Home > WWE > Raw Reaction 28/03/11(Rock/Cena Faceoff)

Raw Reaction 28/03/11(Rock/Cena Faceoff)

The show opens live from Chicago, Ilinois with no RAW intro, and we see CM Punk sitting cross legged in the middle of the ring, the arena in darkness, whilst a spotlight illuminates him. The crowd are chanting his name and he says he’ll miss this. He then elaborates, saying that he’s sure he won’t receive as warm a reaction at Wrestlemania than he is with his people in Chicago. The crowd cheers for the hometown boy Punk and he continues on to say it doesn’t matter to him if all the New Nexus got punted in the head. It’s not his problem. His problem is “Randall Keith Orton” and he shows video footage from last weeks attack outside Orton’s tour bus. Punk is a master of the mic and did great here, eliciting some heat but generally his hometown advantage gave him a lot of cheers. Orton eventually came out, his leg bandaged. Wow, a top superstar actually selling an injury?! Madness. The day Cena sells an injury will be the day Katie Vick makes a big comeback.

Wasting no time Orton gets into the ring, and the two scuffle, with Orton managing to hit a sick looking middle rope DDT on Punk. Orton gets up and goes to the corner, ready to punt him in the head but as he runs his leg gives way and Punk slides out of the ring. That was a cool moment. Not exactly the pinnacle of innovation but they’re using the injury and it works well. Punk realises he’s got an advantage and gets back into the ring, attacking Orton’s leg. He then hits the Viper with a GTS, leaving him lying in the middle of the ring. If you read last week, I said I’m loving how this feud getting little time and making the best of it, but I’m starting to crave more of Punk every week, he’s in a league of his own.

Awww, does it hurt-does it hurt-does it hurt?

Backstage Christian meets Edge, and they make their way out to the ring.

Edge and Christian Vs. Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay

According to the Wrestlemania graphic depicting the World Heavyweight Championship Match between the reigning champ Edge and challenge Del Rio, Christian and Brodus Clay will be in Edge and Del Rio’s corner, respectively. Cool, but a shame that Christian isn’t getting to wrestle. The match starts off with E&C going after Brodus Clay, throwing him out of the ring. Christian goes for a crossbody plancha to the outside on Brodus, who catchs him. Edge then hits a baseball slide to Christian’s back, knocking Brodus onto the floor, that was a cool spot. After the break Del Rio and Clay are beating down on Christian. Cole mentions on commentary: “Notice how they’re working over the chest of Christian.” Really? I’ve never heard of a chest being worked over. Christian hits a fantastic tornado DDT on Del Rio, and tags in Edge, who goes to town on the huge Clay. Edge waits in the corner for a spear, stomping his feet onto the mat. Del Rio sweeps his feet and Christian brawls with him on the outside. Clay tries to splash a prone Edge in the corner, who moves and runs off the ropes, hitting a huge spear on the big man for the 1,2,3.

(**) – A nice little quick TV tag match with some nice moments.

After the match, Edge chases Del Rio to the back as he was holding Christian in the Cross Arm Breaker on the entrance ramp. Edge goes back to help his buddy and Del Rio comes back, hitting Edge from behind and putting him in the Cross Arm Breaker too. This was effective and kept concise too.

Another new Sin Cara hype video airs, and it’s getting even more ridiculous, with a big Mortal Kombat-esque arena surrounding the ring in which Sin Cara hits high flying moves on a nameless wrestler. The Sin Cara logo is pretty sweet too.

We then get a shot of Snooki and Trish Stratus in a bar in New Jersey, as I reported on Monday that the segment had been taped a week prior. Then we see The Miz with his M championship belt, and a big WWE logo upside down which he takes a picture of on his phone.

At the announcer’s desk the anonymous RAW General Manager buzzes in and Cole tells Lawler from the Cole Mine that he’s got this one on his iPad. It looked nothing like an iPad, but whatever. Later on it’ll be Lawler Vs. Swagger, Cole’s trainer for Wrestlemania.

A video package runs recapping the Triple H/Undertaker faceoff last month, and then running into both mens careers and histories at Wrestlemania(their own match at Wrestlemania X-Seven still being forgotten). This was a fantastic package, but my problem is this, it felt like the package that you’d expect to see before the match on the show. Maybe there’ll be a different one on Wrestlemania, but if there isn’t I don’t know why it was given away. That’s just picking though, they’re about to have a 20 minute promo as it is, seemed like it was going to be overkill. Regardless, another stellar piece of editing work from WWE, the song was awesome too and really went with the story. It’s In Time by Mark Collie.

The Corre are waiting in the ring with Justin Gabriel for his upcoming match.

Justin Gabriel w/ The Corre Vs. Santino Marella w/ Vladmir Kozlov & Tamina & Big Show & Kane

This was a nice little TV match, with Santino getting in all his signature moves and a little interference from all the guys on the outside. Santino wins with The Cobra.

(*1/2) – It wasn’t bad at all, quite entertaining as most Santino matches tend to be.

They announce that at Wrestlemania there will be an 8 man tag pitting The Corre(consisting of IC Champ Wade Barrett, Tag Champs Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater, and Ezekiel Jackson) Vs. Big Show, Kane, Santino and Kozlov. I’m fine with that, it gets a lot of people onto the show. Apparently Kofi Kingston and Christian were scheduled to be on the babyface team but it was then decided that Christian would be in Edge’s corner for the World Title match. Who knows what’ll happen to Kofi, but it’s been reported from a source within the WWE that the general consensus with the bookers is that Santino deserves the spot. His tenure in the WWE and reliability to perform exactly the way they want him to every week gained him the spot, allegedly, as he’s yet to compete in a match at Wrestlemania. Fine with that too, more than fine even, I love Santino. With all the unfunny shit that WWE comes out with, he’s always hilarious.

The faces celebrate in the ring at the end, Santino doing his blowing the trombone taunt. Kozlov joins in, and even Big Show gives it a go. Kane gets in the ring and everyone looks like the party has just been pooped on. Kane then turns aroud and marchs around the ring doing the trombone himself. Wow. Remember when he was on top as the World Heavyweight Champion for 6 months last year? When he was an awesome heel and did some of the best work of his career? Now: back to midcard face joke. Oh well, you win some, you lost most(thought it was kinda funny, really).

Triple H is through the corridors, ready for his face off with The Undertaker. It would’ve been cool if someone had stopped him for a word, and he simply responds: “I’m going..to take his face…off.” No? I’ll grab my coat.

The Undertaker’s gong hits and the crowd cheers for the Deadman. His new entrance theme, Johnny Cash’s “Ain’t No Grave” plays and he makes his way down to the ring for 12 minutes. Then The Game’s music hits and he too walks down to the squared circle. As he gets on the ropes to spit out the water, Taker’s gong hits again, cutting off Trips’s music, the lights going out. That was cool. The lights come up and they’re both facing off in the middle of the ring. “Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh, Shaawwn!” HBK’s music hits and the crowd goes nuts, myself included. It’s worth noting I watched this live, and truly marked out like hell for this. Shawn dances his way to the confrontation, posing on the turnbuckles and strutting around. It looked like he was trying to make Triple H laugh a little, but soon he got on the mic and got to business. He talked about how he couldn’t miss this, and ran down the tale of the tape almost. Analysing both Triple H and The Undertaker, standing between them and weighing up their accolades. This was so cool. He finally turned the knife when he asked Trips why he thinks he can do what he himself couldn’t. Trips tells Shawn that he got too soft, and that he’s not Shawn Michaels, and that he has to win the match. He then gets back in Taker’s face, and tells him that he will win.

Epic

He then talks about how 16 years ago when he joined the WWE, that one guy stood out in the locker room. The guy who did things no human beings should be able to do, a guy who wrestled with broken bones, torn ligaments, a guy who crushed his face and wrestled the next night. Trips says he knew then that’s what the business was about, and that he patterned himself after that guy. The guy who represented everything the WWE was and should be. That guy was The Undertaker. Beyond sticking his tongue down The Undertaker’s tights, Trips put him over a ton, and you could tell it was the truth. He slipped up a point in saying “there’s one guy I respect more…as much…and that’s Shawn,” correcting himself. He then brings up a point that he made a pact with Shawn that when the other was slipping in their career, they would tell the other it was time to call it a day. He tells Undertaker that he’s telling him: It’s time. He puts over how Taker’s legacy will live forever and his respect for him will too, but after Wrestlemania, he will no longer be undefeated. He’s the one(Billy Gunn?). “As in, 18-1.”

He finishs his piece by telling Taker he will rest in peace(oh he didn’t). After a long pause, Undertaker said that if he ever felt that it was his time, he’d want the guy to end it, to be Triple H. Because he respects him that much. “But it ain’t that time.” He tells Trips he will die trying, and that his Streak won’t die, and he won’t himself either. “If you need proof, just ask that man.” Taker talks about how Shawn gave him his two best matches at Wrestlemania, came the closest, but didn’t get the job done. He says that he doesn’t see the same confidence or arrogance in Shawn’s eyes anymore, but a man humbled. The crowd boos at this, and Taker continues, saying that Shawn will enter the Hall of Fame full of regrets, a man whose career he ended. He shoves the mic into Shawn, who sells the whole situation perfectly. Shawn steps back and goes to hit Taker with Sweet Chin Music. Taker grabs his foot and goes for a chokeslam, the crowd gasps. Trips breaks them off and puts his face back into Taker’s again. After a moment, Trips asks Shawn to tell Undertaker why he will beat him at Wrestlemania. Shawn stays in the corner looking conflicted, and the crowd chant “One More Match!” He looks down and leaves the ring, the arena boo’ing. Trips shouts at Shawn to look at him, and HBK looks back at him, and mouths “I’m sorry…you can’t win.” Trips looks angry and turns back to Taker, who smirks and leaves.

Man, that was absolutely captivating. Screw any haters, this segment was one of the best in a long, long time. The history between the three men just wrote itself, but the glue of the segment was Shawn’s involvement, using his past with Undertaker at Wrestlemania as a catalyst for even more tension. It’s always great to see the greatest of all time(in my opinion, anyway), and once again, the Showstopper stole the show. Not to take anything away from Trips and Taker, who both played their part like the pros that they are, playing off the emotion of the situation perfectly.

Jerry Lawler Vs. Jack Swagger w/ Michael Cole

This didn’t last long before Lawler was on the outside and thrown over the barricade. As Swagger went to pick him up, Lawler hit him with a punch and pounded the hell out of him with a chair. He looked over the Cole, who ran back into the Cole Mine. His security fended off Lawler but he pushed through, hitting the Cole Mine with the chair and trying to climb in. Cole threw a cup of soda into the Kings face, and taunted him from his box whilst Lawler was held back.

(n/a) – More of a segment than a match, really. Effective segment too, it only got a few minutes and that was to my liking, as the feud between Lawler and Cole has taken up to 20 minutes in the past couple of months.

Vickie Guerrero comes out in John Morrison glasses, and does the slow motion entrance, with music and all. She cuts a heel promo on Snooki, laughing like a witch. A fan reported that she had so much heat in the building that it was hard to make out what she was saying.

Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus Vs. Daniel Bryan and John Morrison

Man, on paper this match sound absolutely amazing. Doubt we’ll get anything near the amount of potential it has though. Daniel Bryan has a t-shirt that says “Submission Wrestling”…so the word “wrestling” can be used on t-shirts, just not said in any way? Whatever. As to be expected there’s some good action here. Bryan reverses a rollup from Ziggler into the LeBell Lock, and Sheamus breaks it up, tagging himself in. He takes Bryan’s head off with a lariot. Morrison kicks Ziggler to the outside and Sheamus throws Morrison out. Bryan misses a leg lariat into the corner, nearly landing on his head, and Sheamus capitalises with Pale Justice for the win.

(**) – Good action, just very short. I hope to God Bryan and Sheamus get some good time for their match at ‘Mania.

Orton is interviewed backstage, a towel around his neck, looking hurt. He says that he has some serious anger management issues, that he has ruined careers of men he barely knew, simply because he could. That he has never in his life despised a human being more than CM Punk, and that the question isn’t if he can make it Wrestlemania, but if CM Punk can make it out. Good promo from Orton and the adds some more levity to the feud from his side beyond just punting people out.

A video package is run for the Road Warriors, announcing them to be the last inductees into the 2011 Hall of Fame class. Ohhhhhh, what a rush! It’s always awesome to see these old video packages, WWE having a huge library of wrestling archives to draw from. The old stuff is always great to see. Very worthy inductees to say the least, and makes up for some of the duds that have been announced since Shawn. Their manager Paul Ellering is also being inducted, a good move.

Josh Matthews talks to Snooki and Trish “live” from Jersey Shore in a bar. Snooki looks absolutely wasted. She says that she has some “sick moves” that Trish has been showing her. Some guy bothers them and Snooki slaps him. They go back to Chicago, then Josh says “wait..wait..Lay-Cool..at the Shore?” Awful. Lay-Cool are just standing there being annoying and a big catfight kicks off, and they all swear at each other, beeps a-plenty. Great censoring on a “live” segment, huh? Snooki and Trish finish off by saying(censored) “Mania, bitches!” Ugh.

The Rock is in gorilla position, drenched in water, pacing around, looking nervous as all hell. In the arena his music hits and he takes to the ring, the crowd going wild. It’s been a month since he’s been “back” and yeah, it’s still f’n cool to see The Rock pose on that turnbuckle again. The Rock soaks it all in from the great Chicago crowd, who’ve made RAW just that little bit more enjoyable this week by being very vocal. They’re behind his every word as he belts out “finally..The Rock, has come back, to CHI-CA-GO!” He talks about how special the city is to The Rock, that he competed in his very first Wrestlemania in the very same building. He says that on that night “Team Bring It” was unofficially born, a “way of life” as he calls it, that everyone is a part of. It’s like Cena’s “Never Give Up” just…not as lame? Yet in essence, it’s really the same thing, as The Rock talks about defying people who tell you, “you can’t.” He’s great as usual and delivering this promo with all the power and magnitude that only The Rock can bring. He says that on everyone on Team Bring It go after their dreams and that his dream is to confront Cena face to face. “Cena comes walking out like a homeless Power Ranger!” A great line…totally ridiculous but pure Rock. The last few lines he came out with before Cena’s music hit were great, and I got goosebumps watching it live. “The Rock is never alone, and The Rock means NEVER ALONE. He’s with the millions…(and millions!)…and MILLIONS of The Rock’s fans. And to put in words you can understand John Cena, the PEOPLES “Champ”, is HERE.”

Epic, Part II

Cena comes out all smiles, and immediately I’m annoyed. Luckily he gets more serious so I forgave it, but as he got in the ring, he paced around with a big grin on his face as The Rock walked around eyeballing him. This is pretty mad really, which seems odd to say, but these are two huge stars who’ve never been in the same ring before like this. Cena says this is what he wanted, and puts The Rock over big, as a man who can create the electricity and atmosphere in the place that he belongs. He drags his point out a bit too much, asking The Rock to feel, and hear the moment. Slowly he gets more serious, explaining that The Rocks problem with him stems from the colours he wears, the music he listens to, the way he talks, the moral code of “Hustle, Loyalty and Respect” and his audience being kids. He says that is proud that the kids are his audience, and he’s proud of what he’s accomplished and what he’s become. This was surprisingly emotional(which is what wrestling is all about, emotion), because you could tell that Cena was speaking from the heart here, or at the very least the words rang true. Cena asks The Rock who the hell is he to judge him. This was one of Cena’s best promos, without a doubt, it was real, captivating, and built up really nicely. The Rock’s eyes almost looked like they were glistening a little from the intensity of the situation, and he did look nervous, definitely not his usual cool self. He responds by saying that he’s going to whoop Cena’s candy ass all over Chicago. Cena says he’s addressed him like a man, to his face, and if he wants to fight, bring it.

"Bring it."

“Awwwwesoome!” Miz’s music hits and he comes out Alex Riley, as Cena and Rock face off in the ring(surreal). Miz says that he’s not gonna be upstaged by the O brothers, overhyped(The Rock) and overrated(John Cena). He tells Cena that he’s owned him for a month, and that he will lose at Wrestlemania. Cena will go down swinging, and will come for a fight, unlike The Rock. Miz turns his attention to the Great One, and tells him that he knows he’s not going to do anything tonight. That he’s grossed over a billion dollars in his movies, and that he won’t risk getting beaten up by The Miz. And it’s not a risk, it’s a “guaran-damn-tee!” Miz gets in the face of The Rock and goads him on to keep talking: “because I don’t think you’ll actually DO anything!” He tells The Rock he’s awesome and The Rock replys by saying: “Miz, you should know by now…it doesn’t matter, what you think.” They face up close and Alex Riley hits The Rock down. They both beat him down in the corner and The Rock fights back, hitting his trademark punches on Riley, sending him flying to the outside. He whips The Miz off the ropes, he reverses and The Rock pulls himself under Miz’s arm and hits a quick DDT. This was insane, just to see The Rock “wrestling” again. He quickly nipped up from the DDT, but slipped up on his footing, but recovered quickly, hopping up to the head of The Miz, primed for the People’s Elbow. The crowd are going mad and he runs the ropes, as Cena stands on the outside, a massive grin on his face, loving it. The Rock hits the Peoples Elbow on The Miz and threw him out of the ring.

Cena slid into the ring behind The Rock and picked him up for the Attitude Adjustment, dropping The Rock in the middle of the ring with authority. Wow. I was not expecting that at all. The crowd hates it and Cena looks more serious now, slowly giving The Rock his “you can’t see me” pose. As he leaves his music hits and a few cheers ring out, which he acknowledges by nodding his head. As he reachs the ramp he points at the sign on the tron stating “Wrestlemania 27: 6 Days Away” He pulls the “you can’t see me” again and leaves as The Rock lies in pain in the ring and the show ends.

Oh no he didn't

Wow, what a show. The in ring action was okay, and to the point, but those two promos were off the charts. I thought RAW would be a lot better than last week, but not this good. The two main promos of the show were both the type of promo you rarely expect to see in wrestling these days, let alone two on the same night. They were both huge “money” promos, and I expect the WWE won over a LOT of people who weren’t going to be buying Wrestlemania this Sunday.

9/10 – Yeah, huge “rating” but this show had two standout moments that will be remembered for a long time. The rest of the show was concise(more than likely to give the two main segments enough time, both combined ran over 40 minutes), there was some decent quick matches, some good progression of all the main feuds and storylines, and again, two amazing pieces of television.

Star of the Night:

Shawn Michaels/The Rock tied. Yeah, Cena, Miz, Triple H and Undertaker all did fantastic jobs, but it was these two legends that added that extra wow factor to the moments. Shawn’s reactions in the first promo were awesome, and The Rock’s energy is never matched by anyone. Debatable rating of the show and this, but I watched it live and loved every second, there was something special about this show.

 

Untill next time,

Luke

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  1. April 1, 2011 at 10:05 PM

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