In a pre-show bout that had sub-par wrestling and non-existent crowd heat, The Ascension defeated Free Ryder in 11:48 when Viktor defeated Brian Freeman by pinfall with a Flying European Uppercut.
Brian Freeman was the weak link, struggling to keep up with everyone else’s in-ring performance.
Once again Damien Sandow came out to the ring, as he did on Power Hour, ranting and raving about the lineage of the European Championship and Jay Lethal’s refusal to actually defend the title. He was interrupted by Carlito! The King of Caribbean Cool told Sandow to shut him idiot mouth and that if anyone deserves to take on Lethal for the EU Title then it’s the Cool One himself. Carlito is a former Intercontinental and United States Champion, the EU Belt would be a perfect addition to his title cabinet in the tiki bar he’s definitely got on his back yard.
In a pre-show bout that had good wrestling and a decent reaction from the crowd, Damien Sandow defeated Carlos Colon Jr. in 11:57 by pinfall with a Terminus.
“BOOM! BOOM! BOOM-BA-BOOM! BOOM!” The show starts with an impressive opening of pyro, before the lights are raised and several sections of the excited crowd are shown waving various signs. The focus then switches to the announce table where Booker T and Mick Foley talk briefly about The Royal Rumble and everything that happened, concluding that perhaps tonight we’ll get some answers from John Cena about what exactly he thinks he’s playing at.
Because John Cena’s new bad ass HEEL Music plays. The crowd are confused about who the hell this is, until the word CHAMP appears on the screen and The new World Heavyweight Champion John Cena steps out.
The crowd boo the fucking place down, including children and women, and a lot of people chant NO NO NO!
Cena does not look happy at all.
He gets in the ring and the boos continue, but he just starts talking quietly over everyone until they shut up to hear what he’s saying.
“The Champ is here. John Cena is here and I am the 15 Time World Champion!”
“And there it is. You all want to know why I did what I did to Daniel Bryan last night? My “friend” Daniel Bryan? You want to why? Because of YOU!
Every week I’ve come out here for 15 years and I put on the greatest show any of you have ever seen in your entire lives and every week since the day I stepped through that curtain and punked out Kurt Angle you people have booed me. You people have chanted Cena Sucks and You Can’t Wrestle and I shrugged it off. I let it go because I just kept winning. Just kept winning matches and main events and title belts and the more I won the more you HATED ME!
And last night at the Royal Rumble I took out Christian to finally end his reign here on Raw and win my 15th World Title in the WWE and did you chant my name? Did you chant CE-NA CE-NA CE-NA CE-NA THE HELL YOU DID! I pinned the Champion to become the Champion and you all chanted YES! YES! YES!”
At this point, that’s exactly what the crowd do.
“Bunch of sheep. I’ve been the face of this empire for over a decade and a half. Longer than Hulk Hogan. Longer than Stone Cold Steve Austin and longer than The damn Rock and yet I win the title and you chant for another man.”
They keep chanting YES YES YES but now it’s mixed with DANIEL BRY-AN! clap clap clap clap clap!
“Yeah, shout all you want. He’s not here.”
“Yeah yeah yeah. You think booing from you people makes a damn bit of difference to me when I’ve been hearing it for 15 years? Now I’ve finally given you something to boo about and you can’t even enjoy it. Let’s not forget that the whole reason Christian won the title in the first place and set Raw on the path to destruction is because Daniel Bryan LOST the World Heavyweight title! Since then everything Christian and The Gilded have done has been HIS FAULT!
And out come The Gilded!
Barrett, Edge, Lethal and Kong. They stand at the top of the ramp glaring down at Cena in the ring, before rushing down to meet him. Cena pulls off his shirt and lays the title on the ground ready for a fight!
The Gilded get into the ring and Barrett steps forward, picks up the World Heavyweight Title, and hands it back to Cena. John smiles and the two men embrace in the middle of the ring.
Barrett gets on mic, smiling his head off.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of Raw… I’ve got some Bad News! The age of The Gilded Age is over. You are now living, in a Cenation!”
The Champions all hold their belts up high to a massive chorus of booing.
The first person to drop his belt down is Edge. He looks uncomfortable, unhappy. Cena notices this.
“Looks like the Rated ECW Champion has something to say. You got a problem Edge? You look unhappy.”
“Yeah John… I got a problem. Last night you beat Christian to become the World Heavyweight Champion in one of the best matches I’ve ever seen either of you have. I’ve been in the ring with Christian so many times I can’t even give you a number, both with him and against, and me and you have gone toe to toe fist to fist time and again and I can honestly say I’ve never seen either of you be better than you were last night. Which is why I look unhappy John because instead of coming out here tonight and saying what I just said, and tipping the cap to your opponent, you instead got a microphone and you went WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH didn’t you?”
Cena squares up to Edge. But Edge just carries on talking.
“Boo hoo people like Daniel Bryan more than me. Boo hoo I don’t get the respect I deserve. Well that’s too damned bad John! I know you’re knew at this, so let me explain what’s going on. Last night at the Royal Rumble, you did what we in the business call turning heel. And when you’re a heel John, the people don’t cheer. They don’t like you. I’ve been getting booed almost my entire career and did you ever hear me come out and piss and bitch about it? NO! Do you wanna know why John? Because I don’t care if they like me, because I know that they damn sure respect me! Last week I beat Matt Hardy onto the injured list and I took his ECW Title because I wanted it and I needed it and after that match the people may have booed, but they knew I was the best on that night.”
“Yeah? You were the best? You’re the ECW Champion? You’re GILDED right? Well that’s a joke! You won that belt and you’re standing here with the rest of these champions because your buddy gave you a pass. You haven’t defended that belt once since you won it. Sure, you had yourself a cut little time in the Rumble match putting the title on the line for 90 seconds, but you ended up handcuffed to Goldust and tossed out of the ring!”
Edge smiles, but that doesn’t make him happy. He rubs his wrist which is still bandaged up from the handcuff.
“The trouble with being Gilded is you also got soft!”
He turns to address all of the champions now.
“Lethal… for two weeks Damien Sandow, Carlito, Zack Ryder, Mr Kennedy… hell everybody been out here and on Power Hour running their mouths about how you don’t deserve that European Title and what have you done about? Nothing! You didn’t defend the title last night, just like Edge didn’t really defend his. The entire division is making you look like a punk, and you should know that the Cenation doesn’t admit punks!”
Lethal straps the European Title belt around his waist, like he’s trying to keep hold of it. “John, I aint no punk. I’ll take on who ever, whenever. Bring them on.”
“There we go! Some fire! So there it is, tonight European Champion Jay Lethal will take on ANY CHALLENGER in a non-title match! Bad News, you won retained your title last night but you did it with Lethal’s help. Well the Cenation don’t play that. No more interference. You wanna keep being champ, you fight anyone who comes at you and you do it by yourself! Just like our Universal Women’s Champion The Amazing Kong! Last night she was an example to all of you because she DESTROYED Bayley and she did it on her own.
Membership of the Cenation comes with perks, but it also comes with rules. In this ring you fight alone and you fight often!”
He turns back to Edge.
“And tonight, Edge… you fight alone, and you fight… me!”
OH MY GAHD! John Cena, the apparent new leader of the champions on Raw, will take on ECW Champion Edge tonight!
Back from commercial and it’s the man Christian kicked out of The Gilded last night, when The Gilded still existed, Jey Uso!
In a bout that had decent wrestling but didn’t have much heat, Jey Uso defeated R-Truth when Truth went up top and got shoved down to the mat outside by a returning Jimmy Uso!
We haven’t seen Jimmy Uso for MONTHS, but he’s back! Jey superkicks Truth in the mouth, rolls him back into the ring and gets the 1.. 2.. 3, at which point the reunited Usos make their intentions known by giving Truth a Double Super Kick.
A video airs showing Kane’s record breaking Royal Rumble, and his elimination by The Undertaker. RVD then eliminates Taker and the three have a massive brawl throughout the stadium, ending in Rob being chokeslammed off the entrance.
“Unfortunately we’ve gotten word that Rob Van Dam will be out of action for several weeks following his destruction by The Undertaker. I doubt Kane’s going to be happy about that.”
In a decent match, Bubba Ray Dudley defeated Bobby Fish in 10:54 by pinfall after a distraction from D-Von Dudley.
The Dudley Boyz have to be held apart from reDRagon by security but continue to brawl regardless.
In a bout that had decent wrestling but didn’t have much heat, Stixx defeated The Miz in 10:32 by pinfall with a roll up.
Rusev is in the ring with his manager, Jake the Snake Roberts, talking about his client’s stellar performance in last night’s Royal Rumble. There’s no shame in being eliminated by the eventual winner, but that doesn’t mean Rusev is done with Daniel Bryan.
OLE OLE OLE OLE!! Sami Zayn pops up out of the nowhere and gives Rusev a receipt for his unprovoked attack last week on Raw. Sami flattens Rusev and gives him the Helluva Kick before Snake can pull his client out of the ring.
Amazing Kong is in the ring with a microphone. She claims that last night she WRECKED Bayley again and that John Cena was right. She won her title by her damn self and she keeps it by her damn self. So, in the spirit of the new Cenation, she’s issuing an open challenge to any woman in the back. Come on down and prepare to face something Amazing.
In a decent match, Amazing Kong defeated Natalya Neidhart in 5:16 by pinfall with an Amazing Bomb. After the pin, Kong picked up Nattie and again planted her with the Amazing Bomb, just to get her point across.
Backstage, Edge is pacing back and forth muttering angrily to himself, when he comes face to face with Christian.
They square up for a second, then they’re cool. Christian thanks Edge for getting his back, but Edge says maybe Cena was right. In the past few months they’ve barely wrestled. They’ve barely fought anyone. When he took on Matt Hardy he felt like the old times, and not just because he beating a Hardy’s ass. He’s gonna go out there tonight and show Cena why he’s the Rated ECW Champion!
The announcers put over the fact that next week we’ll be treated to LIVE! With Chris Jericho. The returning six time champion will make his Raw return.
In the ring, European Champion Jay Lethal is introduced.
Lethal, dressed to the nines in his suit and shades and shit. He lays it out for the audience that he is the European Champion and that’s all there is to it. Sandow and Stixx and Ryder and whoever the hell else can lay claim all they want, but he won the belt and he kept the belt. He’s been European Champion since Bad Blood. He took on the Heavyweight House of Pain and he won. That’s all that matters! But in the spirit of the new era he’s willing to give someone a shot at the top.
Kennedy stomps on down and gives Lethal all manner of shit. “Jay Lethal! Are you lost? It’s just, you seem to be standing in the ring… in a suit. You said you were ready for competition but… look at me. Trunks. Boots. Elbow pads. Devilish grin. And then look at you… it’s a nice suit but I’m pretty sure the pants are gonna rip if you try a sunset flip.”
Lethal takes off his jacket and hands it to the referee, then slowly unbuttons his shirt. He’s really taking his time, like Naito. Kennedy gets in the ring, looking impatient. He turns to complain but Lethal blindsides him. He pulls off his breakaway trousers like a boss and starts laying into Kennedy. (73)
In a decent match, Jay Lethal defeated Mr. Kennedy in 15:23 by pinfall with a Lethal Combination. (77)
After the match, Jay Lethal carries no putting the boot in to Kennedy until he’s run off by Stixx! Lethal and Stixx battle back and forth until The Miz runs in, followed by Zack Ryder, followed Damien Sandow! Everyone knocks the fuck out of each other until Lethal climbs out of the scrum, grabs his title and escapes. (61)
And now… our MAIN EVENT!
Here comes the Champion. John Cena has made a huge impact in the past 24 hours, drastically changing the landscape on Raw is just one day.
He’s taken over The Gilded and rebranded it as Cenation, with some pretty blunt rule changes for the champions. And now he’s set to take on ECW Champion Edge as, why? Just for proof that Edge can still hang. He’s making the champions of Raw prove themselves to him.
On this day!!!
Edge is fired right up! Taking on an old nemesis has got Edge’s blood pumping and he’s here for a fight!
In an exceptional match, John Cena defeated Edge in 17:14 by pinfall with the Code Red, which is apparently his new finisher. (78)
After the match, Cenation come down to the ring and, on Cena’s orders, hit Edge with their finishers.
He takes the Amazing Press, a Lethal Combination, The Wasteland and is about to get his with another Code Red when…
CHRISTIAN! The former champion is here and he’s taking on John Cena!
The Cenation look to go for him, but Cena waves them off. They roll Edge out of the ring and Cena and Christian start battering each other until Cena clotheslines Christian over the ropes, at which point the Cenation fall on him and start giving him and Edge and proper kicking. They are just dismantling Edge and Christian as Cena stands in the ring, World Heavyweight Title held high.
This is not the John Cena anyone expected tonight, but it looks like this is the John Cena we’re going to get.
Overall Grade – 86