What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Raw 2/13/12. With Elimination Chamber set for this week, how will the "go home" show do? Let's find out and start the review.
We open up the show with an extreme close up on Kane. Oh my God, giant eyeballs are coming out of my television set!!! What will I do? This was already a better payoff than AAO, but that isn't much of a challenge. Anyway, Kane says he will get John Cena to fully embrace the hate and somebody will leave in an ambulance. If you look closely, you can see the remains of Hulk Hogan's career inside the ambulance. We are now in the ring and King is hosting an EC match debate. There are podiums set up for the competitors. King introduces all the competitors for the Raw EC match. When it got to CM Punk, Punk was taking it in pretty well. In a way, Punk was saying, "I'm sorry. I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome I am". John Laurinaitis interrupts so he can inform the audience that he's still the Interim Raw GM. After his speech, Laurinaitis leaves. He's such a vital part to the show. After that, all the competitors talk about how they are going to win the EC match…except for R-Truth. Truth was treating it like a political debate. Truth talked about how he was going to change up the show. He talked about trading Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero to Smackdown for Hornswoggle and a box of spiders. That's a pretty stiff offer, but a jar of almonds might sweeten up the deal. Hopefully, people can learn to take a joke. Truth's promo made no sense and it seemed like he snorted crack before making his speech. In other words, things are making sense with Truth's character again. Miz's insult to Punk was pretty weak. Crumble like a cookie from your ice cream bars? More like the crumbling of Miz's witty comebacks. Kofi Kingston talks about not being an after thought anymore while Chris Jericho mostly talks down to Punk. What was hilarious was King gave everyone 45 seconds to talk, but just about everyone went over the time limit. The only time the clock got addressed was when Miz talked. Wrestling logic strikes early tonight. After the debate is over, Jericho starts to stare down Punk while King said all the competitors will compete in individual matches tonight. King said it will be Jericho vs Kofi next. After the Jericho stare down, Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise on Jericho. The debate was a silly idea. Even Dolph said this whole debate was stupid. At the same time, I understand what they were trying to do here. The spotlight revolved around Punk and Jericho. I said it last week and I will say it again. Punk and Jericho will be the final two entrants in the EC match.
Match #1: Chris Jericho vs Kofi Kingston
I haven't talked about this yet, but have you noticed Kofi's trunks? Kofi seems to be the Riddler now. If we can get Christian Bale to appear on this show, we might have a new movie in the works. The Dark Knight 3: The Riddler's Paradise. This was a short match, but it was competitive. It was nice to see Kofi go out there and come within inches of winning the match. Kofi hit TiP on Jericho, but Jericho gets his foot on the bottom rope. He's the Goddamn Kofi Man. The finish comes when Jericho does an eye poke to Kofi. Jericho follows it up with a Codebreaker. I can see some people not liking the finish since many people felt Jericho should get a clean victory. Keep in mind that Jericho is a heel and Jericho needs to start showing that Jericho cunning that we are used to seeing. By the way, did anyone notice the "Fire Michael Cole, hire Tony Schiavone" sign? That's actually a good idea. That way, I don't have to listen to Mike Tenay on a weekly basis….
Hey, wait a minute?
Winner via pinfall: Chris Jericho
Backstage where John Cena is talking to Zack Ryder. Ryder is in a neck brace, arm cast, back brace, and a wheelchair. I might as well say this now, but Ryder will be in more bandages than a Gibdo by the end of the night. SPOILERS…er, kinda. Ryder is going to give Eve some Single Awareness Day gifts and says he wants to make this a serious relationship. Ryder will not regret what he said after the end of the night. Not at all *wink wink*. By the way, why does Cena's locker room have so much Cena merchandise all over the place? Is Michael Bay in the building? There was also a backstage scene between Laurinaitis and David Otunga. Otunga reminds Laurinaitis that he's still the interim Raw GM and needs to make strides to make it a permanent role. Time for Johnny Five to cause more shenanigans on this show. Don't worry, I will still call him Roboinaitis. I gotta keep up with my terrible catchphrases.
Match #2: Randy Orton vs Big Show
Daniel Bryan was watching this match on the outside of the ring. Cole is suffering from bi-polar disorder since he likes and dislikes Bryan on the same show. Bryan comes off as a puppet master in this scene. Both Orton and Show were after him on SD, but Bryan ended up turning them on each other. Dance puppets, dance!!! The match was pretty good. Orton made this match work, so you gotta give him some credit. Mainly people thought there was an RKO botch in this match. I would consider it more miscommunication than anything else. To be fair, most miscommunications between the wrestlers often lead to botches, but I really don't consider this a botch. It was definitely a screw up, so we can at least agree on that. Then again, screw ups can be considered botches and....let's just move on already. What happened is Orton was going for an RKO, but Orton responded as if it was supposed to be countered. On the other side of the coin, Show just fell to the floor since he thought that he was supposed to take the RKO. It was very noticeable since Orton looked confused. The audience chanted, "You f***ed up". The communication between Orton and Show was definitely off in this spot. It was noticeable, but nobody got hurt and nobody will remember it. Let me rephrase that one. I won't remember it, but the IWC will probably whine about it for the rest of the year. After the miscommunication/botch/whatever the hell you want to call it, Orton hits a legit RKO on Show. Just as Orton is going to go for a cover, Bryan hits Randy with the WHC. After the match, Bryan hits Show with the WHC. Bryan is really getting more jerkish every week. It's sick since he seems more comfortable with this character than his previous character. The weasel strikes again.
Winner via DQ: Randy Orton
Back in the ring with HBK, Shawn Michaels. He talks about how shocked he was Triple H declined Undertaker's challenge, but quickly thinks that Trips was just playing a game and he will accept the match. He invites Trips to come up and accept the match. Trips finally arrives, but says he isn't playing any games and he will not accept Taker's request. Trips explains he will not accept the match since he doesn't want to end Taker's career and he's not that guy anymore. HBK says Trips has made a career at being that guy and is puzzled Trips doesn't want to do it now. HBK questions if Trips is a corporate sell out and a complete coward for not accepting the match. Trips goes on a speech in how it would be bad for business to end Taker's legacy since they are the last breed of that era. Trips talks about how HBK is forcing him into this match since ending the steak was something HBK wanted and he will not do the things HBK failed to do. HBK finally tells Trips to look him in the eye and tell him he doesn't want to end the streak. Things get a little physical as the jacket comes off. It's not as funny when Ric Flair isn't the one taking off the jacket. Trips finally says "NO" to the Taker streak and HBK leaves. Just as Trips is left thinking to himself, the lights go out and another Taker video shows up on the titantron. Taker is watching highlights of his match with Trips from last year. Getting off track for a moment, but is Taker in the Bat Cave? Maybe it's the Deadman Cave? Anyway, Taker is cutting his hair/wig and vows to get vengeance. Someone should tell Taker that was back in October.
Someone actually pitched me the theory that Taker is going back to his American Bad Ass gimmick. That's actually an interesting thought. I definitely can't rule that theory out of the window. Even though my favorite version of Taker is the original, I'm not against the return of biker Taker. I liked the promo exchange between HBK and Trips. Trips painted the picture that he doesn't want to be the guy to end a wrestler from their generation. He's definitely referring to the attitude era since most of those performers are retired. As I said last week, I like the change up with Taker's WM match this year since it isn't about Taker's streak. It's about Taker redeeming himself after his performance from a year ago. I don't care what the IWC says, I actually want to see this rematch. They are telling an interesting story and that's the important thing.
Match #3: Dolph Ziggler vs R-Truth
This was a short match. The finish comes when Dolph starts doing sit-ups. Truth gets a cradle rollup while Dolph was too busy showing off and wins the match. Not a lot to report with this one. Truth won this match because of spider stew. It's the ultimate potion.
Winner via pinfall: R-Truth
Match #4: Tamina vs Brie Bella
Yes, we are skipping the Ryder/Santino backstage scene. Beth Phoenix was on commentary for this match. She talks about being impressed with Tamina, but claims she isn't there yet. Tamina wins this match with the Snuka Splash in a matter of seconds. It was also announced that Beth will defend the title against Tamina at EC. This could be a decent rivalry if they do it right. Hopefully, they do a proper build up with the feud.
Winner via pinfall: Tamina
Backstage where Cena is about to answer questions about the Rock until you hear screaming. Quite people, it's time for Eve's bad acting to grace the show. Eve just jumps into the ambulance. I guess she really wanted to see the interior or Kane is secretly a Jedi. They only fool the weak minded. Cena arrives and attacks Kane, but Kane gets the upper hand this go around. Kane is about to drive off in the ambulance, but Cena manages to get back up and helps Eve escape. Once Kane drives away, we get a forced kissing scene between Cena and Eve. Didn't she blame Cena for all this Kane stuff a few weeks back? Eve is such a tease. Nobody likes a tease. Just as they finish the kiss, Eve notices that Ryder was watching it this entire time. Oh, the irony of Ryder's speech from earlier tonight. I almost think of Kane having a plan within a plan. Think about it? He tricked you in thinking the plan was to steal Eve, but it was really for Cena to "embrace" something else and hurting Ryder once again. After a commercial, we see Ryder strolling away as Eve wants to talk to him. She finally says she cares about Ryder, but she wants to be his friend. Okay, we need to get this out of the way. Eve is a total bitch. Think about it? Ryder has expressed interest in her and has saved her ass on a repeated basis. That's included getting murdered by Kane on a weekly basis until Ryder's medical bills cost more than his WWE contract. With all the crap that has happened to Ryder, Eve doesn't seem to give a crap, immediately throws the friend card, and latches onto the more popular guy. Eve has turned into Bella from the Twilight films. Like I said, nobody likes a tease. I know it's kayfabe, but this scene makes you feel really bad for Ryder. At the same time, Eve is just heartless since she's basically playing with a man's emotions and latches onto Cena. I'm sorry, but there's no way to sugar coat it. In fact, Eve got a heavy amount of boos later in the show. Yeah, the audience doesn't love you anymore, Eve. This scene also makes people hate Cena even more since he kinda broke the man code. You don't break the man/guy/bro code!!! People will say, "It isn't like Cena was trying to steal Eve". Well, he sure kept embracing Eve's lips and didn't bother to push her away. Still, every guy knows you don't break the code. What has science done? Maybe the Rock was right about Cena's lady parts? Hey, I'm just having fun with the established kayfabe. Don't take it so literal and learn to have some fun.
Match #5: CM Punk vs Miz
This was a decent match to watch. The finish comes when Punk locks in the Anaconda Vice and gets the submission victory. Jericho was watching this match backstage and was smiling. He was so happy. Punk winning made perfect sense. Not a lot to say with this one, so let's move on.
Winner via submission: CM Punk
There is a short scene of the Ambulance returning. It took Kane about 15 minutes to realize that nobody was back there. It could've been worse. Cena is now in the ring and San Diego doesn't seem to want Cena tonight. I can't really blame them since Cena violated the code. You don't break the code!!! Cena says Kane's plan was to have his friends turn against him, but it won't work as he will not give in. Ryder arrives in a wheelchair. He gets up and walks to the ring in crutches. Four hours later, Ryder is in the ring. Cena is about to speak, but Ryder slaps the mic away. Ryder also slaps Cena in the face. Ryder says that Cena was never his friend. According to Ryder, Cena is the opposite of Ike. He does NOT fight for his friends. It actually got pretty heated between Cena and Ryder. Cena almost attacked Ryder, but Ryder falls to the ground. Cena has never stooped so low before. He was about to hit a guy with injuries. Cena has evolved to emperor asshole tonight. As Ryder is walking away from Cena, Kane gets on the titantron. Kane says Cena is in denial about embracing the hate. He says Cena has stooped pretty low since he actually stole his best friend's girl and says Cena is closer to embracing all of the hate. Kane says that was something he would never do. As Ryder is on the ramp, Kane arrives and pushes Ryder off the ramp. Not to sound inappropriate, but did anyone else picture Ryder saying, "wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!" as Kane pushed him off the ramp? Anyway, Cena rushes over to check up on his former friend while the medics attend to Ryder. Eve showed up and the audience didn't care for her. The show ends with Ryder being taken away while Cena thinks to himself.
I forgot to mention the part where the audience started chanting, "We all hate you" towards Cena. That's pretty harsh, but I kinda like it. I like how the audience thought outside the box and really showed their displeasure for Cena. At first, I thought they were saying, "We don't hate you", but that didn't appear to be the case. As you would've guessed, Cena tries to explain himself to Ryder, but Ryder isn't having any of it. Can you really blame him? He continues to get the crap kicked out of him and it's really at the expense of Cena. With all the stuff that has happened to Ryder, you almost think if he will turn heel. It's possible, but he's a character you can sympathize with at the moment and I think will remain a babyface. I think it makes Ryder a stronger babyface since it gets him away from the goofy "Woo woo woo" stuff. I think there are more Ryder fans after tonight. That's smart thinking on WWE's part since they thought of another way to get Ryder over. Hopefully, they can use this as they move forward with Ryder. At the end of the day, I can see a lot more people not liking Cena after this. That's probably a good thing since those Cena boos will get louder and they can use that for his match against Kane. Not only that, but it can be used for his match with the Rock. Cena might be going through this "embracing the hate" up until WM. Possibly even afterwords. Regardless, this scene really makes the Cena/Kane match that much more interesting. I enjoyed the ending to the show. Still, you don't break the code. It's a rule.
This was an improved show from last week. Once again, this show featured mostly storyline build up and talking. If you're one of those wrestling fans who wants to see only wrestling matches, chances are you aren't going to like this show. Then again, I always says the storyline is very important since that's what brings in the interest level. Hell, AJ Styles and Kaz wrestled a good match at AAO, but the lack of storyline doesn't make me care about the match. That's why I had no interest in the match. Tonight featured some interesting storytelling and that's what kept my interest in the show. The show started off a little rough with the debate, but got better as the night moved forward. Another issue I can see someone have with this show is the fact that WWE did a lot of stuff tonight. They built up EC, WM, Raw rivalries, SD rivalries, and just about everything else. There was a lot going on tonight and it might be a bit of an overload. Still, I felt there was a decent amount of breaks and I don't feel completely overloaded. I'm aware that people are going to disagree with me since most people want to see some action. The action portion of the show was decent, but nothing worth bragging about. Besides, the EC PPV is this week. It's obvious they are saving the good action for the PPV. Regardless, the storylines are getting more interesting as we move forward to the biggest stage of them all. Another thing to add was the audience. This was a great audience. They seemed to be into the show and they had a good time. As I've said many times in the past, an energized audience can really make a difference. That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. As always, tell me what you thought of my review or tonight's show. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.
……You're tearing me apart, Eve!!!