Monday Night Raw – March 18, 2013: Thank Goodness I Take Notes Or I Wouldn’t Remember This Show
Date: March 18, 2013
Location: CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler
We’re another week closer to Wrestlemania and the main story tonight is that HHH is going to answer Brock Lesnar’s challenge for Wrestlemania and we’ll likely hear the stipulations that Lesnar has picked for the match. We’ll also likely get some changes to the six man tag that was set up on Smackdown due to Mark Henry attacking Ryback on Friday. Let’s get to it.
We open with the usual recap of last week’s events.
Here’s Cena in a bright yellow shirt that makes him look like a bowl of corn. The fans are mixed on booing and cheering of course so Cena says that they have 20 days to pick a side. He has a message for Rock tonight though: his time is up and Cena’s time is now. Since the beginning of this year Cena has been on a roll and he isn’t going to let himself be overconfident going into Wrestlemania. Cena is interrupted by…..the Primetime Players.
Titus however is in coveralls and a big afro wig, calling himself Rufus “Pancake” Patterson and claiming to be Titus’ uncle. Cena says that Pittsburgh has some great doctors that can fix Titus’ multiple personalities. The Players do the Millions of Dollars dance with “Rufus” hurting his back because his gout is flaring up. Cena says he might see them at Wrestlemania but Titus says the fans don’t want to see him at Wrestlemania. Apparently Rufus is Darren’s uncle, not Titus’. He says that Darren should be on the Cocoa Pebbles box and is going to beat Cena up to prove it. Cena says ok and the match is on.
Darren Young vs. John Cena
Cena bulldogs Young down and tries the STF but Darren bails to the floor as we take a break. Back with Cena hitting his shoulder blocks and the ProtoBomb to set up the Shuffle and the AA for the pin at 4:16, about 3:30 of which was spent in a commercial.
Undertaker is here tonight.
We recap Mark Henry allowing Ryback to be attacked by Shield and then laying him out with World’s Strongest Slams.
Ryback vs. David Otunga
Otunga is powered into the corner to start and there’s a spinning powerslam for good measure. A spinebuster puts Otunga down and there’s the Meat Hook. Otunga is Shell Shocked for the pin at 1:37.
Post match Ryback says Orton, Sheamus and himself will be taking out the Shield at Wrestlemania. Here’s Mark Henry though, only to have Teddy Long and Vickie Guerrero to stop him. Vickie takes Ryback out of the six man and puts him in a match against Henry at Wrestlemania instead. Ryback responds by picking Otunga up for the Shell Shock and saying this is Henry. Apparently the match is accepted.
Fandango debuts tonight. I’m sure.
Fandango vs. Great Khali
Fandango has a big arch of banners to walk through now and actually makes it to the ring. He also has an outline of his silhouette make of what looks like birthday candles. Ok he had a cool entrance. This is a result of Khali not being able to pronounce Fandango’s name on Smackdown. Before the match, Fandango calls Khali Stretch and says Khali is to stupid to pronounce Fandango correctly. Instead Natalya will get to try, after Fandango hits on her a bit. Natalya seems impressed by the dancer but pronounces the name as “Fan-DANG-Go-get-him-Khali”. Fandango runs away and there’ still no match.
R-Truth vs. Damien Sandow
Truth is returning from an injury here. Sandow quotes Thoreau who once said he wanted truth. Apparently the R here stands for repugnant. Truth says “Your beard is weird, and you talk a lot. I got four sweet words for you: you gonna get got.” Apparently Sandow is a Kentucky Colonel (a title given to people who do good work for Kentucky). Ok then. Truth gets two off a sunset flip but Sandow stomps Truth down and tells us we’re welcome.
Off to a chinlock by Damien as Cole and Lawler get into a bizarre political tangent after saying Sandow’s family advises President Obama. Sandow hits the Wind-Up Elbow as Cole says Latin has been en vogue this week because of a new Pope. Truth comes back with a flying headscissors and a kick to the chin for two. Lawler actually makes a Manti Te’o joke because WWE’s writers are that far behind the times. Truth hits his ax kick and Sandow walks out for the countout at 3:41.
Rating: D. The match itself was nothing of note but I’m hardly a fan of R-Truth. The interesting part of this match though was the commentary, which was BIZARRE. We had jokes that were topical six weeks ago, references to Latin being en vogue, and discussion of honorary titles in Kentucky. It didn’t help the match though.
We recap Punk stealing Undertaker’s urn last week during the tribute to Paul Bearer.
Here’s Undertaker to say that Punk has one chance to save his soul and that’s if he gives the urn back right now. Punk pops up on screen and pretends to be the urn talking in Bearer’s voice. Punk says Bearer’s loss was a professional and personal one as well. Apparently Bearer’s spirit is in the urn. Punk implies he’ll get Undertaker disqualified or counted out to break the Streak.
Punk is juggling the urn as he talks about Undertaker answering to a higher power, but Punk doesn’t do so because he IS the higher power. He talks about being able to break the Streak because he can handle the pressure. Punk looks at the urn and says he’s the one that ends the Streak. He’s the one in 21 and he drops the urn. No disrespect intended by Punk of course. This felt like it ended abruptly.
HELL NO vs. Primo/Epico
Non-title as always. Kane pounds on Epico to start and he’s ticked off here. Off to Bryan with Epico on the floor but Primo jumps Daniel to take over. A SWEET spinning sunset flip off the top takes Bryan down but he rolls through and kicks Primo in the face for two. Off to Epico who is caught in an armbar almost immediately. Primo distracts Bryan to let Epico take over again. The cousins take turns on Bryan in the corner with Epico getting two off a slingshot hilo.
Off to a bow and arrow hold by Epico before Primo takes over with a shot to Bryan’s back and a chinlock. Bryan sends Primo down to the match by rolling through and it’s off to Kane to clean house. A side slam puts Primo down and there’s the top rope clothesline to put Primo down. Kane loads up the chokeslam but here’s AJ to skip around the ring. Primo tries a rollup but can only get two. Bryan dropkicks Primo and the chokeslam ends Epico at 6:08.
Rating: D+. This just kept going and going and felt like it would never end. I get where they’re going with AJ being out there but it would help if she actually, you know, did something here instead of just delaying this match even further. Nothing to see here for the most part and the match didn’t do anything for anyone.
Jericho is in the back talking about how he’s going to win the title tonight when Fandango comes up to say his name over and over again. Jericho pronounces it as Fandumbo and Fanjango and a few other things like Fan-Wango-Tango and Fan-B-I-N-G-O-and Bingo was his name-o-O. Fandango says Jericho will learn to pronounce the name properly. Jericho says he wants his movie tickets before Fandango leaves.
We hear about Alicia Fox and Natalya going to Rwanda on a charity/goodwill trip regarding malaria nets.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Cody Rhodes
Del Rio has a remixed entrance theme now. We get a clip of Del Rio’s left knee being hit by Swagger on Main Event. That would of course explain why his right knee is bandaged. A quick rollup gets two for Del Rio but Cody takes him down into a headscissors on the mat. Back up and Del Rio misses a charge into the post, messing up his shoulder. By WWE logic, I guess that means he’ll be holding his nose now. Del Rio comes back with a snapmare and a kick to Cody’s leg to send him to the floor as we take a break.
Back with Cody stomping away in the corner but getting slammed down a few seconds later. Del Rio tries his middle rope moonsault but tweaks the knee on the way down. Cody works on the left leg now to make it a matched set before going for a superplex, only to have the champion counter into a front suplex off the top for two. Del Rio fires off some clotheslines and the low superkick for two. Cody pops up and hits a moonsault press for two as a USA chant breaks out. Del Rio fires off some shots the back and gets two off a backstabber. The cross armbreaker ends this at 12:39.
Rating: C. The match was a nice little affair with Cody getting to show off the insane potential he had about a year and a half ago before being sent down into tag team limbo for the last eighteen months. The match was nothing great but it was good enough to do what it was supposed to: make Del Rio look good.
Post match here’s Jack Swagger to beat on Del Rio but Alberto sends him into the barricade. Alberto goes after Colter but Swagger comes back and sends Del Rio into the steps and over the announce table. Swagger beats up Ricardo and puts him in the Patriot Lock for good measure. Ricardo screams a lot so maybe his ankle was broken.
Booker T is announced for the Hall of Fame.
Randy Orton/Sheamus vs. 3MB
Apparently Ricardo does have a broken ankle. It’s McIntyre and Slater here with Drew pounding away on Sheamus to start before it’s quickly off to Orton for some right hands. There are the ten forearms to the chest by Sheamus for two but a Mahal distraction lets Drew clothesline Sheamus down to take over. Sheamus comes back a few seconds later with an ax handle before it’s back to Orton. There are the powerslam and the Elevated DDT to Slater. A Brogue Kick puts McIntyre down and it’s the RKO to Slater for the pin at 3:43.
Rating: D+. Just a squash here which did what it was supposed to do: give Sheamus and Orton a reason to be out there for the post match invasion by Shield. Seriously, that’s it. That’s why this match is happening. There’s nothing else to say about it but I’m going to keep typing to fill in more space in this area as Shield is surrounding the ring.
Shield comes out but so does Big Show to even the odds, sending the justice guys running away. Big Show points at the sign and I believe we’ve got a six man tag.
We get a trailer for G.I. Joe II.
Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler
During the entrances we see Ziggler and Langston beating up HELL NO on Smackdown. Kofi starts with a quick armbar and some nice armdrags into another armbar. Back up and Kofi does his double leapfrogs into the back elbow for two. Dolph dropkicks Kingston down for two before hooking his headstand chinlock.
Kingston escapes and fires off some dropkicks of his own before hitting a spinning springboard frog splash for two. Trouble in Paradise is caught in a reverse slam but Kingston escapes and goes to the apron. Kingston runs the apron and dives at Dolph but gets knocked out of the air by Langston. Back in the ring the Zig Zag ends Kofi at 4:38.
Rating: C-. This was the short version of Dolph vs. Kofi who can do this match in their sleep by this point. Again, this was there to set up the post match stuff which is a rather old school mentality to booking. It doesn’t mean it’s terrible, but it’s always tedious to me to sit through a match just to get to the stuff that actually matters.
Post match here’s HELL NO to challenge Langston and Ziggler for a match at Wrestlemania. AJ accepts for her guys if the titles are on the line. Bryan is cool with that and it’s YES chant time.
We recap the Punk/Taker stuff from earlier.
Long video on Rock vs. Cena II which is about redemption vs. greatness again.
Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs. Wade Barrett vs. Chris Jericho
Barrett is challenging here and goes after Jericho to start. Make that Miz actually but Jericho jumps Barrett and gets two off a clothesline. Miz is knocked to the floor and is quickly followed by Barrett, allowing the Canadian to dive on both of them. The fans chant for Jericho as he hits a dropkick for two on Wade back inside.
Miz pulls Jericho to the floor and gets two off a sunset flip on Barrett. The running corner clothesline staggers Wade again but he comes back by putting Miz on the top rope and hitting a knee to the ribs. The champion loads up a superplex but Jericho comes in to make it a Tower of Doom to put all three guys down as we take a break. Back with Barrett hitting a knee to Jericho’s ribs for two as Miz is down on the floor.
The champion puts on a chinlock for a few seconds before Jericho fights up and gets two off a top rope cross body. Miz breaks up the Lionsault though and hits his top rope ax handle to stagger Wade but he walks into the Winds of Change for two. Wasteland is escaped and Miz takes out Barrett’s leg. There’s the Figure Four but Jericho hits the Lionsault on Miz for a close two.
Barrett is put in the Walls but Miz comes back in, only to not be able to hook the Finale. Both guys backdrops Barrett to the floor and Jericho gets a VERY close two on Miz with a rollup. The Codebreaker puts Miz down but Chris can’t cover. Instead Barrett comes in and shoves Jericho out before covering Miz for two more. Jericho throws Barrett into the barricade and gets two on Miz. A quick DDT gets another near fall for Miz as does a big boot after Miz throws a charging Barrett back to the floor. Jericho grabs a fast rollup for two but jumps into the Finale, only to have Wade roll up Miz for the pin to retain at 12:20.
Rating: B-. This started slow but the stuff after the commercial was WAY better with a bunch of close near falls and false finishes. It doesn’t do anything for the title because we might get a quick match at Mania for it but then after that it sinks back into the nothingness that it’s been in for years.
We look at the premiere party for The Call.
Since this show isn’t long enough already, here are Touts from the fans about what fans think the stipulations for Lesnar vs. HHH should be.
Here’s HHH to sign the contract with Lesnar. Before anything happens, here’s Heyman with security around him. HHH is surprised Lesnar isn’t here, but Heyman loves the idea of backing HHH into a corner. HHH can either sign the contract stips unknown or disappoint all the fans. Heyman thinks this frustrates HHH so HHH makes fun of Heyman’s security. Lesnar has already signed the contract and HHH is ready to sign, but Heyman says not so fast.
First we need to see Vince getting attacked by Lesnar a few weeks back. Heyman then suggests HHH is blindfolded, but that’s not good enough. Then he and Lesnar thought of HHH having his hands and ankles shackled, but that would give HHH too many excuses. Apparently Heyman got to pick the stipulations and suggested that the winner gets Stephanie. Oh wait how about the loser gets Stephanie?
That does it and HHH destroys him but has to beat up security as well. HHH puts Heyman on the table and rips his shirt open to slap his chest while Heyman screams for Brock. HHH slaps Heyman a few more times and chokes him until HHH signs the contract. Heyman is sent to the floor and has a chair thrown at him as HHH says go get the monster.
Cue Lesnar with a chair. Shouldn’t he have been here like three minutes ago when Heyman was getting destroyed? HHH pulls a sledgehammer out from under the table so Heyman holds Lesnar back, saying Brock won this round. The stipulation is…..no holds barred. Well that’s kind of a letdown. Oh wait it’s no holds barred with HHH’s career on the line. That’s still a letdown.
Overall Rating: C+. This show didn’t fall off a cliff like last week’s did, but that’s because it never climbed any mountain in the first place. While the ending segment was solid, this show was just mediocre for the most part and I honestly barely remember most of it. That’s the problem for most of this Wrestlemania build: it’s just kind of there. The show will be good I’m sure, but the show feels like a throwaway edition and nothing more. Nothing to see here although the triple threat was pretty good.
John Cena b. Darren Young – Attitude Adjustment
Ryback b. David Otunga – Shell Shock
R-Truth b. Damien Sandow via countout
HELL NO b. Primo/Epico – Chokeslam to Epico
Alberto Del Rio b. Cody Rhodes – Cross Armbreaker
Dolph Ziggler b. Kofi Kingston – Zig Zag
Wade Barrett b. The Miz and Chris Jericho – Rollup to Miz
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