– Tonight’s WWE RAW opens with a hype video for the Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman fight. The video shifts focus to John Cena, CM Punk and The Rock’s WWE Title.
– We’re live from Dallas, Texas as Vince McMahon makes his way out to a big pop. Vince is walking but using crutches to make it out. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are on commentary as Vince heads to the ring.
Vince says everyone knows he likes to do things in a big way. He says we’re getting closer to WrestleMania so we need something big each week. Vince is ready to fight and calls out Paul Heyman, referring to him as an “ultimate fighter.” Heyman comes out in some gear and cuts a promo on his way to the ring.
Heyman says he’s been waiting for this fight. Heyman says Vince has portrayed him as one of the biggest wimps. Heyman knocks the Dallas Cowboys and gets some heat. Heyman says he’s not going to take it easy on Vince. Heyman says he has watched Vince take out every other promoter, including him, and has watched him beat the US Government but tonight, Heyman is coming for all Vince has got. Heyman slowly approaches Vince and has a question for him. Heyman out of nowhere tackles Vince on his crutches. Heyman grabs a crutch and smacks Vince with it in his injured hip when he stands up. Vince gets up with the other crutch and catches a swing from Heyman. Vince hits Heyman with the crutch twice and knocks him down. Brock Lesnar’s music hits and out he comes.
Lesnar hits the ring and readies for an attack on Vince. Triple H’s music hits and out he comes to the stage, startling Lesnar. The Game approaches the ring as Lesnar readies for a fight. Lesnar exits the ring and meets Triple h on the floor. They go at it and get tangled up. The brawl goes around ringside as the fans pop. HHH tosses Lesnar into the steel post. Lesnar is busted open and bleeding as Triple H sends him into the post again. Triple H charges and sends Lesnar over the barrier and into the timekeeper’s area with a clothesline. HHH approaches with a crutch but Lesnar attacks. Lesnar with knees to the face. Lesnar slams HHH on top of the announce table. Lesnar is really busted open and bleeding now. It looked like he hit the ring post very hard. Lesnar brings HHH back in the ring and swings a chair but HHH nails a spinebuster. HHH with a massive chairshot to the back. Lesnar retreats as HHH’s music hits. Lesnar is checking the wound on his head. Very intense segment there.
– Still to come tonight, The Rock vs. CM Punk. Also, The Miz will have MizTV with Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger. We see Ryback heading to the ring. We go to commercial.
– Back from the commercial and we see footage of the Triple H and Brock Lesnar brawl that just happened. Cole tells fans to Tout their thoughts on what happened.
Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee and Big E Langston are waiting in the ring as Ryback makes his way out.
Ziggler ducks the lock up and shows off some. The go to lock up again and Ziggler goes behind. Ryback counters and slams Ziggler on his face. Ryback slams Ziggler again and stands over him. Another big slam from Ryback. Ziggler fights back and hits a dropkick. 2 count for Ziggler. Ziggler with more kicks and punches. Ryback fights out and drops Ziggler with a shoulder. Ryback catches Ziggler in mid-air and slams him. Ryback takes the fight to the corner now.
Ziggler tries to fight back but Ryback catches him again, slams him in the corner and then on the mat. Ziggler rolls to the floor as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Ryback has Ziggler in a long standing suplex. Ryback finally slams Ziggler after about a minute of holding him up. Ziggler rolls back to the floor. Ryback goes after him and brings it back in the ring. Ziggler charges with a kick but Ryback throws him back. Big E Langston runs over Ryback on the floor. Langston leans against the fan barrier and shows off some. Ziggler brings Ryback in the ring and covers for a 1 count. Ziggler with a dropkick to the back of the head for another pin attempt. Ziggler counters and nails a big DDT. More back and forth. Ziggler applies the sleeper hold. Ryback breaks it with a jawbreaker. Ryback comes back and slams Ziggler on his face. Another big slam. AJ distracts the referee. Here comes Big E but Ryback knocks him off the apron. Ryback with two more big slams on an attacking Ziggler. Ryback hits Shellshocked for the win.
– We get the trailer for WWE Studios’ The Call.
– We go to the ring and out comes CM Punk by himself. Back to commercial.
Back from the break and CM Punk is in the ring. He says people will witness history tonight. Punk says tonight is not about John Cena or The Rock. Punk says tonight isn’t even about WrestleMania. Tonight isn’t even about the people. It’s not about the WWE Title either. Tonight is about the future, CM Punk. Punk goes no bragging and says he has earned the right to go to WrestleMania. Punk says he is an icon among superstars. Punk says he is immortal, the greatest of all time. A legend, an icon, the best, the greatest. Punk says he is God and drops the mic. The crowd boos him. Punk yells that he’s God one more time and exits the ring as his music hits.
– We get the announcement and video for Donald Trump’s 2013 Hall of Fame induction.
– Mark Henry and The Great Khali are shown walking to the ring. Back to commercial.
Mark Henry vs. The Great Khali
Back from the break and both men are in the ring. They start going at it. Henry runs into a big boot. Khali unloads with chops in the corner. Khali with more chops to the chest. Khali drops Henry with a big overhead chop. Henry rolls to the floor and Khali follows. Henry makes a comeback and rolls Khali back in the ring. Henry with a splash in the corner. Henry nails the World’s Strongest Slam for the win.
Winner: Mark Henry
– We see a clip of The Miz in The Marine 3.
– Out comes The Miz for another episode of MizTV as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and we get a vignette for Fandango. Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter are waiting in the ring with The Miz as World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio comes out with Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio looks upset. Miz says we’re cutting right to the chase tonight. He introduces everyone. Pops for Ricardo and Del Rio. Miz says Swagger and Zeb have been engulfed in controversy this past week. Zeb says he was looking forward to talking to Glenn Beck but he chickened out. Zeb addresses Del Rio. Zeb says we have a problem in this country – 11 million undocumented workers. Zeb calls them illegals. Zeb brings up amnesty for those 11 million illegals and says real Americans already have a tough time finding work. Zeb says those people sneak across our border to take our jobs and medical services. Zeb says Del Rio’s people drain us. Miz wants to hear what Del Rio has to say. Miz asks Del Rio how hard it is to get citizenship in Mexico. Zeb says it takes 10 years to be a citizen of Mexico because of corruption. Zeb brings up the fact that foreigners can’t own property in Mexico. Zeb asks what is wrong with Del Rio and his people. Del Rio says not to disrespect his people. Zeb tells Del Rio to listen when he talks.
Zeb says this isn’t personal. He says Del Rio encourages his people to sneak across our border in pursuit of the dream. Zeb says the ones that fail conveniently forget to leave our country. Zeb says he won’t stand around and let it happen. Zeb says those people are criminals. Del Rio and Zeb argue. Del Rio says his time to talk is over and he needs to shut up. Del Rio says America is the greatest country on Earth because it belongs to everyone. Del Rio says he is just like everyone else. Del Rio says Zeb and Swagger can’t come and hide behind the constitution. Del Rio says he doesn’t like bullies. He says if they have a problem with him and have the balls to do it, then make them leave now. Del Rio drops the mic and takes off his coat. Swagger takes the mic and says we will see Del Rio at WrestleMania. Swagger yells “we the people” and slams the mic down. Swagger and Zeb leave the ring as Del Rio looks on.
– Still to come, CM Punk vs. John Cena. We see Randy Orton walking to the ring. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see that during the commercial, Zeb colter accused The Miz of conducting a bias interview. Miz was laid out by Jack Swagger.
Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro
WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro is waiting in the ring as Randy Orton comes out. Back and forth to start the match. Orton with a nice throw and a 2 count. More back and forth. The end comes when Cesaro comes off the top and catches a RKO for the win.
Winner: Randy Orton
– Daniel Bryan and Kane are backstage talking about their match with Titus O’Neil and Darren Young tonight. Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox come up and already have tension. Bryan will be blindfolded while Kane will have one hand behind his back.
– Back from commercial and Sheamus is out wearing a suit. He talks about the Oscars and has a bone to pick with Hollywood. He shows footage of Dead Man Down. Sheamus shows another clip that has Barrett in the background. Sheamus mocks Barrett’s small role in the movie. Out comes the WWE Intercontinental Champion with a mic.
Barrett makes his way to the ring and they have words. Sheamus ducks a clothesline and Barrett avoids a Brogue Kick.
– Still to come, Punk vs. Cena. Also, The Shield will deliver a message. Back to commercial.
Cody Rhodes vs. R-Truth
Cody Rhodes is in the ring and Damien Sandow is on commentary as R-Truth makes his way out for the next match. We see footage from last week where R-Truth returned and saved Kofi Kingston from Sandow. Truth with some dancing and offense early on. Cody turns it around in the corner and drops Truth. Cody wails away and slams Truth on his face.
Cody with a submission now. Truth ends up getting the win and the best of Sandow also.
– We get another “We The People” video from Swagger and Colter. The Miz vs. Swagger is announced for tonight. Back to commercial.
Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Darren Young and Titus O’Neil
Back from the break and here we go. Bryan is blindfolded and Kane has one hand behind his back. Young works fine in the match so apparently he’s not injured. Bryan finally gets a tag to Kane and he unloads with one arm. Kane works over Young with one arm and goes for a chokeslam. Kane kicks off Titus and fights off Young. Kane chokeslams Young for the non-title win.
Winners: Kane and Daniel Bryan
– Still to come, a message from The Shield. Back to commercial.
– Back from the break and we see what happened with Triple H and Brock Lesnar earlier.
– Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns make their way through the crowd and down to the ring.
Ambrose says things have to get worse before they get better. He says there will be no peace in WWE. He says The Shield makes a lot of people in the back nervous. Ambrose says nothing will stop them from doing the job they came to do. Reigns speaks next and says they will win every single team. Rollins talks about how they’ve dropped Chris Jericho, John Cena, Ryback, Sheamus. He asks if anyone else wants to step up and out comes Sheamus. Sheamus tells them to come fight him on the stage. Reigns and Ambrose start up the ramp. Randy Orton comes in the ring and drops Rollins with a RKO. Orton leaves back through the crowd. Ambrose and Reigns run back to the ring as Sheamus looks on. Orton watches The Shield from the crowd while fans chant his name.
– Still to come, Cena vs. Punk in the main event. Swagger vs. Miz is after the next commercial.
The Miz vs. Jack Swagger
Back from the break and Jack Swagger is out with Zeb Colter. Out next comes The Miz. Miz with offense early on. Swagger gets dumped over the top and out to the floor. Swagger tries to come in but Miz kicks him back to the floor. Miz comes off the apron but Swagger slams him hard on the floor. We see Del Rio and Ricardo watching backstage. Swagger brings it back in the ring and works Miz over.
Swagger keeps control and works on the leg of The Miz. Swagger hits the Swagger Bomb for another 2 count. Miz makes a comeback and hits the neckbreaker. Swagger catches Miz and dumps him on his head for another pin attempt. Miz makes another comeback and hits the clothesline in the corner. Miz goes to the top with an ax handle shot for a 2 count. Miz goes for a kick to the face but Swagger catches him. Miz counters and rolls Swagger up for 2. Swagger blocks the DDT and shoves Miz back, getting his leg tangled up in the ropes. Swagger goes after the leg and takes Miz back down. Swagger applies the Patriot Act for the win.
Winner: Jack Swagger
– Cole and Lawler are snacking on some food from Sonic at ringside.
– We see footage of The Rock unveiling the new WWE Title last week and then CM Punk attacking John Cena with the old title.
– We get a Tout video from Triple H and see what happened earlier with Brock Lesnar. We see some fan Tout videos also discussing the brawl.
– Josh Mathews is backstage with John Cena. Cena cuts a promo on his match with C M Punk tonight. He says you either step up or step aside tonight. Cena says he asked for this match to prove that John Cena is back. Cena says he hopes his critics are hungry. He doesn’t care what The Rock is cookin’ but he’s serving humble pie. Cena says our time is now.
– Cole leads us into a preview for Chris Jericho’s Robot Combat League on SyFy. We get a preview.
– Back from the break and we see a clip of The Undertaker’s entrance from Saturday night’s live event in Waco. Lawler talks about the speculation that comes this time of the year about Taker returning for WrestleMania.
#1 Contender’s Match: CM Punk vs. John Cena
We go to the ring and out first comes CM Punk. The winner of this one will face WWE Champion The Rock at WrestleMania 29. Out next comes John Cena.
They do formal ring introductions before the bell. They lock up and the crowd is all into it. They trade holds with back and forth to start the match. They lock up and Cena takes Punk down with a headlock. More back and forth. Cena sends Punk to the floor with a hip toss. Punk looks on from the floor as we go to commercial.
Back from the break and Cena unloads on Punk. Cena with a fisherman’s suplex. Punk side steps and drops Cena for a 2 count. Punk mounts Cena with elbows. Neckbreaker and another 2 count by Punk. Punk with a head-scissors now. Cena powers to this feet with Punk’s legs around him. Down goes Punk. Punk runs into a boot and catches a running bulldog. Cena with a 2 count. Cena grounds Punk to the mat with a facelock. Cena with a headlock takedown now. They run the ropes and Punk nails a heel kick for 2. Punk with a headlock now.
Cena fights up and out of the hold. Punk kicks him in the chest but gets taken down by a flying shoulder. Punk ducks the next and Punk ends up out on the floor. Punk with a suicide dive, taking out Cena on the floor. We go back to commercial.
Back from the break and Punk is in control after blocking an Attitude Adjustment during the commercial. Cena comes back with the flying shoulders. Punk counters and locks in the Anaconda Vice. Cena turns it into a 2 count. Punk with a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Punk calls for GTS but Cena goes for the STF. Punk scrambles to the ropes and knocks Cena back. Punk springboards in with a clothesline for 2. Punk springboards in again but Cena catches him in the STF. Punk fights out and counters with an Anaconda Vice. Cena breaks it and applies the STF again.
Punk turns that into a 2 count and finally they’re separated for a minute. They get up and trade lots of big shots in the middle of the ring. Cena ducks a kick and slams Punk. Cena calls for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Punk kicks him in the face. Punk goes for GTS but Cena slides out. Punk counters that with another pin attempt. Punk nails a big knee to the face in the corner. Cena blocks the bulldog and slams Punk on his head. Cena nails the Five Knuckle Shuffle and goes for the AA. Punk slides out. Cena blocks GTS and nails a powerbomb for a close 2 count.
Cena climbs to the top but can barely make it. Punk cuts him off and nails a chop and right hand. Punk climbs up for a superplex. Cena counters and hits headbutts, sending Punk back to the ring. Cena climbs up and hits the big leg drop for a 2 count. Punk with a big kick to the head. Punk with another high knee in the corner. Cena grabs him and nails the AA out of nowhere for a 2 count. Cena ends up on the floor and the referee counts. Cena makes it in at the 9 count. Punk goes for GTS again and nails it but Cena kicks out at 2. Punk goes for another GTS but Cena catches his leg and applies the STF. Punk makes it to the ropes to break the hold. Punk goes for the knee and hits a solid piledriver. Cena still kicks out at 2. Punk covers again for 2. And again.
Punk goes to the top but misses the big elbow drop as Cena rolls out of the way. Cena botches a hurricanrana and nails the Attitude Adjustment for the win and the WWE Title shot at WrestleMania 29.
Winner and New #1 Contender: John Cena
– After the match, Cena celebrates as we go to replays. We get a graphic for Cena vs. Rock II at WrestleMania 29. Cena heads up the ramp and poses as RAW goes off the air.
Thanks to our affiliates over at http://wrestlechat.net/for the review. Joe will no longer be reviewing RAW, his Raw Opinion column lasted well over a year and is one of the longest running columns in our history. Thanks to Joe for his huge effort in his reviews. Joe will continue to write for Wrestling Rambles soon. Thanks for reading and of course, let me know your opinion!