WWE Raw Preview: The Road to WrestleMania Is Coming to a Close

Kyle SchadlerChief Writer IApril 1, 2013

photo from wwe.com
photo from wwe.com

It’s Monday again, and that means a new episode of WWE’s flagship show, Monday Night Raw!

This isn’t just any ordinary episode, though, as this will be the final Raw before the biggest event of the year, WrestleMania XXIX. The Road to WrestleMania is just days away from reaching its end, so expect plenty to happen in Raw’s three-hour timeframe.

WWE has gone over five points for this go-home show, and while that’s only a portion of the WrestleMania card, it still gives fans plenty to think about. Let’s see what they have in store for the WWE Universe this week!


Justice: Have The Shield Met Their Match?

At the 2012 Survivor Series, The Shield made their WWE debut. Vowing to solve injustice within the WWE, the trio of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns has targeted many of the company’s top stars.

They have attacked everyone from champions to lower-level talent. If they thought you created an injustice of some kind, then you were on their hit list. Their latest targets have been former World Champions Randy Orton and Sheamus. Once enemies, the two Superstars have come together to battle a common threat.

A few weeks ago, The Shield laid out the challenge to Orton and Sheamus for WrestleMania. They could choose any partner they wanted and they went with Ryback, the group’s first target. When Ryback was taken out of the match for a match against Mark Henry, Orton and Sheamus chose The Big Show, who was another The Shield have been targeting recently.


Despite Big Show being an enemy, the three have proven to be a cohesive unit. That could certainly spell trouble for The Shield.

Have Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns messed with the wrong three guys? Do they have some sort of plan to defeat the three former World Champions? Can Orton, Sheamus and Big Show take out The Shield once and for all?


No Holds Barred: Will Triple H and Brock Lesnar Come Face-to-Face?

Last year at SummerSlam, the WWE Universe saw the very-first matchup between Triple H and Brock Lesnar. It was an intense battle, but the match ended with Lesnar’s hand held high and Triple H’s arm in a cast.

Fast forward to January 2013, and Lesnar made his first appearance on Raw since that match. As Vince McMahon was about to fire Paul Heyman for events tied to The Shield, Lesnar made his return to F-5 Mr. McMahon and break his hip.

A few weeks later, McMahon would return challenging Heyman to a fight, and just as predicted, Lesnar appeared to defend his manager. McMahon was prepared, though, and Triple H made his return and busted Lesnar wide open.

The challenge was then made for WrestleMania, but Lesnar would only accept if Triple H signed the contract without knowing the stipulation. The Game agreed, and the stipulation was revealed as No Holds Barred. Triple H was quite happy with it, but not with the second one.


Heyman then revealed that if Triple H loses the match, his career would be over. Much like his friend Shawn Michaels did at WrestleMania XXVI, Triple H will be putting his career on the line at WrestleMania.

Now just six days away from the match, what will happen between Triple H and Brock Lesnar? Will they come face-to-face, or will they come to blows?


We the People: What’s Next for Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger?

At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Jack Swagger shocked the WWE Universe by winning the Elimination Chamber match to become the No. 1 contender for Alberto Del Rio’s World Heavyweight Championship.

With Zeb Colter by his side, Swagger started talking of “Jack Swagger’s America.” He and Colter would speak their minds about illegal immigrants and other various subjects having to do with the state of the United States of America. With the World Champion being of Mexican descent, Colter and Swagger have been having a field day.

Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez have been firing back, though, as they have been parodying the “We the People” videos that Colter and Swagger do. They didn’t like the parodies too much, so Swagger has been attacking Del Rio during his matches in recent weeks. Their feud went from all talk to being physical in a matter of weeks, and the situation is an intense battle waiting to happen.

What will happen this week on Raw between the champion and his challenger? Who will gain the upper hand six days from WrestleMania?


The Streak: Is CM Punk Playing Mind Games with The Undertaker?

On March 24, 1991 at WrestleMania VII, The Undertaker made his first appearance at WrestleMania. He defeated Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka that night, and it was the beginning of the most impressive record in WrestleMania history.

The Deadman has gone 20-0 in his career at the event, with three of those matches seeing him win a World Championship.

The Undertaker would disappear after last year’s event, but at “Old School” Raw a few weeks ago, he made his return to simply show that he was looking for his next victim. In the main event, CM Punk defeated three other Superstars to become the latest to try and break the streak.

Two weeks ago saw the unfortunate passing of The Undertaker’s long-time manager Paul Bearer, and Punk saw that as the perfect opportunity to strike. He would not only interrupt a tribute from The Undertaker, but he would steal the urn after a match with Kane.

Since then, Punk seems to be playing mind games with the Deadman, which is usually something The Undertaker does with his opponents. Punk very well could be in his head, but that could work against him.

Last week on Raw, The Undertaker tried to get the urn back by attacking Punk, but he and Paul Heyman got away with it. The longer Punk and Heyman have that urn, the more they get into the head of The Undertaker.


This week, can The Undertaker get back the urn that once held his powers? Will CM Punk keep it in his position and continue the mind games six days from the big match? Can the Deadman make Punk Rest in Peace, or will Punk break the infamous streak?


Redemption: What Will Happen Between The Rock and John Cena Days Before Their Match?

Last year at WrestleMania, The Rock and John Cena went one-on-one for the first time. Billed as “Once in a Lifetime,” The Rock defeated Cena that night. The People’s Champion disappeared after that while Cena’s career went into a downward spiral.

He would get stuck feuding with John Laurinaitis, became the first to fail at cashing in Money in the Bank, failed at defeating CM Punk for the WWE Championship on multiple occasions and got stuck in a scandal with AJ Lee.

2012 was not a kind year to the face of the WWE, but everything turned around at the Royal Rumble. Entering at No. 19, Cena would last eliminate Ryback to win the Rumble match. In the main event, The Rock defeated CM Punk for the WWE Championship, and the next night on Raw, Cena declared that he wanted the WWE Championship.

After The Rock retained the title at the Elimination Chamber, the big rematch was set for WrestleMania. Cena would soon declare that he needed redemption for losing last year and that he needed the victory more than anything.

The Rock knows that he can defeat Cena, though, so the People’s Champion will be heading into the event with more confidence than his opponent. The Rock may underestimate Cena as a result, and that could be his downfall.

Last week on Raw saw the momentum shift over to The Rock during a Legends Q&A. The Rock would deliver a big Rock Bottom to end the show as he left Cena lying down and out in the middle of the ring with Bret Hart, Dusty Rhodes, Booker T and Mick Foley looking on.

John Cena will no doubt be looking to get that momentum back this week, so what will happen between them? Will they go at it once again, or will they save the rest of the physicality for WrestleMania?

With this being the final episode of Raw before the 29th edition of WrestleMania, expect a whole lot more to go down. This episode could be quite the explosive one. Will it be? Tune in to find out!