TONIGHT: A big show tonight, as Rock will back in John Cena’s backyard of Boston. Shawn Michaels addresses Triple H as well. Teddy Long is running Raw tonight, and on Smackdown, promised David Otunga vs. The Great Khali. Expect more build-up to Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus and Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk too. Also expect…the unexpected!
-Cold open LIVE inside the Garden in Boston. Shawn Michaels’ music hit, and he came to the ring. Once his music died down, the crowd began chanting “HBK.” It was a light chant, however. Michaels said the greatest thing about the chant is it gives him a moment to catch his breath, because he’s not using to doing “that stuff” (his ring intro) anymore. Michaels said he came out a few weeks ago and caused a little trouble. He talked about things between he and Triple H getting heated, and he said he knew Hunter could take down the streak. But that’s water under the bridge because something made Hunter change his mind. He seemed excited at the prospect of Hunter vs. Taker in Hell in a Cell. HBK was curious about what made Hunter change his mind – he needed to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Triple H then came out.
Michaels admitted he was hard on Hunter but said he REALLY wanted him to take the match. HBK said he pushed the envelope and put their friendship at risk in that promo. Michaels said Hunter was an oak as he never budged despite attempts by HBK, because Hunter is a man of conviction, honor and integrity. Michaels echoed Hunter saying Taker was a “brand,” and reminded Trips that he called him a coward. HBK said he called Hunter a coward and Hunter did nothing, which is why he’s an oak. But something made him change his mind, somebody must’ve said something to make him change his mind and make him mad. Michaels, of course, knows what that is, but is playing along here. Shawn asked “what was it?” that made him change his mind. “Undertaker” chant, with claps thrown in there too.
Before Hunter could say three words, HBK interrupted and asked to watch it again, standing with his best friend of 17 years, to share in the moment together. They cued up the footage of two weeks ago. Back live, Hunter was staring straight ahead while HBK had his eyes fixed on him. Small “triple threat” chant. “So…THAT’S all it took,” Shawn said. He was offended that the worst someone could do is to say Shawn was better than him. Hunter said he knows Shawn didn’t see this live and he knows he got his voicemail, but he’ll say it in front of everyone. He said it’s not about Shawn being better than him; he’s tired of listening to people talking behind Shawn’s back about he’s a failure, he couldn’t get the job done, and he was never as good as he thought he was. He said that eats him up inside. He said he believes Shawn is the greatest in-ring performer of all-time.
Hunter said it pains him to look at Shawn as a loser. That’s why he’s going to finish it. HE said he’s going to do what people said Shawn couldn’t; he’s going to do it for him, and just as much, he’s going to do it for Shawn. Michaels said like always, Triple H has everything under control. Silly him. Shawn remembered saying Hunter couldn’t get it done last year, then he watched him dominate Taker at Mania. “And then you lost. And I was right.” Shawn said this year, he knows who’s going to win; and he’ll be right again. And the reason he knows that? He’s been made the special referee. Segment went 16 minutes, but didn’t drag at all. Terrific job from both men here.
-John Cena and The Rock will both be in the arena live tonight.
-In the main event, CM Punk and Sheamus take on Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho
(1) Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger – United States Championship Match As the match began, David Otunga and John Laurinaitis walked to the ring. How can we miss you Johnny if you never leave? Hip-toss then headbutt from Marella. He went for the Cobra as Otunga got on the apron to distract the ref. Dolph Ziggler bopped Marella, then Swagger gave him the gutwrench powerbomb, but Marella kicked out at two. Teddy Long’s music played :58 in. He walked out with Kofi Kingston and Aksana. Long argued with Ace as they went to break at 1:28.
Back at 4:59 of the match. Swagger bomb attempt, but Swagger landed face-first on the tips of Marella’s toes. Ace got on the apron, but Long pulled him off. Otunga tried to break up the argument, but as Marella built momentum, Ziggler got involved again. Kingston distracted Ziggler, who was still ont eh apron, and Marella struck with the Cobra. Vickie got on the apron and Marella threatened to Cobra her. She got down and argued with Aksana, who shoved her on her tush. Swagger dodged the Cobra and locked in the ankle-lock. Long shoved Ace down and Marella sent Swagger into the turnbuckle, then rolled him up for the win.
Winner: Marella, at 6:36. Better to put the title on someone who might do something with it, I guess. At least the fans are behind Santino. The match time is a bit deceiving, since we only saw about 3:00 of it with the commercial, and most of that was marred by extracurricular activities.
Ace demanded Marella’s music be cut. He said this was his show and said Long cannot “do this” on Raw. Long reminded Ace it’s his show tonight. He said he was going to give the WWE Universe a present, then called for security. Long told Ace and Otunga to get out. Ace and Otunga were both forcefully ejected from the ringside area. Justin Roberts officially announced Marella as US Champion. Marella celebrated with Long, Kingston, and Aksana after the match.
-Rock will be on the show later tonight.
-Michael Cole kicked it to a video of Rock at the Boston Harbor earlier today. He did his “finally…” schtick and gave Cena the first of many history lessons tonight. He talked about the people of Boston having enough of the British getting in their face in 1773, and the people started a Revolution, an American Revolution. Tonight starts the Rock Revolution, and while Boston had the Tea Party, Rock and the fans of Raw are going to have their own party. The camera panned back to show a table of Cena merchandise. Rock went through them, made fun of the merch, and tossed it in the Harbor. The merchandise included a Cena alarm clock, Cena gnome and clothing. The camera kept showing fans in the crowd laughing. Rock called it “hot garbage” and told Cena to roll it up, turn it sideways, and stick it up his candy ass. Rock said they’re going all over Boston until they get to the Garden. He talked to someone off-camera, told them to get into a rowboat and pick up all the trash in the Harbor and throw it in the garbage where it belongs.
(2) Alicia Fox vs. Eve Torres Kelly Kelly was on commentary and Fox was already in the ring. She plugged her award nomination in the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. I’m hoping for a short match to save me from Kelly on commentary. Leapfrog by Fox, but Eve flipped over Fox. Fox missed a kick after giving a snap-mare (I think?) to Eve, getting caught in the ropes in doing so. Eve rolled Fox up for the win.
Winner: Eve, at :33. Thank you, WWE. It’s too bad too, because Eve and Fox are probably two of the more athletic Divas on the roster, yet they can’t seem to put it together in the ring.
As Eve celebrated, Zack Ryder’s music hit. He walked out using a cane. He said he’s glad he and Eve never hooked up, saying “Broskis before Hoskis.” Then he recited his catchphrase.
-They showed Cena sitting in the stands in an empty arena. He gave some candid thoughts earlier in the day about his match with Rock. They air next.
-Ryder was walking backstage when Eve came running up to him. She wanted to tell him something but couldn’t get it out…then she laid a giant kiss on him. Ryder smiled and was taken aback by it. “Oh my God,” he mouthed.
-The announcers talked on-camera about HBK being the special referee for Taker vs. Hunter. Cole read some comments from fans on WWE’s Social Media page. then he sent it to “earlier today,” some comments from John Cena.
-Cena wasn’t even being interviewed. He was just giving a monologue in an empty arena with camera cuts, which was weird. He called the match a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Cena called The Rock the most successful superstar in the history of WWE. Cena seemed honored that Rock considered him a worthy opponent. He said he’s not going to Mania to be “happy to be there.” He wants, nay, needs to win. Cena talked about Boston being a city of heartbreak, that no one remembers second place. Cena said he’s proud of what he’s done in WWE so far. But Wrestlemania 28 is everything. Cena said if he can walk into the Rock’s backyard and get his hand raised, then he wins the big one. He said this event will make history. He said this show will break every record in WWE and no one will remember second place; that’s why he needs to win. He said Wrestlemania 28 is sink-or-swim, all-or-nothing. He said Mania 28 is his legacy. Overproduced and some could consider it cheesy, but Cena did a nice job selling his match and the PPV itself.
-The tag team match that’s supposed to be the main event is next. I guess it’s a main event in the same way that three WM matches will be main events.
-Lawler thanked Flo Rida for “Good Feeling,” one of the themes to Wrestlemania.
(3) CM Punk & Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan & Chris Jericho During Punk’s entrance, they showed what happened on Raw last week during his match with Daniel Bryan. AJ accompanied Bryan to the ring. Jericho and Punk went at it to start, going to a stalemate before Jericho shoved Punk. Monkey-flip by Punk, followed by a few arm-drags, then a clothesline. Jericho held the ropes on a whip and scampered over to tag Bryan. Punk and Bryan went at it for a minute or two. Jericho stopped Punk’s momentum with a kick to the back, allowing Bryan to tag him in. They took a break at 2:53.
Back at 6:06. Jericho had Punk stuck in a hold out of break. They’re going really overboard again with Twitter tonight as Cole read comments about who the best in the world really is between Jericho and Punk. Sheamus tagged in and worked over Jericho. He knocked Bryan out of the ring, then gave Jericho the Irish Curse backbreaker for two. Springboard dropkick by Jericho took Sheamus off the apron and to ringside. Running dropkick by Bryan outside the ring. Cole told fans to stick around after the match for more from the Rock. Sheamus went back in the ring and Jericho kept him at bay. The fans weren’t really getting behind Sheamus to break out of a rest-hold. He ran into a boot in the corner and Jericho went for a bulldog, but Sheamus pushed him off and Jericho awkwardly went knees-first into the corner. That could’ve been bad. Both men made tags at 10:16. Punk went to the top after clobbering Bryan and hit the flying elbowdrop. All four men got involved, with Sheamus and Bryan taking each other out outside the ring. Jericho tried to lock in the Walls of Jericho, but Punk rolled through for a roll-up…however, both men’s shoulders were down until Jericho put one of his up at the last minute.
Winners: Jericho and Bryan, at 11:54. Jericho posed with the WWE Title after the match. Kinda wish they’d keep these guys apart before Mania.
-Earlier today, Rock was next to a statue of Paul Revere. Rock asked, what if Cena were on top of the horse instead of Paul Revere. They had a cardboard cut-out of Cena there. Rock said they would’ve shot Cena on sight for looking like he does. He said if it were Cena on the horse, we’d still be run by the British. He said he’d invent a time machine to go back to 1776, saying the ladies would line the streets wanting to give Rock some of that Boston Cream Pie. Rock sang Yankee Doddle with alternate anti-Cena lyrics. He said the people back then would beat Cena’s ass just like he’s going to do at Mania. Rock said if Revere were around today, he’d be telling people “The Rock is coming, The Rock is coming.” But first, he plans to get in Cena’s face tonight. Rock was all over the place there, but it was still entertaining.
-This Friday, Johnny Ace is in charge of Smackdown.
-They showed a clip of Long shoving down Ace earlier in the show, then Santino winning the US Title and Long kicking Ace and Otunga out of the arena. Ace should return with a Bobby Valentine mustache.
(4) The Miz vs. The Big Show Miz had a new shirt that had the “Danger” symbol on the front, then underneath it said “I’m awesome, you’re not.” As the bell rang to start the match, Miz slid to ringside and Cody Rhodes came out with a mic. He said there’s no greater wake-up call than embarrassment. Rhodes said he has no clips of Show losing at Wrestlemania, because he wasn’t there, but in his natural habitat. Wrestlemania 18, Show was eating at the WWE restaurant in New York. The video cued up had a bunch of Mania highlights, then they showed Big Show at the restaurant hobnobbing with fans. But they didn’t even show him eating! From behind, Miz attacked Show. Miz got a running start, then was speared. Right hand, KO.
Winner: Show, at 2:02. Miz is in that Mark Henry spot where he has to job for other guys because there’s nothing for him at ‘Mania and he has a little credibility left.
-Rock and Cena, live on Raw, still to come.
-Wrestlemania is 27 days away.
-More history with The Rock. It’s at night now as he stands outside the Massachusetts State House overlooking the Boston Common. He said that’s where we fought for our independence, leading to the birth of the greatest country under God’s hot sun. Rock said the Rock Revolution will overthrow John Cena. He said he can entertain around the world, but there’s only one place the Rock can fight, and that’s WWE. Rock said he has the charisma of George Washington, the brilliance of Benjamin Franklin, and the you-know-what of John Hancock. Rock said he’s going to make history April 1st, and mark his words, Cena will fall to the Rock. But tonight, March 5th, the Rock Revolution has begun and he’s going to the TD Garden to tell the world exactly what he sees. “If ya smell what the Rock is cookin’.”
-Next week, The Undertaker responds to HBK being named special guest referee, and Michaels will be there to hear it.
(5) R-Truth vs. Kane During Truth’s entrance, they showed an inset interview with him from earlier in the day. He spoke about Kane and his fire and explosions. He started saying, “Little Jimmy says…” then stopped and asked who he was talking to. As Kane entered, they showed him and Randy Orton going at it on Smackdown. Truth tried to stay on Kane with rights and lefts, but Kane booted him down. Kane pounded away in the corner, then snap-mared Truth and leg-dropped him. Cover got two. Running clothesline in the corner by Kane, but Truth got his elbow up on a second one. Jumping side-kick by Truth, but the scissors kick missed. Chokeslam did not.
Winner: Kane, at 1:26.
As Kane cued his pyro, Randy Orton came out. Truth held onto Kane’s foot, allowing Orton to hop in and RKO Kane. He asked for a mic, got down close to Kane, and said “It’s good to be back,” in response to what Kane said to him on Friday night.
-John Cena was walking backstage. Rock is on his way to the arena, but it looks like Cena is going to come out first. Next!
-The final segment began with John Cena’s music and the man himself coming out. Apparently, Otunga vs. Khali was scrapped, could be excused because Otunga was thrown out. As a mixed reaction greeted Cena, he said he thought they’d be excited. He noted how many people were in the building (over 16,00 according to Cole). He said he knows why: Finally, The Rock is back. Cena talked about Rock’s videos, calling them exciting, entertaining and everything Rock needs to be. Pause for “Rocky” chant. He said behind the sunglasses and dramatic head-whips, what is Rock really saying? He said Rock talked about nicknames for his penis and how many women he’s had sex with, asking if he’s facing Rock or The Situation from Jersey Shore.
Cena said last week, for the first time in Rock’s career, he was shook up. And the man who did it, the man with the smoking gun in his hand: Cena himself. He said Rock got shook up by a guy who Rock called all kinds of names last week. Cena made fun of himself, specifically for wearing knee pads tonight despite coming out just to talk. He said Rock has the University of Miami swagger back, then sucked up to Boston College a little. He said Rock shouldn’t confront him because his best stuff lately has been pre-recorded or via satellite. But he wants to see who will show up at Wrestlemania: The dude who wastes time talking about Chinese take-out or the greatest superstar in WWE. He said his fingers are crossed that soon, we’ll hear the Rock’s theme. He asked the fans if they want to see the Rock back tonight. Cena said to bring on the Rock, so Rock’s music hit and he actually came out.
Rock wasted little time in getting to the ring and didn’t pose for the crowd or anything. “Rocky” cant from the fans. Rock said don’t think with the history he has that he won’t do, “finally, the Rock has come back to Boston” again. So he did. Rock said he promised to look Cena in the eye and tell the world what he sees. “Fear.” Rock said Cena fears that he’s taking everything away. “Cena” chants were drowned out by boos. Rock said Cena fears that everything he’s worked for the last ten years will go away when Rock beats him at ‘Mania. Why exactly would all that go away if Rock wins? Rock said Cena didn’t shake his confidence, in fact, he’s never been more confident about anything in his life. “Tooth Fairy” chant at Rock, which Cena helpfully clarified for me. Rock said if you strip everything away, at Rock’s core, he’s 6’4”, 265 pounds of man that will rip Cena’s throat out. Rock said at Cena’s core, he will always be a little boy who will go down in history always as the Rock’s bitch. More smiling and laughing from Cena. The two were in each other’s face at that point…then Rock’s music hit and he left.
As he did, Cena wrote on his arm and wrist. He referenced Rock’s height and weight on there. He said Rock will have to rip out his throat to win because Rock has other options and Cena’s back is against the wall. If Cena loses, he loses everything (again, how is this so?). Cena said he’s going to make history at Mania by whipping the Rock’s ass. He did a bow, then jumped into the front row of fans behind the announcers. Back in the ring, Cena posed with the Mania sign in the background. Cena hugged his dad at ringside and kissed his wife and pointed out his family including his brother in-law as the show went off the air.
(edited by geemoney on 5.3.12 2307) @gregmparks - live Tweeting of Raw and Impact, wrestling thoughts and other slices of life.
The commentary has officially hit rock bottom. They're actually reading live Tweets on the air. They're reading live Tweets on the air in the middle of matches. That's it. It can't sink any lower than this. This is officially the bottom of the barrel.
Congrats to Santino. The E needed to do something to take advantage of his recent surge and giving him the U.S. title over a heatless and inept Jack Swagger was a great move. Better move would have been for Cole to just shut his damn mouth and let the moment play out, but that's always too much to ask for from him.
On that note, I'd like to think back to the week that Ryder lost the U.S. title and people were saying, "Oh, it's ok. He's going to get the title back and have his big moment again." How's that big moment looking now? Ryder's big moment is either going to consist of getting outsmarted by Eve again or eventually outsmarting Eve, at which point...HE OUTSMARTED EVE TORRES! That's not an accomplishment!
I actually joked when Orton hit the RKO that he should grab the mic and say "It's good to be back!" And then he actually did it! I don't know if that says anything about the writing for this show or what, but that was just weird.
I remember recapping SD a few weeks ago and being stricken by the fact that there are around 25 guys floating around on the jobber-to-lower midcard level. With that many guys floating around doing absolutely nothing of note...they STILL feel the need to job out Miz and Truth in two minutes. Bloody hell.
And yet, in spite of all the negativity, after watching those HBK/HHH and Cena/Rock promos...damn, am I ever sold for Wrestlemania!
If Cena loses, he loses everything (again, how is this so?)
The unspoken idea (that might well be spoken in the next couple of weeks) is that Cena doesn't measure up to past greats like the Rock, and if loses at Mania, then this will just be confirmed that Cena wasn't in their league.
Hoooooly crap did Cena come off like a douchebag when he was smiling and chatting while Rock was inches from his face delivering that heated promo. I was waiting for Rock to slap him right then and there.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
I thought Rock was really great in that first segment, running down Cena's merch. The segments got worse each time after that, with Cena again outshining Rock in the ring. I know conventional wisdom is that Rock and Cena don't touch/fight until WM, but at least give me a pull apart at some point.
I loved the Santino US title win. It was so great that I proceeded to watch the Santino-led Foreign Exchange Youtube videos during the rest of the commercial breaks. Like It's False said, Swagger holding the title did nothing for anyone, so give me something new.
I can only hope that the Ryder and Eve thing leads to WM. Ryder can spend the next few weeks making up/out with Eve, and then Ryder interferes in the Kelly vs. Eve match and "turns" on Eve to help Kelly win.
(edited by Torchslasher on 5.3.12 2048) "Put on your helmets, we'll be reaching speeds of 3!" "It was nice of you to give that dead woman another chance." "All right, look alive everybody...oh sorry Susan."- MST3K: Space Mutiny Click Here (facebook.com)
Wow. I really dug that taped Cena promo. Kinda reminded me of the quiet, empty arena promo they did with Snuka in the buildup to the cage match with Don Muraco (minus the end where Snuka went crazy and started throwing chairs). I liked that they finally had one of the guys in the match show some reverence to the event and talk about why they're fighting and how important it would be to win.
And honestly, I felt the crowd reactions were way more in Cena's favor than they usually are. Much better than the last time he and Rocky were in Boston and they booed Cena out of the building. The Foley-esque cheap pop by mentioning Boston College pushed the crowd over into solidly supporting him and chanting "Tooth Fairy" at the Rock.
I fell asleep on the couch, but would wake up at the end of matches. I would keep my eyes open long enough for the match recap only to realize that they don't really show the slow motion pinfalls anymore. I am surprised that I never noticed this before and sad because it was such a wrestling staple. Is Smackdown even doing it anymore?
Cena smiling was actually bothering me for once this time, but in retrospect I think it makes sense. He was talking about how he wanted and needed to face The Rock at WrestleMania, and that's who showed up to run him down last night. He was smiling not because he wasn't threatened by the Rock, but because he was genuinely happy and excited that the opponent he wanted was going to show up at WrestleMania.
If anyone can talk me out of Mania, its Cena. I understand the WWE is doing everything in their power to get Cena over at the expense of Rock, but holy shit he can not get a feud over. 10 years of this guy and he can't do the little things like stop fucking smiling when someone calls him a bitch. If he is not worried about Rock then why should we buy the PPV? Bringing Rock down to Cena's level is dumb ass idea if that is what they are going for. No one wants to see average Rock, they want to see bigger than life Rock.
If you really listen and watch Cena, he is erratic. He doesn't like Dwayne, but he likes Rock, oh wait no I don't. He wants to face Rock, because he is his idol, but can't stop from smiling when Rock is being Rock. He can't take it seriously even after the super serious video package. Its Pittsburgh, not Boston who is the city of champions, jackass.
I have no idea what they are trying to accomplish He is just showing more energy than Rock which is why everyone is falling in love with Cena all of the sudden. Also, Cena still gets booed in his hometown, hell he got a tempered response when he came out. If they can't get the hint now to turn him, they never will. If anything Rock should have brought up Cena smiling, because he was afraid of Rock and was trying to be too cool, but that final promo was a mess.
As for the rest of the show. Awesome. I loved everything minus the Eve/Ryder kiss. Way too early for that. Good for Santino. The HBK/HHH promo was long, but it got what needed to be over and makes the match more intriguing. Someone said the first 45 minutes blew by til we hit the Cena promo wall. Pretty much. Good to see Jericho got a win over Punk clean, start putting in the seeds of doubt for Punk. I guess the ratings are down that Vince decided to throw me into the Big Show video packaging at X-8. You are welcome for the ratings pop, Vince, you are welcome.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.
Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
How utterly worthless is the US title. Did Ryder even have a successful defense of it before they again gave Swagger a belt without having a clue how to book him? Now Satino has it and he can't compete for longer than 60 seconds because his moveset is so limited. They need to drop this title. It's a joke and nothing else.
The writing was kind of on the wall there when they changed Layla's name to "Layla London." Palumbo I had completrely forgotten about. I want them to be where they're happy. (I wouldn't want to make assumptions about where that is, though.)...