Triple H starts off this edition of RAW. I’m expecting him to speak this week. The announce team is Lawler and Matthews and I like it. Triple H claims to have done everything. He mentions starting DX with Shawn Michaels then he mentions starting Evolution with Ric Flair. He’s been here 16 years and only The Undertaker has outlasted him. The only challenge they have left is each other. If the streak ends Taker will die and Hunter will end it or die trying. I’ve been expecting this. Sheamus coming out to have words with HHH. But as soon as he enters the ring HHH lays him out then proceeds to layeth down the Smackdown. Sheamus ends up going through the announce desk without ever looking like a threat.
Sheamus is being led out when then anonymous GM by e-mail sends a missive. Jerry Lawler gets to read it. The GM wants Sheamus to still have his match, against the returning Evan Bourne! I never thought I’d see Evan Bourne squash Sheamus but that’s what happens. Great to see Air Bourne again. Not as great is Michael Cole coming out next.
In an effort to keep this short Cole will have a match with Lawler, as long as he can have his trainer in his corner and pick the referee. Lawler agrees so Cole brings out his trainer, Jack Swagger. Lawler tries to get past Swagger to Cole, which is dumb since he’d just get fired, but Swagger takes him down and locks on a long Ankle Lock even after Lawler taps out.
Austin will be here next week. Whatever. Cole has returned to the announce desk and the night gets worse right away. It would be nice to see a real match. But Randy Orton is out and it’s to talk not to wrestle. He made a mistake kicking CM Punk in the head. He should have kicked harder. He aims to kick CM Punk into a wheelchair. That draws Punk and the three Nexi left standing. They plan to bury Orton but E-GM has something to say. Punk will face Orton at Mania. And, in the weeks between, Orton must face each member of Nexus with no interference. If Orton wins that member of Nexus is banned from ringside at Wrestlemania. Mr. Not So Perfect gets his shot right now.
When the match starts during the commercial you can tell it’s not top priority. The problem with the new Nexus is the underlings suck,. Mason Ryan has potential but he could get over without Nexus. Not So Perfect and Blow-tunga can just go away for all I care. Orton has to make Not So Perfect appear like a threat and he’s not really capable of it. So when Orton wins nobody is surprised. I predict he beats Otunga but loses to Ryan to allow Punk to have something of an edge at the Mania match. Orton looks for the post-match punt Punk tries to order him to stand down. It doesn’t work. Orton bails before the Nexi can try for revenge. Maybe Nexus is on its last legs.
They announce they have signed Mistico but he’ll go by the name Sin Cara. It’s true, The Miz is being overshadowed by John Cena and The Rock. Let’s see what he can do about that. Miz cuts a fine promo but it’s just more putting himself over Cena and The Rock so the details aren’t important. Cena interrupts. Cena accuses Miz of having OCD, complete with totally fake doctor’s note. Should we be making fun of mental illness? Cena says Alex Reilly is the reason The Miz isn’t taken seriously as champion and exhorts Miz to fire him. But Miz is a dedicated mentor to the next generation, not like Cena. Cena moves from making fun of mental illness to gay jokes. Cena finally settles on challenging Reilly with Reilly’s job with The Miz on the line. Miz has a condition. If Reilly wins Cena has to publically proclaim him the greatest superstar of all time. Cena considers that child’s play compared to what he’s been through lately. Even though Miz vows not to interfere the E-GM decides to make that official and makes it an escape-only cage match. I have a friend who refers to that as “pussy rules.”
Later, HBK will speak out on the HHH/Taker match. Ugh. The announce team got even worse as Eve is out to watch a Diva Battle Royal for a title shot. It’s quickly down to Maryse, Gail Kim and one of the Bellas. Kim eliminates Maryse and not even the announce team know which Bella it is. There’s a twin switch and the Bella wins. Eve tries to explain to the refs and the twins beat her down. That match better not be at Wrestlemania.
Rock on video mocks Cena by pretending to be a rapper. It’s mercifully short. Rock is pretty serious here. Cena questioned his love of the business? The business he was born into? The business his family pioneered? Just because The Rock accomplished his goals and moved on to pave the way for the rest of them, Cena included? Cena wants him to bring it? He’s going to bring it. Rock gets away with “bitch”; no bleeping.
HBK’s comments make it sound like he has mixed feelings. Does he want The Undertaker to go down even if it means Hunter did what he couldn’t. HBK will ref that match. I’m sure of it. I expect this to be Undertaker’s second last Wrestlemania and 18-1 is not impressive. It will be 20-0 or 19-1. That remains to be seen.
Daniel Bryan comes out for a match only to be ambushed by The Miz. The skull Crushing Finale looks pretty soft tonight but when it’s done on the arena floor better safe than sorry. I didn’t think we had time for another match besides the main event. Miz is sick of waiting and wants the cage lowered…
Miz starts doing fine guest commentary then quickly interferes to keep Cena from quickly escaping the cage. The GM would have been better off banning Miz from interfering than making it a cage match. Reilly oversells, that’s a real weakness. Reilly taps to an STF but it doesn’t count. Reilly passes out but Miz uses a steel chair to keep Cena from climbing out of the cage. Reilly and Cena fight on the cage wall, Cena goes down but Reilly can’t seem to climb over the top of the cage. More fighting on the ropes and the cage wall. Cena manages a Bulldog off the top rope and an Attitude Adjustment. Miz tries to hold the door shut but Cena puts on a show of power and pushes through to win. Miz hits the SCF on Cena on the outside but Reilly must be fired. The mats on the floor make it far less impressive. Miz doesn’t seem to care about losing Reilly since he got the jump on Cena. And we are out.
Nice mix of old and new superstars tonight but the wrestling was subpar. The main event was the only half decent match on the whole show. The promos were almost universally awesome but I hope Smackdown brings some decent action. Don’t make me go to TNA for it!