CM Punk opens Raw with Paul Heyman to talk about the streak and how he is going to end it. He talks about the Undertaker being at a psychological disadvantage. The lights go out and Undertaker attacks Punk but he gets away.
^Punk’s promo work was up to par here and the whole segment was very entertaining. Taker looked pretty good as well, and that makes me optimistic for the potential brilliance of their match in two weeks. With an opening that strong, it makes you feel like Undertaker and CM Punk is the most important match on the WrestleMania card this year.
Fandango comes out for a match. Chris Jericho comes out and attacks him. Jericho ends up going one on one with Dolph Ziggler and defeats him using the wall of Jericho. Big E. Langston lays out Jericho after the match and Fandango gets his revenge by attacking Jericho.
^So Fandango’s first official match will be at WrestleMania against Y2J. Anyone else not excited for this one? I wish we could see Big E. do more than just the bodyguard role. Jericho and Ziggler were good together, but they didn’t have enough time to really make magic here.
^Another beatdown by the Shield. How original. Can’t we see these guys in the ring a little bit more often?
Mark Henry defeats the Usos in a handicap match. Henry slams them and splashes them after the match.
^Henry squashes one of the best tag teams in WWE, but at least they got some offense in. I’m glad that Henry’s rumored injury didn’t turn into anything major. His match with Ryback has serious potential to be one of the best big man matches in recent memory.
Antonio Cesaro defeats Alberto Del Rio by countout when Jack Swagger attacks Ricardo on the outside and Del Rio goes after him. Del Rio puts Cesaro in the cross armbreaker instead of allowing him to celebrate.
^So two great wrestlers go one on one, and the match is incredibly short. Does this seem like a common theme lately for Raw? I love the energy of the rivalry between Swagger and Del Rio, but the lack of any US Title feud really frustrates me as a fan of Antonio Cesaro. He’s had too good of a run in WWE to be treated this way during WrestleMania season.
Team Hell No defeat the Prime Time Players.
^And this another example of some lame booking. How many times have seen this match lately? The PTP are a good enough tag team that they shouldn’t be getting squashed by the champions every time you turn around, and Team Hell No deserves more of a storyline for this time of year. I’m bored by the tag team division when WWE clearly doesn’t seem to care about it.
Triple H comes out to put over his match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 29. Hunter kicks Wade Barrett in the groun when they cross paths after Barrett provokes him.
^Could Barrett be a WM warm up opponent for Hunter on Raw next week? I’d guess so. Good promo work from Hunter, but I’m still not overly optimistic about his match with Lesnar at Mania. These two are literally going to have to destroy each other to make things entertaining.
The Miz defeats Wade Barrett using the figure four in a non-title match.
^Match of the night, but nothing that we’ll remember in a week. Miz winning here makes me think he’ll get his match at WrestleMania now, but I’m not sure how much we’re supposed to enjoy their Mania contest after seeing them go one on one so many times before. I know Barrett was “weakened” by the low blow from Triple H, but how much worse could you book your IC Champion with how often he loses matches?
Kane and Dbry are shown arguing. Kaitlyn tries to talk some sense into them. AJ attacks Kaitlyn.
^Kaitlyn and AJ for the Divas title? Actual quality divas wrestling? Yes, please!
The Shield defeat Zack Ryder, Justin Gabriel, and the Great Khali. The Shield deliver the triple powerbomb to Khali after the match. Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton come down and surround the ring before brawling with the Shield.
^The Shield squashing some weak faces does nothing for their dominance. The reverse situation of Sheamus, Orton and Show surrounding the ring would have been cool if it hadn’t been done already. The six man match has great potential, but why not give us some one on one matches next week on Raw as a preview?
Chris Jericho goes into Vickie Guerrero’s office and makes himself vs Fandango official for WrestleMania.
^I’m surprised to see Y2J have enthusiasm about this rivalry, but maybe he has some insight on Fandango’s wrestling abilities that we aren’t aware of.
Team Rhodes Scholars(with the Bellas) defeat Tensai(Sweet T now) and Brodus Clay(with Cameron and Naomi).
^I’m not intrigued by any of this rivalry, so hopefully the mixed gender eight person tag match that could potentially be booked from this comes on the WrestleMania pre show. The match was nothing special, and much like the rest of the show the entire segment felt very short.
Ryback defeats the 3MB in a handicap match.
^So Henry and Ryback both continue to look strong, and the 3MB continues to look like a joke. Not much here besides another typical Ryback squash that we’ve grown accustomed to.
AJ Lee defeats Kaitlyn by countout.
^This rivalry has a lot more potential if WWE cares enough to hype it properly. I’m okay with this ending as long as it leads to more matches down the road.
The Rock and John Cena are asked questions by the panel of legends consisting of Mick Foley, Bret Hart, Booker T, and Dusty Rhodes. Foley asks Cena if he is prepared to live with the type of regret that would go with losing to the Rock again this year. Cena and Rock both respond, and then Bret Hart asks what changed in their rivalry. After answering, Booker T asks his question. Cena says that he knows he is better than the Rock, and the Rock knows it too. Dusty asks both men what they really want? Cena says he wants to dominate the Rock. Rock wants to fight Cena right now. Rock counters an AA from Cena and delivers a Rock bottom on Cena to end the show.
^The promo work here didn’t interest me. The match doesn’t interest me. These four legends asking the questions didn’t make it any more exciting. The Rock getting the best of Cena probably means Cena will get the best of Rock next week(if he even shows up). Not the best ending to Raw for me.
Mania-hype heavy but wrestling-weak show. The show felt more interesting than it has in the last few weeks, but as a whole I’m still not overly impressed with the lack of action in the ring(or matches being too damn short when they have the potential to be excellent). I’ll be back with the Smackdown Analysis this Friday. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
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