WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 3/11: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - WWE recognizes Bearer by incorporating him into Taker-Punk, Lesnar challenges Hunter, no Cena, more
Mar 11, 2013 - 11:15:59 PM
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WWE Raw TV Results
March 11, 2013 - Episode #1,032
Live from Indianapolis, Ind.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
This week's three-hour WWE Raw started with a wide shot of the arena. Justin Roberts then asked the crowd to stand to pay their respects to Paul Bearer. This led to a video package documenting Bearer's WWE career, especially as it relates to managing The Undertaker. Vince McMahon voiced-over that Bearer was probably the most-unique manager in the history of the business. The video closed with a soundbyte from The Undertaker in-character staring into the camera and saying, "Rest In Peace."
Back live in the arena, the crowd applauded before Taker's gong played and fog filled the entrance stage. Taker then slowly emerged on-stage to cheers before slowly walking to the ring through the blue fog of his entrance. Taker reached the ring steps and raised his arms in the air while staring at a now-visible urn positioned in the center of the ring. Taker then walked into the ring and stared down at the urn. Taker circled the urn before taking a knee and doing his trademark pose. Paul Bearer's image flashed on the screen as Taker remained kneeling next to the urn.
WWE went back to the Bearer image again, then Cult of Personality interrupted to big boos. Taker stood up in the ring selling annoyance as C.M. Punk walked out on-stage and Jerry Lawler called this the most disrespectful thing he's ever seen. The tone was transparently disingenuous from Lawler playing up a "real-life death incorporated into storyline." Also, "Paul Bearer" has died so many times on TV that the audience must think William Moody's Paul Bearer character simply died again by WWE going this route to incorporate Moody's death into the Mania storyline.
Punk told the crowd they misunderstand him because he's here to offer his apology to Taker...for his loss at WrestleMania, which got more boos. Taker said the tragedy of this is that Taker will always be perfect to Paul Bearer at 20-0, but in four weeks, he will be 20-1. Punk said the night after Mania, they won't be tributing Bearer, but tributing him. He said in 50 years, everyones's grandchildren will be asking where they were when Taker beat The Streak.
After finishing speaking, Punk stood on-stage with arms extended as Taker simply glared at him from inside the ring. That concluded the segment.
Backstage: Big Show was shown warming up for the first match up next.
[Commercial Break. A spot for Big Show guest-starring on "Psych" this week aired.]
During The Break: Kane's pyro shot off on-stage to bring out Kane to try to throw Punk off the stage, but Punk escaped. Michael Cole said that Kane's father, Paul Bearer, was disrespected by Punk tonight.
Backstage: Kane was shown rampaging the backstage area looking for Punk. 3MB wanted nothing to do with Kane, who tossed an interchangeable wrestler aside in another locker room. Bo Dallas asked for help as Kane left.
[Q2] In-ring: Big Show was introduced to the ring for the opening match. The Shield's music then played to bring out Seth Rollins for singles action against Big Show. Pretty big to give away a Shield member's first singles match with no advanced notice, so they either have a non-finish or DQ finish planned. Cole noted it's the first-ever singles match for a Shield member on Raw.
1 -- BIG SHOW vs. SETH ROLLINS (w/Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns)
Show quickly shoved Rollins clear through the ring ropes into Roman Reigns. Show then left the ring to attack Rollins and Reigns, but Ambrose blasted Show from behind. This drew a DQ less than a minute into the match.
Post-match, Big Show tried to fight the Shield members one-by-one before the fight moved into the ring. Show shoved Ambrose away, then wanted to chokeslam Rollins, but Reigns delivered his trademark surprise spear to down Show. The "swarm of hornets" then put the boots to Show. Shield wanted the triple-powerbomb, which the crowd reacted to when they teased it. Rollins and Ambrose helped lift Show onto Reigns's shoulders, then they delivered the big triple powerbomb, wow'ing the crowd. "This is justice!" Ambrose shouted. Lawler said he can't believe Big Show was laid out. Cole said they're unstoppable. WWE then went to a slow-mo replay of the triple-bomb to Show. Back live, the three Shield members knuckled up and stood tall over Show. Cole asked who can stop these guys.
WINNER: Show via DQ at 0:38.
GM Office: C.M. Punk interrupted Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox's pow-wow. Punk said he has nothing to do with Kane, so they need to put a lid on him. Vickie said whether Punk intended to or not, he has disrespected the memory of Paul Bearer. Vickie said he needs to ask Kane for mercy because Punk's in a No DQ match against Kane tonight. Punk protested, "No, I'm not!" Then, he stormed off.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler said Punk is getting what is coming to him by disrespecting Paul Bearer when they kicked off Raw.
In-ring: Daniel Bryan was introduced to the ring before WWE replayed events from Friday's Smackdown when Bryan "embarrassed" A.J. Lee after she got splashed by Ricardo Rodriguez. It all leads to Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler tonight on Raw.
Remembering Paul Bearer: WWE went to a clip from February 1991 to show how Paul Bearer was introduced by Brother Love to manage The Undertaker.
Back live, as Dolph Ziggler's music played in the background, Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera to request Touts remembering Bearer's career.
2 -- WWE tag champion DANIEL BRYAN vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/A.J. Lee and Big E. Langston)
Bryan went for an early surfboard stretch. Lawler then cracked a joke about wondering why A.J. didn't melt on Smackdown when she was doused with water. "Because she's a witch!" Lawler said, drawing cackles from Cole. Lawler then slipped in a thought that he wishes A.J. wore a white t-shirt. Cole let that slide as Bryan and Ziggler continued battling mid-ring.
[Q3] Bryan then launched Ziggler clear over the top rope to the floor. Bryan wanted to follow with a suicide dive, but Big E. hopped on the ring apron to stand in Bryan's way. Raw cut to break.
Back from break, Ziggler was "showing off" with a mid-ring reverse chinlock. Ziggler tried to follow with a dropkick, but Bryan intercepted and slingshot Ziggler face-first into the corner turnbuckle. Bryan then ran over Ziggler with a knock-down clothesline, but ran into a boot trying to charge Ziggler in the corner. Ziggler couldn't capitalize, though, and Bryan popped him in the head with a roundhouse kick. Bryan tried to follow with a top-rope move, but Ziggler crotched him. Ziggler tried to follow with a huracanrana, but Bryan slipped underneath and crotched him. Bryan then wanted a side belly-to-back suplex from the top rope, but Ziggler countered with a mid-air cross-body splash for a close nearfall.
After the top-rope spot, they reset with Ziggler tossing Bryan into the air, with Bryan landing across the top rope. Bryan then stumbled backward into Ziggler, who dropped him with the Zig-Zag. But, Bryan kicked out before three. Ziggler freaked out and tried punching away at Bryan, but Bryan countered with the No! Lock. But, A.J. distracted the ref, so Big E. put Ziggler's foot on the bottom rope. Ziggler then escaped the No! Lock again before nailing the Zig-Zag. This time, it was good for the win. Cole indignantly said Ziggler scored a big win thanks to help from A.J. and Big E. tonight.
Post-match, A.J. gave Big E. "The Look" to inflict further damage to Bryan. Big E. dropped the straps of his singlet before delivering his facebuster finisher to Bryan to further inflict damage to Bryan.
WINNER: Ziggler at 11:34. Definitely moving in the direction of a Tag Title bout at WrestleMania.
Announcers: WWE cut to Cole and Lawler for a transition segment, but Cole didn't seem to get the memo, as he continued to look down at the table. Lawler nudged him, then Cole fed to a video package on the Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar feud.
Video Package: WWE documented Hunter teasing retirement after Summerslam when he lost to Brock Lesnar and after Lesnar "broke his arm" twice. But, the only thing to retire was Hunter's hair, as he saw purpose again to avenge his father-in-law taken out by Lesnar. WWE included the post-Raw clip of Stephanie McMahon by McMahon's side as he was stretchered away to the hospital after Lesnar took out McMahon when McMahon tried to "fire" Paul Heyman.
Still to come: Brock Lesnar, along with Paul Heyman, addresses Triple H's WM29 challenge tonight.
[Q4] [Commercial Break]
In-ring: Back from break, Brodus Clay and Tensai were on their way to the ring dressed in matching white outfits and hats. Cole cackled about these two being so much fun. As Tensai removed his white jacket and pants to reveal a new black outfit, Justin Roberts introduced "Fandango." No sign of the former Johnny Curtis, so Tensai growled that Fandango needs to get out here now.
The dancer came out first and Lawler asked if she's doing the Harlem Shake. Curtis then came out and told Tensai that he mispronounced his name. The crowd booed as Tensai sold annoyance in the ring. Fandango then called Tensai a disgrace to the world of dance. He said that even these people who don't know anything about the arts would agree that Tensai and Clay are an abomination. Fandango vowed to come down to the ring when they get his name right. Justin Roberts tried to do it, but Curtis cut him off and told "Joshua" not to say it. He said he wants to hear it from the "beautiful, sensual lips" of Naomi. He said she's the only one with rhythm and talent. "Baby, you're better than all of this," he said. Tensai tried to interrupt Curtis, so Curtis said they all just missed out on a chance to watch a match with Fan...dang...oh. Curtis and his dancer then danced away to the back. "Dammit, Tensai!" Lawler screamed before doing his own version. Is this building to Lawler finally getting Curtis in the ring by pronouncing his name accurately?
Announcers: From a Fandango skit to Cole plugging ticket-buying... Cole fed to a "sneak-peek" of G.I. Joe 2 starring The Rock. Back live, Cole plugged the New Age Outlaws back on Raw to face Rhodes Scholars. It's next in the top-of-the-second-hour slot.
Remembering Paul Bearer: WM20 in 2004 when Bearer returned and brought back old-school Undertaker.
In-ring: Damien Sandow's music was playing back in the arena. Sandow asked for silence, then introduced the following interpretation presented by "taste and good form." Sandow and Cody Rhodes mocked the NAO's standard intro, with Sandow asking the crowd if their posterior needs to contact someone. Sandow said if you're not "down with that," they have two words...You're Welcome.
[Q5 -- second hour] The mockery set up a strong reaction for the New Age Outlaws to be introduced. Out came Road Dogg Jesse James and Billy Gunn dancing on the way to the ring. Once in the ring, Dogg called that "very clever, ladies." He then asked the crowd if they're ready. Dogg: "Lord have mercy, this one's for you, Percy" as he pointed to the ceiling. Dogg then introduced themselves before Gunn took the mic and finished off the intro.
3 -- NEW AGE OUTLAWS (BILLY GUNN & ROAD DOGG JESSE JAMES) vs. RHODES SCHOLARS (DAMIEN SANDOW & CODY RHODES)
Rhodes and Dogg started things off as Cole noted the mini-DX reunion last week during Old-School Raw. Cody nailed Dogg with the Disaster Kick, then 58 seconds into the match, Brock Lesnar's music suddenly played, popping the crowd. Lesnar and Paul Heyman marched to the ring as Cody Rhodes freaked out and left the ring. Gunn then tried to help out Dogg before Lesnar attacked Gunn, throwing out the match.
WINNERS: No Official Decision at 1:27.
After the bell sounded, Lesnar dropped Gunn with the F5, then dropped Dogg with the F5. Cole said that's what happens when you're friends with Triple H. Heyman then took the mic and mocked the McMahon Family before asking Triple H what that must to do a man. He said now the New Age Outlaws - the last traces remaining of DX - have been driven into oblivion. Heyman said enough with the babbling. "Will Brock Lesnar fight Triple H at WrestleMania?" he asked rhetorically. "And the answer is...yessssss!" as Lesnar smirked into the hard-camera.
But, Heyman said...Brock Lesnar will fight Triple H at WrestleMania only if they get to name the stipulations. Lesnar said they won't tell Hunter the stipulations until after Hunter signs the contract. So, either Hunter blindly accepts Lesnar's challenge or "The Hero" disappoints the WWE audience, his wife, his children, and his father-in-law. But, most of all, he disappoints himself. "And if you ain't down with that, I've got two words for you...Brrrrrrrrock Lesssssssnar." Cole called that the highest form of blackmail as Lesnar and Heyman left the ring while Dogg and Gunn remained out cold in the ring.
Still to come: Punk vs. Kane in a No DQ match. Cole sent Raw to break. But, not before...
WM29 commercial: The Rock vs. John Cena. Nice, simple video package focusing on the Redemption vs. Greatness theme of their Mania headline match.
Announcers: Lawler thanked the audience for making Raw the #1 show on Monday night last week. Cole then asked for more Touts on Paul Bearer.
In-ring: Kofi Kingston was already in the ring back from break. Cole said Kofi is returning from a promotional tour, then Mark Henry was introduced to welcome Kingston back to WWE. They went to a unique camera shot of Henry "invading" the camera-space when he emerged through the curtain and filled up the entire camerashot. Cole then fed to a video package on Henry and Ryback crossing paths last week on TV.
4 -- MARK HENRY vs. KOFI KINGSTON
As the bell sounded, Cole said Paul Bearer was so nice on Twitter by answering fans's questions. Lawler said Bearer was a great gentlemen. Lawler then painted a picture of a WWE Hall of Fame induction being pleasant and wonderful, whereas an induction into Henry's Hall of Pain comes with a picture of an MRI. The announcers then put Henry and Bruno Sammartino in the same sentence, suggesting a future WWE exchange. In the ring, Henry blasted Kingston with a kick to the face that sent Kofi to the outside. Henry very slowly tried to follow up on the outside, but Kofi found an opening to kick Henry to the floor before big-splashing him.
Back in the ring, Kofi climbed to the top rope and wanted a big cross-body splash, but Henry made a very difficult interception by catching Kofi in mid-air as Kofi came crashing toward him with a lot of force. Henry then transitioned right into the World's Strongest Slam. It was good for the win.
WINNER: Henry at 2:25.
Backstage: Cody Rhodes and Kaitlyn had a run-in around the water cooler. Cody said he's glad he ran into Kaitlyn. He tried to talk to her, but Damien Sandow interrupted and stole Kaitlyn's water bottle. Sandow said that after Lesnar interrupted their match, he made arrangements for double the Divas to enhance the Divas division.
The camera panned left to show...the Bella Twins returning to TV. They acted seductive and insulted Kaitlyn, who stomped off. Sandow then eased up to the Bellas as Cody acted torn whether to pursue Kaitlyn or support Sandow. Vickie Guerrero then walked into the discussion to welcome the Bellas back to WWE. She booked Sandow and Rhodes in another match tonight, this time against Randy Orton and Sheamus.
In-ring: Ryback was introduced to the ring before Cole fed to a "sneak-peek" of Big Show guest-starring on "Psych" this Wednesday.
5 -- RYBACK vs. HEATH SLATER (w/Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal)
After the bell sounded, Mark Henry walked out on-stage for a closer look at the action. Slater tried to take advantage of Henry's indirect distraction by attacking Ryback, but Ryback shook him off before nailing the Meathook Clothesline. Ryback followed with the Shell-Shock and connected. Ryback pinned Slater for a quick win.
Post-match, McIntyre tried to get some of Ryback, but Ryback dropped him with Shell-Shock. The crowd then popped as Henry marched to the ring as Ryback's music played. Ryback's music stopped, then Henry slipped into the ring to stare down Ryback. Henry then scooped up Mac and dropped him with World's Strongest Slam. So, Ryback scooped up Mac and delivered Shell-Shock again. Not much reaction for Ryback here, of note. Henry then WSSlammed McIntyre again. This brought the two big men together for a staredown. Before things could escalate, officials hit the ring to separate the two big men. WWE's ringside doctor then checked on Mac before Ryback finally got a crowd reaction by leading them in a "Feed Me More" chant.
WINNER: Ryback at 1:06. More seeds planted for Henry vs. Ryback at Mania, but so much damage has been done to Ryback via his losses in big matches and never getting revenge on The Shield that he's getting tepid reactions, at best. Ryback needs to beat someone who matters before Mania.
[Q7] Still to come: Punk vs. Kane in a No DQ match and Sheamus & Orton vs. Rhodes Scholars.
Backstage: Alberto Del Rio was shown walking down the hallway with Ricardo Rodriguez. He's up next.
[Commercial Break. A spot for UFC 158 aired during the break. Major wrestling presentation of Nick Diaz as the heel who needs to take a beating.]
Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged WWE Studios's "big spring." They skipped over "Dead Man Down" bombing in theaters over the weekend. Cole then fed to a video preview of "The Call" starring Halle Berry, which opens in theaters this weekend.
In-ring: Antonio Cesaro was already in the ring for an unhyped Champion vs. Champion match. It's a double-play of WWE wasting away Top Champ vs. Second-Tier Champ match-ups, while defining-down their second-tier champs. After Cesaro's music stopped, Ricardo Rodriguez came out on-stage to introduce Alberto Del Rio. As Del Rio came to the ring, WWE cut to an inset promo from Del Rio earlier today talking about being born in Mexico, but Made in the U.S.A.
6 -- World Hvt. champion ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. U.S. champion ANTONIO CESARO -- non-title Champ vs. Champ match
Cole talked up the Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger World Title feud as the action started. Del Rio delivered an early cross-body splash, then he tried another corner attack, but Cesaro yanked him down to the mat. Cesaro then put the boots to Del Rio, but then missed with a corner European Uppercut. Del Rio followed with consecutive offense before trying to get the crowd to follow along with his comeback. Del Rio went for a standing sidekick and grazed Cesaro's face for a two count.
Del Rio smiled and called for the Cross Arm-breaker, which the crowd was lukewarm for. Cesaro avoided the breaker, but couldn't avoid a backstabber. Del Rio then climbed to the top rope for a high-risk move, but Cesaro intercepted with a big European Uppercut for a close two count. Cesaro yelled at the ref, saying that was three. Cesaro tried to follow with a waistlock, but Del Rio spun over Cesaro's head into the cross arm-breaker. Cesaro quickly tapped out, giving Del Rio the win.
WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 4:39. Audiences just aren't buying into Del Rio as a top babyface; the lack of a real transition continues to hurt Del Rio in this role.
[Q8] Backstage: Kane was standing by trying to control his emotions. Josh Mathews then asked Kane about a "troubling time" for him. Kane looked down toward his hands and held up the urn. Kane breathed deeply, then looked back toward the urn. "Say something!" one fan in the arena shouted very clearly over Kane's silence. Kane didn't say anything and walked away.
Up Next: Special Look at the WM29 Main Event of Rock vs. Cena.
Remembering Paul Bearer: 1997. They recapped Bearer introducing Kane as the brother of Undertaker. Included was audio of Vince McMahon's call when Kane was introduced during the first Hell in a Cell match between Taker and Shawn Michaels.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler continued to reflect on Paul Bearer. They then introduced a video package documenting John Cena's journey back to the Main Event of WrestleMania to get redemption after losing to Rock last year at Mania. Included was a reference to Cena's divorce, continuing tonight's theme of weaving real-life events into storylines.
Back live in the arena, Randy Orton's music played to bring out Orton. Up next, it's Orton & Sheamus vs. Rhodes Scholars, who get another top-of-the-hour tag team slot.
Back from break, Cole reset the show. Cole then went to footage from Earlier Tonight when Brock Lesnar took out the Outlaws, then Paul Heyman accepted Hunter's challenge for a Mania match, but only if they get to name the stips.
[Q9 -- second hour]
7 -- RANDY ORTON & SHEAMUS vs. RHODES SCHOLARS (CODY RHODES & DAMIEN SANDOW)
After the Lesnar Recap Video played, WWE showed Rhodes and Sandow already in the ring. Sheamus was then introduced to join Orton for the tag match. Cole brought up Orton and Sheamus's recent run-ins with The Shield before the bell sounded. The Scholars were aggressive early on working on Sheamus, but Sheamus came back with a rolling senton for a nearfall. Sheamus tried to bounce off the ropes for another move, but Sandow deftly pulled down the top rope, sending Sheamus flying to the floor.
Rhodes rolled Sheamus back into the ring after attacking him, then Rhodes and Sandow exchanged tags working on Sheamus. Rhodes tried to hip-toss Sheamus, but Sheamus smashed him with a clothesline. Sheamus then tagged in Orton, who knocked down Rhodes before snap-powerslamming him. Orton followed with his new t-bone suplex for a two count. Orton tried to follow with his trademark second-rope DDT, but Sandow helped Rhodes escape. Orton tried to follow up on the floor, but Sandow ran Orton into the ringpost. Rhodes then put the boots to Orton before rolling him back inside.
Back in the ring, Sandow and Rhodes exchanged tags working on Orton. Rhodes wanted a top-rope move, but Orton crotched Cody before delivering a trademark Orton Family Superplex. Both men crashed to the mat selling the effects, then Orton crawled toward Sheamus and made the tag simultaneous to Sandow tagging in for Rhodes.
Sheamus entered with rapid-fire offense to Sandow, who then found himself on the apron. Sheamus took advantage with Ten Forearms before hip-tossing Sandow back into the ring. Sheamus followed with White Noise, then warmed up the crowd for the Brogue Kick. But, Rhodes entered the ring, so Orton suddenly dropped Rhodes with the RKO. Sandow, flustered, then walked into a Brogue Kick from Sheamus. Sheamus covered Sandow for the win.
Afterward, the winners celebrated mid-ring before posing in the corners, sending a message to The Shield that they're in tip-top form.
WINNERS: Sheamus & Orton at 8:03. So, when does the WrestleMania match get made to speed things along? Also, more seeds planted for Orton to eventually get tired of playing second-fiddle to Sheamus.
Up Next: Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel with The Miz and Wade Barrett to play up a movie theme. Also still to come, Punk vs. Kane in a No DQ match.
During The Break: Well, there's The Shield. They attacked Orton and Sheamus during the commercial as the victors were on their way out. Of note, WWE is continuing to push viewers to the second-screen deal by incorporating Raw segments into the App. The finishing touch was Roman Reigns taking out Sheamus on-stage after Rollins threw Orton off the stage. On commentary, Cole asked if there's anyone who will be able to stop The Shield because no one has been able to so far.
[Q10] Announcers: Cole and Lawler fed to Touts from WWE fans discussing Paul Bearer. They stuck to the Bruce Mitchell Rules of Getting on Raw by playing up WWE's storytelling.
Back in the arena, pyro shot off to wake up the crowd before Chris Jericho's light-up jacket was shown on-stage. Jericho, dressed to wrestle, sauntered down to the ring as Cole noted Jericho was taken out by The Shield a few weeks ago. Jericho entered the ring to host the Highlight Reel.
Once in the ring, Jericho waited out "Y2J" chants before welcoming everyone to Raw is Jericho. Jericho said his guest tonight is the star of WWE's "surprise hit movie," The Marine 3 starring The Miz. It's certainly open to interpretation what the "surprise" adjective was supposed to mean. After video rolled, Jericho welcomed out The Miz as his first guest.
In the ring, Miz said this is great being a guest than host before noting Jericho has no furniture tonight. Jericho said there must be budget issues. Jericho then claimed Miz has a real hit on his hands blowing away the Studios's movie projections. Wade Barrett interrupted and knocked Miz before framing "Dead Man Down" as a success because it opened in the Top 5 last weekend. Wow. Barrett then rolled footage from the movie before saying that's what they should be talking about.
Miz responded by mocking Barrett's accent. He said they've been hearing the same garbage for the past three weeks. Barrett replied by saying Miz just proved his lack of acting range trying to imitate his voice. Barrett continued that he's turned down multiple movie roles because he's too busy being the IC champ and being Wade Barrett. The crowd booed the inflated-ego Barrett before Miz said Barrett keeps bringing up his movie role because he hasn't won a match in weeks. He said it's only a matter of time until Barrett loses his IC Title.
Jericho then mocked Miz's "Really?!" prompting Cole to ask how bad this is. Barrett vowed to drop Jericho for interrupting, so Jericho got serious and removed his light-up jacket. Jericho told "junior" that he helped bring Barrett into this company and he's done a great job since then. But, he's a nine-time IC champion. "More than any performer in the history of this company," Jericho sternly said. Does that include jugglers and fire-breathers and other non-athletes performing at halftime of NBA games?
Suddenly, Brad Maddox interrupted. He said they aren't going to act like this on his show. Brad calmed down before introducing himself. He said he has a very exciting announcement from "Brickie." The audience was silent, so Brad said tensions are obviously very high. Cole spoke over Brad that this might be the worst segment in Raw history. Brad said here's what he's going to do. You. No, you. Okay, you, Wade. As Cole begged for a commercial, Maddox said Barrett will have to defend the IC Title next week on Raw against the winner of Miz and Jericho. Maddox essentially told them to hurry up, then Jericho awkwardly threw down the mic as Barrett awkwardly left the ring. Even if WWE was intentionally going for a horrible segment or if WWE instructed the announcers to "own" the horrible segment, it wasn't worth it here.
8 -- CHRIS JERICHO vs. THE MIZ -- Winner gets IC Title shot next week
Back live, the match was in-progress with Barrett on commentary. The announcers continued to play up Dead Man Down, setting up Barrett to heelishly brag about his role in the movie. In the ring, Jericho landed a double axehandle smash, but then ran into a boot to the face from Miz. Jericho and Miz came to their feet as Barrett excused his recent losses as the result of being a busy Hollywood star. Lawler then cracked a poop joke in reference to Brad Maddox's initials. That captured Raw being too long.
In the ring, Jericho and Miz teased submission finishers before Jericho finally sat down on a Boston Crab. Miz cried out in pain before reaching the bottom rope and getting a break. Miz then rolled to the floor to recover before Jericho followed to the outside and pounded his back. Suddenly, Jericho threw Miz right into Barrett's lap. After the dust settled, Jericho scooped up Miz and tried to punch him, but Barrett smashed Jericho from behind.
The ref threw out the match, then Miz and Barrett battled on the outside. Jericho took out Barrett with a dropkick through the ropes, then Miz and Jericho double-team attacked Barrett. Back in the ring, Miz dropped Barrett with the Skullcrushing Finale before Jericho finished him off with the Codebreaker. Jericho and Miz then stood tall over Barrett as the announcers tried to figure out what happened. The announcers didn't bother to mention who faces Barrett for the IC Title next week. You know, because WWE has established that the mid-card titles don't matter.
WINNER: No Contest at 4:05. Presumably, it will be a three-way IC Title match next week, or WWE will forget this two-segment bit ever happened.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler transitioned to Del Rio and Ricardo's segment mocking Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter discussing Mexican Food. Del Rio, dressed like Muhammad Hassan, did Swagger's deal emphasizing a random word every other line.
Back live, Lawler chuckled to himself. WWE then cut backstage to show Jack Swagger bullying around some WWE staffers. Zeb Colter tried to calm him down as he kept walking toward the ring for in-ring action next.
Remembering Paul Bearer: 1995 for the deal when Bearer was accused of crimes that resulted in Mr. Fuji wearing Bearer's wig and dress.
In-ring: Sin Cara was in the ring back from break. After WWE plugged a WM29 chair, Jack Swagger was introduced along with Colter. Colter cut off Swagger's music and said he's not in a good mood. Colter said he's looking right at a problem in the form of "Sen Care-ah." Colter said this man didn't even bother to learn English when he was introduced into WWE. He said these people have been conditioned to cheer for this "little Mexican jumping-bean." Cara stood still to sell his reaction, then Colter continued that guys like Sin Cara sneak across the border every day to steal from America. Colter told the audience not to be afraid to say something about it, but if they are afraid, then they'll say it for them.
As for World champion Alberto Del Rio, Colter said this man says he was Born in Mexico, but Made in America. Colter said the only thing that Del Rio has made is aware of how many things to change in the country. This dragged on to no reaction until Swagger spoke next that he will bring the World Title back to where it belongs: "Jack Swagger's America." Swagger concluded, "We the people," before hitting the ring.
9 -- JACK SWAGGER (w/Zeb Colter) vs. SIN CARA
As the bell sounded, Cole announced there will be a triple threat IC Title match next week when Barrett, Jericho, and Miz lock up. Cara tried to take out his anger on Swagger, but Swagger blocked shoved him into the corner. But, Cara popped Swagger in the face with a leaping kick. Cara tried a springboard splash, but Swagger intercepted with a boot to the gut. Swagger then went to work on Cara's ankle before slapping on the Patriot Lock. Cara tapped out to give Swagger the win.
Post-match, Swagger kept the Patriot Lock locked in until Del Rio hit the ring for a scrap. Swagger tried punching Del Rio, which allowed Del Rio to slap on the Cross Arm-breaker, but Colter pulled Swagger out of the ring to avoid further injury. Del Rio's music then played as Colter stared down Del Rio while Swagger retreated behind him.
WINNER: Swagger via submission at 1:50.
WWE Studios Preview: "The Call" featuring Halle Berry. They cut to a sit-down interview with Berry discussing her role. Suddenly, there was a "phone call," or as I call it, the alarm on my phone. The phone call was from David Otunga on a split-screen pretending to be on the phone with Berry. Otunga said he accidentally gave out Berry's phone number, then hung up. The next call came from Kane, who said he knows where Halle lives. Kane entered fan-mode that he writes her every day and wants to go on a picnic. Berry asked if he's the crazy guy in the red mask, then vowed to kill Otunga before hanging up on Kane. Suddenly, Kane's pyro flashed after Halle made the pyro motion. Halle vowed to not answer her phone again. Definitely not from WWE Studios, although she played along with the campy bit like an actress completely comfortable with her career and unconcerned about it affecting future roles. The video closed with a note that The Call is in theaters on Friday, which was reinforced throughout the bit.
Up Next: Main Event time with Kane vs. C.M. Punk.
Earlier Tonight: The Undertaker tributed Paul Bearer until C.M. Punk interrupted and vowed to make Taker 20-1 at WrestleMania. Then, Kane chased Punk away.
Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera. They announced that Booker T has booked Henry vs. Ryback for... Friday's Smackdown. Apparently Booker's authority figure character doesn't get the "big picture" of Mania being bigger than your average Smackdown episode.
In-ring: C.M. Punk was introduced two minutes before the top of the hour. Punk looked over his shoulder to see if Taker was lurking, then walked to the ring for the main event. Kane then slowly walked toward the ring and Punk blasted him as the bell sounded.
[Q13 -- over-run ]
10 -- WWE tag champion KANE vs. C.M. PUNK -- No DQ match
Punk blasted Kane on the outside, but Kane reversed and whipped Punk into the guardrail. The ref implored them to bring it back in the ring, but Kane dropped Punk across the guardrail to continue assaulting Punk. The fight moved to the announce area, where Punk came off the railing with a double-axehandle to Kane. Punk then stared at the urn strategically positioned near the timekeeper's table. Cole said it symbolizes Taker's power and strength. A vocal fan ringside shouted, "Set him on fire, Kane!" The tone and inflection made it hilarious.
The match re-entered the ring at 2:50, with Kane continuing to assault Punk. Some vocal males chanted, "C-M-Punk," as Kane set up Punk on the top turnbuckle, then Punk shoved Kane down to the mat. Punk came off the top with an elbow to the chest before shouting, "20 and 1." Punk followed with a corner knee, but Kane blocked the bulldog before chucking Punk over the top rope to the outside. Cole frantically said they have to take their last commercial break now.
"Overtime" continued with a chair now in the ring along with Punk and Kane. Lawler told the audience to tell their friends that the fight is still going on Raw. The fight then spilled out of the ring again to the outside. Back in the ring, Punk DDT'ed Kane into the steel chair and Lawler declared Punk the winner. But, Punk was slow to make a cover, so Kane kicked out. There was whistling in the crowd, making it seem like this was the post-Raw dark match.
Punk said it's time for Kane to Go To Sleep, but The Gong suddenly hit. Punk freaked out, then turned around and ate a chokeslam near the chair. Kane then covered Punk for a win. Lawler said that was sweet like Sweet Home Alabama, tributing Bearer.
WINNER: Kane at 12:01. It became apparent that this was supposed to be a feel-good victory for the audience with Kane tributing the beloved Paul Bearer figure with a victory in the Raw main event.
As Kane celebrated, Taker walked back out on-stage to pay homage to Paul Bearer. Back in the ring, Kane looked toward Taker, who then knelt down as Bearer's image flashed on the screen. Kane also knelt down in the ring.
Suddenly, Punk smashed Kane from behind with the urn to get his heat back. Punk continued to blast Kane with the urn as Taker made his way into the ring. Punk then took the urn and ran out of the ring. "What is Punk thinking? Is he nuts?!" Cole asked. Taker then checked on Kane before turning to look toward Punk, who stopped on-stage. Punk then knelt down on-stage and did Taker's pose while holding the urn. In the ring, Taker seethed before doing the throat-slash gesture toward Punk, who continued to pose with the urn. Raw then signed off 15 minutes past the top of the hour with a final look at Punk's devilish smile.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Thumbs Down Raw. WWE made people feel uncomfortable in a bad way with how they handled Bill Moody's death in the opening segment, they continue to make people feel uncomfortable in a bad way with the Del Rio-Swagger business, Raw remains too long at three hours, this didn't feel like a Mania Season show because they had to drag out the content to fill three hours, Cena was missing to sell the Mania main event while Rock was absent, Triple H was missing to respond to Brock's vague challenge, Taker vs. Punk feels a bit forced and not like a Mania-level feud, and they remain stuck in neutral with whatever the Mania mid-card is going to look like. (I will point out Sean Radican's tweet summing up the feeling from Taker-Punk tonight: "So, WWE had no plans for the Taker-Punk build until Paul Bearer died?")
WWE got a late-start on Mania hype this year and there seems to be no sense of urgency to get things moving out of the slow lane into the fast lane. Part of the problem is that the Big Mania Feuds are spread out so much in these three-hour Raws to the point that they don't feel important by the end of the show. WWE can't even get the Big Feud Developments to feel significant juxtaposed to the filler and junk because there's just so much filler and junk weighing down the show, especially the over-done movie stuff desperately trying to get people to buy a movie ticket.
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