Event: WWE Monday Night RAW
Airdate: Monday, March 11th, 2013 (USA Network)
Location: The Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN
Results by Ken Hill
“Yes, sir, we promised you a great main event…”
A moment of silence as the WWE takes the chance to reflect on the life and times of one of the most unique, legendary managers in the business, William “Paul Bearer” Moody.
Very apropos way to start Raw, with the man who Paul Bearer had perhaps the greatest impact on in their career, The Undertaker. He seems to take a moment to reflect, likely for his longtime manager and friend, before proceeding to the ring as only the Phenom can. An urn is centered in the ring, an iconic item of both the Dead Man and Bearer, and Taker kneels in tribute…Punk’s music hits, and Taker and the crowd both seem shocked and appalled.
Punk attempts to quell the crowd, and wishes to extend his heartfelt condolences and apologies to Taker…at WrestleMania. To Paul Bearer, Undertaker will always be perfect. To everyone else, in 4 weeks, Taker will be 20-1. After Mania, there will only be tributes to Taker’s broken streak, and years from now, people will remember where they were when Punk broke the Streak.
The crowd lets Punk have it as Undertaker just stares a hole through the Chicago native.
A member of the Shield is in singles action for the first time as Seth Rollins takes on the Big Show…oh, there’s NO possible way The Shield will interfere in this one…
We see on WWEActive that a PISSED-OFF Kane came out after Punk’s disrespect of Kane’s late father, goozled Punk, and nearly chokeslammed him off the stage. Punk escaped and made tracks, but Kane’s in hot pursuit. He storms through the locker room, demanding to know where Punk is, and just biels Alex Riley over a table. Damn.
The Big Show vs. Seth Rollins w/Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns
The Shield, to no surprise, comes out with Rollins. He seems hesitant to enter as Reigns and Ambrose each take a side of the ring. Rollins tries to take the fight to Show early, but the giant shrugs him off and throws him to the outside onto Ambrose. Show decides, “Aw, screw it”, and takes the fight to the Shield, tossing Reigns into the barricade before Ambrose and Rollins jump him from behind.
Show struggles into the ring, with Ambrose putting the boots to him, but Show fights him off and catches Rollins off the ropes with a goozle! Reigns with a HUGE spear to Show, and the pack of justice rains blows down on the giant, lifting up the dead weight of Show and lifting him up for a BIG triple powerbomb. Wow! The Shield stands tall over the fallen giant.
Winner: No Contest
Punk storms into Vickie and Brad’s office, demanding that a lid be put on Kane and his actions. Vickie is ticked at Punk’s inherent disrespect of Paul Bearer and puts him in a No-DQ match against the Big Red Monster; Punk will have to beg mercy from Kane, and I think the man’s fresh out.
Kane’s erstwhile partner Daniel Bryan is in action against Dolph Ziggler, whose nutsy girlfriend AJ ended up on the wrong end of a zinger from her ex Bryan. Not to mention she ended up wet…not that kinda wet
Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler w/AJ Lee & Big E. Langston
Dolph and Bryan exchange some “pleasantries” before locking up. Dolph off the ropes, but Bryan catches him with a flapjack and locks in a nice surfboard, pinning him down for a 1 count. Dolph fires back with a dropkick. He backs Bryan to the corner with a few rights and boots. Bryan reverses a hard whip and drills Ziggler with a corner dropkick. Dolph is sent to the outside. Bryan readies a dive, but Langston cuts him off as Dolph recovers on the outside and we go to break…
Dolph with the headstand headlock, but Bryan fights out. He catches a dropkick and launches Dolph into the turnbuckle. Bryan fires up. Dolph reverses a whip, Bryan floats out of the corner and hits some nice lariats. Bryan with kicks to Dolph, he ducks a third, but Bryan with a STIFF Buzzsaw kick with the other foot for a near fall! Dolph goes for the sleeper, Bryan snapmares out. The two men exchange roll-ups for two counts. Dolph blocks Bryan in the corner with an elbow and goes up top. Bryan stops him, goes for a back superplex, but Dolph counters into a cross body in mid-air! 1…2…kickout! Bryan catches Ziggler with the No! Lock, but AJ distracts the ref as Langston drags Dolph’s foot to the ropes, and the ref breaks the hold. Dolph catches Bryan with the Famouser and gets a CLOSE near fall. Bryan tries the No! Lock again, Dolph rolls out of it. Bryan charges, but gets flapjacked into the ropes, and Dolph hits the Zig Zag for the three! Awesome match!
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
AJ Lee nods to Langston post-match, and he picks up Bryan, only to put him right back down with the Big Ending! AJ and Dolph share a little make-out session as they look on and laugh.
We get a behind-the-scenes look at Triple H’s journey back to the ring to challenge Lesnar, chronicling his time in the gym and watching on as Vince recovered from hip surgery.
The WWE Slam of the Night is a good old-fashioned guitar slam from Honky Tonk Man to the “One-Man Bland” Heath Slater, and dancing old-school with the unofficially-named “Tippen-Scales.” Gotta admit, it’s pretty catchy.
“Sweet T” Tensai is in action against Fandango, and he demands that the man come out here. Fandango’s lady friend dances saucily out first, before Mr. Dango himself comes out. He says he will not come down until his name is pronounced right, and considers Clay and Tensai an insult to dance, even to the midwest, who don’t know a thing about the arts. He asks that Naomi announces him, but Tensai interrupts her. Fandango tsk-tsks him and says he will not wrestle until his name is announced correctly. And once again, Lawler is denied his Fandango goodness.
Rhodes Scholars vs. The New Age Outlaws
Rhodes introduces himself and Sandow in a pretty funny parody of Dogg and Gunn, before the real deals come out, and James pays tribute to Bearer before making the REAL DEAL introduction of the NAO.
Road Dogg and Cody start out, with Dogg wringing Cody’s arm, juking and jiving, and dropping him with a trademark right hand. Sandow tries to get involved, but gets sent over the rope. Rhodes with the disaster kick…IT’S BROCK LESSSSNAR!
Cody makes tracks as Lesnar marches to the ring with Heyman in tow. Gunn tries to cut off Lesnar at the pass, but Brock with knees to the head and face and drops Billy with an F-5, before doing the same to James.
Winners: No Contest
Heyman mocks the notion that the “Game is on” as Lesnar doesn’t play games, he destroys people. Heyman wonders what Triple H must be going through, with HBK’s arm being broken by Lesnar, Vince’s hip broken, Stephanie crying over her father’s condition, and now Brock stands tall over the last vestiges of Triple H’s friends and family. Heyman has an answer for Triple H, as far as his challenge to Lesnar goes: YES! There’s a but though. They accept…on the condition that Lesnar gets to name the stipulations, and Triple H won’t know until the last minute. Heyman has two words for everyone: BROOOCK LESSSNARRRR!
Mark Henry vs. Kofi Kingston
Kofi strikes fast and early against Henry, who traps Kofi in a big bearhug. Kofi fights out, and goes for a springboard, only to get grounded BIG TIME with a kick from Henry, sending Kofi down and out to ringside. Henry out of the ring and charges Kofi, only to miss and nail the ring post. Kofi dives onto Henry and is all kinds of fired up. Henry rolls back in, Kofi goes for a cross body. Henry just snags him out of mid-air, and drills him with the World’s Strongest Slam for three.
Winner: Mark Henry
Cody Rhodes backstage with Kaitlyn and pulls the old “I mustache you a question” line. Trust me, man, it never works. Kaitlyn and Cody fumble over their words like teenagers before Sandow comes in, takes Kaitlyn’s water, and says since their match was cancelled, Sandow has found a more suitable pair for them to spend the night with: The Bellas! They mention how they’re back to fix the Divas division and get all kinds of handsy with Sandow and Rhodes, while Kaitlyn’s off in a huff. Vickie welcomes back the Bellas, but Sandow and Rhodes’ double date will have to wait, as Vickie’s found a replacement team to combat them: Randy Orton & Sheamus! The intelligent duo look none too pleased as the Bellas console them. Lucky guys.
As Ryback makes his entrance, we get a preview of the upcoming “Psych” episode featuring the Big Show!
Ryback vs. Heath Slater w/3MB
Ryback eats Slater alive, dropping him with a military press, Meathook, Shell-Shock. I’d go into more flowery prose, but that was pretty much it.
Ryback lays out Drew McIntyre with the Shell-Shock as Mark Henry makes his way down to the ring. Ryback turns to stare down the other super-heavyweight, and shows off with another Shell-Shock to poor McIntyre. Henry plays the “top-this” game, drilling Drew with the World’s Strongest Slam. The two exchange heated words as officials surround the ring and try to break it up. Yeah, good luck with that…
Alberto and Ricardo are WALKING! as it’s Champion versus Champion against the US Champ, Antonio Cesaro!
We get a preview of “The Call” with Halle Berry…oh, and David Otunga, who I’m sure has as big role as Barrett did in his film.
Champion versus Champion: World Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. US Champion Antonio Cesaro
Alberto lets us know he may have been born in Mexico, but he was made in America. Simple, strong words. Leagues better than his cutesy parody last Friday.
Cesaro starts out with an arm wringer, but Alberto counters out with a hurricanrana. Alberto up for a cross body for a two count. Cesaro halts him with an European uppercut, and drops the knees to Del Rio for a two count. Del Rio falls and hits his head on the corner as Cesaro takes control. Cesaro stomps away now. Del Rio fights out of a hold but Cesaro takes him to the corner and hits a big running uppercut for a 2 count.
Del Rio makes a comeback with clotheslines and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Del Rio with a big superkick to the jaw for another 2 count. Del Rio with shots to the kidneys and a backstabber for a two count. Del Rio goes back to the top but Cesaro uppercuts him in mid-air for a CLOSE near fall. Cesaro runs over Del Rio again and goes for a German, but Del Rio counters it with a cross armbreaker for the win.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Josh Matthews in the back with Kane, who looks emotional as he hold the urn his father Paul Bearer famously carried throughout his career. Josh says it must be a trying time for Kane. Kane looks off into the distance and walks off without a word.
Following the commercial, we get a special preview of the Rock-Cena Mania rematch for the WWE Championship.
“Letters From The Sky” plays as we see The Rock triumphing last year at WM 28, how it’s eaten up John Cena and affected him both personally and professionally, including the divorce from his wife and his progressively worse year in 2012, from Extreme Rules to Survivor Series. Then…Cena wins the Royal Rumble, and now he has a second chance to right the biggest wrong of his career. Rock says it’s not about redemption, it’s about Cena getting his ass kicked. While Cena thinks he can win, Rocky knows he can beat Cena.
Strong promo, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see it as the official preview at WM 29.
“The Viper’s” music hits and here comes Randy Orton, as he and Sheamus are in action the Bellas’ new beaus, The Rhodes Scholars!
Team Rhodes Scholars vs. Randy Orton & Sheamus
Sandow and Orton start it out. Orton floars under and over Sandow, drilling him with an elbow, then a suplex for a two count. Sheamus tagged in, and a double team whip into a shoulder block for a two count. Sandow backs Sheamus into his corner, and Cody tags in with some boots to Sheamus, who quickly fires back with a clothesline and a Finlay Roll for two. Sheamus tries to pull the mustache off Cody. Hands off the Love-Stache, dude! Sandow low bridges Sheamus and nails a clothesline on the outside. Sheamus is rolled back in, and Sandow tags in. He puts the boots to Sheamus before Cody tags back in with some boots of his own and a chin lock. Sheamus fights out with a big clothesline.
Randy gets the hot tag, and fires off with the clotheslines and a snap powerslam. Orton hits his newly-minted T-Bone suplex for a two count. Snakebite DDT attempt, but Sandow pulls Rhodes out of the ring. Orton follows, but gets double teamed by the Scholars. Rhodes tosses Orton back in. Sandow tags in for the leg sweep,and the Cubito Aequet, which gets a two count. Cody tags in with some boots, then a gourdbuster suplex gets a near fall for Rhodes. He goes up top, but Orton halts him and hits a nice superplex. Both men make the tag. Sheamus with the Irish Hammers and a shoulder. Knee lift to Sandow, and now we go a clubberin’! Sandow hip tossed back in…White Noise on Sandow! Sheamus fires up for the Brogue Kick…Cody tries to stop him, but runs into a RKO! Brogue Kick to Sandow! Three count!
Winners: “The Celtic Vipers” (Don’t expect that to stick with Orton’s soon-to-come heel turn)
Coming up next, we “go to the movies” as Chris Jericho presents the Highlight Reel with guest stars The Miz and IC Champion Wade Barrett!
During the commercial break, Sheamus and Orton end up jumped by The Shield. A big highlight is Orton getting tossed off the stage, and Rollins following with a big diving knee to “The Viper.” Lawler and Cole discuss who, if anyone, can stop the Shield’s reign of “justice.”
We get some touts from the fans reminiscing on recent and classic moments of Paul Bearer, including his reunion with Taker in 1999 and his famous WM 20 return.
Chris Jericho, Lite-Brite jacket and all, makes his big entrance after being waylaid by the Shield. He makes sure his jacket is working and welcomes us to the Highlight. He shows us a clip of the surprise hit “The Marine 3” featuring the Miz. He introduces Miz, and Jericho is impressed with how the movie exceeded expectations.
They joke about Jericho’s lack of a set before Wade interrupts and decides to show a “real movie”, Dead Man Down, which features Wade for a few brief moments. He talks about how he’s rejected tons of letters from Holllywood, because he’s too busy being the IC Champion and being “Wade Barett.” Really? Really, Wade? Miz mocks Barrett’s accent and he says the real reason he won’t shut up about the movie is because Wade hasn’t won a match in weeks and will soon lose the IC Title. Jericho interrupts with a Jim Carrey rendition of “REALLY?” Barrett tells him to shut it. Jericho reminds Barrett he brought him in to WWE via NXT and has done great, but Jericho’s been where Wade has 9 times and has no problem taking the title a 10th time.
Never thought I’d be glad to see Brad Maddox interrupt a segment. He goes about setting up a match between Jericho and Miz in his own “unique” way. The winner will face Wade Barrett, a.k.a. “You…you…no, you”, next week for the IC Championship.
#1 Contender’s Match for the IC Championship: Chris Jericho vs. The Miz
Chinlock by Jericho on Miz. Elbows by Miz and an Irish whip, but he runs into a boot by Jericho. Miz with a series of clotheslines. Jericho with a series of shoulderblocks. Jericho off the top rope with an axehandle. Miz with a boot to the face. Reverse knife edge chop by Miz. Miz goes for the backbreaker/neckbreaker combination, but Jericho counters with the running bulldog. Jericho goes for the Lionsault. but Miz gets his knees up. Jericho goes for the Walls, Miz counters and looks to lock in the Figure Four (WOOOO!) but Jericho counters into the Walls. Jericho locks it in and Miz makes it to the ropes. Miz falls to the outside and Jericho right after him. Jericho tosses Miz into Barrett, who ambushes both men and the ref throws the match out.
Winner: No Contest
Barrett tries to go after Jericho, but Miz lays him out with a right hand and throws him into the ring. The Skull-Crushing Finale connects, followed by a Codebreaker from Jericho! Methinks a Triple Threat Match may be in the works…
We recap the Ricardo/Alberto parody of Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger from Smackdown. Even less funny the second time around. This isn’t really the kind of feud with a lot of room for humor, so I hope this is as far as it goes.
Swagger and Colter look none too pleased, as they make their way to the ring next!
We get a nice flashback to a Wrestlemania 10 comedy vignette with Paul Bearer and a not-so-sexy shirt switch.
Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter vs. Sin Cara
Zeb cuts the music and says he’s in a bad mood tonight. He’s looking at one of the problems in America and that’s Sin Cara. Zeb rips Cara and calls him a thief. Zeb says every night somewhere, there’s a Sin Cara with his little band of amigos sneaking across the border trying to take something that belongs to an American. Zeb rips Alberto Del Rio before passing the mic to Swagger. Swagger says he will usher in change on April 7th.
Swagger hits the ring and they go at it. Cara hurricanranas Swagger over the ropes and they end up on the floor. Cara kicks him back into the announcers table. Cara leaps from the top rope and takes out Swagger on the floor. They come back in the ring and go at it. Swagger blocks a hurricanrana, but Cara rolls him up for a near fall. Cara with a big kick to the head for another near fall. Cara springboards in, but Swagger catches him with a big boot in mid-air. Swagger works on Cara’s leg now. Swagger locks in the Patriot Lock for the win.
Winner: Jack Swagger
After the match, Swagger refuses to break the ankle lock, until Alberto Del Rio makes the save. Swagger gets the upper hand briefly, but Del Rio locks in the cross arm breaker. Zeb has to drag Swagger out of the ring to safety and they retreat.
Halle Berry on set for an interview about “The Call”…before David Otunga phones in and tells her he MAY have been threatened to disclose her cell number. Uh oh. Halle’s ticked…then the phone rings again, and it’s Kane! He says “I know where you live…how come you don’t return any of my fan letters.” Halle recognizes him as that “freak with the red mask” who writes her every day. She says he writes from the depths of Hell, wondering how things could be done between them. “It’s like when kids write Santa Claus, except it’s the opposite.” Gold, pure comedy gold. Halle hangs up, and Kane bemoans that they won’t go on a picnic. Halle’s ticked at Otunga, and sets off Kane’s pyro, which puts a goofy smile on his face. Kane 2011: World Champion. Kane 2013: Hugger and Celeb Stalker.
Kane and CM Punk, No Disqualification…YOUR Main Event is next!
Punk out first, followed by Kane, who carries the iconic urn in remembrance of his father. Punk, however, ambushes Kane during his entrance, beating him down at ringside. Kane eventually comes back with knees and tosses Punk into the fan barrier. Kane continues throwing Punk around ringside and drops him over the top of the barrier. Punk with a ring bell shot to Kane’s midsection to stop his assault, rolls him back in, and delivers an Savage elbow as we go to the last commercial break…
They are running WAY late. Still going at 11:12EST and not even close to being over.
We’re in overtime, folks! Kane looksfor a powerslam, but Punk counters and nails a clothesline out of the corner. He wedges a chair in the corner, goes to Irish whip Kane, who reverses and it’s Punk hitting the corner and steel chair back first. Clotheslines in the corner by Kane. Sidewalk slam to Punk. Clothesline over the ropes to the outside. Kane after Punk, and whips him hard into the barricade. Kane’s going berserk, tossing steel chairs into the ring. Kane has Punk back in the ring. Kane looks for the chokeslam on a steel chair, but Punk counters with a nice DDT on the chair for a near fall. Punk picks up the chair and mocks Undertaker. Kane goozles Punk again, but Punk hits a roundhouse kick to down Kane. Punk looks for the GTS…the bell tolls for Punk! Punk looks around in a panic, Kane’s back up. Goozle! Chokeslam! Three count!
Following the match, Undertaker comes out, and he and Kane both kneel in one last tribute to Paul Bearer…PUNK BLINDSIDES KANE WITH THE URN! He assaults Kane bodily with the urn as Taker charges the ring, but Punk retreats, urn in hand. Taker attends to Kane as Punk commits the ultimate sacrilege by mocking Undertaker’s tributary pose to Paul Bearer with the urn. Taker is PISSED and signals Punk’s imminent demise at Wrestlemania…ladies and gentleman, this feud just got kicked WAY into overdrive.
Credit: Ken Hill