This week’s opening thoughts start with Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio. It seems as though World Wrestling Entertainment has decided to go with this World Title feud despite Jack’s recent violation of the Wellness Policy. I’m interested to see if Jack gets suspended for a month after WrestleMania if he does not walk out World Heavyweight Champion, which is highly likely with Dolph still holding his briefcase. It also seems that The Undertaker vs. CM Punk has been penciled in for the big April pay-per-view. After Jack Swagger won the Elimination Chamber, I must say that I was none too thrilled about WrestleMania’s card. However, this entire week got me revamped and excited for WrestleMania. The Undertaker and CM Punk feud will most likely get started next week and could steal the show on what could be the most stacked card in years for a WrestleMania.
The Heyman/McMahon match was definitely the right way to kick off this highly anticipated Raw. The most casual fan had an idea of how this one was going to end. Even though I knew it was going to happen, I still loved the brawl between Triple H and Brock Lesnar. It looked real, especially with Brock’s ring post cut. I look forward to seeing these two go at it one more time at WrestleMania.
Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler was a good match to see considering it was a different opponent for Ryback. Ryback winning is a good and bad thing, similar to Kane’s win a few weeks ago to get into the Elimination Chamber Match. It is good for Ryback because he needed a big win after a string of losses to The Shield, but Dolph continues to lose, despite being Mr. Money in the Bank. If Dolph’s being groomed to become the next World Heavyweight Champion, can’t Creative at least let him win a match against someone? A win on Main Event or Smackdown would suffice.
I loved CM Punk’s promo, even though the whole God thing is a bit too much for me. However, if it sets up a WrestleMania match with The Undertaker, then go for it.
I just do not get what Vince and Creative see in Swagger and Colter. When they speak, the crowd stays silent. They literally get no reaction. No BOOS! No Whats?! I blast my television for Raw every week, yet I still hear nothing and I am not deaf. I have never seen anything like it. If it stays like this, it will be the quietest WrestleMania match of all time. P.S. Will Zeb please get that jacket fixed!
The Randy Orton and Antonio Cesaro match was quick, but memorable because of the mid-air RKO. Despite his critics, Randy never seems to put on a bad match and makes his opponents better, which could be considered the most important thing in-between those ropes.
I’m a little bit confused about the R-Truth/Damien Sandow feud as I do not get this rivalry. I hope they at least do something to get me invested in what they are doing with one another. Here’s hoping this feud results in Sandow being on the WrestleMania card, but I see a Pre-Show match in his future.
I would just like to retract the statement and report I made last week about Darren Young apparently being hurt. Nevertheless, how hilarious was this? Daniel Bryan and Kane continue to give Creative gold no matter what ridiculous things they have them do.
When The Shield debuted, I was skeptical because it seemed like The Nexus all over again. Boy am I glad that they are not. I am very high on The Shield, but am skeptical at how many 6-man tag matches they can have. Even so, they cut another brilliant promo that showcases the star quality of the young group. I personally loved Seth Rollin’s yelling, “Is there no one else?” in a very Achilles-esque way. The Orton sneak RKO on Rollins could setup a 6-man tag at WrestleMania as Orton and Sheamus need something to do at the big show.
John Cena vs. CM Punk was the best Monday Night Raw match I have seen in recent memory. It had everything, back and forths, signature moves, sit-down powerbombs, Punk piledrivers, and Cena hurricanranas. What is a shame would be the fact that the Cena vs. Rock rematch will not even come close to touching that performance. Personally, I hope to one day see a Punk/Cena WWE Championship match at WrestleMania because they would have the chance to be the next Rock/Austin WrestleMania Main Event. That is how amazing these guys work with one another, though both would probably hate to admit that fact. All in all, this Raw exceeded the hype and was an amazing show that got fans excited as we continue on the Road to WrestleMania.
So instead of Team Rhodes Scholars as Tag Team Champions, we get a Cody Rhodes, with his lovestache, and Kaitlyn romance? How about a Divas match on Main Event? I mean they only get one match every three weeks on Raw. Just putting that out there WWE Creative.
Mark Henry’s dominance of Justin Gabriel reminds me of how interesting a World Title feud between him and Del Rio would have been. I guess we will never know…
I loved that they replayed the CM Punk vs. John Cena match from Raw as it deserved to be replayed since it was that amazing.
Happy Belated Birthday Booker T! The SIX TIME! SIX TIME! WORLD HEAVYEIGHT CHAMPION! Undoubtedly one of the best workers, especially during his WCW days and I am privileged to have grown up watching him wrestle.
I was disappointed that WWE cut CM Punk’s piledriver from the Punk/Cena highlight. After all, it was the most incredible spot in the match.
It was nice to see a 2 out of 3 falls match for a change as it truly is an old-school match. At first I was mad that the second fall took place off camera, but since it is Social Media Smackdown, this makes sense. I love Cesaro taking the third fall and the match by using the tights on a rollup. One person I do not want to see defeat Cesaro for the United States title would be The Miz. By the way, Cesaro fans will miss him coming out with the American Flag because it gave him added heat, which made him different from any other heel.
If you were surprised that J.R. got humiliated, then you have not watched the product in the past ten years. Instead of humiliating him, why not have the greatest wrestling commentator in history, call a match?
The gimmick tag rematch from Raw cracked me up again, probably because of the goat face on Kane’s bag. They continue to tease a Daniel Bryan and Kane feud, which they will continue to do so for as long as possible.
Meanwhile, Fandango might have cut the worst promo I have seen in years. It deserves no further comment.
The Big Show vs. Randy Orton Main Event was quick, but Orton hit another cool spot with the top rope DDT. I like Big Show knocking out The Shield after the match as I would rather have Ryback compete in a singles match at WrestleMania and Big Show in the 6-man tag match.
I do not think Social Media Smackdown lived up to the hype and looked like it was used more as advertising for Sonic. Nevertheless, Raw was amazing so Smackdown did not have to do too much this week.
Clean Finish(Final Thoughts)
Congratulations to Donald Trump on being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. I’m not the biggest Trump fan, but he did help make three huge WrestleManias successful. I am also excited for Old School Raw this upcoming week, even though Vince McMahon will probably not be on commentary like he was last time.
Match of the Week
Photos and Videos Courtesy of WWE.com