raw(lite): smoulders and sobs

The Elimination Chamber PPV ended on the whole Undertaker/Shawn Michaels story. In all that madness, we also found ourselves with a new World Heavyweight Champion in the form of Chris Jericho. It was understandable then, that he might like to come out on Raw and gloat a little. This bragging was soon stopped by Edge. While everyone looked to the ramp for him to appear under the titantron, he sneakily ran in from the other side of the ring and speared Jericho right out of it. There was no hanging about. Edge had an announcement to make.

Once this little scrap was over, John Cena came out to announce something too. And oh my lord, was he full of angst. Nothing makes me happier than an angry Cena. John was understandably cheesed-off about losing his title to Batista, just seconds after winning it at the PPV the night before.  He demanded a rematch and he wanted it right there and then.  You know I love you , John, but had you not hammed up how exhausted you were after just ten minutes of grappling, maybe you wouldn’t have lost. Just sayin’. Also, pulling your hat up like that kind of detracts from your loveliness.

So don't do it.

Vince McMahon appeared at the top of the ramp to answer John’s call for a rematch. He told the whole story of how he negotiated the devious little plan to overthrow Cena with Batista. After much shouting back and forth, Vince announced that John would have to beat Batista that night if he wanted another title shot at Wrestlemania.

Moving on, a new Divas champion was FINALLY to be crowned after weeks of diversions and cancelled matches. They had a short but solid match which, unsurprisingly, left Maryse the champion. Good. Now we can start a few challenges. I’d like to see Eve get a proper shot now. She’s criminally underutilised.

Man in blue t-shirt obviously a Gail Kim fan.

You would be forgiven for thinking that there was no guest host this week, being that we were already over a quarter way through the show and nobody had appeared. But this week’s random celebs were lovely folky-singer Jewel and her rodeo champ husband, Ty Murray. There are many American obsessions I don’t really understand. I’ve mentioned my annoyance at NASCAR on several occasions. But I totally get the whole bull-riding thing. I came across a rodeo show one afternoon while flicking through the sports channels on Sky. My initial plan was to mock it, but it turned out to be pretty exciting. There’s nothing like the possibility of ‘death by bullock’ to juice up the motor, is there? Anyway, I don’t follow it or anything, but it certainly was enthralling.

Unfortunately, Ty’s presence  meant that a mechanical bull had been placed in the arena and some of the Divas were forced to wear ‘country’ gear. Kelly Kelly even went the whole hog and put her hair up in pig-tails. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again…. ladies, if you’re a grown-up, never put your hair in high pigtails. It’s just creepy.  So we had a  bull-riding competition to look forward to. You can’t see me, but I’m rolling my eyes. As well as preparing for the contest, Jillian also appeared to impress Jewel with her singing prowess. Jewel tried to show her how it’s done, Jillian demanded some respect, then Jewel slapped her.

Over in the locker room, Randy Orton was contemplating his ejection from the Elimination Chamber the previous night and, much to Cody Rhodes’ surprise, he hadn’t been murdered by Randy in his sleep. Not only that, but as Cody stepped up to apologise to the boss, Randy stopped him and actually apologised himself! I know! What a revelation! How many exclamation marks can I use before it becomes grammatically incorrect? Anyway, Randy claimed to have taught his minions too well and felt it was no surprise that they’d looked out for themselves. That’s what he’d taught them to do.

Randy left, leaving Cody with an uneasy feeling in his stomach, then Ted showed up. At first, it just seemed that The Codester had been sent in to smooth things over between Ted and Randy.  But as the conversation continued they alluded to a sub-plot, which suggested that the people were about to overthrow their leaders. Oooh I love a good coup. It was so Shakespearian. So Machiavellian. So…something else with ‘ian’ at the end.

Randy had asked for a 6-man tag where Legacy would face Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston and Yoshi Tatsu. It was exciting in that nobody knew whether Randy was punking his team-mates or if his two errand boys would reveal themselves as traitors. At first, Legacy worked together. But then……

From one fierce feud to another, Shawn Michaels came out to explain why he had  Sweet Chin Music’d Undertaker at such a crucial moment during the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match. I’d tell you what he said, but as he wore such a  minging, tucked-in shirt, I was a little distracted. Looks like HBK was bitten by the rodeo bug too.

I think we all know why he did what he did anyway. Also, I’m not allowed to poke fun at The Deadman’s patchy bronzer this week, as it was covering up some pretty major burns. So good on him for stepping out in front of a global TV audience of millions and ignoring the fact that his face was peeling off.

Taker agreed to give Shawn a rematch at Wrestlemania 26, but only on the condition that he put up some collateral too. If Taker was putting up his 17-0 streak, HBK had to put his career on the line. If he loses, he retires. Hmm. You’d think gambling with your soul would be enough? Anyway, Shawn agreed and we’re all set for WM26. It’s tricky to know which way this match will go. Both have indicated that they’re ready to retire, so at the moment I think it could swing either way. I’ll have to do some more ‘predictions by cupcake’ this year. They were especially accurate last year! Well, apart from that one that said 16-1 on it.

As well as that exciting career-ending WM26 match, we also have the traditional Money in the Bank match to look forward to. Time flies, eh? Seems like only a few weeks ago I was watching the last one. Christian fought Carlito for the first place in that high-flying match and……

Well DUH! You didn't think Carlito would win a match, did you?

Well, DUH!

Then Eve, Kelly Kelly and The Bellas straddled a large animal and grinded into it, in a wank-fest thinly veiled as a bull-riding contest.

And not to leave the female population without something to cross their legs to……

Then The Miz and Big Show beat MVP and a heavily strapped Mark Henry in a tag match. Nothing major to report.

Vince McMahon appeared on-screen  to apologise to Bret Hart for all that had gone down between them in recent weeks. And to extend his sorry even further, Vince offered to bring Bret back to Raw the following week so that he could say a proper goodbye to the fans. Seems a bit iffy to me. Does this look like the face of a man you can trust?

Any man with painted eyebrows should be approached with caution.

Back in the ring, John Cena was desperate to get that rematch against Batista at Wrestlemania.  He just had to beat Dave that night. But the match had hardly started when Dave kicked John in the crotch, rendering him paralysed. John won the match by DQ, but we all know that a title can’t change hands on a disqualification, so Big Dave kept the bling. He then went on to pummel John some more, just to be sure the job was truly done. Dave even chased away the medical staff, who ran out to give John some TLC. Don’t worry, I diagnosed John’s ailments from the comfort of my armchair. He’s suffering from Over-acting-itis, a common disease among professional wrestlers. I believe I’ve touched on it several times before.

Don’t worry. I can almost guarantee he’ll be back in his feet come tomorrow night’s show. Possibly with a certain leather jacketed Canadian at his side.