazing skills on the silver screen, and was amazed that he was even in it until someone pointed it out to him. Barrett out now, and says green has never been a more appropiate color on Sheamus, as envy’s seeping out his every pore. Barrett’s going to be a global movie star, and all Sheamus will be doing when Barrett’s on the red carpet is returning the tux and drowning his sorrows. Sheamus agrees, and warns Barrett that there will be paparazzi there to capture Wade’s good side…which Sheamus has a hard time finding with Barrett’s nose as it is. ZING! Barrett tries a Bullhammer, Sheamus ducks and goes for a Brogue Kick, but Barrett ducks out and retreats.
Not exactly the buildup I’d used for a Sheamus-Barrett feud, but if it means seeing these two duke it out, I’m game.
Punk and Cena’s seemingly final battle, and a shot to face Rock at Wrestlemania, is later tonight, and we hear from The Shield, who has a message for the fans.
R-Truth vs. Cody Rhodes
Damien Sandow on commentary for tonight. Truth with a shoulder block and a float over, Cody gets an elbow up. Cody whips Truth to the corner, hangs up his leg up on the rope and kicks it. He delivers more shots to the leg. He drives Truth to the corner, splashes him, and locks in a full nelson. Truth fights out, but Cody with a kick to Truth. Disaster kick misses, and Truth hits the What’s Up for three!
Sandow tries to ambush Truth, but Truth ducks him, delivers some ds rights and drives a fuming Sandow out of the ring.
We see a Coulter/Swagger YouTube video on “Jobs”, where Zeb essentially states that whoever is crossing borders and taking jobs from “real Americans” should be wearing ski masks, as they are thieves and should be dealt with as such.
“The Real American” takes on “The Miz” later tonight!
Bryan looks like a damn gimp. He nearly grapples the ref, who has to explain to him he’s the ref. Titus and Young confuse Bryan with dual whistles and Titus ambushes Bryan from behind. Young hits some boots, and Titus tags in, misses a splash, and Bryan rolls outside. He accidentally kicks Kane, but Kane just walks it off as Bryan trips back into the ring. Darren tags in, and misses a charge into the ring post. Bryan makes the tag, and Kane lays a one-handed smackdown to Young, with clotheslines in the corner and a reverse elbow. Goozle to Young! Boot to Titus, Young fights out and kicks the knee of Kane, but Kane goozles him again. Chokeslam! Three count!
That was some “great” rumor killing there, Titus. If the Players can’t win like this, I’m not hopeful on a future tag title reign.
Winners: Team Hell No
Daniel finally loses the blindfold and acts like he can see for the first time.
The Shield addresses the WWE Universe…NEXT!
We recap Heyman and Vince’s “fight, Brock Lesnar confronting Vince, and HHH returning and opening up a can of whoop ass on Lesnar big time.
The Shield’s music hits, and they make their way through the crowd. Ambrose take the lead on the mic. He says it’s going to keep getting worse for the WWE. There won’t be peace until justice has been delivered. They are dominant, and it makes the guys in the back uncomfortable. He doesn’t care, assemble any supergroup, it’ll all end the same. Roman Reigns says if you don’t believe in the Shield, justice will haunt you and grind your bones to dust. Seth Rollins tells us there’s no one left, they won at TLC, they solved the “Cena problem” at Elimination Chamber, and Rollins personally took down Jericho with a knee to the skull. There’s no one left to challenge them…except Sheamus, who’s itching to fight and going nowhere. Ambrose and Reigns exit the ring…RANDY ORTON SLIPS IN! ARRIVE! RKO! LEAVE! Ambrose and Reigns are fuming as Sheamus and Orton have turned the tables and kicked the proverbial hornets’ nest of the Shield.
Miz and Swagger fight…NEXT!
“The Real American” Jack Swagger w/Zeb Coulter vs. The Miz
We’re reminded of how the match came about, with Swagger ambushing Miz while he was confronted by COulter.
Miz afire early with left hands and a big back body drop to the outside. Miz dives to the outside, but Swagger catches Miz and drills him into the ringside mat. Back in the ring, Swagger delivers some shots to Miz’s back. Miz tries to fight back, but Swagger whips Miz to the corner and drives his knee into Miz several times. Chickenwing cinched in by Swagger. Miz fights out, but Swagger with the clothesline. He slams Miz, and hits the Swagger Bomb for a near fall on Miz. Swagger with the armbar on Miz, who fights out and hits his combination neckbreaker for a two count. Miz runs into a big spinning slam by Swagger for another near fall. Miz driven to the corner, but he fires up with left hands, a big boot, and the running clothesline splash! Double sledge gets a near fall. Miz goes for a boot to the head, but Swagger shoves him into the ropes, and Miz gets caught by the boot in the ropes. Swagger kicks the leg of Miz, and as soon as Miz is untangled, BIG chop block by Swagger that nearly flips Miz 360. Patriot Lock is in, and Miz has no choice but to tap.
Good aggression by both Miz and Swagger, and Miz is turning out to be more and more of a decent face foil for the main event heels.
Winner: Jack Swagger via Submission
We see Sonic’s new “Sweet and Spicy Slam” being eaten by Lawler…and just Lawler. Last time I checked, Sonic’s not too high up on heart-healthy eats, Jerry.
We recap Rock presenting the brand spankin’ new WWE Title (still leagues above the Spinner) and Cena coming out to confront Rock, only to get waylaid by Punk and the old WWE Championship.
We get a Tout from Triple H. The asskicker is back, and it’s up to Brock whether he just wants to stand around and bleed, or wants to do something about it. Short and concise, and I like it. Fan touts out now, and most of them state Triple H will take Lesnar down.
Josh Matthews with John Cena, who says it’s Thunderdome in Dallas. Two men walk in, one man walks out with a ticket to Wrestlemania. Punk, the man who says Cena made a mistake, is wrong about Cena’s decision to put his shot on the line. Punk’s title reign and Cena’s title reigns don’t matter anymore. It’s put up or shut up, and there’s no second place. John Cena’s back, everyone knows what that means. He doesn’t care what the Rock is cooking, or that Punk is the Best in the World. He’s ready to serve up humble pie to all his critics and if you still believe in Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect, then know that “their” time is over and “our” time is now!
I didn’t really do that promo justice as Cena really drove the point home that this is the beat all, end all for either him or Punk, and there won’t be any excuses at the end of the night. Strong, effective words from Cena.
We see a TOUT of the Deadman himself, The Undertaker, making his return over the weekend at a WWE Live Event. Foreshadowing perhaps?
Winner Gets A Wrestlemania WWE Title Shot: John Cena vs. CM Punk
We get the old-school ring introductions, which tells you how big this match really is and it has a true main event feel now.
Lock-up in the center, and Punk with a headlock takeover. Cena counters out, Punk counters right back into the hold, and some quick holds are exchanged between the two as they feel one another out. Dueling headlock takeovers before Punk grounds Cena. Nice exchange between the two rivals. John back up, throws Punk off, floats over, and hits a dropkick square on Punk, who retreats to the outside as we go to break…
Cena with the Fisherman Suplex, but misses a corner charge and falls to the mat, where Punk covers for two. Elbows by Punk to Cena’s neck. Another cover by Punk gets a near fall. Punk with a modified triangle choke, but Cena simply powers out and electric chair drops Punk. Cena with a corner splash and a bulldog for two. Cena with a front facelock on Punk. Cena transitions into a nice headlock takeover for a sudden two count. They’re back up, Punk pushes Cena off, floats over, and hits a calf kick for a near fall on Cena. Interestingly similar to Cena’s method earlier. Cena fights out of a sleeper hold, and hits a clothesline. He goes for the shoulder block, but Punk knows it too well and ducks out of the way. Cena rolls to the outside, and Punk with a Suicide Dive to the outside! He goes to roll Cena back in as we take our final commercial!
Punk’s got an abdominal stretch on Cena, who hip tosses Punk out of the hold. We see Cena had an AA attempt during the break, only for Punk to drive him into the mat with a DDT. Cena tries his comeback, but Punk locks in the Anaconda Vice! Will Cena tap? He rolls up Punk! Two count. Punk with the swinging neckbreaker, which gets a near fall! Cena catches a kick, STF attempt, Punk pulls Cena to the ropes and hangs him up. Springboard clothesline connects! Punk contemplates, he goes for another clothesline…HE MISSES! STF by Cena! Punk’s trapped…HE COUNTERS INTO THE VICE! Cena struggles…AND TURNS IT INTO A CROSSFACE! Punk fights out into a roll-up! One…two…kickout! The two exchange right hands…Punk with a kick to the stomach, but he misses the roundhouse, Cena hits the spin-out slam…PUNK KICKS HIM! GTS attempt…Cena floats out, rolls him up…No, Punk stops the roll-up, two count! Cena hits the spin slam, five-knuckle shuffle, he goes for the AA, but Punk counters into a GTS…Cena counters out! CENA HITS A BATISTA BOMB! ONE…TWO…THR-NOOO! Holy crap, I thought that was it.
Punk with a classic running knee. He perches Cena for a superplex…John fights out, he pushes Punk off…GUILLOTINE LEGDROP! One…Two…Thr-NOOO! Cena picks up Punk…roundhouse kick to Cena. He hits another running knee…BUT CENA COUNTERS INTO AN AA! One…two…PUNK KICKS OUT! Both men on the outside…PUNK RAMS CENA INTO THE RING POST! Ref’s at a count of nine…CENA’S BACK IN THE RING! Punk picks up Cena…GTS! One…Two…CENA KICKS OUT! Punk tries the GTS again…CENA COUNTERS INTO THE STF! Punk’s trapped, he’s struggling…PUNK MAKES THE ROPES! Cena picks him up, Punk with a kick…PILEDRIVER TO CENA! That looked sick. One…Two…Thr-CENA KICKED OUT! Are you kidding me? Punk and the crowd both look lost with that kick-out. Punk tries for another running knee and connects, but Cena pushes him off…CENA WITH A FREAKIN’ HURRICANRANA! ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT! ONE…TWO…THREE! Cena’s going to Wrestlemania!
Don’t think I need to say anything else, that match was awesome and you couldn’t end the near two-year rivalry on a better note, in my honest opinion. No Taker interference, which surprised me, but in a good way. They still have over a month to build up Punk-Undertaker.
Winner: John Cena
Cena takes it all in as Cole puts it best that Cena’s take care of one demon from his past, now he has one more in the Rock at Wrestlemania. On that note, good night, everybody!
Credit: Ken Hill