After two fairly strong episodes of Monday Night Raw, the go-home show was part train-wreck. Smackdown was it’s regular engine that could and included a pretty strong hype video for the Rock, who is only two or so weeks away from being live on WWE TV again.
I really like the Randy Orton/Daniel Bryan dynamic, even though it doesn’t look like that’s where we’re headed for at WrestleMania. They worked well together even though the pushed feud still seems to be The Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan. You have to figure that Bryan comes out of the Elimination Chamber this Sunday with the World Title, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Wade Barrett win it considering he did the job in the tag team match to Sheamus on Smackdown.
On the Raw side, it very well looks like Chris Jericho is going to win the Raw chamber so that Punk goes into WrestleMania as the challenger. For whatever reason, on Raw, there were three matches with each chamber participant involved, which meant that there had to be three losers, which is just backwards. They could’ve been more creative instead of having Dolph Ziggler, Miz, and Kofi all look like jobbers who then are in one of the main events at this weekend’s PPV.
Triple H and Shawn Michaels had a pretty intense one-on-one promo where Michaels called HHH out for not stepping up to the table and going soft on him for not wanting to break the Undertaker’s streak. HHH’s excuse was that now that he’s part of management and it’s not good business for him to break Taker’s streak. HBK taunted him the entire time as if he was just joking or needed a pep talk. It wasn’t the greatest segment in the world, but it did show one thing and that is if you give guys time to cut passionate promos and have some semblance of where you’re going, seriousness is the way to go over comedy. HBK was more serious in this promo than John Cena has been in the last 5 years combined. Even though by now it’s old hat, I desperately want to see HHH and Taker again. That’s good booking. (Video below isn’t the complete segment, but it’s the best I could find.)
The exact opposite of this was the show-long storyline of a crippled Zack Ryder hoping to show his love to Eve since Tuesday is Valentine’s Day. He was in a wheel chair and wearing a neck brace and just looked like the biggest goofball on planet earth. Rather than being able to save his “girlfriend” from the evil Kane because he’s in a wheel chair, he instead walks in on Cena saving Eve and Even thanking him with a passionate kiss that was so uncomfortable to watch. Cena tried to apologize and so did Eve, but then she told Zack she just wanted to be friends, which just emasculated him. At the end of the show, Zack was pushed off his wheel chair from the stage to the floor and took a tumble and a half. The bump should’ve been serious, but it came off as comedy and was in bad taste as TNA wrestler Jesse Sorensen broke his neck Sunday night. (Sounds like he’s improving which is great.) Kane is somehow proving that Cena is embracing the hate. First of all, Eve kissed Cena and he cut the kiss off, albeit a bit late. And because of that, Kane is splitting up a friendship. If it turns out that Eve has been with Kane this entire time, then fine. But anything outside of that, and this thing just makes no sense. It doesn’t lead into WrestleMania at all unless John Cena goes heel, and we know he’s not going to go there.
Next week, we should have some clear visions about where the WrestleMania card is going. This past week of television didn’t really take us anywhere, but they’ve been doing good things with the Rock TV packages, which is probably the most important thing anyway. I sure hope they have an idea on how to cut the John Cena/Kane feud off after this week.