A WWE Tale of Two Promos: How Raw Revived WrestleMania 27
After last week's Raw, where many of us were extremely disappointed with the way that it was written, tonight's episode salvaged many feuds and made WrestleMania much more anticipated.
Let's start with the Undertaker-Triple H promo.
When the Undertaker entered the ring, followed by Triple H's music interrupting, which was then followed by the Undertaker's music re-interrupting (confusing, I know), I feared that we were going to be treated to another "non-speaking stare down" promo.
To my surprise (well not really, they had to do something to juice up this feud), Shawn Michaels music hit, and he came down to the ring. As always, it's great to see HBK back in the ring.
The more surprising part was that HBK was critical of Triple H, wondering why he thought he could achieve something that Michaels couldn't. This led to a tense moment where viewers could feel for Michaels and gives Triple H more heat.
Then, Triple H takes the mic, talks about all the respect he has for both and that the Undertaker is washed up...yada, yada, yada, followed by the Undertaker's rebuttal that he is not washed up.
The most key point that Triple H made though was that HBK could be Mr. WrestleMania without having to win; Triple H had to win. And he is right.
Many in the IWC have criticized Triple H over the years for only getting to this point because he "slept his way to the top." The fact of the matter is that he is a great in-ring performer, but HBK is significantly better.
When was the last time you said to yourself, "Man, I really want to see that Triple H match," versus "Man, I really want to see that Shawn Michaels match"?
Most likely if you really wanted to see a Triple H match, it involved HBK. And there's nothing wrong with that. Shawn Michaels is pretty much in a league of his own.
The point of all this is that this promo put an inkling in our brains that there is a possibility that this could be the end of the road for the Undertaker.
Triple H said what we have all been thinking; the Undertaker is approaching being washed up. He is injured all the time. He constantly needs to take time off.
Now, I don't necessarily believe that the Undertaker would want Triple H to end the streak like he claimed. I think that would be reserved, if not for Michaels, for either Kane or to put some over and make a new star.
But as a result, I now can see a scenario where the Undertaker loses to Triple H, and rides off into the sunset.
On the other hand, we finally had the physical altercation that we have all been waiting for between the Rock, John Cena and the Miz.
Let me start by saying, should they have waited for WrestleMania?
It was a contrast in style to the Undertaker-Triple H-HBK segment, but in my opinion, it needed to be done to show that the Rock is not afraid to get physically involved.
Who had the Better Promo?
I really appreciated the passion that the Rock showed in his promo, and surprisingly, felt that John Cena also showed the same passion.
Too often, it sounds like Cena does not take things seriously, and always has a a joking, giggling tone to his voice.
But tonight he was serious, and also made some good points (that the Rock blames him for having kids as his fans, etc.).
I loved the heat that Cena got tonight. There's possibly no bigger Rock fan out there than me, but looking at it objectively, they are better served having defined roles than having the crowd get lost in the shuffle about who to cheer for.
Then, as they are about to meet face to face, the Miz interrupts and inserts himself in the situation.
Quick side note: Imagine what the Miz must be thinking when he gets into the ring. The Miz is young enough that he was about 18-years old during the beginning of the Rock's run in WWE. He must be shitting himself being in the same ring as the Great One, but I give him credit, he has hung on for the ride.
Anyway, the Miz raised the same concerns that all of us had in the IWC.
Will the Rock become physically involved and risk his acting career?
The truth of the matter is that the Rock can make more money doing one movie than he probably made his entire career in the WWE, so why should he risk it?
The Rock showed, though, that he was willing to put it on the line, and I give him all the credit in the world.
While you could tell that he was slightly rusty on his attempt to jump up for the People's Elbow, he clearly still has it in him to compete at the highest level.
Having Cena finish off the Rock with the Attitude Adjustment was the right move because now it leaves all of us wondering when the Rock will get Cena back.
Overall, while the two promos had drastically different styles, they both more than served their purpose because they got me interested in WrestleMania again.
Before tonight's Raw, I was concerned that the Undertaker-Triple H match would be extremely predictable, and that the Undertaker would win without a doubt. Now I believe that their is a small chance that Triple H can end the streak.
And, before tonight's Raw, I felt that it was a foregone conclusion that Cena would win at WrestleMania. By having Cena give the AA to the Rock, there's now a significant possibility that the Rock will cost Cena the title.
One thing's for damn sure; I'm glad that I will be in person at the Georgia Dome Sunday for WrestleMania, and that's something I'm not sure I could say one week ago (plus I get to watch Kane play the trombone as an added bonus).
Follow Me on Twitter @BFlow82 as I tweet live from Atlanta all WrestleMania weekend.
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