By Ryan Kester
CM Punk and The Undertaker
Monday's build was hit and miss or me. With what WWE elected to do, everyone involved did an excellent job. Punk got great heat and Undertaker looked downright furious by Punk's repeated interruptions during the Paul Bearer tributes. I simply wish that WWE found a different way of getting Punk his heat and didn't have to capitalize on a death for storyline fodder.
Getting past my misgivings, Punk did get a metric ton of heat last night and it's interesting to see a build for a fresh Undertaker opponent that isn't relying solely on The Streak to sell the match. WWE is likely wise in this decision as few fans, even among the casual viewers, ever expect to see the Streak end, so having Taker paired with someone fans want to see get torn apart is a good move.
Lesnar's appearance was a surprise for me, and I liked how they had him tear into some of Triple H's established buddies. It kept Lesnar and Triple H away from each other for another week while reestablishing him as an uncontrollable beast to the crowd. I'm not expecting to see a great match at WrestleMania between Triple H and Lesnar, but I will settle for the brawl they seem to be setting up if the intensity and the story can be present.
The Shield haven't been getting a lot of love recently, but when they do it tends to be handled well. Last night was no different as the match-turned-brawl The Shield had with Big Show made them look like beasts. The triple-powerbomb on Show made for quite the visual.
I have been rather impressed with how WWE has handled the Shield since its inception. I am hoping that trend continues through WrestleMania, and that they get their own story soon rather than playing as background characters to another existing story. I'm ready for Chapter 2.
While I enjoyed all of the above in some form or another, it doesn't make the vast majority of Raw enjoyable. WWE still doesn't have the pacing for a three-hour raw down and I doubt they'll find it at this point. Outside of special formats like Old School Raw, there simply is little WWE can do to prevent burnout. Still, I wish they put a bit more effort into making the three hours feel like they fly by rather than dragging.
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Kester's WWE Raw Rundown: CM Punk interrupts multiple Paul Bearer tributes, Brock Lesnar attacks the New Age Outlaws, and The Shield overwhelm Big Show
Mar 13, 2013 - 10:27 AM
Mar 13, 2013 - 10:27 AM
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