A British Point of View: Whose Side Are You On?

Martyn Nolan

John CenaThis week has drawn a line down the middle of wrestling fans with the Concert/Rap segments on RAW. Some people believe that The Rock was phoning it in and that John Cena has had another week of destroying Rock in the promotional sense. Ultimately this is what WWE seemingly wanted to do and I’ll give you my two pennies worth shortly on these segments.

Firstly, I have to give an honourable mention to the man on this week’s RAW who was sat in the section on the main aisle. He was holding a sign which stated ‘Explain GTV.’ I thought such an original and humorous sign should get a mention as it was a good reminder that WWE used to throw away story lines like the ‘Anonymous GM’ way back in the attitude era days as well.

One match worth pointing out from RAW this week was the Ziggler and Sheamus match. I cannot give enough praise and respect to Dolph Ziggler's work ethic and ring work. In my eyes the only difference between him and a HBK or Mr. Perfect is quite simply time. In ten years’ time I highly expect that we will be talking about Mr. Ziggler as one of the best performers we have ever seen. The man sells like no other on the roster today. He makes every move believable and doesn’t overdo it. He has the perfect ability to become a rag doll and looks like he has just been kicked down the stairs when someone executes a massive move such as a GTS or a Brogue Kick. If someone doesn’t look good after they have had a match with Dolph Ziggler then I’m sorry, you’re never going to look good.

Santino continued to be involved more on television and seems to be showing the way that Zack Ryder should have gone when he won the US title. Another comical moment for me was when Santino turned around only to be faced with Mark Henry. Henry gave him a massive head-butt but only after Santino did a high pitched scream which was picked up easily without a microphone, priceless.

Undertaker and HBK had a good segment which furthered the idea that HBK could screw Undertaker out of the streak. With Shawn getting annoyed on the recent telephone call and also mentioning that he could be the ‘one’ to end the streak seems to be giving HBK a slight heel rub. I still think this is slightly overkill for WrestleMania but you cannot deny the charisma and passion that these three men will put in to this build up and match at WrestleMania.

Another thing that I noticed that quietly disappeared was the use of Johnny Cash’s song to accompany the Dead Man to the ring. It seems a shame that the more and more we get of this version of the ‘humanized’ Undertaker, we still get the old theme which doesn’t seem to suit him anymore. Undertaker has always moved with the times and the use of a new theme might suit his new characters direction.

Undertaker may have got the date of WrestleMania wrong but nobody seems to be talking about that. Unfortunately the same amount of flexibility doesn’t seem to be given to The Rock these days after his efforts on the past few weeks of RAW.

Firstly, John Cena opened RAW with the one thing that everyone has been wanting to see for the best part of five years, The Dr. of Thuganomics!

This was a nice throw back to the older character that John Cena played. He did his old hand gestures, he wore his cap backwards and he looked like a usual sized guy inside his Cavaliers jersey. The one thing that surprised me about this whole segment was the crowd reaction, or lack thereof. The crowd didn’t seem in to it. We even got John Cena blatantly swearing in a PG environment and it only got a few “Oooooo’s.”

Then the show closed with a very long segment of The Rock’s concert. Now before everyone went nuts about how poor this was I was watching it with my fiancée who is a casual fan. She loved it, and to be honest it made me laugh out loud a few times too. By the end of the show I felt happy that Rock had seemingly become more comfortable again on the microphone. I felt happy that he managed to get a great reaction from a crowd which hardly gave Cena any. Sure, Rock screwed up a couple of lines on the song at the end and he was reading his lyrics off a piece of paper but what did we expect? It was a Rock Concert! As soon as the segment was announced I wrote the whole idea off as stupid. Why have this on your build up to the ‘Once in a lifetime match’ It’s obviously going to be a comedy act and when Rock did it last time he was heel and was able to just tick people off. How on earth could Rock be entertaining, drive towards ‘Mania and keep up with John Cena if he was doing freestyle rap on him. The idea of the segment seemed like another chance for Cena to completely destroy the Rock. However, Rock’s concert was a bit of harmless fun. It might have not been ideal but it caught on with the casual fan and I was just happy to see him looking happy in the ring again instead of being a mumbling mess.

I’m not calling any individual with this segment as both guys did good jobs with what they had. The one thing I will argue is the fact that people are supporting Cena now as he is calling out The Rock and Dwayne whilst the Rock is just being childish. Because if you look at the meat of what was said on RAW they were both pointless. Everyone is calling The Rock for making comments about Cena not having any balls and that he has lady parts when all John Cena did was make another remark about the notes on the wrist and joke to him about how he made Toothfairy.

I truly believe that if Rock’s character wanted to floor John Cena (the man) like John has been doing to Dwayne then he could do so. Why doesn’t Rock retort with the fact that Toothfairy was a bigger box office smash than ALL of John Cena’s films put together? Why doesn’t Rock call Cena out for being a failed Body Builder? Why doesn’t The Rock call Cena out for releasing an album that nobody listened too? The material is there for The Rock to use but instead he seems to be pulled back.

Maybe The Rock will unleash on him in the upcoming weeks and maybe Cena will give The Rock some more home truths but it’s time to start talking about WrestleMania and what this match means. This is supposed to be John Cena trying to validate his legacy and this is supposed to be Rock proving that if Cena was in his generation he wouldn’t have been anything more than a mid-carder. They should have enough materials to fill an entire episode of RAW but at the moment were just getting segments which are starting to feel like filler.

Either way I’m not worried because all we are talking about at the moment is the war or words. People are supporting Cena and saying that he is being fresh which is great and true. But the one thing I KNOW is not fresh with John Cena is his ring work. The Rock may have lost his way in the past few weeks but I know that he’ll be the one who I will be most entertained by in their MATCH at WrestleMania which at the end of the day is what this is all about.

Which side of the fence do you fall on? Let me know at beansontoastuk@msn.com or get in touch via Twitter at @BeansOnToastUK.

Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report? Submit it now!