The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 02/13/12By John Canton (Twitter @johnreport)Before I start, I want to send out my best wishes to TNA wrestler Jesse Sorensen who injured his neck during their PPV on Sunday night. Here's a clip of the injury. There is some good news to report today about Jesse, who is recovering from what is essentially a broken neck. It puts the wrestling business in perspective. I have the utmost respect for anybody that steps in the wrestling ring. It's not easy. They are putting their life on the line every time they go in there. Please keep Jesse in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.Live from San Diego, California this is the Raw Deal…<!--more-->They started with a video package of the shenanigans from last week. Then Kane's masked face appeared on the screen because he's buddies with the production people I guess. He spouted off his usual lines, ending it by saying that somebody would leave Raw in an ambulance. I was hoping for Michael Cole.Raw started in the ring with the six Elimination Chamber contestants standing behind podiums while Jerry Lawler hosted an "Elimination Chamber Debate." I guess Vince enjoys watching the 4,571 Republican debates that they have done. The crowd was most supportive of Punk. Before Punk could talk, John Laurinaitis & David Otunga showed up on the stage to gloat that he was still interim Raw GM. He's on the show every week, but we have to pretend he was gone or something like that. Like the Cena firing angle, I guess.How to sum up this "debate" in a proper way? In a word I could say trainwreck. Punk said he was the best wrestler in the world. The camera then showed Jericho, which basically tells you that one of those two guys is going to win on Sunday. They might as well end the "debate" here. Ziggler claimed to be the best even though he loses far too often. R-Truth acted like an idiot as always, ranting about spiders and thinking this was really an election. Ziggler called him an idiot. Miz did the same promo about main eventing WrestleMania last year that he does every week. Whoever is writing his material has done an awful job of late. Miz is falling down the ladder fast. At least he pointed out that Punk is 0-2 in Chamber matches, so that's worthwhile at least. Kofi said he's been overlooked and in the course of one night it could change because he could be WWE Champion. He made sense, so that's a nice change. Jericho spoke last. I liked when Jericho mentioned being in the most EC matches (6) and for also eliminating the most people (8). Why? Because my buddy Matt "Stats Man" Davis sent him the info in a tweet that Jericho shared about a week ago. He focused on Punk, yelling at him to look at him even calling him "boy" there. Punk acted like he didn't hear anything because he was remembering that Chris finished 7th on Dancing with the Stars. Is that show cancelled yet? Anyway, I think you could tell from Punk's facial expressions that he thought this whole idea was stupid. He was right. I'm ready for next week when they ignore the other four guys so the focus can be on this Punk/Jericho feud that I want to see so much. Nobody believes any of the four have a chance to win. Jericho went to talk trash to Punk. The champ raised his title. Then Kofi hit Jericho in the head with a kick to set up the first match of the night.(Commercial)Chris Jericho d. Kofi Kingston (**1/2)They worked hard and at a fast pace like you'd expect from these two. Jericho has shown no ring rust since returning. I liked the spot with the Walls of Jericho. I thought Chris was going to win it there, but Kofi showed a lot of heart in getting to the ropes. The crowd was behind him too. Kofi came back to hit the Trouble in Paradise kick. Jericho rolled towards the ropes, so he got his foot on the ropes at two. They got back up, fought it out a bit, Jericho thumbed him in the eye and hit the Codebreaker to win the match at the 5:20 mark. I thought Kofi said he was overlooked? He was made to look like a loser here. In other words, he's looked at correctly based on how he is booked.They showed Shawn Michaels arriving. He was happy to see Triple H there. We'll hear from him later.Speaking of Shawn Michaels, be sure to check out my WrestleMania Reviews exclusive to TJR that I post three times per week. The most recent one I posted was WrestleMania 6 that I posted on Monday. I'll be posting WrestleMania 7 on Wednesday night and WrestleMania 8 likely on Friday although it may be Saturday. It's been a lot of fun. The feedback has been great. More please.(Commercial)Back from break, John Cena was talking to his wheelchair bound buddy Zack Ryder. He was in the wheelchair and he also had a big neck/back brace on. Ryder had flowers for Eve. Cena mentioned that every time Ryder is there, Kane ends up causing him pain. He told him to wait in the dressing room because he will bring Eve to him. Apparently the only time Ryder can talk to Eve is if it's during the two hours that Raw is on every week. He also doesn't have her phone number to text her. Only John Laurinaitis is able to use a phone on this show. Now you know. Why not have Ryder call Eve while he's there, asking to see her? Perhaps he sent her a text hours ago, but she never responded so he was worried. Instead of reaching her, he reveals that her phone isn't on. John wonders why, so he goes to find out. That makes more sense to me.Backstage, the scheming Laurinaitis & Otunga duo talked about being back on Raw. Otunga told him he's still only the interim GM, but he had a plan to make JL the GM of both Raw & Smackdown.Back to the announcers, Cole mentioned he had his own action figure. Who would buy that on purpose? They showed clips from Smackdown and after the show when Show chokeslammed Orton. I liked the Orton vs. Bryan match, which apparently is happening again this week on Smackdown.Daniel "Yes!" Bryan was introduced to the crowd. He would be there to watch the next match.(Commercial)Randy Orton d. Big Show via DQ (*1/2)I guess by putting these two in a match on Raw plus Daniel Bryan at ringside they are saying they're the only true contenders in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match. My pick is likely going to be Orton, but we'll get to that in the preview. They worked about one minute before going to break. Awful time to go to break.(Commercial)They only worked about three more minutes after the break. Couldn't they plan the commercials better than to have one during a 7 minute match? They fought on the floor with Show getting the advantage by overpowering Orton. He was distracted by Bryan, who really did nothing, so Orton hit a dropkick on Show. Then Orton hit his off the ropes DDT on Show, which was done over the top rope rather than using the middle rope. That was an awesome spot. They did a RKO spot that messed up badly. Show fell down to fast and Orton wasn't ready to drop down yet, so Show basically fell flat on his face. Randy regrouped, the crowd chanted "you fucked up" and they re-did the spot after a whip into the ropes. Orton kicked him in the gut and hit the RKO. That was the cue for Daniel Bryan to run in, hit Orton in the head with the World Title and then hit Big Show in the head with the World Title. That was fun. Well done angle. Every week Bryan gets more heel heat, which is what you want to do for the champion.(Commercial)It was the top of hour two, so Shawn Michaels time. They recapped the Triple H/Undertaker story of the last couple of weeks. Michaels got his full entrance, even with the pyro at the top of the ramp. They’ve been cutting back on pyro as a cost cutting measure, so nice to see them bring back HBK's usual entrance. I wrote my favorite column ever about Shawn two years ago. He's my favorite wrestler ever. I've missed this guy. For those asking, I do believe him when he says he'll never wrestle again.Michaels mentioned wanting to be back because it's WrestleMania season and he's Mr. WrestleMania as well as all of his other monikers, which also includes Mr. Hall of Fame now. Michaels talked about watching Raw last week, which is nice to say even though he tweets all the time about barely watching the show. He called out his best friend, Hunter Hearst McMahon Suit Helmsley. I added some names. They did a mature DX pose. Hunter said it was good to see him, saying he would like to see him more often. As far as I know, Shawn will be on Raw fairly regularly between now and WrestleMania, so we will see more of him. Anyway, he wanted Hunter to accept Undertaker's challenge. Hunter said no because he looks at things differently now that he's COO. He says if he wrestles Undertaker he knows he'll have to hurt him to end the streak and he doesn't want to do that. Shawn can't believe what he's hearing, saying that's the kind of thing Hunter always used to do. Shawn asked if he's changed because he "married that chick" (hi Stephanie) and if he's become one of them. He asked if Hunter was a sellout. Hunter said he's not a sellout. He's investing in the future. I guess he thinks the 46 year old Undertaker that works once a year has a bright future. Shawn says if a man challenges you to a fight and you back down that makes you a coward. Oh no he didn't! Hunter talked about the business side of things. He called Undertaker a brand and he saw value in that. If he sees value in the Undertaker brand why not book him to wrestle more than once a year? I guess he can ask that next week. Hunter said the three of them were the end of an era, the last breed of guys who fought until they could give no more. He said Undertaker is all that's left of that era. Yes, a guy that works once a year is going to represent them. Hunter said he's not going to be the one that Shawn lives vicariously through because Shawn couldn't get the job done. Oh no HE didn't! Shawn says he's at peace where he is. He wanted to know if Hunter was too. He asked Hunter to look him in the eye to tell him he didn't want it. After Michaels repeatedly asked him, telling him to look him in the eyes. I think he said that three times. Hunter looked him in eye and told him: "No." He did not need it. Shawn left. I felt like I needed a cigarette after that one and I've never smoked in my life. Great drama.Once Hunter was left alone in the ring, the Undertaker gong sounded just like last week. Another Undertaker video played similar to last week with him sitting in a chair watching clips. I love how Undertaker wears his MMA gloves while he watches clips of himself. You never know when you might have to fight over the remote control. Undertaker told Hunter to give him what he wants: immortality. While he said this, they showed clips of Undertaker cutting his hair. He shaved his head last summer, so rather than have him wear a wig it appears as though he's going to return with shorter hair. I've already had people asking me if that means he'll be back to the American Badass biker gimmick. I doubt that, but he might have similar hair as he did back then.This segment was awesome. Nothing more to say, but I'm a writer so I guess I will. Loved it. I know Michaels is involved in the Hunter/Taker feud because he's likely the ref for their match at WrestleMania, but I would love to see him have a segment with Daniel Bryan at some point. There's history there since Shawn trained him. Even a backstage segment with Bryan talking down to him would be great. Anyway, it will be fun to see Michaels in the ring with Hunter and Undertaker hopefully next week for another segment to continue the hype.(Commercial)They showed Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers sitting ringside. He had a down year. Sorry angry Steeler fans but it's true. The injuries are starting to slow him down.R-Truth d. Dolph Ziggler (*)They didn't even get three minutes. Ziggler was in control, then he started doing situps at the side of R-Truth when he was down and Truth cradled him up for the win. I don't think Ziggler is winning on Sunday, but having him lose so quickly this way probably does more harm than good. It does allow them to put over the idea that anything can happen in the chamber match, though.Backstage, Santino visited Ryder in the dressing room. I guess Cena still hasn't found Eve. Santino offered Ryder his breath strip that he made. It's the smell of garlic. Ryder thought it was gross. Santino liked it. Wasn't funny. Santino's funny on his youtube show, at least.(Commercial)Tamina Snuka d. Brie Bella (1/4*)Your typical 90 second divas match to give Beth's PPV opponent a win going into her loss on Sunday. Nice Samoan Drop leading to the Superfly Splash by Tamina. She's had less formal training than most of the girls on the roster and she's already better than a lot of them. Then again she is the daughter of a legend. Beth was at the announce table rocking a "Ding Glam Slam Ding" shirt. That's awesome. I'd expect Beth to retain on Sunday. Pencil in Beth vs. Kharma at WrestleMania, kids. I wouldn't mind seeing Natalya thrown in there, but I think it will be Beth vs. Kharma at WrestleMania.Backstage, they said Cena would be talking to Josh Mathews after a commercial. I thought Cena was looking for Eve? He's such a bad friend.(Commercial)Back from break, they showed a video package on The Rock that focused on his movie Journey 2 being released this past week. The gist of the video package is to tell you that The Rock is very rich & famous in case you don't know. The video also featured the Rock's "Peck Pop" move. I had somebody tweet me saying that Rock stole Chris Masters' gimmick. Apparently the belief is that nobody could make their pecs dance before Chris Masters. I liked the Rock video on Smackdown better, which talked about him as a kid and his struggles growing up. The new Rock DVD comes out next Tuesday.Backstage, Josh Mathews asked Cena for his reaction to the video. Instead, we heard yelling from a distance. It was Eve yelling. Kane had captured her and threw her in the back of the ambulance that he was standing beside earlier in the show. Cena ran over to fight him off. He told Eve to jump out. Kane attacked Cena again and he went to drive away. Right before he took off, Eve jumped out of the ambulance. She went right into Cena's arms. Then she kissed him passionately on the lips. He kissed her back. A make out session on Raw. Cena was stunned by it: "what was that for?" Then the camera panned over to see Zack Wheelchair Ryder looking on with a very sad face. Are you serious bro? I remember a few weeks ago Eve told Cena that all of Zack's injuries were Cena's fault. Now she makes out with him. The moral of the story is that women are nuts.From there, Kane got arrested for stealing an ambulance and trying to kidnap a woman. Oh wait that didn't happen. I need to stop reality booking.This angle has given us a lot of cheesy moments. This was one of the cheesier ones. Amazingly, they would top this. This whole thing felt like one of those teenage drama shows that I never watched as a kid because I was too busy playing sports. I did watch Saved by the Bell though, thanks to Kelly Kapowski. It reminded me of an episode of that. Zack was in the roll of Screech - the nerd that everybody makes fun of, but love because he's a friendly type of nerd.(Commercial)Back from break, Zack was wheeling himself away as Eve caught up to apologize to him. She blamed the kiss on the heat of the moment. Then she said she just wanted to be friends with Zack. Huge boos for that. A lot of people can sympathize with that. I felt the same way when Oprah told me the same thing. I only love her for her money. At least I'm honest.The Miz was waiting in the ring. He doesn't even get an entrance anymore. Trending topic: Poor Zack. That cracked me up. I wonder if Vince is bragging to shareholders that the company is doing so well that they got "Poor Zack" trending on Twitter.CM Punk d. The Miz (**)Even though he's in the WWE Title match at Elimination Chamber, Miz is clearly in the doghouse these days. Whether it's because of the Survivor Series main event doing low buyrates, his girlfriend Maryse leaving the company or not catching R-Truth last week, the guy probably has a lot of heat backstage these days. They worked about five minutes. I'm surprised it even went that long. The only thing I remember about it 12 hours later is the great finishing sequence. They did a nice transition from GTS attempt to Skull Crushing Finale attempt to Punk finishing it with the Anaconda Vice for the submission win. After the match, they showed Jericho looking on. Again, that's another dead giveaway of what the WWE Title match at WrestleMania will be. I think Miz is more of an afterthought than Kofi is.I was hoping for some kind of brawl at the end of this match. That's what this storyline needed. It's an Elimination Chamber match without much intensity. Did they even mention that Jericho would be the last man to enter the chamber so he would have an advantage? They should have done a much better job of driving that point home.I've done some fantasy booking in this column. I don't like doing it, but once in a while I feel the need. How about one more time? Instead of the three singles matches featuring the six guys in the Elimination Chamber matches, I would have booked them in a three on three tag that ended in a big brawl that the refs and jobbers on the roster had to break up. It would have upped the intensity of the match on Sunday. That would be more interesting than seeing three of the guys lose quick matches to make them look like idiots. You want to give all the guys momentum, not just half of them. That's just my opinion.After the match, they showed that the ambulance had returned. Lawler was worried. I've been worried about this angle for weeks too.(Commercial)The main event angle featured John Cena. The San Diego crowd, which was fantastic for most of the show, booed him a lot. There was even a "we all hate you" chant that was pretty mean, but also the kind of thing WWE was likely hoping for with this angle. He did the same speech about being booed for six years and that he won't let it rattle him. He promised to put Kane in an Ambulance on Sunday. Obviously Cena's going to win. They'd be stupid to have him lose there.As Cena was about to mention The Rock, Zack Ryder wheeled his way out. Then he used his crutches to slowly make his way down the aisle. He slapped the microphone from Cena. Then he yelled at him saying Cena was never his friend. Then he slapped him in the face. Cena was so mad he almost struck him. Yes, the nicest guy ever named John Cena almost attacked an injured man. He must be embracing hate. Oh what a story (that's sarcasm). Ryder told him to get away. He left.After poor Zack limped back up the ramp, Kane appeared on the Titantron again. Yes I call it Titantron still. That should be its only name. Kane said that Cena was finally embracing the hate because he stole the true love of his only friend and that's not something he would even dream of doing. I guess we're forgetting the Lita angle as well as the Tori angle. He said that Zack was Cena's "only" friend. That was odd too. It's not like they've established that other wrestlers dislike Cena. Perhaps it's an idea they should do, but we don't know that as viewers. I love how Kane is such a company guy that he's happy to beat Cena at the Elimination Chamber and he's also kindhearted enough to make sure Cena is okay for his WrestleMania match. What a sweetheart! Maybe they can be Valentine's too. Kane told him that his body and soul would leave in an ambulance on Sunday. Then he asked the fans to give a round of applause to John Cena.Back live, Cena wanted a microphone. Instead, Kane showed up at the top of the ramp were Ryder was. He took control of the wheelchair and wheeled Ryder off the stage and sent the wheelchair bound dude flying face first onto the cement below. Was it cement or did they place a mat there? I'm sure they did something to put some padding there. He took the bump on his feet and knees, so it did look painful. Cena freaked out, he told the doctor to get out there and he made the "X" sign with his arms. Eve came out to support Zack. The crowd booed her. Zack got taken out on a stretcher to end the show. The announcers were quiet during the whole thing, which was the right thing to do. Let the pictures tell the story.Was this segment cheesier than the backstage ambulance one? No, but it was close. I think long term the story will see Ryder return for WrestleMania, beat Kane and Eve will kiss him after the match. He will be more than just a friend to her. That's the logical way for this to go. I don't know if that's the plan, but it would make the most sense to me.Three Stars of the Show1. Shawn Michaels2. Triple H3. Zack Ryder - Wheelchair bump was impressive!5 out of 10Last week: 4.52012 Average: 5.932012 High: 9 (January 30)2012 Low: 4 (January 9)Last 5 Weeks: 4.5, 9, 7, 7, 4This show gets a rating of 5. I thought it had good potential "on paper" seeing as how Shawn Michaels was back, they had advertised four good matches and none of them were allowed to be great because of time constraints. I thought it was a bit counterproductive to see guys like Ziggler, Miz & Kingston all lose in clean fashion in relatively short matches. Of all the times to book countouts or disqualification finishes, those were the times. Why should fans pay to watch a PPV when they see these guys losing easily on free TV?The Cena/Kane/Ryder/Eve stuff doesn't make me hate Cena any more or less. I don't hate him. I hate this angle. Sure, it will probably lead to Ryder over Kane and will bring out Cena's vicious side, but the way they got there has been pretty lame. All the angle makes me want is for The Rock to get on this show in two weeks for the final build to the WrestleMania match. All of this other stuff feels like a big waste of time until he gets there.I have no idea if others liked this show or disliked it. Based on tweets and Facebook posts I can see a lot of mixed opinions. It was a weird show. Maybe this show could have used some Brodus Clay to liven it up. Anybody else miss the Funkasaurus?The best angle on the show is the Undertaker/Hunter/Michaels story. While I think Elimination Chamber is a fun PPV to watch, I don't think interest is very high for it. I also don't think this show did a great job of pushing people to buy the PPV.In other news, John Cena is the worst friend ever. All you had to do was bring Eve to Zack! That's it. What an awful man. Shame on you, John Cena. I think that's the reaction they want from the 12 year olds. But isn't he supposed to be the top babyface? This is so weird. I'm lost. I doubt I'm the only one.How would you rate 02/13 Raw on the 1-10 scale?I was a guest on the Falls Count Anywhere podcast over the weekend. I talked with them about a lot of topics relating to my writing history as well as current WWE events. I joined the show at about the 25 minute mark and stayed for an hour or so. It was fun. They're a good group of guys. Give it a listen.I won't be watching or writing about the Elimination Chamber PPV live on Sunday. It's the birthday party of one of my best friends that day and since we have a lame holiday here in Ontario on Monday (it's called Family Day), that's the day chosen to head out on the town. I'll try to watch the PPV on Monday before and get some kind of review posted. Meanwhile, I'll ask a TJR writer to cover it for the site live on Sunday night too.That's all from me. Keep checking out thejohnreport.net for WrestleMania recaps three times per week, the PPV preview at the end of the week and all the fine columns from the staff at TJR. Thanks for reading!John Canton - john@thejohnreport.netthejohnreport.netTwitter @johnreportFacebook Facebook.com/thejohnreportnet