WWE RAW Review: Paul Bearer Tribute, Rock/Cena Absent, Heyman Shines

WWE RAW Review: Paul Bearer Tribute, Rock/Cena Absent, Heyman Shines Photo: Brendan Daley
3/11/13 RAW Review
The March 11th episode of RAW is in the books, and we are now less than a month away from WrestleMania 29. We saw appearances from The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar, while getting a good amount of matches as WWE geared up for the big night in what was yet another quality RAW, for the most part. .

There were some hits, and some misses. Let's take a closer look…

Highlights
The tribute video for Paul Bearer to open the show was done perfectly, and The Undertaker paying homage with the urn in the ring was a nice touch. RIP. It was smart to tie in Bearer's passing with Punk's promo to build the match. There was no disrespect, and gives The Undertaker something more to fight for.

Both CM Punk vs. Kane and Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan were by far the matches of the night. Both of them were completely different, but perfect in their own way. Punk vs. Kane was an all-out war and related well with the passing of Bearer, while Bryan and Ziggler crafted a pro wrestling masterpiece. Kane coming out the victor in the Main Event was a nice final acknowledgment of Paul. Punk leaving with the urn was a fantastic twist, only further solidifying his place at the top of the heel ranks.

It was good to see Ziggler get a win on TV, and Bryan was a formidable opponent to make him look great in the victory. I was hoping for a match between The Show Off and Chris Jericho at Met Life Stadium, but it looks like Y2J will be in the IC Title picture moving forward. It's strange to see Jericho involved with The Miz and Wade Barrett, and poses even more questions as to where Ziggler fits into the WM29 picture.

Zeb Coulter's segment was clever, entertaining, and very controversial. Zeb took his views to a new level in his promo last night, which made the Del Rio vs. Swagger build much hotter than it has been for weeks. The same thing applies to this feud, as it does for Rock/Cena, keep it serious and personal. As funny as the parody promo was, Coulter and Swagger are going for Del Rio's throat with what they have said. ADR needs to match that intensity and make us believe he is fighting for himself and his culture.

The Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H program turned right back around last night with the work of Paul Heyman. He is the perfect mouthpiece for Brock, and has made this match so much more personal. This guy can do no wrong on the mic, and the added stipulation is a perfect twist. I would imagine that it would be for Heyman's ownership stake in the company vs. HHH's job… or something like that. Either way, it will inject Vince and Heyman right into the eye of this storm and make it another focal point moving towards WrestleMania which is a very good thing.

Lowlights
As much as the concept of two heavyweights battling it out at WrestleMania looks good on paper, Ryback vs. Mark Henry is not a good idea. Henry will probably get Shell-Shocked in the high spot of the match (If Ryback can actually lift him), but the rest of the bout will be a slow, sloppy bore-fest. At this point, a short program between two guys that can just stare at one another to build a brute vs. brute match is an easy way out with these two. Listen, I will be in attendance for Mania and I hope they prove me wrong, but at this point I think Creative could have done a better job with Ryback and his role at WM29.

It is very odd that Sheamus and Randy Orton are not playing a bigger part as we move towards Mania. I understand that they will take on The Shield, but I was almost certain that they would be battling for the WHC. Del Rio and Swagger has been good, but I am not exactly sure that their feud needed a title within its program to get over. Orton and Sheamus are two of the top talents within WWE, and the company is missing the boat without them going for a championship on the biggest night of the year. Also, it would be a perfect opportunity to turn Orton heel.

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