Monday Night Raw Warm Up for March 11th, 2013

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C.M. Punk will try to break “the streak” at WrestleMania 29, adding his name to the impressive list of challengers to the Undertaker at the super bowl of sports entertainment.

Unfortunately, last Monday’s “Old School Raw” suffered the same kind of emptiness as the show’s recent 20th Anniversary episode. The retro graphics, ring aprons, and commentators jackets aside, it was really just another Raw. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, the 20th Anniversary was a better show and that’s a bit of bad news with WrestleMania just around the corner. There was a lack of focus on feuds on deck for the biggest show of the year which was literally looming in the background. Another big match was announced, but was it enough to save the show?

PTB: C.M. Punk versus the Undertaker is official for WrestleMania 29, and if Punk was going to end up anywhere on the card other than the WWE Championship match this is where I’d want to see him. His historic championship reign against the Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak has a lot of gas (of course it would have more gas if the title were still in Punk’s hands and on the line), and I’m expecting big things between these two starting tonight.

THE JASON: The 4-way match that was set up out of the introductory segment and concluded at the top of the show was so terribly lame. I would have preferred Punk laying out the challenge, have Taker come out and do some sweet SIGN POINTING and then the match would be “on like neckbone,” as Stevie Ray would say. Shoe-horning Big Show, Sheamus and Randy Orton into the mix only guaranteed one thing: that I would fall asleep on the main event. Sadly enough, as soon as Orton and Sheamus were in there together I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

PTB: I mentioned last week that I usually try not to go negative in these posts, but let me go old school and let angry young PTB say his piece. I really can’t stand Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Vickie Guerrero. Having all of them start the show was bad enough, but sharing the ring with C.M. Punk (and the Big Show) was pure misery.

THE JASON: Old School Jason was in effect as well last week as I wore a sleeveless hooded flannel and jean shorts of a questionable length while the show was on. Considering that this was an old school Raw, I could have lived without Michael Cole mentioning that everything was trending on Twitter.

PTB: They should have sent everyone pages.

THE JASON: There was actually a moment where Michael Cole did go old school. When The New Age Outlaws returned, Cole was actually providing some backstory as to how they came together as a team. Lawler got bored and cut him off. Something is beginning to make me think that Straight-Shootin’ Stevie Ray would make a better color commentator than Jerry.

PTB: I caught that too and the attempt at reintroducing the team combined with the Outlaws getting a win led me to thinking their full time return might not be such a bad thing. Clearly the current teams are getting one no confidence vote after another.

PTB: The Shield cut another solid promo that telegraphed their WrestleMania opponents will be made up of the non-C.M. Punk combatants in the fatal-4-way.

THE JASON: And yet – they didn’t interfere in the main event. Did they miss their cue?

PTB: Possibly, but I’m also getting a sense that we may see them in some form of handicap match with Big Show alone.

PTB: Seeing Antonio Cesaro take another loss to Ryback was an acceptable low spot, but he’s taken a lot of losses in the last few weeks. I really expected him to land in a decent spot on the WrestleMania card given he’s impressive in the ring, the United States Champion, and has a decent gimmick to work in that capacity. 

THE JASON: I know we’ve discussed how little the think of their secondary championships, but there’s absolutely no reason to have both Cesaro, the United States Champion, and Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett both lose every week. Could you imagine Randy Savage or Shawn Michaels being beaten every week while they had that belt? At the rate they are going they can unite the belts at Mania. The catch is that guy that loses the match will be awarded both championships. Maybe Ziggler will cash in his Money in the Bank contract there since there’s no way that he’s winning a World Title. It’s like Ziggler, Barrett and Cesaro should form the new Job Squad.

PTB: It’s disappointing, and the misery continued with Ric Flair’s ongoing association with the Miz. “Woooooo! Let’s all go back to the Mariott!” By the way, I love that autocorrect added those O’s for me after “wo.”

THE JASON: So that’s what you get with an iPhone? Intuitive autocorrect for wrestling catchphrases. They need to make that a key selling point.

The upside to that segment was seeing Flair out there having a great time. He humped the ropes and they cut away so quickly that Kevin Dunn must have been having a full-on conniption in the production truck. The real MIZery (heh, see what I did there!) was watching Miz struggle to apply the figure four. I believe that someone would call the Miz “a sad-sack fruit booty” and I’d concur.

PTB: Did I miss a memo regarding a Stevie Ray theme for this week?


THE JASON: I think that we also need to mention that much like The Miz, no matter how many legends they wheeled out (in this case Sgt. Slaughter, Dusty Rhodes, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan) for Swagger to decimate, it still didn’t make anyone the least bit interested in the whole E Plebnista angle.

PTB: There is so much not working around Swagger and Alberto Del Rio that it has shaken my confidence in getting anything watchable watchable from those two at WrestleMania.

PTB: Rock and Cena… I didn’t expect it to get any traction with me, but we’re going with Mike Tyson quotes? That’s dangerous territory. Mike has said some stuff.

THE JASON: Well, they obviously don’t know the loquaciousness of the silver-tongued Stevie Ray, but suckas do gots to know. While you aren’t a proponent of Rock, or any part-timer having the belt, are you ready for another Cena title reign? Cena almost had me for a second until he lapsed back into the annoying, smirking jerk that crowds have been so divided on for the past 7 years. Rock won the quote showdown though by comparing Cena to Lance Armstrong. Check and mate.

PTB: I’ll take a Cena title run, I’d have even taken it with a WrestleMania win over C.M. Punk, rather than having the Rock in this spot coinciding with his movie releases.


PTB: There will undoubtedly be a lot of talk about the marquee matches at WrestleMania 29, but I want to take a few moments over the next four weeks to discuss the rest of the annual event. Earlier, we lamented some of our mid card favorites taking a bunch of losses on the road to WrestleMania and I wanted to get your take on who we’re going to see fill out the mid-card this year.

THE JASON: This is going to be difficult for us to do since I’m not sure WWE really knows where to place a lot of their midcard. I think one of the great things about The Money in The Bank match as well as multi-man tag matches was that it provided a spot for several guys to get on the show. I think despite Sandow & Rhodes and Truth & Kofi supposedly going their separate ways we may get a tag match that involves these four in some combination. They rarely do gauntlet matches, but a Tag-Team gauntlet match would be a great way to get those four guys, The Primetime Players, Primo & Epico, The Tippenscales (Is that really the name of Tensai and Clay?), Team Hell No and even Santino and Zack Ryder on the card.

PTB: This could be a great way to cap the storyline of Team Hell No. They’re fun, but it has to wrap up at some point. Leaving them unbeaten by a single team gives them a great legacy and it gets a lot of names in the ring.

THE JASON: The tag champs continue to be a highlight for me, and I’d hate to see them left off of the card. Last week’s bit where they were walking to the ring and Bryan kept staring angrily at Kane until he’d look over and Bryan look away was great. I think it’s hilarious that after years of playing the maniac, Kane plays the straight man to Bryan’s wacko.

PTB: Hopefully the picture will be clearer tonight with only four Raws, no pay-per-views, and hopefully no filler remaining before WrestleMania 29

All photos courtesy of WWE.com. Read more about World Wrestling Entertainment on MyLatestDistraction.

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

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