Welcome to another installment of A RAW Opinion, where I take you through this weeks episode of WWE Raw and add my opinions, this weeks show looks to be huge, this is the last Raw before the Elimination Chamber PPV, Shawn Michaels returns tonight, CM Punk goes one on one with The Miz, Dolph Ziggler takes on R Truth, Big Show takes on Randy Orton and Chris Jericho goes up against Kofi Kingston, if memory serves me right, Raw seems to have more matches then last weeks episode, which I’m extremely happy about.

The show starts with Kane talking about wanting John Cena to “embrace the hate”

Jerry Lawler is in the ring, the canvas is red, there are podiums set up and we’re having an “Elimination Chamber Debate”  Lawler asks Punk what makes him think he can walk out of the match with the WWE Title, John Laurinaitis interrupts saying how happy he is to be there tonight, or in other words happy to still be interim GM of Raw.  CM Punk finally answered the question saying that before he starts, he gives his word the debate won’t end in violence, he wants to congratulate John Laurinaitis for somehow keeping his job as interim GM of Raw.  He said he will walk out as the champion because he is the best wrestler in the world, Lawler asked Ziggler for his opinion but Vickie interrupted and stated there should be no booing allowed.  Ziggler said he is a better wrestler then CM Punk, Ziggler brought up Truth and Truth said if he’s elected he’s going to trade Vickie and Dolph to Smackdown for Hornswoggle and a box of spiders, Truth called Lawler “your honor” and said he’s going to stomp on the box of spiders and put them in a blender and make spider stew.  Not going to lie, this was absolutely HILARIOUS!  The Miz started talking about everyone in the match but ran out of time.  Miz continued even after the buzzer sounded, Kofi said he’s pretty much been underutilized for too long.  Jericho is next, he goes back to using big words to insult everyone, he then says nobody has been in more chamber matches then him, last time he was in a chamber match, he walked out champion.  Jericho started talking to Punk, after the whole tirade Punk looked at Jericho and said he wasn’t listening to him.  This leads into the first match of the night, Kofi VS Jericho.  Kofi hit Trouble In Paradise as Jericho was preoccupied with Punk.  I enjoyed this segment a lot, most people will hate it because of all the talking, but it gave everyone equal time on the microphone and really did It’s job leading up to Sundays Elimination Chamber PPV.

Chris Jericho VS Kofi Kingston is up after the commercial break, pretty good match, Kofi spring boarded off the ropes and got caught in the Walls Of Jericho, Kofi got to the ropes, Jericho thought he won, and argued with the ref, Kofi hit him with Trouble In Paradise, Jericho gets his foot on the rope, Jericho poked Kofi in the eye and hit a Codebreaker for the win.  Really good ending I think, I thought it was over when Jericho put him in the Walls Of Jericho, pretty good job keeping the match going there.  But I’m not sure if it was a great idea to have Jericho cheat to beat Kofi.

Shawn Michaels shown walking backstage, HHH walks up to him and they hug.

John Cena talking to someone backstage, turns out he’s talking to Zack Ryder, Zack talking about wanting to see Eve, Cena tells Zack to stay in his locker room and he’ll bring Eve to him.  I don’t have a good feeling that my boy Zack is going to have a good Valentines day.

Daniel Bryan coming out to the ring to get a “closer look” at the Big Show VS Randy Orton match which is up next.  Randy Orton looks to be a 8.5 on the spray tan Orange-O-Meter.  Listening to Michael Cole sucking up to Daniel Bryan was more entertaining then this match.  Orton delivered his Hangman DDT from the top rope which was pretty impressive, but then he delivered a (Botched) RKO, Big show got up, Orton hit another RKO, Bryan attacked Orton with the title, Michael Cole then bashed him for “ruining another great match” he then waited for Show to get to a knee before slamming the title over his head.

Up next, The Greatest Of All Time!  The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels is coming out to the ring.  He says someone asked him on Twitter why he always comes back at this time of the year, he says “It’s WrestleMania” he talks about watching last week, waiting to hear HHH accept the challenger against Undertaker for WrestleMania, he said he was surprised when HHH didn’t, and that’s why he decided he needed to talk to HHH, then he said HHH was baiting everyone and playing Taker, he wants HHH to announce that he’s really going to accept the match, HHH comes out to the ring, fans with a big DX chant, HHH says he wasn’t lying, he won’t face Undertaker at WrestleMania, he said It’s like he said last week, he knows in order to end Takers streak he’s going to have to “end him” and he’s not that guy anymore, Shawn asked HHH if he’s really changed since marrying “that chick” and called him a corporate sellout, HHH doesn’t want to have this discussion in the ring, Shawn says when someone challenges you to a match and you back down, that makes you a coward, HHH was about to walk away but Shawn told him he wasn’t done with him yet.  He kept calling HHH a coward, HHH went to leave the ring but Shawn called him a coward again, HHH said he has responsibilities and said “all of this is going to be mine” and all that is weight on his shoulders.  HHH says he doesn’t want to end the streak because Undertaker is “a brand” and It’s not good for business.  Shawn wants HHH to look him in the eye and tell him he doesn’t want to or need to break the streak, HHH, after a while of fighting back his anger finally looked Shawn in the eye and said no.  Shawn looks at him for a bit and walks out of the ring, as HHH goes to leave Takers gong sounds, the lights go out and another video plays, this time at the end, Taker is taking a razor to his hair, apparently they’re going to explain him being bald because he took a razor to his head out of frustration?  This was easily one of the absolute best promos EVER!  Shawn and Hunter held the entire audience in the palms of their hands and absolutely NAILED it.

Up next is Dolph Ziggler VS R Truth.  R Truth got the win after Dolph was doing hit sit ups, showing off, and Truth grabbed him in a small package.

Beth Phoenix at the announce table, for the next match, Beth VS Tamina added for Elimination Chamber.  Tamina VS Brie Bella up next.  Tamina gets the win in about 3 minutes.  Afterward Beth left the announce table and just stared at Tamina.

Backstage Cena is talking to Josh Matthews.  I’m sitting here cursing Cena, he’s supposed to be looking for Eve before Zack gets his ass kicked AGAIN.

John Cena being interviewed by Josh was interrupted by Kane going after Eve, Eve jumped in the back of the ambulance, Kane locked her in, he was about to drive away Eve jumped out and Cena caught her, Eve and Cena kissed, Zack shows up and they each stand there awkwardly.  After commercial Zack was shown leaving, Eve runs up to him trying to explain, she said she never thought her and Zack were going to be together and she just wanted to be friends.

CM Punk VS The Miz on next.  CM Punk wins with the Anaconda Vise, The Miz looked pretty sloppy again tonight.  Punk made the match better then it was.

Backstage Kane comes back with the ambulance.

John Cena comes out to the ring, he says that he tried to apologize to Zack but he wouldn’t listen, he apologizes again, he says this was Kanes plan all along, to turn his friends against him, turn the fans against him, he apparently has no choice but to embrace the hate.  He says it would work if it was everybody else, but he’s not everybody else, he says he doesn’t care what the haters think of him he’s going to continue to do what he does, he will adapt, he will overcome and he will win.  Cena gets interrupted by Zack who wheels himself on the apron, he goes down to the ring on his crutches and gets in the ring, he slaps the microphone away from Cena, Zack goes to hit Cena, Cena blocks it and looks like he’s going to hit Ryder, but doesn’t,  Ryder falls back and leaves the ring, he makes his way up the ramp, Kane comes on the big screen telling Cena he’s in denial, he said Cena ha embraced the hate by stealing Zacks girlfriend.  He says that Cena won’t win, and that he will be leaving the PPV in an ambulance.  Kane comes out behind Ryder and rolls him off the ramp.  Cena runs over to check on him, Eve runs out to his side as well upset.  Show ends with Zack being loaded on a stretcher.  I’m hoping Zack is alright, that looked like a terrible spot, his legs, ankles and knees all looked like they could have given out there.

My thoughts on tonight episode:

Very solid show, I can’t really think of any parts I really hated, aside from Zack Ryder being tonights whipping boy.  Makes you feel really bad for him, hopefully this gives him a ton of momentum when he finally comes back to compete.

I’m very interested in seeing John Cena VS Kane, after everything that’s been going on, It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens this Sunday.

The debate that lead off the show was alright, R Truth and CM Punk saved it, hilarious stuff with R Truth and then CM Punk basically taunting Jericho by telling him he wasn’t listening to a word he said.

Overall, I think tonights episode of Raw might have drawn some people to buy the PPV, the show did a very good job of selling it and this was a great show.  I’m going to give it a 4.5/5 this week.  Thanks for reading this weeks edition of A RAW Opinion, let me hear what you have to think about not only this column, but Raw overall.

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