So, here we are. If I'm being totally honest, it does feel like a year since Rock and Cena stood two-to-two in Atlanta and made their match-up for WrestleMania 28, but by no means does that mean that the build-up hasn't been good.
It was also a year ago when people asked that same question "Can WWE maintain the momentum for a match between The Rock and John Cena for an entire year?" The answer, a definitive yes.
The build-up to this epic match has been undoubtedly thrilling, and you really just have to give WWE props for stretching out this match-up for that long. It's hard to believe that are only a couple of days away from their match at WrestleMania. It's been coming for so long that you'd almost forget that the match will indeed happen.
First off, I liked to give major kudos to the WWE production team who put together an engaging documentary before Raw went on the air, filled with some nice footage, slick graphics and fluid editing. My only complaint is that they didn't showcase both men's careers inside the ring. The Rock was too Hollywood and John Cena was too caring. I wouldn't have minded seeing some clips of The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan and John Cena's first WrestleMania match, but I guess they just didn't feel the need for it.
As for Raw itself, I thought it was a fitting go-home show before 'The granddaddy of them all'. The show kicked off with a match (when was the last time they did that?) pitting Randy Orton and Sheamus against Daniel Bryan and Kane. I've said before how I'm against WrestleMania opponents facing off against each other before the actual event, but with Daniel Bryan and Sheamus, they need it.
The match was lengthy and solid throughout. Seeing Bryan get the victory made sense, as you want to give Bryan some momentum have the hungry challenger Sheamus go into WrestleMania even hungrier.
The names have been set for Team Teddy and Team Johnny at WrestleMania. It wasn't a huge surprise to see The Miz as the last entrant into Team Johnny, but you still got to feel that it's a little anti-climatic to see The Miz go through such a storyline only to see him be put in the tag team match anyway.
As for Team Teddy, it was Booker T that came in to save Long from the grasp of the World's Strongest Man, thus giving him a slot on Team Teddy at WrestleMania. With everyone out around the ring and Mark henry holding onto Teddy's tie, I was expecting Rey Mysterio's music to hit, but alas, it was Booker T that came to the rescue, much to my delight. I'm looking forward to seeing Booker wrestle at WrestleMania, and expect him to have a good outing in his match against Team Johnny.
Speaking of that very match, it was just announced a while ago that Drew McIntyre will replace the unfit Christian at WrestleMania. I was hugely disappointed to find out that Captain Charisma wouldn’t be competing, but when you're not 100% ready then maybe it's best to sit it out and not risk re-injuring that ankle. As for McIntyre though, I'm happy for him, and it also makes sense to have him on Team Johnny considering he has a vendetta against Teddy Long.
Before the injury to Christian however, it was Jericho who once again got under Punk's skin with another nice promo involving Punk's family. I don't know where Jericho has been over the past couple of weeks, but it's been good seeing him say all these things untouched in the lead up to WrestleMania. As for the beat down on Christian afterwards, it was vicious and very well done.
Lastly on the show, was the final confrontation between The Rock and John Cena. Everything just seems to click in this segment. The Rock cut some funny lines about a dentist and Betty White (of course) before being interrupting by John Cena, who was pretty flawless during his promo. His promo was serious and honest, with his delivery being fantastic. The same goes for The Rock as well, who came back with some words of his own, before having that final stare down with Cena himself.
12 months ago, Rock and Cena set a match for WrestleMania 28. Fast forward to this past Monday and Rock and Cena are in the very same ring, having one last confrontation before their match in Miami. It's been a long ride. It's hard to believe that this Sunday, the last chapter will be written.
- Brodus Clay needs a feud or storyline quick, because I'm getting really tired of his squash matches.
- No sign of Triple H,Undertaker or HBK this week. Understandably so, the storyline wrapped up two weeks ago after that great segment with all three men.
- When Teddy was pushed into the ring by Johnny, how was he that surprised to turn around to see Mark Henry staring right at him? Did Teddy not realise why he was thrown in the ring in the first place? No? Alright then.
- I said it before, but I'll say it again – that beat down on Christian was vicious. Especially those constant head smashes against the announce table. Normally wrestlers just put their hands up and basically slap the table, but this time, it was a lot more fierce looking.