Who’s The Man?
With just thirteen nights to go until WrestleMania 29, the 1035th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you, live, from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. With his epic clash with John Cena for the WWE Championship just under two weeks away at WrestleMania, “The People’s WWE Champion” The Rock will make an appearance on RAW to address his #1 Contender, John Cena, who will also be on hand in “The City of Brotherly Love”! What will happen when both The Rock and John Cena are in the same building live on RAW? Also, after again disrespecting the memory of Paul Bearer by juggling, and even dropping, the legendary urn on last week’s RAW, what fate will befall CM Punk at the hands of his WrestleMania opponent, The Undertaker?
- Chris Jericho def. Dolph Ziggler (with Big E. Langston) by submission to the Walls of Jericho.
- 2-on-1 Handicap Match: Mark Henry def. Jimmy & Jey Uso by pinning Jey Uso following the World’s Strongest Slam.
- Champion vs. Champion: Non-Title: Antonio Cesaro (with Jack Swagger & Zeb Colter) def. Alberto Del Rio by count-out.
- Non-Title: Team Hell No def. The Prime Time Players by Kane pinning Darren Young following the chokeslam.
- Non-Title: The Miz def. Wade Barrett by submission to the Figure-Four Leg Lock.
- 6-Man Tag: The Shield def. Zack Ryder, Justin Gabriel, & The Great Khali by Seth Rollins pinning Justin Gabriel following a double-team knee off of the top rope.
- 3-on-1 Handicap Match: Ryback def. 3MB by pinning Heath Slater following the Double Shell Shocked to Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal.
- Non-Title: AJ Lee def. Kaitlyn by count-out.
Thirteen nights before he tries to end the undefeated WrestleMania streak of The Undertaker at WrestleMania 29, RAW kicks off with the self-proclaimed “Best in the World” CM Punk and his associate, Paul Heyman, who carries the legendary urn associated with the late father of The Undertaker, Paul Bearer. After making their entrance to the ring, CM Punk has Heyman toss the urn to him like a football as Punk continues to disrespect the memory of Paul Bearer. CM Punk says that a lot of people say that The Undertaker is “unstoppable” at WrestleMania and the urn is a “representation” of Undertaker’s “spirit”. Punk continues, saying that “they” don’t know what they are talking about, saying that the only opinion that “matters” is his. Punk then says that, at WrestleMania last year, The Undertaker increased his undefeated WrestleMania streak to a perfect 20-0. Punk continues, saying that The Undertaker should have ended it at last year’s WrestleMania when he, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels left the ring together, but Undertaker instead wanted to keep it going. Punk then tells the fans to blame The Undertaker for his theft of the urn, saying that the urn means “everything” to The Undertaker, but it does not mean a “damn thing” to him. Punk then tosses the urn to the ground before saying that Undertaker’s streak also means nothing to him and that Undertaker is at a psychological disadvantage and Undertaker is “scared”. Punk continues, saying that he is not just another Superstar, there is “nobody in the world” that is “better” or “smarter” than him and there is nobody in the world who will beat him at WrestleMania because he is the “one” in 20-1. Punk then says that “rest” is something he has never had and “peace” is something that he has never lived with before mocking Undertaker by getting down on one knee, holding the urn, and saying that The Undertaker’s streak will “rest in peace”! The lights then go out in the arena as the familiar gong of The Undertaker rings throughout the arena and, when the lights come back on, “The Phenom” is in the ring and Undertaker immediately takes it to CM Punk, ravaging Punk with left and right hands before Punk and Heyman make a hasty retreat to the staging area!
After weeks of delaying his own in-ring debut, “The Dancing Sensation” Fandango would dance his way to the ring with his lovely dance partner to compete in his debut match, but in the middle of pronouncing his own name before the match, Fandango would be interrupted by the man whom he viciously attacked on SmackDown, Chris Jericho! Jericho rushes to the ring, pummeling Fandango until Fandango makes a quick exit from the ring.
In a match originally scheduled to take place later in the night, “Y2J” Chris Jericho would go one-on-one with “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler, with AJ Lee & Big E. Langston in his corner. Despite the best efforts of Big E. Langston, Chris Jericho would still lock the Walls of Jericho in on Dolph Ziggler, forcing “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” to tap out to pick up the win. After the match, Big E. Langston would enter the ring, laying Jericho out with the Big Ending! The night would continue to get worse for Jericho as Fandango would make his way back to the ring, dancing with his dance partner next to the helpless Jericho before Fandango drills Y2J with right hands. Jericho would briefly fight back, but with one kick, Fandango takes Jericho down before coming off of the top rope with a leg drop! Fandango then grabs a microphone, again reciting his name in the face of Chris Jericho.
Backstage, Sheamus is asked whether or not he and Randy Orton have “buried the hatchet” with Big Show, but before Sheamus can finish his response, Sheamus is blind-sided by The Shield as Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns beat Sheamus down! Randy Orton then arrives on the scene with a steel chair in hand, but The Shield is still able to overwhelm Orton and it was not until Big Show arrived on the scene that things changed as Big Show easily deals with The Shield, pulling each of them off of Sheamus & Orton and tossing them to the side, forcing The Shield to retreat!
Thirteen nights before he clashes with Ryback at WrestleMania 29, “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry would face Jimmy & Jey Uso in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match on RAW. The Usos would take it to Mark Henry, even managing to land the Superfly Splash, but Mark Henry would endure all of it. Mark Henry then tosses Jimmy Uso off of the ring apron all the way into the ringside barricade before squashing Jey Uso with the World’s Strongest Slam en route to picking up the win. After the match, Mark Henry would roll Jimmy Uso into the ring before planting Jimmy with the World’s Strongest Slam, as well! Henry was not through, however, as Mark Henry plants Jey Uso with a second World’s Strongest Slam and landing a big splash on Jimmy Uso, screaming at Jimmy that “nobody splashes me”!
Two weeks before he defends the World Heavyweight Title against the man who broke Ricardo Rodriguez’s ankle last week, Jack Swagger, World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio would go one-on-one with United States Champion Antonio Cesaro in a non-title, Champion vs. Champion Match. Before the match, Ricardo Rodriguez actually makes an appearance, walking out with crutches and a protective boot on his ankle, saying that his ankle is broken, but his “voice is strong”. Rodriguez then does the signature introduction of Alberto Del Rio before Del Rio assists his friend to ringside and the match gets underway. During the match, the self-proclaimed “Founding Father” Zeb Colter would walk out to the stage, temporarily distracting Del Rio and allowing Antonio Cesaro to take advantage. Shortly after this, Alberto Del Rio would hit a superplex on Antonio Cesaro in the ring, taking both men down for a short time. This would allow Jack Swagger to attack Ricardo Rodriguez again, dragging Rodriguez by the injured ankle. Luckily for Rodriguez, Del Rio would abandon the match, chasing Swagger away through the crowd. However, the distraction would cost Del Rio the match as Cesaro wins the bout via count-out. While he was unable to get his hands on Jack Swagger, the World Heavyweight Champion would take his anger out on the United States Champion as Del Rio locks in the cross armbreaker on Cesaro, making Cesaro frantically tap out! Del Rio then returns to the side of Ricardo Rodriguez where a WWE doctor tends to Rodriguez’s ankle.
Before they defend the WWE Tag Team Titles against Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langston at WrestleMania, the WWE Tag Team Champions were in action on RAW as Team Hell No faced The Prime Time Players in a non-title match. During the match, Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langston, along with AJ Lee, would make their way to the stage. In the end, it was Kane planting Darren Young with a chokeslam en route to picking up the win for Team Hell No as their WrestleMania opponents keep a close eye on the proceedings.
After last week’s contract signing where he discovered that, when he faces Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, it will be a No Holds Barred Match and, if Triple H loses, he will be forced to retire from in-ring competition, “The Game” Triple H would appear to respond to the stipulations put on the match by Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Triple H says that, for the first time in his career, he will be heading into WrestleMania with the possibility of it being his last match ever. Triple H admits that Brock Lesnar is a “destroyer”, but, throughout his career, he has competed as if his career was on the line each and every night. Triple H then tells Brock to show up at WrestleMania as if Brock’s “life depends on it” because there is a good chance that it will before proclaiming that he is coming to WrestleMania to kick Brock’s ass! Having said what he came to say, Triple H exited the ring just as Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett makes his entrance to compete. However, Barrett decides to get in the face of “The Game”, pointing to the back and, in essence, telling the legend to “hit the bricks”. Not in the mood to deal with Barrett’s arrogance, Triple H would kick the Intercontinental Champion below the belt with a low blow!
Still trying to deal with the low blow dealt to him by Triple H a few minutes earlier, the Intercontinental Champion was in action on RAW as Wade Barrett went one-on-one with The Miz in a non-title match. In the end, it was The Miz hanging up Wade Barrett on the top rope before locking in the Figure-Four Leg Lock on Barrett, forcing the Intercontinental Champion to tap out to pick up the win.
Backstage, the often-bickering WWE Tag Team Champions were at it again as Kane and Daniel Bryan both accused each other of not being over their past relationships with AJ Lee. However, Divas Champion Kaitlyn was nearby and, having had her own problems with AJ in the past, tells Team Hell No that AJ has screwed all of them over in the past. What the three of them did not realize was that AJ herself had just walked in and was listening to everything they were saying. Kaitlyn continued, saying that she was the former best friend who tried to get her to dump her “troll” of an ex-boyfriend, referring to Daniel Bryan. While AJ initially enjoys the bickering, things change when Kaitlyn says that, when it comes to AJ, the “wheel is spinning, but the hamster is dead”. The Divas Champion then refers to AJ as “beady-eyed” and “mad-as-a-hatter”, but when Kaitlyn got to AJ’s most despised word, “crazy”, AJ loses it, attacking Kaitlyn from behind and sending her face-first into a steel drinking fountain! AJ continues to pummel the Divas Champion until Team Hell No pulls AJ off of Kaitlyn.
Before they face Sheamus, Randy Orton, and a to-be-named partner at WrestleMania, The Shield was in action on RAW as Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, & Roman Reigns faced the team of Zack Ryder, Justin Gabriel, & The Great Khali in a 6-Man Tag Match. In the end, it was Dean Ambrose wrapping the knees up of Justin Gabriel, rolling onto his back and using his own legs to protrude the mid-section of Gabriel as Seth Rollins comes off of the top rope with a knee to Gabriel. After this devastating double-team maneuver, Rollins pins Gabriel to pick up a dominant win for The Shield. After the match, The Shield would send a strong message to their WrestleMania opposition by hoisting the 420-pound Great Khali up and driving him down in the center of the ring with a three-man powerbomb! Sheamus and Randy Orton then make their way towards the ring, ready to fight The Shield, but Big Show comes in through the crowd and, suddenly, The Shield finds themselves surrounded by three former World Champions! Then it was time for a fight as Sheamus, Randy Orton, & Big Show work together to send Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns packing before Big Show hoists Seth Rollins up and drops Rollins with a huge back drop! Reigns & Ambrose then pull Rollins out of the ring before The Shield makes their retreat through the crowd.
Backstage, Chris Jericho is spotted coming out of the office of RAW Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero and, when questioned about his visit with Vickie, Jericho says that, when you have been in the WWE as long as he has, he has a “target” on him. Jericho then says that Fandango has assaulted him on two different occasions for no reason before dropping the bombshell that, thanks to Vickie Guerrero, he will be going one-on-one with Fandango at WrestleMania! Jericho then warns Fandango that, now, the target is on Fandango on “The Grandest Stage of Them All”.
In a rematch from Friday’s SmackDown, “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay & “Sweet T” Tensai, with The Funkadactyls in their corner, would face Team Rhodes Scholars, with The Bella Twins in his corner. In a repeat of what happened on SmackDown, The Funkadactyls and The Bella Twins would brawl with each other at ringside and, as Tensai and Damien Sandow try to break things up, Cody Rhodes takes advantage of the chaos by hitting the Disaster Kick on Brodus Clay en route to picking up the win for Team Rhodes Scholars.
In an effort to outdo Mark Henry’s 2-on-1 Handicap Match victory earlier in the night, “The Sin City Cyborg” Ryback would face all three members of 3MB, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, & Drew McIntyre in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match. In the end, it was Ryback hoisting both Heath Slater & Jinder Mahal up and dropping them with Shell Shocked, pinning Heath Slater to pick up the impressive win.
After assaulting Kaitlyn earlier in the night, the unbalanced AJ Lee would go one-on-one with Divas Champion Kaitlyn in a non-title match. During the match, Kaitlyn would hit the Go To Knee on AJ Lee, but AJ would tumble to the outside. Kaitlyn would follow AJ to the outside of the ring and would charge AJ with the intent of hitting AJ with the Spear, but AJ moves out of the way and Kaitlyn propels herself head-first into the ringside barricade. As a result, Kaitlyn was unable to answer the referee’s ten-count as AJ defeats the Divas Champion via count-out.
Then it was time for a special Question & Answer segment as WWE Champion The Rock and #1 Contender John Cena would stand before a panel of Legends and WWE Hall of Famers, who would each question Rock & Cena! With Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler serving as the moderator of the Q&A, Lawler would first introduce the panel for the Q&A as two of the inductees into the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame, the six-time World Champion Booker T and “The Hardcore Legend” Mick Foley, would make up half of the panel! Lawler would then introduce the next panelist as 2007 WWE Hall of Famer “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes joins Booker & Foley in the ring before bringing out none other than the 2006 Hall of Famer and seven-time World Champion Bret “The Hitman” Hart!
With Bret Hart, Dusty Rhodes, Booker T, & Mick Foley all seated, it was time for the Q&A to get underway. Jerry Lawler first brings out “The People’s WWE Champion”, The Rock, followed by The Rock’s challenger for the WWE Title at WrestleMania, John Cena. The first legend to speak was the soon-to-be-inducted Hall of Famer Mick Foley, who says that he had the honor of teaming with The Rock at WrestleMania and he felt a weight lifted off of his shoulders when The Rock beat John Cena at last year’s WrestleMania. Foley then asks Cena if he is prepared to live with the disappointment of potentially facing another loss at the hands of The Rock at this year’s WrestleMania. Cena responds, saying that April 7 will be a historic day for the WWE and, whether he wins or loses, the face of the WWE will change at WrestleMania. Cena continues, saying that, this time last year, he said that “losing is not an option”, but now he knows better. Cena then says that he is going to try and make everyone feel as disappointed as he did last year, twice saying the name, “Donovan McNabb”, saying that, statistically, McNabb is the greatest player in the history of Philadelphia, but he is still met with anger because McNabb could not win the “big one”. Cena continues, saying that, if he loses at WrestleMania, he will “carry the legacy of Donovan McNabb.” Cena then accuses The Rock of knowing nothing about “failure”, but he will come WrestleMania. Then it was time for The Rock’s response as Rock tells Cena that, when he was 23-years old, he was so broke, he had to get his mattress out of a dumpster. Rock continues, saying that, about a year later, he got his big break in the WWE, but, six months later, he “flopped” and injured his knee. Rock then says that he could have given up, but he refused to quit, coming back to the WWE and insisting that they give him a microphone. Cut to one year later and The Rock is the youngest WWE Champion in history, competing in the main event of WrestleMania XV in Philadelphia. The Rock continues, saying that he walked into WrestleMania XV with the WWE Title and got his “ass kicked” by Stone Cold Steve Austin and those failures shaped the man that Cena sees before him, vowing to whip Cena’s ass at WrestleMania!
With things already getting heated between The Rock and John Cena, Bret Hart would ask his question, saying that the rivalry between Cena and Rock last year reminded him a lot of his feud with Shawn Michaels. Bret then says that, since last year, something has “changed”, asking Rock and Cena what had changed. The Rock says that, after he beat Cena at last year’s WrestleMania, Cena did not “complain” and he took the loss “like a man” and he respects that. Cena then says that he called The Rock out in an interview where he dared The Rock to prove his love for the WWE and Rock did so by returning to host WrestleMania 27 before defeating him at WrestleMania 28. Cena says that, after WrestleMania 28, he expected The Rock to walk out of the WWE, never to be seen again, but he was proven wrong as The Rock was at RAW the very next night where he declared that he would not stop until he was the WWE Champion again, which he now is. Cena then says that he respects The Rock and he respects Rock saying that he took his loss “like a man”, but at WrestleMania, they are going to see how The Rock takes it when he loses!
The soon-to-be-inducted Booker T then says that he is the only one in the ring right now that has been in the ring with both The Rock and John Cena before asking Cena why he is going to beat The Rock at WrestleMania. Cena provides a simple answer, saying he will win at WrestleMania because he “has to”. The Rock has no sympathy for Cena, telling Cena to “tell the truth” as to why Cena needs to win at WrestleMania. Cena then blurts out that The Rock did not beat him last year because he defeated himself, explaining that he got caught up in “one personal moment”, saying that, in the ten years that he has been in the WWE, The Rock is the only man who has “clouded” his judgment to the point of him making a bad decision. Cena continues, saying that he had The Rock beat last year, taking everything that The Rock could dish out, but then he decided to try and beat The Rock with Rock’s own finisher and it cost him the match. Cena then vows that the mistake he made last year will “not happen again” before telling The Rock that he knows that he is “better” than The Rock and The Rock knows it! The Rock argues that, if Cena had him beat last year, then Cena would have won, but he took everything Cena had to offer and he still defeated him. The Rock then quotes two-time Hall of Famer Ric Flair, saying “to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man”, telling Cena that he cannot “beat the man” because Cena is “not the man”.
Last up was Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, who says that there are “no guarantees” in the wrestling business, saying that you don’t always get what you want and, what you want is not always what you get. Dusty then asks both men what they want come WrestleMania and Cena answers that he wants to “dominate” The Rock at WrestleMania, making The Rock realize that he “belongs” in the WWE and The Rock will realize that Cena is “better” than him. Cena continues, saying that he wants to hand The Rock a loss so devastating that it will “haunt” Rock for the rest of his life! The Rock says that he is not “wired” to have regrets, saying that, if Cena wants to prove The Rock and the world wrong, then he should prove him wrong right now! Things then get intense as both The Rock and John Cena look ready to do battle right then and there and, despite the pleas by Jerry Lawler, Cena gets in The Rock’s face. Cena then taunts Rock to his face and Rock responds by shoving Cena and Cena would go for the Attitude Adjustment on The Rock, but The Rock would fight out before planting Cena in the middle of the ring with the Rock Bottom in front of the panel of Hall of Famers!
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