Last week Wrestlezone's own Chris Cash took his long-time radio show in a new direction. He went from straight audio to a video format, grabbed a few guest-speakers, and changed his Raw Pre-Show to a wrestling Post-Show. The Voice of Wrestling became "VOW: Reaction", and will now be taking a look at all the action, right after it happens, live on VOWLive.com.
Due to my constant need for attention and self-promotion, I've decided to hitch my wagon to yet another prize stallion, and recap each episode of VOW: Reaction with my thoughts and opinions. I know what you're all thinking: Mike, isn't a reaction editorial on a reaction show just a bit redundant? Yes, yes it is. But so is the Rock, and as the Great One once said, "know your role, and please continue reading anyway"…
This week on VOW: Reaction, Chris was joined by Wrestlezone contributor and Chair Shot Reality co-host Justin LaBar, who insists he is a Redskins fan, and can be reached on Twitter @JustinLaBar. You can catch the full (ish) episode of VOW: Reaction, where I also join the crew for a few phone calls, by clicking HERE.
TOPIC 1: The Rock Returns to Portland – Did His Promo Flop?
Chris:"I expected a little bit more out of the Rock from the intensity level. I think that the Rock kind of rested a little bit too much on what got him over the first time around – with the trending and the 'Boots to Asses' and all that" … "I would actually give John Cena 'round one' in this particular scenario."
Justin:"They have a lot of time to fill until WrestleMania. I think it did live up to the reaction… The Rock came back and addressed some of the same things he always does, but again… The promo ended and I felt even more compelled and even more excited to see this match."
"Portland certainly had more boos for the Rock than I have heard in his recent [run]" … "Ironically, John Cena always gets pegged for his repetitiveness – and he can be – but the Rock… How many funny things can you come up with to make trend before it gets old?"
My Reaction: WWE made all the right moves setting this promo up: they showed the Rock backstage, allowed John Cena to come out earlier in the night and get his appearance out of the way first, and spent the entire episode of Raw building towards Rock's first promo of 2012. Sometimes in wrestling, as a promoter you want to keep certain people a secret from the fans until the allotted time – the Rock is not one of them, at least not this time. We all knew he was going to be there, and as a result the ratings likely increased, as did our expectations throughout the week.
Unfortunately, that's where my praise ends for the Great One. Last week John Cena came out and cut one of the best, most inspired promos in years. As Justin LaBar put it, it was the best Cena promo that didn't involve a rap. But I have to disagree with Justin about being MORE excited now that last night is in the books. Rock's delivery was awkward, he seemed unsure of what he should say and once again Cena left looking like the better man.
And maybe that's the point – conspiracy theorists will say that Rock intentionally botched the promo and wrote those lines on his arm to put Cena over. That might be the case, because honestly I've never seen the Rock hit that level of boring since become a huge star, but as LaBar also stated: Cena doesn't need cheep tactics to find something to burn the Rock for. There is enough natural material there for both men to work with.
I think it comes down to this… Rock had a bad night. It's not a sign that their 'Mania match is going to flop, and it's definitely not a sign that Rocky has lost "his game". ANYBODY can have a bad night in professional wrestling, no matter how good you are the other 364 days.