WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Feb. 11, 2013) from Nashville, Tennessee, featuring the go home show to the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view (PPV) this Sunday night in New Orleans.
If you thought that meant The Rock on his A-game, you would be wrong.
Click here for full results and the live blog from the show if you missed it. Let's get right to reactions:
- I really don't want this space to become the spot where I incessantly complain about The Rock but you're going to have to hear it another week because seriously, what in the blue hell was he talking about last night? Every week "The Grat
ingOne" shows up on Raw, his promo seems to somehow center on some history lesson of a time he spent in whatever city the show is in that week. That's fine when we're talking about Rock reminiscing on his WWE career starting at Madison Square Garden but when it devolves into story time and he just spouts off for 10 minutes on how he got lit up in a bar at 15 and bought a crackhead's car, I just don't give a shit. I don't want to hear about Rock being one of the best promo guys in the history of the industry. It's a true statement, sure, but this is just ridiculous. Why the hell am I supposed to care about Rock buying a car from a crackhead? There was literally nothing entertaining about his story last night. It wasn't funny, it was totally off topic and irrelevant to the issues at hand, and it wasted everyone's time. Thanks, Rock, great to have you back!
- Another issue Rock has is that he's too Hollywood for his own good anymore. When he's working off the script, he's golden but just as soon as CM Punk hits the scene and he actually has to get a little personal with it he just starts repeating himself. "CM Punk, let The Rock tell you this ... I'm going to tell you this ... let The Rock tell you, I'm going to kick your Punk ass." At this point, I'm not sure Rock has any real redeeming quality other than the fact that he brings more attention to the product. The problem with that? As a fan looking only to be entertained, that has zero bearing on me. None. No one has ever been entertained by the fact that someone is good for business. Ever. I'm actually looking forward to John Cena pinning him clean at WrestleMania 29 just to get him the hell out of here.
- Speaking of Cena, he's still mostly awful but how lovely was that extended promo from The Shield on him? Listening to Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins wax philosophical on the issue with Cena in WWE was a real treat because their gripes mirror those of the smark community who are tired of Cena's bullshit. And yes, Sheamus and Ryback have been built in that image and The Shield are here to save us from it, even though we all know that isn't going to happen. That's a narrative unto itself, really, which makes it all the more enjoyable.
- Still, fuck Cena standing tall in the end.
- Vince McMahon and the WWE brain trust were so eager to get in on the news of The Pope resigning that they actually trotted out Paul Heyman and had him do an extended promo talking about stepping down for an utterly absurd reason only to have CM Punk come down and talk him out of it. What's funny is they were both cheesing it up so big -- go back and listen to Punk's voice when he's trying to talk Heyman out of it, it's phenomenal -- yet they both managed to make it an emotional segment that kinda sorta at one point started to feel really real. It's why we love the hell out of Heyman being back and it's why he should absolutely be working with Punk for as long as possible. They're bringing the best out of each other.
- That also has me salivating for a Punk vs. Brock Lesnar feud with Heyman caught in the middle. So much potential in a program like that, even with a limited performer like Brock.
- If two of Raw's three hours consisted of Mark Henry screaming wildly in between beating the shit out of anyone and everyone put in his path, I think I might be okay with that. I love that he has to remind us of what he does, as if everyone isn't all already living in fear of his wrath.
- To the same end, Big Show is the best when he's just batshit insane with anger, so much so that he can't even formulate words. We can't say enough that Show is one of the best performers on the roster. It's just too bad he never had that "it" factor to really make him a star because he's got everything else. He'll lose to Alberto Del Rio again at Elimination Chamber and move on to something else and I have no clue what but I know he'll make it entertaining. Can't ask for anything more than that.
- We need a crack Cageside detective to figure out what Kofi Kingston did so wrong. He went from a tag team champion to Intercontinental champion to glorified jobber in far too short a period for there not to be something up, right? Yeah, something's up and we need someone on the case.
- Remember when we talked about Tensai changing up his character to something far less serious? And that it might actually get him over because no one was taking him serious anyway? Bingo, baby.
- Rey Mysterio never belonged in the Elimination Chamber match, so it's good to see those spots filled by the likes of Jack Swagger, Chris Jericho, and Kane. Swagger's new gimmick works great now that he's got a mouthpiece to be a racist piece of garbage we can all hate on. The only reason I'm okay with the angle they're taking on that, by the way, is because WWE is making it expressly clear that we're supposed to hate this asshole for being such an intolerant piece of crap. I'm just not looking forward to Swagger vs. Del Rio and good god, I hope they don't go with that for WrestleMania and if they do, Dolph Ziggler needs to cash in immediately after that match no matter who wins.
- Hey Miz, die away from us. Thanks!
This was a solid show, maybe not at the level it needed to be to make it truly special heading into the PPV but a good show nonetheless.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show.