WWE Raw: The Builds, the Burials and the Boredom of Buffalo
Take a good look at the photo of John Cena to your right.
Taken by WWE Champion The Miz with his phone during John Cena's steel cage match against Alex Riley, it is perhaps the only entertaining moment that happened during the taping of Monday Night Raw in Buffalo, N.Y., last night.
It truly is a sad state of affairs when a filler feud between Raw announcers Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler garners a bigger reaction from the crowd than any other storyline.
Considering that every other storyline involves actual WWE Superstars, and that we're also only a month away from WrestleMania XXVII, WWE's creative team should be concerned.
On a night that brought the WWE Universe Triple H, Shawn Michaels and The Rock under the same roof for the first time in years, the crowd of Buffalo didn't seem to care about what was going on during the show but for good reason.
Simply put: the show sucked.
The Feb. 28, 2011 edition of Monday Night Raw kicked off with a returning Triple H. Having challenged The Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania without saying a word the previous week, The Game had arrived to explain his actions.
Unfortunately for Hunter Hearst Helmsley, neither the crowd in Buffalo nor the fans sitting at home really cared for what he had to say.
After spending five minutes rambling on about how he had done it all and seen it all, Triple H declared that defeating The Undertaker at WrestleMania was the only real challenge he had left in his 16-year career.
If he could beat the streak, The Undertaker would die. But if he couldn't beat the streak, his own career would die.
To turn a 10-minute promo into a single sentence: Triple H had nothing better to do, so he decided to challenge The Undertaker. How exciting.
Just as The (soon-to-be-retired) Game made his exit, Sheamus made his way to the ring. But before Kevin Dunn's favorite Superstar could even make his presence felt, Triple H proceeded to do what he does best—bury young talent.
After receiving a Pedigree through the announcer table, Sheamus was beaten in 30 seconds by a returning Evan Bourne.
Congratulations, WWE. In less than 15 minutes, you've not only given us the most underwhelming Streak match of all time, but you've also FINALLY succeeded in burying a former two-time WWE Champion and King of the Ring winner to the point of no return. Bravo.
Following Bourne's win, Michael Cole came out and accepted Jerry Lawler's challenge at WrestleMania but only on the condition that his personal trainer would be at ringside with him.
The personal trainer? None other than former World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger.
Oh, what a difference a year can make. One year ago, Jack Swagger had a rocket strapped to his you-know-what, won Money in the Bank at WrestleMania XXVI and successfully cashed it in to become the World Heavyweight Champion for three months.
Now he's a valet for Michael Cole?
Next came Randy Orton, who cut a promo on CM Punk. After threatening to turn the Straight Edge Superstar into a paraplegic, The Viper proceeded to once again prove to the WWE Universe how big of a joke the Nexus is by obliterating Michael McGillicutty in what was essentially a glorified squash match.
The stipulation to Orton vs. Punk at WrestleMania is that any member of Nexus that manages to beat Orton in the coming weeks will be able to accompany CM Punk to the match against Orton.
But from the looks of things, I think that like McGillicutty before them, both Ryan and Otunga are going to receive a burial in the form of a punt to the skull.
Poor Punk. Even the Straight Edge Society had more credibility at this point.
The rest of the night would continue the downward spiral.
The Divas match featured a Raw Divas Battle Royale that ended after two minutes. The winner? The Bella Twins.
That's right people, there's a Divas Championship match scheduled for WrestleMania, and we have no freaking clue who the actual No. 1 contender is. I can't believe I prolonged my trip to the bathroom for this.
The promos featuring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Shawn Michaels were ultimate letdowns, mainly because neither man was physically on the show.
The Rock's promo was particularly embarrassing, and in comparison to his live appearance two weeks ago, looked like a joke.
After pretending to act like a gangsta and repeating his "you can't shee me" shtick, Johnson would spend the next 10 minutes reminding everyone in Buffalo how his presence can be felt across the arena, even though he's standing in his comfy home on the other side of the country.
Oh yeah, and he called Cena a Yabba Dabba B!tch.
Daniel Bryan's match against William Regal never even got started. The Miz simply decided to attack him from behind for no apparent reason whatsoever, thus making the match a no-contest.
The only good segment on the entire show that didn't deserve a facepalm was the main-event steel cage match between John Cena and Alex Riley.
Pretty good back-and-forth action, entertaining chair antics from the outside by The Miz, and of course, the photo at the top of the article.
Although the 02/21/11 episode lived up to its expectations, there is no doubt that the Feb. 28, 2011 edition of Monday Night Raw was one of the worst, if not THE worst episode of the year thus far.
Plagued with underwhelming storylines, unnecessary burials and a general lack of action going on inside the ring, it's no wonder the crowd of Buffalo was dead silent for most of the night. What on earth was there to be impressed about?
From the looks of things so far, it appears as though Friday Night SmackDown is going to be the brand that creates WrestleMania-worthy storylines this year, because other than Cena vs. Miz, I have been completely unimpressed with anything Monday Night Raw has had to offer in recent weeks, and this past Monday night was my breaking point.
We're on the Road to WrestleMania XXVII, but if WWE doesn't get its act together soon, this may end up the worst Mania since WrestleMania XI, or at the very least, the most underwhelming.
I'm unsure if I even want to pay for the pay-per-view now, because after watching the "build-up" of last night, I certainly don't feel like I'm going to get my money's worth.
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