Hello all. My name is Jami and for the next couple of weeks I will be guiding you down the short but oh so sweet Road To WrestleMania 29. If you are a wrestling fan, however casual or extreme (like myself), there is no better time of year in the world of professional wrestling. While hanging with Jon (the wonderful English/Irish/Whateverheis editor here at Alter The Press) and discussing hobbies, I revealed to him my life-long love for the sport (it is a sport) of pro-wrestling. After a few discussions he asked me if I would mind dropping in to give a short recap of Monday Night Raw and the week in wrestling, intertwined with thoughts and opinions about where things are heading, as well as what I enjoyed and didn't enjoy. I happily obliged.
So here we go.
Top Of The Card:
This past Monday’s (February 25th) Raw kicked off with the chairman of the board Mr. McMahon strutting on one leg to the ring for a scheduled conflict with non other then long time adversary (in the wresting world and the real world) Paul Heyman. After some bickering and back and forth, Heyman takes a cheap shot at Vince and attacks him with his own crutches. Mr. McMahon shortly gains the upper hand and strikes Heyman. Cue one of the greatest entrance themes in wrestling history and enter former UFC and WWE champion, Brock Lesnar. Lesnar takes his time getting to the ring, stalking McMahon in the animalistic fashion that he is known for. Just when it looks like shit’s about to get real, “Time To Play the Game” by Motorhead blazes over the PA and the chairman’s son in law and future man-in-charge Triple H makes his way down to the ring – again, taking his time - to confront his Summerslam 2012 opponent and presumable WrestleMania 29 Opponent. They waste no time getting down to business and a, for lack of better phrasing, fucking awesome brawl takes place between the two - leaving Lesnar bleeding (the hard way) and Triple H with some kind of weird wet spot on his butt (?)
As I alluded to above, this was just awesome. A rematch between Hunter and Brock is not something that I have been looking forward too in pretty much anyway other then getting to watch Lesnar fight, but if the build over the next 5 weeks somehow keeps pace with this brawl then at the very least we are in for some good television. Both guys came out looking extremely strong, with Lesnar laughing his way up the entrance ramp in a way that only he can make convincing (attention: John Cena).
A little bit later we get a pretty to the books heel promo from CM Punk that ends with him repeating the phrase "I Am God," which basically sums up his speech and also sums up everything I love about him. I’m a Punk mark as most of us in the Internet wrestling community are so I am always gonna be somewhat bias. That being said, he killed this as he always does - and the religious undertones and all this god talk definitely bring a certain Deadman to mind. But I guess we will just have to wait a week or two and see…
This all sets up the main event of the night: John Cena vs CM Punk for the chance to face the current WWE Champion The Rock at WrestleMania 29 at Met Life Stadium. While the build to this match didn't make a ton of sense with Cena (for seemingly for no reason) putting up his fairly earned number one contendership after being verbally challenged by Punk in order to "silence his critics", to me, this is still - as Cena put it last week - "The Big One". While I've read online ramblings of their rivalry being "stale" and "overdone", I couldn't feel any differently. To me - this is the Batman vs Superman of the WWE in 2013. The two top dogs at there very best squaring off for the biggest opportunity that that there is in the wrestling world - the chance to main event WrestleMania. And just as I suspected, it did not disappoint. In an early candidate for "Match of the Year", Punk and Cena fought a long, hard. 20 minute plus battle that included banned moves (punks scary piledriver) and sort of awkward but effective big-man hurricaranas. Matches like this are what wakes us skeptics and scrutinizers up and reminds us what being a wrestling fan is all about. We were all kept on the edge of our seats with convincing near fall after near fall after reversal after submission. This was truly a blast to watch and my hat goes off to both men for being two of the best at what they do. Go back and read that last sentence, because I said TWO. That includes Mr. Cena who is notoriously hated by Internet smart-guys and adult males ages 18 - 40. John, if your reading this, and I'm sure you are, you killed it. The spot in which Cena and punk were almost counted out and cena popped up at the count of 9 prove Johns ability to connect with the audience and his impeccable timing. I advise anyone who is even casually into wrestling to watch this match.
Cena ends up winning the match cleanly and i guess we are gonna see Rock Vs Cena "twice and maybe more in a lifetime" again at 29. Im not sure how i feel about this…but more on that next time.
The Smaller (but equally important) Stuff:
- Ryback beats the shit out of my main man Dolph Ziggler. I don't exactly have a problem with this as i recognize it isn't quite Dolphs time and after 3 pay per view losses Ryback needs all the credible wins he can get, but i don't realize why you need both Big E and AJ interfering, only making Dolph look weaker. Bad booking logic and easily avoidable. Would really love to see a Big E and Ryback match in the future, hopefully not as a throw away on main event or something. Build it up, make it big and it can be really great for both guys and for the audience.
- Sheamus comes out and bullies Wade Barrett about his extremely relative success in wwe studios new film "The Call". I didn't understand this at all. Why is Sheamus angry with barret for him being in a movie, and isn't seamus supposed to be the baby face? this lacked any sort of logic, was unentertaining and dragged on. I would actually be really interested in a feud between these two guys, but make it about fighting! thats what these guys do. they fight. it is part of there respective gimmicks. if done the right way this could be a really cool ic title feud heading into mania. which is where i thought they were going until……
The Shield comes out and cuts a promo talking about how no one can beat them. Which so far has proven to be true. After two convincing paper view wins these guys are looking absolutely awesome and the booking so far has been pretty much flawless. Great promo, so you can expect someone to come out and ruin it.
Here comes Sheamus (again?) who stands at the top of the ring and taunts The Shield - distracting them so that Randy Orton can attack them from behind. again - an extremely heroic move on the part of WWE's "baby faces" otherwise known as smiling guys who bully people and make uncomfortable sexual, racial or poop related jokes. So I guess Sheamus is feuding with The Shield? i don't know where they are going with this. Another 3 on 3, I guess with Randy Orton in the spot previously taken by Cena? Did I mention that I hate Sheamus?
Mr Weedman Jack Swagger and Dirty Dutch Mantel have a race relations conversation with Alberto Del Rio. The somewhat controversial act of Jack Swagger and his new manager Zeb Coulter (formerly known as Dutch Mantel)
has been making a headline or two over at fox news and other weird spots like that. Swagger seems to be getting a push out of nowhere and as long as he can stay out of jail, will be facing Alberto Del Rio is what is shaping up to be some kind of weirdo race war. Hoping for Swaggers sake the act can become more about him and less about zebs borderline racist, anti immigration ramblings (which are entertaining). If not then the longevity of the pair is highly questionable. this was a decent segment that vaguely put over what they are trying to get across. I don't know how you drag it out for four more weeks though, especially with Del Rios seemingly decreasing mic work.
Daniel Bryan and Kane beat the Prime Time Players while blindfolded or something. This was really weird and corny. Love D Bry and Kane but the schtick is getting a little old. The whole segment also completely delegitimized the prime time players, who i love, for little to no reason other then to include bryan and kane in the show.
Overall I thought Raw was really solid. Two of the top feuds for mania were solidified and I left entertained and satisfied. Looking forward to next week even though with it being an "old school raw" it could end up being the last throwaway show before shit kicks into gear. Hopefully we will get Taker at least.
So here's what we are looking at so far for the Mania card:
The Rock © vs John Cena (for the WWE Championship)
HHH vs Brock Lesnar (unofficial)
Alberto Del Rio © vs Jack Swagger (for the World Heavyweight Championship)
Sheamus vs Everybody?
That's all for now. Thanks for reading and spread the word!!!!