It was the RAW before Wrestlemania. And after viewing this episode, I feel that the WWE needs a few more weeks to prepare this show. They spent a lot of time building Rock and Cena, but everything else was kind of thrown together. Even the dynamite CM Punk/Undertaker angle was tossed together only a handful of weeks ago. I think one more week and maybe one or two more well constructed angles and this Wrestlemania could’ve been much more special.
John Cena Talks … We All Go To Sleep …
While I appreciated John Cena’s passion in this promo, it would’ve worked better if he were a full-fledged heel. As the Washington D.C. crowd chanted “Boring” I couldn’t help but agree. He’s either so serious and sanctimonious or so goodie two-shoes that real wrestling fans can’t get behind him when he’s on the microphone. When he’s in the ring, while he’s not the most gifted wrestler, the master of basic thugonomics really busts it and leaves it all on the floor.
The Big Show, Sheamus and Randy Orton … I Actually Like This Trio …
Despite this being slapped together (originally it was Sheamus, Ryback and Orton) recently, I actually like this trio of Sheamus, Show and Orton. In fact, make these three a faction, put them with a manager and man this would be a hot team. Big surprise tonight, they dismantled 3MB (Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater).
The Shield comes out and cuts a promo, which I loved. Dean Ambrose is just so damn weird that he’s brilliant. Seth Rollins is dynamite, he’s smooth as silk and has champion written all over him. Roman Reigns, is weakest when he’s not screaming. But the underlying message of the promo — The Shield is a team, Sheamus/Show/Orton are not and their egos will get in the way. It’s logical and I do enjoy some logic in my wrestling.
Jack Swagger Just Shouldn’t Talk, But Zeb Colter Should …
Swag just can’t cut it on the mic. Lisp or not, he just doesn’t sound smart, and his lack of eloquence is glaringly evident when his promos call him to give intellectual and politically charged promos. Now Zeb Colter (the former Dirty Dutch Mantel,) this is the first time I’ve ever heard him cut a promo as this character and damn can he talk. I’d love to see him continue on in the WWE as a heel manager and manage some of the less than eloquent heels. I think we’d have the start of something awesome.
Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler Deserve Better ‘Mania Matches, But We’ll Take This …
Definitely not as good as it seemed on paper, but still a solid match. Like I said last week, Bryan, Kane and Ziggler will be fine at ‘Mania this weekend but Big E. Langston … will need a lot of protection from these guys because he just flat out stinks. What’s frustrating for me, is that I know how good Daniel Bryan is, having watched him in his indie glory as The American Dragon. And tonight he had the crowd strongly behind him … so why can’t he have a good match at ‘Mania. Battle Jericho or someone who can actually wrestle, not be in a tag match. But I get it, Team Hell No is a great act, they produce funny stuff and so you gotta ride the hot hand. The finish to this match stunk … but they did a smart thing and made the weakest link, Big E., look like a million bucks. Big E. breaking the clutch of Kane was really smart. Doesn’t mean I like this match, but it worked for tonight.
Oh Shawn … HBK’s still got it
First off, The Undertaker is Mr. Wrestlemania, but I digress. I like that they brought Shawn Michaels back to seemingly dissuade Triple H from battling Brock Lesnar. They are pushing Lesnar as just a pure killing machine and I think that they need to do this in order to help people forget the Summerslam 2012 debacle that was HHH/Brock. And Shawn Michaels, with all his history with HHH and the cache he has with the fans, really hammered home the sense of drama in his match, especially the “career ending” aspect of the match. And then when he swerves us with ‘you better kick his ass!’ it was really special. And now that HBK is in HHH’s corner, that’s going to be a cool extra to this match. Of course, then Paul Heyman comes out and kills it on the mic. He’s just the best manager of the past two decades.
The Mighty Miz Has Fallen …
The Miz vs. Wade Barrett … on the pre-show? But Team Rhodes Scholars vs. Brodus Clay and Tensai is on the PPV? Wow. Logic, right out the window.
Zach Ryder is the New Brooklyn Brawler …
He has the words “Push Me” written on his trunks. The dude is never going to get a push again. He’s become a glorified jobber, the new school Brooklyn Brawler, except he gets offense in. Wade Barrett slapped him around and then proved he’s a bad ass by having Ryder sell his big moves like a million bucks.
Welcome Back Santino … Here’s Mark Henry
Santino Marella returns for April Fool’s Day. He entertains the crowd while Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero act poorly. So as punishment for his April Fool’s joke on them he has to face Mark Henry. So, yes “The Milan Miracle” enters the “Hall of Pain” while making us laugh.
The Rock’s next movie in 2013 Comes out in April, So is He Going to Drop the Title?
The Rock’s had a nice run in WWE and it’s all been very timed well as Snitch and G.I. Joe: Retaliation have been released and Pain & Gain and Fast & Furious 6 are being heavily promo-ed on RAW, so does that mean The Rock’s free film promo train ride is going to end this Sunday? Well, that’s just me being a cynical jerk. In regards to this ‘Mania promo … I dunno, it lacked. He spent more time talking about being president and playing to the D.C. crowd than talking about the match.
Chris Jericho vs. Antonio Cesaro … It Could’ve Been Awesome …
No, this match was good, it was. But it was a backdrop for this absurd Faaaaaaaannddaaaaangoooooo angle. Imagine Cesaro vs. Jericho at ‘Mania, that would’ve been off the charts. These two are world class performers and given time and room to be creative, they could create a classic — at least in my mind. But no, we get some solid wrestling with Captain Glitter Pants (Fandango) getting more camera time than the Swiss Machine of Wrestling (Cesaro). I hope Y2J carries Fandango to a good match.
Was The Undertaker Really Going to Eviscerate CM Punk?
That was just weird. The Undertaker was not going to disembowel CM Punk. Eviscerate was a poor choice of words. Outside of this … the final angle was AWESOME. Having Paul Heyman impersonate Paul Bearer was classic. Having the druids come out, a classic ‘Taker trick, was another nice wrinkle. Then having Punk, dressed as a druid, beat ‘Taker down and down convincingly was perfect. The icing on the cake was the emptying of the urn. While it seems silly, it was a symbolic move that really sealed the deal on this feud.