by Billy Carpenter (@4CR_Billy)
(photos below: credit wwe.com)
HULKAMANIA IS RUNNING WILD AGAIN!!!
It was mostly shilling for the Network, but hey…it’s Hogan, back in the WWE. Awesome moment!
Batista vs Alberto Del Rio in an Elimination Chamber rematch is up next. Batista starts off quick, mauling Del Rio. Fans very vocal in their displeasure of seeing The Animal. Del Rio grabs control after sending Batista into the ring steps outside as we go to break…
Del Rio stomping Batista as we come back. He heads up top but is cut off…Batista with a second rope superplex and both men are down! Trading punches, but baptist wins that battle. A couple of clothesline and a powerslam get 2, but Del Rio comes back with knees to the worked on arm. He goes for his kneeling superkick but he misses and Batista hits a spine buster. Randy Orton’s music hits to an unusual pop. Del Rio rolls up Batista and gets the win! SI SI SI!!!
Orton & Batista exchange words. Batista addresses the fans reaction to him saying “if they cheer me, I cheer back. If they boo me, I boo back”. He ends things by proclaiming he will in fact be WWE World Heavyweight champion–DEAL WITH IT.
Big E takes on Cesaro in the next contest. Both men use the power game to try and gain the early advantage. A pair of belly to belly suplexes give Big E an edge but Cesaro’s able to hit a huge boot to turn things around. Cesaro heads up and tries a cross body but gets caught in a trio of back breakers and a near fall. Big E with the advantage and looks for a leapfrog but Cesaro CATCHES BIG E & hits a tilt a whirl back breaker. Back after the break…
…Cesaro in control as we come back but both men start exchanging blows again. Cesaro off the ropes and gets gorilla pressed! E tries charging in the corner and hits the post. Seated European uppercut by Cesaro! Headlock by Cesaro, off the ropes and E tries a tilt a whirl of his own–Cesaro out and catches E in a powerslam for 2. Big E comes back though and gets he advantage and hits the splash for 2. E looking for the Big Ending but Cesaro is out again…sends big e in and hits SWISS DEATH! Goes for the giant swing but E escapes. Cesaro charges into the corner and gets caught with a NASTY uranage! E outside now and goes after Swagger. Back in and Cesaro is able to get E in the giant swing! Look is for the Neutralizer but Swagger is in and puts E in the Patriot Lock to get Cesaro DQ’d. Post match, there’s some bad blood a-brewin’ but Big E attacks Swagger. Cesaro makes the save and hits the Neitralizer on E to end the segment. Good match between 2 strong cats that can go (E) and can really go (Cesaro). Maybe a feud for the IC title?
John Cena is here! He shills the Network and says the future of the company will run through him before calling out Bray Wyatt…
Bray cuts another great promo before they attack Cena. Cena looks like he hurt his knee legit. Uh oh. They finish the segment, albeit with some trepidation. Cena keeps motioning for the trainer and this can’t be good. Bray & the Family stand tall to end the segment but Cena’s knee will be the story going forward, especially towards ‘Mania.
As we come back, they show Cena being stretchered out. Christian is out now and his match with Sheamus is up next. Honestly I zoned out the first part of this match. Watching people elate on social media over the fact that someone might have gotten legit hurt kind of had my attention. One, it’s never cool to do that–it makes you ignorant. Second, one of WWE’s hottest new acts loses out on the biggest spot of his career thus far if Cena can’t go. As for this, I may not have written a match review here but I wanted to touch on something else. I see people bashing this match as “sucking” and not being good. To that, I have to say these people must’ve not been watching 15-20 years ago. There’s been MUCH worse that’s gone down in this company over the years. Even if you can’t connect to the people in the ring, that doesn’t mean other people don’t and it also doesn’t mean that the match “sucked”. This was a damn fine match and both guys worked hard to deliver. Sheamus catches Christian with a Brogue Kick coming off the top rope for the win.
Earlier tonight, Daniel Bryan confronts Triple H in the parking lot and challenges him to a match/fight at WrestleMania! Hmmm…
The Shield is backstage and they argue–Dean walks out?! Here’s the Wyatt Family! Reigns challenges Bray Wyatt for later tonight and he accepts!
The pre-show panel talks about the show so far. Booker T puts over Sheamus/Christian and Ric Flair starts a Yes! chant.
Daniel Bryan vs Kane is up now. Bryan is focusing in on the knee. Kane fights back and works on Bryan’s injured shoulder. This just turned into a fight and a pretty good one at that. Bryan makes everything he’s in better right now just by doing his thing. Kane is no slouch in the ring either, even at this stage of his career. Good sequence at the end and Bryan hits the Flying Knee for the win. Post match, he calls HHH out again and says he’s hiding “behind his wife’s skirt.” He wants the match at ‘Mania.
Emma makes her in-ring debut on the main roster against Summer Rae. Summer attacks early and hits a nice roundhouse leg lariat. She ends up locking in a variation of the Cobra Clutch. However, Emma counters another leg lariat into a takedown and cinches up the Emmalock to get the win. Not as good as what they could do, but this isn’t NXT and the ladies will get a much more limited time to do their thing in the ring.
Recap of HULKAMANIA running wild again!
Back on RAW, the New Age Outlaws ask the Usos to leave the ring so they can do their schtick. They get through most of it until the Usos attack and pin the champs!
The announcers shill the Network some more and then…
SIERRA HOTEL INDIA ECHO LIMA DELTA. SHIELD.
Roman Reigns is out before the break as he gets set for a big encounter with Bray Wyatt. This was…interesting. Neither of these guys are ready to carry a match by themselves but this wasn’t actively bad. The crowd was garbage for this, switching from being silent to being assholes. Moronic chants when 2 of your favorites are in there isn’t going to bode well for them, don’t you get that? Decent enough match but got infinitely more interesting once the Family & the rest of the Shield came in. Maybe if Cena’s hurt we get the rematch? I enjoy the sub-story with Dean, however obvious the outcome is. Rollins damn near killed himself again with that dive–slow down man!
HERE COMES THE PAIN! Paul Heyman & Brock Lesnar are here to talk about Brock’s WrestleMania status. They want a title match at ‘Mania but say that The Authority has given Brock an open contract to face anyone of his choosing at WM.
They say “thanks, but no thanks” and are ready to go and then…
THE BELL TOLLS!
The Undertaker is here! Epic staredown! ‘Taker looks up at the WM30 sign and kudos to Brock for his facial selling of The Deadman. Brock signs the contract and gives the pen to ‘Taker…he stabs Lesnar’s hand and hits the chokeslam! THERE’S your main event, kids.
I thought that this was a good show. Did it blow the doors off the company? No. But we got everything that we expected & wanted (Lesnar/Taker, Hogan returning, Batista losing, Cesaro’s push was maintained, etc.)–the sad part is, alot of you still complained. At this point, Vince McMahon could book Jesus Christ to come down and challenge The Undertaker’s streak at WrestleMania and if CM Punk wasn’t booked for a run-in, you’d complain. Get over it–he’ll come back when all parties decide it’s time to. Until then, enjoy what you have. I’m a Punk fan yet I haven’t missed him since he left. There’s alot of good/great stuff happening in front of you–why not just enjoy that and when the man comes back, it’ll be the cherry on top.