For the fourth consecutive week, The Miz has gotten the best of his WrestleMania challenger, John Cena. This time, he did so while dressed as The Rock.
Raw’s main event saw Cena go to battle against the other #1 contender, Alberto Del Rio. Cena won the match by disqualification after Brodus Clay interfered, but last night was hardly a victory for the Cenation’s leader. After the match, The Rock’s music hit and The Miz made his way to the ring dressed as the People’s Champ. Del Rio, Clay, and Miz triple teamed Cena briefly. Then, after imitating The Rock’s signature poses, The Miz had Cena all to himself. Miz dismantled his WrestleMania opponent, suplexing him on the ramp, DDTing him on the stage, and giving him the Skull Crushing Finale onto the set’s oversized WWE logo. This came on the heels of a vicious attack The Miz had launched earlier in the evening against the Great Khali, who he beat repeatedly with a steel chair after losing to him via disqualification in a match ordered by the anonymous Raw General Manager. The Miz showed an incredibly vicious side of himself on this week’s Raw, and he’s refusing to be lost in the midst of the Rock vs Cena super-feud.
- A pre-taped Rock promo opened Raw, and to be honest, I’m beginning to tire of his TitanTron promos. Every time he’s spoken since his initial return, his words have been less and less captivating, his jokes less funny, and his sincerity less believable. This week, he spoke to a small child in John Cena attire as if the kid was Cena himself, and in my opinion, the segment really missed its mark. I’m not a Cena fan either, but the constant referencing of Fruity Pebbles while talking about him is a little crazy too. Other than Cena wearing bright colors, there’s nothing that even vaguely ties him to the cereal, and The Rock’s increasingly ridiculous speeches have digressed into him calling Fred Flintstone Cena’s hero. Alas, the WWE Universe seems to eat it up, so I guess I’m in the minority on this one.
- Following the Rock’s schtick, The Miz delivered a monologue about Rocky and John Cena. In it, he mentioned that the Rock does indeed bring it; “it” being out of date catchphrases, horrific movies, bad tattoos, and pointless diatribes. Miz accurately pointed out that he’s “owned” Cena as of late, a trend that continued at the show’s conclusion.
- Sheamus’ free fall into obscurity seems to have been halted, at least for the time being. The Celtic Warrior was victorious over Daniel Bryan, preserving his career and winning the US Title in the process. Their match was really solid from end to end, and I’m looking forward to their potential WrestleMania rematch, one that won’t be interrupted by a commercial break. Interesting to see Sheamus come to the ring without his ridiculous “King” costume too, possibly another sign that the days of humiliating him for the hell of it are over.
- The overabundance of video packages has been an epidemic on WWE programming lately, and last night was no different. The vignettes hyping Triple H and Undertaker’s match at WrestleMania are too long and are shown too frequently. Shawn Michaels’ comments bring nothing to the table either, and they’re even less interesting the third and fourth time we hear them. These packages are killing the momentum of WWE events, and they’re actually making me begrudge the matches their advertising.
- The Smackdown main event was announced as Edge & Christian challenging The Corre for the Tag Team Championships. Score. I’m looking forward to this match, which will undoubtedly reek of awesomeness, but I fear that it also is going to set the stage for Christian to join Kane & Big Show’s merry band of misfits to wrestle The Corre at Mania.
- Michael Cole brought out Brian Christopher, formerly Grandmaster Sexay, to speak out against his father, Jerry “The King” Lawler. Christopher was never much on the microphone, and he hasn’t improved any in his time away from the game. He said he was ashamed to be his father’s son, yadda yadda yadda, and the King just sits there and takes it. Cue Jim Ross’ music. Good Ol’ JR hit the ring and verbally lashed Michael Cole, calling him a rat bastard. When it began to look like the two would come to blows in the ring, Jack Swagger appeared out of the crowd. First he slammed Lawler’s head into the announce table, then he entered the ring and pounced on Ross. Michael Cole locked the Ankle Lock on both The King and JR while The All American American cheered him on. Interesting to note that they gave the top of the 10 o’clock hour to this segment, indicating that WWE really feels like the Cole / Lawler feud is one of the top draws they have running right now.
- Randy Orton was dominated by Mason Ryan for most of their match, and then hit an RKO out of nowhere for the victory. Of course, this means that CM Punk will be alone when he meets Orton at WrestleMania. After the bell, Orton punted Ryan in the head, which led to Punk storming the ring. Punk and Orton engaged in a stare down just inches apart, both pounding on the mat with their fists. It was very animalistic, and in the end, Punk retreated. The build for this one has been good, but if Punk doesn’t GTS Orton’s head off at WrestleMania, it will all have been for naught.
- Drew Carey is going into the Hall of Fame. More on that later today.
- Trish Stratus coming out of retirement to face Vickie Guerrero last night was a travesty. After some mindless drivel from both Snooki and Vickie, this one got under way, and it was one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen on Monday Night Raw. Sting vs Hardy at Victory Road was an instant classic next to this one, which was legitimately painful to watch. Vickie threw her shoes at Trish. Trish spanked Vickie with her shoes. John Morrison and Dolph Ziggler got involved. The greatest Women’s Champion of all time was floored for the 3-count after a weak looking kick from the interfering Michelle McCool. Awful. After the closing bell, a WrestleMania match was made that will see Dolph Ziggler team with LayCool to wrestle John Morrison, Trish Stratus, and Snooki. Yes. That’s the match. At WrestleMania. I am so blinded by rage, I can’t even begin to discuss this here. Expect a long rant within the next 48 hours.
- Meanwhile, on Ring of Honor’s HDNet show, “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett won the Top Prospects tournament, defeating Kyle O’Reilly in the finals. After the match, Bennett and Steve Corino brawled, and Bennett came out on top. Davey Richards won a wrestling exhibition as a result of a TKO against his training partner Tony Kozina, and The Bravado Brothers were able to score a win over the team of Grizzly Redwood & Bobby Dempsey. Prince Nana also unveiled the newest member of his Embassy, Tommaso Ciampa. Ciampa looked impressive in his debut victory over Mike Sydal, brother of WWE superstar Evan Bourne.
All in all, Raw was disappointing. The Miz’s promo towards the beginning of the show was good, as was the US Title match between Sheamus and Bryan, but that was about it. The Cole / Lawler / JR / Swagger segment was effective, but in my opinion it ran too long. The Trish vs Vickie match was horrendous, as was the resulting WrestleMania match announcement. It seems to me that the Monday night roster is a little too shallow, and as a result, a lot of things run too long or seem repetitive. With three weeks left until WrestleMania, hopefully WWE can right the ship.