This show starts with a recap package of the Cena/Kane program and it succeeds in highlighting Eve's incredible acting abilities. I already have such high hopes for tonight's Raw episode! Kane appears on the tron saying that Cena will embrace the hate. He also promised someone would leave Raw in an ambulance.
We cut to the Raw intro video and they've added Brodus Clay to the package yet he hasn't had tv time in over a week and wasn't on tonight's Raw either. I don't even think he was mentioned as an afterthought. They shift to The King in the ring with all six members of the Elimination Chamber behind podiums. No it's not the return of the King's Court or a WWE themed game show but it is actually a debate about this coming Sunday's Chamber match! YAY! This had a bunch of heat for just about everyone involved though as each guy got close to a minute or so to talk about his chances, etc. etc. Punk promised this debate would not end in violence and he was surprisingly wrong. The Miz kinda messed up on his delivery of his lines here. Furthermore, all the lines came across very scripted and unnatural except for Punk and Jericho. They teased a fight between both until Kofi nailed Jericho with Trouble in Paradise. Also, Lawler mentioned that all six guys would fight each in individual matches starting with Jericho v. Kofi.
Chris Jericho v. Kofi Kingston-Nothing spectacular here, just solid work from both. Kofi went for a missile dropkick and Jericho reversed it into the Walls of Jericho and surprisingly Kofi got to the ropes for a false finish. Later, Jericho hit Kofi with a thumb to the eye and nailed the codebreaker for the finish.
There was a recap from the Royal Rumble showing Zach Ryder being beaten by Kane. They even showed Kane's horrible looking face submission thingy that looks goofy as hell and that put out Ryder in a few seconds only. Poor Zach can't catch a break I guess. Ryder then said he wanted to see Eve but Cena said he had his back tonight on the show. We switch to Johnny Ace and David Otunga in an office, I guess. Otunga said he has a plan on how to make John the GM for Smackdown.
Big Show v. Randy Orton-Daniel Bryan comes out to watch the match set-up from the last Smackdown where Orton thought Show cost him the match with DB. Michael Cole got over the idea that DB is manipulating the Big Show, which is a good thing to get across. Bryan sat next to Cole for the match so Cole would not bash DB and only had nice things to say about him. Average match here with a highlight being Show palming Orton's head to get him back in the ring. Orton even hit his DDT with Show draped over the top rope. Next came a botched RKO that seemed to irk Orton a little and they went straight into another RKO sequence. Bryan came in with the belt and blasted both guys with his evil smile on his face. DB looked good and came across as a total manipulator. They really need to keep his title reign going until at least Wrestlemania. He seems to be getting over better than any other newer heel in the WWE.
Shawn Michaels is out next saying that he was itching to come to Raw and see HHH accept the Wrestlemania match against the Undertaker. He calls out HHH and HHH says he does not accept. He alludes to the idea that he could end Taker's streak but he does not want to be that guy anymore who just runs through people. He said killing the streak would be bad for business and he will not accept the match. HBK called him a sell-out and a coward and tells him to look him in the eye and tell him he does not want to end the streak. HHH said HBK was living vicariously through him, in terms of wanting him to end the streak. HHH says no again and HBK leaves. Taker's bell tolls and a video is shown highlighting last year's match at Wrestlemania. HHH gives off the impression that he might be rethinking things. This was a pretty good segment and had some good heated portions to it. HBK was great, as usual, along with HHH. It was not as good as HBK's appearance last year on Raw to build up that match but it was still pretty good nonetheless.
Dolph Ziggler v. R-Truth-Pretty short and quick but very tight work by the two. I would like to see a longer match between these guys, has this happened before? Ziggler is really coming along in his timing and Truth is so damn solid too, they worked great together tonight. Ziggler had Truth in a chinlock and he did his handstand thing while it was locked in. The finish was Ziggler doing a couple sit-ups by Truth who hit a small package for the quick win. Next, is Ryder in the back with Santino who checked Ryder's breath and tried to give him dating advice. Santino gave him garlic breath strips that he said he invented that Ryder hated. I assume after he went back and watched this segment that Ryder hated that too.
Tamina Snuka v. Brie Bella-Nothing special but at least Brie could run the ropes a little. Her and her sister looked fantastic in their outfits, by the way! The finish was the Superfly splash off the top, and was followed by a stare-down between Tamina and Beth Phoenix for their match at the EC PPV. They also showed a package about The Rock and his Journey 2 movie. Afterwards, Cole tried to do a pec pop and looked stupid. Also, Lawler said Journey 2 was #1 in several countries but none of them were the US. Josh Matthews tries to get a reaction from Cena but he hears a scream and runs off. Kane is shown getting Eve into the Ambulance and trying to drive away but Eve jumped out and was caught by Cena. Eve then proceeded to make out Cena like it was the end of the damn world. Of course, Ryder just happened to be off to the side watching the whole thing with his goofy facial expressions. After a commercial, Ryder is trying to leave but Eve tries to explain but ends up saying she just wants to be friends. Great going Eve and great explaining yourself. Of course, would you want to date a goof like Ryder who gets his ass handed to him all the time and is in a wheelchair with a huge neck collar?
CM Punk v. The Miz-The Miz got a jobber intro, which is not a surprise after last week's botch on Truth. He looked sluggish and seemed to have no enthusiasm during this whole thing. I guess that's understandable though but he can't let that continue for too long. Cole was explaining the EC match and talking about pods and it made me think that the whole match was going to be based around Invasion of the Bodysnatchers or something! That would amuse me! Anyway, the finish was the Anaconda Vice and Miz tapped.
The ambulance is back apparently and Cena is out to explain himself and embracing the hate. He says he won't compromise who he is and will continue to overcome. He can't let the past few weeks put him over the edge but Ryder comes out. He was using crutches to get to the ring and looked like he was trying to impersonate a slow motion replay with his walking. He still had his goofy facials and looked like a dweeb the entire night. He slapped Cena and later, Cena went to hit him but backed off and Ryder left. He didn't need the crutches in the ring but used them again to walk back up the ramp to his wheelchair. Tremendous stuff here. Cena tried to talk to Ryder but Kane appeared and threw Ryder off the ramp in his chair and Cena called for help. He was even throwing up the X and Eve came out and got some heat. Poor Zach is going to end up in a full body cast by the end of this feud and he'll be only able to talk by blinking.
Signs of the week:
“Fire Cole, We Want Tony Schiavone”
“Where is La Parka”
Thanks guys, Steve Viglio