2/25 WWE Raw in Ontario, California: A second report on Chris Jericho being named special enforcer for C.M. Punk's match, Brodus Clay vs. David Otunga, Ryback vs. JTG, The Miz vs. R-Truth, Epico and Primo defend the WWE Tag Titles
WWE Raw live event
Ontario, California at Citizen's Business Bank Arena
Report by Dot Net reader Ron R. Lewis
Pre-show, the WWE hype machine was in full effect. The videos hyping WrestleMania, all the WWE does, and so on played. Justin Roberts made his way out to open the evening with the National Anthem, followed by our first match of the evening.
1. "The Funkasaurus" Brodus Clay defeated David Otunga by pinfall. The close to capacity crowd was way into the Funkasaurus, who was accompanied to the ring only by Adrianne. Otunga made his way out, stopping on the rampway to cut a promo, listing his position as the legal advisor of Mr. John Laurinaitus, the VP of Talent Relations, the Interim GM of Raw, and soon to be Smackdown as well. And if the crowd wondered why Laurinaitis had hired him, we would see exactly why when he defeated Clay.
Otunga is really coming into his own as a performer, as the crowd was totally into his heel act. It was much more of an actual match than you've come to expect with the Funkasaurus, as Otonga got plenty of offense in before Clay finally took control. The Funkasaurus got the win with his splash followed by Clay and Adrianne doing the dance routine in the ring with the Funkasaurus leaving to slap hands at ringside while Adrianne did her whole dancing deal. Finally, they danced their way up the ramp to the back.
2. Ryback defeated JTG by pinfall. Not a lot to say about this match, although surprisingly for a guy I'd forgotten even still had a job the crowd gave JTG a face pop while he did his whole Cryme Time deal. Ryback made his way to the ring to absolute apathy, just no reaction at all from the crowd. A boring squash match ensued with Ryback dominating with typical big man power moves before pinning JTG.
3. "The Glamazon" Beth Phoenix defeated Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella) by pinfall to retain the WWE Divas Title. Furthering my suspicions from Monday that they're positioning the Bellas for a face turn Nikki and Brie were greeted with a largely face pop. Beth made her way out to her usual Glamazon routine to a mixed reaction from the crowd. A back and forth match, until the tide turned with Beth doing the press slam on Nikki. Some dominating offense from Beth followed ending with the Glam Slam for the win.
4. Primo and Epico (w/Rosa) defeated Mason Ryan and Alex Riley by pinfall to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. To my total amazement this crowd was really into Mason Ryan for reasons that are beyond my comprehension. A-Ry was also greeted with a nice reaction from the crowd for another guy who hasn't been on TV for months. Epico, Primo, and Rosa then made their way out with Rosa acting like she'd been hit by lightning right before coming out doing her jiggling deal all the way to the ring. This one was all A-Ry and Ryan early with the two larger men easily dominating the diminutive Dominicans.
Rosa was in rare form heeling it up with fans ringside, yelling and jiggling. Ryan completely dominated at one point doing a double suplex on both tag champions by himself. Thanks to a timely distraction from Rosa, the champs were able to turn the tide focusing their attack on Ryan's knees ending in Primo hitting the Backstabber on Riley after Ryan had been dropkicked to the outside for the pinfall victory. Not to rub it in Jason's face, but Rosa's victory celebration all the way up the ramp is truly a sight to behold live.
Eve then makes her way out, giving the same exact promo she gave on WWE.com on Tuesday trying to explain her actions Monday. You'd think with this being the third time giving the same exact promo her delivery would have improved, unfortunately you'd be horribly, horribly wrong. The crowd however forgave her bad promo skills happily chanting Hoeski at her, before she ultimately gave up and went completely heel before storming out.
5. R-Truth defeated The Miz by pinfall. The Miz then made his way out and cut a promo defending Eve and attacking the fans for the way they had treated her asking what kind of people were we. He then went on to tell us that unfortunately he would not be headlining WrestleMania this year and that it was all R-Truth's fault. The usual "What" chants with Miz feeding them before asking the crowd if they saw how stupid they sounded. R-Truth then made his way out, for no apparent reason he wasn't crazy R-Truth but back to rapping R-Truth doing the whole "What's Up" deal all the way to the ring.
Miz and Truth then engaged in dueling crowd chants with Truth shouting What's Up to each corner followed by the Miz walking to the same corner to loud booing. Thus far, Miz was easily the most over heel of the night with the crowd completely into his act. A decent match ensued, with back and forth action with lots of near falls. Miz hit all of his signature spots but was unable to put Truth away. Miz then went for Truth's trusty Water Bottle of Doom (term trademarked) only to have it backfire and have it slapped out of his hand by Truth. Truth hit his finish and scored the pinfall to end the match.
Justin Roberts then returned to the ring to hawk merchandise, the souvenir cups and send the crowd off to intermission. The WWE hype videos again played before we returned for the second half of the night's action.
6. Jack Swagger defeated Santino Marella by pinfall to retain the United States Championship. The originally advertised card had promised the first Ever Inland Empire Battle Royal to determine who would face Swagger for the title, but this didn't happen. Instead Roberts introduced Santino who did his Cobra routine, throwing one of the Cobra sleeves into the crowd. Swagger than made his way to the ring sans Vickie Guerrero to modest heat.
A slow match then ensued, part of which I missed as it was so dull I chose this point to make my bathroom break. I returned to Swagger hitting the All American Slam for the pinfall to retain the title. However Swagger wasn't done and tried for an elbow drop but missing. Santino rolled out of the ring, got another Cobra sleeve, hit Swagger with easily one of the most ridiculous moves in wrestling history to the delight of the crowd. Santino celebrated a little, slapped some hands and made his way to the back.
7. Chris Jericho defeated Kofi Kingston by pinfall. The lights then cut out, leading the drunk in front of me to ask his buddy, "Is the Undertaker supposed to be here?" The majority of the crowd realized what was actually happening as a Y2J chant then began. Cue the lighted jacket and Jericho's music. Once Jericho reached the ring he then cut a promo, getting the most heel heat of the night as the crowd booed almost everything he said. At one point Jericho picked a fight with a little kid at ringside before declaring he was done with all of us.
Kofi then made his way out doing his Boom shtick to a decent reation. Jericho's new ring gear is all glittery, creating the effect that it is lit up like his jacket. Lots of stalling early on with Kofi trying to lock up only for Jericho to roll out of the ring much to the crowd's chagrin. A really well wrestled match once it began with lots of back and forth action. Jericho blocked a Kofi Trouble in Paradise attempt into the Walls of Jericho but Kofi reached the ropes.
Jericho then went for a lionsault, but missed allowing Kofi to quickly scale the ropes for a top rope cross body for a near fall. Jericho got his foot onto the bottom ropes, Kofi was asking the ref for an explanation, Jericho hit a quick Codebreaker for the one, two, three and the victory.
Justin Roberts then said before he introduced the main event of the evening the WWE wanted to thank everyone for coming, they hoped we had enjoyed the show, and that they hoped to return to Ontario in the very near future. He then made the announcement that tonight's main event was a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship. He was interrupted by David Otunga who informed the crowd that he had just gotten off the phone with Mr. Laurinaitis, who felt this match needed a guest enforcer. Otunga then introduced Chris Jericho to the outrage of the crowd, giving Jericho a ref shirt. Otunga and Jericho then hugged while the crowd booed.
8. CM Punk defeated Dolph Ziggler and Kane (by pinfall on Ziggler) to retain the WWE Championship. This was the second change to the advertised card, which was originally Punk vs Kane one on one for the title. Ziggler made his way out first sans Vickie as well to an at best tepid response. Kane was introduced next, but made his way out again inexplicably to his old Titantron. Finally, Punk was introduced to easily the biggest reaction of the night. Kane and Punk started off with Ziggler rolling out of the ring with Jericho halfheartedly admonishing him.
Kane got the upper hand and with Punk down Ziggler quickly rushed in to get the near fall. After the kick out, Ziggler backed into Kane with an amusing spot where he realized someone was behind him, did the whole pantomiming feeling behind him and upon realizing it was Kane attempted to make nice with the Big Red Monster and shake hands. Kane apparently didn't appreciate Ziggler attempting to poach his victory and responded with his thrust upper cut. Punk then rolled out of the ring with Jericho quickly rushing over to yell at him and point to get back in the ring.
This was mostly a typical Triple Threat match with all three guys pairing off one on one at various points. Ziggler drop kicked Kane to the outside, leaving it Punk vs. Ziggler one on one. Punk hit his high kick knocking Ziggler into the ref for the obligatory ref bump of the night. He quickly covered Ziggler but Jericho refused to count for him. He then locked Ziggler in the Anaconda Vice, with Jericho again refusing to acknowledge the tap out. Jericho then rushed the ring, hit the Codebreaker on Punk and drug Ziggler on top of Punk and attempted a quick three count only for Punk to kick out.
Frustrated, Jericho then went to the outside for a chair. He attempted to hit Punk, only to be greeted with another Punk high kick, knocking Jericho from the ring. This led to the GTS on Ziggler, the ref miraculously recovering and counting the three and Punk retaining. A lot of jawing between Jericho and Punk following the match, Kane went from trying to get back in the ring at the three count to just walking away. Punk then celebrated with the fans to close the show.
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