ThunderStruck: WWE Raw Analysis 04/08/13

John Cena comes out to celebrate being WWE Champion and he gets a loud chorus of boos. He wants to start off the night with a WWE Title match, and out comes Mark Henry. Booker T comes out and says the Rock is entitled to a rematch first. He tells Henry that he can have a title shot if he can beat Cena tonight.



^I expected Henry to be one of the challengers for Cena’s title, but I didn’t anything about the Rock and a rematch being mentioned so soon. Perhaps his injury will change the plans if it’s something severe. Good promo work from Cena and Henry to start the show.

Daniel Bryan goes one on one with Big E. Langston. Big E defeats Bryan with his finisher after getting help from AJ and Dolph Ziggler.

^Big E gets to look impressive here even without doing a lot of actual wrestling. You can tell WWE has big things in store for him. I didn’t expect this rivalry to continue over the titles, but I guess it won’t be too bad to have two consistent tag teams on television.

Kurt Warner is interviewed in the crowd by Josh Mathews about his new show on USA Network.

^Unless Warner is doing an angle with a superstar, we can assume this is just USA doing some extra advertising. Nice to know that the former Rams, Giants, and Cardinals quarterback is a WWE Fan.

The Miz defends the IC Championship in a rematch against Wade Barrett. Barrett wins the match with the Bullhammer elbow to recapture the IC Title.

^Good match. Weird booking. Maybe the rivalry will continue? Maybe Barrett will face someone new? Maybe the WWE will play hot potato with the IC Championship. I’m not sure, nor do I really care enough to contemplate the outcome of all the possibilities.

Vickie Guerrero grants Sheamus a match against the Big Show tonight.

^Sheamus and Big Show have always had good matches, so no complaints from me!

Booker T overrules Vickie Guerrero and gives Randy Orton the match with Big Show tonight instead of Sheamus.

^Looks like we won’t end up seeing either match against Show tonight now.

Jack Swagger comes out with Zeb Colter and Colter cuts a promo. Del Rio is introduced by Ricardo and faces the pair in a handicap match. Del Rio wins the match with the cross armbreaker on Swagger.

Del Rio is hurt after the match and Ziggler comes down to cash in his briefcase. Ziggler counters the cross armbreaker by hurting the sore ankle of Del Rio and hits the zig zag to become the new World Champion. Ziggler celebrates with AJ and Big E after the match.

^Del Rio looked good against Swagger, but Ziggler winning this was the right move. It should’ve happened last night at Mania, but it doesn’t hurt that it made the show tonight that much better. I hope Ziggler gets a proper run with the gold now that he finally cashed in. Great moment!

Undertaker comes to the ring to cut a promo. Taker says he dedicated the match against Punk to the memory of Paul Bearer. The Shield’s music hits to interrupt Taker. Kane and Dbry come down before the Shield can jump in the ring. The Shield retreats.

^I didn’t expect to see the Undertaker involved in any storylines until next year, so this was a nice surprise! Awesome segment, and hopefully we get a six man tag out of it!

Josh Mathews interviews Ziggler backstage. Ziggler says he’s been too damn good for too damn long. Ziggler says this is his WrestleMania moment and he’s going to show it off because it’s about damn time.

^Dolph’s words are probably more legit than acting because he’s deserved this for so long. Couldn’t be happier for the showoff.

R-Truth, Santino Marella, and Zack Ryder take on the 3MB. Santino pins Slater after a cobra to win the match.

^Filler match for these six. They’re all talented enough to be appearing regularly, and their backseat roles lately have been a bit frustrating for us fans of actual wrestling. Nothing special here, but nice to see these guys.

Orton and Sheamus are shown arguing backstage about who will face Big Show.

Sheamus and Orton both come to the ring one person at a time. Orton says Big Show is his tonight and takes a poll from the crowd on who they want to see face the Big Show. Cole says the vote is up to the WWE universe based on tweets. Orton wins the vote but Vickie and Booker come out and put Sheamus and Orton in a one on one match right now. The crowd hates the match and Big Show ends up coming out and beating up both men.

^So Big Show is still the big bad heel, and the two faces can’t get along. Triple threat in the future? I think so. I like Show’s dominance, and I’m glad he didn’t take another face turn with the entire WrestleMania storyline.

It’s announced that Triple H will be on Smackdown this week.

^Can’t fit him on Raw? Need a reason for people to watch Smackdown? Doesn’t matter to me; I always catch Smackdown(usually has more wrestling than Raw).

Fandango goes one on one with Kofi Kingston. Jericho attacks Fandango and causes a DQ finish for the match. He tosses Fandango outside the ring and beats him up around ringside before tossing him back in the ring and applying the walls of Jericho.

^I like that this personal rivalry hasn’t ended after just one match. A rematch at Extreme Rules could do wonders for Fandango’s career. I love effective segments when they make a rivalry even more personal.

Josh Mathews interviews Paul Heyman about both his men losing last night. Heyman talks about the damage done to Triple H and Shawn Michaels last night by Brock Lesnar. Heyman says Lesnar is looking for a fight tonight. Heyman says CM Punk will tell us how he feels next week on Raw.

^Heyman was fantastic as always on the mic. I’m not surprised Punk is taking the night off; he’s probably very banged up from his long run as champion and that brutal match with Taker. I’m wondering who Lesnar will go after tonight(Cena, perhaps?).

The eight person tag match from WrestleMania happens now with Team Rhodes Scholars and the Bellas taking on Brodus Clay and Tensai with the funkadactyls. Brodus pins Sandow after a double splash with Sweet T.

^This is about all I expected from these eight with a match at Mania, but it wasn’t terrible. The crowd is absolutely on fire tonight for this show, and they loved this match!

Mark Henry goes one on one with John Cena in the main event of the night. Cena beats Henry by countout when he knocks Mark Henry down against the steps. Henry attacks Cena while he’s celebrating and delivers the world’s strongest slam. Ryback’s music hits when Henry holds up the WWE Title. Ryback clotheslines Henry and delivers a spinebuster to him. Ryback helps Cena stand up and the crowd boos. Ryback does the feed me more chants and then clotheslines Cena and delivers shell shocked to him. Ryback holds up the WWE Title as the crowd chants “feed me more” to close the show.

^A Ryback heel turn isn’t super shocking, but it’s not a bad way to close out Raw with a surprise. I was expecting Lesnar to show up and hurt someone after Heyman’s comments, but instead it looks like we’ll be seeing Ryback take on the WWE Champion at the next pay per view. The match with Cena and Henry was very short, and now it looks like Henry won’t be challenging for much of anything(except maybe a number one contenders match where he loses to Ryback).

Good show. New world champ and some very good wrestling. Yes some of the matches were short, but overall we were still given some good action. No it wasn’t an incredible show for the night after Mania, but you can see that WWE has some direction going for their top storylines. I’m curious where Antonio Cesaro has been, though. The last hour felt like a drag, but Ryback taking out Cena gives me hope that people will be interested in the WWE Title picture(assuming the WWE wants a buzz from this show). I’ll be back with the Smackdown and Main Event analysis on Friday. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me

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