Yes! Yes! Yes! The Raw Review (#YYYTRR)
by, 02-12-2013 at 12:51 AM (3613 Views)
The Rock got some well-deserved ‘Knees 2 Faces’ tonight, in the final chapter of the build to Elimination Chamber. And what a poor build it has been, at least, for the WWE Championship match. The main problem here lies with who holds the WWE Championship right now and contrary to the beliefs of WWE’s creative team I am not ignorant to the fact that The Rock simply hasn’t taken his responsibility as WWE Champion as seriously as he should. If you have prior commitments and no desire to appear/compete weekly do not come back and become Champion; it really is that simple.
Sunday’s main event to one side, the rest of the card actually looks decent and tonight was a good way to head into the Chamber. We finally have a full Elimination Chamber match (in which I would like to see four of the six superstars walk away as number one contender, with Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho tied for my favourite), a World Heavyweight Championship match which I have decided to dub a classic build (in recognition of its dependency on backstage segments rather than match upon match), and a Six-Man Tag Team match which should really be inside of the Elimination Chamber.
‘Knees 2 Faces’
I was considering making no mention of this match in this week’s YYYTRR before I realised I’d be no better than The Rock phoning in his championship reign. I was also a little swayed by the closing segment of Raw tonight, as I actually enjoyed seeing CM Punk give Rocky a deserved GTS and taking back a title which should, if it wasn’t for the business-like nature of WWE, still rest on the shoulder of Punk.
I was planning to write about why The Rock should not be carrying the strap, but I’ve done it before and I don’t want to repeat myself or waste anybody’s time. For this reason I’m going to focus on what little mystery there actually is left in this story – Paul Heyman and the Disqualification/Count Out stipulation added to this Sunday’s match.
On the surface it looks like a pointless thing to add to the match given the deluded nature of Punk and Heyman right now regarding Punk’s loss of the title, but my thought is that it makes the predictable nature of this match (it is fairly obvious that WWE are leaning toward Cena/Rock II come WrestleMania) somewhat unpredictable.
Perhaps I should explain.
With the fans being well aware of WWE’s plan to give us Rock/Cena II, it is a safe bet to assume WWE’s creative team know that we expect The Rock to leave Elimination Chamber as WWE Champion. This is entirely possible, but there is a second option of Punk & Heyman abusing the newly added stipulation.
Given the number of allies Punk seems to have acquired through Heyman (The Shield and perhaps Brock Lesnar) it wouldn’t be too farfetched to see any of them cause a soft DQ by interfering on what would seem like The Rock’s behalf (after all, it only takes the slightest contact to be considered as interference). Of course there is the option for Punk to antagonise any of his former foes also, but I think WWE is looking toward WrestleMania rather than digging up Punk’s past rivalries.
My point is that WWE likes to throw a swerve ball in at this time of year, and nothing is officially written in stone until a few weeks before WrestleMania (I’m certain Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan was supposed to be a full match until mere hours before last year’s ‘Mania, but I’d need an inside source to provide evidence). I just cannot see why the stipulation would be added unless it was there to be exploited on Sunday, and The Rock is never going to purposely cheat in this match. Whether the plan of Punk and Heyman succeeds or not, the WrestleMania Triple Threat match is not impossibility just yet.
Failing this, there is always the dream match of Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk for WWE to consider. Take the hint, WWE…
Mark Henry pinned The Great Khali (w/ Hornswoggle & Natalya) to earn his spot in the Elimination Chamber following the World’s Strongest Slam; I’m enjoying the returning Mark Henry as much as I was enjoying him before his injury. I hope his impact is felt on Sunday.
Chris Jericho def. WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan after the Codebreaker to secure his spot in the Elimination Chamber; for two straight weeks Chris Jericho has featured in the match of the night for Raw, and this match was long overdue. These two need to lock up in singles action again soon.
John Cena, Ryback & Sheamus def. 3MB following a trifecta of finishing manoeuvres; I’m actually looking forward to this match on Sunday, I just hope it gets put inside the Chamber to allow for some carnage and high-flying prowess.
Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter) defeated Zack Ryder via The Patriot Act, and was later named as an Elimination Chamber participant; not being Swagger’s biggest fan it surprises me how intriguing his latest storyline actually is. I see a U.S. Title run in his future at the very least.
The Miz def. Cody Rhodes via DQ after being assaulted by U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro; the match was never going to finish clean with WWE trying to build an admittedly interesting feud between The Awesome One and Cesaro, and the assault Miz took was impressive to say the least.
Brodus Clay & Tensai (w/ Cameron & Naomi) def. Primo & Epico (w/ Rosa Mendes); if Brodus wasn’t ridiculous enough, WWE decides to put Tensai into a tag team with him? Just give Tensai his A-Train gimmick back so I can enjoy watching his matches again, please?
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) def. Antonio Cesaro with the Cross Armbreaker; a decent match, and a good way to maintain any momentum ADR has heading into this Sunday.
Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett pinned Kofi Kingston following a unique Bull Hammer elbow; I always enjoy the matches between these two, but I’m disappointed to see Kofi suffer yet another setback after once again looking like he might get a deserved push.
WWE Tag Team Champion Kane picked up the final Elimination Chamber spot following ringside distractions and his subsequent defeat of Dolph Ziggler; this match should have never been the last contest of the night when you have Jericho vs. Bryan, but it does look like the end of Team Hell No that I predicted for Royal Rumble could be on the cards at Elimination Chamber.
I didn’t expect much from Raw tonight, and I’m glad. With not too much actually happening, the little things were what made tonight worth the sleep deprivation. Punk’s theft of the WWE Championship and the filling out of the Elimination Chamber were highlights, whilst Jericho and Bryan stole the night with their match early on.
My hopes aren’t too high for Elimination Chamber, but I hope the Punk and Heyman can put a stop to what will likely be the most unpopular rematch in WrestleMania history.
Until next week, I leave you with this question; who do you think should win the Elimination Chamber match this Sunday? And who do you think will win it?
Follow me on Twitter (@SpringerAJ) and tweet me using #YYYTRR.