Road to Redemption.
With 41 nights remaining until “The Show of Shows” WrestleMania 29, the 1031st edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. Prior to last week’s RAW, an epic rematch at WrestleMania between WWE Champion The Rock and 2013 Royal Rumble winner John Cena with the gold on the line was all but a certainty, but that was before CM Punk put himself back into the WrestleMania conversation by challenging the man who has never defeated him, John Cena, to a one-on-one match on RAW. However, it will not just be another one-on-one meeting between two long-time rivals, it will be for a spot in the main event of WrestleMania 29 against “The People’s WWE Champion” The Rock as Cena puts his WrestleMania title shot on the line against CM Punk! Three weeks ago on RAW, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon was mere seconds away from firing Paul Heyman after Heyman’s allegiance with both Brad Maddox and The Shield was proven via video footage presented by Maddox himself, but the shocking return of “The Beast” Brock Lesnar and his even more shocking F-5 to the 65-year old Chairman left Mr. McMahon with a broken hip that required surgery and, on RAW, the boss returns to RAW as McMahon intends to get Paul Heyman in the ring for a fight to kick off the show!
- Ryback def. Dolph Ziggler (with AJ Lee & Big E. Langston) by pin following Shell Shocked.
- Mark Henry def. The Great Khali by pin following the World’s Strongest Slam.
- Non-Title: Randy Orton def. Antonio Cesaro by pin following the RKO.
- R-Truth def. Cody Rhodes by pin following the Lie Detector.
- Non-Title: Kane (with one arm tied behind his back) & Daniel Bryan (blindfolded) def. The Prime Time Players by Kane pinning Darren Young following the chokeslam.
- Jack Swagger def. The Miz by submission to the Patriot Lock.
- WrestleMania WWE Title Match on the Line: John Cena def. CM Punk by pin following the Attitude Adjustment to earn the #1 Contender’s spot in the WWE Title match at WrestleMania 29.
As he promised to do last week, RAW kicks off with the return of WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon as the boss comes to the ring on crutches, still recovering from his hip replacement surgery a few weeks ago. The Chairman says that he likes to do things “big” and, with WrestleMania coming up, something big needs to happen on RAW each week. McMahon refers to Paul Heyman as the “ultimate fighter” before Heyman comes out with fists taped, ready to fight. Heyman says that he is “all man”, saying that he has no intention of “taking it easy” on Mr. McMahon as the Chairman has put every wrestling promotion out of business, including his. Heyman then continues to talk, but it is all a ploy as Heyman cheap-shots Mr. McMahon, taking McMahon down before repeatedly striking the 65-year old Chairman with crutch shots to the injured hip of the Chairman! However, the ever resilient boss manages to stop Heyman, taking the crutch away from Heyman, driving it into Heyman’s mid-section and spine! The mood then changes abruptly as “The Beast” Brock Lesnar makes his way to the ring to save his long-time associate. Lesnar then closes in on Mr. McMahon, ready to cripple the Chairman even further, but a certain relative of Mr. McMahon and a man who has a storied history with Brock Lesnar shocks the world as none other than the Chief Operating Officer of the WWE, the thirteen-time World Champion and the son-in-law of Mr. McMahon, “The Game” Triple H! Triple H sets his sights on the man who twice broke his arm last year as an all-out brawl breaks out between the two ring titans with both men exchanging right hands. Brock briefly gains the advantage, sending Triple H into the steel ring post and the ringside barricade. However, “The Game” battles back, tossing Lesnar skull-first into the ring post, busting Brock’s head wide open! Triple H then sends Brock over the ringside barricade with a clothesline, but Brock is somehow able to fight back, hoisting “The Game” up on slamming him on the announce table! With blood covering his face and body, Lesnar tosses Triple H into the ring before grabbing a steel chair, but Triple H is able to catch “The Beast” with a spinebuster before driving the chair into Lesnar’s spine! Brock then finally retreats, leaving Triple H standing tall in the ring while the unpredictable Lesnar smiles about the beating he just endured.
The opening match of the night pitted “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler, with AJ Lee & Big E. Langston in his corner, against “The Sin City Cyborg” Ryback. During the match, with Ryback dominating Dolph Ziggler, Big E. Langston would spot an opening while the referee checks on Ziggler as Langston levels Ryback with a clothesline on the outside of the ring. Later on in the match, AJ Lee would distract the referee, but when Big E. Langston tried to interfere again, Ryback knocks the behemoth off of the ring apron before taking it to Ziggler, dropping Dolph with Shell Shocked en route to picking up the win.
Before he goes one-on-one with John Cena in a match with Cena’s WWE Title shot at WrestleMania on the line, the self-proclaimed “Best in the World” CM Punk makes an appearance on RAW. The former WWE Champion states that tonight is a night that the fans will tell to their grandchildren as they will witness the “beginning”. Punk continues, saying that his match with John Cena is not about Cena and, as much as they want it to be, the match is not about The Rock and it is not even about WrestleMania. Punk then says that it is about the one thing that is more important the WWE Championship or anything else because tonight is about CM Punk. Punk continues, saying that it is about him taking his rightful place in the main event of WrestleMania. Punk then says that he held the WWE Championship for longer than anyone in the last two decades and, during his historic reign, he has defeated John Cena countless times and he has pinned The Rock twice in two weeks. Punk then proclaims that he is “the best in the world” and the best in the world deserves to be in the main event of WrestleMania, telling the fans that they are in the “presence of greatness”, saying that he is a “legend” and, in their world, he is “god”!
Two gigantic Superstars had unfinished business that was addressed on RAW as “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry went one-on-one with “The Punjabi Giant” The Great Khali. Much like he did in their first meeting a few weeks ago, Mark Henry would plant The Great Khali with the World’s Strongest Slam en route to picking up the dominant victory.
Forty-one nights before they clash for the World Heavyweight Championship on the grand stage of WrestleMania 29, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, along with Ricardo Rodriguez, and “The Real American” Jack Swagger, along with Zeb Colter, would be the special guests on Miz TV! With champion and challenger face-to-face, The Miz says that, for the past week, Jack Swagger & Zeb Colter have been releasing a series of videos on YouTube, targeting Alberto Del Rio, but now Miz TV will provide a platform for them to address the World Heavyweight Champion in person. Zeb Colter speaks first, saying that he was looking forward to getting to talk to Glenn Beck tonight, but since the political commentator “chickened out”, he will take to Del Rio. Colter then introduces himself and Swagger to Del Rio, saying that they are “real Americans”. Zeb continues, saying that America has “eleven million undocumented workers” and he has to use that term because the government will not allow them to be called what they are, “illegals”. Colter then says that they want to “grant amnesty” to those workers and put them on the path to citizenship, saying that Americans have a hard enough time finding work as it is. Zeb continues, saying that illegal immigrants “sneak” across America’s border and they take their jobs, use their “resources”, and slow down “productivity”. Colter then sums up his point by saying that Del Rio and his people are “draining” America!
The Miz then interrupts, saying that he wants to hear from Alberto Del Rio, but Zeb Colter insists on interrupting the World Heavyweight Champion, so Del Rio gives in and lets Colter continue his speech. Colter states that it takes approximately ten years to legally gain citizenship in Del Rio’s home country of Mexico due to mass amounts of paperwork and “corruption”. Zeb then says that he is going to tell all of them something about Mexico that most people do not know and that is that individuals foreign to Mexico are not allowed to own any property. Colter then asks what is “wrong” with Del Rio and what is wrong with his people and Del Rio warns Colter not to “disrespect” his people. Zeb continues to overstep his bounds, telling the World Heavyweight Champion that, when he talks, Del Rio listens. Zeb then says that it is not “personal” because it is about what Del Rio “represents”, saying that Del Rio represents “success” and, in turn, leads people to enter the country illegally in search of the American dream. Colter continues, saying that there is only “one Alberto Del Rio success story” and, when the illegal immigrants fail to succeed in America, they “conveniently forget” to leave the country. Zeb then says that, outside of the “politically correct crap”, there is one thing that they call illegal immigrants in America and that is “criminals”!
Having heard enough of Zeb Colter, Alberto Del Rio shouts at Colter that his time to speak is over, telling Zeb to “shut up”! The fired-up World Heavyweight Champion then says that America is the greatest country in the world because it does not belong to him nor does it belong to Colter, it belongs to “everyone”. Del Rio continues, saying that he is no different than anyone else, including Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter, who Del Rio calls a “big mouth”. Del Rio reminds both men that they are “descendants of immigrants” and they are all in America for the same reason, to provide their families with a “better life” and, in America, “anything is possible” and he is “living proof of that”! Del Rio says that he has heard about people like Zeb Colter, but has never met one until now. The World Heavyweight Champion then states that he does not like “bullies” and, if they have the “cajones”, then they should try and make them leave! However, Jack Swagger speaks for the first time, saying that they will see Del Rio at WrestleMania before saying “we the people” before Swagger and Colter leave the ring.
In footage that aired exclusively on WWE Active during the commercial break, Zeb Colter confronted The Miz on the staging area, taking issue with Miz’s interviewing tactics and, with Miz’s back turned, Jack Swagger attacks Miz from behind, knocking Miz down before screaming “we the people”.
“The Viper” was in action on RAW as Randy Orton went one-on-one with United States Champion Antonio Cesaro in a non-title match. In the end, Randy Orton would pop up out of nowhere with an RKO out of mid-air en route to picking up the win!
After arguing over who can defeat The Prime Time Players single-handedly, WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No are confronted by RAW Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero and her new Assistant, Brad Maddox, as the so-called “Team Brickie” makes the unique ruling that, in their tag team match, Kane will have one hand tied behind his back while Daniel Bryan will be blindfolded!
One night after The Academy Awards, “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus would appear on RAW, in suit and tie, to deliver his “Oscar Snubs”. Sheamus says that he is an “avid movie lover” and, what he saw at the Oscars, he did not like. Sheamus continues, saying that he has an issue with the Academy because they snubbed one of the greatest actors ever, Wade Barrett. Sheamus then shows the trailer for the movie, Dead Man Down, which does not feature Wade Barrett. However, Sheamus shows an alternate trailer that shows off Barrett’s acting skills where Wade Barrett’s character in the movie enters a room behind the film’s star, Colin Farrell, but does not say a word. Sheamus calls Barrett “captivating”, sarcastically saying that Barrett is “so inspiring”. Sheamus continues, saying that Tom Hanks wishes that he could have gotten Forrest Gump as accurately as Barrett did! Sheamus then says that he eagerly waited for Barrett to speak or do something, but he just stood there, doing “nothing”. Naturally, this brings out Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett, who claims that Sheamus is envious of his film career. Barrett then says that Sheamus is “jealous” of the fact that he is about to become a “huge, global movie star” and he will be walking down a real red carpet when he attends the premiere of Dead Man Down. Meanwhile, Sheamus will be returning his tuxedo and drowning his sorrows, according to Wade Barrett. Sheamus responds, saying that Barrett should make sure that the paparazzi gets his “good side”, but makes fun of Barrett and his nose. Barrett then makes a run at Sheamus, but Sheamus dodges Barrett and goes for the Brogue Kick, but Barrett quickly ducks out of the ring, avoiding the fight.
After coming to the aid of Kofi Kingston last week during an attack by Damien Sandow, R-Truth would return to in-ring action on RAW as Truth went one-on-one with Cody Rhodes with Damien Sandow a guest on commentary. In the end, it was R-Truth hitting the Lie Detector on Cody Rhodes en route to picking up the win. Immediately after the match, Damien Sandow rushes the ring, but R-Truth takes it to Sandow, sending Sandow out of the ring.
In a most unique tag team match, WWE Tag Team Champions Kane & Daniel Bryan would face The Prime Time Players, but, per the orders of Vickie Guerrero & Brad Maddox, Kane would have one arm tied behind his back while Daniel Bryan would be blindfolded! After Bryan stumbles in and out of the ring, briefly mistaking the referee for Titus O’Neil and inadvertently hitting his own tag partner, Kane gets the tag into the match and the one-armed Kane is still able to drop Darren Young with a chokeslam en route to picking up the win for Team Hell No!
After back-to-back victories in 6-Man Tag action at Elimination Chamber and on RAW last week, The Shield appears on RAW. Dean Ambrose states that there will be “no peace” in the WWE until there is “justice and honor”. Ambrose continues, saying that they are the “most dangerous” entity in the WWE, saying that that they can assemble as many super teams that they want because no one can stop them. Roman Reigns then dares anyone to rise against them because they will win every time, saying that, if you do not believe in The Shield, they will “hunt” them down and grind their bones into “dust”. Seth Rollins states that, at WWE TLC, they defeated Ryback & Team Hell No and, at Elimination Chamber, they “solved the John Cena problem”. Rollins then said that, last week, they defeated the “wannabe rock star” Chris Jericho, asking if there is anyone else who wants to step up and try to take them down. However, one man still had unfinished business with The Shield as Sheamus comes out, daring The Shield to come up to the stage and fight him! Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns then head towards Sheamus, but, in the ring, Randy Orton rushes in from the crowd, dropping Seth Rollins with an RKO in the middle of the ring before escaping through the crowd in the fashion that The Shield handles their business!
After being attacked from behind by Jack Swagger earlier in the night, The Miz would be out for revenge as “The Awesome One” went one-on-one with “The Real American” Jack Swagger, with Zeb Colter in his corner. In the end, it was Jack Swagger locking the Patriot Lock in on The Miz, forcing Miz to tap out to pick up the win.
Moments before he puts his WWE Title shot at WrestleMania on the line against CM Punk, John Cena is interviewed backstage. Cena says that he asked for the match tonight to prove that Punk is “wrong” and the better man will go to WrestleMania with no excuses, proclaiming that “our time is now”.
Then it was time for the huge, career-altering main event as 2013 Royal Rumble winner John Cena would put his WWE Title match at WrestleMania on the line against a man who Cena has never defeated in the former WWE Champion and self-proclaimed “Best in the World” CM Punk! In a match worthy of WrestleMania itself, both John Cena and CM Punk would take everything their opponent could dish out and it looked like Cena was poised for victory after hitting the Attitude Adjustment, but CM Punk would manage to kick out. Shortly after this, Punk would lure Cena to the outside of the ring where he would shove Cena face-first into the steel ring post before Punk rolls back into the ring and Cena barely manages to get back into the ring before the referee reaches a count of ten. Punk would immediately hit the GTS on Cena, but Cena manages to kick out and Punk would go for a second GTS, but Cena would counter, locking Punk in the STF with Punk nearly tapping out before managing to lunge forward and grab the bottom rope, forcing the hold to be broken. In an act of desperation, Punk would actually pull out a move that has not been for years in professional wrestling as Punk drives Cena head-first into the mat with a sickening spike piledriver! Despite having his head, neck, and spine compressed with the piledriver, Cena was still able to kick out. Punk then goes for the elbow drop off of the top rope, but Cena moves out of the way, pulling a hurrincanrana out of his arsenal before planting Punk with the Attitude Adjustment, pinning CM Punk and finally securing the victory to leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that Cena will be the one to challenge The Rock for the WWE Championship on “The Grandest Stage of Them All” WrestleMania 29!
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