It was yet another uninspired edition of Raw. I’m not sure what they’re waiting for. Or maybe they think they’re putting on compelling TV. But this has been the worst WrestleMania build in years.
The Rock vs. John Cena in a verbal debate.
The main event segment featured The Rock and John Cena going toe-to-toe on the mic, but this time, they weren’t the only ones in the ring. Mick Foley, Booker T, Dusty Rhodes, and Bret Hart were Hall of Fame question askers. They had questions for the two combatants and they wanted answers. Jerry Lawler MC’d it. Ric Flair was supposed to be there but was sent home because of health reasons.
The segment went on forever. There was some good, but also some bad. It was really a summary of what’s bad about the product right now. The Rock was really good in trying to get across why he’s better than Cena. But he’ll always be good at that. John Cena was horrendous at trying to get over why he’ll win. He didn’t really have an answer other than an excuse. Booker T asked him why he thinks he can beat Rock this time. Cena answered that it was because he had to until the Rock egged him on a bit. He then went on to say that he beat himself in the match and that it was his mistake that allowed the Rock to win. This is the opposite of what he should say. He came across as a bitchy whiner and it only gave Rock’s character more reason to gloat.
It was fun to see the legends, but really, they added nothing. Rock used Flair’s “To be the man, you have to beat the man,” quote as an homage to him and it worked tremendously, but if were to try and tell someone what this story is about, it’s that the Rock is the bigger and better star and Cena needs to be perfect to beat him. And even if he does, 7 times out of 10, Rock would win anyway, so Cena is more like Cinderella than the better guy.
Rock hit the Rock Bottom on the whiny guy to end the show.
Chris Jericho makes chicken salad.
When I heard that Jericho was going to face Fandango at WrestleMania, my mind was blown. It seemed like a terrible idea considering Fandango hasn’t even wrestled one match yet. But on Smackdown last weekend and on Raw Monday, it has worked. Jericho is the fiery babyface and Fandango is a snobby heel who athletically looks to be able to hold his own.
I don’t think they’ll get the time and you never know how Fandango will perform being that he hasn’t even wrestled on TV yet, but if anyone can outperform his spot, it’s Chris Jericho.
Wake me up when CM Punk is entertaining again.
I already said I was very worried that this was going to happen. I didn’t want Punk to be overshadowed to the extent that all the work he did last year would be forgotten. But, I also didn’t think he’d be this bad. The feud with the Undertaker has been terribly cartoonish and Punk’s reasons for being able to beat the Undertaker haven’t been any different than what past competitors have said. They have a lot to live up to. The last four Taker matches at WrestleMania were fantastic. The builds were all damn good. But this one doesn’t feel that way yet. They have one more week, but the match I was most looking forward to just a few weeks ago has lost a ton of steam.
At least Taker looked better during his run-in. He looks like he’s getting into shape.
And the rest…
– Mark Henry destroyed the Usos. They utilize him so well. I’d be fine with another Henry championship run.
– Antonio Cesaro beat Alberto Del Rio by count out when Jack Swagger attacked poor Ricardo again after breaking his ankle last week. Del Rio is the lamest WWE champion in a very long time.
– Team Hell No beat the PTP’ers while Big E and Ziggy watched. They also used Team Hell No in a backstage segment with Kaitlyn to help set up the Kaitlyn vs. AJ feud. AJ threw her right into a drinking fountain. It looked awesome.
– Triple H cut a very short and to the point promo, but didn’t say anything ground breaking. He said he was going to kick Brock Lesnar’s ass.
– The Miz beat Wade Barrett. Barrett started the match off after being low blowed by Triple H while he was walking to the ring. Miz took advantage of his balls! Not really. He just Figured Four’d him.
– Finally the Shield had another match, beating Zack Ryder, Great Khali, and Justin Gabriel. They did the triple power bomb on Khali which looked awesome. Sheamus, Orton, and Big Show came out and emptied the ring. Earlier in the show, the Shield attacked Sheamus and Randy before Big Show saved them. So Show is in the match and he’s their savior.
– Team Rhodes Scholars beat Brodus Clay and Sweet T. This is our punishment for this show being three hours.
– Ryback beat Team 3MB all by himself. Three wasn’t better than one. He and Henry are going to have a weight lifting competition on Smackdown. If a shoot, Ryback is in grave danger.
– AJ beat Kaitlyn by count out. Give me crazy AJ as the champ!
Here’s the card so far:
John Cena vs. The Rock
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar
CM Punk vs. The Undertaker
Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio
Sheamus, Randy Orton, and The Big Show vs. The Shield
Mark Henry vs. Ryback
Dolph Ziggler and Big E vs. Team Hell No
Chris Jericho vs. Fandago
I’m not sure I liked even three segments on the entire show. There’s only one Raw left until WrestleMania in the most lackluster build in quite a while.