The road to Wrestlemania is not a short one. We have to wait until April. Clocks will change before we get to the show. RAW begins with a countdown from 60:00 layered over the 2 21 11 promo. Then it’s time for last night’s Chamber winner, and thus new #1 contender, John Cena. The crowd is not so much anti-Cena as obsessed with The Rock. And I am finally sick of seeing footage from this promo. Cena reminds us of his degree in Thuganomics as he cuts a very edgy (for PG) rated rap on the Great One. Suddenly Cena is back in this game and some people are all too ready to run down The Rock as a sell-out. Josh Matthews is with Cole but Cole will be interviewing Jerry Lawler later.
Keeping the fire hot for John Morrison has him facing CM Punk tonight. Morrison is selling a bad leg from last night. Punk looks no better. But Morrison has the obvious target and is most off his game so Punk is able to take advantage and hit an eventual Go To Sleep for a pinfall. The announce team is big on Morrison throughout though. Punk wants to tale to Randall Keith Orton and promises the New Nexus has the night off. Punk will let Orton walk away from Wrestlemania. If he doesn’t then Punk will finish what Orton started in 2008. But Orton is actually here tonight and Punk just barely escapes an RKO. And look Nexus is really here. But Punk won’t let them engage. No ambivalence in the crowd where Orton is concerned.
Brand splits mean less and less as Mania approaches and Alberto Del Rio being here in an awesome Lamborghini is just further proof of that. Before Del Rio can even finish posing Kofi Kingston runs out to attack him. It ends up badly for Kingston as he gets another taste of the Cross Armbreaker to an arm still hurt from it last night.
Now it’s The Miz’s turn to speak. He’s running down The Rock too for his lame insults. The anonymous E-GM has two cents to contribute as well. For no good reason the GM forces The Miz to tag with John Cena and gives them a tag titles shot.
Gail Kim and Eve take on the Bellas. I care about one of them. This is filler while the clock counts down from 6:30. The Bellas win the only way they ever seem to by pulling a mid-match switcheroo. Okay commercial then time to end this countdown.
3…2…1 and The Undertaker appears stepping out of the old house on video. And soon he is here live. He actually looks better than he did the last time I saw him. As always, it takes him a long time to get to the ring. It’s enough to want the motorcycle back.
TIME TO PLAY THE GAME!
Okay, I was right. We’re going to have one hell of a match at Wrestlemania. Water spit! I’ve missed that at least. Both guys are in the ring and neither has a microphone. They stare each other down. Hunter looks up at the Mania sign, Taker takes a long look too then smirks. He starts to walk away, turns back and makes the throat cut. He gets a DX chop in return. I am not doing this close to justice. It is flat out awesome. We end with them still staring at each other and not one word was spoken. A thing of sublime beauty.
Cole seems to believe the match is set. Here comes King Sheamus, how will he react to the return of the man he claims to have retired? But first he has to face Mark Henry. Watching Sheamus drag Henry to a watchable match is making me think higher of him. That’s why it’s all the more annoying when Henry actually wins due to Sheamus hitting the turnbuckle ring he himself exposed. I’ve heard Kevin Dunn (bigwig in WWE creative) is really down on Sheamus. The king outfit was meant to make him look foolish and now he seems to be cascading down the card. When you lose to Mark Henry, your career is in trouble.
Miss USA is a contestant on Tough Enough? That makes me worry. An angry Sheamus tries to take his frustrations out on Daniel Bryan but Bryan is actually able to deflect his ire. They are finally announcing Hall of Fame inductee #2 and it’s Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Ted Dibiase Sr. has the honour of inducting him.
I’m tired of Michael Cole and now he’s putting himself over Gorilla Monsoon, JR and other greats. He has to make an exception for Vince of course. Time for a live interview with The King and both guys will get fired if they fight. I could live with that. Lawler is following Taker and HHH’s lead and not speaking. That means it’s all Cole. Cole is going low, he even says Jerry let his mother down. And that makes Jerry grab his lapels and threaten his life. And Lawler drops the bomb. He challenges Cole to a match at Wrestlemania. Cole vows to never wrestle, throws water in his face and runs away just to be sure about it.
Wow, the main event kind of crept up on me. So we get Matthews and Lawler calling the main event. It can’t be worse than having Cole there. Both teams are getting along fine at first. The main eventers dominate, trying to show the other up but making regular tags. And The Miz hits a SCF on Justin Gabriel and The Corre hold the titles for all of a day. The Miz and John Cena are tag champions. I seem to recall they did this before with John Cena and Shawn Michaels. But The Corre are invoking their rematch clause right now. E-GM pipes up and Josh Matthews has to field his three word statement “Ring the bell.”
The commentary comes off a little soft spoken but works just fine. Cena is clapping and cheering Miz on. This is just strange. We hit the overrun with Corre interference giving Slater the advantage over The Miz. When Cena finally gets back in he sets up Slater for an Attitude Adjustment only to have Miz sneak in and nail him with the SCF (that’s the Skull Crushing Finale if you’re new) and The Corre get their belts back. Cena looks a little too surprised but suitably disappointed. Still, that’s an official reign added to the resume of all four competitors.
This was well worth watching. If you still have the chance, check it out.