WWE Monday Night Raw last night (March 26, 2012) emanated from Atlanta, Georgia and was the go-home show to WrestleMania 28. It's just too bad they did so very little to make the upcoming pay-per-view event look like a purchase worth making.
- I cut a big promo on the John Cena vs. The Rock feud in the Cageside Live podcast immediately after Raw last night but I realize I did so because I'm the jilted lover at this point. They made me care so much when they initially announced the match that I fell head over heels for it. I couldn't help but be so very attracted. Then they spent an entire year systematically destroying that. Just when I was ready to leave, they delivered a segment on Raw last night to pull me back in. But I'm leery and because of that, I won't enjoy the big ball this Sunday night on pay-per-view. It's too bad, really, because I was head over heels once. Oh what could have been.
- Not sure why none of the three guys involved in the second biggest program of the year couldn't be bothered to show up to the freaking go-home show to WrestleMania. Undertaker too busy growing his hair out? Triple H too occupied in the gym? Shawn Michaels in church? Vignettes and video montages and promos will never replace live human interaction.
- Speaking of which, can someone alert Chris Jericho that it's unacceptable for a talent of his caliber to be wasting valuable time on a Titantron pre-record? The Rock can pull it off well enough to earn a pass but Jericho needed to be live and in color during this feud with CM Punk. And while the angle they're playing is solid, it feels just a tad empty, as though they ultimately won't have a decent bit of closure to it. If Jericho goes over at WrestleMania, it won't look good that he will have done so after skipping out on the last three Raw shows.
- Tag matches in general have mostly lost their luster, mostly because of the severe mistreatment of the division by the powers that be, but Randy Orton, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan and Kane had themselves a nice little diddy to open the show. Unfortunately, it did little to put the outcome of the upcoming main event level matches in doubt. Sheamus will get the strap, if for no other reason than to justify the monster push he was given and to pay off the Royal Rumble win, and Orton will go over on Kane. Still, I'd rather Raw opens with a solid 10 minute tag match than meaningless banter.
- Team Johnny Laurinaitis is worlds apart from Team Teddy Long, especially considering all babyface options fell through and Booker T was added to Team Long. So the babyfaces actually need an announcer to help them win the match. Incredible. The depth of storytelling is just so terribly inconsistent here. Then again, it's likely they wanted to fit Rey Mysterio or Sin Cara into that slot but it just couldn't happen because neither guy is healthy enough to come back yet.
Thoughts on the rest of the show after the jump.
- David Otunga could be the biggest star to come out of NXT not named Daniel Bryan. Think about that for a second. This green pro wrestler who can barely run the ropes properly is one of the best things going today. And that ain't not bad, folks.
- What is bad is the Divas division, mostly because WWE refuses to accept the fact that Kelly Kelly is terrible at everything she does inside that ring. She can stand there and look pretty but it's disgusting how bad she still is technically, even after all these years. Her roll up on Eve last night was like getting gouged in the eye with your pencil.
- Did you know one half of the tag team champions was in action last night? It's okay if you didn't. If you blinked, you missed Big Show squashing Primo. This kind of blatant disregard for any WWE promoted title is just mind bogglingly stupid. Why even have belts if the guys wearing them never actually win matches on TV?
- Brodus Clay is still squashing everyone he comes into contact with and I'm still happy to see him doing it.
- I'm not sure why Christian was the sacrificial lamb for Punk's beatdown last night but I hope there's a legitimately good reason for the explanation that he's missing WrestleMania. Nothing kayfabe and I hope this isn't an angle, though that's precisely what it feels like.
Raw this week was terribly uneventful with a whole lot of filler matches and a million vignettes. This didn't feel like a go-home show to the biggest pay show of the year. A solid D for this one.
But that's all from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off with all your thoughts on the show. What's your grade?