Monday Night Raw Warm Up for February 27th, 2012

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Last week's Raw was overshadowed by a live Tuesday edition of Smackdown featuring a champion versus champion main event of C.M. Punk versus Daniel Bryan.

Last week’s Monday Night Raw from Minneapolis left a lot to be desired in both content and execution. The highlight of the night was Chris Jericho winning a 10-man number one contenders battle royal for a chance to challenge C.M. Punk for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 28. Where Raw was lacking, a special live Tuesday night edition of Smackdown more than compensated and we’ll discuss both shows as we head into tonight’s Raw featuring another return for The Rock in Portland, Oregon.

PTB: Eve-l! I thought she was going to turn on Kelly Kelly months ago, but last week Eve’s evil intentions were revealed to the world. It turns out she’s been trying to land the “big fish,” John Cena, to further her career.

Although it’s ridiculous that she spent weeks setting Cena up and then blows it gabbing with the Bella twins. Those bitches really are everywhere.

Brian: Thank goodness!! I love them.

It is kinda unbelievable that such a masterful plan would be foiled in such a silly manner. It was reminiscent of the ’60s Batman TV show. I was expecting someone dressed as Batman to jump out, punch Kofi Kingston in his Riddler tights, and a giant BIFF! appear on the screen.

PTB: Broskis before Hoskis… I never saw them using Eve to get Cena back over with the fans.

Brian: I don’t think anyone saw it coming and if WWE writers knew that this would have gotten the fans behind him they would have done it a LONG time ago. The best part was that Eve started to laugh when he talked about being disease free and then she had to break into crying to cover it up.

PTB: Cena was basically begging the fans for an ECW “she’s got herpes” chant with that line.

Brian: It was nice to see the fan base rally behind Cena. It kills me that fans boo him because he’s “lazy in the ring”. Yet, these same fans mark out for Hulk Hogan who I feel always lacked skill in the ring and always did what was best for Hogan and not what’s best for business.

PTB: What’s even better about Cena and Eve is that he used her to take shots at his WrestleMania 28 opponent, The Rock, who is scheduled to be on the show tonight. I don’t know that he needed to have two segments for Cena last week, but I’m with him on everything he had to say.

Brian: I think if they would have combined the two segments, the fans might have really gotten behind him and really reacted well.

Brian: It still upsets me that so many people are behind the Rock. It all started when the King of “NOT Doing What’s Best for Business,” Hulk Hogan, laid down for the Rock and passed the proverbial torch to the future of the wrestling business. Then the Rock gets a small role in The Mummy Returns. He gets rave reviews for his performance and decides to try his hand in acting. Can you really blame him? No. Giving up the grueling WWE schedule for the Hollywood lifestyle seems like a smart move.

Here’s where I take issue: shortly after he leaves, he drops “The Rock” moniker and is very quick to distance himself from anything wrestling related. He pops his head back once or twice to help promote a movie. Ok, I get it. Does he do much to help the guys he’s working with. Not really. Can you really have Dwayne show up and do the job? Does it hurt the promotion of the movie? I don’t think so, but maybe the WWE thinks so, or maybe Dwayne won’t do the deed.

Then, all of a sudden, The Rock (not Dwayne) is back. Just in time to promote 4 new movies that are set to release over the next year. He comes in at a time when the company’s top face is having difficulty getting over. In my mind, the most logical thing to do is to have to The Rock come in and be “Hollywood”. Portray himself as a heel in order to help the company get its fans behind the number one guy. Instead, he walks in and dumps all over him. Then he tells the fans that he’s back and will never leave again. We get promos via satellite every other month and 3 live appearances on WWE TV since WrestleMania.

The guy is clearly here for his own selfish reasons.

Now I know a lot of my comments in these blogs seem like sour grapes, but I truly care about WWE. I’m a lifelong fan that has spent countless hours watching and spent countless $$$s on PPVs, DVDs and merchandise. I have been and always will be a WWE loyalist. The reason that I gripe when I don’t like something is because I want WWE to be the best it can be.

When I see The Rock come in and totally snow these fans into thinking he’s here for them and to do what’s best for business it angers me. It angers me more that people cheer him and boo the guy that really is there because he loves the business.

PTB: I can’t really disagree with any of those points. I get that fans want to cheer the Rock, but after Cena’s incredible promo last week and all the times he’s pointed out the truth about the Rock’s absence, I think having the fans finally hear what Cena’s saying was much more satisfying.

So the Rock will be on next week. How many shows do you think he’s on between now and WrestleMania? I say two.

Brian: Totally agree. Tonight’s Raw and the week before WrestleMania.

PTB: “Undertaker… Vengeance… Every story has an ending.”

Undertaker’s promo was rough and the black light in the ring didn’t help. I know we’re both kind of down on this rematch but the more these guys keep talking about being the last of their era, the more I keep thinking Sting would have been so much better in this spot.

Brian: What about Kane and Big Show? They’re from the “Attitude” era. If this truly is Taker’s last match, I would have preferred to see Kane as his opponent.

For the second year in a row, Triple H buries others to get himself over. And you wonder why you have difficulty building new stars?

PTB: Kane would have been a far better option. I also can’t believe they licensed a Metallica song just for this match.

Brian: Great song, but doesn’t fit.

PTB: Does making this a Hell in a Cell match help things? I’m sure we’ll get an amazing video package spotlighting the history both of Triple H and Undertaker have in that type of match tonight.

Brian: It helps the fact that neither of them can really put on a good wrestling match. I expect a lot of brutal spots and a ridiculous bump from Mick Foley.

PTB: Last week we heard the announcement of Hall of Fame inductee Ron Simmons. That’s well deserved.

Brian: I remember watching the match when he won the world title from Vader. Good stuff.

PTB: Getting to the matches from last Monday, I was surprised to see Sheamus versus Mark Henry. I thought Henry was hurt. If he can work that match he could have been in the Chamber instead of Khali.

Brian: I think if Mark Henry broke both ankles, he would still look better on the ring than Khali. Why is this guy still employed?

PTB: They went with a number one contenders battle royal that featured everyone from both Elimination Chamber matches (minus the champions, of course) to see who will face C.M. Punk at WrestleMania for the WWE Championship. I still don’t know that Jericho needed that win to lay claim to a title match at WrestleMania but it unquestionably puts him over the others. Why not just go with Chris Jericho having a legitimate claim for a rematch since he was never eliminated from the Chamber?

Brian: Exactly. Besides, how many battle royals have we seen recently for number one contender spots, spots in chamber matches, my spot, dog spot, liver spot…

PTB: The battle royal was excellent, and I liked the short intros for the battle royal participants. Thank goodness Randy Orton wasn’t involved or he still would have taken four minutes to get to the ring.

I really hope “Kofi Rhodes” was trending after Michael Cole channeled his inner Jim Ross during the match. Also, Punk’s contribution on commentary was great. Camel fur and spilling a diet soda were better than anything in that Elimination Chamber debate a few weeks ago.

Brian: LOL

PTB: I like the prospects of Big Show versus Cody Rhodes match at WrestleMania. Same goes for Santino Marella versus Wade Barrett, but that may not happen with Barrett’s injury last week.

Brian: Disolocated elbow. Out 6-8 weeks. I think what hurts most is that Cole said that Dolph Ziggler was hurt and required medical attention. I guess he couldn’t hear Barrett yell the “F-word” seven times loud enough to make out on live TV.

PTB: I also never understand reusing guys throughout the night. Why put Kofi Kingston and R-Truth up against Epico and Primo when they’re also in the battle royal? That just says they’re not winning that match and I can’t believe there aren’t other teams to put out there.

Brian: What’s wrong? Don’t believe in this revitalized tag team division?

PTB: Not yet, and certainly not when this is who they feature on Raw.

Last week, we saw another live Tuesday edition of Smackdown from Rockford, Illinois. The main event champion versus champion match featuring C.M. Punk and Daniel Bryan was excellent on all levels. These two just faced one another a few weeks ago on Raw but there was so much less story behind it. This meeting kind of blew it away.

This is happening too much not to be part of a plan.

Brian: After watching the match, you’re dead on. I was disappointed again that this match was given away for free again, but I was very happy with the ending. Match of the Year so far and I think only a rematch with a clear winner would top it.

PTB: Incorporating the John Laurinaits / Teddy Long feud for the General Manager’s spot was well done. It was certainly better than the David Otunga vs Ezekiel Jackson meetings on both Raw and Smackdown. Of course I may just have hated seeing Otunga put Jackson down twice.

Brian: Otunga is the new Chris Nowinski.

PTB: I wish we had seen the kind of show Smackdown was on Raw. As it stands, it seemed like Raw was grasping for content featuring guys in multiple matches and generally lacking direction. Smackdown was by far the better show and I can’t figure out if its booking was the cause of a lackluster Raw or a way to redeem it.

Hopefully, tonight wil capitalize on the good things coming out of both of last week’s shows and won’t just be all The Rock, all the time.

Read more about World Wrestling Entertainment on MyLatestDistraction.

Keep up with all of our weekly Monday Night Raw Warm Ups:
February 20th, 2012 edition / March 5th, 2012 edition

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