Monday’s episode of Raw was the 20th anniversary of WWE’s flagship show, and the rumors were swirling for weeks about how the company was going to blow out his event like they did the 1,000th episode of the show.
Three hours and no appearances from Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels or Undertaker later, and this special edition of WWE Raw felt like a normal episode of the show.
On any other night, this would have been deemed one of the best editions of Raw all year, but many fans were waiting for the return of huge stars and were let down by the lack of surprises.
The WWE deserves immense credit for putting on a great show, but there are many fans that feel the company left a huge opportunity on the table to blow out this show leading towards the Royal Rumble.
Raw Results from Jan. 14 (via WWE.com)
Big Show interrupted Mr. McMahon’s address to the WWE Universe.
Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett defeated Randy Orton.
Team Hell No underwent their four-month evaluation with Dr. Shelby.
WWE Tag Team Champion Kane defeated Damien Sandow.
Ryback, Sheamus and Randy Orton rescued Mick Foley from The Shield.
Kaitlyn defeated Eve to win the Divas Championship.
WWE Champion CM Punk defeated Brodus Clay.
3MB defeated Sheamus in an Over-the-Top-Rope Challenge.
Antonio Cesaro crashed “Miz TV” with Ric Flair.
WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan defeated Cody Rhodes.
John Cena defeated Dolph Ziggler in a Steel Cage Match.
The Rock performed a “Rock Concert” and brawled with CM Punk.
The Rock and CM Punk’s Collision Course
The WWE Universe is divided between CM Punk and The Rock in this battle of words, and that’s exactly what the company wants. While John Cena versus The Rock is the bigger match on paper, Punk against the Rock will be better on the mic and in the ring.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Why Is This Feud Working Perfectly?
As much as The Rock deserves credit for doing what he does best—entertaining the fans—this battle has been and will continue to be a success because of the heel role Punk is playing. We can’t forget Punk was a face just a few months ago, and has completely transformed his character; Punk’s natural heel persona counteracts the face Rock perfectly.
WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts was on hand when Punk and Rock attacked each other and the veteran was ready with his camera:
While there were many casual fans that have supported The Rock in this feud, there is a strong contingent of fans—like Steven Amiri—that feel Punk should have ended the concert a bit early:
Amiri (@StevenAmiri) January 15, 2013
Dolph Ziggler—Professional Jobber
There is no question that the last two weeks of battling John Cena have been great for the mainstream popularity of Dolph Ziggler—just being in the ring with a star of Cena’s caliber is a rub—but the way he has lost clean both times is flat-out infuriating.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Why Does WWE Keep Jobbing Ziggler?
While a simple answer is that Ziggler looks great losing (a curse Daniel Bryan is also blessed with), this is all setting up for something much bigger. Ziggler will likely be cashing in within the next two pay-per-views and Cena will likely win the Royal Rumble, so this holdover feud is here to give both men something to do. That doesn’t mean Zig-Zag should keep losing, though.
The fact that Big E. Langston and A.J. also tried to help Ziggler, yet he still wasn’t able to win, left the ring filled with bodies at the match's end. WWE superstar Kofi Kingston described how he saw it:
Dolph whacks big E, cena hits the AAand AJ's howlin' at the moon!— Kofi Kingston (@TrueKofi) January 15, 2013
John Cena's Fan Page sent out an amazing picture of the WWE legend after his huge win over Ziggler Monday night:
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