RAW Recap: Monday 4/15/13

michael dworkis feels kinda RAW …

 

It is time again to get RAW. I hope IRS shows up. It is April 15th after all.

Fandango is hot, Curt Hawkins is not, and Ziggler has Ziggled his way to his second reign as World Heavyweight Champion. What else? CM Punk is back. Ryback is hungry, and no one will ever like 3MB.

We begin Raw with hype for Punk and Ryback. This will be fun. We begin with our first match of the night, a 2-on-1 Handicap match.

Randy Orton & Sheamus beat The Big Show

All three are former champions, but currently in a storyline going around in circles. Their match at WrestleMania served to boost The Shield and continue Big Show whining about not being respected. We heard it over and over, and something has to change. It was a good match too, there is never any doubt they will put on a good match, but I feel that the lackluster storyline for these three casts a cloud of disinterest.

3MB vs. The Shield does not happen
Apparently on SmackDown!, 3MB prepared to ambush Triple H, but then they get ambushed by The Shield. 3MB calls out the trio. Instead Brock Lesnar comes out and destroys the band no one will ever like. Heyman rushes out and calms the beast. He then cuts another genius promo, respecting Triple H and even congratulating him on knocking out Lesnar. He then throws down the challenge for Extreme Rules in an “Old School Cage Match.” Great promo by Heyman. Lesnar would be lost without the magician of the mic.

 

Kofi Kingston defeats Antonio Cesaro to become the new United States Champion
These guys should have competed at WrestleMania. Instead, Cesaro was nowhere to be found and Kofi was doing commentary on the pre-show. At least Cesaro brings more respect to the United States Championship that say, Santino. Cesaro and Kingston work very well together, I would like to see more from these two. Truthfully, I long for the days where three or four mid-carders would challenge for the title week after week, and then culminate in a triple-threat or fatal-four way title match. That was very popular in WCW and even in the early 2000’s when WWE bought WCW and its championships. During the match Kofi leaps off the top, and Cesaro catches him, turning into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. A series of near-finishers and pinfall attempts see Kofi blasting Cesaro with the Trouble in Paradise for the pinall victory. This match should have been at Mania. Hopefully a rematch is in order for these two, I want to see them go again.

For some reason Josh Matthews got in the ring to talk to Kofi, and then we are reminded that Kofi is not the best on the mic. He is not bad, just needs some polishing.

 

Promo for the new Mick Foley DVD. I would not hesitate to watch that. Any footage featuring Mick Foley is worth watching.

Recap of Dolph Ziggler cashing in and winning the World Championship. Crowd was incredible Still kicking myself for not going back-to-back to the Meadowlands. Ziggler is an incredible worker, and props to Alberto del Rio for being a great champion. Even though their match lasted less than five minutes, it felt like the main event. I still get goosebumps just watching Ziggler win and the New Jersey crowd going crazy for the win. Just shows, just like Edge, CM Punk, and even “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, you can be a baby-face or a heel, but earning a reaction like that shows the ultimate respect and appreciation.

Dolph Ziggler comes down to the ring. He earns big cheers, but of course he cuts a fantastic heel promo to earn the boos once again. Bragging about being the best, and being better than everyone. Sounds standard, but he makes it sound like it is gospel. However, his gloating gets too much for the former champion, and Alberto del Rio interrupts. He wants his rematch tonight, and thanks to Vickie Guerrero, he gets it.

Albero del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler for the World Championship… Ends before it begins.
Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter hit the ring, saying Ziggler does not deserve to be champ, and it should be Swagger who gets the first title shot. Swagger interrupts and beats up the challenger. I hope this sets up a triple threat for the Extreme Rules PPV. Ziggler vs. Swagger vs. Del Rio? Yes please.

Team Hell No crushes The Prime Time Players
I would have liked to see Rufus “Pancake” Patterson, but I’ll take “The Big Deal” Titus O’Neal. Darren Young needs to go. Get Titus a new partner. It seems like the one-time title contenders are bona-fide jobbers, as Bryan and Kane make short work of them. During the match we get a huge announcement…

 

Next week on WWE Monday Night Raw: The Shield will face Daniel Bryan, Kane, and… THE UNDERTAKER. Yeah.

Ryback promo… Backstage
Ryback talks a lot about how he wound up at the bottom after losing to Henry and if John Cena was supposed to be his friend, how come every time he was about to win the title, something happened and Cena would not have his back. Ryback shows clips of him saving Cena from The Shield, and clips of Ryback getting triple powerbombed over and over. Maybe Cena was busy designing his new shirt or being full of himself as usual.

I am not really going on anymore. It is obvious the reason this promo was cut backstage is because Ryback must be reading off a prompter. Yes, I said it. Ryback does not have the mic skills to do that live. This was a long and thorough promo, concluding with the phrase “Ryback Rules.” He is another person who could certainly be a “Paul Heyman Guy.”

2013 might be the year of the Ryback, if he does not become another “beat the big man” fodder for Cena.

Wade Barrett vs. R-Truth
Barrett, now a three-time Intercontinental Champion thanks to defeating The Miz for the title just one day after losing it at WrestleMania. Now he faces Truth one-on-one, non-title match. Maybe because next week WWE will broadcast from Europe. He will likely be pushed over big there. Barrett is a big guy who should be pushed more. The IC title is good for him right now, but I hope later in 2013 we get to see him go for either the WWE or World Titles. A slow match and R-Truth gets the upset win by countering the pump-handle slam. Very shocking, and again I scratch my head as to why Barrett is once again jobbing.

 

Team Rhodes Scholars defeat Khali and Santino
We get further head-scratching as The Great Khali comes down to the ring with Hornswoggle and Natalya. Maybe they keep him around to give Natalya more airtime. Yeah, that has to be it. It gets worse, as Santino comes marching down to the ring. At one time I was a big fan of Santino but this gimmick has jumped the shark, sometime after the horse was beaten. He is a goof. Nothing but a goof.

Calling South Carolina a “den of ignorance” Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes bring some class to this travesty which earns my Why Is This A Match” award for this week. I would like to thank the Duke of Decency for hitting Santino with the Elbow of Disdain, only to hear him say “You’re Welcome.” Santino suffers from five-moves-of-doom syndrome. Punch, mid-ring split, hip-toss, diving headbutt and hits the Cobra Strike on Sandow. Rhodes almost eats one, but he slides outside for Hornswoggle to hit him with his own Cobra, then Khali gets involved, and thank the almighty Sandow ends this crap with a rollup pinfall win. I only recap this match because I want to give some dignity to Team Rhodes Scholars. They deserve it.

Fandango Time
Lawler shows clips of various national occurrences of Fandango-ing. Newscasts, youtube, street-cameras, etc… Here comes the problem where WWE is going to push and push Fandangoing until people are sick of it. Maybe it was a bad camera angle, but the live crowd seemed dead. Very dead. He teases the crowd to go Fandango-ing, but wastes about 10 minutes talking with Lawler, getting the crowd to say his name, and then tells people to Fan-Dan-Go themselves. During that time I was talking with a friend on Facebook, and I felt my ears ring in pain, my nose leak brain fluid, suffer through a bursting appendix, and an infected pancreas. I may be dying but this gimmick will die first. What has WWE done. They had something great. All week places everywhere were mimicking and making Fandango the best modern/social media craze… Then WWE and Johnny Curtis murder it by fire with a terrible, horrible in-ring promo.

 

John Cena says he wants Ryback in the ring. Yawn.

Jack Swagger defeats World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler (non-title bout)
Backstage, Maddox continues to be a tool while Vickie does not know what to do about tonight. Teddy Long enters and convinces her to let Swagger have his match with Ziggler. She asks if Booker T (SmackDown GM) knows about that, and Long says he does not have to. Really pushing some tension between Booker and Long. I love both entrance themes for Swagger and Ziggler. I expected an early end due to Del Rio, but I have never been happier to be wrong. Ziggles and Swaggy put on a great match with some big hits. Swaggs blasted Ziggler into next week with a huge boot. Swagger and Ziggler put on a great match, Swagger earning the clean pinfall win after dropping Ziggler over the ropes and then rolling him up for three count. This was a great back-and-forth match.

Post match Del Rio shows up and locks Swagger in the cross-armbreaker. I am calling it, triple-threat at Extreme Rules.

They show tweets from The Rock regarding his injury. Cole says these injuries are result from the greatest match ever. LIAR.

Backstage and interview with Sheamus does not happen because Mark Henry spears him through the set. This week on SmackDown… Orton & Sheamus vs. Henry & Show.

CM Punk comes to the ring and gets humble, saying he wanted more after being the longest reigning WWE Champion, he wanted to go one-on-one with the Undertaker and win. Then Punk stands there hearing the crowd chant his name, hugs Heyman, then leaves the ring. Interesting. Punk may have achieved legend status with WWE, perhaps matches with some big names are ahead. Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, or someone else perhaps?

 

Backstage, Booker is ticked that Teddy went behind his back. Booker says that Swagger might be the #1 contender, but Del Rio still gets a rematch. Dolph Ziggler will defend the title in a triple threat match at Extreme Rules. Wow. Called that. Not understanding this Booker T/Teddy Long feud. Seems strange.

The Bellas beat Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn is a great WWE Diva. She has some curves, and not just the ones you are thinking of, but she is not the skinny bimbo Kelly Kelly who WWE pushing forever. Sure, I might be crazy, but I am glad Kaitlyn is the champ. She is not a Barbie doll, but looks like an actual human. She still loses to the twin hotbodies in a snoozer.

Oh look, John Cena comes to the ring. He calls out Ryback, and the crowd erupts as Ryback makes his way down. Wow, this is turning fast into a borefest. Cena is yapping while Ryback is sweating. We get the point, build them up, Cena cuts the promo and Ryback looks like a monster. Been there done that. It is like a verbal shout-fest between Leonardo and Raphael. Ryback leaves the ring to a chorus of boos once Cena finishes rambling.

If you were watching you saw a very short cut backstage to The Shield warming up, then later Cole, JBL, and Lawler whispering “did you see that?” to each other… Perhaps Vince backstage talking to the broadcast team to make it sound like that was planned.

The Shield does come out to the ring, and surround Cena as Ryback stands idly by watching from the ramp. After watching Cena get pummeled, Ryback turns his back and leaves.

 

Well, this was a strange RAW. I think no future broadcast of Monday Night Raw can live up to the April 8th edition of Monday Night Raw from the IZOD Center in New Jersey.

Tonight served its purpose, setting up the matches for Extreme Rules. Most of which feel very predictable. A lot of fluff tonight, a very long-winded RAW.