Monday Night Raw Warm Up for February 11th, 2013

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Brock Lesnar should continue to have a major role after his attack on The Miz last week and the destruction of Vince McMahon two weeks ago. Will his WrestleMania opponent emerge tonight?

Valentine’s Day arrives later this week, but will romance be in the air on Monday Night Raw tonight? Will the matchmaking go beyond the confines of the ring? Will the sparks between C.M. Punk and The Rock continue to fly? Are we due for yet another “Rock Concert” with the show coming to us live from Music City, Nashville, Tennessee? More importantly will anyone get new (and better) entrance music?

With the Elimination Chamber is less than a week away and WrestleMania looming on the horizon, the landscape can and will change as each Monday passes.

THE JASON: Someone at WWE must have read the Warm Up last week. The sign-pointing was barely evident on last week’s Raw! The absence of sign-pointage was a highlight, but you know what my favorite part of last week’s Raw was? It was watching Brock throw a chair at The Miz’s prone, lifeless body. Oh, that was great. I could watch that all day. We need a gif of that. That’s almost as great as watching Brock kick Cena’s green hat to death from last year.

PTB: As much as I want to point to Punk being the highlight once again, Brock’s annihilation of the Miz is the lasting image from the show. I’m no huge fan of Lesnar, but that music gets me every time. A note to Michael Cole though, not every superstar is super hungry. Save the “ravenous” comments for Ryback.

THE JASON: Very true, but you can’t blame the guy since Cole is gong for the lamest call of the year award.

PTB: He may have gotten it with “Watch the couch!” during Brock’s beat down of the Miz.

THE JASON: I would gladly pay to see the man beast ogre Brock Lesnar F5 the Miz through a couch.

PTB: I’ll see you that action and raise it to Lesnar F5’ing a couch through the Miz.

THE JASON: Seriously, that may be the closest Miz has gotten to being a face so far. Sure, I was cheering for him to get killed because I think he’s the most annoying guy on the roster and he’s got a weak-ass beard, and he’s the last guy who should have a talk-show segment. I would prefer that they brought back Funaki and gave him a segment before watching Miz mug his way around MizTV.

PTB: Anything would be better, but honestly even MizTV could be saved if the host would get over himself. Those efforts never work when the “talk show” is only about trying to promote the host.

THE JASON: That rule goes double for authority figures. I had no idea what Booker was doing out there during the first segment. I get that they didn’t want Vicki out there because the result would be people cheering Punk (which the majority do anyway), but having the Smackdown GM delivering news on behalf of Raw’s temporary Managing supervisor seems like a breakdown in the chain of command. Yet again, there’s too many non-wrestling authority figures – Booker, Teddy, Vince, Vicki – I’m actually getting a bit nostalgic for the anonymous Raw GM all of a sudden.

PTB: They’ve decided to separate Punk and Heyman for some reason and this fits right in. Punk interacting with Booker is far better for their agenda that Punk and Vickie. I also love that Punk is carrying on with the notion (which I happen to agree with) that he’s still the champion in all the ways that matter (Day 449, by the way) and Rock can keep the belt. Call me delusional but I’m still holding out hope that Punk is the rightful champion reigning for over 500 days at WrestleMania and he gets a newly designed belt (as we’ve discussed before) out of the deal.

THE JASON: I’m still harping on the fact that during the “Summer of Punk” he promised to rid us of the Cena belt. With our other champions, Cesaro and Barrett both got beat last week and yet the titles don’t change hands. Those titles seem really important. When Orton is more concerned about doing his lame pose in the corner than the IC title, we have a problem.

PTB: Yeah that seems like booking intended to balance the scales for both of them getting big wins in recent weeks. It takes something away from both titles and it worries me about what’s in store for both men come WrestleMania. I’m a supporter of both, but I see them being used to get someone else over at the biggest event of the year.

THE JASON: They are two guys who someone else should be getting over at this point. I forgot to mention that Jack Swagger returned on the prior Smackdown. I’d say it is the same old Swagger with slightly new hair – but this guy WON a match, so it can’t be the same guy! I’ve always liked Swagger, but I feel like he’s always lacked something. I don’t think that they’ve found the missing piece yet, but I hope they give him a shot. It looks like he’ll be in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match, and it’s good to see that they’ve went back to the original formula of 6 guys fighting it out for a title shot at Mania. The participants still seem to be a bit unclear, but with Mark Henry’s return he has to factor in, right?

PTB: I like using Smackdown Chamber match to determine a number one contender, but I hope it isn’t composed entirely of guys that are making their returns after prolonged absences or spotty appearances.

THE JASON: Henry’s destruction of Bryan, Mysterio and Sin Cara gave me WCW flashbacks. It seemed like Sid Vicious or Scott Steiner had endless spots where they would interrupt a cruiserweight match and just demolish everyone. At least Mark waited until the match was over.

PTB: Thankfully, it isn’t happening with WCW frequency, but shouldn’t Daniel Bryan versus Rey Mysterio be a huge deal? It just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that should just be happening on Raw as an opportunity to just squash two guys. Even in your example below (which illustrates your point perfectly) it’s Christopher Daniels and Mike Modest getting destroyed not two guys that have both been World Champion in the last two years.

THE JASON: Michael Cole was also dead-wrong when he said that Bryan beat Henry for the World Championship. He didn’t. He beat Big Show. History FAIL.

PTB: Well, at least there’s a history there and it’s being acknowledged even if it is inaccurate.

THE JASON: If you showed up at work and just made up close but inaccurate results I think it would be grounds for dismissal.

PTB: Science frowns upon that approach.

THE JASON: The commentary has improved remarkably since Cole dropped his heel-announcer gimmick but he’s still far from what I would consider a great play-by-play commentator. Jerry Lawler has been phoning it in for years. I’d like them to think outside the box and every now and again just try a different combination. See if Josh Matthews can hang on Mondays. What about Road Dogg? He and Josh had great chemistry on the web-show “Are You Serious?” JBL has proven his merit as well. Does Scott Stamford still work for WWE? I’ve actually caught him doing sports for the local news on the weekends.

Henry’s return also stirred the pot between Bryan and Kane. Kane didn’t help Bryan when he was getting slaughtered by Henry, which prompted Bryan to cost Kane his match Sheamus. If anything that just makes Bryan more of a hero since that Sheamus match was boring and needed to come to a conclusion fast.

PTB: I don’t think it’s too difficult to predict a singles match between Bryan and Kane for WrestleMania, but we’ve got eight long weeks until we get there and keeping this interesting could be tough.

THE JASON: I prefer them as a team, I just can’t see any benefit to a match between them unless Bryan wins and they hug it out post-match. When I saw Cody’s new Moustache T-shirt with the tag-line “Groomed for Greatness” my first reaction was “Someone gets paid to think of this stuff.” That was followed by “That’s actually pretty clever for someone who gets paid to think of this stuff.”

WWE_RAW_20130211_RhodestachePTB: I can’t fault that since it brings Cody’s previous “Dashing” gimmick into play with his current “I wonder if a creepy mustache will get people talking” deal. What he really needs more than anything is a good rivalry. Unfortunately, I don’t know who fits that bill right now.

THE JASON: The only guys who fit the bill are Miz or Kofi – both of which I feel like we’ve seen already. While he does need someone to play off of, I think that the continuation of Del Rio and Big Show’s program is a good thing even if I wasn’t a fan of Del Rio’s pandering promo. I know that they want to make it clear that he’s the good guy here, but he was laying it on thick. He and Big Show are still making it work, and I think a big piece of the equation is that Big Show does a great job being a huge, arrogant jerk.

PTB: He really is great at it. I did not care for the hotel skit, but this feud still has some legs and Del Rio is working as a baby face. I mean that literally and figuratively. His in ring work has been phenomenal and if they let this play out right he could be as great an asset in the good guy column as Big Show is on the bad guy side. I don’t know if they can pilot this through to WrestleMania, but I’m as interested in this as I was in Bryan vs Big Show at this point last year and I hope I’m not left wanting a main event conclusion to a feud again.

THE JASON: Did it seem like the chants at the beginning of the Punk/Jericho match were in unison from the entire audience? I wasn’t sure if it was dueling chants of “CM PUNK” and “Y2J” or just one chant of “CMPUNK-Y2J.”

PTB: How could you not chant for both of them? Here’s the match in its entirety.

THE JASON: There are rumblings that Undertaker doesn’t want to do Wrestlemania this year. If that’s the case, I’d be fine with Jericho and Punk doing a sequel to last year’s program. They are already doing it with Cena/Rock and HHH/Lesnar from Summerslam. At least the roles are reversed now with Punk and Jericho.

PTB: Three rematches is a tough sell for me, but I’d take Punk/Jericho again in a heartbeat. I have to say it though, I might not miss Undertaker at WrestleMania. His match with HHH last year was just great and the post-match send off had a sense of finality to it that I’m satisfied with. I do not want to see the streak broken and I don’t know who I would want to see in the spot to challenge it. Punk is certainly on the short list, but no pairing will get a lot of time to percolate at this point.

THE JASON: I still say 6-Man at the PPV with the Sheild and Cena/Ryback/Sheamus.

PTB: This has become a lot harder to argue with after last Monday’s show, but I do need to point out that Orton was the first guy heading down the ramp out of the locker room to chase the Shield back to the ring. I’m still not 100% convinced that Cena will spend the PPV facing the Shield and Orton will be the guy actually in the match.

THE JASON: For some reason, I thought Orton was in the chamber match. I’d gladly see him removed, but I can’t recall the participants. It’s been hard keeping up with the output of the WWE lately. Hopefully, we’ll see things put into a better focus tonight.

Read more about World Wrestling Entertainment on MyLatestDistraction.

Keep up with all of our weekly Monday Night Raw Warm Ups:
February 4th, 2012 edition / February 18th, 2013 edition 

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