Monday Night Raw
April 1, 2013
Washington DC

-We skip the open and Michael Cole welcomes us to our Nation’s Capital, and we get things started with the #1 contender to the WWE Championship. Gold shirt and all, out comes John Cena. His promos the past couple weeks have been, different. Not as happy go lucky as they normally are. They also don’t have that “fake” serious tone. He’s legitimately pissed and disgruntled. He says he stands in a house divided. Washington DC is full of “Rockpublicans” and “Cenacrats”. Is he tipping his hand on what party he likes? He says he and Rock don’t like each other. He says last year the promos were about a lack of passion and fruity pebbles. He says this year things are very different. Rock is the Champion, and he’s conquered everything he said he would. Cena says Rock is the greatest WWE Champion of all time. He says that paints Cena into an impossible corner, like the Royal Rumble and beating CM Punk. He says the Rock’s time is up and his time is now. This Sunday Cena says they’ll get a moment they never thought they’d see in their lifetime. He says the Rock has accepted failure before. Last year Cena couldn’t deal with the Wrestlemania loss. He had to watch Rock usher in the People’s Era. Didn’t he do that in 2000? He saw Rock debut a new WWE Title belt. A belt that defines his legacy. He will shine his size 13 boot and stick it in his own mouth. He says Cenation will get redemption, and in his first WWE Title defense with his new title he will lose it. He says the People’s Era will remain, but the Rock will experience failure. This has been a decent promo. He says he won’t replace the WWE Title belt (thank god), but in mid-sentence he stops as the crowd chants “boring, boring”. He actually is starting to get that heel look on his face.

-Cole says fans will tout all night about the WWE Title match. Cole touted Jerry Lawler’s prediction, and he thinks The Rock will win.

MATCH: Sheamus, Randy Orton & Big Show vs. 3MB
-This will be a quick squash, as these two teams met 2 weeks ago on Smackdown and the babyfaces came away with the victory. JBL believes this team of stars will implode against the Shield at Wrestlemania. They do pretty much pummel 3MB all over the ring, and it ends with Jinder Mahal eating a Big Show fist.

-Of course as the match ends, here comes The Shield down the steps in the crowd. They stop halfway and Ambrose pulls out a mike. He says enjoy this one, because it won’t end that way Sunday. Rollins says you may have these idiot fans fooled but not them. Justice never lies. Reigns says your team is full of phonies. Great promos by all 3 guys. This match will be the shocker.

-We go to the streets of Washington, as Jack Swaggr and Zeb Colter are in front of the capitol building. He says our founding fathers came here to work hard for America, but now the country is broken. Swagger says in 6 days he will fix everything and defeat Alberto Del Rio. He says those who don’t like it, don’t belong in America. We…the People.

-Striker is backstage with World Champion Alberto Del Rio, who says America is the land of opportunity. He says one right is Freedom of Speech. Swagger has that right, but Del Rio says he doesn’t have to agree. He’s perplexed why Zeb Colter is facing him tonight, as he’s a fat piñata with a moustache.

MATCH: Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler
-These two wrestled a couple weeks ago, with Ziggler winning a pretty good match. Bryan has pulled out some interesting submission moves, including a unique move that almost looks like Tajiri’s Tarantula, except upside down. Bryan went for some sort of splash off the top rope when Ziggler was down but Dolph got out of the way. I think it was a flying head butt attempt. They go back and forth, including back to back sleepers. This has been a really good match. At one point they go for double cross bodies but drop each other. AJ starts skipping around Kane, which distracts him enough for Big E Langston to clock him with a clothesline. Bryan knocks him off the apron, but Ziggler rolls him up for the win.

-After the match, Big E drops Bryan with his finisher. Kane tries to chokeslam him but Langston breaks the move and drops Kane with his finisher. They don’t win Sunday.

-Back from break and the crowd goes crazy because arguably Wrestlemania’s greatest performer makes his entrance. Shawn Michaels returns to Raw for the first time since Brock Lesnar broke his arm in August. Wrestlemania hasn’t been the same without a customary 5-star match from HBK. Shawn says what would Wrestlemania be without Mr. Wrestlemania. We’ve already got some great matches Sunday at Met Life. Shawn’s not here for those matches, and we know what match he does care about. Brock Lesnar vs. his best friend Triple H. He knows their history and he’s part of their history. HBK says he’s got doubts about HHH putting his career on the line. With that, Motorhead starts blaring and THE GAME makes his way down the ramp. He gets in the ring and hugs his best friend. He tells Shawn he knows what he’s doing. Shawn says he doesn’t, because his situation isn’t the same as Shawn’s was in 2010. HBK says they are very different. Shawn looked across the ring at Wrestlemania XXVI in Phoenix at someone with which there was mutual respect. This isn’t the same. Brock Lesnar could care less about anybody but himself. He has no respect at all. HBK says he cared about this job, but not nearly as much as Triple H does. This job is Triple H’s life. HHH says he gets it, but he’s not going to talk him out of it. Shawn says he’s here to tell HHH to kick Brock Lesnar’s ass. Unlike at Wrestlemania, Shawn will be there at Met Life to watch him do it. HBK was about to do the old DX line when Brock Lesnar’s music hits. Out comes the man-beast with Paul Heyman. Heyman says for the record, Lesnar has two words for them. Heyman says whether you like it or not, HHH will be beaten into retirement. Heyman says HHH will disappoint everyone including Vince McMahon, the Chairman of the Board, and his wife. Heyman says HBK shouldn’t be too close to HHH because he wouldn’t want his arm broken again. Heyman says these guys wrestle from emotion. That’s why HBK is retired, and that’s why HHH will be retired.

MATCH: Wade Barrett vs. Zack Ryder
-The Miz joins the broadcast table. He says their IC Title match will be on the pre-show Sunday. I had a feeling, as the card is pretty stacked and will have long matches. Barrett keeps yapping with Miz and he gives Ryder advantages throughout the match. Barrett recovers and hits the Bull Hammer for the win.

-Backstage Brad Maddox and Vickie are yapping and in comes Santino Marella. He says Mr. McMahon is here and he’s really upset, which means someone’s about to be fired. APRIL FOOL! Brad and Vickie start whispering and they says Santino is in the ring next.

-Diddy sings live Sunday at Wrestlemania. I’ll be in the Met Life bathroom during that.

MATCH: Santino Marella vs. Mark Henry
-I knew this was coming. We go back to Friday’s Smackdown when Mark Henry choked out Ryback with the weightlifting bar. Santino tells Henry he has the Cobra but Henry crushes him in about 15 seconds.

-Down the ramp comes Ryback, looking to be fed. Henry says too bad you didn’t break the bench press record. No contact remember? We’ll get it going Sunday at Wrestlemania. Tonight, they smile. Well Henry smiles anyway. Ryback decides to use Santino as a battering ram and then throws Santino at Henry, knocking him down.

-Mr. McMahon has a twitter account. @vincemcmahon.

-Backstage Striker is with CM Punk. Striker asks if Paul Bearer’s memory is disrespected. Punk says should he give a damn? It’s all about winning and breaking the streak. His career is all he cares about and at Wrestlemania he will immortalize it.

MATCH: Zeb Colter vs. Alberto Del Rio
-Swagger goes after Ricardo, which allows Colter to whack Del Rio with the crutch. Del Rio corners Colter and Swagger attacks from behind. Both men are pummeling him with Ricardo’s crutches. No Contest obviously.

-The beatdown continues. Referees break it up.

-Back from break and the WWE Champion is upon us. The Rock had a lukewarm promo Friday night on Smackdown. No stupid stories tonight Rock, get down to business. He says the connection between the People’s Champ and the people is the only reason he’s here. He says Sunday is about the will of the people. Cena won’t find redemption, but the will of the people want Rock to curb stomp Cena’s monkey ass. He goes on about taking over Washington DC and President The Rock and blah blah blah. As much as the Go Home Raws for Wrestlemania are sometimes good, some of the promos do get pretty stale and boring. Rock goes on about being President, and using duraflame and some other shit. Honestly, Cena’s promo was better tonight. I can’t wait till this feud (and match) has happened, regardless of who wins. What it comes down to is that Rock says Cena can’t and won’t win.

MATCH: Chris Jericho vs. Antonio Cesaro
-It’s a crime that Cesaro is not on the Wrestlemania show. Bad enough the IC Title match is on the pre-show and not that 6-man tag match with the Bellas. The match goes back and forth, until Fandango comes out complete with partner and tinsel stage piece. This would be a really good match if they had PPV time and no commercial interruptions. Fandango is scoring the moves with cards that have numbers on them. Very funny. This is probably the main event match since we need time for the Taker/Punk segment. Cesaro is using a reverse headlock to wear Jericho down while Fandango keeps throwing up grades. Jericho with a Lionsault but when he went for the Walls Cesaro reversed it into a power bomb. Jericho baseball slides into Fandango but almost got rolled up. Jericho does finally get the Walls and Cesaro taps out.

-The second the match ends Fandango runs in and beats down on Y2J. The “You Can’t Wrestle” chants must be dispelled at Wrestlemania or poor Johnny Curtis’ career is over. He drops the top rope leg on Jericho. Then a second one.

-It’s announced that Stephanie McMahon will induct Trish Stratus into the WWE Hall of Fame. Then some fan touts about Rock/Cena.

MATCH: Funkadactyls vs. Bella Twins
-Looks like one more match before the Undertaker comes out. Ugh this is unwatchable. Couldn’t Cena be boning Velvet Sky or something? Cameron goes crazy on the hot tag. Team Rhodes Scholars are awesome, but it seems they dumped the Cody/Kaitlyn storyline. The Bellas win cheap as expected.

-We finally see the one superstar not out yet tonight and that’s the Deadman. The Undertaker comes down the ramp and in the ring. Taker has the mike and says that CM Punk’s title reign was over 400 days, but the pain he feels at Wrestlemania will be felt an eternity. Punk made this personal, and he will suffer. Beating Punk at Mania isn’t good enough for Taker, as he wants to beat respect into him. The ultimate price will be paid at Met Life. Taker says the streak may end Sunday, but Punk won’t live to talk about it. Suddenly we hear the familiar chanting sounds, and out come the druids with their torches. Taker is confused. He obviously didn’t plan this. The druids line up on the ramp, and we hear Paul Bearer’s voice. Yet it’s…Heyman? I can’t even tell. Or Punk? Taker starts beating up the druids. One of the druids is Punk, and he starts brawling with Taker. He smacks Taker in the gut with the urn, then in the back with it. Oh so it is Heyman as Paul Bearer. I figured but I couldn’t tell. Punk is jawjacking with Taker and he keeps cracking him with the urn. Punk opens the urn and throws sand all over Taker. Or is it Paul’s ashes? They’re kind of light. Crazy. Taker hasn’t been beaten down in a pre-Mania promo in years. I guess before he beat Edge in 2008. With that we’re out.

SCOTT’S TAKE: The Go-Home episode of Raw is loaded with promos all pumping up the big matches for Sunday at Met Life Stadium. Check out episode 212 of the Place to Be Podcast for my predictions.

Scott’s Raw Top 5:
1) The Rock
2) John Cena
3) Wade Barrett
4) Team Hell No
5) CM Punk