Raw starts with John Cena coming to the ring. He gets a ton of boos. He says the arena tonight is full of Cena-crats and Rock-publicans. He hypes their match this Sunday and says he respects the Rock. Cena says the Rock’s time is up and his time is now and that the Rock will experience failure this Sunday. The crowd starts a boring chant. He goes on to say that he will shock the world this Sunday and the champ is here. The crowd boos some more.
^This promo dragged and made me want to shut off the show. Yeah Cena had passion, but he delivered a snoozer that we’ve heard too many times before. Anyone who says they enjoyed this is either lying or delusional. Even the crowd had it right: boring.
Sheamus, Randy Orton, and the Big Show defeat the 3MB in a six man tag. Show pins Mahal after a KO punch. The Shield’s music hits after the match and they come through the crowd but stop. Ambrose tells them to enjoy their victory now because the Shield will leave them with nothing to celebrate with this Sunday. Rollins says they’ve finally managed to convince themselves that they’re on the same page. Rollins says justice never lies, and they know the truth. Reigns says the truth is they aren’t a team.
^Short match to show the unity of the faces. Quick promo to put over their match Sunday, and that’s fine because the wrestling will speak for itself. There’s nine other matches to promote between the rest of the show and Smackdown, so I’m fine with how short this was.
A Jack Swagger/Zeb Colter video from earlier today is shown. Swagger says Del Rio will witness change firsthand as a real American stands over him as World Heavyweight Champion. He welcomes us to Jack Swagger’s America.
^Solid promo for the World Title challenger. I’m not a huge Swagger fan, but I’m anxious to see what he does with the opportunity at WrestleMania.
Matt Striker interviews Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio says Colter is nothing but a pinata with a mustache that he’s about to break.
^Del Rio is funny as a face, and I’ve enjoyed his run as World Champion in this role. His turn was rushed and that’s probably why the fans haven’t responded as well, but I blame WWE for doing that and then booking him in a rivalry with someone that has no personality.
Daniel Bryan goes one on one with Dolph Ziggler. AJ skips around Kane during the match to distract him and Big E knocks him over. Dbry knocks down Big E, but Ziggler rolls him up for the win. Big E. takes out Dbry after the match and then slams Kane as well.
^I like what’s been done here for these four since none of them can be in the main event scene at the moment. The tag match should be anything but boring. Anytime you put Ziggler and Dbry in the ring together, you get excellent wrestling and it was the same thing here.
Shawn Michaels comes out and says he’s concerned about Triple H in this match at WrestleMania. Triple H comes out and they talk back and forth. HBK will be in Hunter’s corner at Mania. Heyman and Lesnar come out. Heyman shoots his mouth off by saying Triple H is committing professional suicide, and they leave.
^Michaels involved in another Triple H match at WrestleMania? Interesting if nothing else, but I don’t want him to affect the outcome of the match. Good promo work, but sometimes these legends need to set their egos aside and let the spotlight shine on the younger talent. Surely people aren’t going to order the show just because Triple H is having a match.
Wade Barrett defeats Zack Ryder in a very short match.
^Ryder won’t be competing at WrestleMania this year, and you can place the blame wherever you want. I feel like Ryder made a mistake when he said that 2013 couldn’t be worse than 2012, and now we’re seeing it. Barrett’s match with the Miz will be solid, but no one appears overly interested in either character. I could care less about the rivalry itself; I just want to see a good match.
Santino tries to play an April fool’s joke on Vickie and Brad Maddox, but it backfires and she tells him he has a match next.
^Vickie in power hasn’t been bad, but she’s been so limited recently that you almost forget she’s a part of the show. Maddox is lame, but I still find him funny on commentary.
Mark Henry squashes Santino. Ryback comes out after the match and uses Santino to hit Henry and avoid the no-contact rule.
^Still excited for this match also. Ryback looked strong here as usual, and I’m very curious as to how he will go about picking up Mark Henry on Sunday during their contest.
Punk is interviewed by Matt Striker and says he will do whatever it takes to end the streak.
^Punk continues to make himself look like the biggest heel ever for this rivalry with Taker. I have to hand it to Punk; he’s had a good spirit for this role considering the outcome is typically a foregone conclusion.
Del Rio defeats Zeb Colter by DQ when Colter uses a crutch to hit ADR. Zeb and Swagger attack ADR after the match.
^I’m glad this rivalry will be over after Sunday. I’ve mostly enjoyed the build, but it’s time to get these guys in the ring to see what they can do together. It feels like we’ve been seeing the same segment week after week when it comes to Colter and Del Rio not being able to get his hands on him.
The Rock comes out and cuts his WrestleMania promo. Rock says Cena can’t beat him.
^If the crowd was chanting boring for Cena, they should’ve been chanting boring for this as well. It’s so hard to care about the hype for this match with how WWE has built it.
Chris Jericho goes one on one with Antonio Cesaro. Fandango comes out in the middle of the match. Jericho wins the match with the walls of Jericho and Fandango attacks the second the match is over.
^Cesaro should be booked for WrestleMania. It’s a joke that he hasn’t been used properly at all. Jericho and Fandango will have an interesting match at Mania, but I have no clue how it’s going to come across with the limited knowledge of what Johnny Curtis did in the ring during his time in developmental. I like the heat the Fandango got from the crowd after the attack, though.
The Funkadactyls team up against the Bella Twins. Brodus and Sweet T are with Cameron and Naomi, and Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are in the Bella’s corner. The Bellas win the match when one of them reverses a cross body pinfall.
^Some pretty good action for such a short match. I love that WWE actually seems to care a little bit about the divas at the moment. More WRESTLING, please!
The Undertaker comes to the ring. Taker says Punk will suffer at WrestleMania for making this rivalry personal. He says the disrespect Punk showed Paul Bearer has cost him the ultimate price. He says the streak may end on Sunday because of his current condition, but Punk will not live to talk about it. Eerie music hits and out come the druids with the torches. A man comes out dressed as Paul Bearer(assumed to be Paul Heyman) and holds up the urn. Taker attacks the druids but Punk is one of them. Punk hits Taker over and over with the urn and tells him the streak is over. Punk dumps the ashes from the urn in his hand and throws them in Taker’s face. Punk holds up the urn over Taker as Raw goes off the air.
^For the match that we’re going to be treated to on Sunday, I’m pleased with how the rivalry has been built up. This was a brilliant segment to promote their match. Does anything on the card feel bigger than this? Hell no! Great way to end the go home show.
It wasn’t the strongest go home show of all time, but the end segment really got me excited. The only thing I would’ve changed is that I would’ve booked a MizTv segment for Rock and Cena. All the matches were hyped and talked about, and now all we can do is wait for WrestleMania! I won’t have a Smackdown analysis this week, but I’ll be posting our WrestleMania 29 preview on Wednesday! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
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