By Arda Ocal
9:58 AM EST, January 29, 2013
It truly is WrestleMania season, isn't it?
That's especially apparent when the “part timers” come out to play.
Just 24 hours after The Rock won the WWE championship from CM Punk at the Royal Rumble, “here comes the pain” as they used to say. Just as Paul Heyman was going to get “fired” (his theme music conveniently hit just after Vince McMahon got out “YYYOOOUUU'RRREEEE....”). Brock Lesnar returned to WWE and circled the ring, much like his initial return the day after WrestleMania 28. Then he jumped into the squared circle, thought about it, then delivered an F5 to Vince McMahon.
You may already be foreshadowing the next few tableaus in this storyline – Triple H, Vince's son in law, comes to his father's defence, also with an axe to grind with Brock from their 2012 Summerslam, all leading to a match at WrestleMania 29.
Even if that isn't the match at Mania, what happened on RAW from a story logic standpoint will need an explanation and a “comeuppance”, most likely from Triple H (I just don't see a Brock Lesnar vs Vince McMahon showdown).
In other news, CM Punk got nuclear heat on RAW. I was there in Vegas and let me tell you, he was riling up the crowd old school heel style. I closed my eyes and almost thought it was Roddy Piper enraging a crowd in the 80s. Classic stuff from the former champion. The Rock did his part, it wasn't over the top, though I do feel that the “Humble Brag” approach is getting a little played out. The title rematch is set for Elimination Chamber, and I don't mind that.
Interestingly enough, despite The Rock and Brock Lesnar, the two biggest draws in WWE today on the show, the biggest “pop” was reserved for Chris Jericho, who 24 hours ago in the Rumble match provided one of the best moments in recent memory in WWE. (Yes, you did fool us Jericho, and we thank you for it.) Jericho and Dolph Ziggler, who were “strange bedfellows” (The RAW Roulette's words, not mine) in a tag match against Team Hell No. The more matches Ziggler and Jericho have the better – both will entertain.
** Antonio Cesaro and Randy Orton had a great match. I loved the beginning. Lock up, chain wrestle, neither man gets the upper hand, they both get to their feet, immediate lock up again ... great story telling in this one.
** As expected, RAW Roulette brought out some of the “ha ha” -- Tensai wore lingerie (what a good sport he is), and tweeted about it after the fact. The Great Khali sang Shawn Michaels' Theme song in a karaoke contest, and somehow made HBK's theme music sound worse than this version from WWF: The Music Vol. 2.
** John Cena beat Cody Rhodes. After the match, he challenged the winner of the WWE title match (either CM Punk or The Rock) at WrestleMania. Funny thing was, the rematch wasn't set yet – later in the night, the Elimination Chamber date was booked. Oops.
** Bo Dallas pinned Wade Barrett in very 123 Kid/Razor Ramon-esque fashion. A star is born? I see Wade Barrett getting his “win” back but Bo Dallas certainly got a big “rub” in the past 48 hours, first by eliminating Wade then beating him on RAW.
** There was a Las Vegas Showgirls Lumberjill match between Tamina and Divas champ Kaitlyn, which erupted in a Showgirl brawl. I assume that's how all Vegas shows end backstage.
** Sheamus beat Damien Sandow in a tables match. Sandow can still do no wrong for me at this point in time. Watching him interact with fans at VIP sessions over Royal Rumble weekend was a highlight.
** Paul Heyman's passionate promo about lying is worth going out of your way to see. It was during the final segment of RAW.
Arda Ocal is an on air personality with theScore Television Network. Follow him on Twitter @arda_ocal.
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