1. RAW opens the show with a “psych” moment, as we get the anticipated verbal battle between two of the best on the mic in the game today instead of the announced world title clash. I still say that Chris Jericho invades foreign countries to get all the oil he puts on his chest. Good lord, trying to hit a chop on that guy must send you skipping into a 180.
2. All of you out there who want to be wrestlers, pay attention to what Chris Jericho and CM Punk are doing here. They’re putting over their opponent in the midst of their verbal attacks, and that’s extremely important to being a wrestler. A lot of starry-eyed trainees think that cutting promos is just finding ways to say how much the other person sucks, and that does neither of you any good. These two are demonstrating how building up their opponent makes the feud that much better.
3. Not that I wasn’t enjoying either of the promos, but isn’t the whole “dying breed” thing already being used by Triple H and Undertaker? Don’t get me wrong, I get it and everything, and he does have a point. As opposed to going to FCW and churning out the same style, guys used to work all over the world learning new styles and applying them. Nowadays, that doesn’t happen, and it may have something to do with the decline in audience. If WCW did one thing right throughout their existence, they brought in a variety of styles from different places and let them face each other. Granted, Sin Cara was a flop, but I think you get the idea.
4. CM Punk says he has never plagiarized anything. That might be true, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t come up with, “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” Just sayin’…
5. Now it seems Punk is taking the similar approach that John Cena is against The Rock by saying, “I’m the one who’s here while you’re out there.” Who knew after their huge feud this summer they would have so much in common? Maybe a Summerslam match teaming Jericho and Rock against Cena and Punk would work nicely? It’ll never happen, but the promos leading up to that could be legendary.
6. Daniel Bryan is growing quite an entourage, complete with David Otunga and his Dr. Huxtable sweater. Otunga does what he does best; stand there and slurp coffee. Although I am quite curious where the hell Long and Santino came from! Were they already there? Did they come out while CM Punk and Jericho were talking? Did they use Hornswoggle’s teleportation device under the ring? Did we miss the Delorean arriving? Explain!
7. Speaking of Theodore Long however, I think he made his suit out of a velvet sofa.
8. Look, I know they’re trying to put over the storyline, one that I’m actually enjoying so far, but just a little bit of a tip if you don’t mind… CALL THE FUCKING MATCH! It is so unbelievably annoying to be watching a match, a good one at that, and instead listen to the announcers and panelists bickering with each other. It’s what made the Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler feud so annoying. Well that, and JR getting involved, Michael Cole talking more, Jack Swagger being a lackey, that match getting way too much time at WrestleMania, relegating Stone Cold to refereeing it, going on a lot longer than it should have, the reverse decision that allowed Michael Cole to not shut up even more… But besides that, it’s what made it so annoying. The world champions of the brands are going at it, and they’re in a proverbial cock contest. Nothing shows how big of a deal a champion vs. champion match is than that!
9. The WWE continues to treat us like idiots, as Michael Cole actually has to explain what he meant by AJ giving Daniel Bryan some TLC, by following it up with “Some tender loving care.” Thanks Cole, I really thought there for a minute that AJ Lee was giving him some Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. Thank JBL you’re here to specify exactly what you meant by that statement. Without you, life would be a vast basin of confusion.
10. Interesting decision to have the exact same ending to the match as they did on the live Smackdown. I guess that was one way to go; giving a live Smackdown recap instead of just playing the match like they do on Smackdown with a RAW match, but still… Bryan powders, Sheamus throws him back in, the GMs bitch about it. I’m usually the eternal optimist, but this show is agitating me!
11. CM Punk bails on the whole scene, I presume because he is not impressed by the confrontation. Chris Jericho returns sparkleless to make a stage attack, because enough people just weren’t involved yet.
12. I really enjoyed the video package with everyone talking about the Cena vs. Rock match. That is how you put a match over. With so many names and different perspectives coming together to give their thoughts, that helps build it up so much. Although Big Show mentioned that it was like Zeus and Hades battling it out, which demands a Liam Neeson: “RELEAESE THE KRAKKEN!” Not that I’ve used that this week… /cheap show plug.
13. Hey, Kelly Kelly is still around! To my infinite satisfaction, this week she’s facing one of the interchangeable Bella twins, and of course it ends the way only a Divas match not featuring Beth Phoenix can… a roll-up. Because they’re exciting and haven’t been used at all in the last year within these matches.
14. Just in case anyone didn’t pick up on this fact by this point in the show, but did you know The Rock would be returning? They really didn’t tell me enough times. I’d forgotten after the six times in the first half hour they told me, so it was a really good thing they kept mentioning it every single chance they got, just in case we’re all a bunch of Ten-Second Toms. Next thing you know, they’ll be telling me that Wade Barrett had a skybox.
15. The Miz did a better promo than he’s done in weeks. It was a clever kayfabe way of addressing the rumors that he hasn’t been trying lately. Although the “Miz, remember when you mattered?” sign did get a legitimate laugh out of me. The match is about what you’d expect it to be, though Cena sold that DDT like gold. If you never give him credit for anything else, he can sell just about anyone’s moves as well as anyone in the business. Keep in mind, putting someone over doesn’t necessarily mean that they lose the match. Present company teamed with Alex Riley and two minute bullshit ending at Capitol Punishment excluded of course.
16. Cena wins with the infamous Five Moves of Doom in order. The anti-Cena barrage in the IWC must’ve been going nuts. ZOMGZFIVEMOVESOFDOOMZOMGZ! BURIED! BURIED! BURIED! Cena’s all smiles and joking again, because I guess once you embrace the hate, your aggression goes away and it’s like the last few months just never happened at all. I love continuity so much.
17. Does anyone notice that people tend to accidentally drop the E in WWE when they’re talking fast enough? I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people say the WW championship. Reminds me of the infamous Kane-aroonie segment with Booker T in 2002 where he said he was the five-time WC champion, which I’m hoping did not mean water closet.
18. Nobody has given Truth a live mic in far too long. My batshit-o-meter is starting to drop.
19. Does anyone notice the problem with the triple threat tag match? Not that it’s not good; it’s actually really good, but you’ve got two teams of guys in the Elimination Chamber, the US champion, and they’re facing Primo and Epico, who to this point, nobody in the entire audience gives a Van Dam about? I realize the tag titles have not been a priority to this company in a while, but it might serve them well to tell us who they are beyond emphasizing that Rosa Mendes comes out with them.
20. Kofi Kingston gets some of the most impressive air I’ve ever seen. Nobody, however, can match Maven’s dropkick. Or Braden Walker in anything. Don’t think he’s not still out there, waiting to show up in the main event at WrestleMania 28. You think Rock vs. Cena is the big match of the show? Oh wait until Braden Walker gets involved. That will be the greatest thing ever in the history of anything, and we should all be privileged to witness such a triumphant return of BradenMania.
21. Referring back to Thought 19, Primo and Epico winning over both of these teams seems a little weird. Yes, it does help put them over, but you’re telling me that the midcard champion and three guys who were good enough to fight for the world title can’t beat two guys that nobody knows? Logic 101 guys, first you tell us who they are and why we should care, THEN you put them over.
22. Okay, I totally marked out for the Kane pyro. I remember throughout his career where he’d just randomly come out and kill everyone, and it appears this will be one of those times. The only thing missing though… A reason. I speculate that he recalls in 2002 when he won TLC IV by himself after Triple H assaulted the Hurricane. Yes kids, Kane and the Hurricane were tag team champions for a while. He retained them on his own, so since they didn’t give me a reason for Kane’s random attack, I postulate that he was getting nostalgic and decided he wanted in the tag team title feud by himself.
23. I’m really enjoying this Cody Rhodes gimmick, a sentence I never thought in my life I would write at one point. Poor Big Show, for a guy who has had a long and rather good career, WrestleMania has not been his strong point. Cody drawing emphasis to this makes it pretty clear we’ll see these two go at it at WrestleMania, which isn’t Shaquille O’Neal, but I have no qualms with it regardless.
24. That match seriously ended with two moves. Remember in Fact or Fiction when they asked us if Mark Henry’s fears about disappearing back to the midcard were legitimate? Well nothing can solidify that fear more than losing to a spear and a Brogue Kick while Cody Rhodes runs away. After spending all that time building Mark Henry up into a legitimate threat and a believable world champion, he’s falling back down quicker than John Morrison after the Trish Stratus cold shoulder.
25. They replay the video package from the opening of RAW, just in case you didn’t see it earlier. Nothing makes something like that more awesome than repeating it. However, that sounds a lot like Two Steps From Hell in the background, which I’m quite all right with.
26. The Rock gets a Hulk Hogan moment where he can’t speak because of the immense pop. Good, he’s earned that. You don’t get to hear a crowd go crazy for someone like that very often.
27. “Kung Pow Bitch” is now a chant, thus giving evidence that anything The Rock says can become a chant. I mean, this is the same guy who used to say “Roody Poo Candy Ass”, and people sang along with it. That’s some serious charisma, when someone can take something that stupid and make 15,000 people say it along with you. Mick Foley said it in one of his books, that The Rock is the kind of guy who can say something on Monday and have the crowd chanting it by Thursday. Now it’s to the point that he can have the crowd chanting it seconds after he said it. Nobody commands a crowd like The Great One.
28. Rock’s “WOW” face after the crowd started chanting “Missing Balls” was absolutely priceless, though Cena’s music quickly interrupted that moment. Cena continues to be impressive on the mic, which to me says that he’s at his best when he has someone on the elite level to match up with. He gets a surprising amount of cheers, despite the fact that it was all heat when Rocky mentioned his name earlier.
29. Rock actually seemed to be a bit flustered after Cena’s interruption, and that’s something I don’t think I’ve ever seen happen. I think he said “you’re back there listening” about five times.
30. The show closes off the way it should. It’s weird, I enjoyed watching the show for the most part, but there are a lot of things writing about it that I realized really irritated me. That’s not usual for me, as I’m the kind of guy who can usually make things positive, and I think some of you appreciate that. I’m still looking forward to WrestleMania as much as any fan, but dear JBL, there’s a lot of confusion going through the WWE ranks now. The one thing I’ll say though is that the GM feud better consist of more than Santino and Otunga. I’d care less about that than I would an Eve Torres promo.
I’m gonna try to do more columns like last week’s “Unwritten Fear” to complement the weekly 30 Thoughts pieces. I’m just trying to keep up at this point, but I’ve had a few submitted ideas that I’m gonna try to work on. If you want me to talk about something, feel free to email it to me, or if you have any bad commercials you want ripped apart. Until next time, this has been In Laiman’s Terms.