- 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.
- FAN-DAN-GO! Premieres Tonight... if only Disco Inferno would come back and call him out on stealing his gimmick.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Fan-Dan-GO(GO-GO-GO) premieres NEXT!
- 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.