Tonight's WWE RAW is once again hanging heavy with high expectations from the WWE fans, as Wrestlemania 29 is seven weeks away. The 'road to Wrestlemania' runs through Dallas, Texas this week with a main event match between two of the biggest superstars around, CM Punk and John Cena. These former WWE Champions are squaring off in a major match where there is a lot on the line. Beyond that RAW this week will be stacked with a lot of big names, big returns, and much more.
Winner faces the Rock at Wrestlemania 29: John Cena vs. CM Punk
John Cena winner of the 2013 Royal Rumble, has his golden ticket to face WWE Champion Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson for the title at Wrestlemania 29 on April 7th. This would give Cena a chance to redeem the biggest lost of his career at last year's Mania, when Rock beat Cena in their "Once in a Lifetime" bout. At least that's what the Cenation wants to see happen, but CM Punk has a different idea.
Punk who has fallen to Rock twice in the last two months on Pay Per View in controversial matches, coaxed Cena on RAW last week to put his Wrestlemania main even title shot on the line tonight in a one-on-one match. If Punk wins, he will get another shot at the Rock and chance to regain the WWE Championship at the biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania 29. If Cena wins, his Wrestlemania dream of facing the Rock for the title stays alive.
Tonight's RAW main event will be a special performance by both men. Each is looking to gain momentum before 'Mania and remind everyone that they are on top of their game. Punk and Cena have had a lot of intense battles in the last two years with Punk usually coming out on top of the fight. WWE boss Vince McMahon is reportedly of the feeling that this match tonight should be the last Punk/Cena match that WWE will present for a long time.
Prediction: John Cena will come out the winner, finally getting an elusive victory over one of his biggest rivals. Punk will save face with the finish of this match being 'unclean' as were his losses to the Rock at Elimination Chamber and Royal Rumble. Punk will have fuel for his constant demand for 'respect', as he feels he is once again screwed out of an important victory. Both superstars will pull out all stops to put on a thriller in the Lone Star State.
Mr. McMahon vs. Paul Heyman in a 'Fight'
Last week on RAW, Mr. McMahon appeared via satellite on crutches and just two weeks out of hip surgery, he ordered CM Punk's associate Paul Heyman to face him tonight on RAW in a 'fight'. McMahon noted that Heyman said he would "do anything" to get a stipulation added to the Rock vs. Punk WWE title match at Elimination Chamber, and this is apparently McMahon cashing in on that promise. The setup for this last week did not go over well with fans in Louisiana as it was just a tease for something they were not going to see live, but tonight in Dallas it seems like this train-wreck of 'fight' between two non-wrestlers could elicit a huge reaction.
Prediciton: This will be a brief exchange between Heyman and McMahon which will lure the monster known as Brock Lesnar to Heyman's aid, only for McMahon's son-in-law Triple H to hit the ring. Triple H vs. Lesnar II at Wrestlemania 29 will be teased.
The Undertaker is back!... or is he?
WWE icon the Undertaker shocked fans this past Saturday by making an unadvertised in-ring return at a non-televised WWE show in Waco, Texas. Read full details and see photos of Taker's 2013 return to the ring here. You can watch a video of the Undertaker's return in Texas in the video posted with this article.
'Taker tagged with Sheamus on Saturday, and several fans who attended the show noted that he looked like "he never left". This may excite many, thinking the weeks of debate about whether or not 'Taker would defend 'the Streak' at Wrestlemania are over and his return to WWE TV is just a formality at this point. Apparently that's not the exact case. Sources inside WWE are saying that the 'house show' return by Undertaker was a test to see if his heavily injured shoulder could endure a match. Undertaker appeared to be fit in the match, and even though he has gone through several serious surgeries on his hip and shoulder in the last year. Word has come out that 'Taker's Texas return on Saturday is not the confirmation of the Deadman getting on the road to Wrestlemania but many are still expecting him to perform on WM29.
If the Undertaker is coming back, this week's RAW in Dallas would be a great opportunity to have the mythical character make his annually anticipated return.
Rey Mysterio is back too!
The battered masked superstar Rey Mysterio is reportedly going to return again to WWE on RAW tonight. Mysterio has been in and out of the WWE since December and has been dealing with a family situation that has been prevented him from getting a fleshed out story that could place him on the Wrestlemania card. It will be interesting to see where Mysterio fits into the mix, as they are many superstars jockeying for positions to get a showcase match on this show.
Glenn Beck will not be on RAW, but he will be a hot topic on the show
Conservative talk show host Glen Beck bashed the WWE on his show last week for presenting the characters of Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter as xenophobic right-wing zealots who are opposing World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio going into Wrestlemania 29. Beck referred to WWE and it's fans as "stupid wrestling people", throwing insults at WWE in general, and called for the characters to be removed from TV. Colter and Swagger appeared in an online video, breaking the forth wall laying out the reality that they are characters in WWE that are "loveable" and "detestable". In the video, Colter poignantly argued that Beck's own followers can figure out the difference between "reality" and "entertainment". Colter invited Beck to appear on RAW tonight to share his rebuttal in an 5-minute unedited segment, Beck has publicly declined.
So what is WWE's next move in this war of words? If history tells us anything, someone or something representing Glen Beck will get slammed either verbally or physically on RAW.
As if that was not enough, there is also the outside-the-ring reality of Jack Swagger's DUI arrest last week in Mississippi. WWE could make changes to the World title story line for 'Mania, which could see Swagger out as a result of his arrest.
Other new developments to watch for on RAW
- WWE Champion The Rock is not scheduled to appear on RAW this week so look for Punk and/or Cena to point this glaring absence out to the fans at the arena and watching around the world. Rock has a lot of his plate right now, read about the Rock's scheduled WWE appearances on the road to Wrestlemania.
- Team Hell No is on the rocks again. The WWE Tag Team Champions Kane and Daniel Bryan continue to be at odds, after Bryan once again cost Kane a match last week on RAW. Bryan may come up on the short end this week.
- RAW Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero has a new assistant in WWE wannabe Brad Maddox. Fans will get annoyed with this attention-starved jerk, but seems to be the idea. Maddox should try to book a match or overstep his duties early on, angering Guerrero in the process, and endangering her always up-for-review position as leader of RAW.
- WWE has not announced a new name for the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013 for a couple weeks. Read the about the celebrity who is being inducted in this year's WWE HOF in this link.