The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 02.27.12
by Scott Keith on February 28, 2012

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 02.27.12

Live from Portland, OR

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler

But first, to the mailbag!

Bruce Mitchell had a great column today, and I think he hit the nail right on the head with his finish:

 “Rock takes a main event spot away from someone who works full-time?

That’s the most interesting one, that no one in the locker room looks at Dwayne Johnson and goes, Who cares whether he hangs out with us and tells stories about the old days with Stone Cold? Every time he comes around I make more money. A lot more money.

That’s what WWE Superstars used to say during the glory days of Hulkamania, when working a show with Hulk Hogan, who took time off months at a time and when there would hide in his own locker room, then leave at intermission.

Then it hit me. Maybe none of today’s Superstars made more money than they would have without The Rock breaking the WrestleMania buyrate open last year. Maybe McMahon just took the overage. Hell, when house show grosses dropped, McMahon cut expenses across the board and the Superstars didn’t seem to notice.

Maybe Rock raising grosses and ratings for WWE actually hurts the WWE rank and file, just like John Cena and the locker room say.”

 If he’s right, then what The Rock is doing for the boys is not analogous to what Hogan did at all.

That’s…a pretty valid point, actually.

CM Punk v. Daniel Bryan

Part THREE!  But first, Chris Jericho comes out in place of D-Bry to say his peace to CM Punk.  And now Jericho is also talking about being part of the dying breed of older wrestlers, much like HHH and Undertaker last week.  Punk points out that Bret Hart was calling himself the best years before Jericho came along, and Jericho possibly plagiarized being Canadian from him.  They go back and forth about who’s the best…and why the heck is Santino randomly standing down at ringside by the announce table?  Anyway, Punk thinks it might be eating at Jericho that he was never The Man when he was World champion, and now Punk is swimming with sharks instead of dancing with stars.  Jericho clarifies that the only reason he came back was to beat Punk and embarrass him at Wrestlemania.  Punk thinks Jericho’s jacket is embarrassing enough and yeah, they’ll beat up on each other at Wrestlemania.  Now this is what we were waiting for.  Oh, and after all that, there’s still the match.

Bryan attacks before they can even get the speakers out of the ring, but Punk dumps him and we take a break.  Back with the champions exchanging shots in the corner before Punk gets a crossbody for two.  Big Johnny and Teddy Long are doing commentary, which finally explains why Santino is standing around down there – backup for Teddy.  Back in the ring, Bryan throws kicks, but Punk gets his own for two.  He backdrops Bryan out of the ring while the commentary becomes increasingly distracted from the match.  They fight on the floor and we take another break.  Back with Bryan missing a blind charge so that Punk can make the comeback with the running knee and Macho Elbow.  Punk gets distracted by Otunga and we get the double KO, as it turns into a donnybrook at ringside.  Bryan walks out of the match, but Sheamus throws him back in for the GTS, at which point Ace calls for the DQ at 12:23.  And then Jericho lays out Punk on the way to the back while the GMs fight in the ring.  Match itself was a huge letdown after the first two thanks to all the extracurricular crap, but it got three different programs some airtime leading into Wrestlemania, so that’s pretty damn effective for this company.  **1/2

And now, a video package about last year’s HHH v. Undertaker match.

Kelly Kelly v. Nikki Bella

It’s a vicious brawl to start, but Nikki bulldogs her for two.  Kelly comes back with the spinning headscissors and an alleged bulldog, then reverses a rollup for the pin at 1:29.  ¼*  You’d think after two people had wrestled each other 18 million times it might be decent, but no.

John Cena v. The Miz

Cena tosses Miz around to start and goes for the FU right away, but Miz escapes with his goofy neckbreaker for two.  Kneelift gets two.  Cena makes a mini-comeback, but Miz gets the DDT for two.  Corner clothesline and he goes up, but Cena comes back with the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM to finish clean at 4:00.  Sucks to be Miz these days.  **

WWE tag titles:  Primo & Epico v. R-Truth & Kofi Kingston v. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger

Well at least the oddball booking last week makes more sense now.  Kofi hits both Dolph and Primo with monkey flips and Truth gets two off it.  Everyone quickly brawls to the floor and we take a break.  Back with Zig-Swag beating on Truth in the corner, and Primo gets two.  Truth fights off the heels with an impressive combination Downward spiral and DDT on Dolph and Primo and it’s hot tag Kofi.  We get a double boomdrop on Swagger and Epico, but Dolph breaks it up with a Zig Zag that gives Swagger two.  Primo gets the backstabber on Swagger, however, and Epico steals the pin at 8:14 to retain.  They really need to get the US title off Swagger, it’s worse than useless on him.  And before the champions can even celebrate, Kane comes out and destroys everyone.  You just can’t get any kind of decent rhythm going in a triple threat tag match like this.  **

Meanwhile, Teddy and Johnny argue about rumors and who’s the horse’s ass.

Meanwhile, it’s yet another video package, this time about the Cena-Eve storyline from last week.  This brings out Eve, who cuts a stupid promo about how men should blame themselves for falling for her act.  And that leads to a backstage confrontation with Kelly Kelly.  Why couldn’t any of this been cut out, especially given how rushed other segments on this show were?

Big Show & Sheamus v. Cody Rhodes & Mark Henry

But first, Cody gives us a video of Show losing to Floyd Mayweather.  Cody quickly walks out and Sheamus finishes Mark Henry with the Brogue Kick at 1:00.  That was weird.  They must be extremely pressed for time.

And now, finally the Rock has come back to Portland.  He talks about people in the back hating on him for leaving (which draws a “Fruity Pebbles” chant from the crowd) and how John Cena actually has his cell phone number and could call him anytime he wants.  So he talks about how he too was booed unmercifully when he was a young babyface starting out, and how no one fought for people like himself and Randy Savage and Steve Austin and Roddy Piper because THEY WERE MEN.  Fuck yeah.  And while Cena fights for “them” (the whiners in the back), Rock fights for “them” (the fans).  Rock gets a little too into the Twitter thing and then has fun leading the crowd in anti-Cena chants.  Another funny line as Rock busts on Cena changing from jean shorts to camo shorts as his big innovation.  This finally brings out Cena to break up the lovefest.  He notes that while Rock is entertaining, Dwayne Johnson is an egotistical jerk who doesn’t care about WWE.  And has promo notes on his wrist.  Ouch.  And then he leaves with a curt “Carry on, continue trending.”  That’s pretty awesome, actually.  Rock seems legitimately pissed about the notes on the wrist thing and he’s kind of flustered before he gets his groove back to end the promo.  Oh yeah, I’m buying this show.  Sign me the fuck up right now.

The Pulse

Huh, three main programs where the basic gist is that the combatants wish to do bodily harm to each other to prove that they are in fact the best.  Funny how that would produce the best buildup to Wrestlemania in years whereas stupid comedy would not.  The show itself might be meh this week, but they have convinced me to part with my $60 many times over already, so everything else is just gravy.


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  • CB40

    Agreed, the notes on the wrist comment was a real burn. Good job by Cena.

  • Jeff Carter

    I can understand Jack Swagger being down in the dumps recently… nobody in their right mind would ever want to be traded to the Blue Jackets.

  • Shockandor

    Yeah gotta say Cena hit Rocky hard there. Enjoyed the recap.

    Quick question… Is it me or has Andy Wheeler completely disappeared? Haven’t seen his Raw review in ages.

  • Law

    When Kane’s music hit, no word of a lie, the very first thing that went through my head was “Man, I hope X-Pac’s with him.”

    So that’s where we are, WWE, you’ve got me wishing X-Pac were here.


  • DutchMaster91

    That Rock promo was awful. It had absolutely no direction. He had me interested for a few minutes until he started busting out catchphrase after catchphrase and talking about Cena’s “lady parts” and all the Twitter crap. Rocky has never been good at taking opponents seriously, but hell, I can’t remember a worse promo by him. Never thought I would see John Cena save a Rock promo.

  • ShamanOfHedon

    I’m not surprised the crowd ate up the Rock and pissed on Cena, despite the Rock being, as always, lame, repetitive and cookie-cutter playing sing-along promo, and Cena making actual valid points, having something to actually say, and basically pwning Dwayne’s ass. The bulk of the modern wrestling audience are kinda sheeple that way. God forbid a wrestler cut a promo they can’t sing along to. Rocky panders, takes the easy road, and offers no substance, and gets cheered wildly, knowing he’ll book on April 2nd. Cena has completely valid points, says them with real passion, and basically in 1/20th the time Rock’s promo took danced circles around him, and he gets dumped on. There really is no justice in wrestling audiences.

    Also, contrary to what Micheal Cole has convinced Vince of, NO ONE whose opinion actually matters gives a flying rat’s ass about what’s trending on Twitter. EVERYONE know Tumblir is where to get the best critique of your shitty product and predictable guest-star promos.

  • James A

    Wait… Shaman and the DutchMaster below both agree with John Cena? You’re both – gasp – showing genuine interest in the angle…? Do you think that means that perhaps the entire promo last night achieved what it set out to do…? ;)

    I thought the whole thing was brilliant from top-to-bottom. Rock came out and did exactly what Cena accused him of doing – pandering to the crowd – and then Cena came out to undermine him. Rock looked genuinely flustered, Cena looked every inch Rock’s equal, the line between shoot/work blurred beautifully, and I’ve never been more interested in the feud than I am right now. Fantastic stuff!

    Can’t wait to see Rock get super-serious from now on to sell the threat that Cena poses. Because he will. Because that’s how “respect” angles work.

  • James A

    As a matter of fact, the whole show was good. Yes, it was one long advert for WrestleMania without any real matches – but why on earth shouldn’t it be??? Miz, Cena, Punk, Rock, Jericho – they all did exactly what Trips and Taker did last week – they TALKED us into buying the ppv. That’s what good promos need to do, and that’s what WWE hasn’t done at Mania in a very, very long time. No over-the-top dramatics, no pointless “action”- this year, the logic for the top feuds in the company is as old-school as it gets, and I’m absolutely loving it. I agree with Scott – WWE, take my money.

  • Sideshowbob

    And now trending on MySpace…

  • Guest

    You know, Cena might actually be over if he had started doing this 8 freaking years ago…only time before last night I’d ever been entertained by him was the time he told Vicki guerrero “you got some splainin to do” …that was it

  • that guy who types things

    A few thoughts:

    While I have been enjoying Punk vs. Bryan the past few weeks it’s too bad that this is just a way to keep the Long vs. Laurinits storyline going. Why the f*** is there a Laurinits vs. Long storyline anyway?

    Kelly and The Bellas show why they should be used as only eye candy.

    The 3-way tag team championships match could have been done at ‘Mania but since W.W.E. doesn’t give a damn about anything other the main events they decided to get the mandatory title defense thing out of the way early. Then they sent Kane out to show use how they really feel about tag-team wrestling.

    I enjoyed The Rock’s segment but it probably didn’t need to be as long as it was. While Cena didn’t embarrass himself him running to the back before he got a response made him look..well…b****-made. “Tee-hee-hee I made a funny. I should leave on a high note. Hey everyone look at my shirt! You can purchase it from WWEShopZone!” Plus him telling everyone that Dwayne had notes written on his arm is as much of a “burn” as trying to clown someone for using spell-check. Perhaps John should start doing that. Lords knows he could use all of the help he can get to improve his mic work.

  • X-MAN

    Yep.. great promos all around.. I WOULD be excited if I didn’t think WWE would screw it up somehow. We’re still a month away and these are promos that should have been saved for another couple of weeks IMO. There’s no way they should be doing more 15 minute promos in the next few weeks. All 4 of the main eventers (Jericho/Rock/Punk/Cena) are great on the mic, but you could tell that all of them were running out of steam and stumbling more than I have ever seen.. except for Cena.. Now we’re gonna have the obligatory crappy gimmick tag team matches and the “guy sitting outside of the ring doing commentary during the other guy’s match” for the next four weeks and that gets boring to me.

    Please.. WWE don’t ruin your best PPV lead-up storyline in years by throwing lame gimmick after gimmick.. keep it simple and take your time..

  • Cynical Bastard

    Lame, repetitive, and cookie cutter. Yes, that would do nicely to describe every Cena promo and match since he dropped the “Dr. of Thugonomics” gimmick. For almost 8 years he’s cut the same wacky to super-cereal promos on every opponent, and wrestled practically the same match every night. He’s stale, quite frankly.

    I’ll explain to you why Cena gets dumped on and Rock doesn’t, and it has nothing to do with audience injustice: Cena won’t turn heel. Cole and company like to mention (now that the boos have grown too loud to ignore) that nobody gets a mixed reaction like Cena. There’s a good reason for that. In this business, when people boo a face, we get a heel turn. When people cheer a heel, we get a face turn. When fans chanted “Die Rocky Die”, he became a heel. When his heel antics drew cheers, they turned Rock face. That’s how it has always been and how it should be. It’s an entertainment industry, you give the mob what they want, aka “pandering”.

    WWE’s lack of desire to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs is motivated by the fact that without the Cena merchandise machine, they stand to lose a substantial chunk of revenue since they have not built anyone else to the level yet to fill that vacuum. That’s an old argument, but it happens to be true. The majority of the audience is bored with face Cena, and the boos have grown too loud for the commentary team to simply ignore, but for the first time, management is refusing to give the crowd what they want for fear of losing the kiddie schwag dollar.

    The crowd cheers the Rock because he’s always given the fans what they wanted. They boo Cena because he does not. And although the right business move to make is to put Cena over at ‘Mania since the Rock is only here for the short term, I’d still love to see him layeth the smacketh down on Super Cena and walk out on top, simply because it would be a break from the lame, repetitive, cookie cutter main events we’ve been getting for 8 years.

  • CB40

    No way Cena will actually lose this year, because last year at WrestleMania The Rock got the upper hand and cost Cena the match. This year, Cena will win, and next year at WrestleMania XXIX we’ll get the rubber match. Rock was at the Mania 29 press conference for a reason, and if I’ve learned anything from Taker-HBK and Taker-HHH, it’s that WWE will extend this whole Rock-Cena saga to as many chapters as possible.

  • DutchMaster91

    Cena exposed the Rock as a one dimensional catchphrase machine without much substance. I’m no fan of Cena either, but at least Cena can act serious when he needs to. The Rock has never been capable of taking a feud or an opponent seriously. Whether it’s Undertaker wanting to lick Kane’s big red nipple, Kevin Kelly the hermaphrodite, or Cena and his lady parts.

    Cena said more in two minutes than the Rock did in twenty. That’s sad. Not to mention, the Rock is so self serving with all the Twitter BS. Him pinning the locker room against the fans was also pathetic. I used to like the Rock, but he’s in this for himself. He’s not here to better the WWE, and if he actually he is trying to better the business than he’s do a pretty awful job.

  • ShamanOfHedon

    Um… no Cynical, nice try, but no. So-called “Smarks” like YOU hate Cena for supposedly being stale. Which he very much is not. The bulk of wrestling fans are NOT Smarks, and the real reason for most of the Cena hate is glaringly obvious if you look at where the crowd divide is. Who cheers Cena? Moms and their kids. Who boos Cena? Men who hate him because their wive/girlfriends/kids think he’s so cool. It’s not rocket science. And the Rock? Only proves the stupidity of the mainstream marks, because if what they want is predictable lame and repetitive with no imagination, (Which, no, Cena is NOT sorry), all that proves is that Vince succeeded in shaping audience expectations to not need much substance.

  • Bob

    I’m not a Cena fan, but I don’t hate him like most seem to. I simply commercial skip past him unless whoever he is with interests me.

    That being said. It looked to me like Cena got the better of the exchange. It didn’t really come across as running away after he was done. Rock was standing right there with a mic, but somehow doesnt say anything until after Cena got out of the ring and walked ALL the way back, it looked weak on Rock’s part. Did he somehow forget he had a mic and it was on? Further the crowd died down significantly and it felt like the Rock got flustered and was having trouble re-igniting the crowd and started repeating himself a bit.

    It would be a great time to turn Cena heel. Rock wins the match and Cena absolutely loses it and goes apeshit on Rock with a chair post match. Easy. But I don’t think the WWE has the balls to do it. Beyond the short term revenue drop in merchandise, Cena serves as a good ambassador for the WWE to mainstream media and spends a ridiculous amount of time with charities like Make a Wish. Probably more so than any WWE wreslter I can think of. The WWE doesn’t have any one else who can fill that niche quite so effectively.

  • Cynical Bastard

    So, your basing your analysis on the crowd divide? Ok, I can work with that. Moms and their kids cheer Cena, men boo him. Agreed.

    The majority of the audience are teenage and adult males. They boo Cena because he’s boring and repetitive. I know you say he isn’t, but we can agree to disagree there. Sure, he changes the color of his shirt every couple months, and promises to rise above and never give up even though he hasn’t had an opponent in almost a decade who’s been presented as a credible threat. Cena used to be creative when he (or maybe whoever was assigned to write for him that week) would custom tailor a rap to trash his current rival. THAT was imaginative. Ever since then, his promos have been a watered down, PG version of Rock’s style back in his prime. Wacky insults boiling down to a super serious promise to beat (insert opponent here). This same portion of the audience is largely unhappy with the move to PG, and Cena certainly is the poster boy for the current product, so I’m sure there’s some negative feedback from that too.

    The kids cheer Cena because they’re too young and dumb to know how dull he is. Sorry, but it’s true. When I was a kid, I was a huge fan of Hogan and Warrior, and I thought they were the greatest wrestlers ever. When I was a kid, I thought Randy Savage and Ric Flair were boring. Given age and wisdom, my views have since reversed. Cena literally puts me to sleep. I start watching a match and I nod off before it’s over, usually waking up for the bell and the replay of the FU/STF. Children lack the sophistication that comes with age to appreciate much outside Cena’s 1 match. And I’m willing to bet that most of their moms would much rather watch whatever abomination is currently airing on Lifetime if they weren’t indulging their children.

    The excitement that the “marks” feel is that Rock might actually hand Cena the ass whooping that he never seems to get. Cena, the guy who got beat senseless in an I Quit match by Miz and Riley for about 20 minutes but suddenly bounced back and made Miz tap in seconds. Cena, the guy who single handedly defeated the Nexus after they ran roughshod over the ENTIRE roster, talents like Edge and Jericho included. There is no drama in a Cena match, because the outcome is inevitable. Ergo, it is BORING since we already know that no matter what happens to him, he’ll bounce back at the end and win.

  • Paulmail21

    it isn’t just Vince but HHH that pockets the extra money that Rock brings in… think the locker room would be more upset with HHH basically taking the year off and still getting a WrestleMania main event spot against Undertaker… again

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