Atlnta Cena Sucks Georgia Dome Jerry Lawler John Cena Michael Cole Monday Night Raw Stone Cold Steve Austin Sunny Tammy Lynn Sytch The Miz The Rock The Undertaker Triple H Wrestlemania Wrestlemania 27 WWE
You know the drill. Well, at least you should.
In commemoration of ME attending the Super Bowl of fake blood sport on April 3, I will be breaking down the Road to Wrestlemania on a somewhat regular basis. By somewhat regular basis, I mean, uh, whenever I feel like it. Tonight I feel like it which is to say I can’t sleep. So second on our journey is the 3-7-11 (Oh thank Heaven) edition of Raw. The episode was hyped for the return of Stone Cold Steve Austin to WWE television. Let’s do this.
Show opens with The Undertaker’s entrance
First, let me just say that I freaking love the slight tweak that Taker has made to his gimmick since returning. In case you haven’t noticed, he is no longer being dubbed as “The Deadman”. He is now “The Last Outlaw”. He still carries all the trademark appearances of The Deadman, except now he comes out to Johnny Cash and talks and moves like a real person during promos. It’s a combination of Deadman and American Badass, and it’s brilliant.
Anyways, Taker is obviously focusing on Triple H for their match at Mania. Basically, he came out to say that the match will be no holds barred, which is to say that it will be a professional wrestling match. Thanks Taker!
Taker continued to hint that this could be a retirement match by reiterating Triple H’s statement that he “will die” if the streak ends, and that Triple H will “die trying” if Taker wins. If Mania 27 is really Taker or Triple H’s last match, and I get to see it live, I might pee a little.
Randy Orton defeats David Otunga (AKA Mr. Jennifer Hudson)
So three guys (Nexus) beat the hell out of one guy (Randy Orton) for a solid ten minutes. After dragging his lifeless body from backstage to the ring, a member of Nexus (Otunga) manages to lose a match to Orton. IT’S STILL REAL TO ME DAMMIT!
If you haven’t been paying attention, this is all to fuel the best undercard feud going right now. Orton vs. CM Punk is epic and you should almost certainly agree with me. Punk started the feud because Orton punted him in the head (WWE’s version of Orton killing you) two years ago, costing him to forfeit his world title. So Orton has now managed to punt three members of Nexus, leaving Punk with just one comrade with less than a month until Mania.
Christian defeated Brodus Clay
A returning Christian has become something of the odd man out in his love/hate triangle with Edge and Alberto Del Rio. Christian beats the large Brodus Clay fairly easily, but is then taken out by the man who was supposed to be his opponent, Del Rio. The last two times Del Rio has beat up Edge, there’s been a Christian save. But tonight, no Edge. Something tells me we have a post-Mania feud that Edge/Christian fans have wanted for years.
Sunny is being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame
I dedicate this moment to a young girl who once tried to get a 10-year-old Bryan Holt in trouble for bringing a magazine with Sunny bikini pictures in it to elementary school.
Take that, snitch.
Eve defeated one of the Bella Twins to retain the WWE Divas Championship
GIRL FIGHT! Moving on.
Michael Cole promo leads to chaos (Kyle Rancourt’s head explodes)
So Michael Cole is out to announce who the guest referee will be in his match against Jerry Lawler at Wrestlemania. I feel the need to bring Rancourt into this because his opinion on Cole’s current role is true.
As he wrote earlier from his revolutionary Twitter account to my new and revolutionary Twitter account: @BryanHoltGC I’d rather watch a Vickie Guerrero sex tape than watch the WWE push Michael Cole as a major heel. It’s painfully bad.
Rancourt is right. Cole is over the top and cartoonish, even by pro wrestling standards, in his role as a dorky announcer turned dorky bad guy. He’s terribly douchey to the point where if I was a casual viewer flipping through channels, I’d almost certainly never stop at USA Network and watch.
BUT, the golden rule in pro wrestling is simple: Go with the crowd’s reaction. The live crowd’s have hated Cole for years, so WWE made him a heel. Little kids buy John Cena merchandise like Dickey Eklund buys crack, so WWE keeps Cena face despite the protests of everyone over 13.
While it may seem like it, WWE isn’t really trying to make Cole a top heel. They’re just trying to help create this giant jackass that you are interested in seeing Jerry Lawler knock around for eight minutes as a buffer between two real matches at Wrestlemania. And it now involves Stone Cold as the special referee with his never-ending supply of Keystone Light.
I’m pretty sure Stone Cold can make anything good. Maybe even a Vickie Guerrero sex tape.
I love that WWE is making nostalgia such a big part of this Mania. Is it a sign that the current roster can’t carry the biggest pay-per-view of the year? Probably. But it’s going to make me feel like I’m in fourth grade again, so I don’t really care.
Daniel Bryan defeated Sheamus
Poor Bryan and Sheamus. They were forced to be the first men out of the curtain after Stone Cold Steve Austin: A - Returned to Raw for the first time in a year. B – Hit the Stunner on JBL (who was making his first WWE appearance in two years) twice. C – Poured beer all over Michael Cole. D – Drank/spilled enough Keystone Light to drown the Carolina Cup.
On the bright side for Sheamus, he got a chance after losing to talk about his losing streak. He challenged Bryan to a U.S. title match next week, and promised that he will quit if he loses. Strange wrestling fact: losing is kind of good for your character if you’re given a chance to talk about it. Silent losses mean you’re about to get fired.
CM Punk beat R-Truth
Good. Somebody keep that skipping, rapping idiot off of the Wrestlemania card, please.
SNOOKI IS GOING TO BE ON RAW NEXT WEEK!!!
My level of excitement for this is both unhealthy and pathetic.
Dolph Ziggler defeated John Morrison
Vickie Guerrero is now banned from Smackdown and Raw. From the looks of things, an unlikely Money in the Bank ladder match is the only chance that either of these two superstars make a meaningful match on the Mania card. This is a shame.
John Cena’s response
Really, where do I start?
I can usually tolerate Cena because I understand that I’m not who his character is aimed at. But wow, this promo was worse than awful. It was memorably bad. It left me only hoping that whoever wrote the crap wasn’t being serious. It really felt like WWE was trying to make everyone hate Cena for at least one night.
He was almost constantly the only person chuckling at his own jokes. His lines were met with both boos and, even worse, silence. He is supposed to be on stage as part of one of the biggest feuds going in wrestling today, and yet he made the worst promo I’ve ever seen him make.
Everything about it was bad, from the cheerful opening to the almost comical insinuation that he is “2-0″ in verbal jabs at The Rock. Yes, they have yet to go face-to-face on television, but if that is what Cena seriously thinks he can use against the greatest promo of all time, then the eventual face-off will be an absolute embarrassment.
The idea of Cena even trying to go against Rock in a babyface-babyface feud is dangerous for business in the WWE. Unless they’re trying to make Cena a heelish parody of himself, they’re only making matters worse.
The Miz attacks Cena and cuts a promo
This was excellent and would have been more excellent had the crowd actually gone against him. The problem is that they had just heard the worst promo in years and were actually kind of happy to see Miz take out Cena.
But everything was spot-on by Miz. He needs to express the frustration caused by Rock/Cena dominating HIS title match. He needs to insert himself heavily into that feud. He did both seamlessly to close out Raw.
The line of the night was Miz telling Rock through the camera that he was going to “take your eyebrow, your 45 catchphrases, your father, your grandfather, roll them up into a little ball and shove them straight up” … Well, you know the rest. The People’s Elbow was sick, too.
Here’s what the tentative card for Wrestlemania XXVII is shaping up to look like after this week’s Raw:
WWE Champion The Miz vs. John Cena for the WWE Title
World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Title
The Undertaker vs. Triple H in a no holds barred match (possibly for retirement)
C.M. Punk vs. Randy Orton
Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole (with Jack Swagger) with Stone Cold Steve Austin as the guest referee
Alberto Del Rio Atlanta Edge Georgia Dome Jerry Lawler John Cena Michael Cole Monday Night Raw Pro Wrestling The Bella Twins The Miz The Rock The Undertaker Triple H Wrestlemani Wrestlemania WWE
With the conclusion of the Elimination Chamber PPV behind us, pro wrestling fans are officially on the home stretch of the Road to Wrestlemania XXVII, which will take place April 3 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Since my fascination with fake bloodsport is well documented around here, and since I will be attending the aforementioned Wrestlemania, I will be documenting, following and obviously making smart-ass comments about key shows leading up to the Super Bowl of scripted fighting right here on this very site. First up is the 2-21-11 edition of “Monday Night Raw” which has been hyped for weeks as the curious return of The Undertaker. Let’s do this.
Show opens with John Cena promo
… And it’s time to address all the mean things The Rock said about him last week. For those of you who need a refresher, THE ROCK SAID:
- That it’s sad how WWE has gone from the powerful “Austin 3:16″ to the dominant “Do you smell what The Rock is cookin’?” to [cue girl/Bieber voice] “You can’t shee me.”
- That a blindfolded Stevie Wonder sleeping in a basement could see Cena’s “monkey ass.”
- That Cena looks like something that got shot out of Barney the Dinosaur’s anus.
- That Cena looks like “a big fat bowl of fruity pebbles.”
Knowing that trying to talk would only magnify what Rock had said, Cena did what any 33-year-old white man wearing jorts, a purple shirt and matching hat would do, he started freestyling. Over the course of his Slim Shadyesque rage, Cena bashed Rock for leaving the fans to make movies like “The Toothfairy” and “The Game Plan.” He also managed to say that Rock can kiss his candy ass, provide him with a certain Lewinsky-inspired sexual favor and star in the sequel to “Brokeback Mountain” (one can only assume he’d make a fine Heath Ledger fill-in).
Overall, it was probably Cena’s best way to respond, but this remains to be one of the more open-ended angles heading into Wrestlemania. We really don’t know what The Rock’s official role is going to be in the Cena match at Mania. It’s also a little dangerous for WWE to build so heavily around Cena-Rock when the actual match in Atlanta will be Cena-Miz. Regardless, this was a solid opener and it was interesting how Cena was booed and overrun by “Rocky” chants during his introduction but won the crowd back slightly during his freestyle.
Note: through the entire show, a countdown is running for the big 2-21-11 reveal which everyone knows is The Undertaker returning from being buried alive … again.
C.M. Punk defeats John Morrison
Both guys sold the effects of the previous night’s Elimination Chamber match pretty strong, but Morrison especially sold it hard giving him an excuse to lose clean to Punk, as the true point of this match was to escalate the Punk/Randy Orton feud.
After the match, Punk grabbed a mic, which is a very good thing because he’s probably the best promo in WWE today. What followed was the epicness of what most are expecting out of this feud. Punk swears that he is going to hurt Orton badly next week and warns him to “just walk away.” Orton of course responds by pounding fake punches into the back of Punk’s head, Punk retreats and we have the next advance in their march to Mania.
Alberto Del Rio tries to kill Kofi Kingston … But you already know that.
Just filler to keep people hating Del Rio as he prepares for his big title shot against Edge at Mania.
The Miz cuts a promo
Now it’s time for The Miz to respond to the not nice things that Rock said about him. In case you haven’t noticed, The Rock is not in the building tonight, so WWE is just saying his name as much as possible to make it sound like he is. Typical Miz promo reminding everyone that all Rock can do is talk about being at Wrestlemania because unlike Cena and himself, he does not have the privilege of main-eventing the spectacle.
Anonymous GM (Yes, they still don’t know who he is) chimes in and announces that Miz and Cena will be teaming up to face The Corre in tonight’s main event with the WWE Tag Team Championships on the line. Miz promises to win the belts and leaves.
The Bella Twins defeats Gail Kim and Eve
GIRL FIGHT! Moving on…
IT’s TIME! 25 … 24 … 23 … Okay, this is taking way too damn long … 3 … 2 … 1 …
The Johnny Cash song has become something of a secondary song for Taker, and it confirmed that the Dead Man lives. Taker came out of the cabin that had been in the weekly commercials and made his way to the ring. Typical Taker entrance until … He’s interrupted by a returning Triple H who is on our television screens for the first time since April 25.
Not one word is said during the confrontation between the two. Taker offers his trademark throat slash, Hunter his trademark crotch chop. They stare each other down and look up at the Wrestlemania sign to a huge pop from the crowd. While there are no words, the message is clear to anyone who has watched wrestling over the past year. Undertaker retired Shawn Michaels at last year’s Wrestlemania. Triple H and Michaels are both real-life and on-screen besties. Triple H is here for revenge, Taker is looking to extend his Wrestlemania undefeated streak to 19-0.
Some rumors say that HBK might be the guest referee for this match. Others say this will be a retirement match. No matter what, this one is going to be special. It really has to go on last at Mania. Sorry, title matches.
Mark Henry defeats Sheamus
Not much here as the poor guys had to follow an iconic stare-down. The storyline here is that Sheamus is frustrated by a string of recent losses, and after the match, he takes it out on United States Champion Daniel Bryan. Here’s to hoping that’s a Mania feud.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan is getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame
Michael Cole interviews Jerry Lawler
Cole is the hardcore heel announcer that rubs everyone wrong. Jerry Lawler lost a WWE title match the night before (yes, you read that correctly). All signs point to them having a match in some capacity at Wrestlemania. This would be a special deal for Lawler as he has been in WWE almost 20 years and never competed at Wrestlemania.
All-in-all, this cold interview-turned-confrontation between the two did an excellent job of making viewers want to see Lawler both get his hands on Cole and finally get his Wrestlemania moment.
However, even though I’m a person who almost never thinks anything is over the top, there was a portion where Cole referred to Lawler’s mother who actually died last week to get some heat from the crowd. Obviously, it’s Lawler’s mother, and I have no right to comment, but it really seemed like a little much even if this is just a show.
John Cena and The Miz defeat The Corre to win the WWE Tag Team Championship, then lose on an immediate rematch clause
Uh, strange end to a very strong show. They teased Cena and Miz being champions together for a moment before a rematch was announced, and Miz caused Cena to lose the belts back over to Corre. The point is meant to be that Miz came through on his promise of winning the titles, but still made a statement against Cena.
Here’s what the tentative card for Wrestlemania XXVII is shaping up to look like after this week’s Raw
WWE Champion The Miz vs. John Cena for the WWE Title
World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Alberto Del Rio for the Word Heavyweight Title
The Undertaker vs. Triple H
C.M. Punk vs. Randy Orton
Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler (in some capacity)