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Monday Night RAW Recap ~ E. Byrnside (03/04/13)

03/04/13

Buffalo, NY

Tonight RAW kicks off and we are going old school. There is even a really awesome vintage promo and logo. I’m a little disappointed they did not use the original Monday Night RAW theme. But I’m not disappointed long as The Undertaker’s bell tolls, the fog rolls in, and here he comes through the old school RAW logo/entrance way! Fireballs are blazing as he raises his arms and we fade to black.

There’s the old school intro, with “Mean” Gene giving us the rundown of tonight’s show with clips of RAW’s past. I still think they should use this intro, FYI. The only thing that would make this better is Vince McMahon saying, “Welcome everyone to Monday Night RAW!” Michael Cole is sporting the yellow blazer, and Jerry Lawler is rocking his King blazer and crown.

“Cult of Personality” hits and out comes C.M. Punk with Paul Heyman. I want to point out that the ropes are red, white, and blue as well as the vintage logo on the microphone and an old school ring apron. Punk says he should be main eventing this year’s Wrestlemania. He should be defending his championship in the main event. But he’s not. Not because of any thing he did or didn’t do, but because of the people. They stole from him what he hold’s most precious. They screwed him, and in screwing him, they only screwed themselves because if he can’t be in the main event, he sees no reason to be at Wrestlemania; there’s no purpose. What he just saw gives him that purpose. The people took from him, now he’s going to take from them by beating The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. They like Undertaker’s streak, twenty and zero though they roll their eyes at Punk’s WWE title reign, the longest in decades, 434 days. He’s got a new number for them, twenty and one, and that one is drug free, alcohol free, and straight edge, and the one is the best in the world. It is C.M. Punk. He means what he says, and he is interrupted by Randy Orton’s music.

Orton says Punk shouldn’t be so confident, considering he has already beaten Punk at Wrestlemania. Besides, he hasn’t faced Undertaker at the show of all shows, but Orton has. It was eight years ago, when he was a rookie and he came “this close.” Orton says he’s not a rookie anymore; he’s the apex predator, and the most dangerous man in the locker room. Orton asks the crowd who they’d rather see face ‘Taker at Wrestlemania. The crowd is clearly in favor of Orton and The Big Show’s music hits.

Big Show says asks what it is that makes them think they can face The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. He says he too, like Orton, has faced ‘Taker at Wrestlemania, but back then he didn’t have the KO Punch. You don’t need to be a viper, or straight edge, you need to be a giant, and he says he’s going to knock The Undertaker’s streak into oblivion. Sheamus’ music hits and out he comes with a microphone.

Sheamus says the reality is he is the only one of the four that hasn’t faced or lost to The Undertaker. It’s going to take more than big fist, a GTS, or an RKO to put “The Dead Man” down. But maybe, what it’s going to take is the big boot, all the heart in the world, and a little bit of luck to achieve the impossible. When you’ve got the luck of the Irish on your side, any thing is possible. Vickie Guerrero excuses herself.

Vickie says the one who beats Undertaker and ends the streak will cement their legacy as greatest of all time. To determine who gets the opportunity, there will be a fatal four-way match tonight, and the winner faces The Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

This is a really unique way to do this, and I like it. Presenting The Undertaker’s streak as a title that someone wants/needs to earn rather than just having Undertaker attack someone, or vice versa.

Tonight, John Cena and The Rock will go through a point-counter point session. Also, Triple H addresses Brock Lesnar

Michael Cole definitely just stole my use of “feed him more.” Ryback is next as we head to commercial.

Man, did I already say they should just keep using the original theme song, because they really should.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Ryback

They go with an old school promo as Cesaro is in the ring, a pre-taped segment with Cesaro talking trash about Ryback before Ryback makes his way to the ring.

Cesaro attacks Ryback right out of the gate with a series of drop kicks before Ryback hits Antonio with a tackle and some chops in the corner. Ryback hits a very impressive powerslam where he spun Cesaro around on his shoulders before slamming him, and Cesaro rolls out to the floor. Ryback brings in Cesaro the hard way with his newly adopted Davey Boy Smith suplex. Cesaro begins to fight back a bit, pushing Ryback into the corner. He charges the corner, but Ryback back drops him to the apron. Cesaro hangs Ryback over the top rope and climbs the turnbuckle, but Ryback catches him and tosses him with a gorilla press slam and then clotheslines him over the top to the floor. I want to also point out there are blue mats surrounding the ring, and guardrails instead of barricades. My nine-year-old self is going crazy. Ryback chases Cesaro around the ring and Cesaro tries to catch Ryback on the way back in, but he takes a boot for his trouble. Cesaro fights back and pushes Ryback off the apron into the aforementioned guardrail. Back inside the ring and Cesaro covers for a two-count and then lands some mounted punches. A howl from Cesaro takes us to commercial.

Back from commercial, and Cesaro is still in control with a sleeper hold, but Ryback fights to his feet. Cesaro slaps Ryback. Ryback hits a series of tackles off the ropes and a back body-drop. Ryback’s strength is so impressive. Feed him more. He charges Cesaro, but Cesaro nails Ryback with an upper cut, and I do mean nails. Cesaro goes for the Neutralizer, but Ryback reverses into a Shell Shocked for the win. Ryback’s on his way to the locker room before Mark Henry’s music hits and there’s a stare down in the aisle. Now here’s a match up for Wrestlemania.

Mark Henry vs. Zack Ryder

Poor Zack. Ryder gets thrown around, but is trying to fight back before being leveled by a clothesline. The World’s Strongest Slam gets a quick win for Henry.

The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler

The Miz is in the ring. He says since the WWE is paying tribute to old school, he’s going to introduce us to someone that transcends old school into the new. He makes Miz’s corner a lot better than Dolph Ziggler’s, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Quick tie up leads to a stand off before they tie up again and Ziggler kicks Miz in the stomach. Dolph has Miz in the corner and the ref has to separate them. I just noticed the refs are wearing old school blue shirts with bow ties. A chop from Ziggler leads to a Flair strut before Miz regains the advantage and Ziggler goes out the floor. Ric Flair comes up to the apron and Miz starts to strut before we head to commercial.

Back from commercial, and Ziggler has regained the advantage and hits a neck-breaker. During the commercial Dolph Ziggler hit the best drop kick ever. Ziggler has Miz in a reverse chin lock and he does his headstand into the bridge that just looks awesome. Miz fights back to his feet and unloads some right hands on Ziggler in the corner. Miz gets back-dropped onto the apron, slides underneath the ropes and rolls up Ziggler for a two-count. Miz hits the back and neck-breaker for a two-count. Ziggler rolls up Miz in a small-package for a two-count. Ziggler hits a DDT on Miz for another two-count. Ziggler tries for the Zig-Zag, but Miz shakes it off, and Ziggler ducks a running boot and applies the sleeper hold. Miz rolls through the sleeper hold, and Ziggler’s off the ropes, but Miz hits a flapjack. Miz hits the running clothesline in the corner and an axe-handle off the top. AJ is on the apron distracting the ref on the apron, and Big E. Langston is up on the opposite side to attack The Miz. Ric Flair comes over to Big E. and blinds Langston with his coat before he starts chopping away on Big E. before Flair realizes he’s probably made a mistake and begs off. Miz hits a baseball slide on Big E. allowing Dolph to roll up Miz for a two-count and Miz slaps on the Figure Four leg lock, and Ziggler taps out. Flair and Miz are celebrating in the ring and Flair flops while they go back and forth strutting, and they each elbow drop the mat.

The Rock’s music hits to kick of the second hour of Old School RAW, and the WWE champion is in the house. How do you get one of those Under Armour Rock t-shirts? Rock says he needs us to understand something. He just came in from Panama, where it is ninety-five degrees every single day. But The Rock knew he was coming to RAW. The Rock started packing his bags; his shoes, his pants, his work out gear, his boots, his boots to asses boots. He tells a funny story about the woman at the airport asking him if he needs a jacket. He said he didn’t need one because he has electricity coming out of his body. And then, he landed, and sweet Harlem-shaking, Honey Boo Boo it’s cold in New York. It’s so damn cold, he had icicles forming on The People’s nipples. But that’s ok, because he landed with a smile, as soon as the cold air hi his face it meant that after ten long years, he’s proudly in the ring to say, finally, The Rock has come back to Buffalo.  Rock reminds us we are thirty-four days away from Wrestlemania, and John Cena’s music hits.

Cena says Rock is right, thirty-four days from Wrestlemania. He apologizes that he had to come out right at this second, because he’s been waiting for this moment for a year. The Rock doesn’t know why, because he is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The man conquered WWE during the Attitude Era. Rock left and conquered Hollywood, and came back and is WWE champion. Cena says Rock doesn’t fail at any thing in life. Last year at Wrestlemania he told every single person that would listen that he needed to win that match and he failed. Cena says Rock doesn’t know what failure does to a man. It makes him feel worthless. A “Cena sucks” chant breaks out in the crowd. I love the way Rock stares down his opponents. Cena says failure makes it feel like a crowd of hate is raining down on you. The match at Wrestlemania wasn’t just a loss, that moment sent Cena’s life into a tailspin. He could not get over the obsession with the fact that he failed. Rock was responsible for his collapse, but he is also responsible for his turnaround. It wasn’t coincidence that the same night Rock won the WWE title, Cena won the Royal Rumble and went on to beat Punk to solidify his second chance to right the biggest wrong of his life. Cena’s giving Rock a heads up, he is not throwing this chance away.

Rock says that fire makes him happy. Rock says he only wanted to face Cena, because Rock knows what it means to Cena. Rock says he knows it matters and no one has Cena’s passion or will to win, no one, except The Rock. Rock says Cena ain’t getting redemption; he’s getting his ass kicked. Cena quotes Mike Tyson, “In order to be the greatest that ever lived, you have to beat every one living.” Cena has accomplished every single goal in his career except for The Rock. At Wrestlemania XXIX, Rock’s time is up, and Cena’s time is now. Rock says his time is just getting started. Rock also quotes a famous athlete, “winning is about heart, you just got to have it in the right place.” The man that said that quote was Lance Armstrong, he was full of crap, and so is Cena. Cena says at Wrestlemania history will not repeat, he makes history and will become WWE champion. Rock says the difference between the two of them is Cena thinks he can beat Rock, but Rock knows he can beat Cena, and at Wrestlemania XXIX he will beat him again. If you smell…what The Rock…is cookin’?

Say what you will, but you’ve got to love The Rock, he just has a presence. On that note, most people that know me know I don’t care much for John Cena, but I respect him. That promo is exactly why I do. This time around I am much more invested in these two’s match. Last year it was all about silliness and funny catch phrases. This time, it’s about respect.

Jack Swagger vs. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Sgt. Slaughter and Dusty Rhodes are in Duggan’s corner tonight! U-S-A! Duggan doesn’t look half bad in there. Swagger rolls out to the floor and takes Hacksaw’s two-by-four. Swagger nails all three legends with the two-by-four. Swagger points to the Wrestlemania sign and locks in the Patriot Lock on Duggan.

A lot of people have been complaining that too much focus has been on Zeb Colter lately. Tonight was a step in the right direction for Swagger. We saw his serious and dangerous attitude, and we did not even get or need to hear Colter speak.

Back from commercial and Josh Matthews has caught up with Swagger and Colter before he’s attacked by Alberto Del Rio and a brawl breaks out and several officials have to separate the two.

Team Hell No vs. The Prime Time Players

“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase is at ringside to check out the Prime Time Players during this match at their invitation. Darren Young starts this off with Kane. Young shows off his speed before being leveled by Kane. Kane makes the tag to Daniel Bryan and they hit a nice double team. Yes! kicks from Bryan and Bryan continues working on Darren Young’s arm and hits a nice drop kick for a two-count. Titus O’Neil makes the tag and lands a nice clothesline on Bryan. PTP makes another quick tag and O’Neil front-face slams Young onto Bryan. PTP makes another quick tag as they continue to isolate Daniel Bryan. This is what tag team wrestling needs in the WWE. O’Neil sets up Bryan in the corner and charges, but misses. Bryan tags in Kane and he goes right to work on Darren Young. Kane hits the running drop kick, and a clothesline in the corner. Side slam from Kane, and O’Neil is back in and takes down Kane and goes after Bryan. O’Neil charges at Bryan and Bryan pulls the rope down and O’Neil goes to the outside. Bryan hits a running knee off the apron. Kane pins Darren Young after a chokeslam. Ted DiBiase shoves a one hundred dollar bill into Young’s throat. Team Hell No is leaving and Daniel Bryan sneaks back to ringside to take the hundred-dollar bill and stuffs it into his tights when no one’s looking.

Brodus Clay and Sweet T vs. 3MB

Justin Roberts welcomes the greatest Intercontinental champion of all time, The Honky Tonk Man. Heath Slater says Honky Tonk needs to go back to Vegas with all the other Elvis impersonators. McIntrye starts this off with Sweet T. T gets the win for his team after a quick roll-up. Clay, T and the girls are dancing in the ring before they’re interrupted by The Honky Tonk Man, and everybody starts shaking, rattling, and rolling and Honky Tonk smashes a guitar over Slater’s head.

Kofi Kingston vs. Fandango

Fandango has a mic and says, no, this is not appropriate. He will not debut until Justin Roberts can announce his name properly. Justin tries again and again, and Fandango says no, you’ve got to feel the A’s. Fandango says tonight is the night that we almost got to see the debut of Fandango and he leaves.

After a recap of last week’s fight between Triple H and Brock Lesnar, Triple H is on his way to the ring. Triple H says last time he was in the ring with a microphone, it was eight days after Lesnar broke his arm for the second time, eight days after Summerslam. He said he thought he might be done. He got emotional. He wasn’t sure it was over. The second the cast was off, he was back in the gym training like always, but with no real goal in mind. Sure he was doing his day job as the suit, he even cut his hair, but he was training every day. A few months later he found himself in the best shape he’d been in in years, waiting, waiting for a reason. Then he was sitting in a hospital bed looking at an old man who had just had surgery. The old man is the reason we’re all here; he created this. The old man’s daughter, his wife, and his kids sat there crying, while Triple H was smiling inside. The same crazy-ass old man got out of the bed and challenged Paul Heyman to a fight. Heyman did what he always does, and turned to Lesnar, Triple H was ready. If Brock Lesnar thought this was over at Summerslam, Triple H tells Brock to feel the staples in the back of his head and know they’re just getting started. He’s calling Brock out for Wrestlemania. He’s back. The ass-kicker is back. The King of Kings is back. The Game is back.

Back from commercial and The Shield deliver a pre-taped promo. Ambrose talks about the four men throwing their hat into the race to challenge The Undertaker. Rollins reminds us that The Undertaker is not the only one that is undefeated. Ambrose says the eye of justice is watching everybody. Reigns says Big Show got a cheap shot that will never happen again. Rollins wishes them luck. Ambrose says no body can beat them. Believe in The Shield.

Wade Barrett vs. Alberto Del Rio

Barrett gains the early advantage and pushes Del Rio in the corner. Barrett gets tied up in the ropes and Del Rio goes to work on Barrett’s back as Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter make their way ringside. Barrett hits the Winds of Change for a two-count. Barrett hits Del Rio with a few elbow drops for another two-count. Ricardo gets the “Si!” chant going and Barrett back drops Del Rio onto the apron and uses the top rope to choke Del Rio. Del Rio locks in the Cross Arm Breaker using the top rope as leverage before getting big booted to the outside. Del Rio draped over the apron, and Barrett knees Del Rio multiple times in the face. Barrett misses an elbow off the second rope. Big boot from Del Rio, and he follows up with a running a clothesline. Tilt-a-whirl back breaker sets up a super kick from Del Rio for a two-count. Barrett hits a super kick of his own that sets up a pump handle slam, but Del Rio reverses. Barrett goes for another Winds of Change, but Del Rio counters into the Cross Arm Breaker before Barrett taps.

One of Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger’s YouTube videos is shown. This week’s is entitled “political correctness.” Swagger asks if Zeb remembers when freedom of speech actually meant something. Zeb says he does, that it was quite some time ago. He also remembers a time when someone came into your house and took something, and you called them a thief, you weren’t called prejudiced. Real Americans call it as they see it. Real Americans refuse to use politically correct language. If you want respect, respect them, and respect their laws. There will always be a group of real Americans ready to stand up for what they believe in.

The New Age Outlaws vs. Epico and Primo

Oh, you didn’t know?! Welcome to the dogg house! Billy Gunn and The Roaddogg are looking good. Roaddogg asks Buffalo, if they’re ready… He knows they’re ready. D-Generation X proudly brings to you the five time WWE tag team champs, the New Age Outlaws, and, of course, if you’re not down with that, they’ve got two words for you. Epico and Roaddogg start this off. Roaddogg hits the shake rattle and roll and knee drop for a two-count. Roaddogg takes out Primo on the apron. Epico gains the advantage, and Roaddogg tries to tag Primo. A series of quick tags between Epico and Primo and they have Roaddogg well isolated. A quick shot of Rosa shaking her thing is never a bad thing. Roaddogg and Epico run headfirst into each other and both men make tags. Billy Gunn unloads on both Primo and Epico and hits a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Roaddogg and Epico are fighting on the floor and Billy hits the Fame-asser on Primo for the win. That’s how it’s done, Dolph Ziggler.

The entire locker room is out for Mae Young’s 90th birthday. Wow. “Mean” Gene welcomes the oldest living member of the WWE Hall of Fame, Mae Young, and out come the Divas and Mae as the WWE Universe sings Happy Birthday to Mae before “Cult of Personality” interrupts the proceedings. C.M. Punk storms out

C.M. Punk vs. Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs. Big Show

The winner, of course, will go on to Wrestlemania to challenge The Undertaker and his undefeated streak. Punk slides to the outside as the bell rings. Sheamus and Orton are right behind to corner Punk, who runs back into the ring to face Big Show only to get clobbered. Sheamus gets tossed to the outside by Show. Orton gains the advantage on Show, but not for long and Big Show chases Orton to the outside. Orton slams Show into the ring post, and back inside it’s Orton and Sheamus facing off. Punk tries to steal the win from Orton by pinning Sheamus, but only gets two. Punk slides back out and Sheamus and Orton are fighting again. Sheamus hits the Irish Curse, and Punk tries to steal the win again. Sheamus catches Punk on his way out this time, and Orton and Sheamus launch Punk to the outside as Big Show comes back in to take out Sheamus and Orton before we head to a commercial.

Back from commercial, and Punk is in control of Orton. During the commercial Orton took out Big Show with a top rope hanging DDT. Orton hits a round of clotheslines and a powerslam on Punk. Orton hits a T-Bone suplex for a two-count. Orton tries for the second rope hanging DDT on Punk, but Punk counters and throws Orton outside and bows to the crowd before Sheamus is back in and in control of Punk. Punk tries unsuccessfully to counter the chest beating from Sheamus and Big Show is back in and nails Sheamus with a Final Cut and Punk breaks up the three-count. Punk is on the offensive against Big Show and gets hit by the KO Punch out of nowhere, but Sheamus is back in before Show can take advantage. Sheamus hits a flying forearm on Big Show. Big Show looking for a Vader Bomb, and misses Sheamus. Sheamus goes for White Noise and impressively lifts Big Show and connects for a two-count. Sheamus is setting up for the Brogue Kick on Big Show, but Orton is in, and hits a powerslam on Sheamus for a two-count. Big Show chokeslams Orton and Sheamus. Sheamus kicks out of a pin attempt by Big Show. Big Show misses a KO Punch on Sheamus, and Sheamus nails the Big Show with the Brogue Kick. RKO on Sheamus, and C.M. Punk is back in from out of nowhere and hits Orton with the GTS for the win! C.M. Punk will face Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Punk is celebrating in the ring when the bell tolls and the lights go out. The fog rolls in, and The Undertaker is on his way down the aisle and stares down C.M. Punk as RAW goes off the air.

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