Tonight, I begin with a tribute message about William Moody, a.k.a. “Paul Bearer.” As many of you who read this report, know by now I’m sure, he passed away on Tuesday, March 5th, at the age of 58. I will talk more about him and my memories growing up watching him throughout the 90s and early 2000s as a manager, but for now, I just simply say “Rest In Peace” and God Bless, William Moody.
Monday Night Raw Report for March 11th, 2013 – “Remembrance and Respect”
Introduction Segment: Tribute
Justin Roberts asks the fans to rise to pay their respects to the late William Moody, a.k.a “Paul Bearer.” The amazing and sincere tribute video airs, with some new clips of his career and other superstars (Brodus Clay, The Miz) commenting. In the arena, the fans clap and the lights go out.
The famous “gong” then rings and The Undertaker, who Paul Bearer guided to superstardom, walks out. The Urn, a symbolic presence of Paul Bearer, and The Undertaker is in the middle of the ring. ‘Taker circles it, then gets on bended knee and stares, as a picture of William Moody in his Paul Bearer makeup is shown on the Titantron, with the words “In Memory of William Moody ‘Paul Bearer’ 1954 – 2013.”
Paul Bearer’s image quickly changes into C.M. Punk’s entrance video, and the “Straight-Edge” superstar walks out to irrespectively interrupt the homage. (Ok, honestly, you knew this was going to happen.) He does offer his condolences, but also his apologies, because “The Second-City Saint” claims that after WrestleMania, The Undertaker will be 20 – 1. The Undertaker just glares at him.
Up next, The Big Show will face “The Shield’s” Seth Rollins.
During the break, Kane had come out to try and take out C.M. Punk for his blatant lack of respect for Paul Bearer. Kane is tearing through the backstage area, looking for Punk.
Match #1: Single – The Big Show VS. Seth Rollins (with “The Shield” members Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns)
Big Show dominates early and quickly, shoving Rollins away as he tried to punch him, then chucking him through the ropes onto the other members. This turns out to be a brawl between all, so this bout ends in a dq.
Winner via Disqualification: The Big Show
Post-match, Ambrose manages to take Show down, and Reigns spears the heck out of him! They continue to assault him and signal for their Triple-Powerbomb. Impressively, Rollins and Ambrose place Show on Reigns’ shoulders, who drives the almost-500-pounder to the canvas! “This is justice!” shouts Ambrose, as they stand over Big and pound their fists together.
Segment #1: Office Promo
C.M. Punk barges into Supervising Manager Vickie Guerrero’s office, complaining about Kane’s attack from earlier. Guerrero rightfully informs him that he disrespected the memory of Paul Bearer and The Undertaker’s tribute, so he will in fact take on Kane in a match tonight. Punk slightly protests and then walks off.
Tag-Team Champion and “Team Hell-No” Member Daniel Bryan makes his entrance and prepares for his upcoming bout.
Segment #2: Remembering Paul Bearer
Throughout the night, highlights of Paul Bearer’s career will be aired. The first is his debut as The Undertaker’s manager, on February 16th, 1991.
Match #2: Single – Tag-Team Champion Daniel Bryan VS. “Mr. Money In The Bank/The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler (with A.J. and Big E. Langston)
Elbow/collar tieup, which Ziggler turns into a wristlock, but Bryan flips into one of his own, then takes down Dolph with a flapjack. He locks in a full-on surfboard stretch. Ziggler quickly counters with a high, picture-perfect dropkick but gets reversed in the corner. Bryan kicks away, then hits a running dropkick for a near fall! Daniel begins to work over Dolph’s left arm, then tosses him over the ropes. He goes to run outside, but Langston hops up on the apron and stops his momentum.
Back live, the tables have turned, as Dolph now has Bryan in a headstand headlock. Bryan reverses a dropkick into a slingshot-into-the-corner and runs at him with a front dropkick. Ziggler delivers a boot of his own, but gets rolled up, however kicks out just before the count! Bryan nails him with repeated kicks, including a stiff one to the face for a two-count!
Ziggler climbs the ropes, but Daniel cuts him off and tries to bring him down with a back body drop, but Ziggler spins around in midair with a crossbody lateral press! 1 – 2 – kickout by Bryan. Dolph drops Daniel across the ropes and hits the Fameasser, but Bryan kicks out again!
Daniel grips on the “No-Lock” Crossface, but A.J. jumps on the apron and Langston pulls Dolph to the ropes. Bryan clamps it on again, but Ziggler works his way out of it, ducks a kick, and brings Bryan down with the Zig-Zag for the hard-fought victory!
Winner via Pinfall: “Mr. Money In The Bank/The Show Off” Dolph Ziggler (with A.J. and Big E. Langston)
Post-match, A.J. gives Langston a blissful look and he proceeds to plant Bryan with his finisher.
Match #3: Single – Tensai (with “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay and “The Funkettes” Naomi and Cameron) VS. Fandango (with Dancer)
Much like last week, again lame, with Fandango refusing to take part because Tensai didn’t say his name.
Segment #3: Remembering Paul Bearer
His return in 2004, at WrestleMania XX on March 14th, is highlighted. (That was a cool entrance and comeback!)
Match #3: Tag-Team – “The Rhodes Scholars” (“The Intellectual Saviour Of The Masses” Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes) VS. “The New Age Outlaws (“Road Dogg” Jesse James and “Badd Ass” Billy Gunn)
Road Dogg begins with Rhodes, and controls early, knocking him down with a punch. Cody quickly gets back up and takes Road out with the Disaster Kick. Unfortunately, this match ends sooner, as Brock Lesnar marches out and obliterates Jesse James and Billy Gunn with F5’s.
Winners: No Contest due to outside interference
Post-match, Paul Heyman takes the microphone and recaps the fact that Lesnar has taken out all who are connected with Triple H – Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon, and now the New Age Outlaws. Heyman then informs us that Brock is ready – he will take on “The Cerebral Assassin” at WrestleMania XXIX.
However, only if they can name the stipulations AFTER Triple H signs the contract. “And if you ain’t down with that, I got to words for ya – ‘Brock Lesnar’!” Heyman exclaims and then walks out with his client.
Match #4: Single – Kofi Kingston VS. “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry
This is all Henry, cornering Kofi and splashing him. He knees him so hard in the face that Kingston flies out of the ring! Henry stalks Kofi, but runs into the ring post himself, and Kofi takes advantage, using the ring steps to jump off and hit Henry with a flying forearm! Kofi ascends and dives off with the crossbody, but Henry just catches him and plants him with the “World’s Strongest Slam” for the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
Cody Rhodes is making nice and chatting up Divas Champion Kaitlyn, when his partner Damien Sandow walks in. He tells him that they have a date with better Divas – doubling the pleasure, at it is with The Bella Twins, who are back in WWE! However, that encounter will have to wait, as Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero tells them that they have another match later tonight, against Sheamus and Randy Orton! “You’re welcome” she tells Damien.
Ryback is in action, next!
Match #5: Single – Ryback VS. Heath Slater (with “3.M.B.” Member Drew McIntyre)
I think you know how this goes – as Mark Henry watches on, Ryback polishes Slater off with the “Shell Shock” Marching Samoan Drop.
Winner via Pinfall: Ryback
Post-match, he and Henry “one-up” each other by planting Drew with their respective finishing maneuvers.
Match #6: Single – United States Champion Antonio Cesaro VS. World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) (Non-Title)
Cesaro wristlocks Alberto then kicks at him in the corner, until Del Rio double-boots him and brings the U.S. Champ down with a Hurricanrana! Alberto dives off the turnbuckle with a beautiful crossbody. He tries again on the second rope, but is cut under by Cesaro, who begins to take control.
He runs at Del Rio in the corner with a European Uppercut, then tries another but misses. Del Rio now clotheslines Cesaro a couple times, and spins him around with a tilt-a-whirl slam. He gears up and nails Cesaro with a vicious kick-to-the-head. He ties up Antonio in the ropes and delivers hands to his kidney. Del Rio takes another chance off the ropes but driven down instead with another uppercut! 1 – 2 – 2 1/2 – kickout by Del Rio.
Cesaro can’t believe how close that was, but gets back to work, however his moves are countered and reversed into the Cross Armbreaker tap out!
Winner via Submission: World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (With Ricardo Rodriguez)
Segment #5: Backstage Promo
Josh Matthews attempts to interview Kane, who just stands there and holds Paul Bearer’s urn in recollection.
Segment #6: Remembering Paul Bearer
Highlights of Paul bringing in Kane and their storyline from 1997 are recalled. (This was the year I really started to get into wrestling and was my first “true” introduction to Bearer)
Segment #7: WrestleMania XXIX Preview
A montage video, featuring the song “Letters From The Sky” by Civil Twilight, is played, chronicling the feud between The Rock and John Cena over the last year.
Randy Orton makes his entrance for his tag-team contest next!
Match #7: Tag-Team – “Rhodes Scholars” (“The Intellectual Saviour Of The WWE” Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes) VS. “The Viper” Randy Orton and Sheamus
Orton hits an elbow and suplex on Sandow for two, then switches with Sheamus. The Irishman rolls over Cody with a fireman’s carry, but gets taken advantage of by Sandow, who took him to the outside. In the ring, Rhodes dominates, locking Sheamus in a grounding rear chinlock. Sheamus comes back with a harsh clothesline, then manages to tag in Orton.
“The Viper” hits clotheslines and a powerslam, then follows up with a t-bone suplex. 1 – 2 – Rhodes gets his shoulder up! Randy attempts the slingshot DDT, but Sandow pulls his partner out of harm’s way. On the floor, team “Rhodes Scholars” double-team Orton, then get Randy back in the ring, where they continue the double-team.
Sandow drops the “Elbow Of Distain” on Randy for a near fall! Cody in and works over his former partner. He takes to the top, but is cut off by Randy, and brought down with a huge suplex!
Both men tag respectively, but it is Sheamus who gets the better of Sandow, hammering fists across his chest against the ropes. “White Noise” is given and Sheamus hypes up for the Brogue Kick. He nails it as Orton drives Rhodes down with the R.K.O.! 1 – 2 – 3!
Winners via Pinfall: “The Viper” Randy Orton and Sheamus
Up next, Chris Jericho and his “Highlight Reel” return with Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and The Miz!
A clip shows that “The Shield” assaulted both Sheamus and Randy Orton during the break.
Segment #8: Arena Promo
“Welcome to ‘Raw Is Jericho!'” Following footage of “The Marine 3,” “Y2J” brings out the star and his guest – The Miz. Before he can get a word in, Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett interjects and boasts about his movie, “Dead Man Down” which opened in the top five.
Miz does a horrible English accent, making fun of (and putting to shame) Barrett and the British. Jericho just stands by while the two get into an argument about their movies and Miz pretty much challenging him to a match for the I.C. Title. He does finally say something, then takes off his jacket and gets in Wade’s face.
He reminds the “Barrett Barrage” of how he helped bring him into WWE and win the first NXT. He also recalls how he is a 9-time Intercontinental Champion, and out rightly issues a contest.
The “Assistant To The Managing Supervisor,” Brad Maddox, introduces himself and makes an announcement courtesy of him and Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero. He books The Miz and Chris Jericho to face each other now, for the #1 Contender’s spot to the I.C. Championship. The winner takes on Wade next week for the title.
Match #8: Single for the #1 Contender’s Spot to the Intercontinental Championship – “The Awesome One” The Miz VS. “Y2J” Chris Jericho
The bout is in progress, and Jericho hits a backdrop and locks Miz in a semi-Dragon Sleeper. Miz fights out and whips Jericho into the corner, twice and hits a couple clotheslines, but gets shoulder-blocked down. Miz tosses Jericho over the top rope, but Jericho lands on the apron and the “Ayatollah of Rock N’ Rollah” dives off the turnbuckle with an axe-handle smash!
Miz catches him with a boot for a near fall. Miz runs at Jericho again, but is caught in a “Walls Of Jericho” position, however he still shoves him off. Miz tries a Figure-4, but Jericho turns it into another attempted “Walls,” which Miz reverses into a pin combo, only for Jericho to kick out.
Jericho finally clamps on the “Walls Of Jericho,” but Miz struggles and makes it to the ropes for the break. On the outside, Jericho whips into Wade, and predictably, he hammers away at both competitors, causing a double-dq.
Winner: None via Double-Disqualification
Post-match, Miz and Jericho double-team Barrett, laying him out with the both their finishers respectively, “The Skull-Krushing Finale” Front Russian Legsweep, and the “Codebreaker” double-knee-facebuster.
Segment #9: Video Promo
Another “We The People” video airs, only this time it is Ricardo Rodriguez and World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio dressed up as Zeb Colter and the “Real American” Jack Swagger, making fun of them, talking about Mexican food.
Obviously steaming mad, Swagger and Colter are on their way out, walking through the backstage area.
Segment #10: Remembering Paul Bearer
From WrestleMania XI, an investigation into the “missing” (also) late-great Hall-Of-Famer Yokozuna. This was following the casket match at Survivor Series 1994, where The Undertaker got revenge in a casket match with Yokozuna. (I was not watching at that point, so I’m guessing Yokozuna was off T.V. for a long while?).
Bearer was “interviewed” by a famous T.V. actor, who played the detective, alongside another Hall-Of-Famer, Mr. Fuji, who was Yokozuna’s manager. (Another great example of Moody’s superb acting skills)
Match #9: Single – Sin Cara VS. “The Real American” Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter)
Prior to the bout, Colter and Swagger rips Cara and Del Rio for the usual from the last few weeks. Sin starts off fast with his dodgy maneuvers, including a jumping body press from the top rope to the outside. Eventually, he is caught with a boot-to-the-gut after diving, and Swagger takes over. He begins to work over Cara’s ankle, then locks on the “Patriot” Ankle lock for the tapout!
Winner via Submission: “The Real American” Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter)
Post-match, Alberto Del Rio charges to the ring and beats down on Jack. He manages to clamp on the Cross Armbreaker, but Colter pulls his companion to safety.
Segment #11: Video Promo
Halle Berry, famous actress, is interviewed about her new movie “The Call.” During it, she is interrupted by both David Otunga and Kane on cell phones, talking about their connections. (This was just dumb, and goes nowhere – extremely lame.)
It is announced that Mark Henry will face Ryback on Smackdown, Friday. (Man, I really hope not and they do save this until ‘Mania!)
Match #10: “No Disqualification” Single – “The Second-City Saint” C.M. Punk VS. “The Big Red Machine” Kane
Kane is carrying Paul Bearer’s/The Undertaker’s Urn with him, in another tribute to the late-great William Moody. Immediately, Punk suicide dives to the outside and kicks away at Kane against the barricade. Kane fires back with an uppercut and chucks him into the wall.
He hurls him into the ring post too, then drops him on the barricade and over into the time keeper’s section. Kane tears apart the announce table, but then gets a gut full of the ring bell from Punk. Punk axe-handles him from the barricade, but gets a monitor to his stomach in return. Kane drops the cover of the commentator’s table onto Punk, then elbows him on the apron.
In the ring, Kane sets up C.M. on the top rope, but Punk battles out and dives off with an elbow. 1 – 2 – Kane kicks out! Punk continues to kick Kane in the corner, then runs at him with the high-knee, twice. He attempts the bulldog, but gets shoved away and tossed over the ropes to the outside.
Back live, Punk gets out of an over-the-shoulder move, kicks him in the face, and flies at Kane with a forearm/elbow. 1 – 2 – Kane kicks out again! Punk sets up a chair in the corner, but gets reversed and whipped into the steel object back-first! Kane clotheslines C.M. numerous times and drops him with a sidewalk slam.
He puts Punk outside again and then throws a bunch of chairs back in the ring. Kane grabs Punk’s throat for the Chokeslam, but gets countered into a DDT onto the chair! 1 – 2 – Kane still kicks out!
Punk whales away with the chair to the stomach and back of Kane, then gives him a roundhouse kick. “The Straight-Edge Superstar” signals for the “Go-To-Sleep,” but the “gong” rings out, distracting Punk. He turns around into a third Chokeslam attempt, which is successful for the victory to Kane!
Winner via Pinfall: Kane
Post-match, The Undertaker walks out to the stage, and the shade to dark blue. Both Kane and Undertaker kneel, as the “In Memoriam” picture of William Moody appears on the Titantron again. Punk comes back in and hits Kane in the back of the head with the Urn, then continues to smash him with it, until Undertaker walks on down and gives the “throat-slash” signal, while Punk kneels at the top of the ramp like Undertaker with the Urn in hand, to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
I thought this was another great Raw. Many, many good things came out with solid continuing builds towards WrestleMania XXIX, and to be honest, the best was the entire show “given” to William Moody, a.k.a. “Paul Bearer.”
Excellence: The opening of Raw with the tribute to Paul Bearer. I thought that was very kind to do, very sincere. It was nice they dedicated a whole show to him, playing his greatest highlights throughout his legendary career. I’m glad they did it this way, instead of just mentioning it at the beginning or in the middle, like they have with others and not carry on. He was a major contributor to WWF/WWE and overall, in my opinion, the person who boosted The Undertaker’s career to what it is today. I also don’t have a huge issue with C.M. Punk interrupting the tribute – maybe yes, the shouldn’t have done it (I can see that side) – but at least it wasn’t overly distasteful (read: “heart attack”) and right now, it does fit into his character. Plus, they definitely wouldn’t have done that without Undertaker’s consent, of all wrestlers! As well, Kane taking umbrage with Punk too was a nice touch for continuity reasons as well. That was cool to see his passion for someone he cares about deeply.
“The Shield” Triple-Powerbombing Big Show was impressive!
Fabulous match between Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler – the only question is – does this mean Dolph is back on track, or will this just be a “one-off” win, and he’ll be back to the way he was for the last few weeks? (I hope not!)
Love Paul Heyman’s promo and “threats” to Triple H. That will add more “steam” to their feud, and again, continuity with taking out the N.A.O.’s – “The Game’s” friends. (Although, would’ve liked that match to go a little longer – they “still have it!”)
Liking the rivalry between Ryback and Henry – if they are going to booked solid for WrestleMania XXIX, then the should NOT touch each other before then – leave that suspenseful! (So, in essence, somehow book their way out of upcoming match on Smackdown) The Bella Twins returning was a surprise, and I’m thinking they’re a good fit to be valets for “The Rhodes Scholars.” (By the way, also very happy to see them reunited – they should quickly win the Tag Titles for a long reign – revitalize the division.) Nice bout between Cesaro and Del Rio, however I (much like others) are concerned about a Champion losing week-after-week.
I liked the “WrestleMania Preview” for WWE Champion The Rock and John Cena. This was ok for this week, as since they’ve wrestled and did so much already last year, it would be the same and too much to have them on every episode. Plus, it was a great follow-up to last week’s promo between the two. (Granted, there’s only 3 now left until WrestleMania, so they need to be there next week onwards.)
The continuing feud for the World Heavyweight Championship. This rivalry is playing out beautifully, and again, right now, they have done no wrong!
Bogus: Fandango – same reason as last week. This is already old and stupid. Chris Jericho’s “highlight” reel. Way to predictable outcome there. Hopefully they turn this angle into a fight over the I.C. Championship and not movies, as that would be very lame. As already mentioned, the Halle Berry segment – that was just pointless!
The ending to Raw. I really think they should’ve just closed with ‘Taker and Kane paying their simultaneous tribute to Paul Bearer. Again, C.M. Punk interrupting at the opening was ok – it was mild and minimal, but the finish of Raw, I thought that it wasn’t necessary and too much. They had made their point before, and it should’ve been left at Undertaker and Kane giving respect to their long-time friend.
Overall, it was a pleasing episode, especially the recognition for William Moody and his contributions to the wrestling business. “Paul Bearer” was one of the three greatest managers ever, in my opinion, because he was a true character and really played up the part. (Side note/F.Y.I.: Jimmy Hart and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan are the other two for various reasons.) He made us believe in him and The Undertaker to start out with, and when he moved on to be a heel with Vader, Kane, and Mankind, respectively, he was great at being “smarmy” and a bit of a coward too. (When he’d go to hit a wrestler then run a way quickly.) The best part of him was his speech and mannerisms, whether cutting a promo or just being at ringside “cheering” on his charge (mainly Undertaker), Moody transformed himself into the role and was excellent at adding that extra energy to the match. He knew how to have chemistry and captivate the audience.
We will miss you William Moody, a.k.a. “Paul Bearer.” Thank you for all you did and who you were, and may you rest in peace.