Monday Night Raw – February 18, 2013: Wrestlemania Is Taking Shape

Monday Night Raw
Date: February 18, 2013
Location: Cajundome, Lafayette, Louisiana
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole

Elimination Chamber was last night and the most important thing is we have our title matches at Mania (presumably) set. Rock is defending against Cena while Del Rio is going to defend against Swagger, assuming nothing is added to either match. Other than that Cena/Ryback/Sheamus were upset by the Shield in their six man tag. Tonight we continue the build to Wrestlemania. Let’s get to it.

We open with clips from last night, highlighting all of the major matches.

Here’s Cena to open the show. He talks about how ten months ago, the location for Wrestlemania 29 was announced, but only last night did the sign start to mean something. Cena mentions the two world title matches that are set, but here’s CM Punk with a rebuttal. He admits that Rock beat him last night….if you ignore Rock hitting a referee and Punk having him pinned for about 18 seconds. Cena says that for once this isn’t about CM Punk and he has to sit this one out.

Punk talks about how he was champion for 434 days so he should get another chance. Cena earned his shot in one single match and eliminated about four people to go to Wrestlemania. Also, Rock has already beaten Cena, so why would we want to see it again? Punk asks Cena to walk away and get out of his life but Cena of course says no.

John says Punk should be smart enough to know that Punk isn’t stupid enough to think Cena would hand away a golden ticket. Cena says Punk isn’t going to be handed a golden ticket, but Punk can earn it. If CM can beat him right here and right now, Punk can have the title show. Punk of course takes him up on it….just not here. Instead he wants it next week and Cena says cool.

We hear about Shield winning their six man tag last night.

Sheamus is talking about the loss last night but Ryback keeps walking in front of him. Getting annoyed, Sheamus yells at Ryback and suggests that he’s a mindless neanderthal like everyone says. A fight is about to break out but Jericho breaks it up. Chris says this is like the NWO or the Nexus and says they have to band together. Jericho proposes another six man tag and the monsters are in.

Sin Cara vs. Mark Henry

During Henry’s entrance we get some clips of Henry’s Hall of Pain. Henry pushes Cara down and stands on his back before hitting a running splash in the corner. Cara hits a quick kick to the head but a second is blocked and countered into a powerslam. The World’s Strongest Slam ends this at 1:33.

Post match Henry is beating up Cara even more but Khali comes out for the save. Despite Henry regularly destroying Khali in the past, Henry walks away without a fight. He also dances to Khali’s music a bit in a funny visual.

We get a clip of the end of the US Title match last night. Miz gets another rematch tonight in a No DQ match.

The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro

This is No DQ and I believe non-title. Miz attacks quickly to start, but we head to the floor where Cesaro rams the injured shoulder into the post. The champion brings in a chair and a kendo stick to pound away on the badly injured Miz. After a fast rollup gets two for Miz, a kendo stick shot gets the same for Antonio. Cesaro uses the chair on the arm before putting on a fast arm hold. The bad shoulder is sent into a chair wedged in the corner but Cesaro misses a charge into said chair, hitting it knee first. That and the Figure Four are enough to give Miz the win at 3:40.

Rating: C-. I’m really not wild on the idea of Miz getting destroyed like that and then getting a fluke win out of nowhere. The match was way too short for a submission loss for the US Champion, especially to a guy like Miz. This clearly is setting up a rematch later on for the title, but why? Miz has lost twice, one of which was clean. Losing twice then winning twice doesn’t make you look good. It makes you look even.

We get a video from Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger about how illegal immigrants here for a handout are ruining America. If the government won’t do anything, Coulter and Swagger will do it for them.

Daniel Bryan yells at Kane for attacking him last night and tonight it’s Bryan vs. Swagger. Kane is going to get a singles match of his own and neither wants the other to come out for their match. Kane says he doesn’t deal well with snakes, which gets the attention of Orton, who just happened to be standing behind them. Randy says Kane is more like Barney the Dinosaur now. Orton vs. Kane is teased for later.

Vickie is on the phone when Paul Heyman comes up. She makes fun of him for the stipulations meaning nothing last night and promises a huge announcement for later tonight. Heyman doesn’t like surprises, which is why she’s going to surprise him.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler starts fast but is sent to the apron where an enziguri puts him on the floor. We take a break with Del Rio standing tall in the ring. Back with Ziggler choking Del Rio on the ropes followed by a dropkick for two. Langston gets in a cheap shot which gives Dolph another near fall. The Fameasser gives Dolph another two count but he goes to the top and gets crotched down.

Alberto follows up with a reverse superplex to put both guys down. Del Rio wins a slugout and hits his low superkick for two. The cross armbreaker is countered into a neckbreaker by Dolph but Del Rio sends him into the corner and hits a Backstabber for two. The cross armbreaker gets the tap out 9:24.

Rating: C+. This was fine but again, Ziggler gets to get beaten up by the guy he is supposed to cash in on. This is the trap they lay for themselves: if they finally do give Ziggler the belt, why would the fans buy him as a legit threat? He’s lost to EVERYONE more than once and hardly ever wins anything anymore, so why would we buy him as champion? My guess is we wouldn’t, but he’s got the belt and that’s all that matters right?

Post match Langston lays out Del Rio with the Big Ending and Ziggler tries to cash in. Ricardo steals the case though and runs off with it, only to drop it while Big E. chases him. AJ hands it back to Dolph but Alberto hits an enziguri to lay Ziggler out. No cash-in.

Wade Barrett shows us a trailer of a movie he’s in called Dead Man Down. After the trailer, Sheamus pops up on screen to make fun of how small Barrett’s part is in the movie.

Lawler and Cole do a commercial for the new WWE toys.

Brodus Clay/Tensai vs. Epico/Primo/Rosa Mendes

The girls get us going here with Naomi taking over quickly. Primo and Tensai come in but Brodus scares Primo to the floor. Brodus comes in legally and the double splash is enough to pin Primo in 1:30.

Clip from the press conference announcing Wrestlemania coming to New Orleans.

Here are Swagger and Coulter for the State of the WWE. Swagger says he did what he did last night for America before turning the mic over to Coulter. Zeb talks about how it’s Presidents’ Day and they have the freedom of speech. If the people don’t like what’s being said, that’s too bad. Very true point. Coulter blames the problems of the union on illegal immigrants and says that Swagger can do something about it.

The title match at Wrestlemania isn’t just a title match. It’s a battle for America between a real American and a man who came to this country to reap the rewards of the motherland. Swagger is going to reclaim America from someone trying to steal it. Swagger shouts WE THE PEOPLE a lot until Daniel Bryan’s music cuts him off.

Daniel Bryan vs. Jack Swagger

We return from a commercial to see the match already in progress. Bryan fires off kicks to the leg to slow Swagger up a bit before hooking a kind of sunset flip for two. Swagger blocks a surfboard but Bryan goes to the arm to slow him down again. Jack sends him out tot he floor but gets dropkicked down by Bryan. Swagger comes right back by ramming Bryan’s taped ribs into the barricade.

Back inside and Swagger hits a running charge to crush Bryan in the corner again. A knee to the ribs puts bryan down again and the Vader Bomb out of the corner gets two. Bryan fights back and sends Jack to the floor where he hits a suicide dive to put both guys down. Back in again and a missile dropkick gets two for Bryan.

Daniel fires off a bunch of kicks but Swagger counters into a spinebuster. The cover is countered into the NO Lock but Swagger gets a rope. Bryan misses a running clothesline in the corner and hurts his ribs again, allowing for Swagger to start in on the ankle. A chop block takes the leg out and the Patriot Lock (not Act) gets the tap out at 8:07 shown.

Rating: C+. The match was fine but I couldn’t stand the lack of psychology at the end. Why in the world would Swagger need to go to the ankle lock when Bryan had bad ribs? Swagger had worked on the ribs for the entire match but then has to go for the ankle to end the match. The fact that Jack has a move that works on the ribs (gutwrench powerbomb) makes this even worse. I can’t stand it and it happens far too often.

Here are Heyman and Vickie in the ring for Vickie’s announcement. Vickie announces her new assistant: Brad Maddox. Brad comes out to talk about how he got this job from Vince himself because he exposed the relationship between Heyman and the Shield. Heyman goes to leave but Vince pops up on screen to say not so fast.

Actually that’s not the surprise for Heyman. Vince asks about the stipulations in the title match last night and we get a clip of Heyman saying he would do anything to get those rules in place. Vince says anything means anything, so he could fire Paul right now. McMahon doesn’t do it yet because next week, Heyman and Vince are going to have a fight.

We see Cena and Punk’s challenge from earlier tonight.

Chris Jericho/Sheamus/Ryback vs. Shield

Ryback starts by launching Rollins into the corner and firing away shoulders. Jericho tries to calm him down before beating on Ambrose for a bit. A suplex puts Dean down and it’s off to Sheamus vs. Reigns. Sheamus pounds him down and sends him into the corner for a running knee lift. White Noise hits but Rollins pulls Reigns out of the ring before the Brogue Kick. Sheamus kicks Ambrose to the floor instead as we take a break.

Back with Reigns holding Sheamus in a chinlock. That doesn’t last long as it’s off to Rollins for some stomping in the corner. Reigns comes back in for more of the same but Sheamus fights back with a clothesline. A double tag brings in Ryback to face Rollins and it’s power moves all around. There’s the Meat Hook but Reigns spears Ryback down to break up Shell Shock again, but it only gets two. The fans cheer for Jericho as Ambrose keeps beating on Ryback. Rollins comes back in and stomps away a bit more for two.

Dean comes back in with a neckbreaker for two and it’s back to Reigns. Roman misses a splash in the corner and gets caught on the top rope, allowing Ryback to make the hot tag to Jericho. He gets to fight Ambrose but has to dropkick Rollins down as well. The bulldog takes Ambrose down and there’s the Lionsault for two. The Walls are countered into a small package for two as Reigns sends Ryback into the post. Jericho hooks the Walls on Ambrose and Sheamus takes out Reigns but it distracts the referee. Rollins kicks Jericho from the top rope for the pin at 13:31.

Rating: B-. Another solid match by Shield, who could be just fine taking out random three man combinations. They’ve been kept VERY strong so far and using them sparingly is the best idea the company could have had. This furthers the issues between Ryback and Sheamus and/or Jericho which could make for an interesting Mania fight. Good stuff here.

Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow

Before the match Sandow says today is President’s Day, which Sandow holds close to his heart. Apparently members of his family have served as advisers to Presidents, including his great grandfather who came up with the idea of the New Deal. Sandow jumps Kofi before the match and it’s a big fight. Kingston’s shoulder is sent into the post and keeps up the beating until R-Truth returns and beats up Sandow.

Josh talks to the same two actors from G.I. Joe 2 that he spoke to last night. This leads to a clip from the movie.

Randy Orton vs. Kane

Kane runs him over with a shoulder to start and we stop and stare for a bit. Orton goes after the arm but gets punched out to the floor as we take a break. Back with Kane holding Orton in a chinlock and getting two off a big boot. A DDT gets the same and Kane is getting frustrated. Back to the chinlock but Orton fights up and hits some punches in the corner followed by a dropkick.

Kane fights back with a low dropkick of his own and we hit the chinlock for the third time. Both guys hit a variety of a slam (Power for Randy, side for Kane) but Kane misses the top rope clothesline. Kane takes Randy down again and loads up the chokeslam but here’s Bryan for a distraction. Orton and the RKO finish this at 9:33.

Rating: D. I’m a Kane fan but this was a pretty lame match. When you have three chinlocks seen in a less than ten minute match, it’s pretty clear that you don’t have much to do out there. This match kept going on and on which made for a very dull match overall. Orton was basically just a warm body out there instead of anyone of importance. Bad match.

Rock is played to the ring for his Championship Celebration by a university marching band. That’s pretty cool indeed. Rock talks about how much of a coward Punk showed himself to be by spitting in Rock’s face last night, but Rock pinned him anyway. Rock says that he’s going to Wrestlemania, but he’s not going with this title. There’s a table set up next to him with something under a blanket. Rock talks about the current belt being introduced eight years ago and some people thought it looked cool. Then again some people think Bigfoot is real so take that for what it’s worth. Also, the belt should never spin.

Rock hands a stagehand the belt and says take it to the Hall of Fame. He talks about the greats that have held the world title over the years (biggest pop might have been for Bret actually) before unveiling the new belt. It looks like the US Title shape but has a big WWE logo in the middle and Brahma Bulls on the sides. I’ve seen worse.

Moving on though, Rock says he has to face someone at Wrestlemania. The fans seem more interested in Rock vs. Cena II, so here’s Cena to the stage. Punk pops up from behind and hits Cena in the back with the old belt, laying him out. Rock is ready to fight but Punk walks away to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. The show was certainly entertaining but these Raws after a PPV are tough to sit through. Six hours in two days is just WAY too much time and I was getting tired halfway through the show. That being said, it was still an entertaining show and a lot of stuff was done, which is the most important part. Next week’s show looks big, which shows the stupidity of what WWE does most of the time: why don’t they announce something for next week more often? You very rarely hear something like this anymore, which makes no sense given how easy it is to do. Just be patient and things will be better.

Results

Mark Henry b. Sin Cara – World’s Strongest Slam

The Miz b. Antonio Cesaro – Figure Four

Alberto Del Rio b. Dolph Ziggler – Cross Armbreaker

Jack Swagger b. Daniel Bryan – Patriot Lock

Shield b. Chris Jericho/Ryback/Sheamus – Ambrose pinned Jericho after a top rope kick from Rollins

Randy Orton b. Kane – RKO

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new ebook of 1998 Monday Night Raw Reviews on Amazon at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B9K3POI

19 comments

  1. Mayonnaise Warrior says:

    I’m thinking the bulls on the side plates are interchangeable for whoever holds the belt.

  2. Jay H. says:

    Thats what Im thinking too about the New Belt. whoever wins it will have their Logo on the side of it. Solid Show tonight with some good Matches. Next Week is looking big from Dallas. Anyone think HHH,Taker,and or Brock Lesnar show up?

  3. SamualDude says:

    Not a fan of it’s design personally. I don’t like the alignment of the M and the P, to me they make the belt look kind of lopsided in it’s symmetry. The WWE Logo I understand that of course it’ll be on the belt but I don’t like that they have part of the logo obscured. I’d rather the spinner design back, I always liked the design of it, didn’t like that it spun when they got rid of that I was happy with it.

    I like that it does have the full “champion” on it rather than “champ” but I just think the alignment is right on it. and on the toy belt the black space behind the logo just bothers me for some reason.

  4. M.R. says:

    B- feels very generous. This was a tough, tough show to sit through.

  5. Remy says:

    It was a fine show and the belt looks bitchin’.

  6. Blue Jay-zer(Not Jay wearing a mask to hide his identity) says:

    Holy crap was that a great show! I’m gonna keep watching this RAW show more often. This Wrestling Mania event they keep talking about is looking pretty damn good too.

    Do I really have to wait a week to watch this great show again? Oh well.

  7. james gracie says:

    B-? Really? It does seem like you are being very generous lately with this show. Maybe it’s Wrestlemania fever.

    It looks like we are getting that Triple threat match at mania and I am not happy about it. You know next week will end in some stupid double DQ or something and Vickie will come out and announce the triple threat…just like it happened before Summerslam with Cena and Big Show. Why not do the Wrestlemania X thing where Rock defends twice if they want Punk involved?

    How stupid is Cena(kayfabe wise) Didn’t he learn from the last time he won the Rumble in 2008 when he put his mania shot on the line vs Orton. And of course that match became a Triple threat too.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Absolutely correct on the triple threats. They do nothing for me because they’ve been done so many times. If nothing else, they’re WAY overused:

    http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2012/11/04/thought-of-the-day-triple-threat-matches-are-the-most-overused-mathces-ever/

  8. CCTV says:

    The Shield!! Loving this group…
    And personally, I want to see Rock Vs Cena II instead of Punk Vs Rock III after Rock won so cleanly twice in a row.
    Or next week, Undertaker returns during Cena-Punk match, chokeslams Cena to set up Cena-Taker for mania. But I don’t want Punk in the title match for now.. give him something fresh to do..

  9. The Killjoy says:

    Was it me or did the crowd look small? It looked something out of AAA or an Impact taping.

  10. Yerp says:

    So are we going to see a double pin next week or the gong hit to cost punk the match?

  11. chrisman says:

    Cena is so dead. I’ve just watched the opening promo and the crowd is bored, and so is Cena. Stop already

  12. chrisman says:

    Shit that final pop on ‘the champ is here’ was pitiful. Turn him heel already while there is still a handful of 8 year old girls that care

    jblues Reply:

    No cena heel turn.

  13. chris says:

    I just can’t believe the amount of heel reaction Cena gets. I have never seen any babyface EVER get booed this much for this long. Turn him already. Don’t give me this crap about it will hurt merchandise sales, or the make a wish foundation nonsense. You can buy a heel shirt. He can visit sick kids “note he’s not actually a bad guy he’s only acting”.

  14. jblues says:

    He not trun heel. He the face of the wwe. And bad for business.

  15. chris says:

    Please he’s interchangeable, no one person is bigger than the wwe. It’s simply someone else’s turn.

  16. jblues says:

    I Want see too. but he not heel in times soon.

  17. jblues says:

    forgot to put trun in