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Home arrow Television arrow 2013 Stories arrow RAW: Lesnar Returns
RAW: Lesnar Returns
Written by Scott Anderson   
Feb 03, 2013 at 12:12 PM

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – unless you’re broadcasting to a worldwide audience of millions.  As shenanigans went down with Vickie Guerrero spinning the “RAW Roulette” wheel, CM Punk decried his controversial loss of the WWE Championship, The Rock celebrated holding WWE gold for the first time in a decade, and John Cena announced which title he’d be gunning for at WrestleMania. But the writing seemed to be on the wall for Paul Heyman as Vince McMahon held a public “performance review” of Punk’s offsider.  But instead of Heyman being fired, it was McMahon who was left to feel the pain...

RAW kicked off with a very angry CM Punk decrying what he called "the Phoenix screw job," lambasting Vince McMahon for re-starting the WWE Championship match against The Rock at Royal Rumble.  Punk demanded that The Shield be fired, and that the WWE Championship be stripped from The Rock and returned to Punk himself.

McMahon was, of course, having none of it.  For the second night in a row McMahon crashed Punk's party, saying that he had incontrovertible evidence that The Shield had been working in collusion with Punk and Paul Heyman all along.  Losing the title was punishment enough for Punk, the WWE Chairman decided, but Heyman would have to face a performance review later on in the show, and if he couldn't satisfy McMahon of his innocence he'd hear "YOU'RE FIRED!"

But first, the other big winners from Royal Rumble had their moments in the spotlight.  John Cena, after making quick work of Cody Rhodes in a one-on-one match, picked up the microphone to announce his decision for which title he'd go for at WrestleMania XXIX.  Cena talked through his decision, acknowledging that after any rematch it'd either be The Rock or CM Punk holding the title going into the big show, and Cena acknowledged he'd had less than stellar success against either of those two men over the last year.  But still, Cena concluded, rather than going for the World Heavyweight Championship - where his odds might be better - he wasn't going to back down from any challenge.  And with that Cena announced that come WrestleMania he'd be challenging for the WWE Championship, no matter who held it.

Before Cena could continue, however, The Shield came down to the ring to launch a three-on-one assault.  Cena fought bravely, but even as first Sheamus then Ryback came out to his aid the more cohesive gang tactics of The Shield saw all three of them falling prey to the black clad assailants.  The beating culminated with a triple powerbomb on Cena, and The Shield strutted away having left three of the biggest names in WWE lying downed behind them.

Later, it was to rapturous applause that The Rock, the new WWE Champion, came down to the ring to celebrate his victory. "There is no accolade on this earth that is more deeply engrained in my blood than this WWE Championship," explained The Rock. "After 10 long years I can tell you that this moment is the proudest moment of my career."

Rock then ran down a list of thanks for this, his tenth WWE Championship, thanking his friends, his family and most of all the fans.  "For 434 days you've been hearing CM Punk saying that you, the people, don't matter.  The Rock is here to tell you that crap is over.  No more Punk, no more Heyman, together The Rock and the people usher in a new era, the People's Era!"

This drew Punk out onto the stage, seething as he told the WWE fans that their opinion didn't matter.  Turning to The Rock he demanded that if Rock were a honourable man he'd come up to the stage and hand back the WWE Championship that was "stolen" from Punk at Royal Rumble.  Rock countered by demanding Punk prove that he was a man and come down to the ring to take the title by force.  For a moment it looked as if the two were going to come to blows before Punk took a breath, backed up slightly and let Rock know that he would be taking the WWE Championship back - in a rematch at the upcoming Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.  "Show up, if you dare" concluded the pugnacious Punk.

Then, as RAW drew to a close, Vince McMahon ordered Paul Heyman down to the ring to face the music with a "performance review."  But Heyman, surprisingly, came down with a big grin across his face as if he hadn't a care in the world.  When asked by McMahon if he'd ever had Brad Maddox or The Shield under contract Heyman thanked the WWE Chairman for the chance to publicly address the rumours before declaring a unequivocal "no!"  When asked if he'd lied, Heyman quoted McMahon's own father by saying he'd lied "every day of his life, simply to survive to the next day.  Because that's what promoters like you and I do, Mr McMahon, to maintain our lives and run our businesses.  But I'm not lying about Brad Maddox or The Shield.  I'm not an innocent, I'm not a saint, but sir, I am trying to be an honest man."

But Heyman's jaw dropped when McMahon responded to the plea by ordering footage to be shown on the big screen, footage showing Heyman talking backstage with Brad Maddox.  Maddox, it seemed, was trying to extort more money from Heyman for services rendered, but Heyman's response was to tell Maddox he'd failed, unlike The Shield who'd earned the money he paid them.  The Shield then entered shot, surrounding Maddox, and Heyman told him to take his beating like a man, as one of those tests that'll make him stronger before leaving Maddox to mercy of Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns.

"That wasn't me!" screeched Heyman, all his poise disappearing as he realised that the game was up.  "It's Las Vegas, a town full of impersonators, that wasn't me!"  McMahon laughed off the pathetic pleading, and asked the fans if they though Heyman was a liar who should be fired. "Yes!" roared back the fans, and McMahon raised the microphone to his mouth, pointed his hand at Heyman and began to speak "YOU'RE..."

But before McMahon could finish music burst out of the speakers, and after a moment McMahon, Heyman and the fans realised that the music that hadn't been heard for a few months belonged to none other than Brock Lesnar.  Lesnar came out onto the stage, bounced from foot to foot before trotting down to the ring, never taking his eyes from McMahon.

Heyman, however, seemed far from pleased to see his protégée.  Heyman begged Lesnar to stay away from McMahon, but with a hard glare and a curt motion Lesnar directed Heyman to the corner of the ring.  Heyman then turned to McMahon, begging him to leave the ring, but McMahon simply stepped forward, coming eye to eye with Lesnar.

Lesnar leant forward, glaring at the WWE Chairman, until his nose touched McMahon's. McMahon recoiled as if struck, slightly raising his had as if to punch Lesnar.  Lesnar simply smiled a cold smile and grabbed McMahon, hoisting him onto his shoulders.  And despite Heyman shrieked for Lesnar to stop Lesnar, with the same cold smile, smashed McMahon down onto the ring with an F5.  "What have you done, my god, what have you done!" screamed Heyman as McMahon writhed in pain as the show went off the air.

In other RAW action Vickie Guerrero spun the "RAW Roulette" wheel to set up a mismatch of odd, entertaining and brutal matches for the show.  The first surprise came when Antonio Cesaro and Randy Orton had a special referee appointed for their match, and Cesaro was far from pleased to see The Miz out in the ring wearing the striped shirt.  Miz was far from a neutral official, culminating when he pulled Cesaro off Orton as the Swiss-born United States Champion was building momentum, leaving Orton with room to strike with the RKO.  Then, to further add to the insult, after the bout Miz helped Cesaro back to his feet, only to slam him back down with the Skull Crushing Finale.

Wade Barrett was spun a "Player's Choice" of opponent on the roulette wheel, and Barrett was quick to name Bo Dallas as his opponent, looking to extract some revenge following his surprising elimination by the NXT debutant during the Royal Rumble. But more surprises were in store for Barrett, as the fired up youth ducked under Barrett's Bull Hammer to catch Barrett with a spectacular powerslam, pinning Barrett for the three count.  The RAW debutant celebrated his victory, while Barrett looked on in disbelief.

The RAW roulette wheel span for World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and Big Show a "body slam challenge", but the seething Show didn't want to even proceed with that favourable stipulation. Instead Show produced some duct tape and taped Del Rio's wrist to his own, dragging the World Champion around like a rag doll, slamming him into ring steps and barriers, as well as landing a few big hard right handed punches.

A "Strange Bedfellows" stipulation was what the wheel produced for Dolph Ziggler and the returning Chris Jericho, and Guerrero explained that meant Ziggler and Jericho would have to team together to face the WWE Tag Team Champions, Team Hell No.  Blind tags and cocky taunts saw Ziggler and Jericho constantly at each other's throats, reaching the apex when after Ziggler had blind-tagged himself in Jericho attacked Kane from behind before quickly rolling  out of the ring.  As Kane turned around in anger all he saw was Dolph Ziggler, and he lifted him up for a huge Choke Slam.

For Sheamus and Damien Sandow the roulette wheel spun a tables match, and it was a brutal encounter indeed, with Sandow once again proving how far he's come in a short time.  But nonetheless the match came to its end with Sheamus sending Sandow through a table with White Noise.

Other RAW Roulette moments saw Ryback being required to make the WWE Universe laugh, which he did so by beating down first the Prime Time Players then the hapless Matt Striker.  Brodus Clay and Tensai were first spun a lingerie contest, of all things, but a second spin changed the stipulation to a dance off contest.  Not that anyone told Tensai, who turned up to boogie down with Clay wearing a camisole.   A Divas Lumber Jill match was spun, which ended in chaos as all the women entered the ring to brawl, and Zack Ryder ended up paired with Great Khali in a "Karaoke Contest", the less said about the better.

And, amongst the RAW Roulette chaos, it was also announced that the third inductee to the 2013 Hall of Fame would be the legendary, ground breaking female wrestler, Trish Stratus - a very popular announcement.

RAW results:

  • Randy Orton def. United States Champion Antonio Cesaro (non-title, special referee The Miz)
  • John Cena def. Cody Rhodes
  • Bo Dallas def. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett (non-title)
  • Sheamus def. Damien Sandow (Tables match)
  • Team Hell No def. Chris Jericho & Dolph Ziggler



Saturday, April 19
- WWE Raw (10.15am, the BOX)

Sunday, April 20
- WWE Raw (3.45pm, the BOX)

- WWE Main Event (6.15pm, the BOX)

- WWE SmackDown (7.05pm, the BOX)

- WWE Main Event (11.50pm, the BOX)

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