The WWE is just two weeks away from one of the biggest shows of the year, Elimination Chamber on Feb. 17, and Monday’s edition of Raw was action packed to prepare for the event.
While huge stars like The Rock and Dolph Ziggler were missing from the broadcast, the build to Elimination Chamber and the groundwork being set for WrestleMania 29 are proving that the WWE creative team can craft good storylines.
Three-hour editions of Raw will always be hard to watch all the way through—three hours is too long for almost anything—but the WWE has found a solid rhythm and keeps the action rolling throughout the whole program.
Monday’s edition of Raw was very well executed, and the excitement around Elimination Chamber is through the roof.
Raw Results from Feb 4 (via WWE.com)
CM Punk addressed the WWE Universe and received a WWE Active challenge.
Ryback defeated U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro.
Jack Swagger defeated Santino Marella.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio defeated Cody Rhodes and called out Big Show.
WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan defeated Rey Mysterio; Mark Henry attacked.
Sheamus defeated WWE Tag Team Champion Kane.
Bruno Sammartino was named as a 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee.
Brock Lesnar crashed "Miz TV" with Paul Heyman.
Randy Orton defeated Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett.
CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho.
Brad Maddox called out The Shield and was attacked; John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus joined the fight and laid out a challenge.
Elimination Chamber Build
The Elimination Chamber event itself is just a stopgap for the WWE until WrestleMania, but the intrigue over the actual Elimination Chamber match, CM Punk versus The Rock for the WWE title, Big Show versus Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship and a deep midcard makes this card worth the purchase price.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Are You Alright With No Rock on Monday, though?
The Rock likely didn’t sign up to be there every single week on Raw, but the fact that the WWE Champion was absent from television this week was a serious drawback. As great as Punk is and as much confidence as the company must have in him to let him carry the entire main event, The Rock should be there each and every week that he is champion.
TV personality Michelle Beadle was excited to see the Hall of Pain, Mark Henry, back in the WWE ring heading toward Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania 29:
Michelle Beadle @MichelleDBeadle
Knock knock. Who's there? Mark Henry, Bioooooootch. #WWE #RAW2013-2-5 02:28:35
Many fans may have called Jack Swagger’s return lackluster, but there is at least one name inside the WWE (Jim Ross) that still believes the All-American can be a world champion once again:
Jim Ross @JRsBBQ
I still have the utmost confidence in @RealJackSwagger & he could well be the next World Heavyweight Champion. Time will tell. @WWE2013-2-5 02:04:06
Brock Lesnar Continues His Attacks
The Rock may not have been there Monday, but the news that Brock Lesnar had signed to a deal with Vickie Guerrero and the spot where Lesnar hit the ring and F-5’d The Miz after the former reality star verbally attacked Paul Heyman made this a memorable night nonetheless.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: How Could You Not Like Lesnar?
The former WWE and UFC champion is one of the most intimidating forces in the world, and his presence on TV is a huge bonus for the company. Even if you don’t care about the oodles of money he makes the WWE or the masses of viewers the bona fide star draws in, Lesnar’s character is awe-inspiring.
Anytime the beast hits the ring, the fans are in for a treat.
ECW’s legendary announcer Joey Styles knows extreme, and he could tell by Lesnar’s attack on The Miz that the former reality star was in serious pain:
Nationally syndicated radio show, Ring Rust Radio, talked about how The Miz stood his ground to a bona fide UFC fighter and a man that just broke Vince McMahon’s hip last week:
I like how The Miz tried to stand his ground against Brock Lesnar on @WWE #Raw and got dumped on his head. Score one for the heels!2013-2-5 13:17:59
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics you just can’t miss (some language NSFW).