Raw opened with the big news that John Cena has a new ugly yellow t-shirt. I look forward to not buying it and adding it to my collection of ugly John Cena t-shirts that I don't have. I bet you there's many who do get them all, though.
What then followed was the strangest thing we've seen in wrestling for some time: absolutely bizarre antics from The Prime Time Players, which I don't think we'll fully comprehend for about 200 years. To give Darren Young credit, though, he lasted almost a whole two minutes against Cena.
The mind-numbingly boring and pointless matches continued as Ryback squashed David Otunga. From this opening 20 minutes, it looked like last week's high quality episode was an exception. At least the obvious thing followed, with Ryback being taken out of the match against The Shield at WrestleMania and being put against Mark Henry instead. Why did they pretend they'd do otherwise?
Fandango had a fairly expensive-looking entrance, only to not wrestle. He continued his massive sleaze thing, though. Despite the two useless matches that had preceded, he was the one who got a "You can't wrestle!" chant.
Damien Sandow walked out on his match with R-Truth and got counted out. What were they thinking with this rubbish?
Two weeks to go until WrestleMania and 45 minutes into the show, and the best thing to happen was that a previously announced match was unannounced in favour of a better and obvious one. But hey, we learnt on commentary that Michael Cole's a Democrat and Jerry Lawler might not be.
Things sharply improved as CM Punk gave a brilliantly irreverent promo playing with Paul Bearer's urn. It may just be the best thing to happen so far this year—that is, if you're not bothered that they're using the real death of someone in this way.
Team Hell No defeated Primo and Epico, though poor Daniel Bryan was dominated for quite a lot of it. An unwelcome flashback to an insufferable storyline was provided as AJ Lee came out during and skipped around the ring.
Why is it that Alberto Del Rio doesn't have cars in his entrance now that he's the World Heavyweight Champion? And why has his theme been remixed and made worse?
What followed was a big surprise, as Cody Rhodes—who's been little more than a jobber for ages—was given a close match against the champion. Jack Swagger's post-match beating of Del Rio attracted a "USA! USA!" chant, which is interesting. And Ricardo Rodriguez sold a broken ankle like a hot cake.
Normal service was resumed (normal this week being dire wastes of time) as Randy Orton and Sheamus defeated two of 3MB. There was one point where Sheamus seemed to take quite a lot of punishment. It was Sheamus, though, so of course he kicked out at one, lest anyone else actually have the chance to look good.
Meanwhile, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler demonstrated what contempt they hold the audience in as they speculated about whether Orton and Sheamus would be facing The Shield in a three-on-two match at WrestleMania. But wouldn't you know it, as The Shield came down for one of their un-surprise attacks, out came The Big Show. He even pointed at the WrestleMania sign, in case we hadn't quite got the idea.
Team Hell No vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston was announced as a WrestleMania match for the Tag Team Championships. It should be exciting, but Team Hell No have both lost to Ziggler recently.
Imagine how much more exciting it would be if they hadn't locked up recently—maybe if the challenge was just brought on through AJ. Wouldn't that have been better?
I'm not sure if I've managed to convey it, but Raw wasn't especially good up to this point. Thank goodness then that it was redeemed somewhat by the Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat. It may not have been a classic for the ages, but it was a good solid TV match, and the three man dynamic is always novel.
Raw's main event was the Triple H and Brock Lesnar contract signing. Or, as it was, Triple H and Paul Heyman. Heyman said he wanted to draw attention to a piece of footage, which was their brawl from Raw three weeks ago. Sadly, it wasn't to point out that Triple H appeared to have wet himself, but was for no reason apparently other than to show that the brawl had happened.
We then had the unedifying spectacle of one of the worst people in wrestling history beating up one of the best. All that just to find out the stipulation would be No Holds Barred with Triple H's career on the line.
The Raw before this was an exceptionally good show. Maybe following that made this seem even worse, but whatever the reason, it was very poor with just a couple of bright spots. Still, it's not as if there's the biggest event of the year in a fortnight's time to whet our appetites for or anything.