Following last week's exceptional Raw WWE started out tonight strong and sort of lost their groove towards the second hour.
Triple H addressed his decision to not accept Taker's challenge to a match at WrestleMania as well as confirmed he truly intended to fire John Laurinaitis last week.
JL made his plea to the board and they will make a decision, so for now he is still in the picture.
All the Elimination Chamber contestants faced off in some way or another. Daniel Bryan faced Big Show and Randy Orton teamed with Khali to take on Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett in a match which saw Orton and Khali get the win but still have their own encounter after the match.
The 4 on 4 Divas match only saw half of the women involved actually have time in the ring and lasted an astonishing 1:37 from bell to bell. Trust me, I timed it just to make sure.
The main event saw all six men in the Raw Chamber match face off in a six-pack challenge. Jericho got the win and held Punk's WWE title up high after the match to mock the man who he just stole the win from.
By winning, Jericho secured his spot as the final person to enter the Chamber match, giving the advantage of having to spend the least amount of time in the ring to Jericho.
Sheamus squashed Otunga in a match that was made on the fly by Triple H after Otunga came to the ring to pray for John Laurinaitis to keep his job, literally pray. On one knee and everything.
Rate the show from 1-5 stars
The night had highs and lows, but the most surprising thing about tonight's show was the complete lack of the US title, Tag titles, John Cena and Brodus Clay.
Cena was only shown in videos and Clay was not even mentioned, which makes this the second WWE show in a row he has not been on after having his match edited out of last week's SmackDown.
Every week I recap Raw with a long list comprised of equal parts humor, recap, preview, analysis, results, questions, answers and general observations.
I try to make these fun, so I hope you enjoy reading this week's 146 things we learned, loved and hated from WWE Monday Night Raw.
1. We begin with a video package showing Taker's return from last week
2. Not often these recap videos in the beginning of Raw have a voice-over
3. I wonder how much WWE spends in Pyro for every Raw?
4. Actually it would be interesting to know what every episode of Raw costs to produce in general, if someone can find a link to some info, I would appreciate it and give you a shout out on the next recap
5. Triple H is on his way out wearing the same tie I just bought! This guy has good taste. Same green-on-green pattern and everything. Whoever bought that tie shops at Kohl's
6. For all the crap Trips gets for sleeping his way to the top, I have tons of respect for the guy and what he has brought to the business over his whole career
7. Triple H says he was certainly going to fire John Laurinaitis last week
8. Triple H uses several unflattering terms to describe JL
9. He changes the subject to Taker's return
10. I bet Taker made more money for working one match in the last year than 90 percent of the full-time roster made last year
11. The more I think about it, the more I am starting to think Triple H vs. Taker would be a good idea for Mania
12. How great would it be if Triple H brought up the wig?
13. Can you believe WrestleMania will be the two-year anniversary of Shawn Michaels' last match? Seems like less time has passed since he left
14. Triple H says he chooses to remember the Undertaker as being one of the best with a video package highlighting his WrestleMania moments, pretty cool video for being about 30 seconds
15. Now he shows a video of how badly beaten the Undertaker was after their last match to show how he would rather not remember the Undertaker
16. So instead of just not remembering him that way, you had to show a video so EVERYONE remembers him that way?
17. Wow, Trips has a blinged-out wedding ring
18. Triple H says no to any challenge to a match at WrestleMania
19. It looks like Triple H is saying he doesn't want to face him because he doesn't want to put an end to the Undertaker, pretty cocky way of looking at it
20. So I guess the match will happen, why else would he say he would be able to beat him if he wasn't going to end up fighting him?
21. Triple H's music stops short and he looks confused
22. The lights go out and the crowd pops big
23. A video starts playing, which is a message from the Undertaker
24. This is a very well-produced video package
25. Taker is looking for vengeance for being left battered and beaten after winning last year
26. Good start to Raw, I hope the show stays good like last week's Raw
27. OK, now these stupid Nielsen Ratings facts WWE uses are getting totally out there. Fear Factor and Brian Williams' show are your measuring stick, WWE?
28. I guess mentioning how every WrestleMania PPV buy added together does not come close to how many people watched last night's Super Bowl wouldn't be such a good thing to show
29. Big Show is out next and Daniel Bryan is his opponent
30. AJ is on the ramp with her neck brace looking like she does not want to come to the ring but D-Bry brings her down, assuring her she will be OK
31. I bet AJ will get carded for alcohol until she is well into her 40s
32. Show takes control early on
33. Back from commercial and Bryan has a single leg Boston crab on Show in what is the dumber things I have ever seen him do; he weighs less than that one leg and he thinks he can hold Show down with that hold?
34. Bryan blocks a kick from Show and hits a stunner-like move on Show's leg
35. He goes to the top but Show cocks his fist back for the WMD and Bryan bails
36. He is outside the ring and AJ blocks Show from attacking him, giving Bryan a chance to chop block him
37. Show almost runs over AJ again when Bryan moves to avoid him
38. Bryan and AJ just walk off ending the match in a count out victory for Big Show
39. Bryan starts yelling at Show from the ramp calling him a freak
40. Somehow, Bryan thinks Show not running AJ over this week means he meant to do it the last time
41. Funny how Bryan only refers to AJ loving him and never says it back, using the littlest girl in WWE this way definitely makes him a heel you want to dislike
42. Jericho is set to talk to the WWE Universe later tonight
43. The Raw Elimination Chamber participants are in a six-pack challenge tonight to see who will get to enter the match last
44. Have they done this before?
45. It's a good concept and a nice way to preview the match and see how the chemistry between these six guys will be
46. That statue is weird
47. We see John Fastenel inviting Cena to wave the flag at the Daytona 500
48. Cena is usually convincing but he is not when trying to pretend he is interested in NASCAR
49. Seriously King, you are over 50, what's with those shirts?
50. A video showing past Chamber matches is shown along with an explanation of the rules
51. Six Champions have lost their titles in the Chamber match
52. The Raw Chamber match has the potential to be the best one they have ever had considering the talent involved
53. SmackDown's Chamber match, not so much
54. We come back from commercial and David Otunga is in the ring
55. I'm trying to come up with a new nickname for Otunga every week, this week's idea is The silver-shoed suckup, did you see those things? The crap people spend their money on amazes me sometimes
56. What the hell is he doing? His prayer position is ridiculous
57. Justin Roberts announces that Triple H made a match with Sheamus and Otunga scheduled to happen right now
58. Strange way to use your Rumble winner, WWE
59. Quick match sees Sheamus win with the Brogue Kick
60. We see Jericho walking backstage as we cut to commercial
61. I guess he forgot not to over-oil himself during his hiatus, he looked like he had a normal head on a plastic body
62. After commercial the lights go out and Jericho makes his way out
63. He is still getting a lot of cheers
64. Jericho actually starts talking quite a bit, starting off with saying he is bringing the end of the world
65. He calls everyone in WWE a Chris Jericho wannabe
66. He is kind of mentioning Punk semi-stealing his moniker
67. He talks about "trolling" the whole crowd and manipulating everyone
68. Jericho talks about all the things people have stolen from him over the years
69. And he finally gets to Punk calling himself the best in the world
70. Cue Punk's music in T-minus 5...
71. Jericho talks about being the best at everything he does
72. It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine
73. Punk's music hits and he comes out sporting a snazzy new "Best in the World" shirt
74. They have a staredown in the ring before Punk goes to speak
75. Instead he drops the mic and just holds the title up high
76. Punk turns his back to Jericho like he wants him to attack him, but when he doesn't, Punk just walks out of the ring holding the WWE Championship above his head all the way up the ramp
77. Jericho mocks him from the ring in a whiny way
78. Interesting exchange
79. Khali might just ruin what had been a pretty good show so far, Orton better be the man in the ring for most of the tag match in order to make it decent
80. Having Barrett and Rhodes as the other team will help a lot, too
81. I like Barrett's new music much better than his last entrance theme
82. Khali is out followed by Orton, who could use a new entrance theme in my opinion; I am just tired of the "Voices" song
83. Remember when Daniel Bryan was growing a WrestleMania beard he vowed not to trim? He would look hilarious had he stuck with that
84. Orton gets the advantage on Rhodes to start off
85. Khali gets tagged in a little harshly early on and he starts beating on Barrett
86. Khali returns the favor and gives Orton a chop to tag him in
87. Orton smiles a bit but runs into a kick from Barrett
88. Has Orton ever had an aqua-colored design on his trunks before? It looks strange for some reason
89. And now I am noticing Rhodes has changed the logo on his trunks to a green color, and Barrett still chooses to wear pea-green trunks for some reason
90. Orton is in control and looks like he is going to hit an RKO but Khali tags himself in and ends up getting the pin on Rhodes after chopping Rhodes in the middle of a Beautiful Disaster attempt by Rhodes
91. After the match Khali and Orton are face to face and Khali grabs him by the throat but Orton ends up hitting an RKO on the giant
92. Khali sold that move better than I would have expected, but it still looked a bit sloppy because of the size difference
93. I wonder why WWE didn't make this a six man tag match with Show and Bryan thrown in? That way they could have had a different match in the beginning of the show and featured more people on the show tonight
94. We get the video compilation of just about every non-WWE clip Cena has ever been in as he talks about understanding why some fans don't like him. This video package is well done but it lasts way too long.
95. If They show the Rock's 4-5 minute video at some point tonight then they basically cut out a matches worth of time just to show the same videos we have seen a few weeks in a row already. Where's the logic in that?
96. So far this is still a pretty good show.
97. But where the in the blue hell is Brodus Clay? First they cut him from SmackDown, they better not skip a week on Raw too. I need some funk and my George Clinton CD was stolen by Hunico so Clay is my best shot
98. Damn, after commercial we get a 4 on 4 Divas match
99. Someone should start a pool to see how long the weekly Divas match will last. They are usually less than 5 minutes so that's less than 600 possible times to choose for match length
100. They show a video of Cena and Kane in the middle of the Divas entrance, so I guess Kane is coming out during this match or something
101. The best career move the Bellas ever made other than keeping the same haircut was having those catsuits made. They actually have less skin showing than most Divas, which proves it is not always the skimpiest outfit that looks the best
102. Oh yeah, the match is going on. Tamina just gave one of the twins a Samoan drop and then hits the Superfly Splash for the win.
103. Only four of the eight divas actually wrestled in the match and the bell to bell time was exactly 1 minute 37 seconds.
104. Where's a "Who Booked this Crap!" sign when you need one
105. We get a preview of The Rock on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight after Raw
106. I normally stick to Conan or Fallon but I could watch Leno for a night to see what Rocky has to say about Cena, if he even really talks about it in character at all
107. We see John Laurinaitis talking to Triple H about his meeting with the board
108. JL says he is happy with how the meeting went and he is looking forward to hearing their decision
109. Sweet, he also says HBK will be in the house next week
110. Johnny Ace says he suggested the idea for Cena vs. Kane in an Ambulance Match at Elimination Chamber
111. Triple H admits it's a good idea and wants to know who JL stole it from
112. Trips gets tough with Funkman and tells him to get out of his office as we go to another commercial
113. We get a replay of the same video the Undertaker showed us earlier, wasting another 2 1/2 minutes of time that could have been devoted to a match
114. Every video package shown tonight has been longer than the 4 on 4 Divas match, there is no better proof of how WWE feels about the Divas division than that
115. The six-pack challenge main event is next, which means this is the second WWE show in a row without Brodus Clay, I hope they don't stall his push because they don't have any ideas for him
116. Justin Roberts flubs a little when explaining the rules of the upcoming match, I can't remember the last time that happened on WWE TV from a ring announcer
117. HAHA, Line of the night from Cole: "I didn't know Chimel was back"
118. It's funny if you know how many times Tony Chimel flubbed lines on the air. I read somewhere it was pretty common for him to screw up at least one thing every week
119. I am still convinced Ziggler's new furry vest is just John Morrison's old ring jacket modified
120. Jericho enters without his light up jacket and dimmed lights. He is also looking very stiff as he walks to the ring
121. I guess we have back the methodical, conniving Jericho that we had during his last run
123. I really feel bad for Kofi after getting screwed out of a push because of Bourne getting suspended twice in quick succession
123. The match starts with everyone but Punk attacking Jericho and Punk tries to roll up Miz and get a quick win but falls short
124. Strange/interesting note, R-Truth is the only man in the ring out of six (Other than the ref) who is wearing pants
125. It is pretty much bedlam as everyone is switching off who they are fighting for the next few minutes
126. Whoa, Truth hits the ground hard, back and head first, after Miz looks like he botches Truth's over-the-top-rope flip attack
127. He grabbed the front and back of his head immediately and as they went to commercial it looked like he had rolled halfway under the ring
128. And Miz was checking on him by the looks of things
129. I hope he is OK, it looked like a rough bump he wasn't expecting to take
130. As we come back Truth is being taken to the back by officials, looks like he might actually be hurt
131. If the rumors of Miz being in the doghouse weren't true then he may just end up there after botching that move anyways, or he is just double screwed
132. Oh my God, Miz just botched a friggin clothesline exchange with Jericho, this is not his night, I wonder if there is something else on his mind tonight
133. Thank the Lord he didn't mess up the four-man superplex
134. Cole accidentally calls Ziggler Jericho, all sorts of mistakes during the main event tonight
135. I bet Vince is beside himself right now
136. Jericho ends up getting the win after throwing Punk over the announcers' table and pinning a downed Ziggler, it's funny how not once was it mentioned that Punk and Kofi were one-time tag champs
137. Jericho sits in the ring with Punk's WWE title over his shoulder staring at Punk who is still down at ringside
138. He stares at the belt and holds it high as we cut backstage to see Kane yelling at Eve. They cut in the audio of Eve yelling way too early because we saw Jericho celebrating with Eve screaming for about five seconds
139. He still wants Cena to embrace the hate
140. He also says for the first time in his life he is afraid of himself
141. The show goes off the air with Eve crying as Kane stands over her
142. The show started off pretty strong but over the last hour it kind of fell apart
143. We had No Ryder in a wheelchair, no Clay and his funky dancers and worst of all, no actual appearance by the Undertaker, just a video they played twice and a promo by Triple H
144. I also just realized that Cena was not actually on the show tonight in any real capacity, and I must have been in the bathroom during the NASCAR segment last week because I have no memory of it despite the graphic on he screen saying it happened last week
145. Did they ever say why Cena wasn't on the show, I don't recall hearing them mention a reason
146. It is really weird to have a Raw with no real Cena involvement when he is not out injured. Maybe WWE is experimenting
How did not having Cena on Raw affect the show?
I apologize if this week's list seems a bit...off from how they normally appear. I had a terrible migraine that started around 6 p.m. and it took three Excedrin Migraine pills and an ice pack held to my head with a wool cap just to watch the show and type this out, so I might not have been as humorous as usual.
The ones who take the time to comment are always very supportive and positive, so I figured the least I could do was boot and rally for two hours and do this recap to keep the weekly tradition going.
I hope you enjoyed reading and please feel free to leave your thoughts on the show and additions to the list below.
I am also asking readers each week to come up with a nickname for David Otunga which revolves around a certain part of his character or appearance.
This week's theme is the shiny shoes he wore during the show tonight. I came up with silver-shoed suckup. Give me your ideas.