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WWE Monday Night RAW- Mar 4, 2013

by Scrooge McSuck

- I didn't figure into doing a recap of this show, but why the fuck not... because of these three hour shows, I can't typically spend the entire time watching it without having to go and off and take care of other things, so if I duck in for a moment or so here and there, some forgiveness. I will try and recap matches fairly, but don't be surprised if I slack off here and there, unless I see something really important.

- Show opens with the return of the Undertaker. Sorry, TELEVISION return. Last week, they aired a video from a house show on Tout featuring the Undertaker returning to the ring. Still a decent moment. It ends with the video screen flashing the WrestleMania XXIX logo. Who would've guessed that one?

- We're in the First Niagra Center in Buffalo, NY, with Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler calling the action, unless otherwise noted. We've got the old school Raw entrance with giant letters, actual steel barricades without the padding, red, white and blue ropes, and all the other old school good stuff. If only they did this more than once every two years.

- CM Punk comes out with his on-again, off-again manager, Paul Heyman. He blames the fans on why he's no longer Champion, and says they should cherrish his 434 days as Champion more than the Undertaker's 20-0 streak. He has a new number for everyone: 20-1, because that's what'll happen when Punk defeats the Undertaker at WrestleMania. Randy Orton interrupts, bringing up WrestleMania 21, when he jobbed to the Undertaker in HOLLYWOOD (BIG TIME!), and then Big Show shows up, and thankfully doesn't remind us he basically did the job in a HANDICAP MATCH at WrestleMania XIX, teaming with A-Train(Tensai!). Sheamus shows up... because. Vickie Guerrero interrupts everyone and makes a Fatal 4-Way... winner faces the Undertaker at WrestleMania. How lazily thrown together. Punk's arrogant challenge was more than enough needed.

Ryback vs. Antonio Cesaro (US Champion):

Another Non-Title Match between these two... please, enough of jobbing Cesaro to Ryback. Thank you, have a nice day. Cesaro gets the "currently in the ring" treatment for an introduction, and cuts an OLD SCHOOL Inset promo on why Ryback's neanderthal ways of life are no match for him. If you've watched Main Event or a random episode of Raw since mid-January, you probably saw this match. I'll give credit to where it's due... putting Ryback in 10-minute matches with Cesaro is helping him start working better, lengthier matches. On the down side, Cesaro loses them all for obvious reasons (protect Goldberg Jr.). Good match that ends with Ryback countering the Neutralizer with the Shell Shock at around the 12-minute mark. Post-match, Ryback and Mark Henry meet in the aisle for a STAREDOWN! There's a WrestleMania match I wouldn't mind filling the undercard. Much easier to set up than the allegedly rumored Henry vs. Jericho match.

Zack Ryder vs. Mark Henry:

I don't like Ryder's chances tonight. Michael Cole actually references his online bitching about his place in the company and not likely being part of WrestleMania XXIX. As a very loud and very proud Ryder hater, I would like to suggest that maybe he should work on getting over without catering to online fans or bitching to them non-stop about not being a featured Superstar. Could this set up a heel turn? Nah... if I were running WWE, I'd keep him employed just to fuck with him about his bitchy attitude. Oh, Henry squashes him with the World's Strongest Slam at the 48-second mark. That was quick.

- FAN-DAN-GO! Premieres Tonight... if only Disco Inferno would come back and call him out on stealing his gimmick.

The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ A.J. & Big E. Langston):

Has Ziggler won a meaningful match since TLC? He seems to be jobbing to anyone and everyone from the midcard up since, except for a quickie thrown-on-at-the-last-minute shortie with Kofi Kingston at Elimination Chamber. Apparently microphones don't like Miz much either, as we waste a good minute before he can tell the crowd that Ric Flair is going to be in his corner... because he's OLD SCHOOL! Unfortunately, I have a restroom emergency at this point, and come back with Ziggler working a chinlock. Miz fights free, ends up on the apron, and slides through the ropes to complete a sunset flip for a two count. He connects with the back breaker and neck breaker combination for another two count. Ziggler with a roll up for two. Miz clips the knee and goes for the Figure-Four, but Ziggler kicks him off and hits the DDT For another two count. The Zig-Zag misses, as does a running knee, and Ziggler hops on his back with a sleeper hold. Miz snapmares him off to escape, then presses Zig' in the air, dropping him on his face. Miz with the jumping clothesline to the corner, followed by a double axehandle, AJ with a distraction to the referee, allowing Langston to sucker punch Miz. Flair throws his jacket at him and unleashes chops, completely no-sold. Miz with a baseball slide on Langston, and Ziggler rolls him up for two. Hurricanrana is countered with a powerbomb, and Miz finishes with the Figure-Four at the 13-minute mark. Miz and Flair celebrate with phantom knee and elbow drops to the canvas. Looked to be a pretty good second half of a match... I might have to check the first half, later.

- WWE Champion The Rock comes out, talking nonsense and hyping WrestleMania in 34 days. John Cena interrupts, to a chorus of boos. He calls Rock "Dwayne" as if he's cool or something by doing that, and talks about how it was no coincidence the night Rock won the WWE Title, Cena won the Rumble. Too bad Cena won his match FIRST, so he didn't have any knowledge of fighting Rock at WrestleMania. Cena dares quote Mike Tyson about being the best by beating everyone else, then Rock quotes Lance Armstrong, saying both he and Cena are full of crap... eh.

I've heard this song before, and didn't care for it. Still don't. Unless Cena turns heel, Hogan '96 style, I don't give a crap about his character anymore. There's nowhere left to go with it. He's done everything, beat everyone, been involved in every storyline possible as a protaganist, and won everything there is to be won, from championships to rumble matches and anything else you can think of. The only thing left is to turn to the dark side, and it will never happen, because he's a cash cow for 5-year old marks and a family-friendly face to promote their circus and side-show attractions.

"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan (w/ Sgt. Slaughter & Dusty Rhodes) vs. Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Colter):

This is more like it... should be a two minute squash for Swagger. He's got the American Dream and a Real American Hero in his corner to take on the Real American's American, Jack Swagger. He quickly rolls out of the ring and grabs the 2x4. Duggan looks like a beat up old puppet. Swagger rams Duggan with the 2x4, then takes shots at Slaughter and Rhodes with it. He points at THE SIGN™ and slaps on the Ankle Lock, but I guess it's a No Contest, and Duggan still refuses to tap out. See, this is how you use the old timers and legends... have Swagger, or hell, anyone, squash the crap out of them.

Josh Mathews catches up to Swagger, allowing Alberto Del Rio to get a cheap shot in before security pulls them apart. Why would Del Rio care about... of wait, I forgot, he's a babyface. That's why.

- "The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase shows up... why? Find out in the next sentence.

Team Hell No (Tag Team Champions) vs. The Primetime Players:

I guess there was some goofy angle shot on the WWE App or Tout or some stupid social media device where the PTP asked Dibiase to be their manager, and this is their "test". Reasons for a one-time only appearance? How... useful. Young starts by grabbing a headlock on Kane. He quickly fights free and Bryan tags in, coming off the top with a double axehandle. He lays into Young with No!-Kicks, then catches him coming off the ropes with a dropkick for a two count. Bryan fights off both of the PTP until a clothesline from Titus makes him the Goat-in-Peril. Titus drops Young across the chest, suplex style, for a two count. Small "We Want Virgil" chant, but I don't think it's loud enough to lure him from the subway terminals. O'Neil misses a charge to the corner and Kane gets the not-very-heated tag. He lays into Young, puts him down with a big boot, and comes off the ropes with a basement dropkick. Clotheslines in the corner and the side suplex gets two. Bryan dumps O'Neil and comes off the apron with a knee to the face. Kane with the Chokeslam on Young, and it's over at 3:42. Post-match, Dibiase stuffs a hundred dollar bill in Young's mouth, and Bryan stays behind to steal it. Cute, harmless fluff... unless you think the Primetime Jobbers need protecting anymore.

- Brodus Clay and Tensai, dressed in matching jumpsuits, come out, along with the Funkadactyls, of course. The Honkytonk Man, the self-proclaimed Greatest Intercontinental Champion of All-Time, comes out next. Are we getting a match... well, yes, I guess.

Brodus Clay & Tensai (w/ Funkadactyls) vs. 3MB:

Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre get to represent 3MB for this one. How dare Slater interrupt Honkytonk Man. McIntyre stomps away on Tensai, but misses a charge, and Tensai rolls him up for three at the 26-second mark. What the HELL was that?! Post-match dancing from the Dancin' Fools, and finally, FINALLY, the Honkytonk Man gets to show his stuff, blasting Slater with the guitar. Isn't that against the rules? No head shots? Just a waste of time.

- Fan-Dan-GO(GO-GO-GO) premieres NEXT!

Kofi Kingston vs. Fandango:

Dear Kofi, welcome to Jobville. Population: You. Seriously, doing the job for a bottom-feeder gimmick character's debut? Just try and find one example where that someone wasn't a total scrub or pretty damn close to that level of being a loser. What am I watching, WWF Monday Night Raw, circa 1996? Where's TL Hopper, The Goon, and Salvatore Sincere to really make things completely worthless. Fortunately for us, he refuses to wrestle because Justin Roberts (in a shitty, 70's era blue tuxedo) doesn't pronounce his name right. And there is yet ANOTHER waste of time.

- We recap last week's opening featuring Heyman, Vince, Brock, and Triple H... Triple H with the blah-blah-blah about Brock Lesnar. It's his time to play the game and be the king of kings of evolution. Sorry, tried to tie in all his theme songs since his push down our throats 14 years ago. Even though WrestleMania will do a monster buyrate, because it's WrestleMania, I have no real desire to watch Rock/Cena II or Lesnar/HHH II. I barely want to watch Undertaker/Punk (whoops, Spoilers!), because it's just tacked on. Nothing else even comes close to being either important or captivating enough to look forward to.

- Buy the new Bret Hart "Dungeon Collection" DVD, available everywhere, tomorrow. This has been one of the highlights of Raw. Awful.

- We get a taped promo from The Shield. They're still unbeaten in the WWE. Seems like they're setting up to attack everyone but CM Punk tonight... who doesn't see this coming?

Okay... I'm sorry, but I can't take it any more. I just can't. Here's the rest of the show...

- WWE World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio defeated WWE Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett by Submission in about 7-minutes. That's, what, the 5th week in a row both the US and IC Champions did clean jobs? Decent, if not paint by numbers match. Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter watched on, so you know they're up to something.

- The New Age Outlaws, using their non-PG era introduction, return to make Epico and Primo look like a pair of jobbers. It's cool to see them, and yet I can't understand why they got twice as much time as the two real teams earlier, one of which is the Champs. Lawler drops a "puppies!" for old times sake.

WWE Superstars break Kayfabe to introduce us to "Mean" Gene Okerlund, who then introduces us to the oldest living WWE Hall of Famer, Mae Young (grunt, shrug, sigh)... Thankfully, CM Punk cuts it off with his theme music.

- CM Punk pinned Randy Orton in the Fatal 4-Way also involving Big Show and Sheamus. Clean finish, surprisingly, just because of the Shield promo earlier hyping something that never happened. Pretty dull match, but then I'm no fan of 4-way matches, either. Punk's 434 days of an ENDED reign vs. 20-0 at WrestleMania... would've been better with, you know, the WWE Title on the line.

Final Thoughts: There's throw-away shows and then there's this. Endless segments highlighting WWE Films, 30-second matches that have done nothing to entertain the crowds, a horrible waste of valuable television time on a stupid gimmick, 20-minute segments that hyped the two least interesting rematches ever that will still do a massive buyrate, the most random and worthless attempt to make a match featuring the Undertaker at WrestleMania... this can keep going on and on, but I think everyone gets the point. For a show that should've been a no brainer and allowed some fun, creative booking choices to fill out a throw-away show, this was the most lazy, pointless, and boring show they could've possibly turned out. The last time I watched Old School Raw, November 2010, was the last time I would watch Raw until October of 2011. I don't think my reaction to this show will keep me away again, but my God, it's definitely going to lead to a poor rating next week.

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