RAW - 19/03/2012
What this show needs to accomplish?
•I mentioned last week that I felt the build to Shawn-Taker-HHH was going great, but that it feels like something is missing. I’m not sure what it is, and I’m probably in the minority, but tonight I really hope they make this feel like the money match it’s supposed to be at Wrestlemania. I remember during last year’s Undertaker-Triple H build they had an awesome go home segment where Shawn said Triple H couldn’t win and walked away. Undertaker than gave Triple H an arrogant smirk and left the ring while Triple h was standing in the ring with the Wrestlemania sign above him as he glared at Undertaker on the ramp. That was one of the greatest segments I’ve seen to build up a match in a long time and I really feel and I think they will deliver one heck of a segment this time
•Cena-Mark Henry match. I’m hoping that the last two weeks of build up for Mark Henry aren’t just to feed him to John Cena, but I fear it might be. I know Cena has to go over, but I hope Mark Henry keeps some dignity especially since they will likely play up that Cena might be feeling some side effects from this morning’s car accident. No reason for Henry to be beaten handily by an injured John Cena
•The Rock. It will be interesting to see what Rock has in store for us tonight. He said he has a surprise for Philadelphia and hopefully it relates to the build for the Wrestlemania match and not just to get him over with the city of brotherly love
•CM Punk promo. It’s time to get the killer promo from Punk and it might not be a bad idea to open hot with a Punk promo. Jericho cut a nice promo on Raw last week and Punk was speechless and then he cut a killer promo on Smackdown as well so I would think this is the week Punk responds and makes the title match feel like it’s the most important match on the biggest show of the year.
•Zack Ryder. Let’s just avoid having him look like a goof and sabotaging his character even further
•Laurinaitis-Long. I’ve said every week that I just don’t want this angle to overshadow the entire show like Cole-Lawler from last year tended to do and they’ve done a good job of getting it out of the way early. I’m interested to once again learn more participants this week
What this show accomplished?
•Solid opening promo with Punk and Jericho. Punk was on fire. Jericho was slimy. It wasn’t above expectations, but still in the good column.
•Mark Henry protected. I think I lost sleep over the weekend thinking about Henry having to job to Cena, but they protected him and Cole mentioned even after the match that Henry dominated it
•Rock promo. I sometimes feel like WWE is attempting to water Rock down by not giving him graphics and mentioning him in passing, but Rock’s promo ability is so far and away above everyone else’s that he lands on another atmosphere even if that’s what they are attempting to do. Also The Rock promo was to kiss ass with the city yet again, but he does such a great job with it that I can’t put it in the bad column even if the surprise was a letdown for the worldwide audience.
•Cody Rhodes video package. Another great package and Cody’s reactions to them are great
•John Laurinaitis and David Otunga. He’s really come into his own in that area and Otunga is just fantastic in his role as I figured he would be
•The setup for the Randy Orton interview like it was 80’s and 90’s, Superstars. I liked that aspect of it and hope they keep it up, although I’d maybe get a different person doing the interview so it feels extra special instead of the ken doll.
•Vignette for new Superstar. I assume that’s for A-Train under a new gimmick and I approve!
•Ziggler and Swagger added to Team Johnny
•Raw plug for next week for the final showdown between Rock and Cena
•I liked that they shows footage of Triple H wrestling at a live event. It makes those shows feel like you are seeing something at those events that we won’t get to see on a Raw or Smackdown.
•This is more of a nitpick as I thought the final segment with Undertaker, Shawn and Hunter was good, but it really didn’t meet my expectations. This was not the missing piece to the puzzle that made this the money match that I think it should be and the fact that they did this all guys in the ring promo on this week’s show makes me wonder if anything is even planned for the go home show outside of a video package
•Where’s the HOF plugs?
•Match finishes. WWE did a bad job with match finishes. Big Show shouldn’t be losing in two minutes even with a slight distraction and nor should Zack Ryder who needs all the help he can get
•Sheamus coming out happy and smiling, right out of the John Cena playbook. This is the type of stuff that makes me wonder if the people putting these shows together understand what they are doing. Bryan was on the show, Sheamus was furious at him last week on Smackdown, but we need to save Bryan and Sheamus for Smackdown so we have them in separate segments and Sheamus pretends like nothing happened. Just putrid stuff. WWE should have had Bryan face someone else and have Sheamus chase Bryan through the crowd or something and then had Zack beat Miz especially since it would play into the Teddy putting Zack on his team. Of course the way WWE Creative has been sabotaging Zack maybe he’s not supposed to get on Teddy’s team
•”My name is Randy Orton”, just stop it. I’m not even going to put the blame on WWE Creative; Randy should know it’s time to veto that
•Cody obliterates a handcuffed Big Show with all kinds of punches and Show isn’t knocked out and just staggers around. I guess WWE wants to remain PG and not have the angle too violent, but hey they had CM Punk cursing away in the segment before
• I did not care for this show. It was good in some aspects, but some of the booking bothered me and the final segment didn’t meet my expectations
What this show needs to accomplish next week on the go home show for the biggest event of the year?
•Going into the show I was all ready to accept what Undertaker, Shawn and Triple H did as the closing segment to this build, but I’m not anymore. I think we need to see Triple H on Raw next week with one final hard sell for this match. Out of the three of them he’s been the best with the promo work and I want to see a solo promo from him next week hyping this thing. You can say end of an era all you want, but I’m not buying it. Give me some different verbiage and sell this match!
•CM Punk. I need another promo from Punk this time dissecting Jericho and tearing him down while making sustaining him as a worthy Wrestlemania opponent at the same time. I also think a pull a part brawl would be wise with Punk and Jericho, but I could also see that happening with Rock and Cena
•Speaking of Rock and Cena. The final confrontation. “This is it, here I stand, I’m the light of the world, I feel grand” – Michael Jackson. I never thought I’d be quoting the king of pop in one of these, but I’m going to. This is it for these two and the money promo. The comedy is done, the no selling is done, and the singing is done. Let’s not totally tear each other down and do the final hard sell for this match. Physical contact? I’m not oppose to it as long as it ends in a pull apart, but if you are going to do that for Jericho and Punk then I wouldn’t mind seeing them flashback to the old Hogan-Warrior double clothesline spot from The Royal Rumble 1990 as we fade to credits. I thought it would be an added touch if they said Vince McMahon would host the final confrontation, but it’s not something I’m complain about. Biggest match of all time, you keep saying it, make us feel it!
•Video package time. I understand WWE is doing a one hour countdown show for Rock and Cena, although I didn’t catch much promotion for it. Either way I want to see a video package with different superstars and celebrities commentating on the match. I am baffled as to why WWE hasn’t done that yet. I want to see a package on Undertaker and Triple H as well where different superstars and legends predict who they think will win. Right now this show feels like the biggest show of the year, but it doesn’t feel like the biggest show of all time, because the promotion isn’t what it needs to be!
•There are a few more minor things I’d avoid next week like having guys like Big Show job in two minutes or bad comedy or bad scripted promos (See Randy Orton-Kane), but that’s minor stuff. I really would like to see them deliver on those three big matches with them all peaking next week and you know what the way this Raw came across maybe it’s designed to peak next week with some stellar segments. Let’s hope so.
•HOF Plug. I assume Yokozuna will be announced next week, but even if he isn’t we need to get a plug for the HOF in as it feels like it hasn’t been mentioned in weeks
•Full card rundown. I ask for it for every pay per view and I don’t get it. I won’t hold my breath, but fingers are crossed!