Raw results: The Undertaker rises again and CM Punk punches his WrestleMania ticket
The Undertaker returned; Vickie Guerrero declared a Fatal 4-Way to determine his opponent at WrestleMania
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The WWE Universe was promised an “Old School” Raw, and few things fit that bill more than the toll of The Undertaker’s gong. Raw had barely begun in Buffalo when The Deadman rose again, stalking through fire and flames and summoning a WrestleMania insignia on the TitanTron, apparently signaling his preparation to face an opponent on The Grandest Stage of Them All ( FAN FOOTAGE: THE PHENOM RISES).
The Phenom’s apparent challenge brought out four potential foes: Randy Orton, Big Show, Sheamus and CM Punk, who deemed it destiny that he end The Deadman’s WrestleMania streak; a renewed “purpose” given him following the loss of his precious WWE Championship and the opportunity to main-event WrestleMania. With tensions mounting between the fearsome foursome, Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero restored order with an executive decision: Orton, Sheamus, Show and Punk would do battle in a Fatal 4-Way to determine who among them would tempt fate and tangle with The Undertaker at WrestleMania. ( PHOTOS)
Ryback def. U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro
Riding a wave of confidence, Antonio Cesaro found himself in the ring yet again with Ryback for a bout with his on-and-off enemy for “Old School” Raw. But despite an impressive showing, the chatty champion found himself laid low by the beast yet again. Cesaro was impressive in defeat, though, surging out of the gate and chopping away at Ryback’s body with vicious uppercuts. Cesaro nearly gained a long-elusive victory over the leviathan when he uppercutted Ryback into a stupor and moved to execute the Neutralizer on the stunned strongman. But Ryback countered immediately, obliterating The Swiss Superman with Shell Shocked and bringing feeding time to an end … although not without sharing a tense moment with Mark Henry along the entrance ramp.
Mark Henry def. Zack Ryder
With WrestleMania 29 in his backyard, Zack Ryder potentially needed a big win in Buffalo to ensure his place on the card. That moment may yet come for The Ultimate Broski, but the former United States Champion found himself on the receiving end of Mark Henry’s wrath in a brave, and ultimately futile, effort to topple The World’s Strongest Man. Ryder’s heart shone through in the gutsy endeavor, but Long Island Iced-Z was simply overpowered by the former World Heavyweight Champion and plastered onto the canvas with a World’s Strongest Slam for a decisive 1-2-3.
The Miz def. Dolph Ziggler
It just goes to show, things tend to go better with the limousine-ridin’, jet-flyin’, kiss-stealin’, wheelin’, dealin’, son of a gun Ric Flair in your corner. It’s a lesson Dolph Ziggler learned to his detriment when he squared off against The Miz, who summoned “The Nature Boy” to his corner before their contest could begin and fed off the 16-time World Champion’s positive mojo. Although Ziggler briefly appeared to turn the tide with the help of AJ Lee and Big E Langston, The Awesome One channeled his mentor in the match’s deciding moments, twisting Ziggler into the Figure-Four Leglock and forcing him to tap. WOO!!!!
WWE Champion The Rock and John Cena confronted each other in a “point-counterpoint”
With enough electricity seeping from his pores to melt an igloo (his words), the WWE Champion returned to Buffalo for the first time in a decade to engage in a most irregular war of words: a point-counterpoint with his No. 1 contender, John Cena. But what unfolded wasn’t so much a classic debate as a pair of passionate addresses between the two rivals, with Cena vowing to achieve redemption against The Rock for what he called a soul-crushing defeat at WrestleMania XXVIII. The Rock, for his part, had a simple response for the 10-time WWE Champion.
“You ain’t gettin’ redemption, Jack. You’re gettin’ your a** kicked ... you think you can beat me. Iknow I can beat you.”
Cena, however, would not be cowed. “At WrestleMania 29, your time is up. My time is now,” he swore, although the look in his eyes suggested he hadn’t quite exorcised all of his demons from last year just yet.
Jack Swagger attacked "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter and Dusty Rhodes
Even his mighty two-by-four and signature gung-ho spirit wasn’t enough to propel WWE Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan to a victory on “Old School” Raw. Duggan went up against the surging Jack Swagger and found himself besieged by a furious Swagger when the No. 1 contender decided to take matters into his own hands. Swagger’s contest against “Hacksaw” had barely even begun when the former World Heavyweight Champion grabbed hold of Duggan’s famous two-by-four and went to town on Duggan, as well as the two Hall of Famers who accompanied him to the ring, Sgt. Slaughter and Dusty Rhodes. As the three lied strewn around him, Swagger gestured toward the WrestleMania sign, sending a silent and macabre message to World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio.
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No def. The Prime Time Players
No blindfolds or binds marred this match between The Prime Time Players and their apoplectic antagonists Team Hell No — just a straight-up contest between two of WWE’s toughest tag teams. What was most surprising about the contest, however, was the camaraderie of Kane and Daniel Bryan. Following an uneasy start to the champs’ 2013, there wasn’t a hint of dissention between them, with Kane riding the wave of Bryan’s offense and Chokeslamming Darren Young to the depths to claim the victory.
The cherry on top came courtesy of “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, who stood ringside to scout The Players as potential clients for his managerial services. In what we can only assume was a rejection, the WWE Hall of Famer strode to the prone D. Young and deposited a C-note into Mr. No Days Off’s mouth before cackling his way back to the locker room area.
Oh, and when no one was looking, Bryan snatched the Benjamin from Young’s maw and made off a hundred bucks richer than he started the night. It’s true what they say: Everyone has a price.
Brodus Clay & Tensai def. 3MB
Give 3MB some props for attracting a big fourth name for their band: Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre rolled into Buffalo with The Honky Tonk Man himself in their corner for their tag-team bout against Brodus Clay & Tensai. The collaboration seemed like a match made in heaven, but even the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time didn’t strike the rakish rockers as appropriate backup. They could have used him, all things considered, as Tensai put the bout to a quick end with a rollup of Drew McIntyre. And when Slater had the temerity to throw shade at Honky Tonk, the Legend played a tune of his own on Slater by bashing him over the head with his six-string (#ElKabong) and joining in on the post-bout boogie with Brodus and Tensai to boot.
Fandango refused to face Kofi Kingston when Justin Roberts mispronounced his name
Looks like Fandango’s inaugural tango on Monday Night Raw will have to wait for another night. The fleet-footed fighter was set to make his Monday night debut against Kofi Kingston until lingering concerns over his billing caused the dancer to decline at the last minute. In other words, WWE Universe, Justin Roberts couldn’t pronounce his name right. “This is inappropriate,” the balletic brawler said. “Tonight, will be a night you will always remember, because tonight will be the night you almost got to see the debut of Fandango.”
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, and the anticipation continues to build for Fandango’s first foxtrot between the ropes.
Triple H challenged Brock Lesnar to a match at WrestleMania 29
One week after drawing blood from Brock Lesnar, Triple H has thrown down the gauntlet for The Anomaly to answer back. Having undergone sufficient soul-searching and preparation, The Game revealed to the WWE Universe that his explosive return last week was merely the overture in his grand comeback. “I’m calling you out,” The King of Kings said, gesturing toward the WrestleMania sign and challenging Lesnar to a rematch of their SummerSlam collision, this time under the bright lights of MetLife Stadium.
“So what’s it gonna be, Brock?” The Game sneered. “Are you gonna show up and fight? Or are you just gonna sit there and bleed?”
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio def. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett
With Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter watching, Alberto Del Rio showed his muscle on “Old School” Raw in a mighty row with Wade Barrett, notching a gritty win against the battle-hardened Intercontinental Champion. Del Rio’s finesse matched up well against Barrett’s own blunt-force battle plan, each Superstar rattling the other with shots to the body and kicks to the head that reverberated throughout the First Niagara Center. It was Barrett who was sent to the showers, however, when Del Rio dodged the Winds of Change and applied the Cross Armbreaker to his foe, putting Barrett to rest and sending Jack Swagger a message that he will not be muscled into defeat anytime soon.
The New Age Outlaws def. Primo & Epico
Oh, you didn’t know? Can’t have an “Old School” Raw without the punkish personification of The Attitude Era, and The New Age Outlaws’ impromptu reunion provided the WWE Universe with a thrilling blast from the past when they notched a win over Primo & Epico. Both “Road Dogg” Jesse James and “Badd Ass” Billy Gunn looked like they hadn’t lost a step since they last teamed up on Raw 13 years ago. The iconic duo brought the Universe to its feet as they shook, rattled and rolled their way to victory over the former WWE Tag Team Champions, with Gunn executing the Famouser on Primo to seal the deal. Some things never get old, WWE Universe. This is one of those things.
CM Punk def. Randy Orton, Big Show and Sheamus to become The Undertaker’s WrestleMania opponent
Destiny, it appears, is not quite done with CM Punk. Following The Straight Edge Superstar’s fall from the mountaintop as WWE Champion, Punk now has a new dragon to slay in the form of The Deadman himself after conquering Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show on Raw to earn the right to challenge The Streak.
Getting it done was not necessarily as easy as Punk might have the WWE Universe think, though. With the honor of facing The Phenom at stake, the four former World Champions brought their A-game to a bout that was less a wrestling match than a four-car pileup. But Punk — who also crashed Mae Young's 90th birthday party ( PHOTOS | VIDEO) — proved himself the cleverest of the foursome, striking only after Sheamus, Big Show and Orton had each plied their signature maneuvers to each other, felling Orton with the Go to Sleep for the three-count to seal his long-awaited trip to The Show of Shows.
The night wasn’t over yet, though, as the gong tolled once more and The Phenom materialized before the former WWE Champion, staring into the eyes of the latest — and potentially greatest — challenger to his most enduring legacy.