Backstage News From WWE Raw - WM29 Undertaker's Final Match?, Big Show Praised, Booking Of Ziggler & Punk, Vince McMahon Ready To Pull The Plug On Tea Party Gimmick, Reaction To Highlight Reel Segment Including What Happened To Cause It To Be So Terrible, Did Paul Bearer's Family Sign Off On Punk Controversy?

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Backstage news and notes from this week's WWE Raw…

- There has been some talk about Undertaker wearing the classic hat and black gear with gray boots and tie at Wrestlemania as a tribute/throwback. More than a few feel this is it for Undertaker and if it isn't, it will be difficult to give him another top match without him coming across on camera as old and out of shape.

- Big Show was praised for his work with The Shield on this week's show for his efforts on the triple power. One backstage observer commented on the amount of balance it took to pull the spot off.

- We heard there were significant comments about Dolph Ziggler finally going over but CM Punk going under.

- The Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio program isn't playing out to Vince McMahon's liking. While it was Vince that fell in love with the revamped gimmick played by Swagger, ultimately saving Jack's job and telling him to push his court day back (innocent until proven guilty), he sees the gimmick not getting over and feels it may have already died. We're told Vince blames Alberto Del Rio for not being over as a babyface, Swagger for not looking legitimate, the writers and pretty much "everyone but Zeb Colter." So much so, Vince is ready to pull the plug on the entire program that was originally set to run until May. They're locked in for Wrestlemania but Vince was demanding rewrites over weekend.

- The Highlight Reel segment was seen as a monumental failure with Wade Barrett out of his comfort zone, The Miz awful and Brad Maddox forgetting half of his lines. Vince McMahon was upset backstage and everything said on commentary was straight from the back. One observer commented how this is the closest the company has ever gone to trashing their own product while the segment was airing on TV. Vince was very unhappy with how it came across on TV.

- We're told Paul Bearer's family (presumably his sons) signed off on the usage of his passing in the CM Punk vs. Undertaker program and had no problem with it. They stressed Moody loved wrestling and would have had no problem with it.

  • Xavier

    Just like I commented on another post. That Miz/Barrett/Jericho segment was god awful. The worst segment on Raw probably in the past few years. Jericho came off looking really bad in that entire segment.

    And just like I’ve been telling Swagger supporters on here, Swagger will get a push upon his return (which he is getting) but it won’t long because Swagger just isn’t good. He’s an average worker at best with poor mic skills. After Mania Swagger wil be back to jobbing to the likes of Santino, did anyone else here the crowd shit all over the ADR/Swagger segment tonight? The BORING chants were loud and clear.

  • How the hell are they blaming Miz for this? What so awful about Miz? Can you provide information from the backstage sources on how he was awful? He did what I thought was a great impersonation of Barrett. Other than that, most of the segment was about Jericho-Barrett starting a feud. I believe your backstage source(s) have it in for Miz for whatever reason. Everything was fine in that segment until Brad Maddox came and F’d everything up. He is terrible in that he pauses too much and is unable to end his lines with any effectiveness.

    • Xavier

      It’s funny how this site has turned into this CM Punk can do no wrong/Miz can’t do no right web page. No mention of how bad Jericho was smh. I agree, how the hell was this Miz’ fault. Maddox is awful period, I blame McMahon for pushing him more then I blame Maddox himself. Barrett has never been that good on the mic so I didn’t expect much out of him either. But Jericho on the other hand is so much better then what he displayed last night on the mic.

  • Patrick

    I’m not a Jericho fan and after reading what happen and watching it online… I do admit his segment was the worst and Brad Madox is terrible, Jerchio didn’t do well at all

    • Jericho did well once the segment got serious. At least they focused in on the Intercontinental Championship. I thought the segment and match were fine. The only problem was Brad Maddox. I think HHH is trying too hard to make him into a new Eric Bischoff but he’s failing miserably.

      • Nostaljack

        I kind of agree. No one else was truly terrible. However, none of them brought the house down and the crowd wasn’t that into it, really.

        • True, but it accomplished something in that the focus is on the IC Title. I would much rather have Jericho go for #10 than have another match against Ziggler. I love their matches, but another one it not needed. Wade Barrett could use the experience of working with Jericho at WM.

  • Nostaljack

    Jericho hardly came off well but Maddox was the real killer on that segment. The Jeritron 6000 left the stage too quickly and awkwardly and, from that moment forward, the whole segment was off-kilter. Still, the three of them were doing fine until Maddox. As I said in the “results” thread, he displayed the worst mic work I’ve ever seen by anyone anywhere. There’s no way he “worked”. Heck, he didn’t do any work at all. He just came out and blew it…incredibly badly. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was enough to kill off his character. Yeah, it was absolutely that bad. It should have been called “The Blooper Reel” rather than the “Highlight Reel”.

    • I just rewatched the segment and Brad was just awful. He came into the segment like a little kid wanting to be noticed. They would have been better of using Vickie instead.

    • Maddox was even worse than Mike Adamle!

  • Kerri

    While I will admit to not being the biggest Miz fan (as a face) I thought he was fine last night, the crowd didn’t seem to care too much for the Marine 3 clip, but he and Jericho interacted well & he was fine in the match. Barrett is seemly stuck in a spot (not by his own doing) I wish he could get out of and he did sound kinda out of place when he came down talking about “his” movie, but the verbal sparring with Jericho was great and would of been made worse if their whole NXT relationship was ignored. I know others have stated they don’t like him, but I like Brad Maddox. He really has been solid/entertaining when he’s on the mic or with Vickie. Maybe I’m being a Maddox apologist here- but I think he just had an off night and couldn’t get himself into the flow of things. What reason is there to complain about Jericho in this?

    I don’t get just because Vince was upset with how it was coming off on TV that he feel the need to tell commentary to slam everything. Is it really any of the guys who were out there fault that production was messing up and pulled the TV at an odd time? No. Maybe if he didn’t want so many re-writes before RAW every week segments wouldn’t turn out this way. Plus- if it looks that bad, why even book it on your freaking show?!?!

  • WO is reporting that Brad Maddox will receive the majority of blame for last night’s segment. I didn’t hear anything bad about Barrett or Miz.

    • Kerri

      That really makes no sense. Go back again and watch the whole thing- Cole & King start being told to take shots on Jericho as he’s getting in the ring, and after ANOTHER movie clip they go at him over his TV disappearing, like he had anything to do with that. That entire segment came off worse than it might of actually been because you had two announcers being told to talk over everyone and take shots at them because Vince was throwing a temper tantrum. Some blame should go to Maddox yes,he forgot half his lines, but if anyone deserves the majority of the blame? It starts at the top for me- and I’ll say it again:
      If you don’t like, don’t book it Vince!!

  • if this is Undertakers last WM, I’d be really chuffed if I was Punk, I mean being the last person to Vs Undertaker at WM, even if it is a loss, there isn’t that many people that can they faced the Undertaker on the biggest stage of them all. I mean Rock, Austin, Cena havn’t even gone up to Undertaker.

  • Gary Robert

    Del Rio isn’t over as a baby face? The places seem to go crazy for him, from what I can tell. No?