Raw: It's The Rock, Brock, the wheel and The Shield in Vegas
NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
|Brock Lesnar F5's Mr. McMahon to conclude Raw from Las Vegas. Photo by Andrea Kellaway
Tonight, live from Las Vegas, it's Raw Roulette, where every superstar's fate is determined by the spin of the wheel. It’s actually more like a Big Six wheel than a roulette wheel, but let’s not get caught up in semantics as we head out to Sin City on USA.
Vickie Guerrero explains that there are actually three wheels: the wheel of Superstars, the wheel of stipulations and Vickie's Vegas challenge wheel. The first match will see Antonio Cesaro battle Randy Orton, and the wheel of stipulations lands on a special guest referee.
A visibly angry CM Punk quickly makes his way to the ring, shoving a worker and giving us some revisionist history. He claims he didn't lose last night to The Rock and his title reign is still going. Punk wants to know while the people are behind a champion, someone who can't win the title without someone else's help. Will he take it to the next level? Oh yeah, as he suggests that he got screwed worse than Bret Hart and that the 2013 Royal Rumble will forever be known as the Phoenix Screwjob. To address the issues at hand, Vince McMahon comes out to announce that someone will deliver a videotape that will make it clear that Punk and Paul Heyman knew that The Shield would get involved in Punk's match. On top of that, Vince will be having a performance review for Heyman that may lead to the termination of his contract. It's safe to say, McMahon is not a “Heyman guy.”
Match 1 – Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro with Special Guest Referee The Miz
Nothing like going to a commercial to start a match, eh? It's all Orton at this point, as he earns several near falls in the ring and drops Cesaro's back on the restraining wall on the outside. He catapults Cesaro's neck into the bottom rope for another two count before eating a series of uppercuts, but Orton rallies to do more damage on the floor. Apparently we need more commercials after that. Cesaro launches into an impressive string of offense that ends with an uppercut off the turnbuckle, but he gets bogged down in arguing the ensuing two count with The Miz. Orton is slowed with a thumb to the eye, but he takes advantage of more bickering between Cesaro and the guest referee to nail the RKO from behind. That ends the match, much to the disgust of JBL.
Ryback doesn't look too enthusiastic to see that Vickie's Vegas challenge wheel land on “Make Me Laugh.” Does the monster have a funny side? We'll find out after the break.
Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf are in the front row tonight. Matt Striker explains the rules for the Make Me Laugh Challenge, which is actually pretty simple. The Prime Time Players and Ryback will both tell jokes, and whoever makes Striker laugh the most wins. The PTPers don't do too well, but Ryback actually has a funny: “What has four eyes, 20 fingers, and is about to be unconscious?” Yeah, apparently the punchline is Titus O'Neil and Darren Young. The latter watches the former get Shell Shocked, something Striker finds funny enough to declare him the winner. In return, Striker also gets Shell Shocked.
Vickie spins the wheel of stipulations again, and it lands on Player's Choice. I thought this was going to have something to do with Teddy Long, but it only means that Wade Barrett gets to pick his own opponent. Barrett wants a piece of Bo Dallas, the NXT wrestler who eliminated Barrett from the Royal Rumble match.
Match 2 – Wade Barrett vs. Bo Dallas
Bo Dallas celebrates his win.
Barrett looks a little surprised at Dallas' speed, but he's able to slow him with a kick to the midsection and gradually imposes his will. Some stomps set up Barrett to line up for the Bull Hammer, but Dallas catches him coming in with a power slam, and it's enough to wrap up an upset victory.
Cody Rhodes gets to spin the wheel of superstars, and it lands on John Cena. That's why they call it gambling! And there's a Cena box of Fruity Pebbles now, apparently.
Match 3 – Cody Rhodes vs. John Cena
Michael Cole reminds us that Rhodes had a very good Rumble, eliminating multiple competitors. Of course Cena had an even better night, and one of the guys he threw out en route to his victory was Rhodes. Cody announces that he's walking out on the match, but Cena will have none of it, dragging him back in for a Five Knuckle Shuffle and an Attitude Adjustment. Rhodes isn't getting up from that. With his microphone time, Cena talks about issuing his WrestleMania challenge. A definite “Cena sucks” chant starts up as he mentions how both Punk and The Rock have proven difficult for him to beat. Despite that, Cena says he's going to challenge the WWE Champion (#Shocking #NotReally). That seems not to sit well with The Shield, and Cena stands his ground while Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns make their way through the crowd. The numbers quickly turn against Cena, but Sheamus is out to lend a hand. Ryback follows after Sheamus takes a beating, but even he's not too effective when it's three-on-one. Cena gives it another go, but there's just no stopping The Shield when you can't get them individually. Cena receives a triple power bomb, and The Shield stomps off.
We go to the back to see another spin of the wheel of stipulations, and Tensai is pretty upset to see it land on a Lingerie Pillow Fight. Vickie says she can't afford to have him and Brodus Clay in that kind of match with Vince handing out performance reviews, so she has the Funkosaurus spin the Vickie Vegas challenge wheel instead. He's pleased to see it land on a Dance Off and volunteers to tell Tensai about the change.
After some commercials, Tensai just wants to get it over with, and he takes off his robe to reveal... well, let's just say Brodus didn't tell him about the change. Yikes. Once Jerry Lawler and Clay promise that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, Tensai busts out some stiff variations on the “Gangnam Style” dance, the Running Man, the Shovel, and more. All Ron Simmons can say backstage is one word: “Damn!”
The wheel of stipulations is spun for Alberto Del Rio, who ends up in a Body Slam Challenge with the Big Show. Surprisingly, Del Rio doesn't seem that worried, telling Vickie with a wink that in Vegas, anything can happen.
Match 4 – Alberto Del Rio vs. The Big Show – Body Slam Challenge
Maybe Tensai isn't the only one who wasn't informed of the finer points of his appearance tonight. Show decides he isn't going to mess around with any body slams, going right for Del Rio and flooring him with his KO punch. He produces a roll of duct tape and tapes Del Rio's arm to the middle rope, leaving the World Heavyweight Champion helpless as Show puts a beating on Ricardo Rodriguez. The ring announcer takes a body slam before Del Rio takes some stomps and kicks. Big Show adds another layer of tape, then turns back to Rodriguez for a pair of big right hands. Just for good measure, the enraged giant lays into Del Rio with more kicks to the back and another KO punch.
Match 5 – Tamina vs. Kaitlyn – Las Vegas Showgirls Lumberjills Match
To start off Raw, CM Punk is not happy that he lost to The Rock at the Royal Rumble.
I'm thinking those showgirls aren't going to be roughing up either Diva if they end up outside, but I've been wrong before. Oh wait, those are just Divas in showgirl costumes. Never mind. All of the “showgirls” end up in the ring, and the match turns into total chaos. Two referees have to break up the scrum, and I guess the match is over. Darn.
Finally (in terms of this show, not a meta sense), The Rock makes his appearance with his newly won WWE Championship belt. He thanks the fans, promising that the “crap days” of the champ running down the fans are over. Any plans for a celebration are cut short when Punk arrives, turning his ire immediately on the fans. He tries drawing a distinction between what he did to make the title special and the way The Rock had it handed to him like he has everything else in his life. In return, The Rock asks if he's going to stand up there like a “punk ass bitch” or confront him in the ring. Punk declines, saying he does thing on his schedule and offering to give him a rematch in three weeks (at Elimination Chamber, conveniently). The Rock retorts by suggesting that all Punk will get is the ass kicking of a lifetime.
Match 5 – Damien Sandow vs. Sheamus – Tables Match
Sandow didn't look too pleased when this stipulation came up on the wheel, but Sheamus is selling his bruises from his earlier run-in with The Shield. It doesn't seem to matter at first, but Sandow is able to target the shoulder that The Shield threw into the ring post. The Intellectual Savior uses the legs of a table to inflict more punishment before setting the table up in one corner. Sheamus picks just the right moment to rally, though, at least until a Russian leg sweep and the Elbow of Disdain put him back down. Unfortunately for Sandow, he spends too much time messing with the tables, and Sheamus is able to hoist him up and give him the White Noise through one of them to get a hard fought victory.
The next segment is called WWE Karaoke, and it's exactly what it sounds like. The Great Khali starts destroying Shawn Michaels' famous entrance theme, but he's quickly cut off by 3MB. Heath Slater orders Drew McIntyre to show Khali and Zack Ryder how they are the rock stars of the WWE, but all that earns them is a beatdown that ends with a Tadpole Splash from Hornswoggle.
Still rocking his light up jacket, Chris Jericho returns to Raw for the first time in six months. He's psyched about the reaction he got from the fans, but he might not feel the same about seeing Dolph Ziggler come out (flanked by AJ Lee and Big E Langston, as usual). The Show Off wants to know why Jericho is back since he beat Y2J to end his WWE career last summer. Langston takes offense at Jericho making fun of AJ, which earns him some cracks of his own. Vickie Guerrero appears on the big screen to report that she signed Jericho to a contract, and she's spinning the wheel of stipulations to put them in a match. It lands on “Strange Bedfellows,” meaning they will be teaming up to take on Team Hell No. Hey, let's do it right now.
Match 6 – Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler vs. Team Hell No
While no one expects Jericho and Ziggler to work together well, it's actually Daniel Bryan and Kane who get into it after Y2J shoves them into each other. Always thinking one step ahead, Jericho slaps Kane from behind before tagging in Ziggler against his will. As he protests, Kane scoops him up for a choke slam that ends it. Crafty fellow, that Jericho.
And the third member of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013 is... Trish Stratus. Another no brainer inductee in my opinion, as she's one of the greatest female performers in the promotion's history.
McMahon asks for Heyman to come out and face the music, revealing that there's no chance of Punk crashing the party since he was escorted out of the building a few minutes ago. Some boos join some “EC-dub” chants as Paul climbs in the ring. McMahon accepts Heyman's offer of a handshake but makes sure to use some hand sanitizer right after he does. Vince asks point blank whether Heyman has ever had The Shield or Brad Maddox working for him. He also asks if Heyman has ever lied, which of course he has. But he's not lying now. Ah, but the videotape definitely doesn't lie, as it captures a meeting Heyman has with Maddox and The Shield. Surprise, surprise, it turns out all four men were being paid by Heyman and Punk, and the fans let Paul have it with a “You got busted!” chant. But Heyman sticks to his guns, claiming it was an impersonator in the video. McMahon asks the fans if Heyman is lying and if he deserves to be fired. There are resounding “Yes” chants to both, but just as Vince is about to pull the trigger, Brock Lesnar makes his return. McMahon tells Lesnar he shouldn't do anything he may regret later on. Brock motions for Heyman to leave the ring before picking up the Chairman and dropping him with an F-5. Looks like Paul will live to see another day as a WWE employee, and another big name is back in the fold as we motor toward WrestleMania. See you in seven!
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Nick Tylwalk wishes he could just do TV reports from the Royal Rumble to WrestleMania and be paid for working a whole year. Shoot down his dreams by reaching out to him on Twitter, on Google+ or by email.