WWE Monday Night Raw
April 1, 2013
Rundown: This show had more hits than Bryce Harper today, but fewer home runs. Every segment built towards a WrestleMania match, which is a plus. However, Rock and Cena laid duds on the DC crowd, which is your negative. This show had everything: Legends, all your Mania main eventers, Zack Ryder offense, Mark Henry squashes, Brad Maddox comedy, FANDANGO dancing, and AJ skipping. Oh, and Undertaker and Punk got the main event segment in the go home show.
The usual video package to set the show up aired, in it announcing the return of Shawn Michaels to Raw. John Layfield returned to the Raw announce team for this show, as well, making it feel somewhat special.
John Cena Bores Washington DC
John Cena came to the ring to kick off this week's Raw, the real go home show for WrestleMania 29. He started by making a political comparison between he and Rock and Democrats and Republicans. Cena opening every promo by mentioning how half the crowd hates him is getting old. Let's cheer the guy to end that, thanks. Cena said the childish games (okay, so he is aware...) are over, and Cena is going for the WWE Championship so he won't be talking about Dwayne's johnson. He was proud of that one. He did the hard sell for Rock, and why his match Sunday is important, in as annoying a fashion as you would expect.
3MB vs Big Show, Orton, Sheamus
Big Show, Randy Orton, and Sheamus won when Big Show pinned Jinder after a WMD punch. I expected no offense from 3MB here, but instead they took out Sheamus and Orton until Big Show came in and won the match for the trio. The Shield's music hit, and they made their way through the crowd half way before stopping. Dean Ambrose cut a promo from the crowd, telling the trio to enjoy their win tonight because they won't have anything to celebrate on Sunday night. Then Seth and Roman spoke their minds, which shouldn't have been done.
Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter, in front of the US Capitol, spoke about breaking the spirit of all those who threaten the American dream.
Backstage, Alberto Del Rio reacted to Swagger's speech by saying Swagger has the freedom of speech, but Del Rio has the right to respond how he wishes at WrestleMania.
Daniel Bryan vs Dolph Ziggler
Dolph Ziggler beat Daniel Bryan via schoolboy after Big E and AJ provided the distractions to both Kane and Daniel Bryan. Kane, of course, was at ringside with Bryan, as were Big E and AJ with Dolph. This was a good, long match, going through two commercial breaks. After the win, Dolph ran out of the ring bringing a shocked Daniel Bryan's attention with him. This allowed Big E to storm in and crash into Bryan like a freight train. He hit his finish on Bryan, and then powered out of a Kane chokeslam attempt to hit Kane with his finish as well. Dolph and Big E posed with the tag belts over the two prone opponents to close out this preview for WrestleMania. We're three for three in segments featuring a push for top Mania matches.
Shawn Michaels Returns
Shawn was concerned about Triple H went he put his career on the line, and had some questions for him. This brought out Triple H, which Cole sold as the last time we may ever see him preparing for a match. Triple H told Shawn they'd been through this already, when Shawn put his career on the line against the Undertaker. Shawn balked at that. He told HHH that Undertaker respected Shawn, and was heartbroken when he ended Shawn's career. Brock, however, has no respect for anything and enjoys hurting people, basically calling him a mercenary. I don't see how that really affects the situation, but whatever. Anyway, Triple H said Shawn couldn't have come out to tell Triple H he couldn't do it. Shawn stopped him, and said he was there to tell Triple H that he had better kick Brock's ass. HHH smiled, and they hugged, as Shawn announced he'd be at Mania in HHH's corner.
Brock Lesnar's music hits, signaling CHAOS. Brock, who appears to be physically the most impressive he's been since his UFC debut, stormed to the ring but was stopped by Paul Heyman. Heyman spoke, telling the two friends that Brock will beat Triple H into retirement on Sunday. Heyman said Triple H better get used to living with the fact that he's going to disappoint everybody. His father in law, best friend, and wife are all set to get disappointed. Heyman told Triple H that unlike Shawn, who lost and was able to walk away at WrestleMania, he won't be able to walk away after his beating. He'll crawl away, a broken man who couldn't defeat Brock Lesnar. Four for four.
Wade Barrett vs Zack Ryder
Wade beat Zack via pinfall after his bullhammer elbow. Zack Ryder got way too much offense in, but in the end suffered defeat via bullhammer elbow. Miz did commentary, and provided momentary distractions to Wade all while saying he was getting in Wade's head. Five for five.
Backstage, Brad Maddox told Vickie Guerrero that he liked Wade because he was a mix between a moccasin and a rattlesnake. Picture that. Santino arrived to warn the GM and Asst. to the GM that Mr. McMahon had arrived. It was an April Fool's joke. Brad gave Vickie the idea to put Santino in a match...NEXT.
Santino vs Mark Henry
Awesome. This crowd was legit worried for Santino when Henry's music hit. They should have been, as Henry squashed Santino dead with the World's Strongest Slam. Afterwards, The Ryback walked to the ring as Henry stood still inside. Henry spoke, as the two circled around eachother, telling him they couldn't touch eachother with the No Contact rule they have until Sunday. So as Henry left, Ryback picked up Santino and used him as a battering ram knocking Henry off the apron. He then press slammed Santino onto Henry knocking him down. Ryback didn't touch Henry, you see, so this was legal. Six for six.
So, all throughout the show, we had been seeing a promo for later that "Undertaker Eviscerates CM Punk." Lawler finally explained that Undertaker would merely be verbally eviscerating Punk, which a) I doubt and b) How does anyone know? Are we supposed to think Undertaker is backstage in catering bragging about how much he's going to serve Punk later?
Backstage, CM Punk said he is just trying to get in Undertaker's head, and that he doesn't care if he's disrespecting the memory of Paul Bearer. He said that Paul's streak of waking up every morning was over, and that's a bad omen for Undertaker's streak. Punk will do whatever it takes to win.
Zeb Colter vs Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio beat Zeb via DQ in a nothing match. Alberto was toying with Zeb in the ring, as Swagger stalked the crutch assisted Ricardo at ringside. Ricardo was trying to defend himself from Jack by wheeling his crutch like a baseball bat. Finally, Swagger caught up to Ricardo, allowing Zeb to steal Ricardo's crutch. Del Rio went outside to get rid of Swagger, but when he went back in the ring to continue his match with Zeb, Colter cracked that crutch over Del Rio's back for the DQ. Jack and Zeb took turns bashing both Del Rio and Ricardo with the crutches to build towards their title match this Sunday. Siete de siete.
The Rock is Here
Rock pulled a Hogan, teasing he'd run for President. Crowd actually quieted down during that if you can believe it. Anyway, that was the first three minutes of his promo. He finally got to his match with Cena, saying that John keeps running his mouth yet Rock always stands tall. John's time isn't now, his time is never. Cole sold the match big at the end, saying it was a tale of two superstars. An overconfident Rock vs a man who must win in John Cena. Eight for eight. However, I'm just not feeling this Rock-Cena match AT ALL. Maybe Vince isn't either, seeing as how neither Rock nor Cena are in the go-home show's final segment. Surprised, it appears to be going to Undertaker and Punk.
Chris Jericho vs Antonio Cesaro
If this is the only time these two ever face off on WWE TV, it will be a shame. The three on commentary spent a whole minute of this match discussing dancing, which actually fit in to the storyline which is a first. During the match, after Jericho hit a stunning Frankensteiner on Antonio, FANDANGO's music hit as FANDANGO danced out as we went to break. Back, FANDANGO was shown with scorecards in his hand, and he was scoring Jericho's moves during the match. Awesome. That didn't last long, though, as Jericho knocked FANDANGO down sending the scorecards to the ground as the man kept creeping closer to the ring. The distraction almost cost Jericho the win, but he was able to finish Cesaro off with the Walls for the submission. Afterwards, FANDANGO jumped Jericho and beat on him as this crowd erupted in a loud "YOU CAN'T WRESTLE" chant. FANDANGO finished off Jericho with not one, but TWO top rope leg drops to the applause of those in Ireland. FANDANGO again ended it by saying "It's FANDANGO!" into the mic, as the crowd said it along with him. We got a winner here folks. Nine for nine.
It's about time for a "How does this promote WrestleMania" throw away match, no? Wonder if we'll get one this year.
Another promo for Undertaker eviscerating CM Punk. Verbally, of course. That 'taker... always hittin' fools with verbal jabs left and right.
Funkadactyls vs Bella Twins
The Bellas got a win leading to their 8-Person mixed tag on Sunday. So, guess what. This wasn't bad, and Cameron looked pretty good. The finish saw Cameron land a crossbody on the Bella without new boobs, but her pin attempt was reversed and she fell to a three count. Again, not bad, and we're ten for ten.
Undertaker (Verbally) Eviscerates CM Punk
Taker started by saying that while his streak may end on Sunday, CM Punk will never live to talk about it. OH SNAP! That's really all he got to before the lights went out, druid music hit, and druids flowed out from behind the curtain holding torches. The druid music stopped when Paul Bearer's voice doing the "Ohhhh yes!" came across the speakers. Paul Heyman, dressed as Bearer in full makeup, was holding up the urn on the top of the stage when the lights came back on. Hated this. Undertaker started to storm up the ramp to get to Heyman, but stopped and instead beat down on the druids. One druid jumped Taker, which turned out to be CM Punk. Punk bashed Undertaker with the urn, all while yelling at him that "I did this to you!" Punk closed by pouring sand or gravel or whatever, stored in the urn, all over Undertaker. Welp, eleven for eleven. Such as it is.