Thursday, February 16, 2012

Raw 2-13-12

This week, WWE brought to us, A Very Special Valentine's Day Episode of Monday Night Raw. Complete with Drama! Laughs! Suspense! An overwhelming urge to punch people in the face! It's everything you could ever want from your favorite Prime-Time Action Soap Opera!

And Matches!

1. Chris Jericho v. Kofi Kingston - 3 out of 5.
2. Randy Orton v. Big Show - 2 out of 5.
3. R-Truth v. Dolph Ziggler - 3 out of 5.
4. Tamina v. Brie Bella - 2 out of 5.
5. CM Punk v. The Miz - 3 out of 5.

The six competitors to the Elimination Chamber match this Sunday all did their best to show why they are going to win. Miz especially has been working extra hard lately to remain relevant in the unforgiving sea of talent that is Raw. But the Superstar that really shined in this show was R-Truth. The unhinged angle has translated well into his face turn, and with that change has come a new intensity to his performance. He took Dolph Ziggler by surprise in their match while Vickie (who, I would be remiss to omit, was absolutely FANTASTIC ring-side during this bout) was busy doing more admiring than she was managing. It was the perfect result for this match after Truth stole the opening "debate" segment by making campaign promises as though the WWE Championship was actually won by a voter's decision. Regardless of what happens, however, I'd like to see a more long-term rivalry between him and Ziggler. As it turns out, they have great chemistry together.

The Diva's match this week was not as short or as terrible as we've come to expect. Don't get me wrong, it was still terrible, but Tamina is a good seller, and can apparently make even Brie Bella look like she's not completely incompetent in the ring. The segment was great, however, not just because of Tamina's ring presence, but also because of Beth Phoenix's ring-side commentary. If WWE doesn't fuck this up (which they inevitably will because they don't care about the Divas), this could turn out to actually be an interesting match on Sunday.

Now, I don't want to, but unfortunately, there's no getting around the extremely uncomfortable end to the show. About a half hour into the show, John Cena told a love-stricken Zack Ryder to stay in his (Cena's) dressing room, to keep safe from Kane. Meanwhile, Cena was supposed to go find Eve to bring her back so they could have some Valentine's Time... if you get what I'm saying. Apparently, however, as soon as John left his locker room, he forgot about his mission entirely, and we didn't see him again till an hour and a half later, when at the end of the show, an interviewer was asking him something or other (about the Rock? I dunno. It really DOESN'T MATTER what the question was), when suddenly.. a scream! Kane had attacked Eve and was throwing her into the back of an ambulance, ready to drive off with her. A brawl ensued, it looked like Kane was gonna get away with the girl, but Cena saved her at the last minute. And instead of still being pissed with him for causing so much harm to her friend Zack... *sigh* she kissed him. And I don't mean a little peck. She shoved her tongue down his throat so far she could have diagnosed him with strep throat. Unfortunately, Zack apparently got tired of waiting around, because he'd wheeled himself to the scene too. So... there's that.

Afterwards, Eve tried to apologize and "just be friends" but Zack didn't want to talk to her. Cena came to the ring to contemplate embracing the hate (and never once apologized to his bud for kissing his girl), but he was interrupted when Zack awkwardly hobbled down the ramp on crutches. There was a confrontation, Zack quickly ran away, and back to the safety of his wheelchair, and then Kane showed up and channeled the New Age Outlaws by wheeling him off the side of the stage. Eve showed up for support as John Cena, er, managed the paramedics?

The ensuing heat towards Eve was phenomenal, and possibly the only way the crowd can care about any female talent anymore. Eve, for her part, looked extremely uncomfortable. I dunno where this is headed for her. In the Reality Era, the lines between Face and Heel can be somewhat blurred, but I hope for her sake this is not leading us to Heel Eve. She clearly doesn't know how to respond to that kind of reaction. Seeing Eve fake-cry over Ryder while simultaneously being booed relentlessly by the crowd was possibly the most awkward thing I've seen in WWE programming. And that includes Nash's first return promo.

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