Well, we now have proof that I don't listen to a darn word Michael Cole says during RAW! I'm admitting it here and want to make sure everyone knows it. The other day, on a whim, I went looking for the infamous Cole action figure on ebay. What I found was listings for Cena, D-Bry and Triple H, as well as a number of Cole body parts. Stacy and I were on the floor laughing that we're able to buy Cole's disembodied head and his suit coat, or just his arms! Honestly, I'd love a Michael Cole without a mouth, now that would be something I could get behind. Sadly the only figure I want out of the grouping is D-Bry. I think I have Cena in my arsenal, though I should have more for abusing. I want Trip, but it's a specific Trip figure I'm after. I guess I'll have to buckle down and buy them so I can have a Cole figure to abuse.
Everyone keeps talking about how Rocky left about seven years ago, about the same time Cena came in. I went and looked at times, and while there was some overlapping there, they had nothing to do with each other in the ring – as far as I can tell. Honestly, I can see where Cena is coming from on this one. He worked hard and made it into the WWE. At that point some of the biggest names from the AE and earlier were still with the company – Flair, Rocky, Austin, even Hogan was there for some of that time, but one of the biggest names left before Cena got to a level he could even work the ring with him. Cena has a passion for this industry that we don't see from many of his era. He loves everything about it and wants to do everything he can within it and the perks that fame brings, specifically granting wishes. I can understand why he was upset with Rocky for leaving this industry and basically turning his back for a number of years, only briefly returning when he had the time, or thought it would help further his movie career. Rocky's ring career basically ended around WrestleMania XX where Cena faced Big Show and won his first US Championship. Basically what I'm saying is that this feud makes a lot of sense, was many years in the making. Rocky didn't leave the WWE due to injury, he left to pursue other interests, something I can see Cena not being able to understand. Yes, Jericho has other interests, but he really hasn't been gone for the time Rocky has been. Yes, Austin left, but he has problems with his knees and his neck that has made it harder for him to work the ring the way he used to – but that doens't mean I'm not itching to see him face Punk, possibly at XXIX? (A girl can wish!)
I think the WWE has done a wonderful job with Rocky versus Cena. The teasers throughout the year leading to them really getting into it the last couple weeks leading into WrestleMania. I also have to say that I really enjoyed Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Stacy and I took Tim (our older son) to see the movie in 3D, and while it was not a deep movie and had a lot of eye candy – the shots on the 'island', not Rocky's bod – it was enjoyable and absolutely worth the time and money. I then took Sam (Samantha, our youngest, she's 8 and I told her that I wanted to see it before she did, just to make sure) to see it, not in 3D. It was still a beautiful movie, and while it didn't have the visual depth that it does in 3D, I didn't feel gypped. It was still fun and worth the time and money the second time around, and Sam loved it. She loves Rocky and wants to see anything he's in. She is so much my girl. As long as you're not looking for a deep movie, this is a lot of fun.
Video > B
I won't kvetch about RAW starting with a video, even though I should, because they needed to start with a Cena bit to set up for Rocky later in the show. Cena was really on last week, so it was a decent way to start this show.
Champ vs Champ > A
I'm loving these matches between Punk and D-Bry. While it's a great catalyst for the GM feud, they have also been fabby matches – not that I expect anything less from D-Bry and Punk anytime they're in the ring, but especially together! I have said before every one of these matches, before it was obvious where they were going with this one, that neither would go over cleanly, and I haven't been at all upset with the lack of clean endings between them. I could watch D-Bry and Punk in the ring every night of the week.
I was thrilled with Jericho and Punk on mic before it all started as they were great! I didn't have a problem with D-Bry leaving early and playing the heel, that worked. AJ did a great job of looking meek and frail, even though we all know she can hold her own pretty well for her size. I like that Sheamus keeps running in and throwing D-Bry back in the ring. I even liked Jericho's attack on Punk on the stage, even though I cringed when Punk hit the stage that way. Also Jericho really shouldn't be running around in skinny leather pants without a shirt. That blinky jacket balanced out his look in the ring, but without the jacket really showed his age and his saggy ass. I was only annoyed that we didn't get to see everything play out in the ring between the GMs. When the jackets came off, then Laurinaitis' tie, and Long pushed Laurinaitis, I was waiting for a throw-down!
Winner – nope!
Backstage Segment > F
Why the heck did they have Josh standing in front of a door saying all of one sentence? I have to say that this segment was worse than most of the news reporting we see up here in Maine. Sad but true that we see too much reporting in front of closed doors, but I live in fricken Maine, virtually nothing happens up here! This is the WWE, they shouldn't have to be reduced to reporting in front of closed doors!
Video > A
Okay, I admit that I fluffed off this segment in the play-by-play because I wanted to be caught up as much as possible as Rocky was coming up later and he's heck to write, also in case I had a sudden Crohn's attack. But going back and looking at the video again, it was lovely. Some people complained that Trip and Taker weren't live this week, but they has such a wonderful segment last week and they have to set up other big matches for WrestleMania. I think showing this video kept Trip and Taker on our minds while giving the time needed to Rocky and Cena. HBK will be on RAW next week, so we know we'll be seeing more of this then. Personally I believe that the WWE balanced things really well in this episode of RAW.
Nikki vs Kelly > F
The second segment on this RAW that earned an F. The only thing worth noting in this segment (I can't call it a match) was Kelly's bridge when she pinned Nikki. While I think Kelly looks too thin much of the time, it worked for this bridge, but it doesn't mean I want to see her in the ring.
Winner - Kelly
Cena vs Miz > B-
Cena's selling here was craptastic! He looked like a broken bird, but at his size it was ludicrous. I would like to say at least Miz got the upper hand briefly, but the whole thing looked like a farce. Miz's video that he put out after the match where he was talking about how he all say he's lost it, he's just not as good as he was last year, I think he's hitting the nail on the head. It feels as though he's lost something, something that got him over the the top. He went from being a great heel to being a great annoyance. This was little better than a glorified squash match, but I am hoping for something big from him at WrestleMania. He sure is planting the seed, even if he's being humbled in the process. I also liked how they showed Rocky backstage watching Cena. It set up for later in the night.
Winner > Cena
Tag Team Championship Match > B
I really didn't like this match. There was some really solid wrestling in this match, but it was so hard to follow what was going on. There were just too many people in the ring. I would have rather this was two matches – Kofi and R-Truth versus Swagger and Dolph, then the winner face the Colons. This was just a mess at every turn, which really sucks because all six of those guys are great in the ring. Even after saying all that, I enjoyed it more than Miz versus Cena because the ring work was more interesting. There was more drama and passion in the ring than Cena showed.
Winners - Colons
In Ring Segment > B+
I love it when Kane starts a new storyline and just starts attacking people out of the blue. He is so good at what he does and I can't wait to see where he's going with this one!
Video > D
Yes, we know Eve is a hoeski, we don't need it pounded into our head.
In Ring Segment > F
That segment flopped like a fish on a dock. Even worse was that she knew it was failing and crumbled under the weight of the fans. She tried, but she isn't Trish, or Lita, or even Molly. I think this storyline and character is bigger than she can handle.
Backstage Segment > F
While I really don't like failing segments, especially on a RAW that was so solid, but Eve and Kelly just aren't that good. Kelly glaring at Eve made her look like her fake eyelashes had fallen into her eyes. Not good.
Video > C
I'm not going to say anything about Edge's movie at this point as we've only seen this little bit, but I will say that Edge's body, the way he moved, looked looser, more relaxed than I've seen since Edge and Christian were brothers.
Big Show & Sheamus vs Cody & Henry > C+
There was more talking than wrestling in this match. While I know it set up for Cody feuding with Big Show, and Sheamus looked strong taking down Henry for the win, none of it was very exciting. Honestly, it was barely interesting, and that's a slap in the face to these four who have proven themselves to be better than this segment, than this match.
Winners – Sheamus & Big Show
In Ring Segment > A
Some people said that Rocky was off last night, not perfectly himself – acting? That maybe Cena shook him with his promo in the middle of Rocky's, but even before that Rocky wasn't as completely on as he can be. I will say that it seemed like Cena shook him, and that's a good thing – makes him look a bit more real. But the thing is that Rocky not completely on, as he can be, is still better than 90% of the roster on their best of days.
Many people said that Cena's promo last week on RAW was one of the best we've seen from him in quite a while, well this segment was leaps and bounds beyond that. He really seemed to leave Rocky a bit off kilter with his words, and that gave Cena some points. It will be interesting to see what might come about from the whole words on his wrist thing – whether they were there or not. (EDIT: I saw the picture, the notes were there – storyline or now made into storyline?)
I will give Rock huge props for elevating Cena to the level he should be working every week, and forcing PG out the window so that those of us over the age of 12 are really enjoying it. The only words that I heard that wasn't 100% PG, in some people's mind, was penis and balls. There was nothing in that segment that I won't let Sam (remember, she's 8 ) watch. I've already told her that when her homework is done for the week that she can watch the Rocky segment. So it wasn't as if it was full of cuss words and dirty talk, but it was edgier, more interesting, more fun! I really hope some of the boys in the back who are not getting over, or not to the level they think they should be, listen and watch Rocky closely. Heck, they should be looking at old tapes of more than just Rocky, but maybe having him right there, smack in front of them, threatening to shove his size 15 boot straight up their candy asses will make them take notice. I have to agree with what Rocky said about no one fighting for him. It seems as though many wrestlers, from the stories we've been hearing, especially about those who get a touch of fame and think their poo suddenly smells rosy, need a good dose of reality. It seems as though they're not really willing to push to get to the top. The only thing we've seen from any of them was Ryder getting on YouTube and pushing himself. I hope some learn from what Rocky said, or from how he said it.
Now for the bad stuff, the whole trending on Twitter thing really annoyed me. Yes, it's great that so many people are watching, that so many people are following the segment and talking about it online, but it seemed at times that Rocky seemed to care more about trending than he did about what was actually going on in the ring. That pissed me off and took a lot away from the segment. Even saying all this negative, it's still better than most of the promos by the younger guys coming up through the ranks. I want to state that I am not talking about the guys who have been around for years – Trip, Taker, Kane, Jericho, Big Show – or even Punk who has been one of the leaders in promos, and raising the bar for the younger Superstars, even if he doesn't hold the fans in awe the way Rock does.
Through all this, good and bad, I really am starting to look forward to Rocky/Cena at WrestleMania. It won't be the best wrestled match – Punk /Jericho or D-Bry/Sheamus, it won't be the emotional knock down drag out fight – Taker/Trip – but it won't be a hair pulling mess – any Divas match without Kharma. What it will be is high energy, fast paced, fun and exciting match that will have the fans hanging from the nonexistent chandeliers.
Actually, I have to say that WrestleMania is stacking up to be a pretty kick butt show. For the first time in quite a while, I wish I was going to WrestleMania. Between the way they're breaking up each show to give time to each feud, pushing each further than I remember seeing in quite a while, and the caliber of Superstars in the main events. They're such different creatures from different lots in life, different eras, but all are spectacular in their own way and are going to make this WrestleMania a special one.