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TUCKER ON RAW: DVR Guide & Instant Reaction - "If you have 30 minutes of your life available, Cena vs. Punk is must-watch"

Feb 25, 2013 - 10:57:17 PM
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Tucker's Instant Reaction - WWE Raw 2/25
By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist


DVR Guide - What to Watch

- McMahon-Heyman-Lesnar-Triple H opening segment (Q1)
- Miz TV with Swagger/Colter-Del Rio (Q5)
- John Cena vs. C.M. Punk (Q12/Over-run)

Overall Score - 8.5

There are only a few times a year that I watch a wrestling match that's so good it gives me literal chills down my spine. For those who doubt the wrestling abilities of C.M. Punk or even John Cena, you need to watch this match. Punk vs. Cena was 26 minutes of incredible action. They managed to make even the simplest of moves look devastating, with each nearfall driving the tired Dallas crowd crazy. I'll go as far as to say that this was the single greatest match Raw's had since Shawn Michaels and John Cena wrestled for over 45 minutes in England. Sure, Cena won in typical superhero fashion, but this match tonight was nothing short of brilliant, something that was practically main event of WrestleMania quality. If you have 30 minutes of your life available, this match is a must-watch. Brilliant. And as far as Undertaker is concerned, he didn't need to come back tonight. There's plenty of time to re-introduce him before Mania, and it's good to see that WWE is taking their time with it.

Now, on a show with the best match in the last six years of Raw, you have to wonder if the rest of the show held up. Despite some misses, WWE successfully continued their hype for WrestleMania, delivered some quality matches, and had one hot opening segment. Mind you, the opening to Raw wasn't perfect. Heyman's promo was good, but his fight with Vince was oddly disjointed. However, the confrontation between Triple H and Brock Lesnar was a great way to kick start their feud again leading to WrestleMania. I'm not a fan of someone needing 18 stitches in the head, but it's undeniable that the blood in the opening only enhanced the feud between Lesnar and Hunter. This segment, along with Cena vs. Punk, made the show awesome. In between was two hours of a solid show, but nothing came close to touching the greatness that was the first and final segments of Raw.

Miz TV is something else that, while not on the same level as the above, should also be looked at. The Swagger/Colter pairing is already suffering from being a tad one-dimensional, but Alberto Del Rio is showing some great fire as a face, and he's rapidly growing more and more comfortable in the role. He's always going to have some issues with his promos in dealing with certain English phrases, and while that's certainly a detriment, he's still doing a great job of cutting passionate promos to combat Colter and Swagger.

The rest of Raw wasn't quite as must-watch as the main three segments, but it didn't need to. The wrestling ranged from acceptable to good, with Ziggler (while seemingly being forgotten about by the end of the show) bumping well for Ryback, and various other promos setting up new feuds leading into Mania. They're not all successful - Sheamus burying the one WWE Studios movie that doesn't look terrible comes to mind - but at the same time they are doing a better job than usual of creating organic storylines.

Jack Swagger continues to look good in the ring, The Shield cut a good promo, and Mark Henry did what he does. The Prime Time Players vs. Kane and Bryan tag match was unnecessary, but at least the segment that led up to it was fun. And, by that, I mean that Team Brickie is great. Brad Maddox can be a great heel addition to the used up heel manager Vickie storyline, and having him surpass her and become GM over her would be a fun story to tell as well.

Overall, Raw was a stacked show that delivered on most fronts. The Road to WrestleMania is now in full effect, and we witnessed one heck of a match. It's segments like that remind me why I'm a fan.

Any questions or comments? Feel free to message me on Twitter @BTuckertorch .


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