ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 03/04/13
Old School Raw opens with the Undertaker. He stands in front of the tron and raises the lights. The WrestleMania 29 logo appears on the big screen. End segment.
^There is absolutely one hundred percent no better way to open an old school edition of Monday Night Raw than with the Phenom. He foreshadowed a match at Mania, and now we can speculate who he will face(not like we haven’t been clued in for awhile now).
The old school Monday Night Raw beginning is played but with modern superstars added into it.
CM Punk and Paul Heyman come to the ring. Punk says he should be defending his WWE Championship in the main event of WrestleMania this year. Punk says the people are the reason that he isn’t the champion. Punk says he had no purpose to be at Mania, until he saw the Undertaker just now. Punk says he will beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania. Punk says he will take the streak from the Undertaker and from the fans. Randy Orton comes out and says he almost beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania as a rookie. Orton says he’s not a rookie anymore and asks the audience who they’d rather see face the Undertaker at WrestleMania. Next comes the Big Show to stake his claim on facing Taker. Sheamus follows suit. Sheamus says he’s the only one in the group who has never faced the Undertaker. Vickie Guerrero interrupts the group and makes a fatal four way match tonight with the winner facing the Undertaker at WrestleMania.
^Very simple formula here. Good promo work from everybody but Sheamus(botched his words in the beginning). Potential for a very exciting main event!
Ryback defeats Antonio Cesaro with shell shocked.
^Good work from these two. Nothing stellar here, but a solid story. I feel like I’ve seen these two in the ring together a lot lately. Hey creative team, want to stop being lazy?
Mark Henry comes to the ring and stares at Ryback as he leaves. Henry squashes Zack Ryder.
^Zack Ryder has been buried. He will probably continue to be buried. His remarks on twitter don’t seem to help him. Then again, it could all be a work. Looks like they’re building for a Henry/Ryback feud. Mania match? It’d certainly be interesting to see what they could put together.
A Fandango vignette is shown and says he will debut tonight. Oh joy.
The Miz defeats Dolph Ziggler using the figure four with Ric Flair at ringside.
^Great match from these two. If I recall correctly, they had a match on Main Event a few months ago that was also very good. Flair actually added to the drama of the match without being the center of attention, and that’s a good thing.
The Rock comes to the ring and starts talking. Cena interrupts. They exchange words back and forth. Rock ends with “if ya smell.” End segment.
^For me, the Rock needs to wrestle on tv before their Mania match. I’m not excited about a champion that only wrestles once a month. The promo work here was vintage from both men, but the hype just isn’t there for me. I really don’t care about this feud, or their rematch for that matter.
Jack Swagger is supposed to go one on one with Hacksaw Jim Duggan(Sgt. Slaughter and Dusty Rhodes are with him), but Swagger attacks them before the match can happen.
^Swagger beats up a bunch of old guys. Cool. It reminds of Jericho in 2009, but he had better competition as I recall. Nice way to keep the theme of the show.
Zeb and Swagger are interviewed by Josh Mathews. Alberto Del Rio attacks Swagger but officials break them up.
^I’m genuinely excited for this Mania encounter. The potential chemistry could be excellent.
Kane and Dbry defeat the Prime Time Players. The Million Dollar Man is ringside and is considering managing the PTP. Dibiase stuffs a one hundred dollar bill in Young’s mouth after the match, but Dbry sneaks up and takes it from Young’s mouth.
^We saw this match twice last week. It wasn’t any more entertaining this time around. I laughed at Dbry taking the money, but that was pretty much the highlight for me.
Tensai and Brodus Clay defeat Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre. The Honky Tonk Man is in the corner of Tensai and Brodus, and they all dance after the match. Slater tries to stop them but gets hit with a guitar by HTM.
^I liked the direction of the 3MB, but lately they’ve fallen off the map. I really don’t care about Brodus and Tensai either, but obviously there’s a certain population who finds them entertaining. I liked seeing HTM here, but man has he aged or what?
Fandango refuses to wrestle Kofi Kingston because Justin Roberts doesn’t say his name properly.
^So essentially we got the same thing that we saw on Smackdown. Who cares about this? Johnny Curtis was not up to par on his wrestling ability the last time I saw him on NXT, and I doubt he’ll be any better now.
Triple H comes to the ring and cuts a promo. He says he was waiting for a reason to take out Brock Lesnar, and he gave him a reason. He challenges Lesnar to a match at WrestleMania.
^I really hope we get a better match at Mania than what we saw at Summerslam; that main event was awful to watch. Good promo from the King of Kings here.
The Shield cut a promo and say the eye of justice is on everyone. They talk about the Big Show as well. They hint at interrupting the main event.
^Six man tag at Mania? I wonder what these means for that Sheamus/Barrett rivalry WWE had been teasing. Perhaps they’ll find someone to replace Sheamus.
Alberto Del Rio defeats Wade Barrett with the cross-armbreaker.
^Just like the match we saw from these two on Smackdown, this one delivered the goods. I love both of these guys as performers, and it’s a shame that Barrett’s injury last year set him so far back.
A Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter video is shown. The topic is political correctness.
^Zeb is great at drawing heat, but the heat works because it keeps people hating Swagger(who barely speaks).
The New Age Outlaws defeat Primo and Epico.
^I understand featuring legends on the old school Raw, but c’mon WWE! I loved the Outlaws as much as the next guy, but they’re older now and it just reminds me of Hogan and Flair when I see men with so much gray hair competing in matches. Primo and Epico are sunk, and tonight it was at the expense of putting over a tag team that stopped being relevant over ten years ago. Yeah, it was nostalgic, but nostalgia has been shoved down our throats since Raw 1000 and even before that with “blast from the past” Smackdown. WWE has a ton of legends that set the foundation for these young performers; we get it! It doesn’t mean they have to be spotlighted every time we turn around. Rare appearances lose their appeal when they stop being rare; it’s simple logic.
Mae Young’s apparent 90th birthday is being celebrated backstage. CM Punk interrupts and walks through it.
^I don’t care about Mae Young. The fact that she was the featured diva tonight is beyond sad. It’s also not entertaining.
CM Punk pins Randy Orton to win the fatal four way match and face the Undertaker at WrestleMania 29. Undertaker comes out after the match and stares at Punk from the aisle.
^Good match here, but again nothing special. Punk weasels his way into victory like a lot of us expected. It makes an easy setup for the other three guys to take on the Shield if WWE chooses to go in that direction. As for Punk, I expect that he will deliver his best performance ever against the Undertaker. I’m very skeptical that Punk would be booked to win the streak, but I think WWE should make it happen. It makes sense to take someone who lacks the ultimate drawing power(yes, he has a huge IWC following but he doesn’t draw like the two guys in the WWE Title match) but has more talent overall than every other performer on the active roster to end something as big as the streak. People will be furious, but it would give the right buzz for Punk. Taker doesn’t need the streak intact to cement his legacy. His legacy is forever safe. Will it happen? Probably not, but it’s what I want personally.
Very good show tonight. WWE laid the foundation for Mania and now they just need to fuel the fire by building on it. I don’t like mixing in old school talent every five minutes, but it didn’t hurt the overall productivity of the show this time around. I’ll be back with the Smackdown and Main Event analysis on Friday. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
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