'WWE Raw' March 3 recap: Did CM Punk return in Chicago?

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Previously on: The crowd loves Daniel Bryan, The Shield and The Wyatt Family. They hate practically everyone else, which is making for a very bizarre "Wrestlemania" buildup. Thankfully, The Undertaker returned, which lit up the crowd,. Hulk Hogan did too, but was far less effective.

The big news: The main draw of the show wasn't anything that happened on the episode, but rather what didn't: CM Punk is still gone. As expected, the first "WWE Raw" from his hometown of Chicago, since he walked out after the "Royal Rumble," was pretty insane.

Right away, the show started with loud and clear Punk chants and they never ended. That's why it was a surprise when his music his and his face appeared on the video screen. It was all a clever ploy by Paul Heyman though, which is just mean. Heyman had many nice things to say about Punk, but it simply became a promo for the upcoming Brock Lesnar/Undertaker match.

Lesnar got on the microphone and claimed Undertaker was scared of him, then beat up an interrupting Mark Henry. No Undertaker on the show, though.

In an "Elimination Chamber" rematch, The Wyatt Family beat The Shield again, but this time it was due to Seth Rollins walking out on his team. He told Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose to work out their issues, and that ended with Ambrose taking the pin.

A full-on heel Batista was hated throughout the night, but at no point more than his main event match against Bryan. Batista and Bryan ended quickly by disqualification when Randy Orton attacked Bryan. Kane tried to interfere but got kicked away, landing on Triple H.  Batista speared Bryan down and Triple H gets in his face, only to get kicked in the head. 

One Batista Bomb later and Bryan eats a pedigree, leaving Triple H standing tall as the crowd chanted for Bryan and CM Punk. Who needs to pass a torch? The crowd in New Orleans is going to eat Orton and Batista alive at this rate.

In other news, Aaron Paul was there as a manager for Dolph Ziggler. That entailed driving a Mustang into the arena and distracting Alberto Del Rio long enough to he could get the win.

John Cena felt like an afterthought with a promo against Bray Wyatt and his family. It should be a good match at "Wrestlemania," but it just didn't seem important tonight.

Odds and Ends:
  • Paul Bearer is the next person being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
  • The Real Americans are on the verge of breaking up. WWE is killing their tag division.
  • At least there was no Bad News Barrett this week.
  • Alexander Rusev is the worst, though.
  • The crowd booed when they found out Hulk Hogan wasn't there.
  • There was more than one "This is awful" chant during Christian vs. Sheamus.
  • The New Age Outlaws as Tag Champions experiment is over. Celebrate!
  • Aaron Paul looked like he was having so much fun.
  • There was never more than a few minutes that before another "CM Punk" chant broke out.

Matches:
  • The Usos beat the New Age Outlaws to become Tag Team Champions
  • Big E. beat Cesaro by disqualification
  • The Wyatt Family beat The Shield
  • Emma and Santino Marella beat Fandango and Summer Rae
  • Sheamus beat Christian
  • The Bella Twins beat Aksana and Alicia Fox
  • Dolph Ziggler beat Alberto Del Rio
  • Big E. beat Jack Swagger by disqualification
  • Daniel Bryan beat Batista by disqualification
Photo/Video credit: WWE