The following is an editorial response to "VOW: Reaction", a weekly radio show hosted by Chris Cash on VOWLive.com immediately after Raw Supershow, and every WWE PPV. You can find the entire video for this week's episode by following this link. Contact me on Twitter @MikeKillam, or via email at Mike.Killam@Wrestlezone.com.
This week Chris Cash was joined on VOW: Reaction by Wrestlezone writer and the co-host of Chair Shot Reality, Josh Isenberg (follow him on Twitter @JoshIsenberg4). The duo was eventually joined by Josh's CSR partner Justin LaBar and Chris' VOW partner in crime Nick Paglino to cover everything that went down on this week's episode of Raw Supershow. Make sure to catch the show live to make sure you don't miss a thing, as each video will only cover roughly the first thirty minutes of their broadcast.
TOPIC 1: Rock vs Cena, the Promo Battle Continues…
Josh:"Overall I thought Rock won tonight" … "The first two [videos] were more comedy acts – the oldschool Rock – and that's exactly what they need to do because they don't want the Rock to be the heel in this whole thing…"
Chris:"I think John Cena has really elevated his game on the mic, working with the Rock" … "Shot for shot I thought John Cena held his own yet again tonight."
Josh:"There is still three more Raw's. What else can they say to each other? What else can they do? I think it's really gonna test the minds of the creative writers…"
My Reaction: John Cena's promo two weeks back put him up 1-0 over the Rock thus far in 2012. The Rock returned the following week and choked, leaving Cena open to pick up the pieces and go 2-0. This week's Raw was a different story as Rock returned to form and unleashed on Cena in three classic pre-taped promos. But when both men hit the ring I think you'd be hard pressed to find a clear winner in that showdown. Rock threw out his best insults and Cena took them like a man before firing right back with a round of his own. Considering all that went down last year to build up this feud, it is my somewhat professional opinion that we are all tied up going into WrestleMania.
As for Josh's comment about creative writers and a dwindling amount of content? If John Cena and the Rock run out of mud to sling with just three weeks left I'll be incredibly surprised. We're talking about two of the best talkers in the history of the business squaring off in a battle of words – I have a feeling there's a lot left in the tank. I'm not sure what those aforementioned creative writers are up to this time of year; with Triple H, Undertaker, Chris Jericho, CM Punk, John Cena, and the Rock all likely writing the majority of their own material, they should be able to put their "creative minds" together and come up with some fun mid-card magic for this year's show, right? Right…?
TOPIC 2: What Happened to "Ruthless Aggression"?
Josh: "He looks like he's not taking the Rock seriously, when in fact he should be taking it more seriously than the Rock is!" … "His smugness and his little cheesy grin here and there" … "I'd rather have him be more aggressive…"
My Reaction: I both agree and disagree with this point. Cena should be taking this more seriously, especially after that incredibly weird empty-arena promo he cut. His last few promos were full of aggression and hit a level I haven't seen out of the good "doctor" in many a year. But this week his music hit and the same, overly-happy John Cena came out. We got the same guy talking to the camera on the entrance ramp, the same old cheeky grin, and the same rhetoric his character has been recycling in every feud from Kane to Khali.
But…maybe that's the point? Weeks ago Cena WAS showing new-found aggression. Weeks ago Cena WAS struggling with the idea of finally "embracing the hate" in order to beat the Rock at WrestleMania. And then the Rock returned to Portland and stunk up the great state of Oregon for nearly twenty minutes. People have been saying this whole shift of power going on in this feud is intentional, and I'm starting to believe it. Maybe the point isn't for Cena to be scared – maybe he finally knows he can get the job done. I think we're mistaking his same, tired character for apathy and weakness, when in reality WWE may be trying to portrait it as confidence in himself and his abilities.
We've heard it a hundred times: Cena will stay true to himself and his fans no matter what. Hustle, loyalty, blah blah blah… Now, in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded, we're actually seeing that promise come to fruition. He is the same guy, he is true to his character, and I'm actually finding myself on board with #TeamCena.