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 411mania » Wrestling » TV Reports

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411's WWE Raw Report 1.14.13
Posted by Jonathan Sullivan on 01.14.2013



WWE Raw 20th Anniversary


*****


A montage of all the previous Raw openings play to start the show off, as you probably assumed it would.

-----

We are live in Houston, TX. Michael Cole quickly welcomes the home audience. We go to the ring where Mr. McMahon is standing by. He welcomes everyone to the 20th anniversary of Raw and naturally everyone goes nuts. McMahon says through the years, what we've seen most every Monday is entertainment and lays the statistic that over 4 billion viewers have enjoyed the show over the past 20 years. McMahon says everyone has enjoyed Raw for one reason: he's a certifiable iconic genius! He announces John Cena Vs. Dolph Ziggler in a Steel Cage and hypes up The Rock's impending concert.

The Big Show comes out to rain on McMahon's parade. Show grabs a mic and tells McMahon that the 20th anniversary celebration is going to have to wait. Show says they need to address the "travesty" that happened to him on Smackdown. McMahon says he doesn't like being told what to do, being interrupted, or being referred to by his first name. Show tries to get back on topic, but McMahon interrupts and says Show's lost weight. Show says he's been cutting back on the carbs, but McMahon meant the fact he is no longer wearing the World Heavyweight Championship. Show once again tries to discuss the travesty, but McMahon says it's easier to just roll the footage from Friday. Show tries to stop that from happening, but what McMahon says goes and he points to the TitanTron.

We see the ending few minutes of Show's title loss on Smackdown where Alberto Del Rio dumps the announce table onto the "World's Largest Athlete" to win the match and the championship. JBL hypes up the win as he's alongside Cole and Jerry Lawler at the announce table. We go back live. Show says he wasn't prepared for that type of match on Friday and insinuates that Booker T did it to make Del Rio into a hero for the Latinos. Show says Booker is jealous of him and his iron-clad contract. Show says that the contract makes everyone else "inferior" to him. McMahon asks Show what he wants him to do. Show suggests that McMahon strip Del Rio of the World Heavyweight Championship.

Del Rio's music hits and out comes Ricardo Rodriguez to introduce the new World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio makes his way out normally instead of in a car. Rodriguez carries a bucket behind Del Rio as they both head to the ring. Del Rio says then when someone calls out Show he comes off like a "crying little baby". Del Rio gets into the ring and tells Show to "do something about it" instead of complaining to McMahon about it. Del Rio suggests they meet tonight for the World Heavyweight Championship. A "Si" chant breaks out in the Houston crowd. Show vetoes that idea and says he's not prepared to face him tonight. Del Rio asks Show what he needs to prepare for since he's so much "bigger" and "stronger". Del Rio tells Show to show some "cajones" for once in his life.


Show says he's not going to waste his rematch tonight and will fight Del Rio when he wants to. Show says the perfect place for their rematch is at the Royal Rumble. Show says a smart man like himself chooses the battleground and says that when that PPV is over, they'll only be talking about him. Show says at the Rumble he will knock Del Rio out and take back his championship before telling Del Rio to enjoy his 15 minutes of fame. Del Rio insults him in Spanish and Show tells him to speak "English". Del Rio translates his insult as "fat jackass". Show asks the crowd if they're okay with the World Champion insulting him like that, resulting in another "Si" chant. Show asks what the letter C has to do with anything. Del Rio says he has a present for Show. Rodriguez picks up the bucket, and Show threatens to break his spine in half if he throws water on Show's suit. Rodriguez shrugs and tosses the bucket, resulting in a batch of confetti covering Show. Show charges at Rodriguez, and Del Rio once again saves his friend. Del Rio connects with a hurricanrana then kicks him in the corner, causing Show to escape to the outside. McMahon happily "introduces" Del Rio and shakes his hand.

  • Segment Thoughts: Well that was an...interesting way to start the show. Del Rio's heavy use of Spanish came off as continued desperation by the WWE to make him a hero to the Hispanic demographic, but he's adjusting well to the babyface role now that he's finally a full babyface and not just teetering in the middle. Still with all of the things to start the show off with, the Smackdown feud was completely unexpected.


-----

As Del Rio celebrates we go to the announce table to join Cole, Lawler, and JBL. They hype the Cena/Ziggler Steel Cage match as well as The Rock's concert.

------

-Commercial Break-

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RAW Moment (2009): Bob Barker hosts the show. He gets into Chris Jericho's face and karate chops Chavo Guerrero.

-----

I.C. Champ Wade Barrett is already in the ring. "Voices" plays, bringing out his opponent Randy Orton. They hype his match against Antonio Cesaro this Wednesday on Main Event

------

Match #1: Randy Orton Vs. *WWE I.C. Champion* Wade Barrett

Orton backs Barrett in the corner and breaks clean before the count of 5. They lock up and this time Barrett sends Orton into the corner but cheapshots instead of a clean break. Orton reverses an Irish whip and connects with the Thesz press combo. Barrett rolls to the outside, and Orton quickly follows. Barrett tries to slam Orton's head into the announce table but Orton blocks it and instead sends him into the announce table face-first. Orton backdrops Barrett right on the barricade and rolls him in. Orton goes for the cover but only gets 2. Orton does a sort-of "Garvin Stomp" combo then hits a running kick to the head. Barrett attempts a clothesline but Orton ducks and clotheslines him out to the floor. Orton is in control as we go to commercial.

-Commercial Break-

Orton is breaking out of a reverse chinlock as we come back from break. He's successful but runs into a Barrett kneelift right to the gut. Barrett slaps on another reverse chinlock and the Houston crowd tries to wake up "The Viper". Orton breaks out again and kicks Barrett in the face during a backdrop attempt. Barrett responds with a big boot of his own and a 2-count during a pinfall attempt. Barrett places Orton on the apron and delivers a series of knee strikes. Barrett follows up with a big boot, then pulls Orton back. He goes for another pin and it's another 2.

Barrett slaps on the third reverse chinlock of the match. Orton reverses into a back suplex to create separation. Orton and Barrett trade rights, until Barrett goes down low with a kick. Orton is whipped into the corner, but comes exploding out with a series of clotheslines followed by the powerslam. Barrett rolls to the apron, and drops Orton throat-first on the top rope. Barrett runs in to try to take advantage but Orton responds with a backbreaker. Barrett rolls back to the apron and this time Orton connects with the Hanging DDT. Orton "coils up" and goes for the RKO but Barrett pushes him off and sends him shoulder-first into the ring post. Barrett readies up the Bull Hammer and connects with it for the 1...2...3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Wade Barrett (10:27)

  • Match Thoughts: Have you seen Orton and Barrett wrestle before? Yes? Then you've seen this match. However I'll be honest: I didn't expect Barrett to get the win; if anything I was waiting for The Shield to pop in and once again cost Orton a match. This was a welcome surprise.


-----

More hype for The Rock Concert followed by an announcement that WWE will announce the first inductee into the 2013 Hall of Fame.

------

-Commercial Break-

------

WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres is approached backstage by Booker T and Teddy Long. Booker adds a stipulation to her match against Kaitlyn tonight: if she tries to get herself counted out or disqualified, she will be stripped of the championship. Torres tries to change Booker's mind, using her seductive voice, but Booker just laughs her off. Long laughs as well, and Torres slaps him. Booker is now laughing at Long's expense before asking him if he's alright.

-----

Team Hell No Visits Dr. Shelby

We join Daniel Bryan and Kane from "Earlier Today". Bryan tells Kane that whatever Dr. Shelby asks them they lie and tell him what he wants to hear. They shake hands on it and Dr. Shelby comes in. He says he's proud of them for shaking hands and asks who wants a group hug. Bryan reluctantly says "we do" and the hugging commences.

All three sit down and Bryan asks if they can go since they've beaten their "anger problem". Dr. Shelby says he has some follow-up questions before they can go. First question goes to Bryan: "what's your favorite part of Kane?". Bryan compliments Kane on his height, his ability to set things on fire by lifting his arms somehow, and his dancing. The question goes to Kane and Kane says Bryan is very agile in the ring, has a great beard, and isn't afraid to admit that sometimes he wears women's clothing. Dr. Shelby gets on his phone and asks his assistant "Kristen" to "send them in".

In come The Rhodes Scholars and Dr. Shelby says they are here to purposely antagonize them so they can learn to "go to their happy place". Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes harshly critique his methods. Rhodes says he doesn't know who's a bigger failure: Team Hell No as a team or Dr. Shelby as a therapist. Sandow says Team Hell No would be better served getting help from Dr. Phil. Dr. Shelby freaks out and sicks Team Hell No on The Rhodes Scholars. Kane says "that's what I call a happy place!" and they engage in a bout of "YES!"-ing as the Houston crowd joins in.

  • Segment Thoughts: Funny segment. I enjoyed Bryan complimenting Kane on his ability to light things on fire by just waving his arms, and Kane complimenting Bryan's beard (it really is an awesome beard). Dr. Shelby's freak-out and the trio's subsequent "YES!" chanting was fun as well. Sandow and Rhodes were also awesome in their critiques. Fun stuff all-around.


-----

WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No make their way out to the ring. Kane is in singles action against Damien Sandow...right after this commercial.

-----

-Commercial Break-

-----


Match #2: Kane (w/ Daniel Bryan) Vs. Damien Sandow (w/ Cody Rhodes)

Cole announces that these two teams will meet for the belts at Royal Rumble. Kane gets the early advantage with corner clotheslines followed by the side slam. Kane gets a quick 2-count from that combo. Kane makes his way to the top for the clothesline but Sandow immediately bails out of the ring. Kane follows him out and drops him with an uppercut. Kane rolls Sandow back in and Sandow kicks Kane in the head as he tries to come back in. Sandow connects with the Side Russian Legsweep followed by a couple of axehandles and kneedrops. Sandow follows up with the "Elbow of Disdain" for 2. Sandow heads to the second turnbuckle and jumps right into a chokeslam. Kane connects with it for the easy 1...2...3.

Winner [via Pinfall]: Kane (1:59)

  • Match Thoughts: Not much to talk about here. It was what it was. Here's hoping The Rhodes Scholars win the belts at Royal Rumble though. Sandow and Rhodes would be so much more awesomely insufferable with gold around their waists.

-----

Next on RAW: The first inductee of the 2013 Hall of Fame will be announced and we will hear from this person after the break.

-----

-Commercial Break-

-----

We see clips from the Del Rio/Show confrontation from earlier.

-----

And The First Inductee Into The 2013 Hall of Fame is...

Justin Roberts introduces the first inductee into the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame: Mick Foley. Out comes "The Hardcore Legend" as Cole/Lawler/JBL give him a standing ovation. Foley thanks the crowd for the very warm reception and follows it up with a "cheap pop". The music of The Shield immediately cuts him off and out come Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins through the crowd. They get in the ring and surround Foley, but out comes Ryback to attack the trio. Ryback tosses Ambrose and Rollins out of the ring before dropping Reigns with a lariat. Rollins and Ambrose immediately jump back into the ring and attack Ryback. Randy Orton comes out to give Ryback a hand, but Rollins and Ambrose both attack. Sheamus then makes his way out to even the odds. Reigns and Rollins are tossed out of the ring, leaving Ambrose to take a Shell Shock courtesy of Ryback. The Shield retreat as the good guys stare them down. Ryback starts a "Feed Me More!" chant and the Houston crowd quickly joins in.

Josh Matthews joins Ryback in the ring for an impromptu interview. Ryback says that every time he's stepped into the ring with CM Punk, The Shield have allowed Punk to escape with the WWE Championship. Ryback says he doesn't care about conspiracy theories or investigations, and says he cannot rest until he gives back to The Shield what they've taken away from him. Ryback starts a "Feed Me Shield!" chant.

  • Segment Thoughts: Ryback is getting better on the mic as the weeks go by, but that "Feed Me Shield!" chant is terrible. Also a big congratulations are in order for Mick Foley; he deserves to be inducted and I'm happy to see him get the honor.


-----

A video montage plays showcasing all the bad gimmicks that have been in the WWE through the years. Characters include: Bastion Booger, Gillberg, Beaver Cleavage, The Sultan, "Real Man's Man" Steve Regal, "Stuttering" Goldust and The Boogeyman.

  • Thoughts: I love it when they throw down with a "yeah we suck sometimes" vignette. Although I will defend Doink the Clown if necessary.


-----

Eve Torres defends her Divas Championship next!

-----

-Commercial Break-

Kaitlyn is already in the ring when we come back from break as Lillian Garcia introduces her. Her opponent, WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres makes her way out second.

-----

Match #3: Eve Torres (c) Vs. Kaitlyn for the WWE Divas Championship

Torres with a side headlock to start off. Torres tries to take her down but Kaitlyn stands her ground. Kaitlyn reverses out with an armbar and drags her to the mat. Torres immediately bails out of the ring. Torres tries to get back in but Kaitlyn prevents her the first two times. Torres finally gets back in and Kaitlyn immediately attacks. Torres kicks her off and goes for the pin. 2-count. Full mount from Torres followed by a series of strikes. Torres takes Kaitlyn down and gets another 2-count. Running senton from Torres for another 2. Torres sends Kaitlyn into the corner and does her hanging reverse chinlock while sitting on the top turnbuckle. Torres waves to the crowd and takes Kaitlyn down with an MMA-style headscissors submission. Kaitlyn struggles to the ropes and finally makes it, forcing the break.

Torres picks Kaitlyn up but gets rolled up for 2. Kaitlyn connects with a running clothesline, followed by another. Kaitlyn drops Torres with a running shoulderblock, then hits the Inverted DDT for the 1...2...Torres kicks out. Torres kicks Kaitlyn's legs out from under her and kicks her in the head. Torres hits the spinning neckbreaker for the 1...2...Kaitlyn kicks out! Torres can't believe it and starts ripping at Kaitlyn's shirt out of anger. Kaitlyn gets to her feet and hits a Gutbuster. Torres rolls out of the ring, and Kaitlyn immediately follows her out. Torres sends Kaitlyn into the barricade then throws her over the barricade to try to get her counted out but Kaitlyn runs inside behind Torres' back. Torres turns around and is dropped with a spear for the 1...2...3! New champ!

Winner and NEW Divas Champion [via Pinfall]: Kaitlyn (5:27)

  • Match Thoughts: After a billion matches against one another it was nice to see Kaitlyn finally get the win and the championship. I'm not a big of Kaitlyn but it was a feel good moment and I can respect that. The match itself was pretty damn good by Divas standards, but the ending was weak (can we ban the Spear? Please? PLEASE?). I'll miss Torres as champion; she was the only one with any personality in that division. Ball's in your court, Kaitlyn.


-----

Josh Matthews is backstage with Brodus Clay. We see a clip of CM Punk's promo last week that mocked Clay's gimmick. Clay says Punk's pipe bomb is going to blow up in his face...next! This match is happening? Weird.

-----

-Commercial Break-

-----

Raw Moment (2007): Donald Trump shoves Vince McMahon.

-----

"Somebody Call My Momma" starts playing as Brodus Clay makes his entrance alongside The Funkdactyls, Gangnam Style and all. "Cult of Personality" plays, bringing out his opponent the WWE Champion CM Punk. He is joined by his adviser Paul Heyman.

-----

Match #4: Brodus Clay Vs. *WWE Champion* CM Punk (w/ Paul Heyman)

Punk attempts a couple of kicks but Clay easily knocks him down with a shoulderblock. Punk immediately bails from the ring to get advice from Heyman. Clay brings Punk in the hard way from the apron then lays into him in the corner. Clay slams Punk to the mat then drops a couple of elbows. Clay whips Punk into the corner but runs into a pair of boots. Punk drops Clay with a springboard clothesline. Punk follows up with a reverse neckbreaker then mocks Clay by dancing. Punk hits another reverse neckbreaker then locks on a cravate. Clay fights out and hits the T-Bone Suplex, followed by a series of clotheslines. Clay hits the running headbutt into the midsection of Punk. Clay goes for the big splash in the corner but Punk side steps and kicks Clay to the mat. Punk heads to the top and hits the Flying Elbow. Punk quickly transitions into the Anaconda Vice and after a brief struggle Clay taps.

Winner [via Submission]: CM Punk (3:42)

  • Match Thoughts: This turned out to actually be a decent match with Clay getting in a lot more offense than he normally does when facing someone higher up on the ladder. Punk using the Anaconda Vice was cool, and also necessary; although he got Kane up in the GTS I don't think he could have done the same with Clay.


-----

Post-Match: CM Punk grabs a mic. He says he came out here to do what he does every Monday night and The Rock will out later to do...whatever it is that he does. Punk says that the WWE Universe may find one more entertaining than the other, and while they're entitled to their opinion, they're not entitled to facts. Fact: CM Punk just made a giant tap out. Fact: Punk has been champion for 421 days. Fact: The Rock will sing and (maybe) entertain tonight but at Royal Rumble he will not leave the WWE Champion. Punk says he's the Best in the World and that's just not an opinion, that's a fact. Punk drops the mic and Heyman applauds him as "Cult of Personality" starts playing. Heyman holds up the WWE Championship as Punk jokingly challenges anyone in the audience to fight him (off-mic of course).

  • Thoughts: Personally I'd rather watch a guy wrestle than sit in the ring and sing, but that's just me. I can't wait to see these two square off in a couple of weeks.


-----

-Commercial Break-

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A video montage plays of the "Best Vehicular Moments in Raw History. The "Stone Cold" beer bath and Zamboni ride are obviously included as well as, erm, Alberto Del Rio running over Santa and Eric Bischoff being thrown in a garbage truck after being "fired". Subtle.

-----

Mick Foley is talking to his kids backstage on the phone. The Rock clears his throat to get Foley's attention. Foley sticks his hand out, and The Rock admonishes him because he wanted a hug not a handshake. They embrace and Rock congratulates him on making it into the Hall of Fame. Foley launches into the "Finally..." schtick in order to get The Rock to do his schtick. The Rock obliges and Foley joins in as a reunion of The Rock and Sock Connection. Their whole thing is cut short by Vickie Guerrero who yells at them for being too loud. Guerrero reminds them that it's her show and asks if she's made herself clear. She asks The Rock if he has anything to say. The Rock has nothing to say and Guerrero walks off. Foley is astonished, expecting Rock to lay a verbal smackdown on her. Rock says there's a time and place for that and hypes up his concert later.

-----

Sheamus comes out for the next match, an "Over the Top Rope Challenge". The match is next!

-----

-Commercial Break-

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Match #5: Sheamus Vs. 3MB (Heath Slater/Jinder Mahal/Drew McIntyre) in an Over the Top Rope Challenge

3MB naturally all go after Sheamus at once. They attempt to eliminate him in the corner but he easily fights his way out. Sheamus sends Slater into the corner, and McIntyre/Mahal attack from behind. They attempt a double team move but Sheamus drops them both. Sheamus hits the rolling senton on McIntyre then goes to throw him out, but the other two 3MB members stop him. Mahal chokes Sheamus with his knee as Slater celebrates. They go to eliminate Sheamus once again but he once again fights them off. 3MB circle Sheamus and beat him down to the mat. Mahal goes to the second turnbuckle as Slater/McIntyre lift Sheamus up. Sheamus throws them into Mahal, who falls to the floor. Sheamus then eliminates McIntyre with a clothesline. Sheamus goes for a Brogue Kick on Slater but Slater sidesteps. Sheamus ends up on the apron. He tries to eliminate Slater but Mahal/McIntyre attack Sheamus and knock him to the floor. HEATH SLATER WON A MATCH, GUYS.

Winner: Heath Slater (3:13)

  • Match Thoughts: I know it's not a strong win per se, but it was nice to see 3MB actually get the best of someone for once. It's a dumb gimmick but it's one I enjoy for dumb reasons


-----

Post-Match: 3MB celebrate the victory, but Sheamus breaks up the party. He drops Slater and McIntyre with Brogue Kicks.

  • Thoughts: What a sore loser. Sheamus is a child.


-----

Josh Matthews is backstage in the locker room with John Cena. Cena interrupts his question and goes on a rant about how it's the 20th anniversary of Raw. He namedrops a bunch of names from the past, mocking Braden Walker (Chris Harris) in the process. Cena finally focuses and says that the ring belongs to him and Dolph Ziggler will "GET THE F OUT" of it at the end of their match like WWF did when they were forced to drop the F.

  • Thoughts: I smiled at Cena's Braden Walker reference; it looks like someone is secretly a fan of Wrestlecrap!


-----

The Miz comes out to hype up his upcoming "MizTV" segment. He gives us a hint as to who will be on by "WOOO!"-ing and strutting. I think it's Butch Reed, I don't know about you guys. The segment is next!

-----

-Commercial Break-

-----

MizTV w/ "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair

The Miz is now in the ring. He namedrops some of the classic WWE talk shows of the past (Piper's Pit, Highlight Reel, etc.) and says that his is the best in 20 years. Miz then introduces his guest: "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair!

Out comes "The Nature Boy", styling and profiling like he usually does. Miz invites him to sit down as he enters the ring. Miz says Flair has done everything on Raw from wrestling Mr. Perfect to starting the supergroup Evolution. Miz asks Flair what his favorite must-see moment of the last 20 years was. Flair truthfully responds with his big retirement party the night after he lost to Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania. Flair says he wants to talk about the future and says things are getting better and better. Flair says he's looking forward to seeing Ryback take down The Shield. Miz starts in with his "Really?" schtick and Flair responds with strutting and saying "Really" back. Miz says that was awesome and tells him to strut again. They trade "WOO!"s in the center of the ring.

Miz then introduces a video montage of all the colorful characters and their catchphrases over the past 20 years. D-X, CM Punk, Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, and Val Venis are among those that are highlighted. Montage ends with Austin's "And that's the bottom liiiiiiine...".

We go back live and Miz says one catchphrase was missing. Miz goads Flair into saying his "limousine riding, jet flying, kiss stealing, wheelin' deelin' son of a gun!" catchphrase.

The music of U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro interrupts Flair mid-catchphrase. Cesaro says he doesn't need a catchphrase and doesn't have to rely on crutches when he has something to say. Cesaro says Miz and Flair embody America better than everyone else does. He calls Miz a "failed Reality TV star" and calls Flair out on his overspending habits to maintain an illusion. Cesaro gets in the ring and says as great as Flair was he has nothing to show for it...other than a bar tab he can't pay. Cesaro holds up the "4 Horseman" hand signal and says all that stands for nowadays are his "four ex-wives". Miz interrupts, getting into Cesaro's face and tossing his own chairs around. He says he'll pay Flair's tab tonight but give Cesaro a receipt right...now. Cesaro says he's going to be the bigger man and walk away. Flair grabs him as he tries to leave and chops him repeatedly. Flair whips Cesaro in Miz, who drops Cesaro with the Skull Crushing Finale. Flair struts around the fallen Cesaro and goes for the Figure Four. He stops and tells Miz to do it. Miz obliges, locking on the Figure Four on Cesaro. Flair takes off his sports jacket and elbowdrops it. Miz lets Cesaro goes and he rolls out. Miz and Flair take turns attacking their coats before Miz holds Flair's arm up in celebration.

  • Segment Thoughts: Flair has looked like he's been having the time of his life in his brief returns to the company over the past month. He was entertaining as hell and in a weird way it was also fun to see Miz get excited at being in the same ring as "The Nature Boy". I like seeing wrestlers revert into wrestling fans when face to face with legends. However let's be real...they had Flair put over Miz to try to stop the spiral that Miz's face turn is on. And given the chemistry they had together, I'd be all for Flair becoming Miz's manager.


-----

-Commercial Break-

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Raw Moment (1998): Mike Tyson and Steve Austin have an in-ring confrontation.

-----

Daniel Bryan makes his way out alongside his tag team partner Kane. We see a clip from their earlier segment with Dr. Shelby.

-----

Match #6: Daniel Bryan (w/ Kane) Vs. Cody Rhodes (w/ Damien Sandow)

Rhodes backs Bryan into the corner and attacks Bryan's taped up right knee. Rhodes drops Bryan with a front-facing suplex for 2. Rhodes continues on the injured knee, but Bryan catches Rhodes mid-taunt and locks him in the No Lock for the surprising submission victory!

Winner [via Submission]: Daniel Bryan (1:16)

  • Match Thoughts: Good thing I didn't sneeze or I would have missed this. It's the usual "50/50" booking from WWE to make it seem like the teams are evenly matched heading into their big showdown. I just wish the matches would last longer; I feel like Bryan and Rhodes keep getting screwed out of tearing the house down like they could.


-----

We see a clip from WWEActive on the WWEApp. Eve Torres rants about how she keeps getting badly treated in the WWE and says she doesn't need this anymore. Torres proceeds to quit and leaves in a huff.

  • Thoughts: Aw I was really hoping the rumors of her leaving the company were false. Goodbye Eve, thanks for being one of the few interesting Divas with an actual character!


-----

-Commercial Break-

-----

AJ Lee is backstage with Big E Langston. Lee says her favorite element of the past 20 years of Raw has been the romance. And what better way to showcase romance than with a wedding! We cut to a clip from Edge and Lita's wedding from 2005 which was promptly broken up by Kane coming out from under the ring.

We cut back to Lee, who introduces the clip of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon go to renew their wedding vows from 2002. It ends with Triple H giving the Pedigree to Vince McMahon. We go back live and Langston says those moments were great but the next one made him almost shed a tear. We then see a clip from the 2012 almost wedding between Lee and Daniel Bryan, which ended with Lee leaving Bryan at the altar to become the GM of Raw.

We cut back to Lee and Langston. Lee says that was the best moment of her life and it was taken away from her because of John Cena. She starts crying and in comes Dolph Ziggler to console her. Ziggler says Cena is going to feel the same pain he's caused inside and outside of the ring. Ziggler says tonight he proves to the world, and to Cena, that he's just too damn good. Ziggler says that when he wins tonight it's going to be the greatest show-stealing performance in the history of Raw. Ziggler concludes with "Show...OFF!" and the trio make their exit.

  • Thoughts: That was a fun little segment but I hate hate hate Ziggler's catchphrase.


-----

Jim Ross makes his way out to the announce table to call the steel cage match. That match is next!

-----

-Commercial Break-

-----

Main Event: John Cena Vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ AJ Lee & Big E Langston) in a "Steel Cage" Match

Ziggler immediately goes to exit through the door but Cena pulls him back in and slaps on a side headlock. Ziggler escapes the hold then tries to exit by climbing the cage. Cena pulls him off and whips him into the corner. Cena blocks an attempted kick and drops Ziggler with a suplex. Cena goes for the pin, only gets 2. Cena slaps on a reverse chinlock to wear Ziggler down. Ziggler whips Cena into the ropes but gets dropped with a shoulderblock. Ziggler leap frogs a running Cena and connects with a dropkick for 2. Ziggler lays into the fallen Cena with a series of rights. Ziggler sends Cena face-first into the cage and Cena bounces right off to the mat. Ziggler hits a splash in the corner then follows up with two reverse neckbreaker. Houston engages in the dueling Cena chants. Ziggler goes for a third neckbreaker but takes time to gloat, allowing Cena to escape. Cena attempts the Attitude Adjustment but Ziggler slides out and drops Cena. Ziggler goes for the pin but only gets 2. Ziggler floors Cena with a right hand then circles Cena. Ziggler goes for a dropkick but Cena catches him and slingshots him into the cage. Ziggler holds on and starts to climb out but Cena climbs it himself and pulls Ziggler off. Cena tries to climb out but Ziggler regroups and climbs up to stop him. Ziggler knocks Cena off after a series of rights, but Cena rebounds to crotch Ziggler on the top rope. Both men are in pain as we go to commercial.

-Commercial Break-

Ziggler and Cena both climb to the top and straddle the cage as they trade rights. Cena falls to the top rope and pulls Ziggler back into the ring with him. Ziggler hits a standing dropkick on the top rope, sending both him and Cena to the mat. Ziggler goes for the pin. 2-count. We see a clip from the commercial break action where Langston used his brute strength to keep Cena from exiting the cage. Back live Ziggler throws Cena into the cage once more and tries once again but Cena blocks it. Cena ducks a clothesline and hits the two shoulderblocks followed by the side slam. Cena goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle and connects. Cena gets Ziggler into the AA position, but Ziggler grabs the cage to stop it. Cena pulls him off but Ziggler hits a superkick out of nowhere for the 1...2...kick out.

Ziggler starts crawling for the door and gets halfway out, but Cena grabs his legs to prevent it. Langston grabs Ziggler's arms and a tug of war emerges between he and Cena. Cena ends up winning, pulling Ziggler back into the ring. Cena goes for the STF, but Ziggler reverses into a rear-naked choke. Cena gets to his feet, Ziggler on his back. Cena starts climbing the turnbuckles, appearing that he's going to try to exit the cage. Cena collapses down to the mat, breaking the choke and sending both men crashing. Ziggler starts making his way to the top of the cage, but Cena starts crawling out of the cage so Ziggler abandons the plan and drags Cena back in. Cena kicks Ziggler off. Cena gets up and goes to exit through the door, but Langston slams the cage door into his face. Ziggler goes for the cover. 1...2...KICK OUT. Come on.

Ziggler goes to exit through the door, while Cena quickly climbs the cage. Cena kicks the cage door into Ziggler and looks to be headed towards victory but Langston chases him back into the ring with a chair. Cena gets back in and Ziggler hits the Zig Zag for the 1...2...KICK OUT. Ziggler once again tries to climb the cage but Cena grabs his legs, whipping him off to the mat. Cena rests on the top turnbuckle. Ziggler jumps up and hits a spike DDT for the 1...2...KICK OUT. AJ Lee freaks out ringside, screaming and ripping off the cover of the announce table. Lee starts climbing the cage as a ref on the outside tries to tell her to stop. Lee climbs to the top, distracting the refs. Langston tries to hit Cena with the MitB briefcase, but Cena catches him. Ziggler then tries to hit with the briefcase, but hits Langston instead. Cena connects with the Attitude Adjustment on Ziggler soon after for the 1...2...3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: John Cena (16:25)

  • Match Thoughts: For years I've been reading about "SuperCena" and have just done my best to brush it off, but after this match I don't think I can anymore. Seriously Cena had pretty much the kitchen sink thrown at him and he still won. It was ridiculous to watch. The match itself was fun, any match with Ziggler is, but having Cena just shrug off repeated interference and some hardcore offense just to hit a fireman's carry slam and take the victory? I don't buy it. That was...I mean, come on. Sorry to be that guy who whines about "SuperCena" but after last week and this match, I can't just let it go anymore.


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-Commercial Break-

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The Rock's Concert

The Rock makes his way out to the entrance stage and gives both sides of the arena some attention before making his way to the ring. Cole and Lawler talk about how Rock loves wrestling and that's why he's back even though he's a multi-millionaire. The ring has a stool, a mic stand, a music stand, and a guitar. Rock says it's an honor to close the night out with the Houston crowd. Rock brings up his first appearance on Raw and pokes fun at what he looked like back in 1996/97. Rock says he used to look like an escaped mental patient. Rock says that picture proves that you can overcome anything if you put your mind to it. Rock sits down and says it's not about the past, it's about the present and the return of The Rock Concert.

The Rock's first song is done to the tune of "Heartbreak Hotel" and makes fun of Paul Heyman's weight/looks/penis size. Rimshot? Before Rock goes into the second song, he points out Dusty Hill from ZZTop who's in the audience and Rock sings a bar of "Sharp Dressed Man". Rock grabs the guitar and asks the ladies how they're doing tonight. They cheer as you can guess. Rock says his favorite curve on a woman is "her smile". He says his next song is dedicated to Vickie Guerrero and asks her to come out so he can sing it to her. Guerrero stands at the entrance stage, arms folded. His second song, sung to the tune of "You Look Wonderful Tonight", and makes fun of Guerrero's looks ("No biatch, you look horrible tonight"). The Houston crowd cheers and the announcers act like a laugh track. Rock continues the song, throwing in shots at how Guerrero wastes everyone's time and dresses like a cheap hooker. Does someone want to take over? I want to smash my face into a wall. Rock gets everyone to sing her off with the "biatch" line.

Rock asks Houston if they're having fun and they cheer. Rock grabs the mic and stands. He calls out CM Punk. Punk and Paul Heyman make their way out sans music. Punk holds the WWE Championship high in the air on the entrance stage. Rock lays down some facts of his own. FACT: no one has been able to stop Punk for 421 days. FACT: Paul Heyman has "twinkie tits", because he's fat and COMEDY. The Houston crowd starts chanting it and seriously anyone want to take over right now? FACT: CM Punk is not God. But as God as Rock's witness, he says that he will beat Punk for the championship in 13 days. Punk hands the belt to Heyman, who raises it in the air. Punk rushes to the ring and a fight breaks out in the ringside area. A bunch of refs come out to separate the two. Punk breaks free of the refs and jumps Rock once more. Refs separate them once again but Punk and Rock easily escape and brawl some more. Finally some distance is placed between the two, as Punk jaws at Rock and we fade out.

  • Segment Thoughts: Until CM Punk showed up this was an absolutely horrible segment. The songs were terrible, the jokes were terrible, the potshots at Heyman and Guerrero were needlessly cruel and juvenile, and there was a moment where I was just going to shut the show off and give up on the rest of this recap. Thankfully they got serious in the final couple of minutes and the brawl between Punk and Rock was visually cool, if a little lackluster (I don't think they actually connected with any of their shots). This match sells itself and it's going to have to if they keep letting Rock make up stupid nicknames and turn everything into a joke.


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*****


Overall Show Thoughts: For it being the 20th anniversary of pro wrestling's most important weekly TV show, there really wasn't much celebrating going on. There were a few video packages strewn about, but it felt like a "business as usual" episode which killed any chance of it being "special". There were some okay segments and one really good if frustrating match, but by the end I already forgot most of what happened. It's an anniversary show; how do you screw that up? At least I was entertained enough to make it the entire three hours and not make it feel like it took six. That's a plus, I guess. But if you missed this episode, you really have no reason to seek it out unless you're a completionist and have to watch everything.

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When not filling in for the usual WWE guy, Jon can be found handling 411Mania's live IMPACT Wrestling coverage every Thursday. You can also check out his other wrestling-related work over at The Pro Wrestling Nerd or follow him on Twitter.





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