The road to WrestleMania 29 is officially underway, and Monday’s edition of Raw ensured the WWE Universe realized the magnitude of the show by giving the fans one of the best episodes of the last calendar year.
Between Triple H and Brock Lesnar to open Raw and John Cena vs. CM Punk to close the event, the fans in attendance and at home got a show worthy of the build to the company’s biggest show.
While the hope that The Undertaker would appear hurt the aura of the show for some, the vast majority of fans enjoyed a well-booked Raw.
There is still so much programming to fill before WrestleMania, so if the WWE Universe thinks the swerves are over, it has another thing coming.
Raw Results from Feb. 25 (via WWE.com)
Paul Heyman’s fight against Mr. McMahon degenerated into a brawl between Brock Lesnar and Triple H.
Ryback defeated Dolph Ziggler.
CM Punk proclaimed himself “God” to the WWE Universe.
Mark Henry defeated The Great Khali.
Jack Swagger, Zeb Colter, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez appeared on “Miz TV.”
Randy Orton defeated U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro.
Sheamus presented his Oscar snubs.
R-Truth defeated Cody Rhodes.
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No defeated The Prime Time Players.
Sheamus and Randy Orton confronted The Shield.
Jack Swagger defeated The Miz.
John Cena def. CM Punk to decide the No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship.
Cena and Punk Do It Again
While many members of the WWE Universe hate John Cena—the smarky fans that don’t care about the fiscal side of the business—no one can question the amazing long-term feud between Cena and former champion CM Punk.
Since Punk captured the mainstream buzz with his scathing shoot promo on Raw in 2011, Cena and Punk have feuded against each other in several amazing matches. No matter what is on the line, these two men work well together and put on a top-caliber show.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Will the WWE Universe Give Cena Credit?
Monday’s main-event match was one of the best the fans will ever see on live television, and Cena is a huge reason for that. There is just something about Punk that forces the face of the company to bring his best in the ring.
Cena may have botched the Hurricanrana, but the fact that he tried it in the biggest match of 2013 to date proves that these two men were built to work together and break down wrestling misconceptions.
A piledriver from Punk? Thank you!
The Rock had a vested interest in this classic main event (the winner faces the WWE Champion at WrestleMania) and was the first to congratulate Cena on his win:
Dwayne Johnson @TheRock
Congrats John.. Its official: Wrestlemania 29 @WWE Heavyweight Champion The Rock vs @JohnCena Greatness vs Redemption #BringIt2/26/2013, 4:10:13 AM
Nationally syndicated radio show Ring Rust Radio talked about the magnitude of what the WWE Universe is currently experiencing in the main-event scene:
When the @WWE Universe looks back through the annals of wrestling lore, @JohnCena vs. @CMPunk will be one of the greatest feuds of all time.2/26/2013, 12:23:54 PM
Triple H and Brock Lesnar, But No Undertaker
Last week when Vince McMahon called out Paul Heyman, it was clear that something huge was going to happen in this storyline. With Brock Lesnar defending Heyman at all costs, McMahon knew that when he got the upper hand, the former MMA and WWE champion would attack.
When Lesnar hit the ring and was about to destroy McMahon, the Motorhead music hit and a now-short-haired Triple H came to the aid of his father-in-law. The rematch most saw coming had finally come to fruition.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Why Tease The Undertaker’s Return?
As great as the entire Triple H and Lesnar segment was—blood included—the WWE clearly teased The Undertaker’s return on both the website and the actual episode of Raw. To many fans, the lack of the legend made the show feel incomplete.
While the company is smart to save The Deadman’s appearance for another episode to build hype and increase ratings, it is damaging the aura that comes with the first time the bell chimes and the lights go black.
Undertaker didn’t have to be there, but WWE shouldn’t be spoiling his return.
There is a contingent of fans that don’t want Lesnar vs. Triple H II, but the brawl will be WrestleMania-worthy, and veteran analyst Joey Styles tends to agree:
Is this real life? Not only did Triple H join Twitter, the former world champion also Tout’d out his feelings toward Lesnar:
Triple H @TripleH
For Brock...http://t.co/6IDz6mhhKI #Raw2/26/2013, 2:23:50 AM