The Rock vs. John Cena is one of the most anticipated matches in the past decade. It’s one of the last remaining dream matches WWE is able to produce, and is guaranteed to make Wrestlemania 28 one of the most memorable shows of all time.
But here’s a question: how does the match end?
With Wrestlemania 28 being in Miami, the crowd will fully support Rock and eat Cena alive no matter what they do. And if WWE sticks to their current plan, Cena will go into the match as WWE Champion (which kind of has to happen since he’s emphasized how important it is that the match be for the title).
Everyday logic would say that Cena goes over because he’s the guy who will be there day-to-day. Not only that, but Rock winning the title sends the message that the current product is a joke.
However, you could also argue that Rock has to win because this is his first match in over 7 years, and it’s in front of his hometown crowd. If you want to send the fans home happy from the biggest show of the year, the way to do that is to put Rock over.
WWE has effectively booked themselves into a corner where both guys need to win and neither guy can be allowed to lose.
Do you have Rock win the WWE title for a night in his hometown, effectively taking your entire roster down a few pegs? Or do you have Cena retain and end Wrestlemania with 70-something-thousand people booing the supposed number one babyface in the company?
This past year saw Wrestlemania 27 end with The Rock standing tall after costing John Cena his match with The Miz, appropriately capping off the most disappointing Wrestlemania since 18.
I can’t imagine what would happen if they tried a similarly screwy finish next year.
RAW – 7/25/11
Live from Hampton, Virginia
We’re getting a State of WWE address from HHH tonight and a WWE Championship match RIGHT NOW!
-Rey Mysterio beat The Miz for (apparently a toy version of) the WWE Championship
Good match in its own right. About the level of a typical good Raw main event. Cole questioned Rey’s championship credentials, wondering how he would be able to do press junkets wearing a mask. 619 chants multiple times throughout the match. Miz’s stance for readying the Skull Crushing Finale is ridiculous. Finish saw Miz hurt his already injured knee from Money In The Bank and Rey took advantage and hit the 619. Crowd was really getting into it by the end.
Afterwards, Miz attacked Rey from behind. And out comes Alberto Del Rio to do what many thought he would, but Rey vetoed that with a dive to the outside, scaring him off.
Champagne bath for Rey from the roster before running into John Cena, who smirked and congratulated him. Rey talked to Josh about sacrifices he made for his family to win the title. More champagne bath. Yay Rey.
Replay of last week with HHH ousting Vince and taking his place. “I love you, Pop. And I’m sorry.” DAAAAAWWWWW
-Dolph Ziggler beat Evan Bourne (non-title)
Dolph is finally using that awesome theme that’s been roaming the internet for a while. Finish saw Dolph hit a Zig Zag off a missed Shooting Star Press, before locking in the sleeper for the win. A fun little match. I’d love it if they just got 10-12 minutes to go all out at some point.
Dolph grabs a mike and says “Follow That!” Well, it was only 3 or so minutes, so you’re setting the bar kinda low there, champ.
Promo for “The Greatest Stars of the 21st Century” DVD. Nah.
Back from commercial and Keith Stone interrupts Eve arguing with The Bellas about their twin tomfoolery. Stone draws tattoos on a Bella. Eve is smitten. That was lame. Sure hope it leads to something. (It Didn’t)
-Kelly Kelly & Eve beat Maryse & Melina
Eve hit the dreaded “Shake It One Time Before A” Standing Moonsault. Maryse infringed on Kelly’s stinkface drawing the ire of said blonde chick. Finish saw Kelly pin one of the heels. I forget which.
HHH’s address is up next.
HHH comes out and would like to tell us that Vince made WWE the cool cat it is. Congrats to Rey, but he gets another match tonight against John Cena. What a jerk. At least let Rey take it home for a night. And his surprise return is…Jim Ross! Best commentary move since the last time he was brought back.
Oh, Cole’s not in the booth anymore? Best commentary move since JR was brought back. Cole’s not happy. BBQ and fat jokes ensue. HHH responds with a 14-year-old Austin Powers joke. He says he can’t fire Cole because his severance package is ridiculous. And Cole can’t quit because he would forfeit it. Or something. Cole has a match NEXT, so he has to go prepare.
Truth comes out and talks conspiracies, LITTLE JIMMY, and spiders. Hunter mocks him by talking to Truth’s imaginary friends, and giving him a match against a re-signed John Morrison soon. Wasn’t he just hurt? You let an injured guy’s contract expire? What’s wrong with you? Truth and John brawl when John eventually hits Starship Pain on Truth. JR replacing Cole and Morrison coming back = A better Raw.
Cole has been assigned to wear HHH’s gear and use his secondary theme. HHH has TWO themes. And Cole’s opponent is…….Zack Ryder! WOO WOO WOO!
-Zack Ryder squashed Michael Cole
Rough Rider. Pin. Take Care, Spike Your Hair. Hopefully Ryder’s here to stay.
-Alberto Del Rio beat Kofi Kingston
In a shocker to end all shockers, Kofi botched a move to start the match and again during a nearfall towards the end. I set my watch by it at this point. Kofi sold a kick to the arm for most of the match. Finish saw Alberto hit the cross armbreaker on Kofi’s bad arm. Match was pretty much filler.
Attention all Nielson families: HHH will appear on Smackdown this week.
Josh talked to Miz. Miz says Cena doesn’t deserve a title shot because Cena’s the reason they needed a new title in the first place. Plugs an appearance on Lopez Tonight. Ugh. You guys tried to get on Conan first, right?
-John Cena beat Rey Mysterio for the WWE Championship
How is Cena not a full-fledged heel for agreeing to face an already exhausted babyface champion? Dueling chants for and against Cena. Rey kicked Cena’s quad. A lot. JR makes such a difference, it’s not even funny. Rey countered Cena’s STF with one of his own, which Cena nearly countered into an AA, but his leg gave out. That was cool. Another noteworthy spot was Cena legdropping Rey’s face off from the top rope. Finish saw Rey reverse the AA, go for the 619, and run into another AA. Fans really dug this match, as did I.
All of a sudden, Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality” interrupts Cena’s celebration and…
…out comes CM Punk. Well, it was fun while it lasted. That whole week. Punk gets in the ring and holds the real belt up against Cena’s toy they grabbed from the merch stand as the show ends.
Overall: A good show. Both the opener and the main event were solid. JR coming back and Zack Ryder’s return to TV to squash Cole were really fun surprises. I’m glad Punk’s back, but that was WAY too soon.
Since turning heel earlier this year and rebelling against all things “LITTLE JIMMY!” R-Truth has been one of the better parts of Raw for months now. His promos about conspiracies and angles where he threw water on people have all been a great improvement from the stale “(City I’m In), What’s Up?”
However, since feuding with John Cena, Truth has been considered a joke. A guy Cena claimed he would beat the crazy out of. Ever since their match at Capitol Punishment, Truth has been downgraded to ‘Silly Guy Who Drinks Water And Talks To Himself’ when he could be pushed as having a more threatening presence on Raw.
Hopefully when John Morrison returns, WWE makes Truth the intense heel he started out as back in April.
Why this guy hasn’t had microphone in his hand on Raw every week for the past decade, I’ll never know. Honestly, he doesn’t even need to say a word. William Regal can steal an entire show with a nothing but a facial expression.
Don’t think so?
If you watched that and didn’t laugh, you did it wrong.
One of Regal’s biggest strikes against him is that he’s on wrong side of 40, and therefore not someone WWE would want wrestling on a consistent basis (despite still being one of the best in-ring workers on the roster). But there’s no reason why Regal shouldn’t be cutting promos for somebody who WWE is intent on pushing.
That he is not a regular on Raw or Smackdown in some form or fashion is dreadful. Bloody dreadful.
Left field, I know. But I think she has something the other divas don’t.
Whether she’s just another diva in a tag match on Raw, or she’s hosting NXT, Maryse comes off as a star. I assume that’s because she isn’t actually playing a character and lives in her own little ‘Maryse World’ of shoes, purses, and glitter. That has to be it.
Regardless, Maryse carries herself as the most important thing on camera, and people respond to it. The extraordinary amount of negative chemistry she had with Ted DiBiase may have hurt in WWE’s eyes for the time being, but I think it’s about time they pulled the trigger on her being a valet for an upper midcard/main event heel. Miz perhaps?
Let’s see Mason Ryan cut a promo like that.
Brodus Clay plays the quintessential ‘Big Man’ nearly to perfection. He looks menacing, he’s good in the ring, and he’s also a great promo as seen above. It’s not often that you see someone in WWE that has the total package but Brodus Clay definitely does.
After losing the finals of NXT Season 4, Brodus Clay immediately became Alberto Del Rio’s pet monster during his Wrestlemania feud with Edge. And he was AWESOME. While they were together, the trio of Del Rio, Clay, and Ricardo Rodriguez was my legit favorite act in all of WWE.
Since Wrestlemania, however, we haven’t seen too much of him. Our friends at the Wrestling Observer say he’s been off making a movie. Hopefully he’ll be back soon and tearing it up on Smackdown or Raw on a regular basis. And you DO know that.
If you had a checklist for everything WWE considers to be star material these days, Zack Ryder would meet pretty much every requirement. And after all he’s done with his Youtube show Z True Long Island Story, it’s somewhat heartbreaking to see him all but blacklisted from Raw or Smackdown.
There’s a somewhat famous story about Triple H making a speech to all the Raw wrestlers before a show in 2002, where he said that anybody who wasn’t over had only themselves to blame. It was their job to go beyond the call of duty and prove to the fans that they deserve to be on TV.
Zack Ryder has done just that. What started out as a campy internet show recorded via a flip cam has turned into a weekly web series that has a combined total of 3 million views. If that’s not going out of your way to get yourself over, I don’t know what is.
Despite an abundance of signs featuring his name and catchphrase “Woo Woo Woo, You Know It” constantly showing up on Raw, Zack Ryder has only had one televised match in 2011.
Are you serious, bro?
It’s my first blog post, and since no one seems to be talking about him (save for those who own computers), I think I’ll briefly talk about CM Punk.
Last Sunday at WWE’s Money In The Bank pay-per-view, CM Punk defeated John Cena to win the WWE Championship in a match that many are calling one of WWE’s greatest ever. In addition to the match itself becoming an instant classic, the finish was a surprise as Punk was able to evade Alberto Del Rio’s Money in the Bank cash-in and actually leave the Allstate Arena (and the company) with WWE’s most prestigious title. Like many, the show left me stunned as well as anxious to see what happened next.
This entire CM Punk storyline has tapped into an audience that has been frustrated with WWE for years, and I think the reaction for Punk last Sunday should show that they have a huge opportunity here.
With social media becoming more and more prevalent, WWE has the chance to create a huge viral marketing campaign for CM Punk’s eventual return. Geeks like me LOVE that stuff. Granted, Punk’s already been making various “Non-WWE” appearances, so it seems they’re aware of the monster they’ve created. I just hope they keep it up.
Keep him off Raw, and keep doing this:
I know I may be dreaming and this would be completely outside their comfort zone, but I really hope WWE lets Punk wrestle at least one match in another company before he comes back. That would really be the icing on the cake for this whole storyline. But that’s just me.
Regardless, the past month of WWE programming has been a homerun. I haven’t been this excited for wrestling since the Invasion began (Wow, that was a legit decade ago).
Well, enough of my rambling about the obvious.