This recap and analysis of WWE’s Monday Night Raw are the personal opinions of the writer.  The author of this article is a former promoter, writer, and referee in the wrestling industry.  You won’t find analysis as accurate as this anywhere else on the internet.

WWE Monday Night Raw Results 3/19/12.  Thirteen days away from Wrestlemania.

CM Punk comes out to start the show.  Raw is live in Philadelphia.  What better way is there to start a Philly show than with CM Punk?  We already know that Ring of Honor began in Philly, and that CM Punk is one of the all time Ring of Honor greats.  Thus making him the most popular wrestler in Philly.  They start by showing Jericho’s promo from last week where he called Punk’s father an alcoholic.  Punk says that Jericho isn’t here tonight.  He says that proves what kind of a man Jericho is.  Punk is angry that Jericho told the whole world.  I can’t believe Punk has to go along with this crap storyline.  This isn’t the way this feud should have been booked.  I don’t want to see them having a brawling feud at Wrestlemania.  I want to see a great wrestling match.  If they brawl they ruin the best potential match.  I’m sure those two guys are far too smart to let that happen though.  I’ll give them all the credit in the world.  Punk goes on to say that his father has beaten his addictions and that he is proud of him.  Punk is proud to be straight edge.  Punk continues to shout and says that he will run through Jericho because he is the best in the world.

Chris Jericho is live via satellite on the Titan Tron.  Jericho apologizes and says that he was out of line last week.  He say’s its Chris talking and not the Jericho gimmick.  He promises to never mention his father again and that he gives him his word.  “However…your sister.”  Ha!!  Jericho says Punk’s sister is a drug addict.  He says Punk will end up just like both of them.  He says alcoholism can be overcome, but losing the WWE championship can’t be.  Punk shouts but it’s completely censored.  His lips aren’t visible.  He says “that’s exactly what I’m going to beat out of you” so he definitely told him that he’s a piece of shit.  A little risque for the “PG” programming.  The further they get away from PG the happier I am.  Keep up the passion Punk.  Do as much with this awful storyline as you can.  Just please have a great match at Wrestlemania.  Forget all of this awful buildup.  I can’t wait for CM Punk to start cutting real promos again and to do things that are controversial again.  Remember his epic promo on Vince McMahon the night he changed his character forever?  Who would have thought that those glory days wouldn’t have continued.  I am begging them to do more with Punk as champion.

Rock vs. Cena documentary promo.  It will air next Monday night and will be an hour long before Raw comes on the air.  That’s a cool concept.  I wish it would have aired the night before Wrestlemania though.  I’m all for making Wrestlemania Eve an exciting holiday.

Kane vs. The Big Show- When Raw comes back from commercial break Kane is already in the ring.  He raises his arms and the explosion happens.  So THE ONLY THING that is cool about Kane is cut out.  I’m talking about the smoke covered entrance he has.  As soon as Big Show gets in the ring we hear Cody Rhodes’ music.  A video package airs showing embarrassing Big Show Wrestlemania moments.  It includes the Akebono match, getting Mr. Socko, his hardcore match with Kane, him yelling “Wrestlemania baby wooo”, and getting knocked out by Floyd Mayweather.  Cody Rhodes is wearing boxing gloves in homage of Mayweather.  He is shadow boxing the air.

Big Show is angry and tosses Kane into the corner.  Kane counters with a choke.  He throws Big Show off the ropes but is hit with a spear.  Big Show climbs the turnbuckle.  Cody Rhodes jumps up onto the apron and is pushed off by Big Show.  Kane chokeslams Big Show off the turnbuckle for the win.  Sweet, a two minute match!  My favorite!  That’s just what Raw needs to do on the first match of the night!  Cody Rhodes attacks Big Show.  He handcuffs Big Show to the ropes.  Rhodes boxes Big Show down to the mat.  He got some good shots in.  Big Show looks infuriated as he’s helped up by referees.  I hated the match.  But I kinda liked the build there.  I like the Big Show videos and I liked the beat down.  It added a little something to this feud.  Unfortunately I see Big Show beating Rhodes quickly at Wrestlemania.  I hope I’m wrong though.  Having a two minute Wrestlemania match sounds like something this awful writing staff would produce.  Kane vs Big Show is trending on Twitter.

David Otunga w/ John Laurinaitis vs. United States Champion Santino Marella w/ Teddy Long – David Otunga is great.  I’m sorry…but he is.  He was announced tonight as being a Harvard graduate.  I love his coffee mug.  I love his bow tie.  I love his posing pictures on Twitter.  I love his law firm promos.  His wrestling is actually pretty good.  He is a great heel.  Perfect character.  A lot of people hate him, and it’s because of pure heel heat.  Huge pop for Santino as this match starts.  Santino takes off his shirt to mock Otunga’s poses.  They go back and forth posing.  Did I mention that Otunga is also incredibly cut?  When Santino is posing for the like 6th time he’s kicked in the gut.  Santino fights back with punches, a hip toss, the saluting fist drop, and puts on the Cobra glove.  Laurinaitis throws his phone at Santino.  Santino stomps on Laurinaitis’ phone.  He turns around and is hit with Otunga’s finisher.  That’s the match.  Laurinaitis and Otunga mock Santino and do the trombone.  Michael Cole sells it like a champion and says “how is Laurinaitis supposed to text me when I’m doing a good job now?”  I love it.  Cole is a great heel too.  Teddy Long gets in the ring and smacks Laurinaitis across the face.  He does his stupid little dance on the ramp.

Not again.  I’m so sick of this now.  I’m tired of seeing Teddy Long push and smack Laurinaitis every single show.  The build for this is so repetitive.  This storyline can’t be saved.  I liked what they did on Smackdown where Christian joined team Johnny and they did the whole t-shirt presentation thing.  It was like they were competing over free agents.  That’s the way this entire thing should have been handled.  They could have mocked NFL free agency.  That could have been kinda funny if done right.  Anything is better than this.  And it looks like Team Long will officially win the match.  Why?  Because all of Laurinaitis’ guys keep going over on Long’s guys.  Laurinaitis will continue to get the upper hand leading up until Wrestlemania.  At that point Teddy Long will get the big win.  I’ll only be okay with that if Zack Ryder is on his team and is the one put over in the end.  I really can’t imagine having to watch Teddy Long on Raw and Smackdown every single week though.  The less segments he, Aksana, and Santino are in, the better.

Hype video for Tensai.  Looks like it’s a Japanese wrestler with tattoos on his head.  Reminds me of Hakushi.  Remember him?  Let’s see if he ever actually debuts.  I remember Japanese promos that aired years ago for Hiroshima, or something like that, and the guy never debuted.  I believe it was just Kenzo Suzuki, but they changed the gimmick.

The Rock is at a Rocky Balboa statue.  He’s outside doing another promo.  He says “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”  Pop from me!  That’s my show!  The Rock shows a picture of himself at 12 years old standing in front of that statue.  He makes fun of himself and says he was a fat little girl.  He talks about how Wrestlemania started a year after that photo.  They show an old clip of Hulk Hogan.  Rock even says “whatcha gonna do brother.”  Very very surprised that they showed current TNA talent Hulk Hogan on WWE television.  Then he shows The Ultimate Warrior and talks about Wrestlemania 6.  The Rock cuts an Ultimate Warrior promo and says nobody had any idea what he was saying.  That gets another Ha!  I hate how they continue to to bury the legacy of the Ultimate Warrior but Warrior jokes are hilarious.  He talks about how he main evented his first Wrestlemania, was stunned by Stone Cold, flipped the bird, and was beaten.  He then talks about how he beat Hulk Hogan.  He promised himself that night that he would never wrestle a guy in jorts, but that obviously isn’t going to happen.  Rock says he’s going to go to Pats, get a cheesesteak, turn it sideways, and stick it straight up John Cena’s ass.  Rock goes on to throw out a bunch of old wrestling catch phrases including Foley’s bang bang, Flair’s woooooo, and Macho Man’s oooohhhh yeaaaaLoving the old references tonight.  Loving how Macho Man was finally recognized on television.  Rock ends with talking about how that 12 year old boy’s dream of being the best ever will come true at Wrestlemania.  He yells “Yo Adrian” and “If you smell what The Rock is cooking.”  Great promo!  I absolutely loved it.  It told a story, was passionate, was compelling, had throw back references, and embodied every reason why The Rock is so epic on the mic.  The Rock is back in this feud.  And he’s doing it with the kind of promos he’s used to cutting.  Not the shoot stuff.  That’s not his thing.

World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan w/ AJ vs. Zack Ryder- Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!  Most of them are for Daniel Bryan.  Some of them are for the idea of Daniel Bryan wrestling Zack Ryder.  They show a clip of Zack Ryder with an intercom outside of the arena earlier in the day.  He is getting the people to cheer for him being on Team Teddy Long.  The crowd chants “we want Ryder woo woo woo.”  Zack Ryder is trending on Twitter.  Tie up to start.  Ryder reverses an arm bar.  Irish whip into a shoulder block.  Ryder whips Bryan but is caught with a knee to the gut.  Hard kick to the chest by Bryan.  He takes Ryder’s arms and stretches them over the ropes with a boot to the face.  Pretty nasty.  Another hard kick.  Chin lock by Bryan after a near fall.  Ryder fights out, whips Bryan, and hits a Yakuza kick in the corner.  Corner face smash.  He misses the Rough Ryder and it’s countered into a Lebell Lock.  Ryder taps out.  Very impressive start to the match….but it was far too short.  Damn it WWE.  Why??????  Seriously??? Why???? Ryder’s first match in weeks and it goes 2 minutes????  It started so great.  And it could have been a long amazing match.  WWE writers suck.  Plain and simple.  Fire the whole writing staff.  They are as bad as Vince Russo.

Flo Rida promo.  What the hell is a Flo Rida?  Apparently it’s going to sing a song at Wrestlemania.  That’ll be piss break #1.

John Cena vs. Mark Henry- It looks like John Cena isn’t injured from his car accident that happened earlier in the day.  Yes he was in a legit car accident.  No storyline there.  It happened people.  It’s not related to any WWE storyline in any way.  No The Rock didn’t cause it…  Mark Henry pushes Cena down to start the match.  They tie up, but Cena is tossed to the outside of the ring.  Cena attempts a shoulder block off the rope, but he bumps when he hits Henry.  The crowd is extremely loud with “let’s go Cena/Cena sucks” chants.  Very hot and loud crowd.  Henry pounds away at Cena in the turnbuckle.  He tosses Cena to the outside then follows him.  He throws Cena into the barricade multiple times.  Commercial break.  It looks like this is the same idea as Sheamus vs. Jericho from Smackdown.  Sheamus dominated the first half this exact same way until the first commercial break.  Way to reuse ideas guys!  That’s the road agent’s fault.  So both the writers and road agents need to go.  Let’s blame everything on the Road Dogg.  Things have been bad since he’s been brought in as a road agent!

Back from break Cena runs off the ropes but bumps after another shoulder block attempt.  Mark Henry hits a splash.  Two count.  Jerry Lawler says that a splash from Henry is like being in another car accident.  Boooooo!  Henry Irish Whips Cena into the corner and then hits another running splash.  He goes for a second splash but Cena moves out of the way.  Back body drop by Cena, followed by the 5 Knuckle Shuffle.  He goes for the AA but can’t get him up.  Cena bounces off the ropes but is caught in a slam position.  Cena flips down Henry’s back and hits the AA for the win.  Was that John Cena or Hulk Hogan?  He did 2 moves for the win.  That sounds like Hogan to me.

The Rock’s music hits.  He runs down the ramp and hits Mark Henry with a Rock Bottom.  Then he turns around and leaves.  Cena has a surprised look on his face.  Ehhhh I dunno about this.  You can’t switch this feud up all of a sudden and do a bunch of “storyline” written things.  This has been a straight shoot feud.  It’s weird when you start to book it any other way.  That didn’t work for me.  Mark Henry is trending on Twitter.

Maria Menounos and Kelly Kelly video- They show the clip from “Extra” where this Wrestlemania match was booked.  Maria was interviewing Kelly Kelly when Eve and Beth crashed the interview.  They actually did a pretty good job with it to make it look legit.  The camera crew, security, and producers jumped in to break it up like it was unplanned.  So it’s Maria Menounos and Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix and Natalya at Wrestlemania.  Does Maria realize she will be booed at Wrestlemania?  Snooki was last year.

The Miz is in the ring.  No entrance…because he’s a jobber.  He says in 1987 King Kong Bundy main evented Wrestlemania 2 then wrestled Hillbilly Jim and 2 midgets at Wrestlemania 3.  He says it was the biggest main event drop off in WWE history until this year where The Miz doesn’t even have a match.  He has made an open challenge to prove that he deserves a match.  It’s answered by Sheamus.

Jobber Miz vs. Sheamus- Sheamus attempts a tie up to start but Miz fights to the back of him and punches at his neck.  Sheamus comes back with a kick to the face.  Miz gets right back up and kicks Sheamus in the gut.  He goes for a DDT from the knees but Sheamus catches him and stands straight up.  He uses a shoulder roll, which he just added to his arsenal recently.  Miz keeps coming back (playing the desperation angle very well) and chokes Sheamus against the ropes.  Laurinaitis and Otunga are shown watching the match in the back.  Miz has Sheamus in a chin lock.  Sheamus fights out and hits a clothesline in the corner.  He stomps Miz into the turnbuckle, uses a simple body slam, and gets a two count.  Sheamus misses a Brogue Kick and is kicked by Miz.  Miz bounces off the ropes but is hit with an actual Brogue Kick.  That’s the match.  Solid little quick match.  Sheamus picks up Wrestlemania momentum as Miz is poked further into the doghouse.  I am optimistic that this will all work out for The Miz at the end, but I’m not holding my breath.  The Miz is trending on Twitter.  Poor King Kong Bundy.  He’s seriously one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met in the wrestling industry.  He’s a great guy.  By the way…that wasn’t 1987 Miz.  Hogan vs. Bundy at Wrestlemania 2 was April 7th 1986.

Josh Mathews interview with Randy Orton- The interview is on the side ramp.  Old school.  They are facing away from the ring.  Speaking of 1986!  Why isn’t Mean Gene Okerlund doing this interview?  I like it.  I’ll take anything different at this point.  Orton puts over this new storyline about why Kane attacked him.  If you missed Smackdown…Kane shook hands with Orton after a street fight match that happened over a year ago.  Kane said that Kane died that night.  That’s why he brought back the masked Kane gimmick.  Ehhhh I guess.  Orton rambles about not being a monster or a demon, or something like that.  He ends by saying “I’m Randy Orton.”  Ugh.  Waste of time.  Short promo too.  How about less talk more wrestling?  What is this, TNA Impact?  Randy Orton, Mean Gene, and Stephanie McMahon is trending.  No, I did not get the Mean Gene idea from Twitter.  I wrote the line about him and tweeted about him before I saw he was trending on Twitter.  I guess the world agreed!  Stephanie McMahon was shown in an anti-bullying commercial.

Vickie Guerrero comes out.  She introduces the two newest members of Team Laurinaitis.  Swagger and Ziggler of course.  Ziggler appears to mock all of the Billy Gunn talk from last week by doing the Billy Gunn dance with the pink t-shirt around his waist.  Vickie Guerrero is trending on Twitter.

Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger w/Vickie Guerrero vs. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth w/ Aksana- Swagger starts with Kingston.  Swagger misses a tie up and is hit with multiple kicks.  Kofi jumps to the turnbuckle, Swagger follows, Kofi jumps down, more kicks.  He runs to the other turnbuckle and hits a cross body off the top.  Ziggler jumps up on the apron and knocks Kingston down.  Two count for Swagger.  Swagger chokes Kingston in the corner.  Tag to Ziggler.  He goes for a neckbreaker, but Kofi counters with a backslide.  Two count.  Ziggler jumps up and hits a dropkick.  Tag to Swagger.  Swagger throws his elbows into Kingston and does push ups over his body.  Ala Scott Steiner.  Who I’ve always hated by the way.  I hate that I just had to reference him.  How dare you Swagger.  Swagger stops Kofi from getting the hot tag multiple times.  Finally Kofi hits a DDT off Swagger’s shoulders and gets to R-Truth.  Tag to Ziggler as well.  Multiple clotheslines by Truth.  Spinning shoulder block through the air.  Front split suplex by R-Truth.  Swagger comes in but is knocked out by Truth.  Kofi dives on top of Swagger thus eliminating them from the equation.  R-Truth goes for the scissors kick, but Ziggler counters with a Billy Gunn “Fame Asser” for the win.  Vickie holds R-Truth’s foot down.  Aksana pushes Vickie down.  Aksana and Vickie brawl in the ring while the men separate them.  That gave us a nice view of Swagger’s haircut.  God its awful.  Kofi, Vickie, and Aksana are trending on Twitter.

House show video of Triple H- It’s from Madison Square Garden yesterday.  He mocks The Undertaker’s throat slit and does the Tombstone instead…for the win….on…wait for it…wait for it…Dolph Ziggler.  Are the writers retarded?  They finally put Ziggler over and then moments later they show him being squashed?  What purpose did that last match have then?  You just buried a match you spent 6 minutes on.  These writers need to go.  Idiots.  Triple H is trending on Twitter.

Shawn Michaels/Triple H/Undertaker promo- Here’s the problem with tonight’s Raw.  They spent the entire night building towards a huge talk segment at the end of the show.  That only works if it’s The Rock or John Cena.  Just as I plead TNA Impact to please start their show with a wrestling match, I’m now starting to plead Raw to please end their show with one.  How many weeks in a row has wrestling been pushed aside for a main event promo?  So Michaels comes out first.  He talks about holding an end of an era in his hands.  Michaels says that “end of an era” is code for “end of the streak.”  The lights go out.  Dong.  No, not the male genitalia…The Undertaker’s music.   I get up and go to the bathroom.  When I come back The Undertaker is still walking down the aisle.  I probably could have made a McDonalds run.

They talk over each other until Triple H’s music hits.  He spits water for no reason whatsoever.  Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker are both trending on Twitter.  Triple H says “as much as Shawn’s ego wants this to be about him, it’s not.”  Triple H says something about parallel careers running side by side.  I wasn’t aware that Triple H’s career started in 1990.  Triple H says there has been 24 Hell in a Cell matches and that the two of them have been in 19 of them.  Good line.  That actually makes the Hell in a Cell thing make sense.  Why didn’t they mention that from the start?  Undertaker asks Triple H if he’s willing to put his wife, kids, and life on the line for this.  Does that mean someone will die in this match?  That would probably make the match memorable.  Triple H says he will if it means giving Undertaker the end he deserves.  Then they stare at each other.  Two minutes go by before anything else is said.  Seriously.  Two minutes.  Finally Undertaker says that Shawn Michaels is better than Triple H.  He leaves.  Shawn smiles.  Triple H stares at him.  More staring.  More staring.  And then more staring.  And then some head turns.  And then staring.  Then another Shawn Michaels smile.  Then staring.  Then one more head turn.  And then fade to black, wipe WWE logo.  The end.

Not a very strong Raw.  Rock’s promo was good.  Sheamus vs. Miz was good but short.  That’s about it.  I can’t wait for the road to Wrestlemania to end so all the talking stops.

You can’t like me on Facebook, but you can follow me on Twitter…I have no merchandise.  But you can take care and spike your hair.  Woo woo woo, you know it.  Did I mention @ZackRyder mentioned me on Twitter this past week?  I was more excited than he was when John Cena was first on his show!

Self plug.  I do double duty on this website.  Aside from being a wrestling expert I am also a fantasy baseball expert.  Check out my fantasy baseball rankings all this week and dominate your draft.  Here is a link to my fantasy catcher rankings.  I’ll be ranking each position every day this week.  Thanks for reading.

Also listen to this past week’s Baltimore Sports Report podcast where I joined to talk about Wrestlemania.  Click here.

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