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TUCKER ON RAW 4/1: DVR Guide & Instant Reaction to a show where Taker vowed to disembowel Punk and Rock talked prez

Apr 1, 2013 - 11:10:56 PM
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Instant Reaction - WWE Raw 4/1
By Benjamin Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist


DVR Guide - What to Watch Later

- Cena promo (Q1)
- Ziggler vs. Bryan & post-match (Q3-Q4)
- Lesnar-Triple H confrontation (Q4-Q5)

Overall Score - 5.5

The Big Bossman dragged Big Show's father's coffin around a graveyard during his funeral. Randy Orton repeated to Rey Mysterio time and time again that his friend Eddie Guerrero was in hell. And, C.M. Punk closed Raw tonight by massaging himself with the presumed ashes of Paul Bearer. In all three of these instances, I can guarantee you that the families signed off on WWE being able to use the memories of the deceased to further their storylines. And, while the two former events have been looked on in a more negative light than C.M. Punk's feud with the Undertaker, I am putting my foot down in saying that they crossed the line tonight just as much as they have in the past, if not more. This is even worse than Triple H having sex with "Katie Vick" - at least it was obvious that "Katie" was just a mannequin. In tonight's scenario, WWE wanted viewers to truly believe that Punk doused himself and The Undertaker with the ashes of William Moody, and that's about as distasteful as WWE has ever been. I respect the opinion of those who disagree, but no matter what, tonight's final segment left a bitter taste in my mouth.

By the way, someone tell WWE to look up the definition of "eviscerate." It means to disembowel, not whatever they think it means.

In contrast, the rest of the show gave me a big old bite of disappointment. What Raw needed tonight was a high-impact show that made sure that every feud going into WrestleMania was coming in on a high note. That didn't happen tonight. Instead, WWE continued basic hype for every match on the card, and nothing, not even the verbal confrontations, really seemed to get me more excited for WrestleMania. Almost every feud still feels like it needs to be kicked up one notch, and that opportunity really doesn't exist anymore. Many of tonight's segments relied on a heel run-in or brawl-after-a-match that led to them standing strong over their opponents for Sunday. This happened for Fandango-Jericho, Ziggler/Big E.-Hell No, and Swagger-Del Rio. In all three instances they were well done, particularly in the middle case, which made Big E. look like an absolute monster, but it's too much to do it so many times in one show.

And, then there's the repetition. Orton and Sheamus had a tag team match where they beat 3MB. Again. And their partner was Big Show. Again. This match was all but forgotten by the end of the night, as was their Mania match against The Shield, partially because Shield's post-match promo was so incredibly generic and weak. Then, Fandango's attack on Chris Jericho was simply repeating previous encounters they've had with each other, and the Ryback-Henry segment was all right, but didn't add much new to the table either. Their feud in particular should feel much more intense than it does, and that's partially due to the repetitive hype.

The Triple H-Lesnar segment was also more of the same, but Paul Heyman did manage to change it up enough to make it feel special. This match in particular seems to have been hurt by how long ago it was initially set up - had the feud started two or three weeks later, it would have been hitting a fever pitch right about now.

As far as verbal portions of the show are concerned, either the Triple H-Lesnar or Cena segment was the best. I was downright dumfounded to see the WWE Title story get essentially lost in the shuffle tonight, and both Cena and Rock didn't seem to be firing on all cylinders as far as content is concerned. However, I will concede that Cena sounded very passionate in his speech, and it did succeed in making me more interested for how his character develops after WrestleMania. Rock was all over the place tonight, and it was extremely odd that his final hard sell for WrestleMania was talking about becoming president. Seriously? A match two years in the making and you make Washington, D.C. jokes? The only in-ring highlight was Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler; they had a pretty good match that for all intents and purposes won't be remembered next week.

As you may be able to tell by my analysis above, the main issue with tonight is that there was almost nothing that got me more excited for WrestleMania. So much of Raw felt like basic storytelling, and while there was only a certain portion that was actually bad (that Divas tag match was so terrible), most of it felt like a "been there, done that" situation that was brought about mainly by the long turnaround time between Elimination Chamber and Mania. And, the few new items that were brought to the table didn't end up doing much to sell the show anyways. Bottom line, tonight's Raw did not provide the needed shot in the arm that the final Raw before Mania needed.

Oh, one more thing - Brodus Clay and Tensai are on the WrestleMania card, but the Intercontinental Title match is bumped to the pre-show?!

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


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