WWE RAW rolled into Cajun country yesterday the wheels treading on the road for Wrestlemania 29 on April 7th. RAW this week saw the fallout from Sunday’s Elimination Chamber PPV move momentum up for several WWE superstars and the surprise reveal of a new WWE Championship title belt. Pro Wrestling Examiner will now analyze and breakdown all the big stories coming out of RAW this week. Share your feedback on Twitter @KevKellam and the Pro Wrestling Examiner on Facebook.
NEW WWE TITLE REVEALED
WWE did the right thing by revealing a brand new redesigned WWE Championship. For more details about the new belt and why WWE decided to flip it now, read this article with photos of the new title.
The Rock was walking on thin ice by making fun of the Spinner belt, because a lot of WWE fans love that title but the Great One made the right move by unveiling but it was warranted. The title redesign was long overdue, and will get the Rock looking “bad ass” for Wrestlemania.
Rock being RAW is being made to feel important each time, which was established yet again when he had the University of Louisiana Marching Band drumming him to the Rock to the ring. It just made the segment more eventful.
PUNK VS. CENA FOR THE WRESTLEMANIA WWE TITLE MAIN EVENT
This opening segment with Cena once again stating his wishes to redeem himself in the bright lights of Wrestlemania once again was interesting. The twist of CM Punk getting a chance to steal the WWE title shot away from Cena was interesting, until logic kicks in. WWE wants another million-dollar maquee main event and thought CM Punk has been their MVP in the last year, he’s not the superstar they want to have face the Rock at Mania.
Next week’s RAW will see Punk and Cena put on a match that could test the disbelief factor, making you think Punk could actually get to New Jersey to face Rock with Cena on the sidelines but this Examiner will believe that when pigs fly and a cow jumps over the moon.
JACK SWAGGER & ZEB COLTER
Jack Swagger upset Randy Orton in the closing moments of the Elimination Chamber to earn a World title match at Wrestlemania. Two weeks ago, Swagger was far from a main event element in WWE, but since getting the mouthpiece that is Zev Colter (who some fans may remember as Dirty Dutch Mantell) he has been a fresh new character. The controversial angle of ‘Real Americans’ like Swagger and Colter being against “illegal immigrants” is a sensitive territory but WWE has done much more controversial stories in the past. Frankly, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio could not have a better character to oppose him at ‘Mania then Swagger.
Swagger also had a physical display of talent and power in his stellar match last night with one of the best wrestlers in WWE, Daniel Bryan. Swagger looked more dangerous than he has in years when he targeted Bryan’s leg and forced an domineering submission victory.
DOLPH GETS ROBBED OF HIS MONEY MOMENT
WWE was giving away something special in Del Rio vs. Dolph Zigger on RAW in a non-title match. At least that’s what it felt like and that doubtful perspective settled in as the match went on and saw both men give one of the best matches of the night. These two guys match up with their dynamic styles and junior heavyweight frames. It felt like we were getting a sample of a big match that is on the horizon.
The most intriguing part of the segment was Ziggler’s dashed hopes when he attempted to cash-in the Money in the Bank for a World title shot.Ziggler’s powerlifting cronie Big E Langston attacked Del Rio after he won the match decisively with a Cross Arm Breaker submission, allowing Ziggler a chance to cash-in and steal the World title. Alberto’s personal ring announcer Riccardo Rodriguez stole the briefcase before the referee made it official, and hightailed it as Langston chased him. Ziggles got his hand on the briefcase again only to get Del Rio’s snapping foot in his face. It was just a lot of fun moving parts all clicking in one fast exchange.
THE SHIELD IMPRESS YET AGAIN ON RAW
The outlaws known as the Shield once again bested some of WWE’s top stars on RAW after they defeated Cena , Ryback, and Sheamus. On RAW, Jericho joined the war that is growing between WWE and the Shield. The six-man tag match once again showed off Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns as strong villains who work well together and can figure out ways to win matches especially when things get real crazy.
It will be interesting to see what WWE does with the Shield as their latest faction heading into Wrestlemania. It’s possible the trio could face a team that represents WWE in another Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match which would follow their memorable performance at the TLC Pay Per View in December.
PAUL HEYMAN VS. VINCE McMAHON IN A ‘FIGHT’ IS JUST AN ILLUSION
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon appeared on RAW via satelite just two weeks after hip replacement surgery, and did the unthinkable that he ordered the weasely Paul Heyman to meet him the ring next week for a ‘fight’. Now at the extended age of 67 and fresh off a life-altering operation on his hip, McMahon could simply being luring Heyman’s monster Brock Lesnar out from the shadows. From where this Examiner is sitting, Lesnar hits the ring to victmize McMahon again only to be cut off by the Game, Triple H.
The segment with Heyman jaw-jacking with RAW Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrrero and her new assistant Brad Maddox.
WWE RAW THIS WEEK DELIVERS THE GOODS FOR ‘MANIA HYPE
Overall WWE is doing a fair job at this point to build anticipation and craft stories that have interesting twists and turns to be played out before Wrestlemania. The roster of active talent is top notch right now if you look it objectively from the bottom of the card all the way to the top, WWE is really trying to put on their strongest effort before their biggest night of the year. The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania status is the biggest question mark, besides that WM29 is looking pretty powerful at the moment.