It was a sign of things to come.
The wrestling action was average and the promo, while partially entertaining, wasn’t amazing. Set up for the angles for Royal Rumble, this was, for the most part, a filler episode of RAW.
Not even the long-awaited unraveling of the “Prophecy,” which turned out to be Chris Jericho, was worth the wait. Sure, it was entertaining for the first few minutes, but after ten minutes of Y2J running around, doing nothing and saying “Yeah Baby,” you have to wonder what the point of it all was. There was no promo, no beginning of an angle. Nothing.
Unless Jericho is inserted in the WWE Title picture ASAP or gets involved in an angle that allows him to both wrestle at a quality pace and have microphone time, his return is merely a cheap way of the WWE trying to get casual fans and mainstream media interested in the company again.
World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes: Bryan took a beating or most of this mediocre opening match, which was essentially routine. After Rhodes hit his jumping “Disaster Kick,” he went for a vertical suplex, which was unceremoniously reversed in mid-air by Bryan, who hooked in the cradle for the win.
Wade Barrett vs. Santino Marella: A quick match that ended after hit the Black Hole Slam, cough, Winds of Change sideslam for the win. Nothing special as Marella simple did the job.
The Miz vs. Sheamus: Surprisingly, The Miz was on the offensive through the first minute or so, until Sheamus fired back with his signature chest clubs. Soon after, Miz ran to the crowd and was counted out. Here, he was greeted by R-Truth. After Miz ran away from his former tag partner, he was caught with the Brogue Kick from Sheamus.
WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler: A solid match with some athleticism, counters and near-falls. Evenly paced, both competitors had nice stretches of offense. Ziggler hit several high-powered moves, including a reverse Exploder suplex, but was unable to pin Punk. Once Ziggler sheds himself of Vicki Guerrero, this could actually be a solid long-term program. Just when this looked to be a blockbuster, John Laurinaitis ruined the flow, as he hit the ring and distracted the referee while Punk had on the Anaconda Vice on a tapping Ziggler. More interference caused by the RAW GM caused Punk to fall to the outside, which led to a Ziggler victory via count out. This is Ziggler’s second win over Punk in as many weeks.
Nicki and Brie Bella vs. Eve Torrez and Kelly Kelly: A less than mediocre match, which saw Kelly and Torrez go through most of their offense. Torrez was the only competitor that came to work as she hit a top rope moonsault, making up for a botched jumping side kick from the first rope. A sloppy finish and some twin magic led to Torrez getting rolled up for a Bella Twins win.
Six-Man Tag Elimination: Jack Swagger and Mark Henry vs. Big Show, Zack Ryder and John Cena: Kane was supposed to be on the heels team, but didn’t show up for the match. Swagger and Henry were strong in the early going, taking it to Cena. Once Big Show entered the match, Henry got tagged in and the pace went to hell. These two basically exchanged punches and kicks. Once on the outside, Show hit Henry with a steel chair and got eliminated. Henry was unable to continue as well. After that, Ryder and Swagger squared off. While Ryder had some momentary offense, Swagger latched on the Ankle Lock. However, he was able to tag in Cena, who hit the Attitude Adjustment for the win. After the match, Kane came out from under the ring and took out Ryder before he applied what appeared to a version of the Von Erich Claw on Cena. He then set his sights on Ryder again and almost dragged him under the ring, but was saved by Cena.