The WWE Universe lost a great star the past week when wrestling legend Paul Bearer passed away, and Monday’s edition of Raw was a tribute to the fallen manager.
While there have been serious complaints launched at the company for allowing former WWE champion CM Punk to interrupt the ceremony honoring Bearer, now the match between The Undertaker and Punk at WrestleMania matters more than ever.
Add in the fact that Brock Lesnar accepted Triple H’s challenge, and it is clear that WrestleMania 29 is shaping up to be an amazing event. The WWE is doing its best to make each episode of Raw help lay the groundwork for what should be one of the greatest shows in history.
If the WWE continues to book the way it booked Raw this Monday, even the most jaded wrestling fans will have to realize the magnitude of this year’s WrestleMania card.
Raw Results from March 11 (via WWE.com)
CM Punk interrupted The Undertaker’s memorial for Paul Bearer; Kane attacked Punk.
Big Show defeated Seth Rollins via Disqualification.
Dolph Ziggler defeated WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan.
Fandango refused to face Tensai.
Brock Lesnar attacked The New Age Outlaws and addressed Triple H’s challenge.
Mark Henry defeated Kofi Kingston.
Ryback defeated Heath Slater.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio defeated U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro.
Randy Orton and Sheamus defeated Team Rhodes Scholars.
The Miz and Wade Barrett appeared on “The Highlight Reel.”
Chris Jericho vs. The Miz ended in a No Contest.
Jack Swagger defeated Sin Cara.
WWE Tag Team Champion Kane defeated CM Punk.
WWE Honors Paul Bearer
There were many questions about how the WWE would pay its respects to the late Paul Bearer, but the company went far-and-beyond expectations Monday night. From video packages throughout the night to the constant tweets from fans and wrestlers, the WWE did a great job paying homage to Bearer.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: Did Punk Go Too Far?
When Punk first interrupted The Undertaker’s segment with the urn, the WWE Universe was genuinely stunned and even the hardcore Punk fans had to give the classic heel heat. Add in the fact that Punk not only smashed Kane with the urn, but stole the relic to close the show, and this was the ultimate heel move.
As long as Bearer’s family approved and both Kane and Undertaker had no objections, Punk danced the decency line, but stayed on the safe side. Either way, Monday’s Raw paid homage to Bearer the way he would have wanted it, by making it part of the storyline.
After a night filled with superstars paying tribute to the fallen manager, the way Punk continued to disrespect the tribute was the ultimate heel move. As legendary announcer Joey Styles asks, can the former champion steal a win the same way he stole the urn?
NXT Diva Paige took to Twitter as well Monday night to share her thoughts on not only the episode of Raw, but about the memories Bearer shared with every wrestling fan:
The dedication to #PaulBearer tonight is beautiful! Thank you for the amazing wrestling memories. #legend #RIPPaulBearer #WWE2013-3-12 02:45:22
Brock Accepts Triple H’s Challenge
There was little doubt that Lesnar would accept Triple H’s challenge to fight at WrestleMania, but the way he interrupted the New Age Outlaws' match and laid Triple H’s friends to waste was perfect.
Add in the fact that Lesnar and Paul Heyman are effectively blackmailing Triple H with the match stipulation, and the WWE has added serious intrigue to this WrestleMania-worthy bout.
Question on Everyone’s Mind: What Is the Stipulation?
There is little doubt that Triple H will blindly sign the contract to fight Lesnar, and the resulting stipulation could be anything. Knowing Lesnar’s MMA history, what better caveat for a match than doing it inside the Hell in a Cell structure?
Whether it’s Hell in a Cell or a steel cage match, the idea would be that Lesnar wants to keep both men inside so that each has a chance to brutalize the other. Choosing the Hell in a Cell structure could also be the mistake that gives Triple H the win (Hell in a Cell is a Triple H specialty).
Popular radio show Ring Rust Radio talks about the lack of hype around the duo’s WrestleMania match and how the WWE is doing a great job building interest in the rematch:
While some fans didn't want Triple H v Brock Lesnar again, the beatdown of New Age Outlaws on @WWE #Raw has raised the stakes. #WrestleMania2013-3-12 11:30:01
After being called out by Triple H, ring announcer Justin Roberts was front row to witness the devastation caused when Lesnar accepted the WrestleMania challenge:
Justin Roberts @JustinRoberts
Brock Lesnar & @HeymanHustle come out whenever they want & do whatever they want #RAW http://t.co/KC2proF8rL2013-3-12 01:07:08