Alberto Del Rio:
Tonight’s WWE RAW takes place from the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan with the fallout from last night’s Payback pay-per-view.
Confirmed for tonight’s show is the return of Mark Henry, who teased retirement on Twitter last night. Triple H and Vince McMahon are also confirmed to appear on tonight’s show.
Regarding CM Punk, he is not being advertised by WWE for tonight’s show. It’d worth noting that the injured Fandango will be appearing tonight. Advertised locally is Ryback vs. John Cena.
WWE is focusing on the following points for tonight’s show:
* Will the Hall of Pain reopen for business?
* What will Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio have to say?
* What’s next from Daniel Bryan?
* What awaits John Cena after defeating Ryback?
* How will CM Punk co-exist with the newest Paul Heyman guy, Curtis Axel?
Here’s the final card for Sunday’s WWE Payback pay-per-view.
Three Stages of Hell for the WWE Title
Ryback vs. John Cena
World Heavyweight Title Match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Triple Threat for the WWE Intercontinental Title
Curtis Axel vs. The Miz vs. Wade Barrett
WWE Tag Team Title Match
Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns
WWE United States Title Match
Kane vs. Dean Ambrose
WWE Divas Title Match
AJ Lee vs. Kaitlyn
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow
WWE sent out an email earlier today noting that Dolph Ziggler would be defending his World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio at Saturday’s SmackDown live events in Johnson city, TN and Fayetteville, NC. This will be Ziggler’s first matches back since suffering a concussion in early May.
Sheamus vs. Curtis Axel. Layla vs. AJ Lee, The Great Khali vs. Heath Slater, Sin Cara vs. Hunico, Justin Gabriel vs. Big E Langston and The Usos vs. The Prime Time Players are also being advertised for the events.
Dolph Ziggler took an imPACT test at Raw yesterday and has been cleared to return to the ring.
Ziggler had suffered a concussion at the May 7th SmackDown taping in Raleigh, NC after an errant kick by Jack Swagger. The World Heavyweight Champion has been out of action since, although he appeared at this past weekend’s SmackDown events in Pennsylvania and New York.
A match between Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship will most likely be added to the Payback PPV according to F4WOnline.com.
Zeb Colter has been ranting on Twitter about conspiracies and the instant replay finish at Extreme Rules last night. Here are some of his tweets:
“CAN WE SAY “CONSPIRACY”? NEVER SEEN INSTANT REPLAY BEFORE? AND THE REF WHO CAME DOWN WAS A FRIEND OF DEL RIO. WTF?”
“Looking into taking legal action against this #instantreplay controversy. Where is @DavidOtunga when you need him. Paging David Otunga.”
“Seems like @VivaDelRio has his own PERSONAL RING ANNOUNCER. NOW, apparently he has his own PRIVATE REFEREE too. MORE INFO AS IT COMES IN.”
The “instant replay” angle WWE used in the Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio match at Extreme Rules is something officials have talked about using for several months now. They are hyping it as the “first-ever instant replay” used in WWE on their website.
WWE officially announced the World Title match for the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View event.
It will be Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger in a three-way match for the World Title, which will take care of Del Rio’s title re-match from Ziggler’s Money in the Bank cash-in.
WWE Extreme Rules 2013 will take place Sunday, May 19, 2013 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
As noted, Matt Hardy is the latest WWE Alumni addition. Hardy is currently in the Superstar Spotlight on WWE’s website and had the following to say about it:
“The @WWE was/is my home, I’m very appreciative of this recognition. It’s great to be welcomed back home-in the “Superstar Spotlight” & as permanent WWE Alumni..”
via Pro Wrestling.net and reader Steve Troncoso:
I purchased the General Admission tickets back in December, which listed The Undertaker and John Cena at the signing, only was then changed to The Miz and Alberto Del Rio, which I was upset about. I got in the door at 6pm went to the Fandango signing, which he was on time for but down on the main floor I noticed The Undertaker signing. So we tried to work something out and talk to the arena employees to try and get me us on the line.
After about one hour, we were then sent to speak with a manager. We explained the situation about the tickets I purchased. He was really nice and comprehensive but didn’t want to give in to the request for a wristband. After being really persistent he gave in and was able to get us a wristband to The Undertaker signing. It was worth it, Taker was really approachable. Below you will find in detail our conversation which led to a possible WrestleMania 30 match.
Steve: It took me 14 years to be able to meet you. This is incredible.
Taker: Wow, well, I really appreciate that. Thanks a lot, man.
Steve: Yeah, I had to come and see you. I know its either this year or next year your almost done.
Taker: Yeah, man, Im almost there, not to much left, but I think I can do one more for this guy “points at Brock Lesnar picture.”
The Brock Lesnar picture was in the program book that was being sold throughout the arena which listed the match between Triple H and Brock Lesnar. Next to that was a picture of C.M. Punk and The Undertaker, which he signed for me.
Credit – F4WOnline
As noted earlier, there is strong concern over Rey Mysterio’s WWE future. This has led to WWE officials being really worried about a top Latin babyface more than ever.
The feeling is Alberto Del Rio hasn’t gotten over like they want, Sin Cara has been written off as a flop and Mysterio is always injured.
The idea to bring in Dutch Mantel as Zeb Colter came from Vince McMahon and the WWE writing team. There has been a feeling that some guys just can’t talk to get themselves over and need managers who can talk for them.
This was discussed a few months ago and at the time, Dutch and former WCW, ECW and TNA manager Jim Mitchell were brought up in WWE creative meetings.
Dutch ended up being brought in for Jack Swagger and it’s said that Mitchell still could be used in the future.
WWE has extended an invitation to talk show host and political commentator, Glenn Beck to appear live this Monday on Raw, in response to a segment that aired on TheBlaze TV yesterday. In the segment, Beck references WWE as “stupid wrestling people,” when criticizing a recent WWE storyline involving WWE characters Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio®, Jack Swagger® and Zeb Colter®. WWE is giving Beck the opportunity to address our 14 million weekly viewers and our global fan base, as he believes we are offending our “conservative” fans with this storyline.
Similar to other television shows and feature films, WWE is in the entertainment business, creating fictional characters that serve as protagonists or antagonists. To create compelling and relevant content for our audience, it is important to incorporate current events into our storylines. WWE is creating a rivalry centered on a topical subject that has varying points of view. This storyline was developed to build the Mexican American character Del Rio into a hero given WWE’s large Latino base, which represents 20 percent of our audience.
Credit – Wrestling Observer
WWE sources note that Jack Swagger was scheduled to win the World Heavyweight Title from Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania 29. No word yet on what his arrest means for booking plans but WWE creative was working late on Wednesday night to come up with ideas, which doesn’t sound good for Swagger and Zeb Colter.
There’s talk that if WWE officials saw fit to change the direction of the match, then Dolph Ziggler would most likely get the WrestleMania match with Del Rio.
If Swagger ends up suspended and loses the WrestleMania match, the arrest altogether would cost him upwards of $250,000.
The Rock posted a new photo of himself getting ready by lifting weights for tonight’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. The Rock tweeted:
“Pre-match clanging & banging.
#EliminationChamber Walk in. Bring it. Walk out. @WWE Champion. #GameDay pic.twitter.com/RWNFiBV4“
CM Punk responded to that photo on Twitter, writing:
“Heavy barbell curls do not help you breathe. #EliminationChamber #tryandkeepup”
Below is what looks to be the final card for tonight’s WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
WWE Title Match
CM Punk vs. The Rock
If The Rock gets himself disqualified or counted out, CM Punk wins the title
World Heavyweight Title Match
Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio
Elimination Chamber Match
Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry vs. Kane vs. Jack Swagger
Winner gets a World Heavyweight Title shot at WrestleMania 29
WWE Divas Title Match
Tamina Snuka vs. Kaitlyn
WWE United States Title Match
The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro
Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns vs. John Cena, Ryback and Sheamus
Tensai and Brodus Clay vs. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow