Here we are, the LAST WEEK on the Road to Wrestlemania!  One week from now, the entire wrestling landscape will look entirely different… or not. We could have John Cena and Edge as the World Champions, or The Miz and Alberto Del Rio… or a mixture of those guys… or The Rock might even find a way to leave the event with one of the straps around his waist (which some might argue would be a huge waste, while others love to smell what the Rock is cookin’).

One thing is for damn sure amongst the uncertainty of the point we’re at right now: things are coming to a head tonight… LITERALLY!

All those weeks of John Cena and The Rock and The Miz talking to one another via video screen?  Not tonight, as they’re ALL going to be in the building for RAW as it invades Chicago!

Following suit, The Undertaker and Triple H are both going to be in the building as well, so they’ll meet face to face, and one would presume that they’re not going to be shy this time and they’ll actually both open their mouths… likely to say roughly the same thing we’ve been hearing all along.

Did I also hear that Stone Cold was going to be in the building?  It’s going to feel like 2001 all over again…

What about Trish Stratus and Snooki?  Will CM Punk get more of an advantage over Randy Orton, as the Legend Killer spent a month killing New Nexus until last week’s wrench-to-the-leg attack by Punk?

The clock is ticking, the hour is drawing near!

With everything set to happen tonight, RAW begins with CM Punk sitting in the middle of the ring with his hometown Chicago crowd cheering him on.  Will he be able to turn the crowd?  I doubt it, and I’m not sure WWE is even going to try.  It’s like Bret Hart with Calgary (or anywhere else in Canada).  Punk says he doesn’t really care about the fans, and he gets booed by some of them, but you still get the idea that the other half still love him… since they’re chanting his name.

I hope WWE wasn’t planning on having something significant happen tonight in the Punk / Orton angle, because this crowd loves him.

By the end of his promo, some of the crowd’s boos were overwhelming any cheers he was getting, and then Randy Orton’s music hits, and the half of the arena who aren’t super PRO-PUNK go nuts.  Orton gets into the ring and after getting hit a few times, he takes out Punk, just going to show that WWE clearly wants to keep most of the momentum in the favor of the Apex Predator, their Chosen Viper.  Orton even measures up Punk, setting up for the head-punt, but the damage done to Orton’s leg stops him.

Orton cowers in a corner, Punk escapes the ring, and the Chicago crowd are loving their Second City Saint.  Punk returns to the ring and toys with Randy Orton, but I still get the idea that he might eat an RKO.  After Randy eats a leg kick and drops to the mat, the crowd is split almost 50/50 in terms of noise level.  Punk hoists Orton up and gives him nap-time with the Go2Sleep.  EXCELLENT way for CM Punk to get the last laugh prior to Wrestlemania, as Orton has been on top of things all along.

As a CM Punk fan, I’d love to see him wrestle in Chicago with fans who appreciate him.

Before the commercial, we’re reminded that Cena / Miz / Rock are going to meet face to face.

We also get a quick segment where, apparently, Edge and Christian are going to be teaming up with one another… NEXT!

I realize Edge and Christian aren’t a full-time tag team anymore, but would it really kill them to do the 3-second pose again?  It could’ve been classic for the two of them to do some sort of pre-match photo opportunity, for those with the benefit of flash photography, with Alberto Del Rio’s personal ring announcer.

Match – Edge & Christian vs Alberto Del Rio & Brodus Clay

On Smackdown, when Teddy Long said that Edge wasn’t allowed to get his hands on Alberto Del Rio until Wrestlemania, this is one of the matches I felt WWE was screwing itself out of, and now they switch things around?  I’m wondering if this is poor communication or whether this will lead to something between Teddy Long and the RAW General Manager…. whenever we find out who that individual actually is.

The bad guys work over Christian nicely, leading up to the hot tag in to Edge, and Brodus Clay is really getting some good exposure in these past few weeks.  I’m betting that WWE is considering moving him up the card in the next couple years.

Outcome – Edge gets the win for his team by pinning Brodus Clay after the Spear.

After the match, Del Rio has the cross arm breaker on Christian, and when Edge finally shows up to break it up, Del Rio runs, only to return and attack Edge from behind and put him in the submission hold as well.

Apparently tonight, Trish Stratus and SNOOKI are hanging out on the Jersey shore.  Ugh.  At least we get to see Trish, though.

We get a reminder about the Undertaker / Triple H history from the past few weeks, as WWE Productions put together YET ANOTHER hype video for that match… and it’s plainly obvious which match is going to be the main event at Wrestlemania.

We also find out that tonight, Jerry Lawler will be facing Jack Swagger as a Wrestlemania tune-up match, and if that one doesn’t end in disqualification with Michael Cole showing up, I’ll be shocked. I suppose it might end in a dodgy finish with Swagger winning, but Cole will be involved… and if I’m right in thinking that Stone Cold is in attendance, this would be a good time for him to show up.

Match – Santino Marella vs Justin Gabriel

We’re notified before the match begins that there will be an 8-man tag match at Wrestlemania with The Corre taking on the team I’m calling Big Red Evil Santi-Koz.  Putting the Intercontinental Belt on Wade Barrett, which you might not have seen if you didn’t watch Smackdown this week, is a great idea, as it gives a ton more credibility to The Corre.

During the match, the “good guys” show that they might be as cohesive as a team as The Corre is, despite just having come together.

Outcome – Santino gets the win over Gabriel by use of The Cobra

After the match, the good guys do their victory dance, and Kane takes a major step back in his credibility as he celebrates with them, doing the trombone dance along with Santino and Big Show and Kozlov.

The Undertaker’s music hits when we come back from commercial, and I guess he was watching the monitor backstage and knew that Triple H was in attendance and headed somewhere with a sense of purpose.

No sooner does Undertaker get into the ring then Triple H’s music hits, and he doesn’t take as long to walk the isle, and it looks like this face-to-face is going to happen with both men wearing their leather jackets.

Oh SNAP!  Before Triple H can do his water spray portion of his entrance, the Undertaker’s gong hits, the lights go out, and things are silent for about fifteen seconds until another gong hits, and the lights go back on.  Triple H gets into the ring, and again they stand face to face without anything to say… until Shawn Michaels shows up!

This really IS turning into 2001!

Was anyone else thinking that Shawn Michaels might plant some Sweet Chin music on Undertaker?  I knew the odds were LOW, but I thought there MIGHT be a chance.

To break the silence, HBK gets a microphone, which I guess we should be thankful for, since neither of the guys in the ring seemed to have any intention of backing away from the face-to-face to get a mic.

Shawn plays hype-master extraordinaire, introducing us to both of the competitors for the match… and I guess he thinks that we’re new to this show, because we don’t need a refresher on their accomplishments.

The one question that Shawn Michaels has is for HHH:  what makes you think you can do what I couldn’t?

The fans are loving the question, as they clearly thought he was going to be on the side of HHH.   Trips says that Shawn got soft and stopped caring about winning every night, because he just wanted to be the Showstopper / Main Event.  Triple H says that failure is not an option for him.

Triple H says that he can tell that it’s time for The Undertaker to hang up his boots, even though The Undertaker likely can’t see it himself.  Triple H tells him it’s time for him to retire, and Triple H is going to make that happen by beating The Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

Now it’s time for The Dead Man to speak, and The Last Outlaw doesn’t look happy about what he just heard.  Taker has respect for Triple H and would want The Game to be the one to put him out to pasture, but apparently he doesn’t feel like this is the year it’s going to happen, as he’s going to keep the streak alive at Wrestlemania 27.  Undertaker puts Shawn Michaels on the spot and tells Triple H to ask HBK how tough it’s going to be for HHH to end the Wrestlemania streak.

Undertaker goes on to say that he humbled Shawn Michaels and ended his career.  HBK gets pissed, goes for the Sweet Chin Music, ‘Taker blocks it, goes for the chokeslam, but Triple H gets in the way.  Triple H then tells Shawn to explain to Undertaker why he feels HHH is going to break the streak, but HBK stands there, unable to respond, and then he leaves the ring, essentially proving The Undertaker’s point about HBK not believing HHH can get the job done.

If HHH is going to prove how cold-hearted he is, how he’ll go to any lengths, he needs to attack HBK backstage and show himself to be ruthless.

A nice little smirk and a tip of the cap by Undertaker at the end of the segment, and Triple H remains in the ring, pissed and determined and slightly humbled.  GREAT segment, and this might be the best RAW I’ve seen in years!

Match – Jack Swagger vs Jerry Lawler

Decent little match here which is actually over before I get much of a chance to review what’s going on… though it was really effective in what it was doing.

Outcome – Jack Swagger gets the victory by disqualification when Lawler gets a steel chair involved and slams it repeatedly into Swagger’s back

After the match, Lawler tries to go after Michael Cole, but the rival announcer hides in the penalty box enclosure and throws soda at Lawler to keep him at bay.

Match – Sheamus & Dolph Ziggler vs Daniel Bryan & John Morrison

Is anyone else thinking that these four guys might be a huge part of WWE’s main event in about three years?  Is there any chance John Morrison will still be wearing that chinchilla jacket at that point?  Could there be two superstars who are any different from one another than John Morrison and his partner for tonight, Daniel Bryan?

While I realize that this is really off-topic, because this RAW is in Chicago it’s making me wonder when CM Punk and Daniel Bryan will pick back up with whatever storyline they were going to go with when Punk hurt his hip a few months ago around the time of Survivor Series.

Best move-sell of the night (possibly the year): Daniel Bryan getting turned inside out and upside-down with Sheamus’ running double axhandle smash.

Outcome – Sheamus gets the win for his team with his Celtic Cross crucifix bomb

So Randy Orton is backstage, and apparently he has never despised someone as much as he despises CM Punk.  Really?  I seem to remember Orton and HHH fighting inside of Randy’s house, tearing things up, throwing each other through a window.  And Orton REALLY hates Punk mor than he hated HHH a few years ago?  Really?  Is that because Punk is trying to show people that Randy’s actually a terrible human being and Orton is trying to stay in his “face” persona?

The final members of the list of inductees for the 2011 Hall Of Fame class are the Road Warriors / Legion of Doom.  It’s a shame they took this long to to announce that these guys were on the list, though they’re from Chicago (where RAW is held tonight) and it’s good to have the final inductee announced be a significant one.  Also of note, it sounds like Paul Ellering is being inducted along with the Road Warriors.

Time for the Snooki segment, and I’m not sure that I really care about what’s going to happen here.  Some guy who Jersey Shore fans might be familiar with tries to get involved in the segment, and Snooki smacks him and shoves him away.

LayCool shows up, they get a drink thrown at them, then Trish and McCool roll all over a pool able while Snooki and Layla trade punches in a mounted position nearby.  They get pulled apart, and they part with Trish and Snooki yelling “see you at ‘Mania!”  I guess that gives us something to look forward to with Smackdown… meaning we won’t be seeing Snooki and LayCool.

Backstage, The Rock is fuming, anxiously awaiting his time to hit the ring, and when his music hits, he explodes through the curtain and makes his way to the ring to get things started.

Somebody tell the Diva’s that their upcoming match is going to be cut short, because The Rock is getting cheered out of his mind.

Somewhere, The Stellar One is excited about the reaction they’re giving him in his skybox.

Sorry, that was an inside joke.

And actually, I realize that this is the end of the show, so there is no Diva’s match to cut short… but that’s why they usually put those things close to the main event… because you can take time away from a Diva’s match.

So apparently The Rock says Chicago is where his career took his career to the next level, as that’s where he spent his first Wrestlemania.

The Rock talks all about “TEAM BRING IT” being a proactive group who goes out and gets what they want, doesn’t let people tell them “NO” and doesn’t let anything hold them back… though apparently it’s not strong enough to bring The Rock to arenas week after week when he’s got a beef with someone.

The Rock tells Cena that The People’s Champ is here, and then John’s music hits and things get real…

Apparently John Cena got what he wanted, with The Rock back in a WWE ring.  John says that this is where The Rock belongs, inside a ring like he had never left in the first place.  John said that years ago when Cena opened his mouth about The Rock, he says he was one of The Rock’s fans… he was one of the “Millions”.

John Cena says that he takes umbridge with the fact that The Rock doesn’t like the way John Cena handles his business, because John Cena says that he’s not a fake, that he’s very sincere and works his ass off each week for the fans and does it as himself, not as something that the fans or anyone else WANT him to be.


The Rock claims he’s not judging John Cena, and then Cena says he has nothing left to say, and says if The Rock wants to fight…

Oh good, they remembered that The Miz is not only involved in a match with Cena at Wrestlemania, but he’s the World Champion, so he needs to show up… and he does.

The Miz calls Rock & Cena “the O Brothers” – over-hyped and over-rated.  The Miz then talks about how The Rock is all talk, since he won’t get physically involved here OR at Wrestlemania, because he says that if The Rock were to do anything, The Miz claims he’d beat up The Rock and jeopardize The Rock’s career in Hollywood by getting him hurt.

The Miz throws out the challenge, and The Rock says it doesn’t matter what The Miz thinks would happen, and Alex Riley throws a forearm at The Rock, knocking him into the corner.  Where did Cena go?  Who knows… but The Rock starts TAGGING Alex Riley, causing him to leave the ring.  We see John Cena outside the ring by the announce table, allowing The Rock to fend for himself.  The Rock then drops The Miz with a DDT, then does The People’s Elbow, then throws The Miz out of the ring.  As The Rock celebrates, John Cena gets back into the ring and hits the Attitude Adjustment on The Rock and leaves the ring, not wanting to be shown up by the host of Wrestlemania.

I still have to add polls to THIS article, but you will probably want to check out my preview for Wrestlemania in our Wrestlemania Preview Polling Station!

While you’re welcome to post full comments, we’ll have enough polls to make feedback’ing as easy as point-and-click!