Previewing the Feb. 25, 2013 episode of WWE "Monday Night Raw", featuring John Cena vs. CM Punk for the right to face The Rock at "WrestleMania 29", the possible return of The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, a fight between Vince McMahon and Paul Heyman, AND MORE!
Rock! Cena! Punk! Heyman! Now! It! Makes! Sense! WWE Championship!
There are days when I honestly believe WWE has no clue what it is doing. That the promotion is just throwing things haphazardly together. That everything is being juggled in the air, and at any moment the entire damn show will just come crashing down.
Then WWE is all like, "Yo, I got this." And I feel slightly reassured.
Last week (Feb. 18), WWE did something so amazingly simple that I'm actually a little shocked it happened. John Cena came out to hype up his WrestleMania 29 (April 7) match with The Rock for the WWE Championship. It was a standard Cena affair, made all the worse because of its inevitable conclusion.
Then things got interesting...
CM Punk came out and bitched about getting screwed out of the title at Elimination Chamber (Feb. 17) -- which he was. He said that winning the Royal Rumble Match requires only dumb luck -- which is a fair point to make. Then Punk reminded us that Cena has never defeated him in over half a dozen attempts.
Which is 100% true.
So we have someone with a gripe and someone who lucked into the #1 Contendership. We have a pay-per-view (PPV) that is six weeks away, and a weekly television show that needs content up until then. We have a feud that has been running for damn near a year and a half without a single conclusory finish. The obvious thing to do is to is book Cena vs. Punk to battle for the right to face The Rock at WrestleMania 29. So what does WWE do?
It...books Cena vs. Punk to battle for the right to face The Rock at WrestleMania 29.
Don't look at me. I'm just as shocked as you are.
So WWE has set up a PPV main event on free television. The big question is what happens next? The way I see it, we have a few options available.
First, Cena goes over Punk clean as a whistle used by someone with a very clean mouth. We blow off one of WWE's biggest feuds of the decade as buildup to WWE's other biggest feud of the decade. It makes Cena look strong heading into WrestleMania 29, and removes all doubt over the true #1 Contender. It's probably the "smartest" avenue to take.
But that is so damn boring.
Second, Cena goes over Punk despite having everything and the kitchen sink thrown at him. Punk is still working with Paul Heyman. Heyman is still in control of The Shield and probably Brock Lesnar. All Punk has to do is say the word and there will be an army marching to the ring to take on Cena.
If the plan is still for Cena to go strong into WrestleMania, though, then it is very possible he fights through all of it and still comes out on top.
This takes all the fun out of what is a clean win and turns it into another Super Cena adventure. "Mister Never Gives Up" will add another notch to his bed post on his way to reclaiming the WWE Championship at the expense of CM Punk. A single clean loss is tough to swallow, but it's bearable. It allows the feud to continue at a future date.
This, though, would be absolute overkill.
Third, Punk goes over Cena dirty as a whistle used by someone with a very dirty mouth. This extends Punk's claim that Cena has never beaten him. It would be another shenanigan filled victory, but that's what Punk has been relying on for the past few months. It would simply be staying in character.
The problem becomes what happens for WrestleMania. John Cena vs. The Rock is basically set in stone by all reports. We have six weeks to screw around with the results, but is that really a good thing? Wins and losses should mean something. A Punk win that leads to Cena taking his place in the main event would be a waste of all of our time.
There is a way for WWE to make this work. I'm just not sure what it would be, and if the promotion wants to go down that path.
Finally, Punk goes over Cena clean. This is entirly possi...BWAHAHAHAHA.
Sorry. Couldn't even type that with a straight face.
Tonight should make the WrestleMania picture a bit clearer. The show could very well close on John Cena standing tall, as he tends to do in these situations.
But at the very least, we can say he earned it.
The! Return! Of! The! Undertaker! Maybe!
The Undertaker made a surprise appearance at a WWE Live Event in Waco, Texas on Sat. (Feb. 23). The assumption has to be that "The Deadman" will soon be coming back to Monday Nigh Raw for his run up to WrestleMania 29.
That is, if he's even able to make it to the big show.
We don't know if Taker's body will be able to handle a match. We don't know how many more runs he has left in him. We don't know what his future plans are, or how close he is to retirement.
What we do know is The Undertaker made an appearance at a house show on Saturday (Feb. 23). That may not be much, but that's more than we've had in awhile.
Maybe tonight we'll be able to find out a little bit more.
Everything Else! Bullet Points!
- Last week Vince McMahon challenged Paul Heyman to a fight, just a few weeks removed from hip surgery. The question shouldn't be if anyone will run in, but whether it will be Brock Lesnar, The Shield, or both -- in order to save their manager.
- The Brickie -- Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero -- Era has begun on Raw. I foresee only great things coming from this.
- WWE has invited Glenn Beck to appear on tonight's show, an offer he has graciously declined. Do not expect this to be swept under the rug.
Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to, and please join the entire CSS Monday night gang in the live blog TONIGHT!