Powell's WWE Raw Hitlist: Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman force Triple H to put his career on the line, Wade Barrett vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz, Rufus "Pancake" Patterson, Undertaker and C.M. Punk

Posted in: Powell Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Mar 19, 2013 - 12:52 PM

By Jason Powell

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WWE Raw Hits

Brock Lesnar, Triple H, and Paul Heyman: It took a long time to get to the stipulations, but it was very good once we got through Triple H beating up Heyman and the security guards. Heyman was very good and continues to be a weekly hit. I felt like I was looking at Paul E. Dangerously at the end of the night when his hair came loose, his shirt was torn, and he had the crazed look in his eye. The retirement stipulation was a strong addition. Some fans may feel like it telegraphs the finish. My guess is Hunter goes over like most people, but I can't rule out the possibility that he wants to focus on the business side of the company. Furthermore, this is pro wrestling. Even if Hunter loses this match, they can always find a way to write him back in somewhere down the line.

Wade Barrett vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz: The hit goes for match quality even though I had very little interest in which wrestler would actually win. I had minimal interest in the possibility of Jericho winning and then defending the strap against Fandango at WrestleMania. I had zero interest in Barrett or Miz winning. It's not a reflection of them (well, maybe it is with Miz). Rather, it's a case of so much damage being done to the secondary titles in recent months that I've lost interest in seeing mid-card wrestlers hold the titles. Winning one of the secondary titles used to mean something for mid-card talent. Today it means they will lose a bunch of non-title matches to the bigger names. On a positive note, I did enjoy Jericho running through the comedic list of names for Fandango during their backstage segment.

Big Show joins Randy Orton and Sheamus: Simple and effective. The Shield backing down makes it seem like they are intimidated by the makeshift team they will be facing at WrestleMania. That's not a negative, as it makes Show, Orton, and Sheamus stand out from the rest of the all-star teams they've defeated.

WWE Raw Misses

Overall show: A big miss. The first hour was downright boring and the overall show felt like a continuation of last week, which was supposed to be the low point of the WrestleMania build. The show was semi newsworthy in terms of building up the WrestleMania undercard matches and establishing the stipulation for Triple H vs. Lesnar, but the majority of the show felt dull and uneventful for any season, let alone WrestleMania season. The Rock returns next week and WWE really needs to get back on track with only two episodes of Raw left to go before WrestleMania.

Rufus "Pancake" Patterson: Awful. John Cena was held off last week's show and his promo this week felt like a mere reminder of his WrestleMania 29 main event with The Rock. He just got done telling us the big show was 20 days away when they segued into comedy hell with The Primetime Players. It's one thing if this bombs in a segment with mid- or undercard talent, but I am baffled by their decision to tie this in with a WrestleMania main event player. The match itself between Cena and Darren Young was nothing more than a way to keep Cena fans engaged through a commercial break.

Undertaker and C.M. Punk: I was hopeful that the urn and Paul Bearer talk was going to be limited to last week's tribute edition of Raw. Sadly, Bearer and the urn have become the focus of the storyline. Punk had the longest WWE Championship reign in ages, yet they've already resorted to teasing that he will take a cheap win via count out or disqualification. They can definitely work some drama into the match regarding those potential finishes, but it shows they are building up Punk as a pest heel more than threat to beat Taker clean to end The Streak. There is money in making viewers pay to see Taker get his hands on pest Punk, but I really thought they would make more of an effort to position Punk as a pest who also has the ability to end The Streak by pinfall.

Vickie Guerrero informs Ryback he is facing Mark Henry: The uncontrollable monster character should have demanded the match, not have it thrown on him by the heel authority figure as a take it or leave it scenario. It looked like creative tried to come up with a reason that Ryback would move away from his long feud with The Shield and into a match with Henry, but they chose a bizarre path.

R-Truth vs. Damien Sandow: Fandango walks out on his match with Khali and then Sandow walked out during a match with Truth. One can only assume at this point that viewers were doing the equivalent by using their remote control to walk out on the show.

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