Monday Night Raw Warm Up for February 13th, 2012

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Chris Jericho was back in typical form both on the mic and in the ring last week even though he saw the tables turned on his trolling by WWE Champion C.M. Punk.

Despite a lot of attention to a possible WrestleMania rematch between the Undertake and Triple H, last week’s Raw managed to shine the spotlight around quite a bit throughout the night. The twelve Elimination Chamber participants from Raw and Smackdown were in action along with a host of Divas and this year’s Royal Rumble winner, Sheamus. Hopefully that kind of balance will continue on the last live show before this Sunday’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.

PTB: Last week saw a lot of Undertaker and Triple H build up and we’re likely to see a lot more tonight in San Diego. Admittedly the video display on the entrance screens was impressive, but we’ve seen some incredible highlight reels from lackluster matches before.

Brian: WWE’s video team is incredible. They always know how to make something that was awful live look epic.

PTB: Triple H/ Undertaker from last year’s WrestleMania was not great regardless of how many times we’ve been told it was one of the best of all time. There were some big spots, but the match left a lot to be desired.

Brian: The first WrestleMania encounter between the 2 of them was far better. Of course, that was almost a decade ago.

I don’t remember being impressed by anything that occurred during last year’s match. Undertaker was dealing with some severe hip issues and his mobility was limited, while Triple H was slow and rusty. Maybe I hated it because the last 2 matches with the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels were so incredible.

PTB: Neither of them had wrestled in months going into last year and it showed in their match. Even though Triple H has said no to a rematch for this year on TV, we’re seeing the same possibility this time around. Would WWE make the same mistake again? It’s going to take a truly great match for this not to feel like a waste of time.

Brian: I can’t see how you could possibly book this match again and think it could be any better.

PTB: Your all time favorite Shawn Michaels is featured tonight as he shows up with a message for Triple H. Part of me thinks there’s a chance HBK and HHH will pick someone else to take out the Undertaker. Let’s hope it’s not a triple threat.

Brian: I think Shawn’s involvement in a triple threat match would be the only way to save the match from being a total disaster. Do I want to see Shawn come back one more time? Even though he’s my all time favorite, no. I think that last match with Undertaket was phenomenal and a great way to go out.

If anything, maybe he’ll be in HHH’s corner.

PTB: That’s a distinct possibility. There’s also a chance John Laurinaitis will involve himself somehow. He’s been given another chance to keep his job after the interruption his firing at the hands of Triple H, and that’s where his storyline seems to focused right now.

As we head toward WrestleMania, there seems to be a lot more Smackdown content on Raw. Big Show and Daniel Bryan in particular continues to shape up as one of my favorite feuds right now. This has to be a WrestleMania match, right?

Brian: It’s seeming less and less likely.

PTB: It’s still the match I want to see, but there is certainly reason to doubt it will be for the World Championship with Elimination Chamber around the corner. Bryan will be defending the title against Big Show, the Great Khali, Randy Orton, Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes.

Brian: I hate having a PPV with the possibility of a title change so close to WrestleMania. It seems likely to me that Bryan will not walk away from “the Elimination PPV” as champ.

PTB: That’s what I’m thinking as well. I don’t mind the possibility of a title change heading into WrestleMania, but I don’t like that every year there are 5 new directions each championship could go with a month until the biggest show of the year.

In that Smackdown Chamber match, Khali has to be a swap for the injured Mark Henry. I’d almost rather have Henry in there in a full body cast.

Brian: I can’t believe that they would even bring Khali back. Did you see that missed chop attempt on Orton last Monday? Awful.

PTB: I have no doubt the Smackdown Chamber match will be decent overall, but the Orton/Khali versus Barret/Rhodes tag match on Raw was a low point for the show last week.

Rhodes is an interesting inclusion in the Elimination Chamber though. I’m expecting something big for him at WrestleMania.

Brian: I was enjoying him before the mask and the silly affect. Now I’m back on the bandwagon. His promos still don’t feel natural to me, but I’m enjoying him in the ring.

PTB: The Smackdown tag match was followed by a Divas tag match that seemed to be setting up Tamina and Beth Phoenix for something. They could work a decent match, but more time was given to John Cena and the absent Rock. The Daytona 500 starter segment with Cena and Kyle Petty was brutal, but The Rock and Jay Leno was far worse. Leno…

Brian: The Rock is awful. You would think we would have seen him on WWE TV, besides videos and promotional clips by now, WrestleMania is close.

PTB: A match I know we’re both hoping for this year is Chris Jericho versus C.M. Punk. Jericho had a lot to say last week and was pretty much back to business as usual. It was honestly good see and hear. The silence was fun while it lasted, but it’s clear he and Punk are capable of having a great feud.

Brian: This could easily be the best feud we’ve seen in a very long time. Both guys can talk, both can work and both give a crap about putting on the best match possible.

PTB: Jericho also mentioned the Undisputed Championship. Any chance this comes into play for WrestleMania in the battle to be the “Best in the World”?

Brian: Probably not. I think it’s Jericho’s biggest accolade and it makes him look important.

PTB: I’m honestly afraid the WWE championship won’t even be on the line in their match and it will somehow be back on Cena.

Brian: I can’t see them doing that considering Rock hasn’t been around. It makes no sense.

PTB: Not making sense has never stopped things like that in the past unfortunately. I’m pleasantly surprised to see that neither Cena nor Kane are in the Raw Chamber match on Sunday.

The current Chamber promotional video is actually a lot of fun, but it really highlights just how many of these things there have been. And just how many have been in it. It really is WWE’s closest thing to “War Games.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKfjQrSETc0]

Brian: I like War Games so much better. Elimination Chamber is just another Hell in a Cell, in my opinion.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWcpxZd5X_g]

PTB: It was pointed out several times that we were seeing a rare “six pack challenge” match last week. Even though this provided a chance for all the chamber participants to work together, it takes something away from the Chamber match itself.

Brian: That’s been a huge problem with Raw and Smackdown in recent years. They keep giving us the PPV match in some other format for weeks leading up to the event. By the time the show happens, we’ve already seen the participants battle in tag matches, handicap matches, triple threats…

PTB: While quick, last week’s main event was decent even if it was an example of exactly what you mentioned. Punk’s DDT/neck breaker on Dolph Ziggler and the Miz was awesome. Jericho also looked pretty good in his first match back as he won to become the last entrant in the Raw Chamber match.

I wonder if we’ll see all six in the ring together like that at the Elimination Chamber. We may not even see Truth at all! Any word on if he’s out or if they’ve named a replacement?

Brian: I’ve heard nothing. I can’t believe Miz let him fall like that. I have a feeling Miz will have a very short stint in that match as punishment.

WWE Monday Night Raw airs live tonight at 9PM on the USA Network.

Read more about World Wrestling Entertainment on MyLatestDistraction.

Keep up with all of our weekly Monday Night Raw Warm Ups:
February 6th, 2012 edition / February 20th, 2012 edition

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