Welcome to the Weekly Top Five (WTF) for the February 25 episode of Monday Night Raw. Before ranking the best moments of the show, allow me to remind you that the second edition of WWE Encyclopedia is available on Amazon.
5. RYBACK vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Superstars should be lining up in the back to wrestle Dolph Ziggler. The man is a star and he continually makes his opponents look great. Example: Ryback on Monday.
4. MIZ TV
Politics aside, the level of attention Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger have received for WWE has to be admired. And just like Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter before it, the Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio rivalry has managed to strike a nerve, which is exactly what a good angle should do.
I was a little shocked by the lukewarm level of heat Colter received from the live crowd. I’m willing to bet if Raw wasn’t in Texas, the WWE Universe would’ve been all over him even more than they were. Nonetheless, the segment was very effective in getting Colter over as an ignorant heel and Del Rio as the classic hero.
3. JACK SWAGGER
After Jack Swagger’s run-in with the law last week, there was a very real chance that Alberto Del Rio would be facing a different challenger at WrestleMania. But WWE stayed the course with Swagger and continued to make him look strong in his match against The Miz.
WWE could have very easily suspended or fired Swagger, but that would be akin to cutting off one’s nose to spite the face. WWE is a business and the best thing for business at this point, in my opinion, is to finish what they started. Imagine if they plugged somebody like Mark Henry into the match instead. That would destroy the credibility of the Elimination Chamber. People paid their hard-earned money to see which Superstar would win and go on to WrestleMania. To throw that all away now would be to severely damage the Chamber event now and in the future.
2. BROCK LESNAR/TRIPLE H
I’m sure everybody reading this assumed Brock Lesnar and/or Triple H would play some role in Monday’s fight between Mr. McMahon and Brock Lesnar, but there’s no way anybody anticipated the chaos and intensity shown by Lesnar and The Game. Their battle was as physical as it gets, and Lesnar’s bloodied head was proof of that. Like many I’m sure, I figured the two Superstars would engage in a war of words, saving the physicality for WrestleMania. I was wrong, and I’m pretty happy about it.
1. JOHN CENA vs. CM PUNK
WWE did a great job reminding viewers throughout the night that Cena vs. Punk had huge consequences. And Cena and Punk clearly got the message and delivered an epic main event. More often than not, there’s nothing better in this business than to watch two of the generation’s greatest battle it out one-on-one in the ring. No gimmicks, just good old-fashioned action.