Monday Night Raw – April 29, 2013: Best Raw In A LONG Time

Monday Night Raw
Date: April 29, 2013
Location: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler

We’re back stateside now and the big story is that Cena has an injured Achilles. Based on the fact that he kept wrestling while in Europe, odds are the injury isn’t that bad. Other than that we’re likely about to get more of the Extreme Rules card filled in now. It’s interesting that other than the cage match, I don’t think any of the matches have any gimmick attached unless you count a triple threat as EXTREME. Let’s get to it.

Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Zeb Colter vs. Big E. Langston

The winner of this gets to pick the stipulation for the triple threat at Extreme Rules. Colter immediately heads to the apron to leave Langston vs. Ricardo. I don’t think you have to tag here but it’s not entirely clear. Langston of course runs over Ricardo like he’s not even there and toys with him in the corner for a bit. Ricardo jumps over a charging Big E. in the corner and fires off some shots of his own. Colter comes in to pound away as well but Langston is mainly just annoyed.

Ricardo goes after Colter and the fans chant USA. Langston takes Ricardo’s head off with a clothesline but Zeb shoves him away like an idiot. Colter gets stared down and claims a knee injury, allowing Ricardo to hit Big E. in the back with the bucket. This has no effect whatsoever, much like a shot to the head. Langston suplexes Ricardo down as Swagger, Del Rio and Ziggler all run in. All three and Langston fall to the floor and Colter tries a quick cover on Ricardo. AJ makes the save and Ricardo rolls up Colter for the pin at 5:00. Alberto gets to pick the stipulations at Extreme Rules.

Rating: D+. How do you rate something like this? The whole point was to give us a mess and have Langston not win at the end. Either way, I don’t think any stipulation is going to make that much of a deal given how much they’ve devalued all three guys in the past few weeks. I can’t say this was bad because it wasn’t supposed to be anything more than this. At least Langston didn’t get pinned.

We talk about Cena’s injury for a bit. He’s here tonight.

Today is World Wish Day and we see Cena granting another Make-A-Wish on the Today Show. Love him or hate him, this is always cool to see.

Cena comes out with the kids for World Wish Day. That’s awesome.

Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton

Rhodes gets the jobber treatment by just being at ringside when Orton comes out. Orton shoves Cody around to start and throws him over the top, only to have Cody skin the cat. Randy is fine with that and dropkicks Cody down twice for two. Cody finally gets in a shot and stomps away in the corner as Cole continues to list off stats about everyone. All of the announcers have been doing it for the entire match. Orton comes back with a suplex for two and the fans want the RKO, only to have Cody dropkick Orton to the floor instead. Randy clotheslines Rhodes down on the floor and heads back inside as we take a break.

Back with Orton ramming Cody into the post on the floor before getting kicked off the apron by the Disaster Kick. That gets a few near falls back inside before Cody just goes nuts on Orton and stomps away. Off to a chinlock on Orton before Cody uppercuts him down for no cover. Back up and Cody drops an elbow on the back of the head for two, only to go up again and get crotched down. Orton superplexes him down for two and loads up the RKO, only to be countered into the Cross Rhodes for two. Cody loads up the Disaster Kick again but jumps into the RKO for the pin at 16:08.

Rating: C+. I wanted to hate this match but the near fall off Cross Rhodes helped it a lot. The problem at the end of the day is that Cody has been crushed so far over the last 18 months that it’s impossible to take him as a serious threat to anyone anymore. This got better after some time but it was more long than good.

Post match Orton says he’s more focused than ever and catches a sneaky Cody in another RKO for good measure.

The Bellas plug the E! show and brag about how good they look.

We get a look at the Divas show.

Naomi vs. Brie Bella

Naomi does all of her jumping and flipping to start before knocking Brie to the floor. The Bellas switch and Nikki rolls up Naomi for the pin at 1:15.

Oh wait Cameron complains to the referee and gets the decision switched to a DQ. The Funkadactyls get beaten up post match.

Here’s the Shield without even getting to hear the beginning of their entrance. They talk about beating everyone from Ryback to Rock to Sheamus to Cena and now Undertaker. We get some clips of all the attacks and Ambrose starts talking about their match with Cena/Ryback tonight, only to be cut off by 3MB. They say they’re going to rock Shield’s party tonight and the fight is on. The Band is of course beaten up and here’s HELL NO for the save. Shield runs from the two of them so the champs beat up 3MB.

Cena is getting his ankle taped when Ryback comes in. Ryback talks some trash but Cena says he’s hurt and not injured. Ryback says he can’t take any chances tonight.

Back and the announcers talk about a Dominos pizza tracker and say the King’s pizza will be here in 40 minutes.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston

Non-title of course. Kofi takes him down to start and hits a hard kick to the head followed by a spinning springboard splash for two. Ziggler comes back with a headlock to slow things down but Kofi hits a jumping back elbow to put the world champ down. Kofi heads to the apron for some kind of springboard, only to be dropkicked off the apron as we take a break. Back with Dolph holding a reverse chinlock followed by a clothesline in the corner to put Kingston down again.

After a neckbreaker from Dolph, Kofi moves out of the way of a splash in the corner to put both guys down. Kofi fights out of the corner and hits his elbows to the face and the Boom Drop, only to have Dolph duck Trouble in Paradise and DDT Kofi down for two. The SOS gets two for Kingston and there’s Trouble in Paradise, but AJ puts Dolph’s foot on the ropes. Langston tries to revive Ziggler but Kofi takes them both out with a dive.

Back in and the top rope cross body gets two on Dolph, drawing AJ in for a distraction. Zigger gets two off a rollup as does Kofi, but Dolph’s dropkick is caught in a slingshot into the corner. A springboard spinning splash misses Ziggler and the Zig Zag is good for the pin on Kofi at 12:18.

Rating: B. Good match here from these two as is their custom. They’ve fought each other so many times that their chemistry has had a great chance to grow, making for some great matches. The interference didn’t help Ziggler any, but at least he won with a clean pin off his finisher for a change.

Post match Langston hits two Big Endings on Kofi.

AJ and Kaitlyn have a staredown in the back. Kaitlyn gets a present and has a secret admirer.

Video on HHH vs. Lesnar.

Ryback comes in to see Vickie and Brad because Cena is out of the handicap match tonight. Vickie offers to make it a six man tag with HELL NO but Ryback declines.

King’s pizza is delivered to fans by mistake.

Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder

Ryder shows us a clip from earlier tonight with Colter losing to Ricardo. Swagger runs over Ryder to start and puts on a fast armbar. A powerslam gets two for Jack and there’s a DDT on the leg. Two Vader Bombs crush Zack’s ribs as Swagger can’t pick a body part to work on. A third is countered by Zack raising his feet up and there’s a backdrop to put Swagger on the floor. Ryder hits a baseball slide to take Jack down again but back inside it’s the gutwrench powerbomb and the Patriot Lock for the submission at 3:06.

Rating: C+. It’s nice to see a guy who works as hard as Ryder get to show off a bit. I’m still annoyed at WWE for what they did to him last year but at least he’s still got a job. The match was a glorified squash at first but Ryder made it entertaining enough. Swagger’s character is rapidly dying but at least his in ring work is picking WAY up.

Post match Colter hits a right hand on Ryder.

During the break Ryback left the building.

Here’s Mark Henry who says he’s going to prove how strong he is. He has a big rope with him and there’s a red line in the ring. Apparently it’s a tug of war against Tensai. Henry wins with ease so now he’s going to do the same thing with Brodus Clay. Cole: “If you drop your elbow below your knee it’s a foul.” Jerry: “WHY DO YOU KNOW THAT?” Henry wins with ease but here’s Sheamus with a challenge. They start the tug of war and Sheamus actually moves him a bit but Henry easily takes over. Sheamus lets go and Henry goes down, followed by a Brogue Kick to lay Henry out.

We look at the Make-A-Wish stuff from earlier.

HELL NO is in a handicap match with the Shield but Vickie tells Brad she needs him to do one more thing.

Post match Brad Maddox comes in to see Cena (“Hey Braden Walker”) but John says he’s in the main event as HELL NO’s partner.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Alberto Del Rio

As the match starts we hear, I kid you not, yodeling trivia. Cesaro suplexes him down but gets caught with a running kick to the arm in the corner. Alberto goes after the arm and hooks an armbar. Cesaro comes back with some forearms to the back of the head, only to walk into a hurricanrana. Alberto sends him into the corner and hits the forearms to the back and the Backstabber has Cesaro in trouble. The armbreaker is loaded up but Cesaro rolls to the floor and we take a break.

Back with Cesaro holding Del Rio in a chinlock before getting two off the gutwrench suplex. The running European uppercut gets the same in the corner and it’s back to the chinlock. A suplex puts Alberto down again but Alberto fires off some clotheslines to come back. Del Rio goes up but dives into another uppercut. Cesaro charges into the post though, allowing Alberto to hit the low superkick for a close two. The armbreaker is countered into a rollup which is countered into the armbreaker for the tap out at 13:27.

Rating: B-. Another good match in a series of them for the three guys in the world title match tonight. Alberto continues to be solid in the ring although the crowd is only kind of into him. They were chanting OLE for him tonight though which is as good as anything else to get the fans into his match so maybe there’s hope for him.

Post match Alberto announces that it’s a ladder match for the title at the PPV.

It’s time for a dance off between Fandango and Great Khali. Khali says he’s a better ballroom dancer than Chris Jericho and gets to show off with Natalya. After what I think was a tango, Fandango says Jericho was clumsy on Dancing with the Stars. His chick is named Summer Rae and their dance is far better. Piped in noise give the win to Khali and Natalya. Fandango lays out Khali post contest.

Shield vs. HELL NO/John Cena

Shield comes in to fight before the bell but gets sent to the floor with ease. It’s Kane vs. Ambrose to officially start things off with Dean getting beaten down. Off to Reigns who gets thrown around by the big fried freak, only to be taken into the Shield corner and double teamed into trouble. Kane kicks Rollins down and it’s off to Cena but his bad ankle acts up in a hurry, meaning it’s off to Bryan instead.

Daniel fires off some kicks before it’s off to Ambrose vs. Kane again. Bryan comes back in and fires off a bunch of kicks to Ambrose before hooking a surfboard. Kane comes in for a dropkick but the top rope clothesline misses. Off to Rollins for a double suplex and now it’s Kane in trouble for a change as we take a break.

Back with Ambrose working over Bryan before it’s off to Rollins for a kick to the chest and a kind of abdominal stretch on the mat. A hard kick to the back of Bryan’s head gets two as Cena plays cheerleader. Reigns hits a Samoan Drop for two but Bryan sends him to the floor, allowing for a hot tag to Kane. Rollins is sent to the floor and there’s the top rope clothesline to Ambrose.

Kane sends Dean to the floor before loading up the announce table. A Rollins distraction lets Ambrose hit a quick DDT to take Kane down but he makes it back in at nine. Ambrose goes nuts on him with knees to the head but gets caught in a quick chokeslam. The hot tag brings in Cena who initiates his finishing sequence on Reigns, only to catch Rollins in the AA. The ankle gives out though and Reigns spears down Cena for the pin at 15:24.

Rating: B. ANOTHER very good match tonight and ANOTHER major rub for Shield. That’s John Cena that they just pinned clean in the middle of the ring. Not Ryback, not Sheamus, but Cena. If you didn’t believe in the Shield before, I’m not sure what it’s going to take for you to do so now. Good main event here and a HUGE moment for Shield.

Ryback is still here. I’m shocked too.

Overall Rating: A. I liked this show WAY better than I have most recently. The main thing here was that they were trying some new ideas. Between the triple threat, the mystery admirer and the tug of war, stories were advanced tonight without using the same old worn out ideas. Couple that with some good wrestling and build for a PPV and I’m rather pleased with the show.

On the other hand, there’s the ridiculous commentary dragging things down. It was like a trivia night from Cole with factoids ranging from tug of war fouls to yodeling trivia. Is that supposed to interest me? Am I supposed to want to buy Extreme Rules more because I hear that stuff? It’s more of a distraction than anything else and was REALLY annoying tonight. Other than that though, very good show.

Results

Ricardo Rodriguez b. Zeb Colter and Big E. Langston – Rollup to Colter

Randy Orton b. Cody Rhodes – RKO

Naomi b. Brie Bella via DQ when Nikki Bella interfered

Dolph Ziggler b. Kofi Kingston – Zig Zag

Jack Swagger b. Zack Ryder – Gutwrench powerbomb

Alberto Del Rio b. Antonio Cesaro – Cross Armbreaker

Shield b. John Cena/HELL NO – Spear to Cena

Remember to follow me on Twitter @Kbreviews and pick up my new book on the History of the WWE Championship from Amazon for just $5 at:

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C3RZIR8

9 comments

  1. Jay H says:

    Good RAW with some good Matches. 6-Man was good and The Shield continues to look awesome. Also too enjoyed the Del Rio/Cesaro,Dolph/Kofi,Orton/Rhodes,and even the Triple Threat was some harmless fun.

    It was nice to see some different stuff like the Tug Of War as well.

    [Reply]

  2. chris says:

    Six man tag MOTY candidate?

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Can’t go that far, no. It’s good though.

    [Reply]

  3. Mystery Man says:

    The Shield were facing a one-legged John Cena and needed to cheat to win. I don’t think it was that big of a moment.

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    It’s a pin over John Cena. It’s big.

    How did they cheat exactly?

    [Reply]

    Mystery Man Reply:

    Fair enough, I guess anytime you put Cena’s shoulders to the mat it is a big deal.

    They cheated by coming into the ring without a tag, which led to the finish.

    [Reply]

  4. OptiLulz says:

    Hey KB, do you think, what with the line from JBL about how the only way to stop The Shield is if they start to fight each other, that they’re setting up either Reigns/Ambrose for a title run later on this year?

    I’d love for it to be Rollins but it seems that they’re going with the power of Reigns or cunning of Ambrose at the moment.

    [Reply]

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Nah not yet. It’s too early for them to split.

    [Reply]

  5. Jordan says:

    Good show. The Shield continues to be great but the only problem is it’s hitting that point of where do they take them now? With them destroying Taker and pinning Cena, who else is there? I imagine they are going to give them the tag belts which is nice, but there aren’t many great feuds waiting there. Will be interesting to see what direction creative takes them.

    [Reply]

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