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Live from Lafayette, Louisiana this is the Raw Deal for episode #1030. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.
There's a voiceover guy narrating some things that happened at Elimination Chamber last night, but it's not the usual guy I call Guy Voiceover. If you missed my Elimination Chamber review you can read about it right here. Basically they just told us that the Road to WrestleMania continues tonight on Raw.
The announcers for the show are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler as usual.
John Cena made his entrance. His time is now apparently. He pointed at the WrestleMania sign saying that the show is taking place. We now know two championship matches at WM29: Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Championship. Crowd didn't even react to it. Cena said that he'll face The Rock for the WWE Title. Before he could continue, CM Punk's music started up.
CM Punk made his entrance along with his friend Paul Heyman. Punk questioned Cena's claim that he's fighting The Rock for the WWE Title at WrestleMania. Punk said The Rock beat him fair and square. "If you ignore the fact that he got pinned for an 18 count," says Punk. Punk said Rock should have been DQ'd for hitting the official. Punk told Cena that he has never beat him.
Cena told Punk they weren't talking about wins and losses. He earned the right to face Rock. Cena said "for once it's not about CM Punk." Punk bragged about his 434 day WWE Title reign and called Cena's Royal Rumble win a fluke. Punk told Cena he's seen him wrestle Rock. He said Cena can't win the big one. I guess we should ignore the ten WWE Title wins. Punk told Cena to walk away and get out of Punk's life. Cena refused to do that.
Cena admired Punk's "set of stones." Whether Punk likes him or not, he should know that Cena isn't going to give away his WWE Title shot. Cena talked about how he hasn't beat Punk and he hasn't beat Rock. Cena wanted to shut the critics up. Cena suggested a match against Punk to prove he can beat him. If Cena wins then Punk has to shut his mouth. "If you beat me you deserve it. You beat me in a match right here, right now and I will give you my WrestleMania title shot." Cena wanted the match right now.
Punk said Cena made the stupidest decision of his life. Punk is going to take him up on it, but not here. He wants to do it on his terms. Punk said they'll do it next week. He left along with Heyman. Cena said it's official. They have a match next week and winner faces Rock at WrestleMania. He ended the promo confidently saying he would beat Punk next week.
Analysis: I think it's a good move to advertise a big match like that for next week because far too often they don't advertise matches a week ahead. Now we have something to look forward to on that show because they always have great matches together. I think the way they set it up made sense. Punk goaded him into giving him a chance when Cena didn't have to and Cena's character is so confident that he's willing to put up his WrestleMania opportunity to prove he can beat Punk. By going over Punk next week (like I expect) they can say Cena has a lot of momentum before the WrestleMania match against Rock. There are seven weeks until WrestleMania. There's plenty of time to build up the main event match.
Later on Raw it's The Rock's championship celebration. Mark Henry in action next.
They put up a Thomas Jefferson quote because it's President's Day in the US. The announcers talked over some photos from The Shield's win at Elimination Chamber.
Backstage, Matt Striker was talking to Sheamus. Ryback was angrily walking around. Sheamus told him they had to react and overcome. Ryback argued with him. Chris Jericho showed up to tell them to calm down. Jericho mentioned the NWO and The Nexus, but said The Shield is on another level. Jericho said he loves WWE. He said he's been there since 1999. He won't wrestle anywhere else. Jericho said he was going to talk to Vickie Guerrero about setting up a match with Sheamus, Ryback & Jericho vs. The Shield. He said he will make it happen on Raw is Jericho. Sheamus and Ryback approved. Ryback said "feed me Shield."
Analysis: A Shield match on Raw would be awesome. Nice pep talk by Jericho in the role of a veteran leader.
Mark Henry vs. Sin Cara
No Sin Cara lighting effects, which is good. Henry threw Sin Cara hard into the turnbuckle. Corner splash by Henry. "That's what I do!" Sin Cara connected on a kick, but a headscissors didn't work because Henry turned it into a running powerslam. World's Strongest Slam by Henry ended it after one minute.
Winner: Mark Henry
Analysis: It went as long as it should have gone. Henry's been booked as a devastating monster sine he's come back, so he shouldn't be out there trying to sell Sin Cara moves.
After the match, Henry wanted to give Sin Cara another slam. Instead, Great Khali's music started up and he slowly made his way into the ring. When he got into the ring, Henry went out the other side. Then Henry mocked the Great Khali dance. That was outstanding.
Analysis: I guess this means they're going to have a match in the near future. Hopefully it's not at WrestleMania. Too many deserving talents should have a WrestleMania match. Henry should have a match there. Not Khali.
Up next it's a no disqualification match between The Miz and Antonio Cesaro. Also that Shield match against Jericho, Ryback & Sheamus is official based on a tweet by Vickie Guerrero.
There was another very short Fandango promo where Johnny Curtis just said the name into the camera.
No Disqualification Match: Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz
This is non-title. They brought some weapons into the ring early on. Cesaro hit a running knee into the bandaged left shoulder of Miz. Cesaro drilled Miz with the point of a kendo stick into the throat. Cesaro used a folding chair to work on the left arm of Miz. Miz hit his backbreaker, but Cesaro drove him shoulder first into the steel chair in that was wedged into the turnbuckle. Miz got a boot to the face and then Cesaro went knee first into a chair. Drop toe hold by Miz into another steel chair. Miz applied the Figure Four Leglock and actually did it right this time. Cesaro tapped out. The match went about three minutes.
Winner: The Miz
Analysis: A champion losing a non-title match always happens. This will likely lead to another US Title match for them. I'm not a huge fan of Cesaro losing such a short match because he's been booked as such a great champ. However, that's what happens when they want to get another match out of the feud.
They aired some youtube promo from Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. The youtube account is "wethepeoplezeb" apparently. Zeb went on a rant about the immigration problem in America. I'm not going to summarize the whole thing, but it's there if you want it.
Analysis: Good idea to have promos available on youtube for people to watch if they want to get a better understanding of the character.
Next week in Dallas it's CM Punk vs. John Cena for a WWE Title shot at WrestleMania against The Rock.
There was an Abe Lincoln quote on screen in honor of President's Day.
Daniel Bryan and Kane argued. Bryan said he got himself a singles match with Jack Swagger. Kane wanted a singles match too. He told Bryan not to slither out to ringside. Randy Orton showed up. He said Kane wasn't a monster anymore because he has group therapy and hugs now. He said he's more like Barney the Dinosaur. Bryan laughed. Then Kane was mad at him. He looked back, but Orton was gone.
Vickie Guerrero summoned Paul Heyman. She said she had dramatic news for Heyman. She's not going to tell him now. She'll do it later in the ring. He told her that he didn't like surprises. She said "I know" and laughed.
Dolph Ziggler made his entrance with Big E Langston and AJ Lee. He got a kiss from AJ. He's in a match with Alberto Del Rio. Good. They had an outstanding matchup on Main Event last week.
Ricardo Rodriguez introduced the World Champion Alberto Del Rio.
Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee & Big E Langston)
This is a non-title match. Early dropkick by Ziggler. Del Rio hit an enziguiri to the back of the head of Ziggler and he went out to the floor for the vintage floor to commercial spot.
Analysis: They literally went one minute before that break. I think from the time Del Rio got introduced to the commercial was three minutes. Bad timing for the commercial.
Back from break, Ziggler was choking Del Rio's neck on the bottom rope. Langston got in a cheap shot on Del Rio. They showed Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter looking on at a monitor backstage. Ziggler hit the Rocker Dropper for two. Ziggler went to the top, but Del Rio tripped him up. Off the top rope, Del Rio hit a reverse suplex. That was an awesome spot. Del Rio hit two clotheslines followed by a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Kick to the face got a two count for Del Rio. Ziggler hit a swinging neckbreaker for two. Del Rio came back with a two count of his own. Langston went on the apron. It looks like his tights are giving Langston a wedgie. Ziggler tried an attack, but Del Rio avoided it and applied the Cross Armbreaker. Ziggler tapped out, which gave Del Rio the win after nine minutes. We only saw six minutes of it.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Analysis: ** Like I said we only got six minutes, which is a bit of a disappointment. It was still good while it lasted. I'm not a huge fan of Ziggler losing as much as he is, but it's not as bad when you lose to the World Champion like that. They have to keep the momentum going for Del Rio, after all. I liked the last few minutes with a lot of nearfalls for each guy and then Del Rio was able to apply his finisher to get the win. It would have been nice if they got ten more minutes, though.
After the match, Big E Langston attacked Del Rio with a running body attack. Then he gave Del Rio his finishing move. Ziggler looked around and e wanted to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase. He couldn't do it, though, because Rodriguez took the briefcase. Langston chased him up the aisle. He dropped the briefcase. AJ handed the briefcase to Ziggler. Del Rio got back up and nailed him with an enziguiri. That ended it. Del Rio celebrated.
Analysis: Rodriguez saved his buddy's World Title. That was a nice tease. I think Ziggler's going to cash in and win the World Title at WrestleMania 29.
Kane vs. Randy Orton is official for later in the show.
Wade "Beard" Barrett was in the ring to deliver a promo. He was wearing the Intercontinental Title around his waist. He talked about starring in the movie "Dead Man Down" that is in theatres on March 8th. They played the trailer. It stars Colin Farrell and Terence Howard. They filmed this while Barrett was injured last year. The film is Rated R. Once the trailer ended, Sheamus showed up on the video screen. He said Colin Farrell is the star of the movie, not Barrett. Sheamus wanted Barrett to respond, but said they were time. Then it just ended.
Analysis: Trailer looked like a generic action film. I didn't even notice Barrett in it. That appearance by Sheamus was awkward.
The announcers played with the WWE Power Slammers. They acted like they are the greatest things ever.
Brodus Clay, Tensai & Naomi vs. Primo, Epico & Rosa
This was set up on the WWE App. Naomi hit a move using her giant butt on Rosa. Cross body block off the top by Naomi got a two count. Just for fun, Naomi did a headscissors to Epico. Tensai destroyed Primo when they were legal. Clay made a blind tag, so they did a double headbutt. Double splash by the big guys led to the victory after two minutes.
Winners: Brodus Clay, Tensai & Naomi
Analysis: Yawn. It's like all those months when Brodus debuted and he won three minute matches all the time. Now they do the same thing in a tag team setting. Not fun.
They aired a video about the WrestleMania 30 press conference in New Orleans earlier on Monday. I wrote a full recap of everything that was mentioned at the press conference. You can read that right here on TJRWrestling.com. WrestleMania 30 will take place on April 6, 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
Up next we'll get a State of the Union Address by Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter.
There was a Harry S. Truman quote for President's Day: "The Buck stops here."
Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter were in the ring. They were speaking into a microphone that was on a podium. Swagger said that tonight is about the state of the union. The only honest man that can deliver it is Zeb Colter.
Zeb thanked the founding fathers for creating the Bill of Rights. He said that bill allowed them to stand out there to voice their opinion. Exercising their rights is what real Americans do. He grabbed the microphone to complain about people living in America illegally. Those people don't mind taking their jobs or their freedom. He said real Americans need to stand up to say no more. At Elimination Chamber, Swagger won the right to get a World Title match at WrestleMania. Zeb said it's a battle between the heart and soul of the country. On one side you have a real American like Swagger while the other side is a man named Alberto Del Rio. He said Del Rio is benefitting from the work of Americans. Zeb said that at WrestleMania, Swagger will win the World Heavyweight Title and he will reclaim America. He said it will be an America we can be proud of. That' will be Jack Swagger's America. Zeb ended it by saying: "We the people." Then Swagger said "we the people" repeatedly.
Analysis: The crowd has been fairly quiet all night, so they weren't booing them that loudly. He didn't rip into Del Rio that much. I'm sure that will happen in the seven weeks ahead on the road to WrestleMania.
Daniel Bryan made his entrance for his match with Swagger.
Daniel Bryan vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter)
The match was joined in progress. Bryan got a nearfall for two. Dropkick to the back of the knee by Bryan. Bryan has his ribs taped up due to the beating he took at Elimination Chamber. Swagger gave Bryan a clothesline over the top to the floor. Dropkick by Bryan outside the ring. Swagger drove Bryan back first into the security wall. Back in the ring, Swagger gave Bryan a hip toss across the ring followed by a running knee to the ribs. Swagger hit his Swagger Bomb splash off the middle ropes for a two count. Bryan made a comeback with a forearm shot to the face. Swagger missed a charge that saw him end up on the floor. Bryan hit a dive between the middle and top rope that he does in nearly every match. Missile dropkick by Bryan got a two count. The crowd chanted "yes" for Bryan as he hit Swagger with a series of kicks to the chest. Swagger blocked a roundhouse kick and turned it into a spinebuster variation. Bryan quickly came back with the No Lock. Swagger got to the ropes within five seconds. Bryan missed a dropkick in the corner, which saw him land on his head. Swagger worked on Bryan's left ankle. He gave him a chop block to the back of the left leg. Swagger applied the Patriot Act ankle lock for the submission win after nine minutes that we saw. The announcers were calling it the Patriot Lock, so maybe that's what it is rather than Patriot Act.
Winner: Jack Swagger
Analysis: **1/2 It was a good matchup between two guys I like. They had Swagger dominate early, Bryan made the spirited comeback with the crowd behind him and then they finished it off with Bryan selling that ankle injury to set up for the finish. This is another match that I wish could get 15 minutes or so, but I get why they aren't going that long on Raw especially after working 30 minutes on Sunday. I like that Swagger has a bigger role. I think he's a good talent. It might take a bit of time for this gimmick to really get over, though. It's a bit of a risk to put him in a World Title match at WrestleMania. As for Bryan, he should have a bigger role. Hopefully that happens after he drops the tag titles.
Later in the show we'll get The Shield vs. Jericho, Sheamus & Ryback in what is The Shield's first match ever on Raw.
It's 48 days until WrestleMania.
The Managing Supervisor of Raw, Vickie Guerrero, was in the ring with Paul Heyman. Vickie said she was going to announce a new assistant…Brad Maddox.
Brad Maddox made his entrance. He said he got this job because it's his reward for exposing Paul Heyman's involvement with The Shield. He said that's why Vince McMahon gave him this opportunity. He called himself the "Assistant Managing Supervisor." She corrected him. Heyman wanted to leave.
Vince McMahon appeared on the video screen. He had crutches with him. Earlier in the day he was at the WrestleMania press conference without any limp at all. Oh well I guess it doesn’t matter. McMahon said last week he granted Heyman a wish for CM Punk's match against The Rock. Heyman summarized the situation. McMahon said "I don't have a heart - if I did it would be black." McMahon wanted the clip to play from last week when Heyman said he'd do "anything" if McMahon added the stip. McMahon suggested that anything means he could fire Heyman right now. He said firing is too good for Heyman. McMahon told him to shut his mouth. McMahon said he'll walk to the ring on his crutches and Heyman will be there too. He said they're going to have a fight. Heyman dropped the microphone. He had a scared look on his face. That ended the segment.
Analysis: It seems like they're building up next week's Raw as a big deal since they are going to advertise this McMahon vs. Heyman fight. That's in addition to Cena vs. Punk. The promo by McMahon was fine. Brock Lesnar isn't advertised for Raw this week, but he is next week so we'll likely see the start of the build to Lesnar vs. Triple H on next week's show. That's just an educated guess on my part.
Six man tag is next.
We saw clips from earlier in the night when John Cena and CM Punk set up their match next week.
The babyface team of Chris Jericho, Sheamus & Ryback entered in that order. The Shield entered last.
Chris Jericho, Sheamus & Ryback vs. The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns)
Ryback went after Rollins aggressively in the corner with a series of shoulderblocks. Jericho hit a nice suplex on Ambrose. Dropkick off the middle rope by Jericho. As Sheamus tagged in, Ambrose brought in Reigns. Sheamus hit a lot of his usual power moves including a running knee, clothesline and the White Noise slam. He set up for the Brogue Kick, but Rollins pulled Reigns out of the ring. Sheamus gave Ambrose the Brogue Kick while he was on the apron. All three Shield guys were on the floor, so it was time for the vintage floor to commercial break four minutes into the match.
Back from break, The Shield isolated Sheamus. He ended up breaking free after dropping Reigns with a clothesline. Hot tag to Ryback, who unloaded on Rollins with a back body drop followed by a spinebuster. Meat Hook Clothesline on Rollins. The crowd was loud with the "feed me more" chant. Ryback wanted Shellshocked, but Reigns hit a Spear just like a night earlier at Elimination Camber. Rollins delayed his cover so Ryback was able to kick out at two. The Shield isolated Ryback as the match reached the ten minute mark. Rollins hit Ryback with a series of kicks. Ambrose tagged in to deliver a neckbreaker. Reigns missed a corner splash, so Ryback made the hot tag to Jericho. He gave Rollins a dropkick to knock him to the floor followed by a bulldog on Ambrose. Lionsault by Jericho onto Ambrose. Outside the ring, Reigns threw Ryback shoulder first into the ring post. Back in the ring, Jericho successfully applied the Walls of Jericho on Ambrose. Reigns tried to interfere, so Sheamus went after him. That allowed Rollins to come off with a diving knee attack to the head of Jericho. Ambrose covered for the win after 14 minutes.
Winners: The Shield
Analysis: ****1/4 That was a very entertaining tag match just like at Elimination Chamber. The difference was that Jericho was in Cena's place and he's the one that got pinned while Ryback got pinned during their Elimination Chamber match. There were two parts of the match where there was a babyface that the heels focused on. First it was Sheamus and then it was Ryback. I like how they built to the finish. Reigns took out Ryback outside the ring. Then when Reigns got attacked by Sheamus the ref was distracted by that, which allowed Rollins to hit his flying knee attack to the head of Jericho. Just like every Shield match so far it was booked very well. I'm such a fan of these guys and how they are presented. That's how you create new stars. Give them meaningful wins. It's working. They are an awesome trio.
After the match there was no angle. The Shield left through the crowd while Jericho was grabbing his head to sell the big move by Rollins.
We were reminded of things for next week as well as The Rock later in the show.
The next edition of TJR Radio is this Tuesday (today for most reading this) February 19 at 10pmET. Listen to it right here. It's two hours of wrestling talk with plenty of Elimination Chamber discussion plus we'll talk about WrestleMania as well. Join us! If you miss it live use that same link on Wednesday or in the future. You can also listen on iTunes too.
There was a John F. Kennedy quote for President's Day.
Kofi Kingston was in the ring. Damien Sandow entered with a microphone. Sandow mentioned that it's President's Day. He said it was common knowledge that several members of the Sandow assisted presidents in the past. He wanted the nitwit fans to be silent so he can save them from their self imposed ignorance. You're welcome.
Damien Sandow vs. Kofi Kingston
Sandow attacked Kingston before he took his robe off. He threw Kingston into the steel ring post. The ref Charles Robinson didn't even ring the bell to start the match. R-Truth's music started up. He ran down the ring to go after Sandow. Truth was out with a knee injury. He hit Sandow with a jumping side kick followed by a scissors kick to the back of the head of Sandow. Truth gave Sandow a clothesline over the top. Truth's music started to play.
Analysis: It will be interesting to see if they bring back the Kingston/Truth tag team, or maybe this was a case of a guy saving his friend. It was a way to bring back Truth who was out for a couple of months.
At ringside, Josh Mathews talked to actors DJ Cotrona & Adrianne Palicki, who are in GI Joe: Retaliation along with The Rock. I remember her from the NBC show Friday Night Lights. She's nice to look at. They aired some clips of the movie.
There was another Fandango promo. Nothing new.
Randy Orton vs. Kane
They worked for about a minute. Orton got knocked out to the floor and they went to the vintage floor to commercial break one minute into the match.
Analysis: Just like earlier in the show there wasn't a whole lot of "action" in the early portion of a match before they went to a break.
Back from break, Cole said they had a "war of words" earlier. I guess Orton calling him Barney the Dinosaur is a "war of words" now. Kane was dominating the match with kicks to body of Orton has he worked him over. Orton tried to fight back, but Kane hit a DDT. Did I mention the crowd was dead? Because they are. Orton came back with a clothesline in the corner followed by a dropkick. Orton hit his snap powerslam. Kane came back with the sidewalk slam, which is vintage Kane. Orton moved out of the way of Kane's clothesline. Why don't more people do that? Orton wanted his DDT off the ropes, but Kane powered out of it. He crotched Orton on the top rope. Daniel Bryan made his way out. Kane looked towards him. Orton hit the RKO to win the match after ten minutes.
Winner: Randy Orton
Analysis: ** It was an okay match. The crowd wasn't making a lot of noise during it and the chemistry between them was just average. It's like Kane is having his first match because he got distracted by somebody standing in the aisle. I hate how stupid babyfaces are. The tag champs each lost singles matches. I think we're headed towards a WrestleMania match between them. Perhaps they will lose the tag titles on Raw before that. I'm not really sure where it's headed, but that's how I see it transpiring. Anyway, Orton doesn't have much of a direction these days. I thought that maybe he would turn heel after losing the Elimination Chamber match, but there was no sign of that here.
Finally, The Rock's championship celebration is up next.
The University of Lafayette marching band was on the ramp playing their instruments. The Rock made his entrance with his "Just Bring It" shirt and he carried the WWE Title on his way to the ring.
The Rock cut a promo about how he beat CM Punk twice. Then he sucked up the crowd by mentioning some streets in Lafayette and he mentioned the marching band there. "Finally The Rock has come back to Lafayette." Loud "Rocky" fans after that. At least he woke up the crowd, or maybe they were just waiting for him.
The Rock said he's going to WrestleMania, but he's not going there with this…he looked at the WWE Title. In the ring there was a red piece of material covering up something. Rock said eight years ago some people thought this version of the WWE Title is cool. He said that "the WWE Title should never look like a toy. And it should never, ever spin." He spun it. He handed it to an attendant at ringside and told him to send it to the Hall of Fame. If there was a physical Hall of Fame then it should be there, yes.
He talked about how prestigious the WWE Title is. He mentioned Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart and his good buddy "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. He pulled off the red covering to reveal the brand new WWE Championship. It's a big WWE logo in the middle with the word "CHAMPION" underneath it. It also had Rock's "Brahma Bull" logo on both sides of it. It looked alright. There's no name plate on it. I would imagine they will just replace the logos on the sides of it when there's a new champion. Here's a pic.
Rock wondered who his opponent will be at WrestleMania 29: CM Punk or John Cena? Lots of cheers for Cena. Rock said there is one man that Rock wants to face at WrestleMania. For professional reasons and personal reasons that man is…no name. John Cena's music started up.
John Cena stood at the top of the ramp. He smiled at Rock. Just as he was about to head to the ring, CM Punk hit Cena in the back if the head with the old WWE Title. Cena was knocked out on the ramp. Punk dropped the old WWE Title onto the ramp. He pointed at Rock and said "I want that one" referring to the new WWE Title. Punk left as Cena tried to get back to his feet and Rock looked on from inside the ring. The show ended there.
Analysis: The look of the title belt has never really bothered me. I liked the look of the title in the 1980s, then in the 1990s, then in the early 2000s and even the spinner title was fine. Some people get worked up over it. I'm not one of those people.
The Rock's promo was fine although it felt like half of a promo without an ending because of the finish with Cena getting attacked by Punk. There weren't a lot of jokes and not much in the way of trash talking.
The angle with Punk taking out Cena sets up next week's match well. It will have a big match feel to it. I'm pretty sure Rock isn't booked for next week's show, so they're doing a major matchup to carry the main event, which is fine by me. I think for those of you that think Undertaker won't wrestle at WrestleMania then they will do something to lead to a three way match at WrestleMania with Rock vs. Cena vs. Punk. I believe Undertaker will wrestle, though. He can return next week or the week after. There's plenty of time to build up a match versus CM Punk. I don't know anything as fact. I'm just saying I think Undertaker will be there. I think not knowing for sure will make next week's matchup very interesting.
On a positive note, nobody will be asking when there will be a new WWE Title. It's been rumored for many months. CM Punk talked about during much of last year. Finally it's here.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Dean Ambrose
2. Seth Rollins
3. Roman Reigns
Very impressed by those three men.
4.5 out of 10
Last week: 5
2013 Average: 5.36
2013 High: 7 (January 7)
2013 Low: 3.5 (January 28)
Last 5 Weeks: 5, 6.5, 3.5, 5, 6
The 4.5 out of 10 is a below average score as you can see.
It felt like a show that dragged for most of the three hours. I didn't expect a great show the night after a physically demanding pay-per-view. Most of this week's Raw felt like a commercial for next week's show, which has a big time feel to it.
The best match was the six man battle that The Shield won. As I mentioned, the match was booked very strongly and they continue to look like major stars despite being "new" performers. Other than that match as well as the Bryan/Swagger match it was not a great night for in-ring action.
This crowd wasn't very good, yet WWE may head back there again. Meanwhile my closest big city is Toronto and they haven't had a live Raw since 2011. No PPVs in Toronto since 2006. Why does WWE refuse to go to a major city while going to a smaller town like Lafayette? I don't get it. Maybe we are punished for making too much noise? It's weird to me.
It's time to bring it home with some plugs.
Do you see that WrestleMania sign during WWE shows? 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 ten pics (added five in a week!), 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@example.com. We added three pics from Elimination Chamber including one by TJR writer Jacob Lindsey, so be sure to send yours too!
As mentioned earlier, the next edition of TJR Radio is this Tuesday (today for most reading this) February 19 at 10pmET. Listen to it right here. It's two hours of wrestling talk with plenty of Elimination Chamber discussion plus we'll talk about WrestleMania as well. Join us! If you miss it live use that same link on Wednesday or in the future. You can also listen on iTunes too.
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.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org