WWE Raw: Looking At “It’s Always Rocky in Philadelphia” Edition

Less than two weeks out from Wrestlemania 29, WWE had to pull a lot of rabbits out of their hats...

Paul Jordan

Contributor

WWE-RAW

Less than two weeks out from Wrestlemania 29, WWE had to pull a lot of rabbits out of their hats to make anyone care about the biggest show of the year. Hell, for the longest time it didn’t seem like anyone in the company really cared about the show and they were just coasting on the brand name of Wrestlemania going right into MetLife Stadium on April 7. Well, in my opinion that all changed last night on Raw.

I know it’s cliché every time wrestling emanates from the city of brotherly love Philadelphia to pull out ECW reference some not going to do that say it was extreme. But it was definitely way more aggressive than we’ve seen in recent weeks. As competitors showed more fire and intensity than we’ve seen in WWE for some time.

From the opening segment with the Undertaker and CM Punk which was to the final segment with The Rock and John Cena. It felt at least to me that everything had a lot more weight to it.

I like the fact that they tried to distance themselves away from the Paul Bearer connection and more on the psychological advantage that a character like Punk would want against Undertaker. Shawn Michaels did it before Wrestlemania 25… So it works for me… That being said, I’m still worried about the quality of the match..

One thing you have to say about Chris Jericho is he’s going to try his damnedest to get Fandango over… I like the fact that he wanted payback for last week on Smackdown. However, I would’ve much rather preferred it and I think you would’ve been much more effective presentation, if they did not use his music and his Pyro to do the beat down on the dancing douche bag the former Johnny Curtis considering he was not scheduled to appear until later.

Another thing, not since Kenny Dykstra have I seen a leg drop off the top that got so much air… I think I’ll call it Dancing with the Stars. Bobby Eaton would be very proud that the Alabama Jam lives on.

The match that followed the beat down with Dolph was good. Although I don’t understand why Jericho needed to win… I think it would’ve been much more interesting if Y2J lost giving the show off some extra momentum going forward… And then have fandango come in pick up the pieces. Jericho is Teflon is already a made man.

I like the fact that Mark Henry and Ryback in a anything you can do I can do better kind of competition with handicap matches… I was surprised how much their opposition got offense on them. The Usos looks good in getting over the world strongest man I just wasn’t expecting them to do a false finish with the sons of Samoa. On the same token, I was impressed with the performance that particularly Drew McIntyre had in the match with the always starving for carnage Ryback he gave him one hell of a kick in the face. The only thing that bugs me in this match is the fact that the announcers act like Ryback’s never been in a handicap match with three men the for… Don’t they remember that year of build where he was facing two in three guys at the time. In fact, he was the reason that Jinder, Drew and Heath all came together as the 3 Man Band. It should be interesting to see what match the to big behemoths will come up with for their match at Wrestlemania. I’m glad to see the reports of Henry’s injury were not true.

They continue to use Ricardo in great ways to keep Alberto strong and keep Swagger getting heel heat and Rodriguez is great in his role as well as del Rio’s Achilles’ heel no pun intended.. I like the brawl that ensued afterwards battling in the crowd… interesting Antonio Cesaro finally was victorious on television for the first time in a long time… Albeit ended up looking more like a loser in the long run… Still not sure what they’re doing with him… Maybe they just think like that he is a good mechanic/carpenter and they want to keep them underneath so they can build up other talent around him.

One thing I should mention is the fact that apparently, Ricardo Rodriguez has no fear he look like really banged himself up on the steps…

The Shield attacking Sheamus and Orton backstage was good as it was unexpected that they usually known for attacking in the ring more often than not these days… Although I don’t understand the reasoning behind letting the baby faces get the better hand of them twice in the same episode. We know big show is imposing we don’t need it reiterated twice in the same episode. Unless this leads to a Wrestlemania victory, then it’s burying one of the only strong booked things in the company.

But what does need to be reiterated is the fact that during the showcase of the tri-force of justice is how impressive that triple power bomb was with the Punjabi Playboy considering how limited the guy is in his movements. Say what you want to about the big guy from India… He will do anything they ask him to. If I was his size, I would not have let anybody do that to me.

So it looks like from the booking were going to get AJ versus Kaitlyn or at least in the corner of Team Hell No at Wrestlemania so least shall be on the show one way or another.

The only thing I would change about the match those two had was the finish. I would’ve had AJ roll Kaitlyn into the ring and get the pin it’s we already had a count out earlier in the show. Plus, that would set up AJ to challenge Kaitlyn in the future much better than their execution here. That being said, I did not have a problem with Kaitlyn taking herself out of the match.

The only thing that I felt truly weird were Triple H segment, which I felt seemed really unnecessary as they could have just shown just the video package from last week… And his interaction with Wade Barrett which I felt was really unnecessary with a low blow… Which led to a victory for the Miz, albeit the finish with pretty cool… It actually shows that the star of Marine: Homefront cannot beat Barrett without help. It doesn’t bode well for the Awesome One… Although, this pretty much guarantees were going to see them at Wrestlemania.

Also, seemingly booked for the preshow is Team Rhodes Scholars versus Sweet T and the Funky Franchise (nice singlet… I wonder if Shane Douglas like that) Brodus Clay… Although it may be and eight person tag with the Bellas and Cameron and Naomi… Surprising to see Rhodes Scholars actually pick up the victory here.

This leads to the main event segment, which I’ll be honest at first much like the crowd in Philadelphia I wasn’t a fan of the segment as it started off really slowly… But really gained momentum at they really dug a little deeper with the John Cena character and showed much like someone else who is featured in that segment Bret Hart that he could be an anti-hero hero… There were definitely hints of that… I thought of Hall of Famers Bret Hart, Mick Foley Booker T and Dusty Rhodes was a little strange and a little awkward… That being said I thought it ended with serious momentum and I can’t wait to see how they go home with Wrestlemania 29.