|By Michael Souza | February 19, 2013 | Comments|
The post-Elimination Chamber episode of RAW is in the books, and we are now beginning the final stretch of The Road to WrestleMania. WWE delivered us a good show, highlighting the aftermath of the Elimination Chamber PPV and laying the groundwork for what will play out in the weeks to come.
There were some hits, and some misses. Lets take a closer look shall we?
The open to last night's show delivered again, and we saw a very serious John Cena. His approach to the impending Title Match with The Rock was much more intense with no comedy to be found. I loved it! His encounter with Punk continued this trend, and I am very excited to see what happens in next week's match.
Now, I know that there is no way Punk wins next week, but this could very well be a buffer in case The Undertaker is not fit to compete on April 7th. The closer we get to that date without seeing the Dead Man, the less likely it will be that he appears. Could we see Cena and Punk pin one another to lead to a Triple Threat? It is one way the WWE could go, but one thing is for sure, Punk cannot afford to lose clean to Cena, so something has to give.
Cut to The Rock's celebration! I was skeptical about this segment as it was being hyped all night, and I did not know what purpose it would serve, but Rocky came through in a big way. So did the marching band, those percussionists could play! He was able to tie in the unveiling of the new WWE Title to his feud with John Cena, adding yet another layer to the build of their match at Met Life Stadium. I want so badly to be interested in this rematch, and the WWE took a big step last night in helping me do so. Punk attacking Cena from behind got him heat and kept him relevant for his match next week. The creative team needs to do everything possible to make us believe Punk actually has a shot at winning.
One of the most intriguing and surprising storylines that has burst onto the scene is the new and improved Jack Swagger, and his sidekick Zeb Coulter. Uncle Zeb is walking a fine line between getting heat and offending people, but it is something different and refreshing to see on WWE TV. The creative team threw all of us a curveball by granting The Real American a World Title shot at WM29, and its smart to begin the build right away. Zeb planted the seeds for a personal battle between Swags and Alberto Del Rio, which was followed by an impressive match between Swagger and Daniel Bryan. I was never a fan of Jack Swagger's character before, but have always respected his in ring work when given the time. This repackage could be just what he needs to get back to the Main Event Scene. It has been a great return thus far, and the WWE has done all the right things to put him in a position to succeed. Whether Swagger wins at WrestleMania or not, expect him to have a big impact in restoring the relevancy of the WHC if this booking continues.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the WWE for learning from the mistakes it made with Nexus and for doing a fantastic job with The Shield as of late. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins personify the "pack mentality" approach, and everything they do in the ring fits so seamlessly with their characters both personally, and as a group. Their match with Y2J, Ryback, and Sheamus was the best of the night, and The Shield won clean again. All six men put on a heck of a performance, and I was sure the good guys would come out on top this time. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised!
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