Last night we held our first ever live blog for Raw and you can see my rambling thoughts of the show in real-time by clicking here.
Let’s kick off with what the entire show was based around: The Rock and John Cena. Rocky delivered three recorded segments throughout the show from various parts of Boston. Keyword: recorded – that will come up a little later on so store that in the back of your mind.
Rock’s segments were very entertaining, especially the first one where he threw Cena merchandise into Boston Harbor. The point Rock was trying to drive home was that he was going to begin a “revolution” and take back the WWE from Cena and his antics. It kind of reminded us of Chris Jericho’s return a few years ago when he said he was going to save the WWE. It didn’t work too well for Jericho and apparently, it didn’t work all that well for The Rock.
I saw some people on the social media circuit criticize The Rock for his comments for trying to start a revolution even though he’s been away from the WWE for eight years. Point well taken, but the segments were entertaining even if they didn’t have a point. Rock tried to tie in Boston’s deep history of the Revolutionary War with his feud with Cena.
Cena delivered a recorded promo in an empty TD Garden hours before Raw. The promo lacked all the intensity that Cena had in his face-to-face encounter with the Rock a week earlier. Unlike The Rock, Cena’s promo had a point saying he “needs to win at Wrestlemania.” Cena’s promo was focused and right to the point. No theatrics and very subdued.
So, if you’re keeping score, The Rock wins when it comes to recorded promos and that plays into everything Cena has been saying about The Rock, who he dubs Mr. Hollywood. Rock can deliver the goods when it’s recorded, but has to use notes on his wrist when it comes to live promos, which Cena took a clever shot at last night with notes on his own wrist.
When it came to their face-to-face encounter, Cena came really close to his 2003 rapper gimmick. While he didn’t cut a rap, he hit Rocky with a lot of intensity and awesome one-liners. Rock came out, said his peace and left, much like Cena did very well last week, however, when Rock exited the ring, Cena picked up right where he left off and continued to slam The Rock.
These two are building a feud on actual realties and that’s what is working so well. For Cena, he continues to hammer away at The Rock’s absence, constant promos via satellite, his inability to deliver an electrifying promo live and even compared him to Mike “The Situation” from “The Jersey Shore.” Ouch.
For The Rock, he is slamming Cena with many truths: He tries too hard to be liked, fans don’t like him and he does dress in hideous colors.
I have received countless e-mails from fans asking if these two really hate each other. Don’t know the answer, but it could be true. I don’t remember a feud in the last decade where fans were asking if there was genuine hate between two wrestlers. It’s all because Rock and Cena are not using a script like 98 percent of the roster and they can say pretty much whatever they want and get away with it.
Bottom line, Rock has brought Cena’s game up a lot of notches. Cena has gone to a place he hasn’t been in years and fans are taking notice. Last night, fans chanted “Tooth Fairy” at The Rock in a show of support for Cena. Remember, Cena was booed when he made his entrance and it’s his hometown. Once he delivered another solid promo, fans started to take to him.
It won’t matter when we get to Miami for Wrestlemania as Cena will be on Rock’s turf.
**Shawn Michaels returned to confront Triple H. Michaels pandered to Triple H at first but then hits him with a swerve. Michaels reminds the fans that Triple H only accepted the match because Undertaker said Triple H needs to prove he is better than Shawn. HBK announces he is the special guest referee for the match.
Hell in the Cell matches don’t need referees to officiate over anything other than counting to three. Adding HBK is just another layer to this match and now the WWE can float the idea that HBK could cost Triple H or the Undertaker the match.
**It’s interesting that in the two years HBK has been retired, the WWE has found ways to work him into Wrestlemania. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year. What will it be next year? HBK vs. Triple H one last time?
**Miz continues to get buried. He had a match with Big Show that lasted about 85 seconds. The point of the match was to continue to set up the Big Show-Cody Rhodes feud. Basically, “insert name here” could have taken Miz’s place in the match. The match was secondary to setting up the Show-Rhodes feud and the WWE is just burying the Miz for no reason. Why waste the Miz’s talent going into the biggest pay per view of the year.
**That brings me to Randy Orton, one of the biggest stars in the WWE today. Why waste him at Wrestlemania in a match against Kane? Why not feature Orton in a more prominent match like the World Heavyweight Title match. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus will be a fine match, but it could use a little star power.
**CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho is moving along with no problems. The build to this match is very important because I don’t think they’re going to be given much time at Wrestlemania. Therefore, it’s good to build the feud up as much as possible.
**Santino won the U.S. Title from Jack Swagger, but the match and title change was in the shadow of the Teddy Long-John Laurinaitis feud. It seems these two will take the place of Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole at this year’s Wrestlemania.