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By Revin Samuel on 3/27/2012 10:46 AM

RAW - 26/03/2012
•I found last week’s segment between Shawn-Undertaker and Triple H a bit underwhelming. I questioned whether it was the go home segment for that storyline not withstanding video packages. I really hope they do one more go home promo tonight and I don’t even think Shawn and Undertaker are necessary. Triple H has done marvelous work with his promos and one more solid one to really hit this match home would be great. I need to hear more than “pure” or “end of an era”
•Punk promised to kick the you know what out of Chris Jericho and so hopefully they don’t do what Sheamus and Bryan did on this past week’s Smackdown and stand in the ring together for a nice discussion. If they are in the same segment, one should be in the ring and the other on the stage perhaps with security surrounding Jericho. I wouldn’t be opposed to a pull apart brawl here, but they also might be saving that for Rock and Cena. Bottom line I want to see some violence from these two or violent words
•Rock and Cena. Vince says this will break the WWE pay per view record held by Wrestlemania 23 and if it’s going to have any chance of doing that, this segment needs to be pure money. No smirks, no cut-offs, no trending, just a money promo exchange and if there are two guys who can deliver that, it’s The Rock and John Cena
Final two members of the Teddy and Johnny team’s.
Full card rundown and video packages. I won’t hold my breath on the full card rundown, but I hope we get a few awesome video packages including a Hall of Fame one. I’ve seen the Rock-Cena documentary and I hope they show the closing video package from that documentary or something similar on Raw tonight with the different wrestlers talking about what Wrestlemania means and who they think will win Rock-Cena.
Show Breakdown

  1. Booker T on commentary on the go home show isn’t a move I would have gone with.
  1. Why is this tag match Daniel Bryan and Kane against Randy Orton and Sheamus? As I mentioned in my Smackdown thoughts from last week based off the booking this should have been headed towards Cody/Kane-Randy/Big Show.
  1. I’m pretty sure Booker said on Smackdown he was going to stop referring to Daniel Bryan as “D-Bry”. Booker not living up to his word? I know I’m shocked too.
  1. Ah Daniel Bryan and AJ dynamic. I continue to love how they are written, however Bryan pinning Sheamus looks to me like Sheamus is strap bound at Wrestlemania. Hopefully this isn’t the final hype for the Bryan and Sheamus match.
  1. Solid match and I’ll give Booker brownie points for breaking out “Tell me I didn’t just see that”
  1. I assume these clips of Rock and Cena’s storyline will happen throughout the show and that’s a good thing!
  1. Pretty embarrassing for the other performers in the match when Teddy says Santino will lead them to victory. Also I don’t need to see Hornswoggle on Smackdown, let alone Raw.
  1. How many David Otunga-Santino matches do we need to see?
  1. This three man booth is ruining Raw and I wouldn’t be surprised if it cost Wrestlemania some buys.
  1. I actually like the way they announced Miz on to Team Johnny even though Laurinaitis screwed up and said Team Teddy first...
  1. The flashback to the Rock-Cena challenge was good to see, but they should have stopped it before the handshake. WWE doesn’t seem to get that Rock fans don’t want to see him respecting John Cena.
  1. Great video package on Undertaker and Triple H. Very effective and I wonder if that’s all we will see for them on the go home Raw. I hope not.
  1. The more I think about it the more I don’t see the need for Maria Menenous at Wrestlemania. She isn’t a big enough name to get the pub and she’s already wrestled twice on free television. They would have been better off doing some sort of divas title match or bringing back Trish or Lita if they wanted an outside presence, at least they can wrestle well.
  1. Weird that as Kelly is getting out of the ring after that quick match that Beth didn’t nail her. Instead Kelly gets the win and escapes, very odd way to build a match, but that’s the type of effort WWE puts into the divas.
  1. I’m glad they showed The Rock giving the Rock Bottom to Cena from Survivor Series. I was beginning to think that didn’t mean anything.
  1. Christian not getting much hype from WWE for his return to the ring. This is called not making your performers feel important. Sometimes it would be nice if WWE would remember the sports aspect of this business, but then seeing that the match was just an angle, I take that back.
  1. My first instinct would not have been to use Christian as the fodder in this angle. Good storyline advancement otherwise.
  1. Jerry Lawler immediately calls Curt Hawkins, “Curtis”, thus once again showing us his knowledge of the product.
  1. Hopefully Brodus begins to get an actual storyline post Wrestlemania.
  1. Well WWE didn’t want to give a video package to Yokozuna or a graphic listing the Hall of Fame class for 2012, but they at least mentioned it this week on Raw.
  1. Just like with Christian, I think I’d pick someone else rather than one half of the tag champs to feed to Big Show.
  1. Michael Cole just announced that Christian is out of the Wrestlemania match and one wonders if that’s a storyline injury or he was legit hurt in that beat down.  
  1. Another solid promo from Cody Rhodes and Big Show’s mannerisms and reactions are great as always!
  1. Another slick vignette for Lord Tensai.
  1. I’m not even sure what to say about Zack Ryder when he’s made to be such a tool in these backstage bits with Eve. I’m not sure if he’s eventually going to punk her out or if this is WWE Creative getting back at him.
  1. Quality promo from Punk. I never thought Punk and Jericho would be mimicking a Bobby Heenan-Big Boss Man, Jerry Lawler-Bret Hart feud.
  1. Mark Henry the biggest bad ass in the WWE completely ignores John Laurinaitis handshake. Great stuff.
  1. Drew McIntyre replaces Christian? Oh my...
  1. And Great Khali made to look completely inferior to Mark Henry. I gotta give WWE some credit for once again booking Henry as a bad ass the last few weeks.
  1. Booker T on Team Teddy is actually a great thing as it takes Booker off commentator for Wrestlemania...hopefully.
  1. Perhaps the sound in the building is off, but if it’s not Rock seems to be waiting for chants that aren’t really starting.
  1. Of course the mentioning of John Cena’s name got resounding boos so perhaps this crowd is just worn out.
  1. The chants against John Cena could really be fun, but instead Cena and WWE try to take ownership of them so it just waters down the crowd. Cena says he’s happy to come to Raw every week with a smile on his face and it’s that same nervous smile that just doesn’t make him fun for anyone over the age of ten.
  1. I guess Cena is correct his shirt is right, he does rise above, but it hasn’t been good for business and that’s the key.
  1. Cena shouldn’t be talking about WWE as not cool, not the road to go down.
  1. Strong line from Cena “I’ll be goddamned if as a visitor you come into my house and win”.
  1. Kind of anti climatic end to the promo, but they did both focus on who is going to win, which should be the selling point of all pay per view matches and not putting smiles on people’s faces. I think it’s pretty clear Cena is winning based off this promo. Cena basically promised victory, while Rock said he needed to win to be considered the greatest of all time since he’s already beaten Hogan and Austin. I feel like Rock makes a bit of a mistake when he says if he wins this match he’s the greatest of all time. Who bestows that upon him? This was the same thing he said back in 2002 when he feuded with Hogan and said “two icons” as I think the crowd began to kind of resent him for that type of verbiage.
What this go home edition of Raw accomplished?
The Good
•CM Punk got violent. This part of the angle was well done and this part only
•The final two/three members of Team Teddy and Team Johnny were revealed. This is a really, really good one if this means that Booker is off commentary for Wrestlemania
•Cody Rhodes-Big Show. Both men have played their roles wonderfully in this storyline
•Undertaker-Triple H video package was another great one
•Rock and Cena focused on the need to win and the flashback clips were also a plus
The Bad
Two weeks ago when Chris Jericho introduced CM Punk’s father into this storyline I said I wasn’t sure how I felt about it and I’ll see how it plays out and now I can say that it didn’t work for me. They should have just stayed focused on best in the world, maybe that wasn’t creative enough for Vince McMahon, who knows. This storyline is just a tad too much for me and if anything should be saved for Extreme Rules in Chicago, while focusing on the best in the world for Wrestlemania. They should have done the pull apart here seeing as they didn’t use it for Rock and Cena and nor was it needed for Rock and Cena
•Bryan-Sheamus. I wish they both got another promo exchange to hype their match and maybe it will happen on a backstage vignette on Smackdown, but if not this was a bit of a letdown for their final chapter leading into Wrestlemania
•The Rock and Cena focused on the need to win and it was a great promo exchange, but this was not pure money in my eyes. It was a great exchange, but they seemed to cut it off a bit too soon. This segment did not scream record breaker to me
•Eve-Kelly. They could have put a little heat on the heels by having Beth take out Kelly after the match when she was trying to escape after her victory, but instead Kelly won and hopped on her merry way. We put smiles on faces here in the WWE...
•No full card run down and Hall of Fame hype was minimal. Disappointing to say the least
•Booker T on live commentary. Terrible decision by the powers that be. Booker is just awful. I’m not sure how much stock WWE puts in the announcers hard selling the show, but these three did not do the job
•No hard sell promo for Triple H-Undertaker-Shawn. I feel like WWE was done shooting angles for Wrestlemania two weeks ago and the last two weeks have just been filler. I really could have used one more hard sell promo from Triple H

Overall thoughts on the go home show for Wrestlemania
•This wasn’t a go home show for me, but was still a solid Raw. This was filler like the company had everything set in place and just filled time, which is fine, but make use of the time with quality packages and promos. This is actually the type of Raw I prefer in that I don’t want them giving away money matches, but in saying that I need money promos. Punk and Jericho’s storyline is just not resonating. Triple H-Undertaker-Shawn Michaels were underwhelming last week and Rock-Cena while good this week was also a bit anti climatic. Sheamus and Bryan didn’t get any talking time, nor did Teddy and Johnny when the balance of power is up for grabs. The only storyline that clicked perfectly for me was Cody and Big Show and I don’t think that’s the one match that should be hitting on all cylinders
What needs to be accomplished on next week’s Raw?
•Next week’s Raw is actually one of the most important of the year. We say goodbye to Rock, Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels and so they need to hook us with something and that something isn’t John Cena going back to his goofy ways or Miz all of a sudden being a threat, Alberto Del Rio making his return or the balance of power storyline taking on the storyline spotlight.
Special Note: I’m saving my Wrestlemania predictions for the Smackdown column since I assume there won’t be much to discuss on that show.