TV Recap: The Last Monday Night Raw Before Wrestlemania

We are on the Road to WrestleMania.

We begin with a preview of the entrance The Undertaker will be doing at WrestleMania, because it is takes nearly the first hour of Raw to get to the ring. I’m just kidding. Promo cuts to the build of his match with Brock Lesnar. The deadman speaks, but is interrupted by Paul Heyman and Lesnar with yet another modified t-shirt about ending the streak. Whoopie. Taker and Heyman cut great promos, and we are happy Lesnar does not open his mouth much. The segment concludes with a brawl, and Brock F-5s the Undertaker.

We have a few problems with this whole segment. One, the promo nears Ultimate Warrior-crazy level, and secondly, he needs to learn math. The Undertaker has won 21 WrestleMania matches, but no, he has not defeated 21 men to do it.
1) Defeated Kane twice (14 & 20)
2) Defeated Triple H three times (17, 27, 28)
3) Defeated Shawn Michaels twice (25 & 26)

So, mathematically, he defeated 18 people, which should be 17, but one year was a handicap match. Whatever. I’m nitpicking, because I can. They try to make Brock look like a credible threat, but I just do not feel it.

Alberto del Rio and Big E. Langston put on a great match. I mean, fantastic. They should just have a match at WrestleMania for the Intercontinental Championship. I get they are in the Andre Memorial, but I really believe these two would have been better served with a one-on-one match. Del Rio won the match following an exchange of counters into the Cross Armbraker. Langston and Rio both looked strong, regardless of the outcome. They are both just that good.

Vickie Guerrero is on commentary while Summer Rae shrieks over and over and not in the good way. Vickie announces the Diva Battle Royal match is now a “one-fall” match. So yeah, over a dozen Divas in the ring, but the first one to get a pin wins the belt. Can this get more ridiculous? The good news is Natalya suplexes the hell out of Rae over and over, utterly demolishing her all match until she trips Natalya and pins her. Natalya has been buried beyond belief. I would make an Owen Hart joke right about now… But that would be in bad taste.

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon come out and cut what might have been the greatest promo I have ever seen. No pun intended, but the power couple were on their best game. They troll the live crowd, poking fun at the childish nature of the YES-movement, at the fact fans used to “Fandango” all the time but then dumped it. Steph started her own YES chant which the crowd got into, which she then made fun of the live crowd for being stupid sheep. This was genius. But it got better, they then cut to a video package, showing how Rob Van Dam, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, Goldberg, Scott Steiner, Mick Foley, Jeff Hardy, all were once main eventers, but are now gone. Triple H pretty much said they were all good, but not great. The promo served to show how Triple H beat them all and take notice how none of them are still around. Narrated by Steph. Batista comes out to interrupt, and Triple H just TEARS into him, saying what everyone is think about how ridiculous he always looks and can’t come up with anything original to say. In response, Batista fulfils the joke by saying Steph is more man than HHH. Randy Orton interrupts and kisses up to the Authority, which once again, Triple H just laces into him for being a complete tool. Triple H promises that not only will he end the Yes-Movement, but also put an end to ridiculous losers like Orton and Batista.

This might have been the best promo from Triple H since going corporate.

Roddy Piper presents Piper’s Pit tonight. Orton and Batista will face off tonight in a No DQ match. In the words of Good Ol’ J.R. “Business is about to pick up!”

Usos team with Los Matadores against Real Americans and Ryback/Curtis Axel. The crowd chanting for “We the People” causes Jerry Lawler to assume Triple H is right that the fans are just looking for the next trend or flavor of the week. More on this at the end of the column. Seriously though, the Real Americans are hugely over. Swagger and Cesaro are uber-talented, and quite honestly they deserve to be cheered. Mediocre match which saw a lot of flying, but ultimately Swagger gets pinned when the Matadores pulls a switch.

Fandango and Damien Sandow face off against The Rhodes Brothers. Once again, everyone is pretty much a participant in the Andre Memorial, so therefore, these matches have little impact or significance whatsoever, except for Sandow being a miserable mope as he is the one who is pinned by Goldust. There are a lot of worthless names in this battle royal.

Trying to rebrand Reigns, Rollins, and Ambrose? Promos listing them as The Hounds of Justice. Odd. They cut their promo about being out for their own vengeance and Kane and his old dogs are in the way of the rejuvenated justice-seekers. We go from one stable to the next, as The Wyatts do their live-intro as Bray Wyatt goes one-on-one with… R-Truth. I couldn’t even be creative about this match. R-Truth, really? The guy going up against John Cena in what is supposed to be an epic match is going against R-Truth. I don’t even know. Wyatt easily dispatches Truth, then Xavier Woods get mauled too. Lights go out and the Family do their creepy pose… except there is another man standing there with the sheep mask… Ohmygawd it’s John Cena with a sneak attack! Kinda cool.

AJ vs. Naomi. Yawn. They hype how AJ is the longest reigning Divas champion. Honestly, has the same feel as the fate of the Cruiserweight championship. Naomi wins after using her ass as a weapon.

John Cena cuts a solid promo for his match, talking about how it is about a legacy he wants to leave and how he may fear Bray Wyatt but it only makes him more dangerous.

The fans select via WWEapp for Roman Reigns to face Corporate Kane. Match was very sluggish, and ended in DQ when the New Age Outlaws rush in, as well as Ambrose and Rollins to brawl. Should have been given a better match, what, WWE never fixes their votes?

Roddy Piper does his Piper’s Pit segment, putting over the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal match. Miz, Sheamus, Titus O’Neal, and Dolph Ziggler interrupt as Piper keeps slurring his lines. Brawl breaks out and inevitably the Big Show cleans house and his hyped up by Piper as his picked winner. Can they push Big Show even more? Maybe he ought to wear the torn tunic worn by Andre from the Princess Bride.

The main event is a no-DQ match for most hideous tattoos. Triple H and Stephanie are out joining commentary for this nothingness. Batista and Orton beat each other with weapons until DANIEL BRYAN jumps Triple H and mauls the hell out of him! Batista spears Orton, then he eats Running Knee from Bryan, as the YES-Movement Master blasts The Game with a blitzkrieg in and out and everywhere around the ring. We conclude RAW with Daniel Bryan standing tall.

Very odd direction WWE is going in. Really, anything could happen and I think this is exactly what is intended. The main event could turn into a six-man match for all we know. WWE is trolling the fans by making fun of the face we are not consistently chanting for the “good guys” and how fans want a “flavor of the month” every other week. Where is Wade Barrett to point all this out? Triple H’s promo was brilliant because it brings the reality of the evolving crowd into the storyline. It is clear who is being pushed but as of late, WWE has been anything but predictable. Just when you think you know what is happening in Vinnie Mac-land… There will always be More Than Meets the Eye!

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