TONIGHT: It’s the final stop on the Road to Wrestlemania, and it’s taking place at the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. We’ll get a face-to-face confrontation between The Rock and John Cena. Expect Mania hype to be in overdrive for all of the other (big) matches as well.
- WWE Open.
- RAW Open.
- The usual opening of fireworks and crowd panning occurred, then Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler plugged the John Cena-the Rock in-ring confrontation for later tonight.
(1) Randy Orton & Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan & Kane During Orton’s entrance, they showed Booker T. on commentary as well. Bryan shared a smooch with AJ before the match. Bryan with some kicks on Orton, but Orton responded with a high back-body drop. Hard clothesline by Orton as Bryan ran the ropes. Kane and Sheamus then each tagged in for the second segment of the match. They went back-and-forth until Sheamus hit a shoulder-tackle off the top rope for a two-count at 2:55. Sheamus chased Bryan off the apron, allowing Kane to nail Sheamus with an uppercut, sending him out of the ring. Running knee to the head by Bryan on Sheamus from the apron outside the ring. They went to break at 3:27.
Back at 6:30 with Sheamus and Bryan in the ring. Always interesting to see how much they allow PPV opponents to interact in a tag match on the go-home show. Orton tagged in and was all offense against Bryan. Vintage Orton DDT. Kane saved Bryan but Orton went out after him. I await an Orton-Bryan feud six months from now based on Kane upset that he acted human and saved Bryan. Kane tossed Orton into the barricade. Back in the ring, Kane was rolling and got a near-fall at 8:48. Side slam for two. Clothesline off the top from Orton, then he set up for the chokeslam. Orton instead greeted Kane with a standing dropkick. Orton crawled to make a tag, but both men did. Sheamus clubbed Bryan with Irish Hammers and was, in general, a house afire. Orton then joined in and they clotheslined Kane over the top rope. Orton tried an RKO on the floor, but was shoved head-first into the ring post. Sheamus set up for the Brogue Kick, but AJ ran in the middle to protect her man. As the ref ushered AJ out of the way, Sheamus missed his Kick, getting hung up on the top rope in the process. Kane chokeslammed him from the apron and Bryan made the pin.
Winners: Bryan and Kane, at 11:34. Interesting finish and sets into motion a question of AJ’s role at Wrestlemania.
-They showed a video of The Rock rock-bottoming John Cena from Wrestlemania last year, countering Cena’s Attitude Adjustment on the Raw the week before. Tonight, Cena and Rock will have their final confrontation before Mania.
-The exterior of the Phillips Arena was shown.
-A graphic aired for Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny. In the ring, Cole put on a red “Team Johnny” t-shirt, with John Laurinaitis’ face on it. Cole said he just learned he’ll be the official commentator for Team Johnny at Wrestlemania. Laurinaitis was then introduced. He walked on stage and brought out the official flag-bearer of Team Johnny, Vickie Guerrero. She came out waving a flag with Laurintais’ mug on it. David Otunga was introduced by Laurinaitis as the team captain. He came out and posed, appearing extra oiled-up this week. As they came to the ring, Cole was shown sitting ringside wearing his t-shirt. Booker T. said he was tired of this, so he stood on the announce desk and called out the man who will send Laurinaitis back to his cubicle, Teddy Long. Long walked out and danced on the stage. Long brought out his team captain, Santino Marella, with Team Teddy’s flag bearer, Hornswoggle. Santino wore a blue shirt with Teddy Long’s pic on it. And we’ve got a match!
(2) David Otunga vs. Santino Marella Shoulder knock-down by Otunga, then another as the crowd chanted for Santino. Drop toe-hold, then a front face-lock by Marella. Otunga blasted him from behind with a clothesline. Otunga waved the Team Johnny flag and posed. But then Hornswoggle entered the ring and waved the Team Teddy flag. Otunga took it away and went to hit Horny with it, but it bounced off the top rope and hit Otunga in the head. That dazed him and allowed Santino to hit the Cobra for the win.
Winner: Marella, at 1:30. More of an angle than a match with what came next…
Laurinaitis was hot after the match. He threw the Teddy flag down and got in Long’s face. Marella knelt behind Laurinaitis and Long shoved him over Santino. Laurinaitis got even madder and Santino set up for the Cobra behind Johnny’s back, but Miz ran out and connected on the Skull Crushing Finale. Laurinaitis introduced Miz as the newest member of Team Teddy…but then he corrected himself and said Team Johnny. How do you botch that? The heels celebrated after the segment. That saves Miz from being the only full-time active (non-injured) roster member to miss Wrestlemania a year after main eventing.
-CM Punk takes on Christian tonight.
-Next: A closer look at Triple H vs. Undertaker.
-Lawler thanked Flo Rida for “Wild Ones,” one of the Wrestlemania theme songs. He’ll also be playing The Rock to the ring at Mania.
-They aired a clip of Rock and Cena from the day after Mania last year, where they set up the match for this year’s PPV.
-Some old clips of Triple H and Undertaker’s most successful moments were shown, spliced in together, leading to them meeting at last year’s Wrestlemania. Promo bits from both men were shown in too over their match last year and confrontations this year.
-The announcers talked on-camera, with Cole plugged the Wrestlemania Press Conference in Miami on Wednesday at 2:30 EST, and can be seen on WWE.com and YouTube.
-Eve Torres came to the ring with Beth Phoenix. She’s got a match next.
-Lawler thanked Madonna for “Girl Gone Wild,” another theme song for Mania. I don’t remember that one being used yet, or at least, definitely not as much as the others.
(3) Eve Torres vs. Kelly Kelly Kelly led the crowd in a “hoski” chant as soon as the match began. Jackknife cover by Kelly for two. Eve grabbed the hair and pounded Kelly into the mat while yelling at her. Then Beth did some yelling too as Eve choked Kelly on the bottom rope. Eve choked Kelly in the corner and went for a pin. Rest-hold was next. Headscissors take-down by Kelly once she created separation from Eve. Eve put Kelly down and went to the top rope for a moonsault. Kelly rolled out of the way then hooked in a magistra cradle for the win.
Winner: Kelly, at 2:27. Longish match by Divas standards, but they weren’t asked to do too much.
-Another Rock vs. Cena hype video, this time, their tag team match from Survivor Series.
-CM Punk was walking backstage. He faces Christian next.
-Christian and Punk both came to the ring for their match. Christian wore a Team Johnny t-shirt. When Punk got to the ring, Chris Jericho appeared on the TitanTron. He aired the Punk family dirty laundry again, then said he did more digging and found out facts about Punk’s mom. Well that was bound to happen. Jericho said Punk’s mom has no vices and said there’s finally someone in the Punk family who is respectable. Unfortunately, Punk’s parents were married after Punk was born, making Punk the legal definition of the word “bastard.” That was allowed to sink in before Christian attacked Punk from behind. He continued the onslaught and tossed Punk out of the ring. No bell to start the match, but Punk unloaded on Christian outside the ring by tossing him head-first into the announce table, then kicked him in the head. Punk elbowed Christian in the throat several times, then went to the stairs. “Where you at Jericho?” he asked. Punk put Christian on his shoulders and brought him down face first atop the stairs. Anaconda Vice then applied. A number of referees came down to pull Punk off of Christian. Punk faked going to the back and applied the move once again. After replays, Punk posed with the WWE Title.
-The Atlanta skyline was shown.
-The announcers talked about what just happened and said Christian may have reinjured his neck. Cole said WWE.com will have more details on the injury (Cole was also back to his suit and no Johnny t-shirt).
(4) “Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay vs. Curt Hawkins The Fuankasaurus debuted against Hawkins, so it appears he’s on his second time through the order. Hawkins had the advantage to start and took Clay down to one knee. Headbutt to the chest reversed course for this match. Overhead suplex then a splash for the victory.
Winner: Clay, at 1:04. They’ve gotta find something at Mania for Clay, right?
-A war of words between Cena and Rock were shown. It was actually just part of Cena’s promo against Rock from a month ago.
-The announcers asked fans to visit WWE.com to see who will be doing inducting this year’s class into the WWE HOF. FYI: DX inducts Tyson, Christian to induct Edge, Del Rio inducts Mascaras, Dusty Rhodes inducts the Horsemen, JBL to induct Ron Simmons, The Usos induct Yokozuna.
(5) The Big Show vs. Primo During Show’s entrance, they showed Cody pummeling Show last week. Cole broke the news of Christian being medically ruled out of the match at Wrestlemania. It was all Big Show as he chopped Primo and chokeslammed him for the win.
Winner: Show, about :40.
A distraction by Rosa Mendes led to Epico attacking Show from behind. He was quickly disposed with a chokeslam. Then Cody Rhodes’ music hit. He told Show not to chase after him since there’s no way he could catch him. Nice. Rhodes said, “it’s only natural for humans to err, but only a fool preservers in error.” Or something like that. Rhodes said his name will now be a verb, where students will hope they don’t Big Show on a final, or men in a bar hoping they don’t Big Show with the ladies. I guess it’s similar to “Schruting it.” Rhodes promised that Show will be the biggest fool of all at Mania. BTW, John Laurinaitis Tweeted that he has selected Drew McIntyre to replace Christian.
-Tonight, Cena and Rock have their final confrontation, live.
-Another Lord Tensai vignette aired.
-The Bellas argued over whether Team Johnny or Team Teddy was better. They each wore their respective team’s t-shirt. Zack Ryder walked up and said Team Johnny doesn’t have him on the team. One of the Bellas insulted Zack saying she changed her mind about him. He told her to change her face, so both Bellas were offended and walked off. Eve came up to Zack and asked if he’d stay at her hotel (even though all the Team Teddy teammates are staying in the same hotel). Eve said after Mania, they’ll celebrate.
-Josh Mathews was backstage with CM Punk. Punk cut Mathews off and told him to go ask Christian how Punk feels. Punk said Jericho can call him whatever he wants, but his family is off-limits. He said what Jericho said about his sister is a fabrication, and what he said about his mother is a total lie too. He’s not a bastard…he’s the best wrestler in the world.
-Great Khali and Mark Henry were shown on a split screen, walking backstage. They square off next.
(6) Mark Henry vs. The Great Khali Laurinaitis came to the ring with Henry. Long came out with Khali. During Henry’s entrance, they showed what transpired between Team Teddy and Team Johnny earlier in the night. Cole announced that McIntyre would replace Christian on Team Johnny. Khali hit a brain chop and Henry responded with a World’s Strongest Slam for the quickie win.
Winner: Henry, at :46.
Henry shouted at Long after the match. Laurinaitis, from behind, tossed Long into the ring. The rest of Team Johnny was waved down. Otunga was wearing his shirt like a bib. They came down to block the way in case Team Teddy help came out. Henry backed Long into a corner in the ring while Santino Marella and Zack Ryder ran down. They were held at bay, as was R-Truth. Finally Kofi Kingston ran out, hopped onto the apron then springboarded off the top rope…right into a World’s Strongest Slam. Henry got Long up for the World’s Strongest Slam, but Booker T came from the announce table to make the save. Axe kick laid out Henry. Team Teddy gathered in the ring, where Long thanked Booker for helping him, but said the best way to thank him would be to ask him to join Team Teddy at Wrestlemania. Booker replied with a “can you dig that, sucka?!?” Which I guess means “yes.” Then he hit a spinaroonie.
-The next Cena-Rock video covered last Monday, when Cena beat Mark Henry.
-Cena and Rock come face-to-face next.
-Lawler thanked MGK featuring Ester Dean for “Invincible.” Machine Gun Kelly will be playing John Cena to the ring.
-Cole reminded viewers that Wrestlemania begins at 7pm EST this Sunday night.
-The Rock came out first for the main event segment. Rock paused a long time for chants that never really picked up. A few people did a “Boots 2 Asses” chant but no more. Rock began by talking about Wrestlemania 20, the match many people thought was his last match. Since then, everywhere he goes, people have asked when he’s coming back. He added a few jokes in there as well as a Betty White reference. Rock said he didn’t know when he was coming back until last year, when he went down to Georgia. He talked about the Rock Bottom Heard ‘Round The World, and said he knew the wait was over when he hit that move. The next night, in that very arena… “Boots 2 Asses” chant, but also some boos. He said history was made that night because of the fans. And finally in six days, the Rock returns to the Grandest Stage of al-time. “Finally, the Rock has come back to Atlanta,” he snuck in. Rock said there’s only one man the Rock’s fans want to see him face Sunday, and that man is John Cena. Lots of boos for Cena, but not overwhelming. Rock said Cena’s first Mania was his last and now, Cena has transcended WWE and has become one of the biggest stars the business has ever seen, but he’ll never face anyone like the Rock. Rock was about to tell the fans (and Cena) what would happen on Sunday, but before he could, Cena walked out.
Cena entered the ring and encouraged more fan reaction. He said that reaction (boos) is what will happen at Mania, but that’s nothing new to him. Cena disagreed with Rock saying Cena would never see anyone like the Rock. He’s half-right; Cena insisted Rock will never see anyone like HIM. He said for the last year, he has listened to trash talk from the best trash talker, who even brought his mom into a promo. But Cena said he’s here, just like he is every week, with a smile on his face. He said Rock talks trash the best, but is not the first. Cena said people always trash talk him when they want to get ahead, so many that it rivals the amount of nicknames Rock has for his penis. “Let’s go Cena/Cena sucks” chant. Cena said you can’t overlook the emotion and passion that occurs when he gets into the ring. He summed it up with “Let’s go Cena, Cena sucks.” Cena said Rock has turned his back on the WWE Universe but finally there’s someone who just does what the t-shirt says (himself, rising above hate). Cena said he rises above, and he wins. Cena said people who are sick of him throw their best at him, but he rises above and he wins. Cena said love him or hate him, people know that he’s going to win at Mania.
Cena wanted to throw some more truth at Rock, one of them being that he’s been an active member of the WWE roster longer than Rock has. And he’s been in the company when it hasn’t always been cool to be a WWE Superstar. Why would you even mention that on your TV show? Cena said after Mania, like goes on for the Rock, including starring in GI Joe. But after Mania, Cena said his office doesn’t change and it’s still his life. Cena said he’ll be damned if Rock comes in as a visitor and takes his life from him. Ten years, and he’s just getting started. Cena said no one remembers second place, that’s why he has to win this match. Rock responded by saying he knows how important the match is to Cena, but it’s just as important to him. He said the people know that he’s no God damn visitor to WWE (partially bleeped, as Cena used the GD term too and it was bleeped better). Rock said the people know Cena has never had an opponent that he can’t overcome, until the Rock. Rock said they know it’s more than just a match, that Rock has come back after all these years to beat Cena. He said it drives him, never before has a man been able to say he’s walked into Wrestlemania and beat Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, and John Cena. On a professional wrestler, Rock needs to beat Cena to be the greatest WWE Superstar of all-time. On a personal level, he just doesn’t like Cena.
Rock said he’s going to give Cena an ass-kicking of a lifetime. No smirking from Cena. He said you can bet your ass the fans know it too. Cena: “It doesn’t matter what you think.” Cena said he’s made a living of being the guy you can’t see, but Rock will definitely see him on Sunday, and the headline will read, “John Cena whips the Rock’s ass at Wrestlemania.” They were face to face at this point and continued jawing off-mic as the show ended.
(edited by geemoney on 26.3.12 2312) @gregmparks - live Tweeting of Raw and Impact, wrestling thoughts and other slices of life.
Holy hell, what an unremarkable go-home show. I blame a big part of that on the crowd, who were dead for a vast majority of the show. The only one they really reacted to was Booker.
Congrats to Drew McIntyre for making the Wrestlemania card. It's just too bad that he wasn't even good enough for a backstage segment or a throwaway bit. He had to have his recruitment shuffled off as a mere Twitter plug, which shows just how little he matters. And on that note, I'd imagine Christian had a setback to get pulled off the PPV. What a bummer.
So out of the 12 members of Team Johnny and Team Teddy...only Santino, Henry, and Ziggler have an ounce of credibility, while everyone else has been on jobber duty or running in circles. Yikes!
The opening match essentially gave away the ending to Sheamus/Bryan. I would have bet the house on that being the finish for the PPV.
And that's it. No final hard sell for UT/HHH, which shocks me. Jericho already seems to have his foot halfway out the door, considering he hasn't been around for the last two weeks. And a weak Cena/Rock promo to end the show. No sir, I didn't like this week's Raw.
Originally posted by It's False I'd imagine Christian had a setback to get pulled off the PPV. What a bummer.
(edited by It's False on 26.3.12 2019)
That's what I thought at first, but thinking about it more I'm guessing that Christian will get revenge on Punk and will help his old buddy Jericho beat Punk for the title. Jericho and Christian have always been loads of fun when they've been aligned. I mostly agree with the rest of your comments on Raw.
Every time The Rock and Cena start talking about what the People, you and me want I feel like Mommy and Daddy are fighting again. This was one of their better promos, but nothing would make me happier then to see the crowd turn on these two like Brock/Goldberg.
The Funkasaurus is losing steam.
Vickie has no idea how to wave a flag.
I really liked the Team Johnny shirts and flags, but was sad that team Teddy did the same thing. That doesn't seem like a Teddy Long deal.
Mark Henry shutting down Khali like a beast was probably the highlight of tonight's show.
I am glad that The Road to WrestleMania is finally drawing to a close. It felt a lot like driving through the midwest ... not a whole lot to see.
Originally posted by It's FalseCongrats to Drew McIntyre for making the Wrestlemania card. It's just too bad that he wasn't even good enough for a backstage segment or a throwaway bit.
Drew and Abe Washington were having an animated conversation in the background of the Bellas/Ryder/Eve segment. It's a small deal, and seems to be about Washington if anything, but at least Drew wasn't "Curtis Hawkins".
(Drew also looked liked the happiest man in the world during that Team Johnny vs Team Teddy brawl, for obvious reasons.)
This show sorely lacked the gravitas befitting Wrestlemania, but that's been the case for the last few years now, I guess. WM essentially sells itself. The Teddy/Johnny thing in particular seems like something from a smackdown-only PPV in mid 2003 rather than a major WM match that's been given hours of airtime over the past month. But whatever. I'll still watch Mania. I have a fairly empty life.
I can't quit you, rumors about who will comprise Team Johnny/Team Teddy. Call me crazy, but I think we'll get at least one more lineup change before the actual match --- someone will get replaced or "injured" and they'll slot in some old legend to make a surprise appearance, or maybe have Lord Tensai step in for McIntyre and make a huge debut by killing everyone.
"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
So, is the deal while Wade Barrett is out injured, his fellow ex-Nexus mate gets to steal his entrance jacket and shrug it off his shoulders before he heads down the ramp? The only thing missing on the jacket was the rose.
Booker was a nice surprise as the 6th member of Team Teddy. I didn't think his being on commentary was for any other reason than to give him a chance to work on a little rhythm with Cole and Lawler to join them for Sunday.
If I wasn't already decided on Mania, they didn't do anything this week to sway me towards ordering.
BDL is right, Vickie really doesn't know how to wave a flag.
Horrible show. So glad I didn't buy tickets,and I'm ashamed at the lack of crowd reaction in my city. Boo on you Peach State.
As much as I despise Booker T's commentary, he does one Spinaroonie and I'm all #danielbryanyes! all over again.
That Divas match was way too long.
Punk vs. Jericho > than entire Wrestlemania show. Who knew Hot Newz was semi-correct about Jericho bringing Punk's mother into the feud? Thanks for coming out Christian.
I get the strangest feeling they are going to "Brodus Clay" A-Train/Lord Tensai's return. Like instead of giving him the "monster who left for Japan and came back as a faster more technical monster" gimmick he'll instead act more like a comic relief stereotype from an anime. Like Goku as a kid or something.
I wonder if they showed the Rock/Cena special on the Titantron as the fans filed in, rather than dark matches. Could explain the tepid crowd reaction to the last segment? I'll go along with the opinion that it was not the best WM go-home show ever, maybe everyone was somewhat Rock/Cena'd out.
You'd think that McIntyre getting a spot in the 12-man suggests he'll get a payoff to the losing streak angle, but the lack of attention to his addition suggests against it. Maybe he'll get a chance on SmackDown to set up his role.
That certainly wasn't Albert's face shown in the vignette, I guess Lord Tensai is coming with valet - gives him someone to lord over.
I know they signed Menounos for mainstream publicity, but this Divas match is bizarre in the lack of on-show promotion of a WM celebrity. Anyone know if the E got at least a mention on DWtS out of it?
I can only assume that the powers behind the scenes also noticed the diminishing returns in HHH/Taker/HBK promos, and so they went with the video package instead.
So does Jericho need to teach Kane how to get someone to 'Embrace the Hate', or does Punk need to teach Cena how to sell it?
Speaking of Cena and his promo about what the Rock match means to him.. man, the heel turn is just sitting there for the taking. Cena resents Rock for leaving while he is there day in, day out. "Love me or hate me, people know I'm going to win." How far of a leap is it from that promo to "My name is Stone Cold Steve Austin, and I don't deserve to be treated like this!" (And it doesn't have to be Cena loses - Cena cheats to win because he HAD to win this match is such a classic way to turn a face.)
Originally posted by TheOldMan That certainly wasn't Albert's face shown in the vignette, I guess Lord Tensai is coming with valet - gives him someone to lord over.
The Japanese person in the vignette was apparently FCW's Sakamoto, who used to wrestle in Michinoku Pro as Kazma. He and Hiroshi Takizawa have been in developmental since last summer. I have no idea how good they are.
I guess I was the only one who really liked that last Rock/Cena promo. I thought they did a great job getting over the idea that Cena smiles all the time because he's got no reason to sweat anyone - he always wins. But although he's beaten everyone who's ever challenged him, he hasn't faced the Rock. The Rock is literally the immovable object colliding with Cena's unstoppable force.
I pretty much gave up as soon as Funkasourous hit the ring. For all the shit Cena has been throwing Rock's way about no being a full time player, can someone on that roster nail Taker and HHH with that next week. Not even to show up on the Raw before Mania, any of them is ridiculous. This Raw needed an 20 minute eight man tag between most of the main eventers with Rock as the special referee or even Shawn. They have talked so much during most all of their big feuds that the show is boring as hell. The only interesting storyline has been the GM one mainly due to the fact the people involved have wrestled one another.
I feel bad for Christian, to come so far and still be left off the card has to suck. I would suspect he will do Edge's HOF induction and maybe get some air time in the backstage segment or come out with Team Johnny. Speaking of the HOF. We are in Atlanta, WCW country and no Horsemen spotlight? Are you fucking kidding me? There is a reason Booker got that monster pop. Then again, Atlanta fans are notoriously terrible.
I am dreading this Mania. I shouldn't. On paper, this looks like one of the biggest Manias in the last 10 years, but the build has been so terrible and the prospects of some of the winners in these matches look awful. If Cena doesn't turn after all this build at Mania or on Monday night then, we are going to be stuck with another summer of Cena being the goof ball unstoppable force who will probably beat Jericho for the title while Punk is moved back down the card. I think we are in for a long and boring spring/summer.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.
Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
Originally posted by lotjxI am dreading this Mania. I shouldn't. On paper, this looks like one of the biggest Manias in the last 10 years, but the build has been so terrible and the prospects of some of the winners in these matches look awful. If Cena doesn't turn after all this build at Mania or on Monday night then, we are going to be stuck with another summer of Cena being the goof ball unstoppable force who will probably beat Jericho for the title while Punk is moved back down the card. I think we are in for a long and boring spring/summer.
Jesus, just stop. Like, everything you say in this paragraph is hysterically wrongheaded. I feel like you must have missed at least two thirds of the WrestleManias in the last ten years alone to call this year's build terrible.
You ever have a really important assignment in school that's so big that they give it to you well in advance of when it's due? And you never worry about it because you know you've got so much time and the turn-in date is so far away? And so you relax the whole time, and you briefly do some work with it here and there to feel productive, but you put all the hard parts off for later? And then before you know it, it's due in a week, and you hadn't put much thought into it, and you scramble to make something passable so you don't fail? And it's okay, even good in parts, but you know you could've and should've done a lot better if you'd put in the effort it deserved that you know you were capable of?
That's the last five weeks of Rock/Cena to me.
All in all, seems like the entire Mania buildup ran out of things to say two weeks ago. Which is fine -- doing nothing is better than doing more stuff that just makes the program worse (Bret/Vince, HHH/Orton).
Originally posted by Big BadI can't quit you, rumors about who will comprise Team Johnny/Team Teddy.
What an unforgettable ride it's been. Even when we thought it was over, it wasn't over. ("It's not over!" - Jim Ross before he was taken out of the pre-show signature.) And when , of the three injured heels that Laurinaitis and Otunga brought in for the Elimination Chamber photo op, only one of them made it to the team. The other two ... were still injured (although Meltzer says Del Rio is actually ready to go, so not sure what the story is there).
Swinging Miz/McIntyre for Christian/Del Rio does bring Team Ace a little closer to Team Playa's level. Probably the best day of Drew McIntyre's life since Tiffany beat him up at SummerSlam 2010 weekend though. Good on ya, Drew. Booker is in much better shape than Foley, though a lesser star. Going six per side made sense at the time but because of injuries they kind of ended up biting off more than they could chew.
Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Great Khali, Booker T, Rey Mysterio, Evan Bourne, Mick Foley, Brodus Clay, Ezekiel Jackson, Sin Cara w/ Teddy Long, Hornswoggle, Aksana, Nikki Bella, Naomi, Cameron
David Otunga, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Miz, Drew McIntyre, Christian, Alberto Del Rio w/ John Laurinaitis, Vickie Guerrero, Michael Cole, Ricardo Rincon, Brie Bella
Originally posted by lotjxI pretty much gave up as soon as Funkasourous hit the ring. For all the shit Cena has been throwing Rock's way about no being a full time player, can someone on that roster nail Taker and HHH with that next week. Not even to show up on the Raw before Mania, any of them is ridiculous. This Raw needed an 20 minute eight man tag between most of the main eventers with Rock as the special referee or even Shawn. They have talked so much during most all of their big feuds that the show is boring as hell. The only interesting storyline has been the GM one mainly due to the fact the people involved have wrestled one another.
Less is more when it comes to HHH and Taker wrestling. Jericho has to stay out of the ring with and vicinity of Punk so Punk can finally get his hands on him at Mania. I thought the show was boring but I don't think putting them in matches is the solution.
Last week was the go-home Raw, this was basically the free preview show they run for an hour before the PPV starts.
ED: I did not think this was a double post! But now I've already rented out the space. So.
Originally posted by JustinShapiroYou ever have a really important assignment in school that's so big that they give it to you well in advance of when it's due? And you never worry about it because you know you've got so much time and the turn-in date is so far away? And so you relax the whole time, and you briefly do some work with it here and there to feel productive, but you put all the hard parts off for later? And then before you know it, it's due in a week, and you hadn't put much thought into it, and you scramble to make something passable so you don't fail? And it's okay, even good in parts, but you know you could've and should've done a lot better if you'd put in the effort it deserved that you know you were capable of?
That's the last five weeks of Rock/Cena to me.
Yeah, that about sums it up. It's kind of weird that, on a show where I walked away being less interested in every other Wrestlemania match than I was heading in, the final Rock/Cena confrontation was the one where they finally got around to saying some of the things that they should have been saying since at least the fall.
One of them finally getting around to noting that Cena's actually been a WWE Superstar longer than The Rock was ever a WWF Superstar was well overdue (though I thought it would be Rock who said it, in a "I did more than you'll ever do in half the time" way). Cena nicely hit on what should have been his motivation all along (the line about being goddamn sure that he couldn't let a part-timer come in and beat him). And though he had to dance around it for obvious reasons, Rock brought it down as close as he could to "I am the People's Champion, and I came back because The People don't want you anymore", which should have been his motivation for a while now, though I wished he'd dinged Cena on the "Unlike you, Rock, I was here when wrestling wasn't cool" by perhaps suggesting there might be a connection between cool wrestling/The Rock vs. uncool wrestling/John Cena.
The really interesting thing, though, was Cena become self-aware and pointing out that he's not worried because John Cena Always Wins. Partly because it's terrific heeling against the people who hate him (which he acknowledged) and it's the reason they hate him and why they'd be looking for The Rock (who lost plenty and also had the decency to go away when people got tired of him at the end) to come back and do something about it. But also because Cena being so meta about the fact that he never loses is the first time that made me think he might not win, or else why have him acknowledge the fact that he's invincible? I mean, at the very least, you can't book him to win clean after he brags about the fact that he always wins, right?
The only real missed opportunity last night - and this is more of a case that it's something that they should have done weeks, if not months ago - is that Cena only briefly got to touch on the idea that the fans once hated Rocky Maivia as much, if not more, than they hate John Cena. How did they never get around to Cena playing "DIE ROCKY DIE" clips to the crowd, and people cheering on Brock Lesnar over The Rock? It's a huge plot point that should have been the center of this feud: the people will always turn on you, and when they do, what do you do about it? Cena's stance is "I don't care, I stick to my guns and I think this makes me right." Rock's stance should be "Yeah, I turned it righ back on them, and guess what? They loved me when I did it, why can't you see that?" The Rock exists only because he Embraced The Hate, after all.
If nothing else comes out of this, it's at least gotten Cena back to a much better place on the mic. The guy is a natural quick smartass, and this has finally let him work that back into his regular delivery, which has made him vastly more entertaining.
Originally posted by JustinShapiroBooker is in much better shape than Foley, though a lesser star.
Is that true anymore? The lesser star part, obviously. It really feels like the shine has come off Foley with today's crowd, while Booker gets a major reaction every time he gets in the ring even though he's there every week and even had a feud in the recent past.
In retrospect, the right use for Foley would have been the guy to suggest Hell In A Cell as the stipulation for HHH/Taker, since he's got history with all three guys in that match and the Cell itself.
Anyway, really sad about Christian on Raw. Brutal haircut, man.
Well, the WWE's fiscal year (in regards to pay-per-views) is over (since Backlash this year is in May), which gives us a full couple years numbers to check out. Sure, the WWE's average PPV is being bought by fewer fans...