John Cena, the man who will “Adapt, Overcome...” and steal your girlfriend! Yes folks! RAW this week took the pages from Coronation Street, Eastenders, Emmerdale, and Hollyoaks when we went down the soap opera storyline with more clarity and intent than ever before, more on that later though.
RAW started with a recap on Kane and Eve closing the show last week. The editing team made the scene more disturbing by distorting Eve’s face. She strangely looked like John Cena when her chin was repositioned down her neck!
Kane then stood outside an ambulance talking about how Cena will embrace the hate before the end of the night. Everything was typical Kane from recent weeks but the issue was that the camera was left on him for about 10 seconds longer than it should have been. At the end he was staring menacingly in to the lens and was left on screen. I felt the inner Kane screaming “Ok! Please go out red light! I now feel stupid!”
The shows intro now displayed Undertaker and on Friday he was removed from the SmackDown one. Something WWE has not done before even though Undertaker hasn’t been on SmackDown for over a year. Is this a sign that Undertaker might be on his final push? Or is it that whenever he decides to return, it will only be on RAW?
The opening segment was a debate between all 6 members of the RAW Elimination Chamber match. Something different which is good, but something that could have been executed a little better. I loved when Lawler announced that it was a debate, Punk got over excited and started clapping in an over the top fashion.
I like Jericho still wearing that flashing jacket! When John Laurinaitis came out to interrupt Punk I loved the fact that he ripped off Zack Ryder's fist pump when announcing his title. R-Truth had some good moments with his “Thank you, your honour!” but when he started talking about Spider Stew I wished Miz had made a bigger mistake in last week’s botch just so I didn’t have to listen to it. When the opportunity came for Miz to talk the 45 second rule and buzzer was conveniently brought in to place, something that was totally lacking when Jericho decided to talk for 2 minutes straight. This guy seems to be in the doghouse now. Being cut off and tapping out in a match on the go home show before a PPV isn’t a great role but at least he got some offense in and after all, it was against the WWE Champion.
Kofi Kingston did a good job of stepping up during the debate showing that when given some time he actually isn’t that bad on the microphone.
Jericho looked strong on the mic again and I loved the interaction between him and Punk with the comments “Look at me when I’m talking to you boy!” quickly being followed up by the Dancing on the Stars gag. These two have so much material on each other and so many weeks to build up something that could be truly special. Like my good buddies on Breaking Kayfabe I hope they keep this rivalry fresh and adaptable. Unlike a previous similar rivalry between Edge and Jericho heading in to WrestleMania 26 that ended up being a set of promos about the chance of doing “A SPEAR!”
When Theodore Long made the announcement that Mark Henry was suspended on SmackDown the other week I thought it might be the starting blocks of Teddy Long being removed in favour of John Laurinaitis. Sure, they needed to remove Henry quickly due to injury but it seemed a little out of the blue. With Henry apparently coming back and the tease on RAW from Otunga mentioning a plan to Laurinaitis on how to become the GM of both shows, it seems to be a distinct possibility that this might be the direction they want to take. Randy Orton and Big Show had a fairly good match which unfortunately had a bad spot when Orton went for the RKO. Fortunately they redid the spot and Big Show sold the move perfectly. I know people aren’t big fans of the Big Show but I still respect the fact that he moves like someone half his size.
HBK Returned! Did anyone notice that when he was stood on the ropes during his entrance he seemed to say ‘One Last Time!?’ Obviously this seems wrong because he’s scheduled to be on another RAW before WrestleMania but read in to that what you will.
This segment was exactly the same as last years. HHH and Undertaker is not something that people are invested in. Last year I wasn’t too bothered about it either. Then on the go home show of RAW last year HBK came out and MADE me care about this match. He managed to do it again this week.
He made shocking statements such as “So you married that chick and now you’ve become one of them!?” But the best drama is done with simple body language. The disappointed look between them both, the slow steps away from each other in shock and despair and the tension when they locked eyes were all superbly delivered. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again. When you need something to work, when you need something to feel real then you can always rely on HBK to bring that emotion. No matter what direction this story takes and whether it will be something you’re looking forward too. It will still be a story which will make you suspend your belief. You WILL check your sensible booking mindset at the door when Undertaker comes within half a second of losing his streak. Your conscience will tell you that the streak won’t end but your emotion will have that smallest bit of doubt to question whether they would ever consider doing this. This match will be filled with a story which is brought together from legacies of two men who are throwing it all down on the mat towards the end of their careers. Personally I cannot wait to see the direction they take in the next few weeks leading in to the showcase of the immortals!
To follow that on, Undertakers new video showed him starting to cut his hair, something that fans have seemingly been confused by. The basics of it is that he cut his hair early last year so whether or not there is actually any hair on his head will have to be seen. Maybe we will get new additions to this video every week where he cuts off more and more, or maybe his hair is now like it was at WrestleMania 20 when it was a similar length to what it appeared in this week’s video. Time will tell.
WWE showed another Rock video which tried to bring in the same emotion as John Cena’s but falls massively short. For most of it we have to look at him flex his pecs. Chris Masters must be furious!
Then we go in to Holby City with the Ambulance, Cena, Kane and Eve scene. Eve is saved by Cena and decides to lock lips. Something that John really seemed to enjoy doing! As soon as the kiss is over, Cena responds with “What was that for!?” As if she just gave him some money for doing a chore or gave him a hug for doing something sweet. The camera pans back and we have the 12 year old Ryder watching his childhood sweetheart make out with the older cooler kid from school.
The bit that made me crack up was when Ryder was wheeling away whilst Eve tried to apologize. Eve made the statement “I really do like you.” Only for my Fiancé Laura (who you need to bear in mind is a very casual wrestling fan) to reply in a Daniel Bryan voice “I really appreciate that!”
Back in the arena we got Miz against Punk which we all know ended with a submission. One thing I noticed was when Punk signaled for his GTS he finally stopped using the sleeping motion with his hands. This is something I’ve wanted him to drop for quite some time as it just doesn’t seem right.
Then the final segment was John Cena coming out to predominately boo’s from the crowd after getting it on with Ryder’s love interest. Whilst talking Ryder made his way down the ramp on crutches in some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen, only for him to be able to climb in the ring and go through the ropes. He screamed “YOU have everything! Why’d you take her!?” and “You were never my friend!” which I thought was a good touch. Then Ryder slapped Cena. Understandable I thought but for some reason Cena started to get frustrated. He squeezed his cap, nodded like he was ready to fight and cracking his knuckles! Now correct me if I’m wrong but if you did what Cena did and your mate found out then surely you would just accept a beating? After all, he caused the issue. Not Cena, he got all wound up and decided to roll up his fists. Strange thing to do but it happened. Ryder went on his ass and decided to leave. This left Cena upset and distracted by Kane coming on the screen. He explained that he has finally embraced the hate and started talking about this Sunday. Before Cena could reply Kane then decided to give Ryder a nice ride off the stage which looked similar to the one that OJ Simpson took at the end of The Naked Gun movie (You know you’ve just you tubed it!)
As soon as Ryder collected some air miles, Cena ran in the other direction! Granted, it was to someone ringside for help but it looked weird. He also threw up the ‘X’ with his arms which fooled nobody. Eve then came out and looked like a 3 year old who couldn’t get their own way with their bottom lip hanging out. I was half expecting her to turn heel there and then and kiss Cena again. It was an odd segment but it was by no means appalling.
Hopefully this rivalry can be completed this Sunday ready for the The Rock to take the helm from Kane. This Sunday’s draws are obviously the chamber matches which can change the complexion of WrestleMania where as Kane and Cena we know will lead to nowhere.
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Also, don’t forget to check out the Breaking Kayfabe podcast (http://breakingkayfabe.podbean.com/) for a unique look in to the world of professional wrestling and also the Total Wrestling Show which is a wonderful British Interactive Wrestling Radio/Podcast which should not be missed! (www.totalwrestlingshow.com)