This past week’s RAW started with the opening shot panning across the crowd. Only this week the cameraman decided to smash in to one of the fans on the way there. The fans late reaction of pain was almost Perez Hilton like! Hilarious! Another small blunder which made me giggle was when Punk lifted the title above his head; the strap smacked him in the face. It’s only a couple of small things but it’s nice to see the occasional gaff.
The show started with Punk in the ring calling out Mr. Laurinaitis. Instead, John Cena entered the arena and made quite a heelish comment when he called CM Punk for moaning. This was one of many moments where Cena showed more signs of “hate” on this show.
They were quickly introduced to their tag team opponents in Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. Both appeared on the ramp and took the mic in turn. Ziggler made a good point about how Punk cannot beat him recently and that he should forget about Laurinaitis. Whilst on the other hand, Swagger just said “Your dead meat!” Now correct me if I’m wrong but when you get pummelled the previous week and want revenge you don’t just say something like that. Cena’s off mic comment was “Is that all you’ve got?” and I tend to agree with him. A missed opportunity for Swagger to shoot off on Cena and gain some of the credibility he lost last week.
Mr. Laurinaitis came back down to ringside and when the match was taking place they took a classic shot of him just sitting on his mobile phone. I love that the character just blatantly ignores what’s going on.
Cena projected a fantastic demeanour during this match (something he will later go on to do too much) It really put across the fact that he is an emotionally torn character, finally a flaw!
One small note I wanted to reference was the fact that both Punk and Ziggler held the tag rope whilst standing on the apron, only a small touch but a nice one none-the-less.
We all know the layout for a tag team match involving babyfaces. There are two good guys and one is usually a bigger star. This person will be on the apron for most of the match whilst their partner who is less favoured with the crowd is getting beat up. Eventually they make the hot tag and the big babyface comes in to clear house and set up the finish. 99.9% of the time, John Cena is this man. On this occasion he was not. CM Punk was the man waiting for the hot tag. It was refreshing to see!
Jericho then came out and pandered to the crowd once more. He took the camera off the cameraman and started filming the crowd again. If there ever is one time I’m going to like Michael Cole it was this moment. He waved and screamed “Hi Mom!” in the foreground like a 12 year old boy! One sign in the crowd which was highlighted stated “Y2 Say Something!” which also made me chuckle. Jericho then finally spoke and made reference to the videos upon his return by stating that this Sunday will be the end of the world as we know it. Something that further makes me believe Jericho will win this Sunday.
Just as I was thinking that WWE haven’t used their traditional “statistics” video for the Royal Rumble this year, they decided to use it tonight. It was a great package which showed some classic moments. It also surprisingly showed Brock Lesnar and also Steve Austin holding the title high with blood down his face which I thought was slightly odd. Mainly because they could have used so many different shots of him in the past with the title without the blood?
Zack had a moment with Mick Foley, Eve and John Cena. Again, Ryder and Eve’s acting was below par and didn’t project the same jobs done by Foley and Cena.
Ryder then faced Kane in a falls count anywhere match. It was a solid beat down from Kane and Ryder sold the injury well during the match. One moment saw Kane throw Ryder in to the steel steps and then go for a pin cover. Ryder kicked out and Kane smiled in a very demonic way. Again, it is only a small thing but it added to the punishment element of the match.
Ryder was then choke slammed through the stage. It was a nice spot but it’s something we’ve seen before. Cena then came out and looked like he was going to puke. I half expected the camera to pan down in to the hole where Ryder lay and he was going to be covered in blood like RVD was with Abyss in TNA (Yes I know, I’ve watched it occasionally, shocking I know) Cena’s reaction was a little over the top in my book but not when you consider what they announced when they gave us Ryders injury update later in the show. When King said that we have had some news regarding Ryder’s health and unfortunately it’s the worse you could hear I honestly thought he was going to say that Zack was dead! A broken back was the verdict and to be honest I’m surprised they are going that far with this. Do they want Ryder off TV for a long period of time? Nobody will believe the story of a broken back if he comes back in 3 weeks. I guess we’ll have to see.
As Ryder was put in to the ambulance Eve screwed up her lines and then said it was Cena’s fault. Josh Mathews decided it was a good time to poke his nose in and Cena slapped his microphone away and all is well and good. The one thing I have issue with here is the fact that Cena then decides to get angry, not just with himself but he full on has a hulk moment! He focuses on the camera and pops more veins that the Incredible Hulk! I’m sure someone can Photoshop this and turn him green because it just seemed a little stupid. He used the blank stare well earlier in the night and then seemed to go over the mark with this. It brought me back in to reality where I thought that it was just too false to be standing in a parking lot and be staring in to a camera from 3 inches making sure everyone knows your angry! He could have just took his anger out on a car or tipped some bins over but he just seemed to again go over the top.
Sheamus and Mahal had a match which was beautifully commentated by Wade Barrett. This man could become a commentator when it’s time to hang up his boots. His basic comments on Orton were pure heel. "I'll through him down 5 sets of stairs and he'll never walk again." Was great and when he was walking up the ramp off microphone he also said to Sheamus "I'll throw you down some stairs too! How'd you like that?" These are simple lines but something a heel would say.
Truth had a nutter spot backstage with Miz where he demanded to be called “Flysher!" Typical craziness with Truth but I liked it.
Regal decided to come out ringside and call Brodus Clay “Septic Tripe” which had me in stitches. Brodus couldn’t get his pants off in time for his pyro this week and I love how Regal called him out on it. I also like how Brodus tried to get Charles Robinson to dance after the match was over.
When R Truth came out for the main event he looked like he was wearing the wrong sized shirt. It looked three times bigger than he needed!
During the match with Miz, Truth delivered a suplex wear he pulled on Miz’s tights. Unfortunately this revealed a horrendous tan line which does not need to be ever seen on television again thank you!
Miz lost the match and is now the #1 entrant in to the Royal Rumble. I fully expect Miz to be the guy who lasts for a good 40 minutes. They usually have a spot for someone to do well but never win and I think this year Miz has that spot.
Then we got the ending where Punk finally got to give Laurinaitis a GTS. Thankfully the focus was brought back to Ziggler when he attacked Punk from behind. This main event should be a classic match which I think will take a lot of people by surprise this Sunday.
Overall I thought WWE did a great job of continuing the momentum from last week’s show. They covered all the bases and advertised what was happening this Sunday. I’m looking forward to this Sundays show and the ever closer road to WrestleMania!
Although I mock TNA from time-to-time I will be attending the TNA iMPACT Tour this Friday in Manchester, England so if you are in town for the show then give me a heads up!