My last RAW recap for the foreseeable future starts with CM Punk in the middle of the ring in front of a cheering Chicago crowd. Punk toys with the crowd for a bit before making them hate him. Punk doesn’t care about the New Nexus or the Chicago crowd. Punk stole Orton’s family’s respect from him. And he will end this sick and twisted story at Wrestlemania. But Orton is here, limping at tortoise speed, with a heavily taped knee. Orton still manages to fight and hits his rope assisted DDT. Orton tries for the punt but his bad leg gives out. That leaves Orton at Punk’s mercy and he delivers the Go To Sleep to look strong going into thebig show.
Edge and Christian are teaming up again. Apparently the RAW GM has no problem with Edge laying hands on Alberto Del Rio. The opponents are the rather obvious Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay. Clay starts and Edge and Christian end up double teaming him. Then a commercial before Del Rio is even in the match. Back from commercial Edge and Del Rio have not been legal at the same time yet. Christian takes the face in peril role. When he finally does tag out Clay comes in. Christian and Del Rio mix it up on the outside which allows Edge to Spear Clay for the win. Del Rio has the Cross Armbreaker on Christian but runs when Edge nears. When Edge turns back Del Rio comes back and ambushes him. Del Rio again hit Edge with his finisher and we won’t know who comes out ahead until Friday.
Cole has an iPad, which looks more like a netbook, so he can read the GM’s emails without leaving his Cole Mine. GM wants to see if Jerry Lawler is ready so tonight he will face Jack Swagger. Yet another great HHH versus Undertaker promo that continues to ignore that HHH already lost to Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Kane and Big Show are at ringside as Justin Gabriel (accompanied by The Corre) faces Santino Marella (accompanied by Vladimir Kozlov) and they finally announce a Wrestlemania match for these people. It will be an eight-man tag with The Corre facing Big Show, Kane, Kozlov and Marella. Sucks to be Kofi Kingston right now. Also means neither the tag belts nor the IC title will be defended at the biggest show of the year. The faces keep order at ringside, Santino hits the Cobra and a very short match ends happily. Have Kozlov and Tamina been doing Santino’s trombone motion for a while? Big Show doing it is funny. Kane doing it is even funnier.
Here’s Undertaker. Here’s Trips. Taker steals HHH’s thunder this time around by interrupting his water spit with a peal of the gong and the lights going out. I have some cable problems as they stare each other down. Neither has a microphone. Then HBK shows up. HBK plays to the crowd for ages before actually getting a microphone. HBK has a ghost of a beard and he is in dire need of Just For Men. HBK recaps the whole situation before asking his best friend what makes him he think he can do what Shawn couldn’t? HHH tells him he went soft. Cared more about being the Showstopper than winning. HHH turns to Taker and rhymes off how amazing he was when Hunter started out. But now HHH has to respectfully tell him it’s time to go. He can’t do it anymore. And if he can’t accept it then it’s Hunter’s job to take him out. He even steals “Rest in Peace.” Now Taker grabs the microphone. Taker respect Hunter and if it were time to put him down he’d want Hunter to do it. But it ain’t that time. The streak will live. Ask HBK. Taker runs down Michaels until he tries a Superkick, which is caught. Hunter pushes Shawn out of the way and stares down Taker before asking Shawn to tell him why he’ll beat Taker at Mania. But Shawn has nothing to say. Oh great a “One more match” chant. Shawn retreats to the entrance ramp before admitting he thinks Hunter won’t win. Taker just tips his hat triumphantly and heads off to the sound of Johnny Cash. Top notch segment from three of the best of all time.
Swagger versus Lawler leaves only Josh Matthews to call the match as Cole is at ringside. Let’s see if Matthews can do what Joey Matthews did for years. It spills to the outside right away and Lawler just grabs a chair and wails on Swagger getting DQed. Josh Matthews sits silently. Lawler threatens Cole with the chair and Cole retreats to the Cole Mine. Lawler beats on it with the chair as Josh tries to warn him he’ll be fired. Lawler does what seems most people should have thought of and climbs over the top. But with security holding him back he can’t reach Cole who throws what looks like ginger ale in his eyes.
Vickie Guererro makes fun of John Morrison then Snooki. Dolph Ziggler joins her to wrestle a tag team match. His partner is Sheamus. Let me guess: John Morrison and Daniel Bryan will be the opponents. Yep. This close to any PPV the match-ups are fairly predictable. We get a commercial early in the match. Daniel Bryan gets a La Bell lock on Ziggler but Sheamus breaks it up. Fast forward a bit and he almost gets it on Sheamus but the Celtic King is able to escape and hit a Brogue Kick to win the match. Since Morrison is probably winning at Mania and Bryan is probably losing I would have gone with a different finish. Sheamus pinning Morrison would work better.
New interviewer guy asks Orton if he’ll make Wrestlemania. Orton has anger management issues and he despises CM Punk more than anyone else. It’s not if he will make it to Wrestlemania; it’s if CM Punk will make it out. The final Hall of Fame inductee of the year is, actually are, the Road Warriors. Snooki has been training with Trish. Not to speak proper English though. They’re live via satellite at a bar so Lay-Cool can attack them in a new and interesting location. They manage to fight them off only to have their calls of “bitches” bleeped by USA Network.
Time for a main event promo. The three-way faceoff between The Rock, John Cena and The Miz. This show is going to go way over time, I can tell. Rock is out first. He long-windedly, and catch-phrase heavily, calls out Cena. And yeah, of course he shows up. All Cena wants to say is Rock is still awesome and this is where he belongs. But Cena actually fights back by pointing out that Rock has been making fun of Cena for colors, music and appealing to kids. Who the Hell is he? And a potential fight is cut off, finally, by the arrival of The Miz. He’s sick of being overshadowed by Overhyped and Overrated. But at least Cena will go down fighting. Rock’s a movie star too scared to risk Miz hurting him. Miz has flipped the W on his microphone again. It takes Alex Riley and The Miz together to even give The Rock pause but he beats them off and delivers a People’s Elbow to The Miz. Cue John Cena to return to camera range and hit The Rock with an Attitude Adjustment, or FU if you prefer the original name. Cena gets to play his music at the end of the show and the last RAW on the road to Wrestlemania.
See you Friday for one last Smackdown!