Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2/4/13 RAW (Bruno Sammartino HOF)

CM Punk starts the show. He pulls Justin Roberts into the ring to be announced as the "People's Champion." Punk's also been doing this at house shows this past weekend. He defends Heyman's explanation at the end of last week's RAW and says Vince is conniving enough to hire a Heyman double. Punk says Vince deserved his F-5 from Lesnar and got hip surgery earlier Monday (when it really was last Friday). Booker T comes out even though he's supposed to be the Smackdown GM. Booker flubs his line about the managing supervisor crap. Vickie apparently allowed him out there. Punk's gonna face a past WM opponent: Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, or Chris Jericho. WWE Universe will decide Punk's opponent.

WWE hypes an "epic announcement" for the Hall of Fame class. And after reading about it before RAW, it truly is an epic one if you've followed wrestling for the last 3-4 decades.

Ryback vs. Antonio Cesaro: Oh, we got this match AGAIN. Wonder if Cesaro will run away again. Cesaro gets Swiss cheese imported from Switzerland. Meanwhile, Ryback just gets "GOLDBERG" chants. Ryback builds momentum and Cesaro indeed tries to walk away. Ryback won't have any of that this week. Cesaro gets some offense in, but Ryback hits the meathook and Shellshocked for three. *1/2

We see highlights of the Shield's impact in WWE so far.

All three potential Punk opponents tonight cut promos for the WWE app.

Jack Swagger vs. Santino Marella: Booker's on commentary. A short victory for Jack this week, just over a minute for the ankle lock submission win. He's basically come back with a renewed intensity and should be getting a big push again. N/A

Alberto Del Rio vs. Cody Rhodes: No Ricardo this time because he's selling the Big Show KO punch from Smackdown. Cody's back in singles action, and I really wish Rhodes Scholars could have gotten a tag title reign. Fearing Cody may get lost in the midcard shuffle once again. Loving the lucha style ADR's bringing as a face. Cody counters the ADR cross armbreaker and hits a Disaster Kick for two. Well, there went his chance. ADR finally locks that cross armbreaker in on the second try and Cody taps immediately. Match went about three minutes. *1/4

ADR with a promo saying how his heel antics were all wrong and Big Show is gonna pay. Big Show now shown on the titantron, presumably in a "secure location." Probably a nice hotel room. Show says he did ADR a favor by walking away (or driving away) on Smackdown. Show's gonna get another rematch for the title at the Elimination Chamber PPV. So both big titles this year at the PPV will be singles matches. As of right now, both title matches also appear to be regular matches. The World Title match could still get a stipulation added, though.

In what shouldn't be a surprise, Jericho wins the RAWactive poll to face Punk. Y2J gets 57% of the vote. Orton got 30% and Mysterio 13%.

Daniel Bryan wants to be in the RAW elimination chamber match and tells Kane to stay in the back, no matter what. That probably won't turn out well.

Daniel Bryan vs. Rey Mysterio: This match just sounds awesome on paper. Imagine if they got 20+ minutes. DB with an AWESOME move on Rey: looks like a tombstone but then DB tosses Rey up and into a gutbuster. Helps that Rey's a small man, doesn't it? Lawler with the joke about Rock and DB being in Super Bowl commercials -- DB being the goat that ate Doritos. Extremely competitive match. Rey with the comeback, hitting his usual moves. 619 to DB, but splash missed. DB gets the NO lock for the submission win. **

MARK HENRY! He's been out with an injury for months. Guess he's gonna be in the chamber match. He takes out DB and Mysterio. Sin Cara comes out and gets nuked with the World's Strongest Slam. Another slam for Mysterio. Vader Bomb to Mysterio. Glad to see Mark back as a heel, because I think he's more dominant that way.

Of course, DB is pissed Kane didn't come to the rescue. Kane reminds him DB said to stay backstage. Kane with the softy words which he of course doesn't mean. HELL NO! YES!

Big Show gets his dinner. Guy's gotta eat, you know. Show tells the room service guy to get another job. Pretty safe to say there will be another segment with ADR attacking.

Booker places Daniel Bryan into the Elimination Chamber match. Another match coming up with possible EC rewards.

Sheamus vs. Kane: Four-minute match with a bunch of counters on signature moves. Otherwise, it was nothing special to me. Main story here is that DB all but costs Kane the match. Sheamus is a lock for the EC match at the PPV. *

Miz TV segment with Paul Heyman. Heyman interrupts Miz's opening spiel and doesn't want Miz to tarnish Heyman's good reputation. Lovely. Heyman, to his credit, was telling Lesnar not to do anything to Vince last week. Miz still says Heyman's a liar. Vintage tension because no one's getting their questions answered. Vickie Guerrero interrupts and says she was the reason Lesnar's back. Vintage secret negotiations! Vickie and Heyman both had no idea Lesnar would take Vince out. Vickie with the fake sobbing. Miz thinks the act is all pathetic and can't wait to see Heyman and Vickie fired. HERE COMES THE PAIN! Miz not backing down. Miz shoves Lesnar. OOPS. Miz gets nuked. Furniture goes flying. Lesnar with an F-5 to Miz and it looked like Miz's head hit part of the couch. Heyman tells Lesnar that Miz is sorry. Frankly, I didn't like the segment until Lesnar came out. That part was...awesome.

Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett: Yet another match between these two guys, but the highlight packages are about the feud between Barrett and Bo Dallas. Signature moves hit. Barrett rolls out of the ring after the hangman's DDT to stop that momentum. Barrett hits his Bossman slam for two. Wasteland countered into an RKO and Orton gets the win. Assuming we'll see more of Bo Dallas on Smackdown. *3/4

CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho: Justin Roberts didn't announce Punk as the People's Champion, oops. Easily the best match of the night. Appropriate these two got a good 15 minutes. Crowd gets the split chants going. Another very competitive match. Jericho bulldog, Punk gets the knees up on the Lionsault, but Jericho ready and tries the Walls of Jericho. Punk blocks that and misses the running knee in the corner. Jericho with mounted punches in the corner and then a hurricanrana to Punk. Kickass stuff there. Several near falls and counters. Anaconda Vice locked in but Jericho to the ropes. Fans chanting "This is awesome!" GTS countered into Walls of Jericho. Punk sells well and gets to the ropes. Punk hits the GTS for three. ***1/2

Epic WWE HOF announcement revealed: BRUNO SAMMARTINO is getting inducted! Something many wrestling fans thought would NEVER happen because of Bruno's absolute hatred for Vince McMahon. Bruno in particular didn't like the raunchy Attitude Era. All the credit should go to HHH for making this induction possible, and it's fitting Bruno gets his moment at Madison Square Garden, a place he helped legit sell out about 200 times. If you didn't believe the phrase "never say never in WWE" before this announcement, perhaps now you may believe it. Fans cheered big time after Bruno's video aired.

It's no coincidence that this segment came right after Punk's match. Remember Punk's promo several weeks ago referencing the "pre-modern" era title reigns, especially Sammartino's?

Mick Foley, Bob Backlund, Trish Stratus, and now Bruno Sammartino. This may very well be one of the best HOF classes WWE has put together since they started announcing and taping the ceremonies for TV. I'm honestly not one for "celebrity" inductions unless it's from a very long time ago. But dammit, if Drew Carey can get in, book me for WM and I'll eventually get in as well.

Rock's WWE Title win is making headlines everywhere. Exactly what WWE wanted.

Big Show's still in the hotel room eating food. The guy finally comes to deliver the WWE contract for the title match. Show signs the contract. As expected, ADR's waiting outside the room. Show gets the upper hand quickly, but ADR unleashes the fire extinguisher and KOs Show with it. Hotel guests pop out from the elevator. Show's just had some bad Mexican food. No biggie.

Brad Maddox in the ring. He says he's an innocent victim and is glad Vince exposed the truth. Maddox admits he gave Vince the footage and decides he's calling out the Shield instead. Shield members come from the crowd as usual. Ambrose calls Maddox a rat. Shield circles the ring and nukes Maddox quickly.

Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus come down through the crowd, much like the Shield does. Shield tries to retreat but the WWE locker room prevents the escape. Shield brawls with Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback. Shield ends up retreating back through the crowd.

A very good show. Again, no divas segment. Punk/Jericho was great stuff, but I'll probably remember this more for the HOF announcement.

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