Last night, for the first time ever, The Rock and John Cena stood in the same ring. When Raw went off the air, The Rock had fallen, and Cena was the one who was walking tall.
The Rock hit the ring and spewed more of the rhetoric we’ve been hearing via satellite the past few weeks, and it didn’t take long for the Doctor of Thuganomics to interrupt him. Cena verbally lashed the Rock, outperforming him on the mic once again and showing why he’s the face of WWE today. Naturally, the Miz involved himself and had some words to spit, which fell somewhere between those of The Rock’s and those of Cena’s in entertainment value. The talking could only last so long, however. This is wrestling after all. The Miz and the newly rehired A-Ry attacked the Rock, but the People’s Champ fired back, tossing Riley out of the ring and delivering a DDT and People’s Elbow to The Miz. Just after he did, Cena re-entered the ring and gave the most significant Attitude Adjustment of his career to The Brahma Bull.
After weeks of building a feud between these three remotely, they were all finally in the same ring on the go-home Raw before WrestleMania, and it paid off in a big way. It was the most entertaining closing of a Raw in recent memory, and it has me more excited for WrestleMania than I have been up until this point. I actually cannot wait to see what develops in the Cena vs Miz match on Sunday. The rest of Raw, featuring another two fantastic promos, after the jump.
- Raw opened with CM Punk sitting indian style in the middle of the ring. The show was being shot in Chicago, Punk’s hometown, so it was wise for the WWE to start the action with him already in the ring, as I’m sure his entrance generated a huge pop that wouldn’t translate well on television due to his strong heel persona. Punk, as always, excelled in his promo and drove home the point that Nexus was expendable and that his sights were set solely on Randy Orton. Orton hit the ring, naturally, but his leg injury from the attack Punk launched last week prevented him from being able to punt the Straight Edge Superstar. CM took advantage of the situation and delivered a Go To Sleep to his foe. Awesome opening segment. I can’t help it, I’m a mark for Punk. Always have been, always will be.
- Edge & Christian went over Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay after a spear to Clay. After the match, Del Rio synched the cross armbreaker in on both of his Canadian adversaries. The addition of Christian and Clay to the feud between Del Rio and Edge has been wonderful. It’s really preventing things from getting stale.
- Sin Cara is coming NEXT WEEK. A debut on the Raw after WrestleMania is usually a good sign, just ask Brock Lesnar.
- Santino beat Justin Gabriel in a fun little match. The Corre’s Mania opponents are set as Big Show, Kane, Santino, & Kozlov. I cannot express how much I prefer this team to the rumored one of Show, Kane, Christian, and Kofi. This makes so much more sense. Santino had all three of his WM partners at ringside, and it was entertaining to see them use the Corre’s usual strength-in-numbers tactics against them. After Santino won, he got his partners to do his horn blowing celebration thing all over the ring, Kane included. Pretty hilarious.
- Triple H cut his best promo since 2001. As most of you know, I’m not a huge fan of the H, and as a result I almost begrudge speaking favorably of him. But he was good last night. He and Undertaker went face to face, with HBK in the ring with them to witness the ordeal. After exchanging words, HBK went for a Sweet Chin Music on the Deadman, but was countered. When Triple H asked for Michaels to tell the world why he’d win at WrestleMania, the Heartbreak Kid left the ring without saying a word. He then mouthed to Triple H that he couldn’t beat Taker. Really powerful stuff here. All three guys were used masterfully in this segment, and if you missed Raw last night, I highly recommend trying to catch a replay of this. Actually, just tune into Smackdown, aka the Raw highlight show.
- Jack Swagger defeated Jerry Lawler by DQ when The King used a steel chair on the All American American. After the match, Lawler went after a taunting Cole and was escorted out by security. Yawn. Can’t wait for this feud to be over. I wonder which one of them, Cole or Lawler, will be removed from Raw after Mania. There’s no way they can go back to being commentary partners after this.
- Sheamus & Dolph Ziggler notched a win over Daniel Bryan & John Morrison. There wasn’t much to this one, it was really just a quick way to squeeze all of the guys onto the show to hype their respective Mania matches. I can’t wait for Sheamus vs Bryan, and if Ziggler and Morrison are given any time to work on Sunday, it’ll be magnifico.
- Orton offered a brief word backstage, saying that people shouldn’t be asking him if he’ll make it to Mania after the attack he sustained earlier in the night, they should be asking if Punk will make it out. Extremely short but also extremely effective. Everyone brought their A-game tonight.
- The Legion of Doom are going into the Hall of Fame. Nice of them to announce it in Chicago, I’m sure the crowd there popped well for their hometown heroes.
- The bar vignette between Trish, Snooki, and LayCool that received so much attention from dirtsheets when it was filmed last week aired, and it was pretty awful. Snooki is a waste. Trish Stratus is the best women’s wrestler of all time, and I’ve actually been really enjoying LayCool recently, but this segment was garbage.
Raw was chock full of promos and it really skimped on the wrestling. That being said, the promos on the show were all fantastic. I really, really, really enjoyed Raw, and it’s been a while since that was the case. It was an excellent go-home show before WrestleMania, and I’m eagerly anticipating more than a couple matches on the card this Sunday. I’m not exactly sure what the deal is with Smackdown this week (there’s no taping tomorrow), so we might have seen the last build up we’re going to see for some of Mania’s matches last night. If that’s the case, they did a fine job of hyping the Spring Classic.