After a week of speculation, tonight we learned the stipulations for the Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar match for WrestleMania 29. Heyman taunted Triple H until he flipped out and attacked Heyman, then signed the contract, still without knowing what the special stipulations would be. Brock came out to make the save for Heyman, but Heyman led Lesnar away. Then Paul Heyman took the mic and told Trips the match was a No Holds Barred match. So basically, anything goes. BUT…if Trips loses, his career is over. They didn’t specify if it was his wrestling career or his career as “Chief Operating Officer” in WWE. Nonetheless, we’ll be getting a pretty intense match between these two, and expect to see Triple H finally get retribution against Lesnar for what Brock did to Trips, HBK, and Mr. McMahon in the past 8 months.
Kane & Daniel Bryan fought Epico & Primo for what seemed like the 20,000th time tonight. Anyway, AJ Lee came out to distract Kane & Bryan during the match, which didn’t work. Later in the night, Kane & Daniel Bryan confronted Dolph Ziggler, AJ, and Big. E., and challenged them to a match. AJ said only if they made it for the Tag Titles and at WrestleMania. So we finally have a Tag Team Title match announced.
It was made official on last week’s SmackDown, but then changed tonight on RAW: The Shield was to face the team of Randy Orton, Ryback, and Sheamus at WrestleMania 29. But tonight Vicki Guerrero took Ryback out of the match to face Mark Henry at WrestleMania instead! Later, during a 3-Man Band vs. Orton & Sheamus match, The Shield interfered. The Big Show, who came out to a decent pop from the crowd, came to help Orton & Sheamus. So we can assume it will be The Shield vs. Orton, Sheamus, & Big Show at WM29. WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH BIG SHOW?!? Does this company not know what to do with him, or do they just not care? You really can’t keep flip-flopping him between face and heel!
The Alberto Del Rio vs. Cody Rhodes match was solid…for Rhodes. I thought it put Rhodes over more than it did Del Rio, which is a bad idea three weeks away from WrestleMania, where Del Rio has a high-profile match. Regardless, Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter and attacked Del Rio and his valet, Ricardo Rodriguez. The crowd chanted “USA! USA!” for some reason (what was with them tonight?). Swagger threw Del Rio into the ring steps, and then snapped Rodriguez’ ankle. As if he needed more heat.
I don’t get where they are going with the Intercontinental Title. Tonight we saw Chris Jericho vs. The Miz vs. Wade Barrett for the IC Title. Barrett got the victory after Jericho and Miz tried taking each other out and Barrett capitalized on that. Jericho in an IC Title match at Wrestlemania is a plus, but they haven’t done anything worthwhile with Barrett since giving him the title. It’s a shame because as much potential as he has as a heel, they don’t seem to know what to do with him. Keeping that title on him would help. When I was first becoming “smart” about all of this, one thing I heard in interviews from older guys was that titles weren’t for the best wrestlers, they were for guys who needed a push. Of course, having a face with a title is good for business, but having the face chase the title from a heel is even better business. It helps make the heel, if you get what I’m saying. And that’s what Barrett needs.
I’m going to steal Jeff Foxworthy’s gimmick for a second: If you didn’t appreciate Fandango’s new entrance setup, you might be a face. Another week with no Fandango debut match, but who is even counting anymore. But then we see Fandango interrupt Chris Jericho’s interview with Josh Matthews…so are we going to see Jericho vs. Fandango at WrestleMania? Will that finally be Fandango’s first match? Not a bad way to debut, but I still don’t see what the long-term plan for this guy’s gimmick is.
So as of now the WM29 card looks like this:* John Cena vs. The Rock – WWE Title* Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio – World Heavyweight Title* CM Punk vs. The Undertaker* Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar – No Hold Barred Match with HHH’s career on the line* Ryback vs. Mark Henry* The Shield vs. Randy Orton, Sheamus (and probably Big Show)* Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langston vs. Kane & Daniel Bryan for the WWE Tag Team Titles
Booker T was announced as the newest inductee into the WWE Hall Of Fame. Congrats to him!
And if you didn’t see the opening segment with The Primetime Players, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young, getting mic time with Cena, I’m not even going to spoil anything for you. Try to find a clip of it online. For a few months now they have been great on the mic, not to mention having decent matches despite WWE not really letting them work great matches. Anyway, find a clip online. You’ll enjoy it.
For more wrestling goodness here on Den of Geek, check out the latest article “Going Pro: Twice in a Lifetime” by my tag team partner, Vinny Murphy.