The best part of looking back at the week just before WrestleMania now that we know what most of the feuds are for Extreme Rules is seeing just how WWE crafted things the last week before their biggest show of the year.
You’ll find in many ways, they played it safe this particular week, while TNA carried their momentum forward.
Raw had a tough crowd in Washington D.C. and it showed in several segments. There was progression in terms of hype for WrestleMania but it lacked that special “almost to WrestleMania” feel and had an ending segment that left a bad taste in our mouths more than sheer anticipation. More on that below.
Main Event was centered around a lengthy match between The Miz and The Primetime Players and was cluttered with WrestleMania hype.
Impact was good despite story loopholes. A few good matches shined and this was all hype for the Corpus Christi show. It also featured the return of a former top star. More on that also below.
Smackdown was the go-home show for WrestleMania 29 and was packed with Axxess footage, video packages, recaps and filler material.
Petey Williams and the X-Division Shine All in One Match (Impact, 4/4/13)
Since the announcement of the new X-Division rules, there has been an extra emphasis on the triple threat match format.
If you’ve followed the X-Division since it came around, then you know that it’s been stripped down, built back up, torn back down, built again and stripped down, almost like a rinse-repeat cycle.
However, if the goal was to bring back old favorites, then this would work. What better guy to bring back than Petey Williams?
Poor “Little Petey Pump” had a rather unceremonius exit from TNA, but at a time when the X-Division needed direction, Williams is the perfect guy to put in that slot and once you saw him return, you knew this wasn’t just a one-time deal.
Plus, the Canadian Destroyer is hands down one of the best finishers in pro wrestling.
C.M. Punk Dresses As A Druid And Attacks Undertaker And Pours Paul Bearer’s Ashes on Undertaker And Himself (Raw, 4/1/13)
As we all know now, Punk and Taker tore it up at WrestleMania and the match alone made us forget about all the hype, but let’s go back to that brief moment when this is what we had going into the match.
Not sure if this was WWE’s way of being “controversial” but something just seemed distasteful about this altogether and heat was put more on the company than on Punk.
It felt like they were trying to go for an “Oh wow, that’s cool!” moment and it just ended up right over our heads.
Who knows how the feud would’ve been crafted had the idea been to put over Punk as someone who just wanted to end the streak and gain “respect” instead of making the death of Paul Bearer the main focus.
Ah, well. That’s in the past now.