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Raw reax: HBK returns, Rock and Cena face-off

It’s the “go-home” episode of “Monday Night Raw” in Chicago and here are the results and analysis for some of the bigger parts of the night.

The first segment to open up Raw was CM Punk sitting in the ring gloating about what he did to Randy Orton last week. It was a perfect segment as the Chicago crowd was very hot mainly because it was Punk’s hometown. Orton still got a huge pop despite going against the hometown boy.

This feud continues to get more TV time than any other feud going into Wrestlemania. And it deserves every bit of attention because this rivalry has been developed on every single episode of Raw. Both are phenomenal athletes and it has the ability to steal the show if given enough time. Both have a lot of intensity and have told a terrific story in the ring.

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I like the math between Edge & Christian vs. Albert Del Rio and Brodus Clay. Apparently it was six years ago the last time Edge & Christian tagged together on Raw. It feels like yesterday. The match was very solid and fought at a quick which is a hallmark of Edge & Christian. The end of the match really put over that Del Rio means business at Wrestlemania and he’s going to be a serious competitor. I still don’t buy into this push and I think even the most die-hard fan is not that thrilled with Del Rio in this match.

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An eight man tag team match was announced between The Corre vs. Big Show, Kane, Santino and Kozlov. Just eight months ago Wade Barrett was rumored to be facing Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Fast forward to last night and he’s destined to be a part of a comedy match this Sunday.

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The Undertaker-Triple H segment was perfectly executed. Just their entrances to the ring were a perfect example of how this feud has played out: Taker came out and Triple H came out right after him - quick, no talking and right down to business. There is nothing left to be said between the two and that’s why Shawn Michaels was brought out. I had a feeling that HBK was not going to be limited to taped promos; he had to make an appearance on the “go-home” show.

HBK hyped up the match, but Triple H said it was time for Taker to be “put down.” He simply cannot perform at the level he has for years. Triple H basically said Undertaker was washed up. Taker got under HBK’s skin by saying he’s a broken man that will be going into the Hall of Fame full of regrets. HBK went to Super Kick Taker, but he countered with a Chokeslam grip but Triple H broke it up. Michaels walked out on Triple H and told him “he can’t win.”

The entire crowd was into the segment and living and dying with every sentence coming out of Taker’s and Triple H’s mouth. It’s amazing how this entire feud has been built up with words and no actions at all. A lot of fans on the internet have been crapping all over this match because nothing is at stake here like last year’s Wrestlemania. That may be the case, but having back-to-back years of having someone’s career online would only make fans cry that the WWE is running out of ideas.

This rivalry has been awesome due in large part of Triple H and Taker making this match out to be more than it really is. Triple H made it clear that he’s no HBK and he needs to win whereas Michaels just need to put on a good show to retain his Mr. Wrestlemania title. Triple H was perfect on this mic tonight.

Bringing in HBK was the perfect way to lead into ‘Mania. I always thought this feud was going to be built on Triple H seeking revenge for his best friend. It seemed logic, but I’m glad they have steered away from that and made this personal between Taker and Triple H.

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Jerry Lawler was supposed to face Jack Swagger in a “warm-up” match thanks to the Raw GM. Lawler used a chair and got disqualified. Michael Cole threw coffee in Lawler’s face. I may be reaching here on this comparison but it needs to be said: When Cole yells “LAWLER” he really does sound like Andy Kaufman.

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Road Warriors “Hawk” and “Animal” were the final inductees into the 2011 Hall of Fame. They were by far one of the greatest tag teams to ever step into the ring. Hawk died in 2003, but Animal was still active in the ring as of 2008. The Road Warriors have gone through man name changes and transformations, but fans still hold them in the highest regard.

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Snooki and Trish Stratus were doing an interview via satellite from Seaside Heights, New Jersey. The segment was short as Lay-Cool interrupted and a brawl broke out. As much as it pains me to admit this, but I have been to Seaside and that bar was way nicer than anything I’ve ever seen in my visits to the Jersey Shore.

I hate that the WWE showed the Rock on the titantron seconds before he came out. What was the point? He was dressed in jogging pants and no sun glasses which means one thing: time to lay the smack down. He received another thunderous ovation.

Best line of the night by The Rock: John Cena looks like a homeless Power Ranger.

Cena came out and with less energy than usual. He had a smirk on his face as he stood on the stage because he knew he was stepping in The Rock’s world. Cena started his promo by talking to The Rock on how he wanted him back “home” in the WWE. Cena said he was “one of the millions.” Cena said he’s glad The Rock was back and yadda, yadda, yadda. And that’s when the “Cena sucks” chats broke out.

Cena didn’t come out guns blazing. He tried to take the diplomatic approach which the fans were not buying, especially with The Rock looking like he was ready to fight. The good boy Cena should have stayed in the locker room. But, Cena stood true to his character and you have to give him credit for that and not allowing himself to get caught up in the moment.

Just when the microphones dropped and the fist went up The Miz made his entrance and delivered a solid promo on The Rock. Cena stood outside of the ring for this and got a good laugh. Alex Riley and The Miz attacked The Rock and got the early advantage, but Rocky battled back and hit the People’s Elbow on Miz and threw him over the top rope. That’s when Cena snuck into the ring and hit the Attitude Adjustment on The Rock.

The WWE didn’t give too much away, but enough to let the fans know that there will most definitely be a part II this Sunday between The Rock and Cena. There is no way Rocky takes this lying down after seven years away from the WWE.

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