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Pre-WrestleMania Raw highlighted by Paul Bearer imposter, urn's ashes

By Arda Ocal

7:29 AM EDT, April 2, 2013

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In the final segment of Raw, a Paul Bearer impostor (who looked like Paul Heyman) flanked by Druids mocked the Undertaker with the urn. The Deadman then got beat down by CM Punk before Punk opened the urn and scattered the ashes inside on 'Taker's body and bathed himself in it.

The same questions will come out of Monday night that were asked the Raw after Paul Bearer passed away and the urn was introduced: Is this going too far? Is it in poor taste?

And I will offer the same answers to these questions: this is WWE, where anything can happen, and what you see is designed to elicit a response. There is no denying that when the Paul Bearer impostor appeared on the Raw ramp, it got the biggest heat of the night. The image of CM Punk lathering himself with the urn's ashes reminded me of Heyman's other "client" -- Brock Lesnar -- smearing Hulk Hogan's blood on his chest many years ago.

I was perfectly fine with the segment. It builds even more of a personal angle going into Wrestlemania. What else it accomplishes, though, is cement the Undertaker's victory one week early.

Ever since this match was conceived in the minds of armchair bookers many moons ago, before it was even officially announced, I was excited. Excited at the fact that for the first time since Wrestlemania 21, I could envision a scenario where Undertaker's opponent at Wrestlemania could break the streak. I would have further believed it if the angle stayed with Punk simply being a guy who is hell-bent on beating the streak, but now that a personal element has been introduced, I see no other conclusion to this match than The Undertaker avenging his "father" Paul Bearer's legacy and celebrating his 21st victory at the Showcase of the Immortals.

That doesn't mean the match won't be interesting. In fact, it's the match I'm looking forward to the most on the card. I'm looking forward to Punk teasing a DQ / countout finish to end the streak. The personal storyline will certainly increase the intensity.

QUICK HITS

** John Cena got "boring" chants during his promo while The Rock got cheers. Both were par for the course, and I'm surprised they didn't have face to face interaction on the "go home" show.

** Meanwhile, Brock Lesnar and Triple H went eye to eye after Shawn Michaels said he would be in Triple H's corner at 'Mania. Secretly I'm hoping this match produces a crimson mask (or two)

** Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show beat 3MB -- which means nothing these days -- and then The Shield cut a promo saying they are ready for Wrestlemania. The Shield need to win here to stay strong and I'm calling for a Randy Orton heel turn.

** Zeb Colter was going to face Alberto Del Rio when Jack Swagger attacked and built heat for their match at Wrestlemania, which I really hope doesn't open the show.

** Dolph Ziggler beat Daniel Bryan in a decent match that I'd like to see more of at another time.

** The Miz did his best to tell us that his pre-show Intercontinental title match against Wade Barrett will be extremely interesting. Unfortunately, the IC title hasn't been interesting in a long while. Barrett destroyed Zack Ryder. I do enjoy the "Push me" on his tights.

** Mark Henry decimated Santino.

** Hands up if you Googled "eviscerate" during Raw? Don't lie.

** Chris Jericho and Antonio Cesaro was interruped by Fandango, who again got the best of Jericho. Truthfully, I'm looking forward to this match, because Fandango (as Johnny Curtis) is a bright prospect who will surprise a lot of people at 'Mania. Jericho working with another young talent just continues to show why he's "bulletproof" as a character. Anotnio Cesaro's yodelling is, well, interesting. I'll give it a chance moving forward but I'm not fully sold.

** The Funkadactyls loss to the Bella Twins, set up an eight-person tag also involving Rhodes Scholars and "Two Tons of Funk." If there's 75,000 people at MetLife Stadium, how many will be buying merchandise or popcorn during this match?

Follow Arda Ocal on Twitter @arda_ocal