Hit: John Laurinaitis, Man of the People
So tonight is the night. Triple H is scheduled to evaluate Big Johnny's performance, and as expected, Johnny is nervous. He is in full blown suck up mode, and it's great. His smiling and handshaking were the perfect way to show that he will do anything to remain in power. Good stuff here, though it was weird to see him stumble over so much of his speech after weeks of really nailing most of his lines. I was going to chalk it up to playing the nervous character, but I honestly don't think they were that clever.
Ever the professional, Laurinaitis announces the blockbuster Elimination Chamber match for the "Elimination PPV" in February. Did anyway else love to see that trending a little later on in the show? Anyway, the Chamber match is for the WWE Championship. I'm not sure if its the only time, but it is certainly one of the only times both Championship's will be defended in Elimination Chamber matches at the PPV. It's been a precedent for the Rumble winner's chosen champion to defend in the Chamber, and the other match to house six would-be challengers for the championship that doesn't have a main-event set at Wrestlemania. But I have to admit that while John was announcing the participants, I couldn't help but think of perhaps the greatest pronunciation of a wrestler's name in the history of Monday Night Raw. I give you, Umanga.
Now let me take a moment and give my thoughts on the six competitors in the upcoming Chamber Match:
- CM Punk: Great test for the self-proclaimed "Best in the World." This will be Punk's fourth Elimination Chamber appearance. His first as champion.
- Kofi Kingston: Riding a wave of Rumble momentum, lets hope Kofi shines in the Chamber. This will be Kofi's second chamber appearance, not counting the time Edge bashed his head in.
- The Miz: He will play the coward in this match, but do not underestimate his ruthlessness. This will be the awesome one's first appearance in a chamber match.
- Dolph Ziggler: The show off gets another chance, expect him to start things off and look strong. This will be the Zig Zag Man's first appearance in a chamber match.
- R-Truth: Truth steps in the chamber as a relevant threat for the first time in his career. This will surprisingly be Truth's third chamber appearance. The first for Little Jimmy.
- Chris Jericho: Maybe the odds on favorite. The most experienced and maybe the hungriest.This will be Y2J's record breaking seventh chamber appearance, edging out the Game by one.
CM Punk may very well be the best wrestler in the world right now. The same can be said for his microphone skills. But I'm giving him a miss here for once again starting off Raw with a baseless and lame insult. How is John Laurinaitis poorly dressed? The man is wearing a suit and tie, literally the exact same thing every executive figure this side of Jack Tunney has worn. So what gives? Insults like this make me think Punk is just a..well a punk who is mad for no reason. This doesn't help anyone, so stop it.
But on a brighter side, I thought he did a wonderful rendition of "Na na na na, hey hey hey goodbye"
Hit: Best Wrestling Match in the World
An Internets Dream. Some would take that phrase as being a bad thing, but I see it as a very good thing (shut up DDP.) Daniel Bryan versus CM Punk on a big stage like Raw is an Internet Dream match, and it immediately made my interest in the nights show go way up. Also, condescending Daniel Bryan has become a 5-star character, so it was a no-brainer that he would strike gold in this segment. While CM Punk's "I Care" was funny, it was beat by a mile by Big Johnny. Repeating after Bryan things like "I do, I approve" and "First Time" was hilarious, and exactly the kind of little things I like to see done in wrestling segments.
This could go into the Miss above, but Punk's childish "What do you eat?" question was just lame. Maybe it's just me, but I loved Bryan telling him he would shove that Pipe Bomb of Punk's where the sun don't shine. I love when Daniel Bryan gets serious. It works even better because of the over-the-topness that he has been exuberating as of late. A few weeks ago on Smackdown when this character was just starting, Bryan was making fun of Big Show's short championship reign at TLC. Show put his hand on Bryan's shoulder, and he immediately went cold and told Show to "get your damn hand off my shoulder." As Lesile Knope would say, it was excellent.
I can't decide whether to give Sheamus a hit or a miss, so I'll just settle for saying I liked his declartion to Punk and Bryan, but didn't really care for his moments with Laurinaitis.
Hit: Ziggler versus Orton, still good.
When this match was announced on WWE.com, I wasn't exactly sure what to make of it. On one hand, I know for a fact that Ziggler and Orton work very well together. On the other, I only know that because they have wrestled quite a few times in the past few months. Luckily Ziggler and Orton went out and had a very good (and different) match. It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Ziggler, especially how he sells. And if there was ever a wrestler he was made to sell for, it would have to be Randy Orton. The standard scoop slam looked crisp and the RKO was right on target. Add on the fact that the crowd was super hot for Orton, and you have the makings for a very easy hit.
I also enjoyed how Barrett was up in a sky box with Josh Matthews, and not down at ringside. This joy would lead to a facepalm though as Jerry Lawler accused Barrett of being afraid of Orton, asking why he wasn't down there with them. At this moment I turned to Charlie and said, "You do realize if Barrett was at ringside, Lawler would just complain about him being there?" But alas, there is nothing I can do.
Oh and one more thing, I love it when Wade Barrett talks. Especially when he says the word "Orton." It's awesome.
WTF of the Week: William Regal is a monster.
I'm not sure if this segment will be recurring, but I've got to introduce it for this week. So John Laurinaitis is backstage doing more of his sucking up schtick. He then runs in to William Regal and asks him about his son. To which Regal corrects him and says daughters. That is fine. It illustrates the point that Laurinaitis really doesn't care about his employees. So on to the next seg...WAIT WHAT?!?
Oh yeah, I almost forgot Regal proceeded to tell John that his daughters are conjoined twins, and he keeps them in the attic. Laurinaitis nods and agrees that fifth grade is a tough time. Seriously, I am not making this up. If you didn't watch Raw, I promise you this is exactly what happened. This isn't a hit or a miss, it simply left me saying...WTF?!?
Hit: Okay fine Brodus, you get a hit.
Earlier in the night, as Daniel Bryan was walking back up the ramp, I noticed a humongous disco ball hanging from the rafters. It was then that I knew Brodus Clay was getting a hit. Okay, not really. It was awesome, but for him to avoid his second straight miss in two nights, he would have to change things up a bit. Well he did. He started it off with going full blown electric slide in his entrance, and finished things off with the DACTYL before nailing Tyler Reks (who was his opponent by the way) with an elbow. I'm not sure about next week, but this week he did just enough to get a hit from me.
Update, my computer crashed as soon as I was done writing the rest of the review. I'm sorry but I can't finish so I'll just leave you guys with some bullet points. I promise a full review for next weeks Raw!
- Hit: Vegan Means I'm Better Than You: D Bryan's character gets another great layer to it. Not to long before Michael Cole comes around even more than he did tonight
- Hit: Punk/Bryan Classic: From the Code of Honor, to Punk switching his arm to the good one before delivering his bulldog, this match had all the great little things that I look for in a pro wrestling contest.
- Hit: Well he said something...: The slow burn approach to Jericho's feud with Punk is great, and I think this will only lead to an even more awesome battle of the words in a few weeks.
- Hit: The Baddest Man on the Planet: I can't wait to hear his speech. Could he be inducted by Stone Cold?
- Hit: Kofi's Roll: Beating Miz clean was the right move. Kofi looks great, and the Miz can rest easy because of his 45 minute performance from the night before.
- Hit: WWE on Youtube: More time for talent to be themselves= a good thing.
- Miss: Eve, #1 Contender: Can some explain why Eve got a title match last night?
- Hit: Embracing The Darker Side of Cena: I don't think he will be embracing the hate the way Kane wants him too, but Kane is about to find himself face to face with the John Cena men like JBL and Batista know all too well.
- Miss: Triple H as COO: Calling Laurinaitis "Johnny" was insulting, eh this is probably just hate leftover from his run earlier last year.
- Hit: Triple H Evolved: Calling himself out for letting personal vendetta's get in his way was great.
Bullseye of the Week: Wow
Okay, I'll at least write in full here. I loved the Daniel Bryan/CM Punk match.With that being said, it was clear that the best moment of the night was also its last. Triple H's face when he heard the gong told the whole story. Sure, what he was doing with Laurinaitis was important. But he knows the hell that the Undertaker has brought with him, and in one mere second the Game's priorities were changed. Standing in front of him was the man who he threw everything at, but still won at Wrestlemania. This time last year, Triple H interrupted the Undertaker's return to challenge him to a match at Wrestlemania. This time around, it was the Undertaker interrupting the Game. And the most telling sign of all was Triple H walking away. It makes me think, all of that tough talk that the Game was spouting off about the Undertaker, did he ever really think the Deadman would be back? Or is he just not ready mentally to step into the ring with the Phenom? Obviously this match is going to happen, but I love the idea that Taker wants the rematch, and Triple H may not. If I were a betting man, I'd say there were some major goosebumps going on all throughout the WWE Universe last night!
Note: Sorry again about the computer crash, but thanks for reading. I'll make sure I write it somewhere were it can be saved automatically. Thanks guys!