Mike Tedesco’s RAW Thoughts
March 26, 2013
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
The show kicked off with another great segment with CM Punk and the Undertaker. The trick with an Undertaker match every year is instilling that little bit of doubt that he might lose. Of course everyone knows that it’s not going to happen, but the opponent has to get people to think that. CM Punk is accomplishing that, even with the death of Paul Bearer hanging over the match. He has the urn and the psychological battle won on the Undertaker, something that hasn’t happened for that character heading into WrestleMania in a long time. After more disrespect to the urn, Undertaker finally appeared, and he unloaded on CM Punk with some big right hands. That was a red-hot segment and really got the crowd fired up to start the show.
Unfortunately, the crowd died off a bit after that. I thought Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler had a very good match, but the audience apparently wasn’t feeling it. Jericho was fired up through the match, and he ended Ziggler’s little streak of a few wins in a row. After that, Fandango was out, and the Philadelphia crowd got back into it with the famous “You can’t wrestle” chants. Fandango really took it to Jericho for the second time in under a week and drew some good heat. This should be an interesting WrestleMania match.
Mark Henry beat down Jimmy and Jey Uso pretty handily. Afterward, he hit them with a few more finishers just to prove his dominance to Ryback.
Alberto Del Rio took on Antonio Cesaro in a Champion vs. Champion match. I think Champion vs. Champion matches should feel important, but they throw them out so often that it really doesn’t add anything to it. The match was just ok before Jack Swagger came out to attack Ricardo Rodriguez, who was out at ringside. Del Rio fought him off and was counted out. Cesaro was then attacked after the match and given a Cross Arm Breaker. I guess if he couldn’t emote and get fired up over being called a job stealing immigrant, attacking his friend will have to do for Del Rio.
Team Hell No beat the Prime Time Players while Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston watched from the stage. This was just a little match to get a little momentum behind Team Hell No.
Triple H’s promo was uncharacteristically short and to the point for him. He basically just said that he’s kicking Brock Lesnar’s ass at WrestleMania. Then came the part that I’m sure fired up a lot of the Internet when he kicked Wade Barrett in the groin and embarrassed him. Even I have to admit that I wasn’t feeling it. It seemed so unnecessary when it happened. Just cut your promo and move on.
I suppose that it happened so Wade Barrett would have a reason for losing to The Miz to set up their WrestleMania match, which was just announced today. Miz beat him by submission, but Barrett clearly wasn’t doing well in the match.
The Shield beat a contingent of three sub-par wrestlers to show their dominance. It wasn’t much of a match. They got into a little tussle with Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton before retreating.
A lot of this show was just matches to put momentum behind the people heading to WrestleMania. None of them were overly competitive or interesting at all.
Team Rhodes Scholars beat Brodus Clay and Tensai after another distraction with the girls fighting at ringside. I’m still calling this to be the YouTube preshow match for WrestleMania with the ladies involved. Again, not much of a match.
Ryback answered Mark Henry’s two-on-one handicap match with a three-on-one handicap match against 3MB. Ryback won, of course, but I have to say it was extremely impressive to see him give a double Shell Shocked to Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater. He’s done it before, but it was to jobber scrubs. These guys are a bit bigger. Still, Henry is simply a wider, bigger dude. I still am interested to see if he can really pull off a Shell Shocked on him at WrestleMania.
The diva’s got the last match of the evening (a sort of main event) as AJ defeated Kaitlyn by count-out. A backstage segment earlier set this up where AJ overhead Kaitlyn saying to Team Hell No that AJ is crazy. I wonder if we will get a Diva’s Championship match at WrestleMania?
The real main event of the show was a very good question and answer segment with Hall of Famers Booker T, Mick Foley, Dusty Rhodes, and Bret Hart posing questions to The Rock and John Cena. This was a really solid segment. John Cena finally brought up that he lost because he was going for a People’s Elbow, an error in judgment on his part. Cena sold how desperately he needs to win, and he was in rare form. No jokes, just business. The Rock did his part, but this was John Cena’s segment. His actions cue up the questions of if he will turn heel if he were to lose at WrestleMania. I personally don’t think so, but it would be set up through this segment. Speaking of this segment, it was really long. By the time it ended, it was about 11:20 EST. One of the longest RAWs they have had in quite some time. I was exhausted when it was over.
Overall, the show had two solid segments in three hours, but that was about it.
Bump of the Night: Ryback giving Shell Shocked to Mahal and Slater!
Match of the Night: Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler * ¾
Final Rating: ** 1/2
E-Mail – [email protected]
If you’re a VIP member, I hope you’ll take a listen to my radio show, “Wrestleview Telemundo,” along with my co-host, Anthony “Mr. V” Valvo. We cover all things Smackdown. Not a VIP member? Click here to become one!
Check out my Smackdown recap on Friday! Thanks for reading!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Smackdown for Wrestleview.com.