Road To WrestleMania 28 – Week 7

After two weeks in a row of John Cena getting over on Rock, it seemed like they really wanted Rock to get his heat back. Cena came out like it was 2003 in a throwback Mark Price jersey and to his old “Basic Thuganomics” music. I thought he looked silly, though his rap was fine. I liked the way he played the smarmy jackass the last two weeks and it gave him a bit of an edge. I didn’t see that this week. He came out in the opening segment and we never saw him again. His best line was making fun of Rock’s gyno. But because he was on so early in the show and the Rock got the last laugh, it was pretty forgettable.

Rock on the other hand closed the show and did many verses of a hand-me-down version of Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock”. His verses were well written, his guitar playing pedestrian, but he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. He made fun of John Cena kissing Eve and then last week showing his wife. He overstayed his welcome with that song as his last verse was about John Cena’s mom. And he closed out with a version of “We Will Rock You”, which didn’t quite work because he was singing it karaoke style with the words showing up too slow for him on the Titan Tron. Rock was wildly entertaining.

I will give it up to the creative team here. They’ve figured out how to go three weeks now without the guys touching and all three weeks have been fine, slowly building to the next week as they build up the match. They’ll have two more Raws to go and the crescendo should be at WrestleMania. I think they do need to touch on the go-home Raw in two weeks though.

The best thing on the show was Shawn Michael’s interview with the Undertaker. Back when Shawn was in his physical prime, I never found him to be a great promo. But these last 3-4 years, he’s been among the best in the game. He’s just believable. His reasoning for being upset with the Undertaker didn’t really make sense to me as he should’ve been mad at HHH, but it still worked. Next week, we’ll get all three together in the ring and it should be pretty big. This is my favorite HHH character ever, Shawn is fantastic, and now Taker needs to catch up to them. He’s been quiet so far and I don’t think he wants to be overshadowed by them.

The most interesting thing on the show was Chris Jericho’s promo on CM Punk about Punk’s alcoholic dad. Thanks to my buddy Big D from Superfriends, here’s the original promo Punk did about what Jericho was talking about.

It gave us a reaction from Punk that we rarely see. He was in between being upset and sad and I don’t know if I really bought it, but it might be because you just never see that reaction from him. In order for this new wrinkle in the storyline to work, he’s going to need to deliver huge, which I imagine he will.

A few more thoughts from last night and the weekend:

  • Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler had the best match on Raw. But, the only thing it showed me is that I’d rather watch Dolph Ziggler face Daniel Bryan. And that makes yet another guy who I would rather watch face Daniel Bryan. I’d rather see Randy Orton, Christian (if they could quickly build a feud), and Mark Henry instead of Sheamus. I’m not sure how much of this is Sheamus’ fault and how much of it is just lack of storyline since it’s clearly 4th in the rankings for Mania.
  • It’s not John Cena who has no balls. It’s Zack Ryder. How he allows himself to be booked in such a manner is just insane. His career might as well be over.
  • The GM vs. GM tag match will be fine filler and allow many guys to get into the match at WrestleMania. But when you have David Otunga and Santino as captains, it comes across as the jobber match.
  • While I’m sure many folks think the Miz deserves to be down on the card, he doesn’t deserve to be this far down on the card. Sure, he was pushed hard last year and didn’t really get over like he should. Sure, he seems to have lost his smile. And sure, not catching R-Truth was probably the last straw. But what does it say about your company when the guy who was in the main event last year at WrestleMania is probably going to be on the dark match this year? At the very least, he should be in the GM vs. GM match.

Next week may very well focus on Punk/Jericho and HHH/Taker and I’m fine with that. Because the go-home is probably going to be all Cena/Rock.

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  1. -It’s a pity that it looks like guys like Ziggler and Henry, who have had just fantastic years, are going to be flung into a meaningless tag match.

    -Looks like we might get that and the Kane/Orton singles match to. Not ideal.

    -The whole Zack Ryder thing has been a disaster since the beginning. I just want it to end.

    – Not sure about decision to bring the story about Punk’s dad into that feud. They already have a story they’re trying to tell. Anything added just dilutes it.

    -Taker/HHH/Shawn stuff was very good again as expected. I’m always interested in where it’s going next, so it’s definitely working.

    -I tuned in late, thus missing Cena’s rhymes. I did see where they showed a few highlights from it later in the show and his punches didn’t sound all that good.

    -The Rock’s song was funny, but he bit too much out of it. The routine got really old after a while. I also (again) think it served more to bury Cena than to build the match.

    -I know a lot of people are acting like every Rock segment has been perfect and the match is a goldmine, but I feel that most guys on the roster would have been buried for some of the cheese he has gotten away with over the last few weeks. And there is…something be said for that also…I know that.

    -BUT if everything is going so swimmingly, why are these segments not drawing viewers? Are they appealing to the live audience and boring the TV viewer? Just playing devils advocate. I understand the difference between selling PPV and bumping a rating, but maybe this hasn’t caught on the way they thought it would.

  2. I’m intrigued with the ratings stuff too. By nature of what draws viewers, it should draw viewers. But WWE just by what they do may be now immune to super high increases and super low decreases. I’m interested in hearing what Meltzer has to say about it whenever he does analyze the ratings period.

    Of course, it’s moot if this thing does 1.2-1.3 PPV buyrates.

    I think you’re right about the story dilution too with Punk/Jericho. It almost doesn’t fit, but I have such faith in both guys, I still think they’ll make it work.

  3. If it does big business, nobody will care about the ratings.

    I’m interested in how you feel the buzz is going. I haven’t really had any casual or non-wrestling fans ask me about it. But with that being said, those types are more likely to get hyped for it at the last minute rather than following the week to week TV. Probably a lot of it will depend on the publicity they get show week. I just sort of wonder has the specialness worn off and now it’s just a match.

  4. The only casual fans I talk to are my kids and they think Rock is mean, though funny as well. Then again, as casual fans, they’re probably smarter than many “smart fans”.

    I think the dynamic is still a big deal. To me, Cena/Rock comes off fresh because it’s never been done, they’ve been on each others’ asses for over a year now, and we’ll finally see the battle.

  5. To me WrestleMania is always the UnderTakers show, he will win again to go to 20-0 then next year he’s gonna finally lose…to whom?…who knows but his streak will end at 20….☺….

  6. You think he loses next year? Interesting. I have no idea who he could lose to.

  7. I have no idea also….i figured it would be someone new that they have to build up for almost a year then go on and beat the DeadMan…..

    they have many options…another is a famous old-timer coming back to beat him…..either way McMann decides to do it….Taker’s streak will end next year…☺…

  8. If it happens, we’ll know who called it.

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