Photo courtesy of WWE.com
Monday Night Raw was live from Nashville last night. The Road to Wrestlemania is clicking right along with only 55 days remaining till Wrestlemania XXIX at MetLife Stadium. Did the Feb. 11, 2013, Raw deliver?
No Undertaker, no problem
Speculation was running wild that the Dead Man would make his long awaited return to action tonight after being spotted in Nashville on Sunday night. Hopeful fans will no doubt be disappointed by The Undertaker's absence tonight, but I personally have no worries that we will soon see Taker show up after Sunday's Elimination Chamber PPV.
The Undertaker has long been penciled in to have a match with CM Punk at Wrestlemania. Having him show up in the middle of the Rock's program with Punk would have made little to no sense. They should close out their program on Sunday, and the Rock will then turn his attention to the 2013 Royal Rumble winner—John Cena.
I fully expect the Undertaker to show up within the next two weeks to make his challenge to Punk (assuming Taker is healthy enough to go).
Elimination Chamber is set
The only elimination chamber match on the PPV bearing the same name has finally been set. It features only former World Heavyweight Champions. Added to the match tonight was Chris Jericho following his victory over Daniel Bryan, Kane following a victory over Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger because he "impressed" Smackdown's General Manager, Booker T.
I really love the booking for this match. I could realistically see any number of these competitors walk out of the chamber with the number one contender position, with a "main event" match at Wrestlemania ahead of them.
Who will win the Elimination Chamber match?
The clear favorite has to be Chris Jericho. This would easily set up a cash in of the Money in the Bank contract by Ziggler before Wrestlemania to set up a potentially awesome Ziggler vs. Jericho match.
If they intend to turn Randy Orton heel (finally!), then a Orton vs. Del Rio match at Wrestlemania could also be a really great match. Overall I'm really excited to see how this one turns out on Sunday.
The Justice League promises to bring the sword to the Shield
When you have your company's three top faces in a match against the 3MB, the only way to book it was a squash—and that's exactly what we got. The Shield later called out the Justice League of John Cena, Sheamus and Ryback, only to be given a taste of their own medicine after being bum rushed following the lights going dark.
This really set up the match on Sunday between the two groups well. Both groups have now exchanged one-upping each other. It will be really interesting to see how they book the match Sunday. The Shield will come to play and it has a possibility of being the best match on the card.
The Rock says...crack is wack
The Rock came out to close the show and rambled on for a while about growing up near Nashville. He played to the crowd and did what The Rock does, until CM Punk's music hit. Punk teased that he is going to leave before rushing into the ring where he and Rock got into it, physically. Rock looked liked he had the upper hand before Paul Hayman's distraction led to Punk hitting the Rock with a GTS.
The segment was odd to me and lacked the passion that the pair showed prior to their match at the Royal Rumble.
Earlier in the night, Vince McMahon agreed to the stipulation that, should The Rock either be counted out or disqualified, then CM Punk would become the new WWE Champion. This could turn out to be an interesting angle as it leaves the door open for Heyman to do what he does best.
Overall, I think the show was a solid one. They progressed multiple story lines very well, and they gave us a heck of a match between Jericho and Daniel Bryan. Definitely looking forward to what WWE has in store for us on Sunday.
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