That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition – Part 9 of 10 – WWE RAW – 04.01.2013 (The Rock, John Cena, CM Punk)

Welcome! This is the ninth out of ten stops on “That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition”. For anyone unfamiliar with my work or recaps, I have disclaimers at the bottom of the article along with the “Expedition” schedule.

So, obviously I haven’t looked forward to these past couple shows – WWE TV is insanely predictable and boring on a normal basis, but this year’s WrestleMania buildup has taken that to a new level. So, going into SmackDown, I asked if anyone would have wanted to help me out to try and make it fun. Chris Sanders and Rhett Davis volunteered, with Rhett offering to take control of the “Stereotypical TNA Douchebag” robot after we re-wired it to watch WWE (thus it becoming “Positive (WWE) Universe Superstar Sycophant (PUSS)”.)

Before I knew it, James Sawyer, Jonah Kue, and Crystal showed up! We had 6 of us and it was a LOT of fun. It was mostly just us BS’ing around, but it’s got so much funny stuff in it from everyone that I recommend you check it out. It’s not a great “recap” per se (not that you missed anything, because nothing happened at all) but some of the funniest stuff ever said from the people mentioned was said there. I know probably not a lot of people check out a taped SmackDown recap but if you’re interested in that sort of thing, check it out here. A lot of people probably missed it, because it got buried pretty quick – a lot of important stuff went up the next day. I mean, free desktop wallpaper doesn’t come along every day, you know? It’s not like you can get that shit anywhere for free.

Thanks again to everyone who took part for making it so much fun.

 

THIS will be the LAST WWE TV show I plan on watching in a while. As far as PPV’s go, WrestleMania is on Sunday, but I’m actually looking forward to that. Not sure why THIS show was picked for the tour, since go-home shows are even more of a snoozefest than regular TV, but here we are.

Because of the way we humans experience time, doing what you want when you want – while not in a work environment – can be quite the undertaking. For example, I am a few minutes from watching RAW at this moment, which is completely at odds with my desire to not be watching RAW in a few minutes, and I am doing so when what’s really needed is for me to not be watching RAW for a very long time.
WrestleMania is coming, and that’s good – I’m not one of those who subscribe to the theory that a PPV can only be good if it’s “built” properly, nor do I believe that the TV shows leading up to the PPV will (necessarily) be an indication of the quality of that PPV itself. As an illustration of that, I actually believe that WrestleMania this year could be quite good, even though the TV leading up to it has been about as predictable as one of those shows where they build a house for a kid with no bones and the construction people are arguing about whether they will get it done on time or not, even though they always do. And even if someday they don’t, who cares? What are the stakes there, exactly? For what the kid with no bones is paying, I’m not sure he’s in a position to question their efficiency and will probably just be happy with his free house. Why do they even bother setting a deadline in the first place?… okay, I got lost there. What the hell was my point with this, even? I don’t even remember. So my NEW point is – until I’m through this whole thing, I don’t know which of my thoughts are even relevant.Enjoy.

 

That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition

Part 9 of 10: WWE RAW – 04.01.2013

Guest-Starring Rhett Davis as PUSS (Positive (WWE) Universe Superstar Sycophant)

 

A very long opening video package starts the show. It’s made out to be pretty important, but really, the only thing of consequence is that Shawn Michaels is here.

Cena comes out and the crowd takes a giant shit on him. Cole explains this as another “mixed reaction”. It’s mixed all right – half are yelling “FUCK YOU” and the other half are yelling “YOU’RE SHIT”. I make jokes, but this actually is a much harsher reaction than usual. Which is good. Cena blows. Fuck him. I hope he gets waterboarded on his birthday.

There’s literally nothing to talk about here. Cena did his usual bullshit and basically recapped the entire feud while the crowd screamed out for his blood.

Michael Cole then TOUT’s Jerry Lawler’s prediction for the winner of the match. They literally filmed him sending a TOUT.

Commercial. There is a contest where the prize is going to NASCAR with John Cena. Jesus Tapdancing Christ, what does the loser get?

PUSS: WE’RE 6 DAYS AWAY FROM WRESTLEMANIA!!! CAN YOU FEEL IT, BLAIR?!

Hello, PUSS (Positive (WWE) Universe Superstar Sycophant). What are you doing for WrestleMania weekend?

PUSS: What am I doing?! Well I decided to watch all of Miz and Wade Barrett’s matches in a loop until the show starts. Plus watching all of Sheamus’ matches from the PPVs!

That sounds excruciating.

 

Randy Orton, Shaemus & Big Show .vs. 3MB

Oh, for fuck’s sake. I’m not calling this. You know what this is. It’s the “CAN THEY WORK TOGETHER?” match.

PUSS: Well, it’s got SHEAMUS and the 3MB so it’s got to be a classic! I’ll take care of this! IRISH CURSE! Slater’s back must be broken. And the Brogue Kick! KO Punch and SHEAMUS WINS! SHEAMUS WINS! #BrogueBrogueBrogue

Winners: Randy Orton, Shaemus & Big Show

The Shield come out and call Orton, Shaemus & Big Show lame. Nothing happens. Segment over. Most of the WrestleMania matches are pretty predictable, and as lame as tonight’s BS regarding this match is, I can’t really figure out who’s going to win on Sunday. What do you think, PUSS?

PUSS: Well I still don’t get why The Shield get to be at WrestleMania.  I mean, who have they beat?  They certainly haven’t beaten Sheamus.  So Team Sheamus will win after they all hit coordinated Brogue Kicks! #BrogueBrogueBrogue

Commercial.

 

Jack Swagger isn’t at RAW tonight. He’s at the capital building, and he hates Alberto Del Rio and Mexicans. After this, Ricardo talks about how proud he is to be Mexican and American. I assume. I don’t know. I was watching the season finale of Californication. That show is awesome – on season finales, Hank usually somehow ends up talking to Lew Ashby’s ghost in a dream.

PUSS: Hey! It’s Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter!  They are standing out in the parking lot talking!  YES, the people are weak Swagger!  We’re in Jack Swagger’s America!

 

Daniel Bryan (w/ Kane) .vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Big E & AJ)

This was actually pretty entertaining, and I recommend tracking it down – it’s pretty crazy how over Bryan still is given the last 6 months he’s had. The crowd didn’t actually seem that into this match aside from when Bryan did his kicks, which is too bad as I thought it was decent. Both guys did an okay job. Bryan hits a Tarantula at one point, which was cool to see. Near-fall when Bryan gets back in the ring after staring down Big E and walks into a Fame-Asser.

Commercial – when we come back, Bryan is in a sleeper AND he’s trending. Bryan powers out and messes up Ziggler’s face a bit before hitting some kicks – Ziggler tries to fight back with a splash but Bryan ducks and he eats buckle. Some more hard kicks and an exchange before Bryan kicks Ziggler’s fucking head off before missing a diving headbutt, which is crazy because after a kick like that Ziggler should be out until June.

Ziggler locks on another sleeper, which Bryan reverses into a sleeper of his own. They volley around for a bit until Bryan bridges out, which was impressive, and they run into each other… hard. Outside the ring, AJ starts to dance around Kane so Big E mows him down – Bryan kicks his ass and Ziggler wins from behind with a rollup.

Winners: Dolph Ziggler

DID YOU KNOW? I typed out the winners of the previous two matches BEFORE the OPENING bells rang. No corrections were needed, not that this should be any type of surprise. Decent match though, which I didn’t see coming for tonight. After the match, Big E wrecks Bryan with some typical big-man offense. Kane comes in and wrecks Ziggler, but Big E powers out of a chokeslam and drops him. This is surprising to the announcers for some reason. I’m guessing Harrak loved that – someone check 10 Thoughts for me.

Apparently “Undertaker eviscerates CM Punk” is scheduled for later tonight. Okay then. Seems like an odd thing to plan ahead for.

Commercial.

 

They recap Brock breaking Shawn’s arm last year, and then he comes out and the crowd goes batshit. I love Shawn, in fact he’s one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, but he comes out looking like he’s ready to join a Jack Swagger stable. I get that he’s a redneck, nothing wrong with that, but wow. Shawn runs through the card for WrestleMania, and then focuses on Brock and Triple H. Again, I love Shawn, but you know how this goes. Triple H comes out, they hug, and Triple H says that he knows what he’s doing, Shawn is concerned, blah blah, woof woof, he loves HHH, etc etc.

FD SWAYZE: DAMN IT HHH, TELL HIM YOU LOVE HIM!!! IT’S NOT OR NEVER!!! DON’T LET HIM WALK AWAY!!!

JAMES SAWYER: HE JUST CAN’T QUIT HHH!

PUSS, what do you think about this in-ring public blowjob?

PUSS: Shawn Michaels is going to be in the corner of Triple H?  Apparently the Heartbreak Kid wants his arm broken again!  #BigThingSmash

Yeah, it turns out they’re putting Shawn Michaels in the corner of HHH to try and make former Shawn Michaels fans interested in a match that I don’t think too many people are interested in. Heyman and Lesnar come out, and says that Brock is going to retire HHH on Sunday.

CB: They could have done this match better if Paul Heyman had died to help the build.

Heyman says that HHH will disappoint his fans, just like he disappoints his wife (in bed! Get it?!). This comment annoys HHH, the king of dick jokes. HBK and HHH want to fight Lesnar. Heyman says HHH committed professional suicide. Segment over.

Commercial.

 

Miz is out for commentary, which is about the same time I placed this on mute. But the graphic tells me that he and Wade Barrett are on the PRE-SHOW.

That. Is. Fantastic.

PUSS: MIZ VS BARRETT is a PRE-SHOW MATCH!?! How could they put the main event on YOUTUBE?!?! THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!

Wade Barrett .vs. Zack Ryder

Hey, another match where I don’t need to wait to fill out the “winner” column! Wade wins via his Disney On Ice finisher.

Winner: Wade Barrett

Backstage, Santino talks to Maddox and Vickie about Vince storming off in his limo because he’s mad at Maddox and Vickie or something? Anyway, it’s an April Fool’s joke. It wasn’t funny. Vickie puts him in a match. Maddox tries to be funny. It doesn’t work.

PUSS: Santino!!! HA! He just made Vickie and Braddox look like a fool!  Now we get to see him take out some wannabee!

Commercial. WrestleMania will feature a live performance by Diddy. That’s fantastic.

 

Mark Henry .vs. Santino

Ha! That’s hilarious. No need to watch this one or wait to fill out the “win” column here either. Awesome. This is fucking easy.

Winner: Mark Henry

I watched the end of Californication during this match, and actually got a little sad when Hank had to say goodbye to Atticus and Faith. Anyway, after what I’m sure was a classic, Ryback and Henry got in the ring and eye-fucked each other, then Henry remembered he hadn’t seen his dick in 18 years so, and that there’s some stupid “no touching” clause that these two retards have anyway. So Ryback throws Santino at Henry. Segment over.

Here’s hoping this match gets the “Earthquake / Adam Bomb” treatment on Sunday. Are you looking forward to this match on Sunday, PUSS?

PUSS: FEED US MORE! THAT’S WHAT HE DOES!  This match is going to be fantastic.  Remember Hogan/Andre?  Well this is the Hogan/Andre of the 21st Century as Ryback and Henry go head to head at WrestleMania! #FeedMeMore #ThatsWhatHeDo

Commercial.

 

DID YOU KNOW? Vince has a Twitter. They’re counting how many followers he has after 90 minutes. That tells you a lot about how stacked the show is these days.

Time check: … fuck, it’s only been an hour and a half. I’m not even half-way done!

Striker interviews Punk and Paul Bearer’s remains. This is a reasonably good promo, it had a joke where Punk said that Undertaker is more concerned with the streak that Paul Bearer had of getting out of bed every morning. Another interesting thing was that Punk said that if Undertaker gets counted out or DQ’d, that Punk still technically wins and breaks the streak. That’s an interesting touch that hasn’t existed in recent years – that Punk doesn’t seem to care HOW he beats the streak as long as he breaks it. That’s a nice touch, actually.

 

Zeb Coulter (w/ Jack Swagger) .vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez)

Fucking seriously?

PUSS: Zeb Colter in action tonight?  That’s a bad move… I’m sorry… How will Swagger be able to fight del Rio this Sunday after Zeb sets a standard so high tonight?!

Uh… okay, well, Californication is over now (can you believe they ended that on a cliffhanger?!!?) so I may as well give this one a shot. Ricardo is on crutches, and everyone EXCEPT Del Rio and Ricardo realize that this idea is a retarded idea. Because Zeb and Coulter could basically beat the fuck out of Ricardo, take his crutches, and then beat the fuck out of Del Rio with Ricardo’s crutches.

This is exactly what happens. If they wanted to make Ricardo and Del Rio look like total fucking morons, then mission accomplished.

Winner: Professional Wrestling As A Whole

PUSS: Well Ricardo had too much HEART to just leave del Rio alone out there!  I mean what would he had done if both Swagger and Zeb jumped him?  He would’ve needed the assistance of the injured manager!

Well, I know that. That’s why… fuck you.

Commercial.

 

Rock comes out to his usual batshit reaction to tell us that his family was so poor they had to lick stamps for dinner, or something. He gives the usual speech that you might expect to hear from an overpaid personal trainer. I’m not saying I’m not excited to see the match or anything, but the buildup is pretty boring. Oh, and Rock wants to run for President or something. Did I miss anything, PUSS?

PUSS: YEAH Fireballs up John Cena’s ass!

That’s hot. Get it? Hot. Because of the fireball.

I’m sorry. I took a NyQuil earlier and it’s kicking in. I haven’t been sleeping so good, and last night I didn’t get a lot of sleep at all. I stayed up to watch Game Of Thrones and Walking Dead last night. Speaking of fireballs… fucking Stannis, am I right?! You know who doesn’t like Game Of Thrones? Swayze. Isn’t that nuts? For a guy that likes a lot of cool stuff and is a good writer, that’s insane. He also didn’t like Tudors, and I mentioned I was watching it – he called me lame. Then I talked to him like a week later, and he was like 3 episodes from the finale. He beat me through a series that he called me lame for watching.

Sorry. Commercial.

 

They recap a thing between Jericho / Ziggler / Big E / Fandango from last week. Do they really call Big E’s finisher the “drive-by”?! Fucking hell man.

SWAYZE: He also has another signature move called the “crack sale” and is fond of using the “welfare body check”. 

RHETT DAVIS: Here comes Big E off the rope and he hits the Panther Punch! He reaches into his trunk and pulls out a foreign object!  It’s a hair pick!

Chris Jericho .vs. Antonio Cessaro

This was okay – I expected something a bit better given who was in it. It wasn’t bad or anything, it just wasn’t all that good. Although they didn’t get far before Fandango came out, which should have been obvious because they set the fucking ramp up for his entrance. Jericho is distracted by this as if he hasn’t been in wrestling for nearly 20 years and has seen this same set-up no less than a hundred times already. Commercial.

After the break, the match actually gets going a bit – although Cole, Lawler & JBL are talking about what movies that GI Joe beat. A very nice exchange leads to a double-stomp by Cessaro before he tosses Jericho out of the ring. Cessaro works on Jericho on the outside, before bringing him on for a sleeper. Fandango is giving Jericho a score on cards from the stage, which is kinda funny. Jericho fights back but runs into a tilt-a-whirl. Cessaro does his stupid yodel before hitting a hard running elbow which gets 2. Apparently he’s taking “yodelling classes”. Yeah, good idea, make him into a joke.

Jericho powers up and eventually hits an axe-handle, and Fandango gives this a “3”. Cessaro tries to power out, and hits a suplex. 2-count – Jericho powers up but rather than finish Cessaro, he gets annoyed with low scores and boots Fandango on the outside – this allows Cessaro to roll him up for a near-fall but Jericho kicks out and goes for the Walls and Cessaro taps.

Winner: Chris Jericho

PUSS: No! You can’t mess with Fahnnnnndahhhhnnnnnnngoooo! Jericho just struck the guru of giration, the master of motion! Washington D.C. how do you know that Fandango can’t wrestle?! He hasn’t even wrestled yet! You guys are jokes.

Fandango jumps Jericho after the bell and beats on him in the ring. He then poses and yells at Jericho before hitting his legdrop off the top rope- this gimmick is stupid. I’m not passing judgement on a guy I haven’t seen wrestle, but this gimmick is Lance Storm levels of boring. But he must be a good wrestler, right? Because you know… top-rope legdrop.

Commercial.

 

The Bella Twins .vs. The Funkadactyls

SWAYZE: What the fuck? Are wings half-price during this match?

PUSS: #YESYESYES Puppies galore in this match!  We have the beautiful Bella Twins taking on the Funkadactyls!  We have some back and forth action going on here! Whoa! What a talented move by Naomi!  She just hit a Bella in the face with her ass! She calls that the ‘Rear View!’ That’s a fantastic name!

I don’t recap Diva matches. In case you were planning on watching it yourself, you should know that I heard the announcers making fun of it. That alone should give you a good idea of what you’re getting into.

Winners: Guys Who Can’t Unscramble The Softcore Porn Channels Without Their Wives Finding Out

 

Up Next: The Undertaker Eviscerates CM Punk… VERBALLY.
#intense

Is it odd that Punk / Taker are closing out the RAW before WrestleMania?

PUSS: Evisceration is serious shit man.

Good point.

Commercial.

 

Undertaker comes out to a great reaction. He talks about wasting Punk, and then druids come out with flaming torches and Undertaker looks confused. This goes on for a couple of minutes, literally.

PUSS: YAY Druid singing! #drama #intrigue

Then Paul Bearer’s voice comes over the speakers, and a Paul Bearer impersonator comes out, and apparently it’s Paul Heyman. Undertaker gets out of the ring and goes after him, walking into the druids – he then realizes that it could be a trap, and unmasks some nobody. Punk jumps him from behind with the urn and beats him with it, and yells at him.

And, after mocking the memory of a guy less than a month dead and attacking Undertaker from behind… CM Punk chants start. This does turn into a duelling chant, but Punk has a VERY large portion of the crowd.

Then he pours out Paul Bearer’s ashes from the urn and dumps them on Undertaker. He smears some on himself and leaves.

Show over.

 

Well, that was dull, but at least I expected it. Bryan / Ziggler was all right, and Jericho / Cessaro picked up near the end. People chanting for Punk after all THIS was pretty awesome. Anyway, I’m glad the TV portion of the Expedition is over, let me tell you. I’m looking forward to doing WrestleMania – the shows leading up to it these last couple months have been a fucking chore aside from the odd surprise, but WrestleMania usually delivers in some shape or form.

That’s all the time we have for this week. I’d like to thank the great Rhett Davis for once again taking control of the PUSSbot 3000, and again, any and all comments and thoughts are always appreciated, or you can feel free to e-mail me at bdouglas@insidepulse.com. Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter @BDInsidePulse if you’re into such things.

The 10th and final stop on That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition will take place on Sunday, where I review WWE WrestleMania… the big finale!

This has been “That Being Said”. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you for WrestleMania.

I’ll be in my trailer.

 

Disclaimers:

DISCLAIMER #1: These recaps should in NO way be treated as a professional and unbiased play-by-play of whatever the show in question is. Inside Pulse has no shortage of professional and live coverage, so if that’s what you’re looking for, I refer you to Mike Gojira, Scott Keith, Justin Czerwonka, or another of their ilk. Rather than a recap per se, I look at this as an ongoing 3-month narrative from someone who doesn’t normally watch full shows beginning to do exactly that for WrestleMania season. The reason this idea sounds like fun to me is that this time period is usually when many casual or former fans will tune back in anyway. So I know that as I’m tuning back in, many others will be as well.

DISCLAIMER #2: Quite often, when myself or another writer rips on a show (justifiably so or otherwise), they will get their fair share of people believing or commenting that they believe the recapper thinks that wrestling now is worse than it’s ever been. Usually it’s something like “WHAT, SO THE ATTITUDE ERA WAS SO GREAT?!?! THOSE MATCHES SUCKED TOO!” or something like that, even when you haven’t mentioned the Attitude Era at all. In fact, that’s a popular opinion out there right now in general – that wrestling is worse now than it’s ever been. Me personally, just for the record – I definitely think 2007-2009 and 2003-2004 definitely hold up worse than the current product. Not MUCH worse, mind you – and I do believe that current shows are pretty lame. But if I’m being honest, it’s not as bad as it’s ever been, much as it may feel that way sometimes.

DISCLAIMER #3: In the spirit of Disclaimer #2… I am going to do my best to go into these shows with an uncynical and unjaded eye. I’m hoping to like what I see – there is some stuff going on that COULD be promising depending on where they go with it and who they decide to feature prominently. But I promise nothing in terms of what’s going to come out of me if I don’t like the shows. Anyone who read any of my TNA recaps or the odd WWE recap that I did knows that I have very little tolerance for stupid or boring stuff. If, an hour into a 3-hour RAW, they decide to give me Shaemus against Cody Rhodes for 20 minutes while Michael Cole tells me they’re the future of the business and that I still have Ryback against Wade Barrett to look forward to in the second hour, then I’m going to feel like putting my fucking dick through a bone decalcinator, which means that me feeling like putting my fucking dick through a bone decalcinator is something you’re probably going to hear about.

DISCLAIMER #4: The obvious one – the opinions and views I express are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Inside Pulse or it’s owners, staff, or numerous writers.

DISCLAIMER #5: Regardless of how it all turns out, weather I find the shows good, boring or bad, if nothing else, I’m going to try my best to to have fun with these recaps over this 3-month period. I’m a guy who can usually have fun with a recap even when watching a show I don’t enjoy. For me, that’s the point of this experiment – or of anything else I may write for Inside Pulse – to have fun. Worst case scenario, I lose all patience and have a rage blackout like I’ve done on on the odd recap before, and sometimes even that can be entertaining. Regardless, the point is – this is for fun – and I hope you have as much fun reading this season as I’m hoping to have writing it.

 

“That Being Said” WrestleMania Tour Schedule:

PREMIERE – Jan 14: WWE RAW (20th Anniversary)
Jan 23: WWE Main Event
Jan 27: WWE Royal Rumble

Feb 01: WWE SmackDown
Feb 14: WWE NXT
Feb 17: WWE Elimination Chamber

Mar 07: TNA Impact CANCELLED
Mar 10: TNA LockDown CANCELLED
Mar 14: TNA Impact CANCELLED

Mar 18: WWE RAW
Mar 29: WWE SmackDown
Apr 01: WWE RAW
FINALE – APR 07: WrestleMania

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