By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Decent opening segment featuring Bully Ray, TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy and Bad Influence. The mic work from everyone involved, but Kaz and Daniels made the segment worth watching with their entertaining one-liners. Ray seemed way too over the top in his babyface role, but it seems that a heel turn could be in Ray's future come Lockdown, which I think could be the best thing for him at this point. This promo also set up the main event tag team match nicely.
Fine match with Velvet Sky defeating Tara to successfully retain the Knockouts Championship. Of course, Sky isn't the division's best in-ring worker, but Tara brought her to a good match. The focus was more on Gail Kim's commentary rather than the actual match, which I'm fine with since Kim has since been named the new number one contender to the title. Having Tara invoke her rematch clause at Lockdown would have made more sense, as I'm not sure why they're rushing into a Kim vs. Sky feud at this point.
By Carson Koschik
We start off WWE's sometimes awesome show with a backstage segment with Rhodes, Sheamus, and Kaitlyn. I missed the first minute or so of it, but I can tell you that we are seeing Sheamus vs. Rhodes (again) and that it looks like a Rhodes/Kaitlyn romance angle is happening. Remember when everybody expected Cody Rhodes to win the World Heavyweight Championship in 2012? Well, I can easily say that 2013 won't be his year either. Soon, Cody, soon. Sheamus and Cody Rhodes come out for their match, and the build-up to the predictable Sheamus win begins. I know that not every match can be unpredictable, but it seems like almost every TV match from the past year has had an extremely obvious winner. It would be nice if we didn't know who was going to win. Like when Orton faced Henry a few weeks back. After a pretty good match, which included one of Cody's beautiful moonsaults, Sheamus gets the predictable win after hitting a Brogue Kick.
John Cena goes high risk in his match against CM Punk.
Strong segment to kick off the show featuring Mr. McMahon, Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar and Triple H. The brief interaction between McMahon and Heyman was well done and their subsequent fight was fun while it lasted. The brawl between HHH and Lesnar was incredibly intense and the crowd was hot for both guys. Lesnar being busted open was a very nice touch, despite the fact that it probably wasn't planned. Sure, most people saw this coming, but it's what needed to happen and it was excellently executed. While I'm not high on a rematch occurring between the two at WrestleMania 29, this was an awesome opener and set the tone for the rest of the show.
Decent match between Dolph Ziggler and Ryback. It was pretty predictable that Ryback would emerge victorious, but Ziggler selling like a champ for all of Ryback's moves made the match entertaining. After picking up a handful of monumental victories in late last year, it's a shame to see Ziggler back to his consistent losing ways. Nonetheless, I hope he's given a meaningful match at WrestleMania this year and that it program kicks off relatively soon.
Effective promo from CM Punk. He heavily hyped his match with John Cena for later in the night and emphasized just how important it was to him, the WWE Championship and the main event of WrestleMania 29. Not only that, but he also seemed to be foreshadowing a feud with Undertaker as well. If that's the direction they end up taking with the Voice of the Voiceless going into the show of shows, then this promo did a successful job of planting the seeds for that match.
Harmless match with Mark Henry quickly defeating The Great Khali. I was afraid that we'd be getting this match at Mania after what was teased last week, but thankfully, the mini-feud was blown off this week instead. The match was mostly painless and it once again showcased Henry's sheer strength and dominance. Henry is another guy who deserves a spot on the Mania card, so here's hoping he's given a credible face to work with at the event within the next few weeks.
Sold Miz TV segment featuring World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter. As great as Coulter's mic skills are, what he said this week was no different from what he's been saying up to this point. Del Rio's response was pretty flat as well and did not have me looking forward to their upcoming match at WrestleMania 29. Personally, I believe Swagger should be suspended and left off the Mania card due to his inexcusable actions from last week, but I guess it's too late for that now.
Typical match with Randy Orton defeating United States Champion Antonio Cesaro. We've seen this match a handful times in the last month, so the action was nothing of the ordinary. Aside from the cool finish, this bout served no purpose whatsoever. Cesaro shouldn't be losing each week to top-tier Superstars that have no intention of chasing the star-spangled prize.
In regards to the Glenn Beck situation, I just have to say that guy is an absolute idiot. I watched/listened to what he had say about Jack Swagger's/Zeb Coutler's promo from Raw this past week and Beck came off as incredibly ignorant.
Firstly, Beck referred to WWE as "stupid wrestling people". That was his first mistake. Pro wrestling has one of the most passionate fan bases in the world. It annoys me to no end how people continue to look down on the product after all these years. Beck trashed the company and those that watch it during the course of his show. As far as I know, many wrestling fans don't degrade those that watch football, baseball or any other sport, so why is it “cool” to look down on anything who watches wrestling? We're all equal. It's simply entertainment. Beck resorting to underhanded tactics such as “name calling” the pro wrestling fan base is simply unnecessary and is merely done to garner a reaction from other outlets.
Jack Swagger steals a victory over Randy Orton.
Good opening segment featuring World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton and SmackDown General Manager Booker T. Del Rio established his feud with Jack Swagger and his upcoming title defense at WrestleMania 29. Orton also played his role well and made it clear that his sights are still set on the World Championship despite coming up short last Sunday night. This promo helped hype the two main event matches for later in the show, so it was effective in that aspect.
Nice match between Sheamus and Damien Sandow. These two always work well together and produced some hard-hitting action. Although the ending outcome was never in doubt, Sandow still looked good in defeat. Sheamus, on the other hand, remains directionless until he finds to someone to feud with going into WrestleMania. I'd be open to him chasing Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett as long as the rivalry isn't treated as a joke like it was on this week's Raw.
Fine tag team match with Divas Champion Kaitlyn and Layla defeating Tamina and Aksana. The action was actually better than originally expected and there weren't as many botches as one would think. The Divas have hardly been featured on television this year, so this was a step in the right direction. While I'm content with Kaitlyn feuding with Layla over the title going into Mania, I'd much rather see AJ in contention for the strap given the storied history between her and Kaitlyn dating back to their NXT days in 2010.
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