An apology for my delay. Photo via WWE.com
There were some technical problems on my end, folks. The traditional introduction will be up in a separate post later this week. That is why you should always back up your work. So lets get right to the show.
Johny Ace! Trips! Taker! Control of Raw!
John Laurinaitis as all but fired on last week's Raw (Jan. 30). Since the infamous words did not leave Triple H's mouth, though, technically he gets to keep is job. Triple H vs. Undertaker at WrestlMania XXVIII (28) is all but an inevitability at this point. It will be interesting to see how they get to that point. Triple H claimed he actually broke Taker's streak during the Slammy awards' (Dec. 12, 2011) because The Dead Man was unable to walk under his own strength. The Undertaker comes back to rectify the situation to close Raw last week, but The Game just walked away from the challenge. If Triple H wants to be GM of Raw, he needs to separate personal problems and business. I am pretty sure that is not going to happen. Expect a lot of Triple H monologues being interrupted be blackouts and bells, and for John Laurinaitis to stay with us for a long, long time.
The rest of the show after the jump
Punk! Jericho! WWE Championship!
It's funny, but Chris Jericho's run in to interrupt CM Punk and Daniel Bryan's match was probably my least favorite moment of Y2J's return. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved it. It's just that everything else he was doing was on a completely different level. I have faith, though, that both Jericho and Punk will make this the best feud in an already stacked Road to WrestleMania. Look for Jericho to continue to have the greatest return in the history of WWE, and for Punk to keep calling his opponents girls (be a star, Punk).
Cena! Kane! Hate! Party up in here!
John Cena decided to finally lose his mind and beat the crap out of Kane last week. While in theory this is the right step to go, in execution it lost a little something. Which, if you've been reading this since I started a little over a month ago, sums up this entire storyline. That being said, the segments are getting shorter, there is less talking, and we have a clear direction to where we are going. Cena will either continue down this dark path, destroying everything in his wake till he turns his back on friends and fans. Or, he will start to walk on the dark side before finally shaking himself free of his demons. Either way, I enjoy watching this continue.
The man gets his own spot this week. Dolph Ziggler had an amazing match with Randy Orton las week, as well as going toe to toe with Punk week after week. He continues to prove himself as a main event player. And for everyone who is complaining about how he is getting "buried," stop it. Why do pro wrestling fans revert back to high schoolers? Why does it matter if he is "over" with the fans, or if they "booked him to look weak?" I know he's one of the best; you know he's one of the best. Anyone who doesn't see it will soon enough. There is no need to be upset about it. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy Raw is Ziggler.
Truth! Miz! Kofi! Midcard!
The biggest problem with the WWE is that they do not know how to use midcarders. R-Truth, The Miz, and Kofi Kingston should be battling over the United States Championship instead of being the 4th, 5th, and 6th wheels in the Elimination Chamber (Truth is 4, Miz 5, Kofi 6). Why they are wasting such a good gimmick like that Chamber this close to WrestleMania is beyond me, but that is a different story. The US Title is not a bad thing, people! It is perfectly okay to have people fighting over it.
Smackdown! On Raw!
Some old thing here. Bryan Daniel is the best at what he does, AJ continues to be adorable, Randy Orton keeps talking to the voices in his head, Natalya is still passing gas (WHY IS THIS A THING?!), and Sheamus is still tall, white, and Irish. While Raw tends to focus more on overreaching and convoluted plots, Smackdown stays with a more simple and focused story telling approach. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and it really helps differentiate the two shows in a post-brand split era.
Hopefully this has helped get you prepared for the nights activities. Leave a comment about what you are looking forward to, make sure to follow the action @Cagesideseats and please join Geno, myself, and the whole Monday Night gang during the live blog here.