When Monday’s edition of Raw went “Old School,” there were questions about exactly what the WWE had up its sleeve for this episode.
Those concerns were emphatically put to rest with one of the best Raw broadcasts in a long time, and the company continues to do an amazing job setting the stage for WrestleMania 29.
Between Triple H calling out Brock Lesnar, the faceoff between The Rock and John Cena, the bevy of WWE legends that returned and The Undertaker finding out he will fight CM Punk at WrestleMania, this was an action-packed three hours.
There will always be a contingent of fans that complains about the show no matter what happens each week, but it’s hard for even the smarkiest fans to find basic flaws with an episode of Raw as amazing as Monday’s “Old School” edition.
Raw Results from March 4 (via WWE.com)
The Undertaker returned; Vickie Guerrero declared a Fatal 4-Way to determine his opponent at WrestleMania.
Ryback defeated U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro.
Mark Henry defeated Zack Ryder.
The Miz defeated Dolph Ziggler.
WWE Champion The Rock and John Cena confronted each other in a “point-counterpoint.”
Jack Swagger attacked "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter and Dusty Rhodes.
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No defeated The Prime Time Players.
Brodus Clay & Tensai defeated 3MB.
Fandango refused to face Kofi Kingston when Justin Roberts mispronounced his name.
Triple H challenged Brock Lesnar to a match at WrestleMania 29.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio defeated Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett.
The New Age Outlaws defeated Primo & Epico.
CM Punk defeated Randy Orton, Big Show and Sheamus to become The Undertaker’s WrestleMania opponent.
Undertaker vs. CM Punk
When Raw kicked off from Buffalo, N.Y. on Monday, one of the biggest storylines the WWE Universe was following was the probable return of The Undertaker that the company had been teasing all day. Fans didn’t have to wait long, as The Deadman’s music opened the show and seeing the icon appear at the entranceway set the tone for the entire program.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Did WWE Handle The Undertaker’s Return Properly?
Ever since The Undertaker returned at a house show in Waco, Texas this February, the speculation of when the legend would finally make his appearance on WWE TV has been at the forefront of the wrestling discussion. The fans didn’t want to miss when The Undertaker would show up, so teasing his return for as long as possible was a genius move by the WWE. Give credit where it’s due.
Add in the fact that Undertaker will square off against the hottest commodity in the wrestling business right now in CM Punk—who won a Fatal Four Way match for the right to wrestle The Deadman at WrestleMania—and this build could be the most exciting in years.
Popular radio show Ring Rust Radio reminds the fans that Punk and Undertaker have a long history, but have never faced each other on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania:
Raw Goes Old School
Monday’s show was flat-out amazing and the WWE’s all-in approach to the "Old School" feel of Raw made this one of the most entertaining episodes in years. Not only did the WWE Universe get to see legends like The Undertaker, Ric Flair, Ted DiBiase, Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter and Dusty Rhodes, everything from the ring ropes to the look of Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler on the announce team had the old-school look.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Should WWE Use More Gimmick Themes for Raw?
The novelty of doing an "Old School" Raw every week would not work, but doing it once a year is a tradition the company must start. The success of this week's show should prove to the WWE that it should consider doing more episodes of Raw that have gimmick themes.
Just like the Slammy’s or the Christmas SmackDown, when the WWE give each show a theme, the episode tends to be more interesting. Monday’s edition of "Old School" Raw was amazing, and the WWE should cash in on that success any way it can.
Daniel Bryan stealing Ted DiBiase’s $100 bill from Darren Young’s mouth was the highlight of the night, but Bryan had to come clean on Twitter: