By Brandon E
There's been a lot of talk surrounding WrestleMania as we grow closer to the event. Some has been positive and a lot has been negative. I'm the first to admit that this year's build hasn't been the best in recent years, but I do think the card is very good. I know a lot will disagree with me on that, but I really feel like people could be left happy by the end of WrestleMania. Let'stake a closer look at the event:
There are currently only three under-card matches scheduled for the event. Wade Barrett the Intercontinental Champion and Antonio Cesaro the United States Champion currently do not have a match. This is currently one of the things WWE is currently doing wrong, the seeds for Barrett vs. Miz are currently being planted but it still doesn't look like anything is on the horizon for Cesaro.
By Kendall Portis
Early Tuesday afternoon, Hardcore Legend and 2013 WWE Hall Of Fame inductee Mick Foley tweeted,"Who will induct me into @WWEHOF? Find out in 90 minutes when Michael Foley Jr brings you "The Decision". Let the speculation begin...now!". Foley then tweeted the YouTube link to "THE DECISION". Sitting by his son, Mick then make a Al Snow joke as the inductor but Revealed none other than his mentor and close friend Terry Funk. Terry Funk and Mick Foley both are recognized as Hardcore Legends for their ruthless and aggressive style of wrestling. Also both men feuded in several promotions.
Watch "The Decision" here.
The Rock shockingly delivers a Rock Bottom to John Cena.
Great promo from CM Punk to kick off the show. This was the strongest promo we've seen from Punk in recent weeks and really helped set the stage for his match with Undertaker. It was simple and effective, which is all it ever really needed to be. Undertaker's brawling with Punk was a pleasant surprise, but it didn't give away too much going into WrestleMania 29. While they haven't completely abandoned the Paul Bearer story-line, it's nice to see that it wasn't featured as prominently here. This was a hot opening segment and set the tone for the rest of the show.
Excellent match between Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler. This was the match I was hoping to see at WrestleMania (specifically over the World Heavyweight Championship), but at least the feud was blown-off on Raw rather than forgotten about all together. As expected, their chemistry was off the charts and produced some extremely entertaining action. I have no problem with Jericho going over here, as he's been the one to put over others since returning to WWE earlier this year. Fandango looked impressive in his attack on Jericho, which helped solidify their match for 'Mania. The feud between the two has been well-booked thus far, aside from the fact that I'm still somewhat against the idea of Jericho being relegated to a match against someone who just debuted a mere month ago.
Standard squash match with Mark Henry defeating the Usos in two-on-one action. It was nice to see the Usos score some temporary offense, but it came as no surprise that they were inevitably decimated by the World's Strongest Man. It asserted Henry's dominance and continued his major momentum heading into his match against Ryback at the show of shows. Only thing that separated this from past squash matches Henry has been a part of in recent weeks was the fact that it was a Handicap match, so at least it was something different.
Nice match between World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio and United States Champion Antonio Cesaro. It was well wrestled while it lasted, but easily could have gone a few extra minutes. Smart booking by having Jack Swagger attack Ricardo Rodriguez at ringside in order to get Del Rio to lose via count-out. Despite the fact Del Rio attacked Cesaro after the bout anyway, it was still a nice win for the Swiss sensation regardless.
Decent match with WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No defeating Prime Time Players. While there was nothing necessarily wrong with the match, it didn't serve much of a purpose. We've seen the bout numerous times in the past and the outcome was never in doubt. However, having the trio of Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston and AJ Lee look on from afar was still a nice touch.
Solid promo from Triple H. He didn't say anything we haven't heard before, but it was still exceptionally executed. This feud closed the show last week, so there was no need to have another hot angle on this week's edition as well. I, for one, have enjoyed this rivalry since been revisited and look forward to the No Holds Barred match at WrestleMania. Triple H hitting a low blow on Wade Barrett felt unnecessary, but it gave him an out to lose the subsequent match.
Big Show collides with his 'Mania partners on Miz TV.
Decent Miz TV segment to kick off the show guest starring Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show. Everyone played their roles exceptionally well, but no one's mic work was all that intriguing. It was a pretty standard segment that established the main event for later in the night as well as the six-man tag team match at WrestleMania 29, so at least it was effective in that aspect.
Basic squash match with Mark Henry dominating Zack Ryder. We've been seeing the same shtick from Henry for weeks, so this was nothing out of the ordinary. Ryback's ambush on Henry was well done, but it wasn't absolutely necessary. I would have liked to see these two kept apart going into their clash at 'Mania, but I'm content with the approach they're taking instead.
Good match between Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston. It was basically a retread of what we saw on this week's Raw, but it was still well-wrestled, regardless. Ziggler could use all the momentum he can get after being booked so poorly since the start of the year, so more decisive victories like this one will only benefit him. Kingston, on the other hand, is in desperate need of a gimmick change, as he's maintained the same stagnant character since his debut over five years ago.
Great match between Jack Swagger and Chris Jericho. Although their main event match last week was quite similar, I still enjoyed this bout nonetheless. Swagger and Jericho have awesome chemistry with one another, so I wouldn't be against a full-fledged feud between the two later down the line. Fandango's interference wasn't surprising, but it was most definitely impressive. While he may be a great athlete, I'm still confused as to why Fandango is getting a WrestleMania match before established stars such as Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes, and Damien Sandow, among others.