The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal 04/01/13

Submitted by John C. on April 2, 2013 - 10:10am
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Live from Washington, DC this is the Raw Deal for episode #1036. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport.

Earlier on Monday, I wrote a column with 29 questions and answers heading into WrestleMania. It was fun to write, so check it out here if you haven't done so already.

The opening video package focused on the key storylines heading into WrestleMania 29 on Sunday.

The announcers for the show are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield. I like the three man team better than the two man team.

John Cena started the show off. Cena said there were Cena-crats and Rock-publicans for the political pun. Then he pointed at the WrestleMania sign. It won't be the first time of the night. Cena said that he doesn't like Dwayne Johnson, but he respects him for being the global superstar he is and for being the WWE Champion. He mentioned that a year ago he would question Rock's dedication while this year he respected him because he came back to win the WWE Title.

Cena said he believes The Rock is the greatest WWE Champion of all time. He claimed that even though Rock is The Great One, the Great One will fall. "The Rock's time is up - my time is now." It's like there's a song about that or something. We've only heard it hundreds of times. Loud "Cena sucks" chants from some fans. Cena said this Sunday the WWE Universe may get a moment they never thought possible. I wonder what he means with that? Hmmm. Cena claimed that after last year The Rock ushered in "The People's Era." He had to see The Rock debut a new WWE Championship. Cena claimed that that in Rock's first defense with the new WWE Title he will lose it. "The People's Era will remain, the WWE Universe will remain, but the mighty Rock will experience failure." Every time the WWE is mentioned he will have to deal with the fact that Cena will be the one with the Championship that Rock had. As Cena was continuing to talk there was a "boring" chant so he paused. He will hold the WWE Title that Rock brought in as a symbol that proves that he is better than The Rock. "This Sunday I will shock the world. You will not believe your eyes." He ended it by saying: "The Champ is here."

Analysis: That was about eight minutes of Cena talking all by himself. The crowd was reacting to everything he said mostly in a positive way, but they also did the "Cena sucks" chant and also a "boring" one as well. I thought he showed a lot of passion. For those that think a heel turn is possible, when he said we'd get a moment never thought possible and that he'd "shock the world" - those phrases could lead him down that path. Of course he could just be referring to him beating Rock, but they are phrases that would suggest a heel turn is possible.

Michael Cole filmed Jerry Lawler making a Tout video predicting the winner of the WrestleMania main event. They encouraged fan videos. Lawler picked Rock.

Randy Orton, Sheamus & Big Show were walking backstage. They filmed it from the low angle as a way to remind you how tall Big Show is because people watching haven't seen the guy in the last 14 years in WWE apparently.

(Commercial)

Before the next match, we saw clips of Orton, Sheamus & Show working together to win their brawl with The Shield on Smackdown.

Randy Orton, Sheamus & Big Show vs. 3MB (Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal & Drew McIntyre)

McIntyre hit a dropkick on Sheamus. Cole was trying to put over 3MB as credible talents, but nobody at home believes they are credible. Sheamus hit the Irish Curse Backbreaker on Slater leading to the hot tag of Big Show. Show destroyed Mahal with a huge shoulder tackle. Orton hit a RKO on Slater. Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on McIntyre. Show hit the KO Punch on Mahal to win the match. It went about two minutes.

Winners: Randy Orton, Sheamus & Big Show

Analysis: A short tag team squash match as expected. The "hot tag" happened after about a minute of action, so it was very rushed.

The music of The Shield started up. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins didn't walk down to the ring. Ambrose said that they're not going to leave them with anything to celebrate. They had microphones in their pockets. It's nice that they have so many pockets in their attire. Rollins said that justice never lies and that they know the truth. Reigns said the truth is that Sheamus, Orton & Show are not a team. Reigns said their team is phony and after they win at WrestleMania the whole world will believe in The Shield.

Analysis: That promo by The Shield guys was okay. The babyface team has looked like a cohesive unit for the majority of the last month and the fans believe in them. But will they win at WrestleMania? Don't think so. Makes more sense for The Shield to get the win. Will it happen due to the rumored heel turn of Randy Orton? That's what most people think.

Tonight we'll hear from Shawn Michaels, who is in the building. Up next are Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter.

(Commercial)

Earlier today, Zeb Colter & Jack Swagger filmed a video in the streets of Washington. Colter did his usual promo about how America is broken and that Jack Swagger is the man to fix it. Swagger says that the country is suffocating, so it's time to say "no more." At WrestleMania he's going to stand over Alberto Del Rio as the new World Heavyweight Champion. If you don't like that then you don't deserve to be real Americans.

Analysis: Swagger spoke more than usual during that promo. Usually Colter does most of the talking. Swagger did fine, though. Nothing wrong with it.

Backstage, Matt Striker interviewed Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio said at WrestleMania he has the chance to do something about Swagger. He said he had a match with Zeb Colter later and that he was nothing more than a piñata with a mustache. So it's Del Rio vs. Colter later in the show apparently.

Daniel Bryan made his entrance with Kane at his side. He's up against Dolph Ziggler. Great.

(Commercial)

In Twitter news, Vince McMahon is on Twitter @VinceMcMahon. The account has been out for a while, but his first tweet appeared tonight saying there's some kind of announcement on Friday night.

Daniel Bryan (w/Kane) vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee & Big E Langston)

No TV entrance for Ziggler, if you're wondering. Bryan gave Ziggler a slingshot into the turnbuckle. Bryan hit a running clothesline. Ziggler took control with a dropkick to the shoulder of Bryan. The announcers were talking about how they were surprised that Ziggler hasn't cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase yet. Bryan locked up Ziggler in the ropes with the Tarantula move that Tajiri used to do. Ziggler hit the Fameasser for two. Cole called it that. They went to break three minutes into the match with both guys in the ring.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Ziggler was in control with a headstand headlock combo. The announcers put over Big E Langston's in-ring "debut" at WrestleMania even though he's the NXT champion and has plenty of matches there if you want to see it. Ziggler missed a corner attack, so Bryan hit a series of kicks and then hard kick to the head. Bryan went for a headbutt off the top, but he missed it. Both guys were down. Bryan applied a sleeper to Ziggler, so Ziggler countered by falling back to the mat. They exchanged pinfall attempts and then did an awesome cross body block attack at the same time. At the ten minute mark, AJ started skipping around Kane outside the ring. That led to Langston destroying Kane with a clothesline. Bryan dropkicked Langston. That allowed Ziggler to roll up Bryan for the victory after eleven minutes.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

Analysis: **1/2 Good wrestling for about ten minutes. Then they did the interference spot with AJ & Big E to set up the finish of the match. If they got another five to ten minutes after that cross body block spot they could have led to something really special. It was still fun in the time they were given, but wasn't really booked to be the kind of great match these two are capable of.

Post match, Langston destroyed Bryan with a running body attack followed by his finishing move. Kane back to destroy Ziggler with punches. Then Langston blocked a clothesline by lifting Kane's hand off his throat and then he hit his finisher The Big Ending on Kane. That was a very impressive spot. The heel trio celebrated.

Analysis: If I use my "lose or get beat up on TV, win on PPV" theory then that would suggest the champs retain. I'm not sure. I think they might use WrestleMania as an opportunity to really put over Ziggler/Langston as a potentially dominant group. I'll save the official prediction for our WrestleMania preview that will go up on Thursday.

Up next is my favorite wrestler ever, Shawn Michaels, to talk about the Triple H/Brock Lesnar feud.

(Commercial)

As we reach the top of hour two, Shawn Michaels is introduced and the crowd goes wild for the man known as "Mr. WrestleMania." As Michaels posed, we saw videos of Lesnar breaking the arm of Triple H in April 2012 and also breaking Triple H's arm at Summerslam in August 2012. They didn't show when Lesnar broke Shawn's arm in the lead up to Summerslam, but that happened too.

Michaels said we can't have a WrestleMania without Mr. WrestleMania. He mentioned Swagger/Del Rio, Punk/Undertaker and Cena/Rock. Michaels said he's most interested in the Brock Lesnar match against his best friend Triple H. Michaels tried to get to the point, but before he could continue the music of Triple H hit.

Triple H made his entrance in the leather jackets and jeans as Cole said this could be the last time Triple H enters as an active wrestler because he has to retire if he loses at WrestleMania.

Michaels said that when his career was on the line he was against somebody that he had respect for in Undertaker. When he lost he was heartbroken, but he knew that Undertaker was heartbroken too. Undertaker didn't brag because he respected Shawn so much, which means a lot to him. Michaels said that Lesnar respects nobody, so it's not a similar situation. Michaels on Lesnar: "He does this for money and he enjoys wreaking havoc." Michaels said that this job has become Hunter's life and that he put his life on the at WrestleMania.

Triple H said that Michaels can't talk him out of it. Michaels said that at WrestleMania Triple H better kick Brock Lesnar's ass. I miss the raspy voice of Michaels. He said he will be in Hunter's corner to watch him do it. Hunter shook his hand and they hugged.

Brock Lesnar's music started up. Paul Heyman joined Lesnar with the microphone in hand. Lesnar slowly walked down the ramp, but Heyman calmed him down. They were on the floor as Heyman spoke. He said that Lesnar is going to beat Triple H into retirement this Sunday at WrestleMania. Heyman told Hunter that he had to learn to live with all that disappointment. He claimed that Hunter will disappoint his father-in-law Vince McMahon, the Board of Directors (apparently he wouldn't be COO anymore if he lost this) and he'll disappoint his wife - "you're probably used to that anyway!" That was funny. Heyman said Lesnar gets paid to fight. He wondered if Michaels wants to be this close again because Lesnar could break his arm again. Heyman said that Lesnar picked the fight and that Hunter should have walked away like Shawn Michaels did when he got beat at WrestleMania. Heyman said now Lesnar has put Triple H in a position to commit professional suicide. They went up the ramp as Hunter delivered a crotch chop.

Analysis: I thought all three guys that spoke (Lesnar didn't speak) did an awesome job of setting up the match. It was nice to see Michaels showing support for his best friend, which the crowd loved. He really is one of the best guys ever in terms of setting up a big match even when he's not in the match himself. I thought Hunter could have said a bit more, but perhaps they booked him to be quiet so that he could play the role of more of a physical presence in this instance. Heyman was terrific on the microphone like usual. He's one of the top two or three talkers in the company, I'd say. His delivery is perfect, the tone is just right and with Lesnar standing by him looking like a badass they look the part of a dynamic duo that can get the job done at WrestleMania.

(Commercial)

We got replays of events that happened earlier.

The Miz was at the announce table. It was announced that his match against Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Title is on the pre-show, which starts at 6pmET (main show is at 7pmET). So Miz went from the main event of WrestleMania to working the pre-show. He called it the "most must see pre-show of all time." Good effort.

Wade Barrett vs. Zack Ryder

This is not for Barrett's IC title. Barrett attacked the ribs of Ryder with a hard kick. The crowd was hot before, but they aren't now. Neckbreaker by Barrett, who followed that up with some trash talk to Miz. Barrett dropped Ryder with a hard boot to the face. They were on the floor in front of Miz. Back in the ring, Ryder hit a flying forearm to barely any reaction. A year ago it was louder. That's what bad booking does. Ryder hit the Broski Boot for two. Barrett countered Ryder's knee attack by slamming him to the mat. Bull Hammer elbow by Barrett won the match after three minutes.

Winner: Wade Barrett

Analysis: * A typical squash match on the road to WrestleMania. Ryder got some brief offense in, but of course this was match to showcase Barrett heading into WrestleMania.

In the Managing Supervisor of Raw Vickie Guerrero's office she was joined by Brad Maddox - her assistant. Santino walked into the room to say he saw Mr. McMahon there. Vickie was scared. Santino said April Fool's to signify he was joking. He was laughing at them. He claimed that Maddox made "kaka in the pants" because he was scared. Vickie was so mad that she put Santino into a match up next.

Later in the show, "The Undertaker eviscerates CM Punk."

(Commercial)

Santino was in the ring awaiting his opponent. Who was it? Mark Henry. They have done such a good job of booking Henry as an effective heel that when his music hit the crowd let out a loud gasp. We got a video package of the worked weightlifting competition from Smackdown when Henry and Ryback each lifted 225 pounds 53 times. Ryback was attacked at the end of it.

Mark Henry vs. Santino

Santio tried to attack with kicks. Henry decked him with a clothesline. World's Strongest Slam ended it. It went about thirty seconds.

Winner: Mark Henry

Analysis: Best part of the "match" is the "that's what he does" sign in the crowd. I love it when Henry does that.

Post match, Ryback made his entrance. Henry grabbed the microphone to say that they had a no contact clause until WrestleMania. Henry said tonight is not the night for that. There's only one thing that is going to happen tonight: he smiled. Ryback picked up Santino and used him to knock Henry out of the ring. Then he picked Santino up and threw him over the top rope onto Henry outside the ring. Henry got back to his feet quickly. "Feed Me More" chants for Ryback.

Analysis: That was a creative way to get around the no contact rule for them.

(Commercial)

Michael Cole said that McMahon has gained 53,000 Twitter followers in about 90 minutes. The account was actually set up many months ago and had thousands of followers for a long time. But that's WWE liking to tell their own story.

Backstage, Matt Striker talked to CM Punk. He said the only legacy he cared about was his own. He didn't care about Paul Bearer or The Undertaker's streak. The difference between him and the others is he'll do whatever it takes to win. All he cares about is beating him. If Undertaker gets disqualified then Punk wins. Punk said he'll do whatever he has to do in order to win the match at WrestleMania. He held up the urn saying that anytime somebody thinks about WrestleMania they're going to think about CM Punk.

Analysis: As usual it was an excellent promo from Punk. You can see what the motivation of his character is and he's a guy with credibility because of the very successful 434 day WWE Title reign he had until the 2013 Royal Rumble. He wants to beat Undertaker to add to his own legacy. He doesn't want to be another name that is added to Undertaker's legacy. It makes sense. That's all we want: stories that make sense!

Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger made their way to the ring for Colter's match with Del Rio.

(Commercial)

One of the "did you know" facts told us that you can watch WrestleMania in 108 countries in 22 unique languages.

Ricardo Rodriguez was there on crutches with a brace on his left foot to do the introduction for the World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio told him to go backstage. Rodriguez ended up coming down to ringside telling Del Rio he'd be fine.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Zeb Colter (w/Jack Swagger)

Outside the ring, Swagger was stalking Rodriguez. He tripped up Rodriguez. Del Rio hit him with a dropkick. Colter had a crutch and he hit Del Rio with it. That ended the "match" via DQ after about thirty seconds.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio via DQ

Post match, Del Rio tried to get his hands on Colter. Instead, Swagger clipped the back of his leg to take him down. Swagger and Colter attacked Del Rio with crutches. Each man struck him repeatedly. Del Rio was out.

Analysis: Not much of a "match" of course. It was more of an angle. Keep that angle in mind when predicting the match if you're a proponent of the "lose or get beat up on TV, win on PPV" theory. Del Rio got his ass kicked, so that would make him a favorite in the WrestleMania match if you want to pick somebody based on that. The crowd wasn't into it that much, but they had more energy than the crowds in the last few weeks.

There was another replay of John Cena's speech earlier in the night. The Rock is up next. I'm surprised it's not at the end of the show.

(Commercial)

The WWE Champion The Rock made his entrance at the top of the third hour. He received the biggest ovation of the night. I like how the announcers didn't say anything as he saluted the fans. They let the pictures do the talking. That's what they should do in that situation. The announcers plugged that GI Joe (starring The Rock) was the #1 movie in the world.

The Rock talked about the connection with the people as the only reason why he's standing in the ring right now. He claimed that this Sunday's match is about the will of the people - not redemption. Rock said he was going to curbstomp Cena's monkey ass all over WrestleMania. Sounds like a man with a plan. Rock said that instead of visiting this town he had to "live" in this town. If the people will it then it will happen so that he'd live in a big White House down the road. He claimed we would go from President Barack to President The Rock. Loud "Rocky" chants, so he said I guess that means he can count on your vote. He then got into his "finally The Rock has come back to Washington DC" routine. The crowd loved every second of this. He had a lot of energy.

Rock said Cena got beat last year and Rock planted him with a Rock Bottom last week too. "Your time isn't gonna be now - your time is never." Rock claimed that it's not about redemption or passing the torch. The only way Cena is going to get the torch (the title) is if Rock turns it into a fireball and shoves it up Cena's candy ass. This Sunday at WrestleMania it's not just Cena facing Rock, but he's facing the millions and millions around the world. Rock said he's already found what he's looking for. He said he lives for that connection.

"This Sunday at WrestleMania you cannot deny the will of the people and you cannot beat The Rock. If you smell what The Rock is cooking." After he said "The Rock" he did the People's Elbow, which is not something he does all the time now. Rock posed on the ropes with the WWE Title to end the segment.

Analysis: The Rock got about eight minutes just like Cena did. As I said his energy was there, he showed a lot of passion and he made a strong case as to what he believes in. Cena's promo was more about him doing what he can to beat Rock. Rock said it's about his connection with the people. They're not saying the same things, so it makes their promos come off as different and effective. Sometimes we hear people feuding who basically give the same speech. That's boring. They're going a different route here. What surprised me is they didn't have any kind of face to face showdown. That was last week. This week it was about giving each guy the chance to have a monologue. The crowd was responsive to what Cena said, but they were definitely more supportive of everything Rock told them.

Chris Jericho was shown walking backstage. He's in a match next.

(Commercial)

Chris Jericho vs. Antonio Cesaro

Cesaro is still the US Champion even though he rarely defends it on television and has been booked poorly for over a month now. Cesaro drove Jericho into the corner. Jericho came back with the dropkick followed by his customary "C'mon baby!" Suplex by Jericho followed by a dropkick. Cesaro came back with an uppercut to take control of the match. They brawled on the top rope where Jericho hit a Frankensteiner for two. Fandango's music started up. This where I complain about playing somebody's music during a match. Fandango did his full entrance along with his dance partner while the match was going on. The show went to break five minutes into the match.

(Commercial)

Back from break, Fandango held up a "2" to rate the Jericho dropkick on Cesaro. Cesaro was in control as they returned from action. He hit a nice butterfly suplex for two to no reaction at all. Jericho charged into corner, Cesaro moved and Jericho went over the top to the floor after hitting the ring post. Cesaro threw Jericho into the security wall. Back in the ring, Cesaro got a couple of nearfalls. Cesaro hit a running uppercut shot in the corner. Jericho made a comeback with an atomic drop followed by another "C'mon baby" while Fandango showed a "3" after the Lionsault connected. Cesaro countered the Walls of Jericho into the Gutwrench Suplex for two. That was an awesome spot. Jericho hit a cross body block off the top for another two count. Jericho hit a dropkick on Fandango outside the ring. Cesaro rolled up Jericho for two. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho. Cesaro tapped out after 13 minutes.

Winner: Chris Jericho

Analysis: *** It's no surprise that Chris Jericho had the best match on the show because he's been making a habit of that since he returned to WWE. It was solid. Once again the thing that hurt the match from being special was the fact that Cesaro has been booked so poorly the crowd is dead for everything he does because they've seen him too much. They showed good chemistry, though. It's a feud I'd like to see in the near future.

Post match, Fandango assaulted Jericho with a series of punches and kicks to the head. The crowd chanted "you can't wrestle" at him. Fandango hit his top rope leg drop to end it. "Say my name!" It's the feud because of the mispronunciation of a name. Fandango hit another top rope leg drop. "It's Faaaaan-daaaaan-go!"

Analysis: It was similar to what we saw last week. I still think Fandango's going to win at WrestleMania although that booking makes it more likely that Jericho will win. Again I'll save the official picks for Thursday's prediction column. I'm mean, I know. Sorry!

Later tonight The Undertaker "verbally eviscerates" CM Punk. I doubt many PG shows use words like that very often.

(Commercial)

It was announced that Trish Stratus will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Stephanie McMahon. Lita would have been more fitting, but we all know the McMahons like to be involved. Who is going to tell them no?

They showed some fan Tout videos talking about Rock vs. Cena. Lawler said all the videos were great. Of course he thinks that.

The team known as Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay & Sweet T) along with Cameron & Naomi made their entrance. The show went to break.

(Commercial)

The Bellas entered along with Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes

Naomi & Cameron (w/Brodus Clay & Sweet T) vs. Nikki & Brie Bella (w/Damien Sandow & Cody Rhodes)

Naomi hit a dropkick followed by the "rear view" attack according to Cole. It was a jumping butt splash. The Bellas took control and they isolated Naomi in the corner while the crowd was completely dead for this. Brodus Clay with pom poms is not a pretty sight. This eight person tag is going to die at WrestleMania unless they keep it really short. The Bellas look pretty average in the ring. Naomi hit a nice nearfall for a comeback. Naomi hit an enziguiri to break free and Cameron got the hot tag. Two clotheslines by Cameron followed by a headscissors. She did a split leg drop similar to what Christy Hemme used to do. DDT by Cameron. She went for a pin, but the other Bella broke it up. The four guys got involved outside the ring. Cameron hit the running cross body, but the Bella rolled through for the victory after five minutes.

Winners: Nikki & Brie Bella

Analysis: ½* It was very boring for the most part. Cameron was surprisingly effective when she got the hot tag. I have my doubts about Cameron when she's selling, but at least in this instance she did a good job because all she had to do was hit her moves. Usually divas matches get two minutes, yet they gave these four five minutes? That surprised me. The tag match at WrestleMania is going to be the bathroom break match. I'd expect the babyfaces to win that one. I can give you that prediction at least.

(Commercial)

The Undertaker made his entrance. They aired a clip of CM Punk's promo last week, which ended with Undertaker showing up to deliver a quick beatdown to Punk.

Taker said that Punk was the one that decided to make this personal. He said that in his current state of mind - The Streak may end on Sunday. "But you will never live to talk about it."

Suddenly, druids showed up on the stage as we have seen over the years during Undertaker storylines. The lights went out while the hymn played. A couple of them had torches. Lawler was saying this was not something Undertaker was expecting. Cole called it strange.

They played the "oh yes" of Paul Bearer. Instead it was somebody dressed in a Paul Bearer costume. Not just anybody - it was Paul Heyman. He was holding the urn. Undertaker attacked one of the druids. Then CM Punk, who was dressed a druid, attacked him. Heyman gave Punk the urn. He attacked Undertaker with the urn. Punk repeatedly told him that it was over. There was a "CM Punk" chant, but then there was an "Un-der-taker" chant too. He continued to attack Undertaker with the urn. Punk opened up the urn. He dumped ashes out of it and poured them all over Undertaker. Punk posed with the urn over the fallen Undertaker as Raw went off the air at 11:05pmET.

Analysis: Undertaker didn't say much, but he said enough. He made it a point to say that Punk made this thing personal and as a result of that he wasn't going to hold back. Then they ended the show with Punk making it really personal by dumping the ashes onto Undertaker, which is a symbolic way of mentioning the late Paul Bearer. I thought it was excellent in terms of an angle. I'm sure some are going to complain about it and how over the top it was, but I think it's just a way to add more fuel to the fire. People are going to want to see Undertaker kick Punk's ass for tarnishing the legacy of Taker's friend Paul Bearer. Why? Because Punk's a disrespectful jerk. It's what heels are supposed to be.

As far as their WrestleMania match goes I always thought Undertaker was going to win. Like Taker said, it's a personal feud meaning it's heel versus babyface. The last four years it's been a babyface vs. babyface match for Undertaker at WrestleMania, so it will be nice to see the good vs. evil matchup again.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Chris Jericho

2. CM Punk

3. The Rock

 

The Scoreboard

6 out of 10

Last week: 5.5

2013 Average: 5.31

2013 High: 7.5 (February 25)

2013 Low: 3.5 (January 28)

Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 4, 4, 4.5, 7.5

 

Final Thoughts

It's a 6 out of 10, which is above the 2013 average and higher than any of the shows in the last four weeks.

It was what I expected right before a PPV: a promo filled show with only a few matches that would be considered above average. Most of the matches were short victories that put over people that are in big matches at WrestleMania.

I enjoyed the Ziggler/Bryan and Jericho/Cesaro matches, but both of them could have been a lot better too with more time. I shouldn't be picky, though.

The promos by The Rock and John Cena were both good. I liked Rock's a bit more while Cena's was pretty serious for the most part.

For the Lesnar/HHH match, they added the presence of Shawn Michaels to the match. That will certainly help in terms of making the story more interesting.

The show ended with final hype for The Undertaker's match against CM Punk. I don't mind seeing them go on last because at WrestleMania Rock/Cena will be the last match. This gave Undertaker/Punk more of a spotlight although it's not like it really needed it. It was a memorable angle to close out the show too.

-----------------

We'll bring it home with some plugs. I have two interviews this week talking WrestleMania and some more next week after WM too. Here are the ones this week.

I'll be on MMA Sucka Radio with Trevor Dueck Tuesday in the 11pmET hour. Here's that info:

MMASucka Radio is a podcast that likes to talk fighting. The focus is obviously mixed martial arts, but depending on where the spirit leads us, we will pretty much talk anything that is combat sports and entertainment. The best part about our show is that we bring on great guests to chat with about who knows what. It's not a bad gig just chilling in a studio and talking to some great personalities. We hope you listen. We are a weekly podcast that can be heard on MMASucka.com and Sportsnet.ca every Tuesday night around "8pm'ish" Pacific time, 11pm Eastern.

Come hang with me Trevor Dueck and cohort Jeremy Brand this week as we have Invicta FC President Shannon Knapp, friend of the show and Echelon Fighting Management's Darcy McBride, and we will Main Event with TJR Wrestling's John Canton to talk some WrestleMania. mmasucka.com/radio Twitter: @MMASucka

On Wednesday night I'll be on with John Corrie of Status Radio at about 10:15pmET talking about WWE as well as some other sports because I have a lot on my mind. Here's that info:

Status Radio is an up and coming sports related Internet radio show heard nationally on MTR Radio and Aircheck among other places. The base of the show is related to northeast sports and teams serving the area from Philly to NY but we talk everything happening in the world of sports and to people all around North America. Nothing is off limits. Whether its MMA, NFL or WWE if you have an interest I'll get it on the air. I appreciate all forms of athleticism and I spotlight what I can. You can hear the show live Wednesdays at 10:05pm est and Sundays at 9:05am est. The show can be heard live here www.tinyurl.com/mtrradio and here www.ustream.tv and search Status Radio. You can also hear the show on www.aircheck.us and pheed.com/John_Corrie. Facebook: Facebook.com/statusradiowjc. Twitter: @John_Corrie.

I'm looking forward to both discussions. More to plug next week. I enjoy doing radio shows so if you have one just use my contact info below, get in touch and we'll try to set something up.

Lastly, we hired seven new writers at TJRWrestling.com within the last week. We're putting up new content three to four times every day, so be sure to stop by daily and see what we have on our mind.

I'll be back on Thursday with the WrestleMania preview along with my friends Christian and Andrew. Then next Sunday I'll write about WrestleMania live on TJR (and post it on other sites later) and the same for Raw the next night. It's a busy week, but for the first time in three years I'll spend it at home instead of at WrestleMania.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

John Canton - [email protected]

TJRWrestling.com and TJRSports.com

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling.com on Facebook






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