In The Cross-Hair: The RAW Build-Up To Wrestlemania

Sulayman H.Senior Writer IMarch 25, 2009

Welcome to this week's MNR review as we take a look at the build up to WM XXV.

Woooooooooooo! Ric Flair is in the house. Why though?

Ric Flair and Chris Jericho

The show opens with Ric Flair in the ring cutting a promo about the Legends match with Chris Jericho. I think the camera work during Jericho's speech was spectacular, and this promo allowed Jericho to exact revenge upon those has-beens.

However, Ric is going to be at ringside at WM and I don't see why Piper can't represent the legends and cut a promo which would perhaps surpass their previous one.

Flair got busted open and in all seriousness its not Flair that needs injuring since he isn't one of the Legends Jericho is facing.

But smashing the watch was a nice touch, showing the words engraved on it and then smashing it would've been much better and would've given him more heat.

Seeing that none of the legends coming out from the back to come to Flair's aid was a sad sight.

And if Jerry "The King" Lawler took offense to the beatdown, he could've just blocked Jericho after Ric was busted wide open. This would've been a better set up to their match next week.

In addition, Lawler could have done the commentary a little different tonight instead of keeping his cool.

After the segment was over, Michael Cole looked as though he was paying no attention to Lawler and looking anywhere but in his direction. What's up with that?

Jeff Hardy vs. Dolph Ziggler

Nice pop for Jeff. What bothers me about this feud that Jeff hasn't blown up yet.

Matt has already admitted to not only assaulting Jeff before Survivor Series but also to burning Jeff's house down.

Although Jeff showed a little aggression and put on a short performance with Ziggler, he better pick up the pace when he rolls into Houston and live up to his moniker of being the "Extreme Enigma".

And I plead with the WWE, give Dolph more than: "Hi, I'm Dolph Ziggler" to work with.

John Cena segment

After a recap of last week's Smackdown, John Cena sang one his own Christmas Carols.

Was this a bad attempt at revisiting The Rock's Night Before Christmas?

I didn't mind JC in his promo trying to convince Ickie Guerrero that both men are using her but it's not going to work.

The fans had a good laugh but in my opinion it's just dry humor. But I'm going to excuse Mr. Cena this week as he had to go on the Tonight Show.

8-Man Tag Team Match: CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Christian & United States Champion MVP vs. Kane, Mark Henry, Finlay & Shelton Benjamin

Nice tag team action, but did anybody notice the ghost of Flair's voice during the match or was it just me?

Christian got the pin, but I thought the highlight of the match was MVP and CM Punk taking down Mark Henry.

By the way, have Hornswoggle pull off a few funny antics otherwise he's just a waste of space.

Randy Orton's Promo

After last week's awful Orton's Law promo, this week Orton talked about how Trips had called him a coward.

He also talked about how Trips took things too far and how he was going to do something extreme tonight.

Not much to say here except by the sound of things; Randy is going to finally reverse the roles tonight.

Big Show vs. Edge

What is the point of having a Triple Threat match in two weeks if they are going to give this match-up on RAW.

Ickie Guerrerro is back in the chair but what I hate about this angle (besides Vickie) is that Edge doesn't seem to show any rage while Big Slow shows no signs whatsoever of being prepared for the big dance.

Wow, Cena actually makes sense here stating the obvious: "You need the love and support of Vickie Guerrerro."

After Wrestlemania, you will have both slept with Vickie for nothing."

Hmm...seems that everybody wants to tiptoe on the large PG fence, even Cena.

By the way, Vickie's acting skills are horrible and Chavo should think twice next time before provoking Show.

I was glad this ended quickly as it was just unpleasant to watch Edge in the one of the worst storylines of his career.

Rey Mysterio vs. William Regal w/Layla

JBL joins the commentary as the match starts. JBL has always been good at heel commentating, the disrespect for his former broadcast partner was a nice touch by Bradshaw.

Why is Layla here? And even if she was put with Regal for absolutely no real reason at all, they could build on it from there perhaps turning Layla into a heel manager.

With a quick and obvious finish, if Rey and JBL pick up the mic next week they could spark more interest in this feud as it was Rey who retired JBL before.

I think that would be a good place to start from.

Onward to the graveyard.....

Taker/Michaels Promo

The purple lights took a little away from the promo but its all good.

What was Shawn shouting to the Undertaker last week as the latter was on laid on the floor? Never mind.

I did not think they would mention Shawn's back injury but I am glad they did. They're incorporating real life events into storylines more and more which makes feuds all the more intense.

The camera cuts to the titantron which shows Michaels in a graveyard, telling the Undertaker that all things must come to an end.

In a nutshell, the WM streak will rest in peace and in a show of disrespect for Taker; Shawn kicks a tombstone into a freshly dug grave and fills it with sand.

Again, I have a few problems. Isn't this supposed to be a promo for WM 25, shouldn't he be in formal wear when he is in a graveyard? And for the love of mankind, what is with the cowboy hat?

They are approaching WM 25 fast so you'd expect Shawn to clean up a bit.

Otherwise I thought this promo was alright although the Undertaker didn't really sell his "pissed off" expression.

Next up..the pride of Italy!

Santino Marella vs. Mickie James

Why not? Why can't Santino compete for the title of Ms. Wrestlemania?

Anyways, this match was filled with two great moments.

1. Santino gains the moniker: Santino "The Steamroller" Marella

2. Watching Santino try to climb up the turnbuckle was just pure gold.

I'm very curious as to what long term plans are in place for the Stallion, but before that; expect to see Santino interfere in the 25-Diva Battle Royal.

ME: Randy Orton & Ted DiBiase vs. Triple H

Jerry Lawler calls out Jericho and the match gets started.

The control of the match goes back and forth until Cody Rhodes finds Hornswoggle's trap door under the ring and appears with all the neatly stacked weapons.

It was satisfying to see Cody get some payback with the handcuffs, even if they didn't show him enjoying it up close. It's fitting since Cody was trapped last week and now the shoe is on the other foot.

With Hunter in handcuffs, the beatdown continues until Stephanie runs down the ramp in street clothes and pleads Orton to stop.

The blockade provided by Ted and Cody was sufficient enough to give Randy the window of opportunity he needed.

And the Viper struck, slowly but methodically. Not only did he knock Stephanie's lights out but to further enrage Triple H, he kissed the unconscious Billion Dollar Princess.

With a fiery rage and a maniacal expression, Randy Orton watched as Trips struggled to get a hold of him.

The Legend Killer finally gets the last laugh before decimating the WWE Champion with the sledgehammer.

I personally thought this segment was pure gold.

MNR finishes on a high note, Orton silences Triple H.

"I'm going to raise you. Tonight, I'm going to do something that will make the previous assaults on your family look tame in comparison."

And he delivered. He did what he intended to do.

And so the legacy continues.

 See you guys next time.



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