Tuesday 20 March 2012

Raw Review - 19 March, 2012

WrestleMania is shaping up very nicely isn't it? For weeks now Raw has been striding along, building up matches at a nice pace and hyping WrestleMania like the big deal it is. With the big three matches announced on the show moving along at full speed, you can forgive the under card matches such as Orton vs. Kane to take a backseat and go on the road to WrestleMania despite the punctures in their tyres.

One feud that is gaining momentum at every passing week is that between WWE Champion CM Punk and Chris Jericho. CM Punk cut a strong promo concerning Jericho's actions last week, which again added some much needed tension in this rivalry. As well as that, Jericho made a 'heartfelt' apology to Punk, only to bring up his sister in the mix as well. The 'Ohhhh!' of the crowd after Jericho said the word 'sister' blended in so well with the promo, as it really gave off the impression that he had crossed the line.

Although this is yet another copy of an ROH storyline, it is still fitting to see Jericho play these kind of mind games with Punk, and for many people (including myself) this storyline is very fresh.

Speaking of tension, things went up another level between Rhodes and Show this week. There's always been a bit of bad blood between these two men, as Rhodes has been playing Show for weeks with his little video packages, but seeing Cody punch a defenceless Big Show just added to it even more.

Like the Punk/Jericho feud, this one needed that bit more spice to move it along, and that little segment gave it that.

The feud between Team Johnny and Team Teddy hasn't gone anywhere new these past two weeks. The heat between Teddy and Johnny is still there of course, but it seems to be the same thing every week, with a few new members thrown in to add up the numbers.

I was disappointed to hear Ziggler announced as the newest member of Team Johnny, as I feel he's just going to be pulled back during the crowded match at WrestleMania. This whole situation is very similar to that of last year as well. Last year he main evented Royal Rumble, but found himself in a multi-person tag team match at WrestleMania. Fast forward a year later and he's in the same position. Losing momentum after main eventing Royal Rumble for the second year in a row and being put in another multi-person tag team match at WrestleMania that probably won't reach past the ten minute mark. In my opinion, he deserves a better slot on the biggest show of the year.

This kind of disappointment also applies to the feud between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. At the start of the review, I mentioned the three big matches that are moving along nicely, and just to be clear, Bryan vs. Sheamus isn't one of them. It should be, a feud involving the World Heavyweight Champion and the Royal Rumble winner should be a pretty big deal. But unfortunately it just hasn't taken off. That's why it's the three big matches and not the big four matches, it just doesn't feel like a big match.

It's just been another week gone by whereby Bryan and Sheamus gain momentum, but don't really further their feud. This applies to Raw more than Smackdown, as Smackdown has had some kind of storyline development (albeit very little), but on Raw, nothing is happening between these two men.

The last hour of the show featured two feuds where it has developed to the point where there isn't a lot left to talk about. That's not a bad thing though, as the feuds of Rock/Cena and HHH/Taker/HBK have been built up brilliantly for weeks. It just come to a point where what’s said is said, and it's just one more Raw until WrestleMania.

The Rock cut a vintage promo on John Cena outside in Philadelphia. Nothing new for him to say really, but he still hyped up his match with Cena the best he could and delivered some nice one liners directed at his opponent.

He also left a message to him inside the ring as well when he delivered the Rock Bottom to Mark Henry while Cena looked on just a couple of feat away. That's all The Rock had to do this week, just leave off another impression with Cena in his sights, and it came off rather well.

Then there was the other storyline that has developed fully, the one concerning the streak. Having all three men in the ring was a nice touch and one that furthered this storyline along until WrestleMania.

Like the storyline between Cena and Rock, there's not much left to say. The groundwork is there and it's settled, all that's left is to wit until WrestleMania itself. That didn't exactly stop all three men however, as they still managed to hype up the much anticipated Hell in a Cell match with some solid promos. The grin on HBK's face after hearing that Taker considers him better than Triple H was also a nifty touch, and one that capped off the show.

What's great about this storyline is that for the first time in maybe ever, there's really that sense that Triple H could end the streak. I don't expect it to happen, but there's still that little doubt that is pulling people in. Also, there's that doubt as to what HBK has in store for both men.

Stray Observations:

  • However, your sister...”
  • Santino's drawn on abs are super realistic.
  • I actually did see that white shirt fly up during the Show/Kane match. I just didn't know that the person who threw it was actually the always relevant and never attention seeking Shane Douglas.
  • I know we've all seen it before, but it's still so impressive when John Cena gives someone like Mark Henry an FU.
  • Was cool too see the interview set on the stage for Orton's interview. Hopefully this wasn't just a one time thing because that vintage set really is a nice change.
  • Remember when I said Shawn was better than you? … He is.”

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