Monday Night Raw Warm Up for April 29th, 2013

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The Undertaker made rare appearances on both Monday Night Raw and Smackdown last week to take on the Shield in London.

Last Monday’s episode of WWE Raw was all about the Undertaker appearing on the show for the first time in three years. The show from London was headlined by Taker teaming with Kane and Daniel Bryan against the Shield in a six-man tag match. Given the momentous nature of Dead Man’s return to WWE’s flagship show, it merits a fare share of attention as we get ready for tonight’s show from Columbus, OH.

PTB: A feud with the Undertaker isn’t exactly the big thing I was expecting for the Shield’s future after WrestleMania, but it was really fun to watch. It’s certainly better than seeing the newcomers continue to battle the likes of Randy Orton and Sheamus. The six-man tag match on Monday was great and Dean Ambrose made a particularly incredible showing along with Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins.

THE JASON: I agree, while they had a good showing the Shield making a quick exit post-match did make it seem like they were retreating. The issue was solved on Smackdown, a show we rarely talk about as of late in the Warm Up, where all the dots were connected. Ambrose challenged Taker, ate a loss but held his own during the match, and the end result was Undertaker taking a beating and eating the triple-bomb through the table. I suspect this sets up another long sabbatical for the Dead Man, as well as finally provides us with the Hell No/Sheild tag title match for Extreme Rules.

PTB: It would be a shame to see Taker appear on both shows in a week and disappear. I think we may see him involved in some way for a few more weeks. The thing that really struck me was that Undertaker will likely only wrestle two single matches in 2013 and they will be against C.M. Punk at WrestleMania 29 and Dean Ambrose on an episode of Smackdown. Those are two very different spots and it says a lot about where Ambrose’s stock is right now.

PTB: Daniel Bryan and Kane were absolutely brilliant last week outside the ring. It was just the right amount of humor applied the right way. There hasn’t been a lot of that to go around lately as everything since the night after WrestleMania has felt forced and honestly been difficult to watch.

THE JASON: The two guys do work really well together and Bryan’s “BUT I HAVE DIAGRAMS!” line was highlight for me. What makes it even funnier is that Wrestling Observer noted that was a callback to an actual conversation with Undertaker and DDP when he first entered during the Invasion. Apparently, he really did have diagrams… and Taker really did not care.

PTB: Fandango in particular is in danger of quenching all the heat he’s been building. WWE seems to be trying to stem the tide of fans forcing this guy over by sending him out to cut a dreadful promo against the crowd and then pitting him against William Regal in England. Thank goodness the crowd in London refused to play along.

THE JASON: The crowd loves his theme music. They had to put him against Regal, otherwise he wasn’t going to be a heel to this crowd. But I’m still not getting on this bandwagon. His gimmick is so stupid that it gives me a headache. He’s passable in the ring. The best thing about him is the new girl he brought out as his valet. With that being said, it was great to see Regal both here and against Wade Barrett on Smackdown.

PTB: I’m a believer in Fandango and the valet is an NXT product named Summer Rae. I think he’s going to win you over if he continues to have solid matches like his Smackdown match against Justin Gabriel.

A lot of talk about Smackdown this week, and the only bad thing about Barrett/Regal was that it was so short.

PTB: Chris Jericho was able to make things work to advance his feud with Fandango last Monday and his match with Dolph Ziggler was rock solid. There’s a good chance Fandango/Jericho at Extreme Rules could advance the newcomer even further.

THE JASON: Jericho has really been on such a hot streak since coming back. Working with Ziggler doesn’t hurt, but it seems he can work wonders with whatever he’s being given. Someone else who works well with no matter what he’s given is Paul Heyman. Mr. Heyman was out there trying to make us interested in Brock/Triple H Part 3 until Mr. Son-In-Law had to pedigree the poor guy to death. Was it necessary for Paul to take the beating to advance this feud?

Also – considering Brock’s limited dates, do you think a THIRD match with Triple H is the best use of his time? I’m just not sure who else makes a marquee match with the guy right now.

PTB: If it keeps Heyman on WWE TV I’ll take it. Seeing him work with Triple H still has some appeal to me and this wasn’t the worst segment we’ve seen from the two (I’d say that was the contract signing back in March).

THE JASON: That Divas Battle Royal showed how limited the roster is right now.

PTB: I’m not sure what the story is there. You’d think Tamina Snuka or Layla would be capable of delivering some watchable matches, but that wasn’t one of them. It looks like they may have some talent coming in from NXT to join Fandango’s Summer Rae in the near future.

PTB: Mick Foley gave a Hall of Fame performance on the mic with Ryback last week despite the unflattering haircut. His DVD sales should get a real bump and this actually added a much needed element to the Ryback/John Cena feud.

RAW_1040_Foley_haircutTHE JASON: Not if the haircut has anything to do with it. Man, what was Mick thinking? He looked like a cross between Moe from the Three Stooges and Prince Charming. I don’t know when the picture from the graphic was from, but he looked approximately one hundred times better there.

PTB: I really appreciate that my web search for “cartoon dog with bangs” successfully returned a top hit featuring multiple canines that Mick was channeling with that look.

THE JASON: With that being said – talk about killing heat! Whatever was gained a few weeks ago from Ryback’s turn was pretty much flushed with Cena getting the upper hand here.

And I have to say that I’ve had enough of listening and watching Ryback cut promos. The dude’s enunciation is ridiculous. He makes me think of Jeff Bridges in Starman. I think Ryback would be more credible at this point if they made him an alien. With that being said WWE is reporting that Cena suffered an ankle injury last week. Will this play into what happens on Raw tonight?

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:
April 8th, 2013 post-WrestleMania Warm Up / May 27th, 2013 edition (coming next Monday)

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