The January 7th episode of Monday Night Raw was suppose to have people talking, and I’m sure a lot of people were. But this is my blog so I’m going to do a little ranting because I can. I’ll get to said rant soon. Just an FYI this blog will not be a match by match, move by move recap of Raw or Smackdown. I will mainly discuss results and give my feedback/ideas for storylines and this time of year my mind is constantly spinning with ideas.
Monday’s Raw kicked off with Cena discussing how his 2012 was not a banner year for him. Dolph, AJ, and Big E interrupt Cena and AJ has some harsh names for Cena. Unexpectedly, Big E Langston grabbed the mic…and it wasn’t pretty. Big E will likely not get these opportunities often. He sounded way too playful for such an intimidating gimmick. An impromptu match between Dolph and Cena evolved from the opening segment, which delivered a quality match, as one would expect. After being ejected earlier by the official, Big E Langston reemerged and hit Cena with his finisher (previously known as The Big Ending but I’m not sure if WWE is sticking with that name) while the ref was down. A new ref hit the ring but Cena kicked out after 2 and quickly hits a big Attitude Adjustment for the win. To be honest, the wrestling portion of this show was not very strong aside from the opener and the TLC match between Ryback and CM Punk. Team Rhodes Scholars scored a big win over Team Hell No after Cody Rhodes hit Crossroads on Daniel Bryan. Orton scored a clean win over Heath Slater. 3MB attempted to attack Orton after the match but Orton fought it off with RKOs. Wade Barrett defeated Santino (with Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat in his corner). After the match Barrett contemplated an attack on Steamboat but backed off after seeing Steamboat equally as ready to fight. Antonio Cesaro def. Great Khali with The Neutralizer. Cesaro’s strength is unbelievable. I see a bright future for this guy.
In an interesting backstage segment, Brad Maddox was shown begging Punk and Heyman for some type of job with them. They turned him down. This could very easily go nowhere, or could go many different ways. Only time will tell.
Sheamus vs Jinder Mahal goes about as expected with Sheamus winning with White Noise followed by Brogue Kick.
The main event, TLC featuring Ryback and CM Punk, actually went MUCH rougher than I expected going in. With CM Punk just coming off his knee surgery a few weeks ago, I figured WWE would book this match to be cut short or with very few big spots. The match, however, did not disappoint. After a back and forth match, Ryback sees an opening to climb the rungs. He has his hands on the belt and the lights go off. This time of year everyone’s thoughts go directly to The Undertaker when the lights go off. The Shield were in the ring (and on the ladder) when the lights turned back on. They fought Ryback off the ladder and gave him a nasty powerbomb through a table and onto the steel stairs. CM Punk slowly climbs and grabs the belt with an evil smile on his face. The only problem I had with this ending was having the lights turn off AFTER Ryback’s hands were already on the belt. a few seconds earlier would have made more sense.
Big Show jobs Kofi in about 20 seconds in a really pointless match.
CM Punk comes out to drop Pipe Bomb: The Sequel. Punk was doing so quite well, mentioning things like a talent like Daniel Bryan being involved in the comedy gimmick he’s in with Kane. He also mentioned Bruno Sammartino keeping the title so long because he only wrestled once a month at Madison Square Garden. The Rock eventually emerges (to a huge ovation, of course.) He drops all of his typical 15 year old stale insults (this is where my rant slow creeps in). He gets the crowd to chant “Cookie Puss” to insult Punk for whatever reason. He says he will beat Punk at Royal Rumble and once again become WWE Champion. The show ends with The Rock standing tall after a Rock Bottom on Punk (and People’s Elbow after the cameras went off).
Now don’t get me wrong, in 1999 I loved The Rock. I went as The Rock for Halloween one year. I used the catch phrases. I am, however, in NO way supportive of what the WWE is doing with The Rock. Punk says it best when he mentions the work horses in the back working multiple shows a week and putting in their time in terrible mid-card storylines, yet Dwayne can walk in after 7 years of awful movies about things blowing up and going to magical mountains and likely win the WWE title.
As much as people want The Attitude Era back, it will not happen and this likely Rock title reign is highly unfair in my book. Maybe WWE will surprise me and not put the strap on Rock, and I will continue to pray for that. That being said, next week is the 20th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw and a lot of Wrestlemania rivalries may begin. Rumored appearances for next week’s show are The Undertaker, Lesnar, Stone Cold, The Rock, and many more. Smackdown may also be watchable this week. SPOILER ALERT**** WWE announced that there was a new World Heavyweight Champion crowned at the Smackdown taping on Tuesday night. I will check back in after Smackdown airs Friday night and when we may know a little more about what to expect on Monday’s 20th Anniversary of Raw.
Also be aware that I may post my thoughts/ideas randomly for the Wrestlemania storyline season (i.e. Undertaker opponents, WWE Title situation, etc.) Thanks for reading and hopefully eventually I can cut out the match recap stuff and make this blog strictly my thoughts/predictions/reactions. See you all sometime before Raw Monday Night.