Raw was in Chicago last night. The big show they were dreading and the one everyone of us was looking forward to the most.

Rumors broke a few days ago that CM Punk could possibly be returning to a hero’s welcome. Well in the realm of “shit that didn’t happen” that rumor reigned as king last night.

Yep, Punk was a no show.

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OK, so Punk is still at home sulking and getting ready for his @midnight appearance. It was all good because WWE put on a really good show and even managed to use the whole “Highjack Raw” for their favor when they sent out Daniel Bryan to acknowledge it and use it to his advantage.

Trolling in its highest form. Bravo, WWE.

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Raw managed to move forward a lot of its storylines last night despite the loud Chicago crowd. Let’s be clear, the crowd was insanely loud and chanted “CM Punk” most of the night as we knew they would, but it did not feel like the post-WrestleMania Jersey crowd that created absolute magic.

Bryan faced Batista and even slowing down his pace, Big Dave looked winded after about five minutes. This may be reason enough to put a third man in the main event of Mania. How good a match can he have with Orton if he is pulling a Warrior and getting blown up on his way to the ring?

It does look like it will be HHH and Bryan after last night. I still think WWE was holding out a few weeks to see if they could salvage something out of Punk, but now they have to look forward to salvaging WrestleMania.

The interesting part of last night is that I get the feeling that the Bryan/HHH match will lead to more. Something to the effect of “if Bryan can beat HHH, he gets in the main event at WrestleMania” sort of thing. He could overcome HHH with all of The Authority trying to screw him then he gets in the main event where you have Batista pin him, setting Captain Naval Tattoo as the main heel of the company as Bryan chases the title.

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What is a shame right now is that Orton does not feel like he is anything of importance despite being champion. Feels like going into WrestleMania 25 where he was booked so weak and had a disappointing match with HHH.

Cesaro and Swagger played the blame game costing each other matches before hugging it out by the worst looking Ari Gold impersonator ever. Looks like Cesaro’s great run will end with a match against Swagger at Mania. That is if Swagger doesn’t fuck up again before the PPV like last year.

How fucking great was that Shield/Wyatt match?!!

It had just the right elements of tag matches and brawling and it made the crowd actually cheer and chant for the guys involved.

I loved the Rollins leaving bit. It was unexpected until he explained that he could not be the glue that kept the group together anymore. If they have a triple threat at Mania, get ready for a show.

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Paul Heyman proved again why he kept ECW in business for so many years despite having no money.

How big a target was on his back being sent out first (to Punk’s music!) and talk about the tattooed, straightedge elephant not in the room and segue that into Lesnar’s match with The Undertaker. Whatever they pay him, it is not enough.

Fucking brilliant.

I loved Lesnar’s destruction of Mark Henry. It makes sense with Henry still looking for revenge for his broken arm and makes Brock look like the maniac he is for putting Henry down every time. That F5 through the table was good as well.

I have noticed that when WrestleMania comes around, no table is safe.

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What I thought would happen a couple of weeks ago with John Cena and Bray Wyatt came to be. Cena came out and cut his normal cookie-cutter promo we have heard for a decade, then Wyatt appeared on screen and bitch-slapped Cena verbally with no chance of saving face.

This will continue because no one can touch Wyatt on the mic.

Paul Bearer in the Hall of Fame. This is the definition of right.

The Usos winning the tag titles was a good move. We knew it was going to happen and I think the WWE wanted to hold off a bit longer, but they used the Chicago crowd to pop for a title change. It helps the Outlaws gave them their best match since coming back.

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#Emmalution #Emmataining

Aaron Paul should be on Raw every week. Ziggler will be champion inside of a month.

How out the door is Del Rio? He is past Batista and now he lost in two minutes to Ziggler to get a pop for the guest host? We all know he is heading back to Mexico so WWE is doing what they do; make him look like a loser on the way out.

By the way: why the hell even have Paul on if he is not going to say “bitch” once??

If you have the WWE Network and have not watched the NXT Arrival special, you are missing two hours of great wrestling. I enjoyed it more than I have any PPV over the past year. Just watching the Emma and Paige match shows the disconnect between Divas matches on Raw and NXT. The wrestled for 15 minutes and I was entertained by every moment.

Till next week!

bobross

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