WWE Raw TV report

WWE Monday Night Raw

March 18, 2013
Pittsburgh, PA

Rob McCarron

John Cena & His Yellow Shirt
John Cena came out saying he was ready for WrestleMania, but he wasn't going to be so bold as to predict victory this time. He thanked the Cena fans who have stuck with him through the hard times, until Titus O'Neil and Darren Young came out. Titus was clad in a black jacket and afro wig. Titus was calling himself Rufus "Pancake" Patterson, the uncle of Darren Young. Pancake, you see, because he flattens fools. The PTP'ers said they put the 'E' in WWE, and did their dance. This segment wasn't getting over, and rightfully so. Titus said the people don't want to see Cena, but rather the Primetime Players. Titus said while John is on the cover of Fruity Pebbles, Darren should be on the cover of Cocoa Pebbles. Cole and Lawler started to do their trashing of this segment towards the end. Cena challenged the PTP'ers to a match. Darren accepted, and we got...

John Cena beat Darren Young. Pretty simple match, with John winning via pinfall after the AA. Just a wacky start to Raw.

The Ryback vs David Otunga
Ryback squashed David Otunga, pinning him after a Shellshock. RyBack wasn't taped up or selling any possible injury from Mark Henry's attack last week on Smackdown. After the match, Ryback said he, Orton, and Sheamus would tear the Shield up. He then said he and Henry will cross again before WrestleMania. This brought out Mark Henry. Before he could get to the ring, Teddy Long and Vickie Guerrero stopped him. Vickie said Ryback is out of the WrestleMania six-man tag, and instead he will face Mark Henry at the big show. Ryback responded by giving an awoken Otunga another Shellshock.

Oh we were so close!
FANDANGO vs Great Khali was set for tonight, but guess what? It didn't happen. Fandango wanted Natalya to pronounce his name. She started to, but then told Khali to attack Fandango. Khali, being super slow, couldn't get to Fandango before he bailed. This segment had everything: Lite-brite references, fancy entrance curtains, Dirty Curty, "You Can't Wrestle" chants, and Cole & Lawler disappointment.

R-Truth vs Damien Sandow
R-Truth beat Damien Sandow via countout. After a few minutes of grappling, Truth hit his scissor kick on Sandow. Sandow decided he'd rather leave than continue, so Truth won after the referee counted to 10.

Backstage, Cody was watching the match with the Bella twins. Kaitlyn showed up saying that she had a thing later, so she and Cody couldn't hang out. The Bellas said no one cared, so Kaitlyn made a sick burn about them having mustaches and left.
The Undertaker Speaks
Undertaker said Punk sealed his fate last week when Mr. CM decided to make this match personal. Punk has one chance to save his soul, and that is to return the urn. Punk was on the Tron, mocking Paul Bearer's voice. He was tossing the urn around like it was a toy. He admitted that, at WrestleMania, Undertaker is the best in the world. During his speech, he dropped the urn. Undertaker looked displeased. Again, little heat for this. First hour killed this crowd already. This'll be a long night.

Team Hell No vs The Colons
Team Hell No beat Primo & Epico, but the match further set up the eventual Kane & Bryan vs Ziggler & Big E tag battle. Late in the match, as Kane was setting up for a chokeslam on Primo, AJ Lee skipped down and around the ring. This distracted Kane and Bryan, but not enough to lose the match. Kane hit his chokeslam on Epico to get the win, but the attention of Bryan and Kane immediately went back onto AJ.

Backstage, Chris Jericho and Fandango squared off. Fandango said his name twice, then Jericho made several attempts at the name, all of which were mocking variations. Fandango said Jericho will learn to pronounce his name correctly.. Jericho told him not to leave, because he hadn't gotten his movie tickets yet.

Alberto Del Rio vs Cody Rhodes
Del Rio beat Cody Rhodes with the cross armbreaker. Del Rio's theme has been remixed, and not for the better. This match had a lot of time, and Cody got a majority of the offense. There were very loud "USA!" chants during the bout, which aren't ideal. At least there was some noise, but still not a lot as this crowd seems to just be waiting for something big to happen. After the bout, Jack Swagger attacked Del Rio from behind. The two brawled on the outside for a while until Alberto was able to rid himself of Jack. Zeb Colter was cheering on Jack nearby, which caught the attention of Alberto Del Rio. ADR was stalking Zeb, but was blindsided again by a revived Swagger. Jack told Del Rio never to lay a hand on Zeb, and then he finished Del Rio off by throwing him over the announce table. During this, a louder "USA!" chant broke out in support of Jack Swagger. Before leaving, Jack locked in the Patriot Act on Ricardo Rodriguez which finally got him some boos. New York is so going to be pro-Swagger.

After a break, Michael Cole said that Jack Swagger broke Ricardo's ankle.

WWE Hall of Fame 2013: Booker T set to be inducted. I did enjoy me some King Bookah.

Randy Orton & Sheamus vs 3MB
Randy Orton pinned Heath Slater after an RKO. Sheamus & Orton were taking on Drew McIntyre & Heath in a tune up for their Mania battle. Sheamus took all the heat, then Orton was tagged in to finish off the bad guys. After the match, The Shield made their way through the crowd to the ring. Sheamus and Orton were begging the trio to get in the ring when Big Show's music hit. He sprinted to the ring to the chagrin of Dean Ambrose. The Shield thought better of their attack and left without a confrontation. Still in the ring, Big Show pointed towards the WrestleMania sign atop the arena. I assume, knowing it's a stretch, that Big Show might, just might, want to be in the 6-man now.

Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston
Finally, a fresh matchup on Raw that I haven't seen a million times... Well, Dolph Ziggler beat Kofi with his ZigZag. Big E and AJ played a part in the win as usual. After the match, Kane and Daniel Bryan came out applauding Ziggy on being the only one to finally get them on the same page. Kane wanted to know what Big E could do inside the ring. The two challenged Big E & Dolph to a tag match. Big E was all for it, while Dolph was against it. AJ spoke up and accepted the challenge, which Ziggler was unsure about. She wanted the tag titles on the line at WrestleMania. Bryan screamed "YES!" and the match is on.

The John Cena vs The Rock preview aired again.

Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat
Wade successfully defended his championship against Chris Jericho and The Miz. Michael Cole claimed there was a big fight feel in the arena for this one. I think he was lying. The match was okay. All the usual three way spots we've been accustomed to seeing were brought out, including the tower of doom. Most of the match was spent seeing just two guys in the ring, with another laid out on the outside. The finish saw Miz hit the Skullcrushing Finale on Jericho, but Wade schoolboyed Miz immediately for the pin. Crowd was heavily favoring Jericho here. So we've learned that Pittsburgh is pro-Canada, anti-Mexico.

Some TOUTs were played. Geeks gave their thoughts on what the stipulation should be. Stephanie Joy now has a gimmick: Tout Girl. Wrestling With Rosenberg guy was also included.

Note: Inappropriate Comedy looks like an awful movie. Not because it's too inappropriate, either. Just bad. I'd so much rather see The Call.

Lesnar vs HHH - Contract Signing
Triple H came out first, and Paul Heyman was out next. Heyman came out with security guards, but without Brock Lesnar. Triple H said he'll sign the contract, but Heyman stalled. Instead of allowing HHH to sign right away, he re-aired the Lesnar and Triple H brawl from a few weeks ago on Raw. After the video, Paul ran down some stipulations that won't be a part of the match, including the winner getting Stephanie McMahon. That angered HHH. Paul then said that the stip wouldn't work, because wouldn't it be more fitting if the loser gets Stephanie? HHH grabbed Paul after this quip, and the security team went into action. Triple H beat the guards down and cleared them from the ring, pulled Paul up onto the table set up in the ring, and slapped him around. He had the contract in his hands, and instead of reading the stip before signing, he just blindly signed it. Triple H slapped Paul some more and beat him out of the ring.

This brought out an intense Brock Lesnar, yielding a folding chair. HHH grabbed a sledgehammer he hid under the table. Brock walked to the ring, and around, but Paul Heyman stopped him from going in. The two then made their way back up the ramp.

On the ramp, a now happy Brock Lesnar and an out of breath Paul Heyman announced the stipulations. Triple H vs Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania will wrestle with no countouts, no disqualifications, no stoppages... No Holds Barred. Also, Triple H's career is on the line. I was hoping for a Gun vs Ballpoint Pen match.

There was literally no reaction to the announcement. Unless silence is considered a reaction.

This show was poor overall. In my opinion, anyway.

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?