Last week may have been a pretty eventful week, but ironically enough, most of it took place off-screen.
Let’s sum it up: Raw featured a lot of hype for the next week in particular and didn’t give the crowd much to chew on in terms of what they saw, besides for The Rock’s new WWE Championship Belt, which wasn’t even that great. Unless the side plates somehow always have a logo that’s associated with the Title holder, they’re pointless.
Main Event spent its first half focused on Big Show’s rage and an unoffical gauntlet went down that concluded with the planted seeds for a Show/Miz feud. We also had recaps and a decent match between Justin Gabriel and Titus O’Neil to close it out.
Impact was more of the same as usual. Despite a Title change and the announcement of Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray at Lockdown for the TNA World Title, not much was newsworthy. Aces and Eights did finally score a big win, but they need more momentum and quick.
Smackdown had a lot of Jack Swagger/Zeb Colter/Alberto Del Rio feud hype with some very good matches and usual recaps thrown in.
We’re going to take a look back at two moments during the past week. One set the stage for a big showdown while the other was a moment where real life got in the way.
John Cena Challenges CM Punk To A Match (Raw, 2/18/13)
Given that the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania was announced as The Rock vs. John Cena II right after Elimination Chamber may had been enough for fans who weren’t impressed by the match’s lackluster build last year.
What may have driven their frustration was to have this match, former Champion CM Punk would basically be swept to the side after a 434-day reign, even after two Pay-Per-View matches with The Rock.
What was brilliant about this was that this spiced things up even more than the usual Punk/Cena segment. They’ve always had spectacular chemistry on the mic, but this had WrestleMania implications and it was good to see WWE wouldn’t let Punk just fade out of the spotlight.
Worst case scenario, he’d lose his way out of it, but in a way that still put him over. After all, if the plan is indeed Undertaker/Punk, this was the necessary step to still keep Punk relevant.
Jack Swagger Gets High
It seemed as if Jack Swagger was on top of the world.
For what seemed to be destined as a Mark Henry/Alberto Del Rio WrestleMania match took a much different route when the sleeper, Swagger was given the victory.
Yeah, he had a new controversial mouthpiece in Zeb Colter, but it didn’t scream “Title push” until that very win. This helped transition Swagger from afterthought to king of the world.
The heel duo had gotten many people talking, although it wasn’t the best press for WWE, it had to be nice to see such a fresh change in pace to let a “controversial” angle like this to go on.
For those of you who remember, the Eddie Guerrero/JBL feud took on a similar storyline that dealt with illegal immigrants. Who could forget the footage of JBL forcing people back over the border?
But there was a difference between then and now: JBL didn’t get arrested for drug possession halfway through the feud. Swagger did.
It couldn’t had been worse timing right near WrestleMania season. It probably also didn’t help that how Swagger got arrested contradicts his character’s ideology.
When the news first broke out, all hope seemed lost for a serious Swagger push, but those thoughts subsided a bit with the Glenn Beck incident. So who knows how it’ll go down?