THE RAGER – RAGEFUL Musings (Wrestlemania, Raw)
by Chris Sanders on April 4, 2012

The soundtrack of this week’s episode is Enter the Haggis

I’m Chris, this is THE RAGER, this is my twitter account. I’m the most followed wrestling columnist in the world (an anticipatory statement, don’t make me a liar and follow me…or don’t, whatever).

WRESTLEMANIA!!!!!!!

Match 1: Daniel Bryan(c) vs Sheamus
Fact: Typing out this sentence took longer than this match (that’s suppose to be a dig at how short the match was but I’m actually a slow typer).
Fiction: The shortness of this match was a terrible thing.
Why: Because Daniel Bryan has played the weaselly bad guy this whole time and has slithered away (I know the animal descriptions don’t match, work with me) from match after match so it fits. The reason this isn’t detrimental to Daniel Bryan being over with the fans is…well..did you catch Monday Night RAW? The truth is that Daniel Bryan is more over than arguably anybody that doesn’t have a ‘rock’ in their name and the fact this might go against WWE’s intent is irrelevant because you don’t argue intent, you argue results. WWE is smart enough (a la summer of Punk) to go with the crowd reaction when the reaction is strong enough. I would suggest that Daniel Bryan stays a heel because he’s golden in that aspect (certainly better than his ‘aw shucks’ face days) but expect him to be a heel that’s going to get a ton of cheers and YES chants.

Match 2: Kane vs Randy Orton
Fact: This match wasn’t as bad/pointless as I originally thought and I’m glad Kane got the win (even though it screwed up my predictions pretty early).
Fiction: I gave a crap.
Why: Because there still wasn’t any interest or buildup and could have easily been a Smackdown main event. No, the match wasn’t terrible but that doesn’t make it WM worthy.

Match 3: Cody Rhodes(c) vs Big Show
Fact: Show winning and being the first to win every title in the company was a cool moment, sure.
Fiction: I was in no way still bitter about this match not being Cody vs Goldust.
Why: Because its Goldust…c’mon.

Match 4: Kelly Kelly and Maria Meningococcal vs Eve and Beth Pheonix
Face: It was a shame to have Beth lowered to such a match, let alone to have to come out to Eve’s music. She showed her shame by killing a large bird and wearing its feathers on her head (a la the albatross in The Rime of The Ancient Mariner).
Fiction: Maria Mega-Greek-Name had skid-marks are her pants.
Why: It was make-up from Eve’s man-face from the double stink face (or the double sweet face as Jerry Lawler put it). Yes, this was the only interest I had in the match and proves where my eyes were the whole time.

Match 5: The Undertaker vs HHH (Shawn Michaels as Special Ref)
Fact: This was one of the best storytelling matches I’ve ever witnessed.
Fiction: Since Undertaker looked so good, he should take off all year, every year and keep coming back to Mania.
Why: Originally, I was only going to discuss this match in my column but CB beat me to the punch and said basically everything I have to say about it and did it so very much better than I ever could. That being said, it would be a shame if Taker or HHH came back to wrestle after this (unless there was a guarantee that the ending would be better). Lets put it like this: JD had the perfect send off any character could have asked for in season 8 of Scrubs with the bed-sheet video and the Peter Gabriel song but it was all for naught when he came back for half of season 9. That’s right, we’re talking about Scrubs, wanna fight about it?

Match 6: Team Teddy vs Team Johnny
Fact: I dug Johnny’s Colonel Sanders suit.
Fiction: This match will change everything.
Why: I really had nothing to put into the Fiction section for this but I already committed to the motif. I thought this match was better than expected. There was minimal Khali and everyone else got their chance to shine while also furthering the Eve/Ryder story without bothering Cena. Team Johnny won like I predicted so hooray for that?

Match 7: CM Punk(c) vs Chris Jericho
Fact: I have no complaints about this match.
Fiction: This match was boring.
Why: Because Jericho was fantastic in his continuous antagonizing and Punk was brilliant. From a technical aspect, it was match of the night. What I loved about this is in a match where both men claim to be the best in the world, having it end in submission is a brilliant move because it forces one man to basically admit the other is better. Well played.

Match 8: Rock vs Cena
Fact: Both music guests made me want to dig my eye out with a spoon.
Fiction: This was a “passing of the torch” match.
Why: Because Rock won…duh. Which I predicted because Vince is such a big, fuzzy pander-bear and deny all logic and reason. It was a lazy ending that didn’t do the feud or the match itself any justice.

RAW Thoughts
-Jericho pouring the alcohol on Punk was brilliant because it created more animosity between the two to carry them into Extreme Rules with more momentum. It wasn’t needed but it was a good luxury (plus it gave us this moment.
– I couldn’t have rolled my eyes harder during the Lord Tensai match. A-Train wasn’t really impressive years ago and nothing has changed. Don’t even take my word for it, the crowd that should go into the hall of fame as the best crowd ever couldn’t even muster up any excitement for it for the only time that night.
– A wild Brock appears, he uses F5. It’s super effective.

Closing Thought:
Through the entire weekend, there was a kid sitting front row at Wrestlemania and Raw wearing a green Cena shirt and a green Cena hat with black-rimmed glasses. That kid stood very firmly on who he was cheering for and he’s reactions were priceless. Thanks for that kid.

Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do twice,
Chris

The Answer: This sign



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Chris Sanders

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  • http://twitter.com/Kanta_Mizuno Ryan Alarie

    While the argument that the World Title match didn’t hurt Bryan has merit, that doesn’t retroactively make it a good move.

    The overwhelming crowd response is because of that match. The audience wanted to see Bryan and, were given him doing barely anything (on Raw, he had another brief appearance, before they let him out to do something at the end of the show). It also turned the audience on Sheamus as a nasty side effect. (the fact that the audience hated Del Rio is part of it, but I think has more to do with Del Rio’s entire WWE career up to this point being disappointing).

    The biggest reason it was terrible is that everyone who watched Wrestlemania for:

    (a) The Rock
    (b) Taker/HHH
    (c) It’s Wrestlemania

    And normally don’t watch wrestling for most of the rest of the year, did not get to a glipse of one of the most compelling reasons to tune in to Raw or Smackdown now that Wrestlemania season is over. Why wouldn’t you want to showcase your best talent on the one day of the year you have the most casual browsers.

  • CB40

    Thanks for the plug Sanders. I am right with you with the Scrubs reference!

  • deathmetal_dan

    A-Train has had some excellent matches the last 7 years in japan. Maybe you should watch some of those matches first before you judge him on a 3 minute squash match.

  • Zork

    I don’t care that The Rock won, I was actually cool with that and excited that he won. No I refuse to look at this from a “But this is bad for business standpoint.” and all that crap. I chose to simply enjoy the feud and root for the guy I wanted to win in all this. At the end, I was happy.

  • Chris Sanders

    Yes but the casual WWE fan/kid isn’t going to watch or know about his career in Japan so they’re going to judge him only for that match anyway. This is a very “what have you done for me lately” business and I’m not blind to the fact that obviously his career in Japan was successful enough for WWE to give him another look but they’re only going to look at what he (or anyone else) can do right now and if it doesn’t work out then he’s gone. The moment the company goes off of past cred is when we get things like Kevin Nash coming back for a nostalgia run and a botched pedigree. Even with wrestling aside, we live in a society where the moment someone does something publicly, they’re judged only on that one thing without the past taken into account. Is it a fair notion? Not at all but its the way the world works.
    All I’m looking at is a guy I vaguely remember from WWE years ago, now with a different name and a Japanese schitck and lame face tattoos who had awkward timing in the ring and nobody was impressed. Maybe it was just this one time and he’ll get better and if he does, I will gladly admit that I was wrong. Until then, I’m going to just reserve my judgments for what was accessible to me on my television. Thanks for the comment.

  • deathmetal_dan

    To be honest, I think his new gimmick is lame and he is probably going nowhere in the WWE. I just don’t understand why they would bring him back after all this time and then saddle him with this crap. I just hope he gets some opportunities to show how good of a wrestler he has become since his last WWE run.

  • James A

    Rock winning was the right call for many reasons. Cena has had one-on-one ‘Mania wins against HBK, Triple H and Batista, and none of those victories raised him in the eyes of the fans in the slightest. One high profile loss, however, has immediately made him interesting again. This is the start of a very interesting year for John Cena, and WWE’s business will be just fine.

  • James A

    What else would you have him do, then? It’s a great gimmick, and a unique one. He’s like Kenzo Suzuki but white and with talent. The character plays into his success in Japan (and it’s nice that WWE are acknowledging his time over there!) and completely refreshes a guy who hasn’t been seen in eight years. And the guy has a manager! We love managers, right?

    The only other option would be to saddle Bloom with the dull-as-dishwater “middle-card monster heel” gimmick he had back when he was A-Train. Boring as hell, and a complete step in the wrong direction. Lord Tensai offers a range of new possibilities. A return to Prince Albert does not.

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