Monday Night Raw – March 11, 2013: This Show Is Uncle Paul Approved

Monday Night Raw
Date: March 11, 2013
Location: Bankers Fieldhouse Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

We’re four weeks out from Wrestlemania and the top of the card is set. The major news coming out of last week is that CM Punk gets the chance to stop Undertaker’s Streak this year after winning a fatal fourway to end last week’s episode. Other than that we’re likely to hear more about Rock vs. Cena II tonight which should be fun after last week’s solid promos. Let’s get to it.

We open with a tribute video to Paul Bearer. This is the same one that aired on WWE’s Youtube channel last week.

Appropriately enough, here’s Undertaker to open the show. He kneels down in the middle of the ring in front of an urn and looks up at the In Memory graphic but is interrupted by CM Punk. Punk talks about wanting to extend his heartfelt condolences for Undertaker’s loss. That would be Undertaker’s loss at Wrestlemania of course. The silver lining for Undertaker is that Paul Bearer won’t be alive to see Undertaker go 20-1. Punk says that in four weeks, we’ll get a tribute video to Undertaker’s streak.

During the break Kane came out and tried to chokeslam Punk off the stage but he escaped. Kane went looking through the back for Punk but couldn’t find him. Instead he threw someone I couldn’t make out across the locker room. It might have been Alex Riley.

Big Show vs. Seth Rollins

This is a result of Shield beating up Big Show after Raw went off the air last week. Rollins runs at Big Show to start but is easily shoves away. Rollins is sent to the floor with Big Show in pursuit. The other members of the Shield jump him for the DQ at 41 seconds.

Show tries to fight them off but the spear takes him down. There’s the TripleBomb to leave Show laying.

Punk yells at Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox about what happened with Kane, so Vickie makes it Kane vs. Punk in a No DQ match.

We get a classic Bearer moment with him making his debut on the Brother Love Show.

Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler

This is a result of Bryan making fun of AJ after she had water thrown on her last week. Bryan starts fast with a surfboard submission, only to have Ziggler escape and dropkick him down for two. Bryan comes back with an elbow in the corner and a stomp to the arm before backdropping Ziggler out to the floor. Bryan loads up the suicide dive but Langston gets on his apron to stop him in his tracks as we take a break.

Back with Ziggler holding Bryan in a chinlock but Bryan catapults him into the corner to escape. A running knee to Ziggler’s chest puts him down but Bryan runs into a boot in the corner. An O’Connor Roll gets two for Bryan but Ziggler pops out at the last second. Bryan fires off the hard kicks to the chest and a big one to the head gets two. Ziggler goes up top but gets crotched down hard. Bryan loads up a belly to back superplex but Ziggler turns over in mid air, turning it into a cross body for a VERY close two.

Bryan tries a standing huricanrana but gets dropped onto the top rope. The Fameasser gets two for Dolph and he pounds away on the chest. AJ gets on the apron to distract the referee as Bryan hooks the No Lock, only to have Langston pull him to the ropes. Another attempt at the No Lock is countered and Ziggler hits the Zig Zag for the pin at 11:30.

Rating: B. Good back and forth match here but it still doesn’t help Ziggler’s major problems right now, mainly being the lack of a match at Wrestlemania. Maybe he and Langston will go after the tag titles or something, but right now there’s nothing for him to do, which says a lot after how big a deal he was a few months ago.

Post match Langston hits the Big Ending (falling slam) on Bryan at AJ’s request.

We recap HHH’s challenge to Lesnar from last week.

Tensai vs. Fandango

Tensai tells him to get out here, but Fandango doesn’t like how they say his name. He wants Naomi to say his name because she’s the only one with any skill. Fandango says she’s better than this but Tensai cuts her off, meaning no match.

Trailer for G.I. Joe 2.

Another Paul Bearer moment is him returning with Undertaker at Wrestlemania 20.

Rhodes Scholars vs. New Age Outlaws

Before the match, Sandow and Rhodes do the intelligent version of the Outlaws’ entrance which is very amusing. Apparently they’ve reunited for good now, which makes me wonder why they split in the first place. Road Dogg: “Lord have mercy, this one is for you Percy (Bearer’s real first name). Roadie and Cody start things off and there are the shaky jabs to put Cody down. Before this goes anywhere though, here’s Brock Lesnar, sending fear running through Cody. Lesnar attacks Gunn for the DQ at 1:25.

Both Outlaws get F5’s and are laid in front of Lesnar. Heyman is here with Lesnar and talks about how Lesnar isn’t here to play games. He talks about Lesnar hurting both Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon. Heyman says the last traces of DX were just destroyed right in front of you and that Lesnar will indeed fight HHH at Wrestlemania. However, there’s a but to that yes. Lesnar wants to name the stipulations before he’ll agree, but HHH has to sign the contract before he knows the rules. Heyman eggs HHH on by listing off people that HHH will disappoint by saying no. Heyman’s two words for us: BROCK LESNAR.

Kofi Kingston vs. Mark Henry

Kofi tries to fire off some kicks to start but is easily knocked out to the floor with a single kick from Henry. Out on the floor and Henry misses a charge into the steps, allowing Kofi to dive off the steps and stagger Henry. Back inside Kofi tries his top rope cross body, only to be caught in the World’s Strongest Slam for the pin at 2:26.

In the back, Cody makes mustache jokes to Kaitlyn when Sandow shows up. He says he has a surprise for Cody and here are the returning Bella Twins. Kaitlyn walks off in disgust. Vickie comes up and gives the Scholars a match with Randy Orton and Sheamus.

Ryback vs. Heath Slater

Mark Henry comes out to watch and there isn’t much else to say. Slater tries to jump him but gets pounded down, allowing for the Meat Hook and the Shell Shock to end this at 1:05.

Post match McIntyre gets Shell Shocked and here’s Henry to the ring. McIntyre gets a World’s Strongest Slam and a second Shell Shock. Now he gets another World’s Strongest Slam as the monsters stare at each other.

Trailer for The Call.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Antonio Cesaro

Non-title here as usual. Before the match Del Rio says he was born in Mexico but made in America. Alberto hits a quick cross body for two but Cesaro comes back with a forearm to the head. He pounds down Del Rio before hooking a fast chinlock. The world champion comes back with some clotheslines and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. The low superkick and Backstabber get two each and Del Rio goes up top. He jumps into the European uppercut for two though and follows it up with an attempted German suplex. Del Rio easily counters into the cross armbreaker for the submission at 4:40.

Rating: C. This was fine, and although I could go without the US Champion tapping out in five minutes, at least it was to Alberto who is on a roll at this point. Del Rio is on a higher level than Cesaro so a loss by Antonio isn’t the worst thing in the world. Cesaro got in one good move the entire match though and that’s not a good omen for him.

Kane is holding the urn and has nothing to say.

We get a video recapping Cena vs. Rock over the last two years.

Rhodes Scholars vs. Randy Orton/Sheamus

Damien and Randy start things off with Orton in full control. It’s off to Sheamus to face Cody and the Scholars manage to send Sheamus to the floor to take over. Back do Damien for some knee drops for two as Sheamus is in trouble. He fights up with relative ease though once Cody comes back in. The not hot tag brings in Orton for an attempt at the Elevated DDT but Damien makes the save.

Orton is sent into the post and we head back inside so Sandow can hit the Wind-Up Elbow for two. Back to Rhodes who goes up top, only to get crotched and superplexed down. There’s the tag to Sheamus who cleans house, including hitting Sandow with the ten forearms on the apron. White Noise takes down Sandow again and it’s the Brogue Kick for the pin at 8:03.

Rating: D+. That’s probably really harsh but this show is hitting the exact same problem that every single episode does: it’s feeling long. We’ve done so much tonight and now the show is reaching levels of burnout. This is the same problem the show always reaches because three hours a week is just too much.

During the break, Shield attacked Orton and Sheamus.

We get some Touts from fans about Paul Bearer.

Here’s Jericho for the Highlight Reel with guests the Miz and Wade Barrett, both of whom have movies out at the moment. Miz is out first and talks about the success of his movie but here’s Barrett to talk about how great Dead Man Down is. Barrett talks about turning down a lot of movie roles because he’s busy being IC Champion. Jericho gets in his face and says he’s been Intercontinental Champion nine times and if Barrett keeps up, he might make it ten. Cue Brad Maddox who stumbles through the worst promo in the history of ever while announcing Jericho vs. Miz with the winner getting a title shot at Wade next week.

Chris Jericho vs. The Miz

This is joined in progress and the winner gets a title match at Barrett next week. Barrett is on commentary for the match. Jericho has Miz in a chinlock with an armtrap but Miz fights out with some left hands. Jericho bulldogs him down very quickly but the Lionsault hits knees. The Walls of Jericho can’t go on either so Miz takes out the knee. He can’t hook the Figure Four so Jericho fights for the Walls again. This time he manages to hook them but Miz crawls over to the ropes before falling to the floor. Jericho sends Miz flying into Barrett so the champion jumps Jericho for the DQ at 4:09.

Rating: D+. This didn’t have the time to get anywhere and the ending was pretty clear for most of the match. The triple threat next week probably won’t be anything interesting but if it sets up an IC Title match for Wrestlemania I can’t say I’m complaining. It’s not like Barrett ever defends the thing.

Post match Barrett takes both finishers.

We get Ricardo and Alberto’s parody of Colter and Swagger’s videos.

We get a video from a Wrestlemania XI vignette which parodies NYPD Blue and has Bearer in drag, saying he has nothing to do with Yokozuna disappearing. A gong sounds, the lights go out, the lights come back on, Bearer is in a male suit. 1995 was weird.

Jack Swagger vs. Sin Cara

Before the match, Colter talks about how the fans are programmed to cheer for Sin Cara because of his entrance and the jumps he performs. Colter says Sin Cara is nothing but a sign of things that need to change. As the match starts we’re told that it’s a triple threat for the Intercontinental Title next week with Miz and Jericho challenging Barrett. Cara sends him to the floor to start and hits a big dive but might have hurt his shoulder. Apparently it wasn’t that bad as he charges back into the ring and fires off some kicks to Swagger, only to springboard into a kick to the ribs. The Patriot Lock ends this at 1:52.

Now we get an interview with Halle Berry about The Call. During the interview David Otunga calls her and tells her he may have given her phone number to someone who threatened him with violence. She hangs up and Kane calls her, asking why she doesn’t return his fan mail. Apparently Kane sent her a picture but she wasn’t impressed. She raises up her arms and makes fire come out of the ring posts behind Kane.

Ryback vs. Mark Henry on Smackdown.

CM Punk vs. Kane

No DQ here. Punk dives through the ropes to attack Kane to start but Kane comes back with an uppercut. He drops Punk throat first onto the barricade and loads up the announce table, only to have Punk hit Kane in the ribs with the ring bell. Back inside Punk shoves Kane off the top and hits the Macho Elbow for two before nailing the knee in the corner. Kane throws him over the top and we take a break at 11:05pm.

Back with Kane charging into a boot in the corner followed by Punk hitting a middle rope clothesline for two. Punk wedges a chair into the corner but Kane reverses a whip to send Punk into said chair. Kane goes to the floor and throws about four chairs into the ring before turning his attention back to Punk who is cowering in the corner. Back inside and Punk counters a chokeslam into a DDT onto a chair for two. The high kick blocks a chair shot but the Undertaker’s gong goes off, allowing Kane to chokeslam Punk for the pin at 12:00.

Rating: C. Not bad here but at the end of the day this match was WAY too late in the show to hold up. The ending was the right idea with Undertaker costing Punk a match to set up the Wrestlemania match a little bit more. That’s good, basic storytelling and the match is going to be awesome.

Undertaker and Kane do their kneeling salute to Bearer, but Punk hits Kane in the back with the urn over and over before leaving with it.

Overall Rating: B. This show did a lot for Wrestlemania, but at the same time the problem was how packed it was. There was no room to breathe on this show and it felt really long at about the two hour mark. I did like the stories being told and all the angle advancement we got, plus the Bearer stuff was very nice. Good but LONG show tonight.

Results

Big Show b. Seth Rollins via DQ when Shield interfered

Dolph Ziggler b. Daniel Bryan – Zig Zag

New Age Outlaws b. Rhodes Scholars via DQ when Brock Lesnar interfered

Mark Henry b. Kofi Kingston – World’s Strongest Slam

Ryback b. Heath Slater – Shell Shock

Alberto Del Rio b. Antonio Cesaro – Cross Armbreaker

Sheamus/Randy Orton b. Rhodes Scholars – Brogue Kick to Sandow

The Miz vs. Chris Jericho went to a no contest when Wade Barrett interfered

Jack Swagger b. Sin Cara – Patriot Lock

Kane b. CM Punk – Chokeslam

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews

5 comments

  1. Jay H. says:

    RAW was not bad but I agree I was little burnt out myself by the Main Event. Did get some more build to Wrestlemania and Im intrigued to see what Stipulation that Brock chooses for the Match with HHH.

  2. james gracie says:

    So you actually enjoyed this RAW more than Lockdown based on your grade or do you grade ppv’s differently? Not a knock, I’m just curious.

    Triple threat IC title next week, Henry vs Ryback on Smackdown? Why not just save those 2 matches for Wrestlemania?(not saying they wont happen at Mania) It almost seems like the 4 announced matches is all we’re gonna get.

    No mention of how Cole was burying the Jericho/Miz/Barrett/Maddox segment. I’m guessing McMahon was telling him to.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    They’re graded differently.

    M.R. Reply:

    That segment was fucking AWFUL. Cole did a great job reacting accordingly and atleast brought a note of entertainment to it.

  3. DJ Pat says:

    Percy wasn’t Bearer’s real first name, just the name of his second most popular character, Percy Pringle III. His real name was William Moody.