One has to wonder whether Bruno Sammartino is having second thoughts about his Hall of Fame offer, because this week’s WWE Raw was full of attitude! Triple H made his return and left Brock Lesnar bleeding profusely in the very first segment, CM Punk declared he was God and then brought back the banned Piledriver in a losing effort to Cena, and Zeb Colter’s confrontation with Alberto Del Rio will most certainly garner more controversy, the kind WWE avoided like the plague just a few months ago when Linda McMahon was running for senate.
- Mr. McMahon’s fight with Paul Heyman was cut short when Brock Lesnar interfered, but before any damage could be done Triple H returned and bloodied Lesnar with the ring post, and sent him packing him with a steel chair!
- Ryback def. Dolph Ziggler.
- CM Punk said tonight was not about Cena, The Rock, the Title or Wrestlemania, it was about him, the God of the WWE Universe.
- Mark Henry def. The Great Khali
- Donald Trump was announced for the Celebrity Wing of the Hall of Fame.
- On Miz TV Zeb Colter went face to face with Del Rio and ranted about how millions of illegal immigrants are ruining opportunities for real Americans, and that Del Rio is encouraging them by becoming one of the few successful Hispanics.
- Randy Orton def. US Champion Antonio Cesaro.
- Cole plays the “Few Good Men” parody from Wrestlemania 21, featuring John Cena and JBL.
- Sheamus mocks Wade Barrett in Dead Man Down (looks like Bo Dallas is on the back-burner). They brawled with nobody getting the advantage.
- R-Truth def. Cody Rhodes.
- Team Hell No def. The Prime Time Players, despite Kane having his hand tied behind his back and Bryan blindfolded.
- Sheamus distracted Ambrose & Reigns, leaving Rollins prone to an RKO.
- Jack Swagger def. The Miz.
- Undertaker return hype video.
- John Cena def. CM Punk to reclaim his Wrestlemania spot.
It’s all about the blood and are you bleeding?
It’s been a while since WWE have permitted blood so openly on their “PG” programming and it was the perfect way to kick off an exciting and action packed show. Whether this was Triple H getting his way or a sign of things to come, it certainly added momentum in to Wrestlemania. Of course WWE are going out of their way to say the blood was an accident because it’s against their policy and programming agreements to have blood on the show, but I strongly suspect it was planned, even if the spot was legitimate in terms of not using a blade.
The much hyped fight between Mr. McMahon and Paul Heyman was always going to be a swerve. After all Vince is on crutches and Heyman has Lesnar in his corner. Logically things kicked off with the able-bodied Heyman getting the upper-hand, but Vince’s ego soon prevailed when he was able to use his crutches against the former ECW honcho. This prompted Brock Lesnar to make the save, but before he could do any harm to the Chairman, Triple H made an exciting return and brought some “attitude” with him. Ramming Lesnar twice in to the ring post and attacking him with a steel chair, left blood in and around the ring. On the UK broadcast this was not edited in any way (not sure about the US), but WWE.com have made the pictures black and white to disguise Lesnar’s pouring head.
While a match between the pair for Wrestlemania has not be confirmed, that is clearly where they’re headed, and there are no complaints here.
Show stolen from Ziggler
Two would-be main eventers who have lost steam recently are Ryback and Dolph Ziggler. WWE’s answer to this? Put them in a match where one of them will get buried. Not surprisingly it was selling-machine Ziggler, who after making Ryback look like a million bucks had to take the loss, even with interference from Langston. It’s understandable why WWE put on a such a high profile match after an exciting start to the show, but was it really needed? Ryback could have just as easily defeated a lower card talent with the same impact.
WWE’s reasoning appears to be that because Ziggler has the money in the bank and will be given a push at some point, they can bury him now and it won’t matter. Perhaps it does matter? There’s no point calling somebody a show stealer and mimicking the Diesel/HBK relationship, if they lose all the time and can’t even use outside interference to their advantage.
Does Glenn Beck have a point?
It’s one thing to portray a racist/xenophobic character who does nothing but rant due to an inner hatred of others. It gets a little murky when that character then actually makes reasonable points. On tonight’s Miz TV Zeb Colter didn’t once mention people with “different faces” to his, but made it clear that he was talking about the millions of illegal immigrants in the US who he argues has a great economic impact on the economy and opportunities of law abiding citizens.
As viewers some of us may not personally agree that America has an immigration problem, but a large percentage of the voting public do agree. And this is where Glenn Beck and Alex Jones etc have a point. The average citizen involved in the immigration debate is not walking around in military fatigues and standing in front of compounds making militia themed Youtube videos; in that sense whether it’s deliberate or not WWE are having a cultural impact, a rather negative one should you fall within certain Conservative circles, because they’re undermining their viewpoint, by equating them to nut jobs.
Controversy does however make for some exciting television!
It’s just a shame Del Rio cannot hang on the mic with Colter, and creative don’t seem to have given him many lines for his come back. Apparently “shut up” and “America Belongs To Everyone”, is sufficient. Although that may be true in front of a live WWE audience, if the company want to tackle tough cultural and political topics and make some kind of meaningful contribution, it was pretty weak on Del Rio’s part.
Later in the night Jack Swagger defeated the Miz with the Patriot Lock, after Miz’s ankle got caught in the ropes. As he pointed to the WrestleMania sign, it became clear that if he’s to be punished for his recent arrest it won’t be happening until after the mega event.
Cena defeats God
Earlier in the night CM Punk proclaimed himself the God of the WWE Universe. But who’s better than God? John Cena of course. This match was never going to please everyone, but with its high intensity and believable hatred (not mentioning the return of the Piledriver) in terms of execution this was one of Punk & Cena’s best…
They got a good 20 minutes, and the message was clear. Love him or hate him, John Cena can go and deserves to be at Wrestlemania. In the closing moments Punk missed an Eblow Drop from the top, Cena then fired back with a Hurricanrana and a final Attitude Adjustment for the win.
This then leaves one option left for Punk at Wrestlemania. it has to be the Undertaker!
- Darren Young made his return tonight from a knee injury despite news that he’d need 8 months out. It’s not clear if he’s 100%, but this explains Titus O’Neil’s Tweet prior to Raw about “rumor killing”.
- Despite hyping the Undertaker’s Waco, Texas house show appearance before the show (likely helping the ratings) the Undertaker did not appear on Raw. Instead Michael Cole introduced the video from the Live Event and speculated about his Wrestlemania status. If they’re speculating on TV you can pretty much bank that he’ll be at Mania.
- Fandango will make his debut on Friday’s SmackDown.
- Triple H joined Twitter during Raw @TripleH and in his first Tweet wrote… “Time to play the Twitter game… #Raw”
- On his Hall of Fame induction Donald Trump Tweeted… “Wow, I was just informed that I’m being inducted into the @WWE Hall of Fame– a great honor — 4/6/13 at @MSGnyc”
- Next week’s episode of Raw will have be “old-school”, implying a retro theme with appearances by Legends.
- After Orton sneak-attacked Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns Tweeted the following… “@RandyOrton strikes fast, but The Shield always hits last. Due time we’re going to skin The Viper. #ShieldBringsTheSword #BelieveInTheShield”
- Following Glenn Beck’s refusal to appear on Raw, Michael Cole played ambush journalist and invaded the Glenn Beck offices to try and get an interview…
GLENN BECK HIDES FROM WWE®
STAMFORD, Conn., February 25, 2013 – Glenn Beck declined WWE’s invitation to address our fans live on Raw® tonight and then hid from WWE reporters when approached this evening at his studios in Dallas. WWE attempted to get comment from Beck but was unable to gain building access after Beck’s representatives said he was “not in the building,” which clearly couldn’t be the case just prior to his show airing live from the same studio.
Beck referenced WWE as “stupid wrestling people” in a segment that aired on TheBlaze TV last week, criticizing a recent WWE storyline involving WWE characters World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio™, Jack Swagger™ and Zeb Colter™.
Similar to other television shows and feature films, WWE is in the entertainment business, creating fictional characters that serve as protagonists or antagonists. To create compelling and relevant content for our audience, it is important to incorporate current events into our storylines.
WWE is creating a rivalry centered on a topical subject that has varying points of view. This storyline was developed to build the Mexican American character Del Rio into a hero given WWE’s large Latino base, which represents 20 percent of our audience.