The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 02/11/13

Submitted by John C. on February 12, 2013 - 11:49am
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Live from Nashville, Tennessee this is the Raw Deal for episode #1029. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

This week's opening video package focused on The Shield's issues with John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback. It also focused on The Rock because he's a big deal, don't ya know?

No music to start the show. No pyro. Paul Heyman was in the ring saying that he had something to say. "Tonight is the last time you're ever going to see Paul Heyman." He does lie, of course. He talked about how for seven years he brought us the most hard hitting product in wrestling history and that vision he had was called ECW. Heyman said when he came to WWE he saw the most physically gifted rookie in history. "I turned that rookie into the Next Big Thing - a man you know today as Brock Lesnar." Then he met a man that was the future of the business. He said he saw a man that could eclipse even Bruno Sammartino's reign as WWE Champion. He thought he was a guy who could carry WWE into the future and of course he was talking about CM Punk.

Heyman said he had a feeling that something bad was going to happen. Heyman said Punk needs to focus on winning back the WWE Title and now Heyman has been a distraction. That's why tonight Heyman is tendering his resignation. Heyman then insulted the fans for not showing him any compassion during this heartfelt speech. "The one thing I won't miss on Monday nights is the WWE Universe." Heyman mentioned that CM Punk needs to be focused on becoming the WWE Champion. Heyman called Punk his best friend and said he loved him. Heyman said for that reason - he wants Punk to be focused - he says goodbye. The camera closed in on Heyman's face. The music of CM Punk started up.

CM Punk made his entrance. He asked Heyman what he was doing, to which Heyman replied that he was in Punk's way. Heyman went over the allegations of McMahon to him and Punk said he's not going to let Heyman do this. Punk said the people admired him, which wasn't true because they were booing him. Punk: "There are a lot of Paul Heyman guys out there." True. Heyman said he didn't want Punk to remember him as a martyr - he wants Punk to remember him as his friend. Punk told Heyman that the bad dream they're living in goes back to normal on Sunday at Elimination Chamber. Punk said when he wins the WWE Title on Sunday that Heyman will be in his corner. Now Heyman was happy again. Heyman said Punk will beat Rock on Sunday and Heyman will be there. Then they hugged in the ring. Heyman repeated the phrase "best in the world" many times.

Analysis: Good promo work by Heyman as always. Ultimately the promo didn't amount to that much because he was about to resign, then Punk talked him out of it and they appear to be a strong unit once again. I like the idea of Heyman wanting to quit because he was a distraction. However, I never believed it to be true and I doubt most of the audience did. With all of that said, it's not a bad thing to have two of the best talkers in wrestling open the show in the first 15 minutes. Was the resigning thing a shot at The Pope? Probably.

The Rock is there and we'll hear from him later.

The announcers for the show are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler as usual. Up next is Mark Henry.

(Commercial)

In the ring were The Great Khali, Hornswoggle and Natalya dancing together. Oh poor Natalya. As Mark Henry entered the arena, we saw a replay of Henry destroying Mysterio & Sin Cara last week while beating Randy Orton in the main event of Smackdown.

Mark Henry vs. The Great Khali (w/Hornswoggle & Natalya)

Khali got a boot to the face of Henry and then he moved out of the way of a Henry attack. Henry fought back with clubbing blows followed by a squash in the corner. Clothesline by Henry knocked down Khali. Henry picked up Khali, the crowd popped and Henry dropped down Khali with the World's Strongest Slam to win the match. It went about one minute.

Winner: Mark Henry

Post match, Henry went back into the ring and gave Hornswoggle the World's Strongest Slam as well. "That's what I do!" That may be my favorite moment in WWE in 2013 so far.

Analysis: I think you could say Khali got his ass kicked and his wig split. I think Khali is there to just take finishing moves of his opponents these days since Cesaro did his finisher on him and it was very impressive. Khali is so immobile. It's scary watching him try to move. He used to be scary because he's big. Now he's scary in that "I hope he doesn't hurt himself" kind of way. That's not good.

On Smackdown they're doing Henry vs. Orton again because they like to repeat matches. Coming up later it's John Cena, Sheamus & Ryback vs. 3MB. I love when they book such even matchups.

(Commercial)

Backstage, Booker T & Teddy Long were talking about Mark Henry. Chris Jericho walked up to them saying it make sense for business and prestige to put Y2J into the Chamber. Long said he's in. Booker said hold on. Booker said you had to impress him. Long whispered an idea in his ear and Booker said the idea sucked. Booker said Jericho had to beat somebody to get into the Chamber and it's going to be Daniel Bryan. Hell yeah. Jericho mocked Bryan ("Daniel Beardan") and then Booker's catchphrase before leaving.

Analysis: Bryan vs. Jericho later? Hell yes.

In Vickie's office, Heyman walked up to her. He wanted a stipulation added to CM Punk vs. The Rock at Elimination Chamber. She answered the phone and it was Vince McMahon. She put him on speaker phone. Heyman apologized for the Brock Lesnar attack a couple of weeks ago. Heyman tried to suck up, so Vince told him to shut up and just suggest his stipulation. Heyman suggested Rock try to get counted out or get disqualified. Heyman suggested that if that happens to Rock then the title should go back to CM Punk. Vince wanted it in writing. McMahon said if Rock gets counted out or disqualified then CM Punk wins the WWE Title. Heyman tried to suck up, so Vince hung up.

Analysis: That was fine. I like the dynamic between Guerrero, Heyman and McMahon. The stipulation adds some intrigue to the main event match on Sunday's PPV.

Daniel Bryan entered the arena for his match against Jericho.

(Commercial)

There was a Fandango video once again as Johnny Curtis just said "Fan-dan-go" into the camera.

Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan

I love how Teddy Long and Booker were watching backstage to see if they were impressed by Jericho. It's silly to think that a guy with his accomplishments has to earn a spot, but I don't mind seeing this match. They worked a slow pace early on and then Bryan dumped Jericho over the top to the floor. Jericho went for his springboard dropkick while Bryan was on the apron, but Bryan moved and Jericho went crashing to the floor. Bryan hit a dive between the top/middle ropes as he took out Jericho outside the ring. They went to break for the vintage floor to commercial spot with both guys on the floor.

(Commercial)

Back from the break, Jericho was in control of the action as the crowd chanted "Y2J" in support of him. Bryan hit his running dropkick in the corner. Jericho came back with a chop attempt off the top although Bryan hit a running clothesline to knock him down. The very vocal Nashville crowd was chanting "yes." Bryan countered the Walls of Jericho and then when Jericho went for the Lionsault, Bryan got his knees up. Bryan was on the top rope, Jericho prevented an attack, but Bryan shoved him off and then he hit his flying headbutt for a two count. More loud "yes" chants to piss off Bryan. Jericho countered some knee strikes into the Walls of Jericho right in the middle of the ring. Bryan did an amazing reversal of the Walls, but he couldn't get the No Lock fully. Bryan countered the Walls again and hit Jericho with a stiff kick to the head for two. Bryan hit a series of kicks to the chest, but then Jericho rolled him up. Bryan kicked out of that. Jericho came back with the Codebreaker to win the match after 12 minutes.

Winner: Chris Jericho

Cole mentioned it would be Jericho's record 8th Elimination Chamber appearance. The four men in the Chamber are Jericho, Henry, Orton and Bryan. Two more spots.

Analysis: ***1/2 That was fun. It wasn't as long as Jericho/Punk last week, but they still had an entertaining match as expected. Of course I'd love to see them go for twenty minutes and I hope one day that happens. When guys this good are in the ring they do such an awesome job of keeping the crowd into it too. The crowd in Nashville is very loud. They loved this match, as they should have. I don't think most people believed Bryan was going to win. That didn't matter. It was about putting on an excellent match, giving Jericho a rare win and making him look great heading into the Elimination Chamber. They accomplished what they set out to do. I miss Daniel Bryan in singles action, so I'm glad we got to see it here.

The Shield will be there to address the WWE Universe from inside the ring. Up next is Cena/Sheamus/Ryback vs. 3MB.

Do you see that WrestleMania sign on Raw? If you go to a WWE show please get a picture of yourself (or with friends/family) pointing at the sign. It's our way of saying you're challenging somebody to a WrestleMania match. I've got an album up on my Facebook page that anybody can view even if you don't have Facebook. Right now we have five pics, but we're always looking for more on the road to WrestleMania. So if you're going to a show post it on my Facebook page, send it to me on Facebook, tweet it to me @johnreport or email it to me at [email protected]. We added a pic from Adam Neal earlier in the day, so be sure to send yours too!

(Commercial)

John Cena, Ryback & Sheamus vs. 3MB (Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre)

The 3MB guys were already in the ring. The superhero babyface team all entered individually with Cena out last. Ryback vs. Slater started it off with Ryback giving him a Gorilla Press. Sheamus tagged in to face off with McIntyre and Sheamus got his ten clubbing blows to the chest of McIntyre. Apparently Fandango was trending, so some people like his videos I guess. Cena and Mahal tagged in. Cena hit a clothesline followed by his spinning suplex and then the Five Knuckle Shuffle. All six guys started brawling. Cena hit Attitude Adjustment on Mahal, Ryback hit Shellshocked on Slater and Sheamus hit White Noise on McIntyre all at the same time. The crowd loved it. Cena covered Mahal to win the match after about three minutes.

Winners: John Cena, Ryback & Sheamus

Analysis: It should have been short and that's what it was. Squash win. I'm fine with them not selling any of the offense of 3MB because they have to be built strong heading into Elimination Chamber on Sunday.

After the match, Ryback said Sunday would be the day he would feast on The Shield. Sheamus said that he hopes the three of them get their own justice tonight. Cena reiterated that The Shield will be in the ring and he wondered why they would leave themselves vulnerable. Cena did a fired up promo before ending it by saying "you want some - come get some." The crowd was cheering them loudly.

Analysis: Good promo from all three. It puts over the idea that we haven't seen the last of them.

There was a replay from Smackdown when Del Rio took the tires off Big Show's bus and then he dumped a bucket of orange paint onto Big Show. It reminded me of the Eddie Guerrero feud with Show years ago when he sprayed sewage onto Show.

Lawler mentioned how earlier in the day Alex Riley and Yoshi Tatsu were talking about how embarrassed Big Show was on Friday. Of course Big Show showed up and knocked them both out. They went to break there.

Analysis: I love how Alex Riley & Yoshi Tatsu have conversations backstage. It's so random. Anyway, Big Show is angry. Like usual.

(Commercial)

Big Show entered the arena as we were reminded of the Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show match at Elimination Chamber. It's the second rematch for Show. Matt Striker tried to ask Show a question, so Show just gave him the KO Punch to knock him out. That was wonderful.

Show looked very angry. He waited about two minutes, was shaking in an anger and then he was about to speak. Then he just dropped the microphone. He left. That was it.

Analysis: The idea behind this is that he was so angry he couldn't talk to express himself. Did it really make people care about the World Title match on Sunday? I don't think so.

They aired the video package about Bruno Sammartino going into the WWE Hall of Fame that we saw last week. After the video, Cole plugged a WWE.com interview with Bruno and Triple H. I read the interview. It's very good.

There was another reminder that The Rock will be there later in the show.

(Commercial)

Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder

Swagger had a manager with him named Zeb Colter ("Dirty" Dutch Mantel). Swagger took down Ryder with a slam, so Ryder hit a dropkick off the middle rope. Ryder hit his Broski Boot. They went to the floor where Swagger hit a belly to belly suplex on the floor. Back in the ring, Swagger was in control of the action as he hit a running knee in the corner of the ring. Ryder came back, but Swagger caught him and gave him a powerbomb into the turnbuckle. I've always loved that spot. Swagger hit the Gutwrench Powerbomb followed by the Patriot Act (formerly the Ankle Lock) for the submission win after about three minutes.

Winner: Jack Swagger

Analysis: Another squash win for Swagger. Ryder got some offense in, but it wasn't a lot.

Post match, Swagger introduced his friend. He's a native and great American Zeb Colter. Zeb asked us what was wrong with America. He talked about how he was in Vietnam with Swagger's dad fighting for America. Now he looks around and sees a country with faces not like his. He sees people who he doesn't understand when they speak. He doesn't know where they come from and he wonders how they can get rid of him. He kept on talking about his America. The crowd was not a fan of this guy.

Analysis: It was a promo with racist overtones because he was talking about people not looking or talking like him. Colter is better known as "Dirty" Dutch Mantel and he worked for TNA behind the scenes for most of the last decade. I like that they have given Swagger a manager because I think he needs one and it will help Swagger's career.

After the match, Booker talked with Long and he put Swagger into the Elimination Chamber match. Dolph Ziggler showed up along with AJ Lee and Big E Langston. Ziggler complained about Jericho being in the World Title number one contender match. Booker wasn't sure what Ziggler was saying, so Langston clarified that he wants in. Booker set up a match with another man who wanted in the Elimination Chamber match - it was Kane.

Analysis: It makes sense to put Swagger in that match. He deserves it.

The Miz entered the arena for a match.

(Commercial)

The Miz vs. Cody Rhodes

The US Champ Antonio Cesaro was on commentary for the match. I missed the first few minutes of the match because sometimes nature calls. When I got back, Miz was in control and they were brawling outside the ring. Cesaro went after Miz, so Miz kicked him. Then Cesaro attacked Miz by shoving him into the ring post. That was enough for the DQ. I think it went about three minutes.

Winner: The Miz via DQ

After the match, Cesaro held Miz by the legs and rammed him into the security wall repeatedly. That was an awesome display of strength. The refs stopped the attack.

Analysis: This means that Miz likely gets another US Title shot after losing last month. It's like Big Show getting another title shot after losing last month too. Shouldn't they do a better job of creating other contenders or building feuds in ways that make more sense? It's not that hard to do.

There was a WWE Reading Challenge video aimed at kids. It's nice to see them encouraging kids to read.

Later we'll hear from Rock and also The Shield as well. Thanks for reminding us in nearly every segment.

(Commercial)

In the ring were Primo, Epico & Rosa Mendes dancing. Their opponents are Brodus Clay and Tensai, who are now a comedy babyface tag team.

Brodus Clay & Tensai (w/Naomi & Cameron) vs. Primo & Epico (w/Rosa)

The newly formed team was in control with Clay hitting Primo with a belly to belly suplex. Clay splashed Epico in the corner. Clay shoulder block on Epico. Tensai tagged in and hit a running senton splash for the win. The match went about one minute.

Winners: Brodus Clay & Tensai

Post match, the winning team danced. The announcers thought it was hilarious. Rosa got in the face of the girls, so they threw her out of the ring and hit a baseball slide dropkick when Rosa was on the floor. Then more dancing.

Analysis: Another squash match on a show full of them. If I wasn't writing live I would have hit Fast Forward on the DVR except when Rosa was on.

The Shield is next. After enduring that last segment, thank you for bringing out The Shield next.

(Commercial)

The Shield entered the arena in their usual way by walking down the stairs. Dean Ambrose spoke first saying they were united in shielding WWE from atrocities. Ambrose said Cena committed an atrocity by threatening The Shield. Seth Rollins said that when The Shield wants to deliver a message they do it by actions. Roman Reigns said if they want them they should come and get them. There was no sign of Cena, Ryback or Sheamus. Ambrose said Cena made an empty threat and that Reigns said they couldn't get the job done with the whole roster last week. Rollins said Cena failed last week and fails every day when he wakes up. This Sunday, Cena will fail again. Ambrose called Cena a failure. He said in Cena's world he lives with no consequences, but not in their world. That's the "John Cena problem." Reigns called Cena the problem for the last decade and said they were the solution. Rollins said Cena's standard led the way for guys like Sheamus & Ryback. Rollins said this Sunday they can rectify an injustice in one fell swoop. Ambrose told them to breathe as much fresh air as they can because on Sunday The Shield is going to drown them. Reigns: "Believe in The Shield!" They called out Cena, Sheamus & Ryback again. Nobody came out.

The lights went out. When they came back on, Cena, Ryback & Sheamus were in the ring. They cleared the ring of The Shield with clotheslines. They all brawled on the floor outside the ring. The Shield guys tried to escape, so the babyface followed them up the steps. Eventually, The Shield ran away as Cena posed with the fans. In another section of the arena, Sheamus & Ryback celebrated with the fans.

Analysis: I liked that segment. The Shield spoke with a lot of confidence in their promo. They got their message across clearly. We learned that they don't like what Cena stands for and what Cena has done in the last ten years as a top guy in WWE. It makes sense from their perspective, so that's why it was a promo that really worked well. I think out of the three guys it's clear that Ambrose is the best talker. Rollins is improving every time I hear him talk. Reigns has a really deep voice, so it's hard to hear at times, but when he gets loud it's very effective. The brawl was solid. It was similar to last week although this time the babyface team got in more offense outside the ring. I would expect the babyface team to win on Sunday although the fact that they got the upper hand on Raw two weeks in a row could mean that The Shield will find a way to get the win on Sunday. Could there be a fourth member? It will be interesting to see what happens.

There was a replay of the Paul Heyman promo to begin the show where he quit WWE. Then we saw CM Punk coming out to convince Heyman to stick around, which he did. The Rock is on later. Yes we know.

The World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez were walking backstage.

(Commercial)

The great Damien Sandow entered with a microphone. He said we were in the mecca of country music - Nashville. "That is not a good thing." He said they glorify songs about dead dogs, broken down pickup trucks and ignoramuses getting their heart broken. He preferred Beethoven and Mozart of course. He's doing this not to agitate us, but to save us from our own inadequacies.

Analysis: Wonderful promo as always from Sandow.

Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Damien Sandow

I love how the crowd does the intro along with Rodriguez when he yells Del Rio's name. This is non-title of course. Sandow missed a corner charge, so Del Rio hit clotheslines and then a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Del Rio hit a kick to the jaw for two. Del Rio led the crowd in "si" chants and then he applied the Cross Armbreaker. That didn't even last two minutes.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Analysis: Like I said earlier it was a squash match on a show that has been full of them. I miss when Sandow and Rhodes were used better.

Del Rio said Show gave the best promo of his life earlier because he didn't say anything. He said the time for hotel fights and tour bus battles are over. Del Rio said that after he beats Big Show on Sunday there's only one place left for him to go: he pointed at the WrestleMania sign. That was the end of the promo.

Analysis: They love the sign pointing don't they? I'll likely be picking Del Rio in Sunday's match.

The Rock is talking later. How many times have they told us?

Wade Barrett was walking backstage. Cole said Barrett was set to take on Kofi Kingston. As Barrett was walking, Bo Dallas attacked him. He knocked him down and Barrett was in a lot of pain as officials checked on Barrett to see if he was okay. They went to break there.

Analysis: That's payback for when Barrett attacked Dallas on Smackdown a couple of weeks ago.

(Commercial)

There was another Fandango video. Once again he just said "Fan-dan-go" while looking into the camera. There was a woman in the video that was dancing with him briefly. There's still no word on when he will make his TV debut although he has been doing house shows for months.

Wade Barrett vs. Kofi Kingston

This is non-title. Cole narrated a video that showed us Barrett won the IC Title from Kingston on the December 31st Raw. Most of his TV matches since then have been losses. Barrett hit a clothesline early on. Kingston hit a lot of his signature spots to get some momentum and then hit a cross body splash onto the back of Barrett for a two count. Kingston got his boots in the face of Barrett and then a cross body block for two. Barrett came back with his Winds of Change slam. I guess I can stop calling it the Bossman Slam for him since it has a name. Barrett missed the Bull Hammer elbow and then he avoided Trouble in Paradise. Kingston went after him, so Barrett pulled out the ring apron, Kingston went into it and Barrett destroyed him with the Bull Hammer Elbow while Kingston was trapped against the apron. Barrett covered for the victory after four minutes.

Winner: Wade Barrett

Analysis: That was a short match for them. It's nice to see Barrett get a win because he has been losing far too often. While they didn't announce Barrett vs. Dallas at Elimination Chamber during the live edition of Raw I would assume it's going to happen there or at least on the pre-show. Kingston is lost in midcard limbo right now. He's joined by all the guys that lost short matches earlier on this show too.

(Commercial)

This Friday night it's Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton again because they like to repeat the same matches.

Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee & Big E Langston)

AJ Lee looks especially hot tonight. Maybe I like the red top. The winner of this gets to be in the Elimination Chamber match. Kane was on offense briefly early on, but then Ziggler got in his picture perfect dropkick. Kane used his power to gain the advantage once again with a flapjack on Ziggler. Ziggler rolled out to the floor for the vintage floor to commercial break two minutes into the match.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Kane got a corner clothesline as Cole mentioned that Sunday is the 16th Chamber match in company history. Kane knocked Ziggler outside the ring, so Langston distracted Kane and Ziggler threw Kane into the security wall. Back inside the ring, Ziggler hit a neckbreaker. Ziggler hit a series of elbow drops. The crowd isn't as loud as they were earlier. Kane tried to come back with power, but Ziggler hit a great leaping DDT for a two count. Ziggler missed a corner splash, so Kane decked him with a boot to the face for two. Kane countered out of a sleeper, but then Ziggler quickly came back with a Rocker Dropper for a two count. Side slam by Kane for two. When Kane went to the top, AJ tried to get Kane down. Ziggler accidentally bounced off AJ and then Langston caught her. As Ziggler looked at that, Kane hit a Chokeslam in the middle of the ring. Kane covered to win the match after ten minutes.

Winner: Kane

Analysis: ** I thought Ziggler was going to win. Nope. The crowd was pretty dead in the first half of it, but they got into it by the end as Kane kept kicking out of everything Ziggler did. I liked the finish with the slight accidental distraction by AJ leading to the Kane win. Of course they could always say Ziggler doesn't have to win because he has the MITB contract, but I think the Elimination Chamber match would be better if Ziggler was in it.

The six men in the Elimination Chamber match: Randy Orton, Mark Henry, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, Kane & Jack Swagger. I think Orton or Henry will win. It could be Swagger, though. I guess I shouldn't pick three guys huh? I have until the weekend until we post our PPV preview.

The Rock is up next. Finally.

(Commercial)

They aired an Elimination Chamber video to promote the #1 Contender match for the World Title.

Finally after three hours of hearing them promote The Rock, he arrived to a thunderous ovation at about 10:57pmET. He had on his "Just Bring It" shirt and he was carrying the WWE Title down to the ring.

Main Event Promo with The Rock

The Rock said it was a very special night. It's nice to see the crowd come alive after being pretty quiet in the second half of the show. "Finally The Rock has come back to Nashville." Rock said Nashville was a very special city to him. He said it was story time with The Rock. He said in 1987, Rock and his family moved to Nashville when he was 15 years old. He mentioned the high school he went to. Rock talked about how he was 6'4" 220 pounds and he kicked puberty's ass. Rock said he got no play from the girls because they thought he was an undercover cop. Rock talked about being in a bar and something magical happened (not Jeff Jarrett or Willie Nelson). He said some crackhead walked into the bar asking if they wanted to buy a car. Rock talked about paying $75 for the car. He talked about there was something moving in the back seat - another crackhead. He got him out of the car. Rock figured out the car may be stolen. He said he ditched the car at 2am in a Burger King parking lot and walked his ass to Tootsie's lounge. Crowd is chanting "Rocky" for that story. Rock said if you buy a car don't buy it from a crackhead. Rock mentioned that at age 25 he had his first match at the Nashville Fairgrounds. Then he finally mentioned that he was the WWE Champion.

The music of CM Punk started up as Punk & Paul Heyman stood at the top of the ramp. Rock said earlier Punk was out there re-enacting a scene with Heyman from Twilight. I don't get Twilight references, sorry. Punk didn't have a microphone. Rock said it doesn't matter if the deck is stacked against The Rock. Rock simply said he's going to beat Punk's ass at Elimination Chamber and if Punk goes to the ring now then Rock is going to beat his ass all over Nashville.

Punk slowly made his way down to the ring. Then he ran in the ring where he brawled with Rock. Punk hit him with some forearm shots followed by a knee to the ribs. Rock came back with a spinebuster. As Rock was going for a People's Elbow, Heyman tripped up Rock. Punk hit the Go To Sleep to knock out Rock right in the middle of the ring. Punk grabbed the WWE Title, walked out of the ring and walked up the ramp with the WWE Title on his shoulder. Punk said story time is over. He said every time Rock wants to bring it - because it belongs to him - "I'm just going to take it." The "it" in this instance is the WWE Championship. Punk held up the WWE Title as The Rock stared at him with a serious look on his face. End of show.

Analysis: Lose the battle on TV, win on PPV. That's what Rock will do on Sunday at Elimination Chamber. That ending confirmed it. I like Punk walking away with what he claims is his WWE Title. He's a heel. His character is an egomaniac. It makes sense for him to steal the title that he thinks belongs to him.

I didn't love Rock's promo. I usually love all of his promos. This one was just average. I'm surprised they didn't have another long segment where they each spoke about what they believed in or why they care so much about being the champion. I thought that this feud could have used that since Rock wasn't on the show last week. Instead they just brawled, Punk got the advantage thanks to Heyman and Punk ended up winning this physical battle to set up the match on Sunday.

Three Stars of the Show

1. Chris Jericho

2. Daniel Bryan

3. (tie) Paul Heyman

3. (tie) Mark Henry - Originally I had just Paul Heyman here, but I think Henry deserves it for destroying Hornswoggle.

The Scoreboard

5 out of 10

Last week: 6.5

2013 Average: 5.5

2013 High: 7 (January 7)

2013 Low: 3.5 (January 28)

Last 5 Weeks: 6.5, 3.5, 5, 6, 7

Final Thoughts

It was a very average Raw. If you missed the show the only thing I would really want you to see was the Jericho vs. Bryan match and also the main event angle. The Shield's promo was pretty good too. Other than that you didn't miss a lot.

There were seven very short matches on this show. That's typical of the last Raw before a PPV, but I would have liked to see more than two matches get five minutes.

That Jericho/Bryan match was awesome. It was even better consider the lack of quality matches that were on the show. Only Kane/Ziggler got a significant amount of time otherwise. Is Ziggler going to be off the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view? That would be wrong if he is.

There wasn’t a lot of comedy on this show. I don't mind it, really. I think sometimes they do too much comedy and it hurts the product. This week it felt like they just avoided it all together.

I was ready for Sunday's show even without watching this week's Raw. What this week's Raw did was it gave us the remaining names in the Elimination Chamber match. Other than that there weren't too many newsworthy things about it.

-----------------

Since I like to include videos towards the end of columns of late, here is this week's video pick. It's the JBL and Cole show on WWE.com. I'm not just saying that because I write on LayfieldReport.com either. It's usually a fun show, but this week was especially great because of the appearance of Damien Sandow. Go to 4:30 in the clip to hear his amazing song.

The song was terrific, but watching Michael Cole laughing in the background was hilarious too. Sandow really is the intellectual savior of the masses, isn't he?

That's all I have for you this week. Keep on visiting TJRWrestling.com for our reviews & columns on a daily basis from our talented staff. The Elimination Chamber preview will be posted late Friday night/early Saturday morning. Then on Sunday I'll write about Elimination Chamber live only on TJR (will post on other sites after it's done). I might have another one or two columns up later in the week too. The mind is flowing during WrestleMania season, so it's a good time for me to be writing columns.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

John Canton - [email protected]

TJRWrestling.com and TJRSports.com

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling.com on Facebook



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