ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 04/15/13

*Before we start this, I just want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the attacks in Boston. God bless you all.

Big Show is defeated in a handicap match by Randy Orton and Sheamus. Orton gets the win an RKO after Sheamus nails the brogue kick on Show.

^Nice of WWE to start the show with a wrestling match. I find it somewhat odd that it takes two top faces to defeat the Big Show, but the match was a pretty good way to put over Orton and Sheamus’ united front. Do I think this rivalry is even close to over? Nope.

Josh Mathews interviews the 3MB. Heath Slater says they are going to the ring right now to call out the Shield after their attack on Smackdown.

^Action and more action! Looks like the 3MB will get their next beatdown once they get to the ring. I’m a little disappointed that this 3MB gimmick has been nothing more than a joke, but at least these three guys have a regular role on television and we remember who they are. Feels like they get more air time than even Team Rhodes Scholars right now.

3MB is in the ring and they call out the Shield for an apology right now. Brock Lesnar comes out and destroys the group. Paul Heyman comes out and grabs a mic. He says he told us last week that his client is ready for a fight. Heyman says the fight his client wants is against Triple H. Heyman says he respects Triple H for what he did at WrestleMania because no one else has ever done it. He says Brock Lesnar does not share that opinion, and now we have a problem. Heyman says the victory at Mania evens up the score at one win apiece with Lesnar. Heyman challenges Triple H to a rematch with Brock Lesnar in a steel cage match at Extreme Rules.

^Great segment. Heyman’s a genius on the mic. Putting these two in a cage is a great way to end this feud; straight up wrestling just doesn’t work for Brock anymore. Glad Heyman was there to speak for Brock; he’s awful to listen to and sounds like a completely uneducated redneck. Can’t wait to see the outcome of this rivalry!

Antonio Cesaro defends the United States Championship against Kofi Kingston. Kofi wins the match and the title using trouble in paradise. Josh Mathews interviews Kofi after the match and he says that he just brought the US Title home.

^Probably the best US Title match we’ve seen in the past year! I hope this means either some good rematches or some legitimacy being brought to the US Title in terms of booking feuds for it. Awesome match! I wonder what this means for Cesaro’s lame booking as of late. Perhaps he failed a drug test or got into some other unknown trouble?

A replay of the entire World Title match where Ziggler cashed in is shown from last week. In case you missed it. And missed the replay on Main Event. And Smackdown. Unnecessary waste of time.

Dolph Ziggler comes out to celebrate his World Title win. Alberto Del Rio comes out and wants his rematch. Vickie Guerrero comes out and makes the match right now. Jack Swagger comes out and attacks Del Rio before the match can start. No match.

^Nothing more than a tease here. Another World Title match just wasn’t going to happen tonight, but that’s okay. Sometimes you have to build up to the next big match, and I’m sure we’ll see a solid World Title bout(whether it be triple threat or one on one) at Extreme Rules. Effective segment here to put over the World Championship.

Del Rio is shown getting help backstage and he looks pretty hurt. This is done to put over the fact that he can’t wrestle Dolph Ziggler tonight.

The Prime Time Players take on Team Hell No…again. Dbry pins Darren Young after a flying headbutt.

^Short and decent. Nothing special and getting tiring to see the same two teams over and over and over. Team Hell No teams with Undertaker next week to take on the Shield. Can’t wait for that!

A pre recorded video of Ryback is shown. He talks about being the reason John Cena is WWE Champion, and that Cena never helped him whenever he needed it. He basically says that it’s his time to take out John Cena.

^Ryback is a slow boring talker in my eyes. People will try to say that this was effective and unique for a heel Ryback, but it was really just very bland. I hope he can have a few good wrestling matches with Cena to make the next few pay per views more interesting if nothing else.

R-Truth goes one on one with Wade Barrett. Truth wins the non-title match using the little jimmy.

^Just like the Kofi/Cesaro match earlier, it feels like we’ve seen these two go one on one quite a bit. It wasn’t a bad match, but it was too short to be anything special and it was only done to give someone else to challenge Barrett for the IC Title.

Vickie Guerrero approves Teddy Long’s idea to book Jack Swagger vs Dolph Ziggler tonight with some “extra incentive” for Swagger. Vickie asks if Booker T knows about the idea and Teddy says he doesn’t know, but Vickie approves it anyway.

^So is Teddy going to become the heel here or will it be Booker T? Either way, you can see the story brewing. Ziggler and Swagger might be a very good wrestling match.

The Great Khali and Santino Marella take on Team Rhodes Scholars. Sandow pins Santino for the win.

^Short match. Rhodes Scholars should be tag team champs, or feuding for singles gold. Nothing special here but the normal comic relief of Khali and his crew.

Jerry Lawler puts over the popularity of “Fandango-ing” and then brings out Fandango. Fandango asks Jerry if he can move his hips, and Lawler says he will move his hips back over to the announce table. He asks who wants to go Fandango-ing with him and asks different parts of the audience. He says everyone needs to learn to pronounce his name correctly. He gets the audience to do it with him and corrects them over and over. He says it’s quite obvious that they cannot pronounce his name correctly, so they can all go “Fandango” themselves.

^Interesting and odd. Reminds me of his oddball Johnny Curtis gimmick from NXT. The crowd seems to be into it, so I’ll start my optimism that it will most likely lead to something huge for him. I was a bit surprised that we didn’t see Jericho have some sort of surprise attack tonight.

Matt Striker interviews John Cena. Cena says he’ll be in the ring later and make it easy for Ryback to find him so they can go face to face.

^Typical confrontational champ in John Cena. I like fighting Cena better than lame-joke Cena. Can’t wait to see them set up for their match at Extreme Rules! I expect the challenge will come during their encounter tonight.

Jack Swagger goes one on one with Dolph Ziggler. Swagger gets the clean non-title win in this one. Del Rio comes out and attacks Swagger on the stage after the match.

^Triple threat at Extreme Rules? I think so. Good wrestling between Ziggler and Swagger, but I don’t like the finish when Ziggler just won the title last week. Why book your World Champion to continue looking as weak as he did before he cashed in? That just doesn’t work for me.

CM Punk comes to the ring with Paul Heyman. Punk says he couldn’t enjoy being WWE Champion because he was always worried about what was next. He says he pushed the Undertaker to the limit when he challenged the streak. Punk doesn’t add anything and just walks out. He doesn’t go out the exit ramp but instead goes to the side and just leaves.

^I think it’s safe to guess that Punk will be taking some time off. He might be leaving as a heel or face depending on how you interpret that promo, but regardless I’m just happy for the guy and I’m glad that he can take some time to rest up. A rejuvenated CM Punk means we’ll get great matches from him when he returns.

Booker T scolds Teddy Long for making the Swagger/Ziggler match. He books the triple threat match as expected.

^Booker is boring, but this storyline with Teddy does something to try to keep him interesting.

Nikki Bella goes one on one with Kaitlyn in a non-title match. The twins switch place when the ref doesn’t notice and Brie Bella is able to pin Kaitlyn.

^Boring match here. JBL and King were extremely lame on commentary. This stuff gets old. WWE needs to realize they need more than the Bellas to make the divas a legitimate division again.

John Cena comes to the ring and he calls out Ryback. Cena dares Ryback to make a move and see if he has what it takes to earn a championship. Ryback leaves the ring and the Shield’s music hits. Ryback stops. The Shield attacks Cena and Ryback just watches before walking away. Ryback watches the Shield triple powerbomb Cena as he stands at the top of the stage. The crowd chants one more time as the show ends.

^Well now we know Ryback is fully a heel and that debate can be put to rest. Interesting way to put over this rivalry. We’ve seen Ryback and Cena wrestle a bit in other matches with Punk, but I’m curious what they’ll accomplish one on one in the ring together. Not a bad ending to the show at all.

The wrestling was pretty good, but nothing standout besides the US Title match. Punk walking out how he did doesn’t do much to intrigue me. The IC Title match and tag team matches weren’t anything special. Lesnar’s attack and Heyman’s promo were probably the talking highlight of the night. I’m excited to see the Undertaker wrestle next week if it actually happens. Overall it was just a slightly above average episode of Raw. I’ll be back with the Smackdown and Main Event Analysis(with Jee-S covering Main Event as KICKASS as he does) late Friday! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me!