The heels picked up the victory after A.J. prevented Sheamus from delivering the Brogue Kick to Bryan and Kane chokeslammed him for the champion to get the pin.
I was pleasantly surprised that Monday Night Raw opened with a match. It’s certainly rare for Raw to do that so the show started out great, especially since the match was quite good.
It featured some nice action and was pretty even at times. It was good seeing a little WrestleMania preview with opponents facing off in this match.
I really enjoyed the interaction of Sheamus and Kane; I hope that becomes an actual feud later this year.
With A.J.’s actions here I have a feeling that she’ll be doing that again this Sunday, but that it’ll actually lead to Sheamus winning the match.
Michael Cole then appeared in the ring and announced himself as the official commentator for Team Johnny.
He then introduced John Laurinaitis,who in turn introduced his team flag bearer/mascot, Vickie Guerrero, and team captain, David Otunga.
Booker T then introduced Teddy Long, who introduced team captain, Santino Marella, and their flag bearer/mascot, Hornswoggle.
When Cole got in the ring and put on the Team Johnny shirt, I was actually hoping that he’d end up being the team mascot.
David Otunga vs. Santino Marella
After a distraction from Hornswoggle and his flag, Santino picked up the victory with the Cobra. That created an argument between the general managers that resulted in Laurinaitis being pushed down again.
This match actually started out fine but as soon as Otunga grabbed the Team Johnny flag I knew it would end up resulting in a Cobra.
I have a feeling that these two could actually have a good match but unfortunately we’ll probably never get to see that.
As the general managers began to argue again, the Cobra was about to strike but it was stopped by a Skull Crushing Finale.
The Miz was then put into Team Johnny as the final member.
It’s good to see the Miz finally get a spot at the big event but I have a feeling that if Team Johnny loses, it’ll be the Miz that takes the fall.
A video hyping the End of an Era Match was then shown. It featured footage from both the Undertaker’s and Triple H’s careers as well as last year’s WrestleMania match.
This was a very well done video that was a good substitute for both men not appearing on the show.
Besides, they’ve already said everything that could have been said. If they appeared and talked again it would have ended up being the same thing.
Eve vs. Kelly Kelly
Kelly picked up the victory with the Diva rollup of doom after Eve missed a moonsault.
This was actually a decent match and was better than most Diva matches. It was by no means great but the match wasn’t painful to watch.
This gives me some hope for WrestleMania that Eve and Kelly won’t drag Beth Phoenix down.
My main concern is Maria Menounos. I hope that she mostly stays out of the ring but I fear she’ll end up pinning the Divas champion.
CM Punk vs. Christian
The match never actually happened unfortunately. Chris Jericho appeared on the titantron first with new information about Punk’s family.
While his mother had no vices like his father and sister, his parents were married the day after Punk was born. Jericho called Punk the literal definition of a bastard and Christian took that distraction as an opportunity to attack the WWE champion.
The attack didn’t last long as Punk snapped and destroyed Christian.
Punk slammed his head onto the announce table multiple times, slammed his face onto the steel steps and applied the Anaconda Vice.
After the commercial break, it was announced that Christian may not be able to make it to WrestleMania.
I loved how Punk finally snapped and lost his cool but I wasn’t too happy that he dismantled Captain Charisma.
Jericho’s words have gotten into the head of Punk and it showed here. Y2J delivered another good promo, though I do wish he was actually on Raw and not “live via satellite.”
Their match is without a doubt going to steal the show!
And I wonder why Christian has been taken off of WrestleMania. Was he not 100-percent? Did he fail a drug test?
I must know! I was really looking forward to Christian being on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
Brodus Clay vs. Curt Hawkins
While Hawkins got him down, it ended up being the typical Funkasaurus squash match. So let’s just move on.
The Big Show vs. Primo
Before the match started it was confirmed that Christian is out of WrestleMania and that Drew McIntyre is to take his place.
While I’m glad to see McIntyre get a spot on the card, I’m still a bit upset that Christian was taken off.
As for the match, the Big Show squashed Primo and then squashed Epico after the match.
Big Show has an Intercontinental Championship match at Wrestlemania, exactly what does squashing the tag team champions have to do with the match?
Cody Rhodes then made his way out and continued to bash him over his WrestleMania moments.
After Rhodes wins, “Big Show” will become a verb, being used like “I hope I don’t Big Show the test” or “I have to go take a Big Show.”
That was a great promo by Rhodes there. It was short, simple and to the point.
Cody Rhodes has nowhere to go but up from here and that’s why I think he’ll be victorious at WrestleMania.
Another Lord Tensai video was then shown. I think I figured out who it is. No, it’s not A-Train like everyone thinks it is.
Lord Tensai will actually be Brodus Clay as WWE decided to change his gimmick again.
Obviously I’m joking here but it would be pretty funny if it did turn out to be Brodus.
Backstage, the Bella Twins are arguing over Team Teddy and Team Johnny. That brought in Zack Ryder who bragged about being on Teddy’s team and how it would lead them to victory.
He said that Brie needed a new face—inadvertently insulting Nikki as well—and that brought in Eve.
She wanted him to stay at her hotel so that they could celebrate after they both won at WrestleMania.
I’m kind of surprised that the Bella’s didn’t end up the “mascots” of the general managers' teams. I’m sure they’ll be there in some capacity, though.
As for Ryder and Eve, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ryder needs to get away from her!
Staying backstage, CM Punk said that what Jericho said about his sister and mother were lies. He was not a bastard; he was the best in the world!
This was a short promo that was quite powerful and filled with emotion.
Thankfully the time for talk is over, though. WrestleMania is upon us and the battle for Best in the World is about to begin.
Mark Henry vs. The Great Khali
Khali dominated this short match until Henry hit the World’s Strongest Slam out of nowhere.
While the match was kind of a waste, the post-match activities were not.
Laurinaitis tossed Teddy into the ring while the rest of his team guarded it. As Henry threatened Teddy, Team Johnny kept Team Teddy at bay.
Booker T than slid into the ring and saved Teddy from the World’s Strongest Man. The five-time WCW champion was then welcomed as the final member of Team Teddy.
While I was hoping for the return of Rey Mysterio as rumored, I’m quite happy with the addition of Booker T.
He proved that he still had it in the ring last year in his feud with Cody Rhodes and added some much needed star power to Team Teddy.
Team Johnny has four former world champions while Team Teddy has the Great Khali. Booker is a welcomed addition as far as I’m concerned.
Monday Night Raw came to a close with the Rock heading to the ring. He went over that his last WrestleMania match was WrestleMania XX and how everyone kept asking him when he was coming back.
After he Rock Bottomed John Cena last year, he knew it was time.
The Rock’s last WrestleMania happened to be Cena’s first and he has risen through the ranks since then. Cena has never faced anyone like the Rock and brought out the face of the WWE.
He’s there every night and the Rock has never faced anyone like him before. The Rock may equal electricity but he equaled emotion as the crowd was always split.
Cena’s been an active WWE wrestler more than the Rock has but that no one remembers second place. He needed the win and will get it.
The Rock knew the importance of the match and he was back to win. He has defeated Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin at WrestleMania and now he’ll defeat Cena.
Cena was in for the ass kicking of a lifetime and Cena delivered the same message to end the segment.
I thought this was a great segment right here. Both superstars were very solid on the mic and both delivered great promos.
The jokes were left to a minimum, which I thought was good.
We’re less than a week away from WrestleMania, it was time to get serious and serious is what they got.
The momentum has been completely in the Rock’s corner the past few weeks but I think it shifted a bit here.
I personally can’t decide who won this particular verbal battle as both were equally as good, but Cena definitely gained some of that momentum back here.
Overall, I thought this was a good episode of Monday Night Raw.
The night started out strong but started to dip until the Punk/Christian encounter where things picked back up.
Then the show started to dive again but thanks to the Rock and John Cena, it ended strong.
With WrestleMania right around the corner, I thought WWE did a great job hyping it here!