Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hits and Misses: 2/13/12 Raw Review

Hello all and a Happy Valentines or Single's Awareness Day! I'm feeling a bit under the weather this afternoon so forgive me if the review is only slightly amazing, but after last nights show I've just got to review! From a presidential debate to the kiss heard round the WWE Universe, we've got some much to get into! So lets not waste anymore time!

Miss: Introducing Your Candidates for WWE Champion

When the first thing you see on your television on a Monday night is six podiums, you know you're in trouble. To me, CM Punk's face said it all. I'm no mind reader, but I'm guessing he was thinking something along the lines of "what in the blue hell are we doing?" Of course our champion got to start and promised the debate would not end in violence. Which is one of the small things I've really liked about Punk's character since the "Summer of Punk." I see no problem acknowledging that almost every contract-signing, debate, talk show they have in the WWE ends in violence. Of course this is where Mr. John Laurinaitis (thanks to this review I will never forget how to spell his name) comes in. But we will touch on that in just a bit. For now, lets stick with the chamber participants.

Look, I'll be honest with you here. This segment had a lot of small hits in it. But the entire concept of the debate is problematic. Almost as soon as the words "you have 45 seconds to respond" left Jerry Lawler's mouth I knew they wouldn't follow that. It's messy and I just feel like it could have been done in a better way. I know this is a played out trope in wrestling, but I would have actually preferred someone like Jericho starting the show off only to be interrupted by, lets say the Miz. Then Kingston, and so on and so forth. It accomplishes the same thing, but without the craziness of the debate format. That being said, I have to say Ziggler and Kingston stood out as the winners in this little debate. The made the best points and seemed the most focused on becoming WWE Champion and nothing else. I could go into more detail, but I'm sick remember!

Hit: This time, it's okay to be childish.

Lets face it, the way Punk is handling Y2J is perfect. Jericho did his trolling, but now he is trying to engage in a power struggle with the WWE Champion. He is trying to drive home the point that he is the greatest of all time, and that all of his accomplishments speak for themselves. Jericho is trying to show that Punk, while good, is no where near Jericho's level. But what does Punk do? He says he wasn't listening and then takes a jab at Jericho's performance on Dancing with the Stars. Is it childish? Yes. It's usually the thing that would have me rolling my eyes, but seeing how it effects Jericho is what makes it work. Punk is not playing Y2J's game, and that is eating away at the Sexy Beast. There is still a chance this veers off course a bit, but I'm confident that Punk and Jericho will keep this program going at the highest level possible.

WTF of the week: Hornswoggle and a box of spiders

This WTF segment isn't meant to say whether what we saw was good or bad. It is simply intended to express that saying "WTF" is the only thing I can come up when watching this particular segment.  Truthfully, the only reason I singled out this part of the segment was to analyze the proposed trade that General Manager Truth would make. Dolph is one of the best wrestlers today and Truth hates spiders. So that simple fact shows you how much R-Truth does not like Vickie and Dolph.

And yes, we all could have probably done without this analysis.

Hit: Still Mr. Excitement

When the show started, I had actually forgotten all about the board of directors deciding to retain Big Johnny. But having him come out for just a moment to tell everyone how thankful he is that the board trusts him is great. It's not over the top, which would be dumb considering he was/still is on thin ice, but its still heelish to just interrupt the WWE Champion like that. Sometimes simple and short are the way to go, and I say bravo to the writing team for there decision here!

Hit: Wrestling!

I've been now to two Ring of Honor Wrestling tapings at the Du Burns Arena in Balitmore. It is a great time and highly recommended. The reason I bring it up here is because there is this guy in the crowd that will yell out "WRRRRRREESSSTTLLINNNNGG" during a good scientific match. I think its hilarious, but I couldn't help thinking about that "chant" during last nights Kingston/Jericho match. They did not put on a wrestling clinic. It was not a five-star classic. But it was wrestling. Good, solid wrestling in which both the winner and loser looked strong. We could argue about what this getting a hit says about the state of today's wrestling industry, but for now I'll just be happy with what we are being given, and that's wrestling.

Hit: Backstage segments are important.

Up next we had two backstage segments that I have something to say about. First, and this is strictly for humor, how many of you thought of Alex Riley when Ryder says he wanted to "say it to her face?" Hopefully some of you, because I think it would be amazing for Riley's face to just pop up out of the blue whenever someone says something along the lines of "Say it to my face!" Maybe I'm an idiot, but I have truly always loved the humor that wrestling can give wrestling fans, and this is one of those examples.

Onto an actual point, this segment with Ryder telling Cena his plans to confess his love for Eve was a seed that was planted perfectly. I know its not hard to do, but you have to give them the credit they deserve. Would there have been a great reaction to the kiss later in the night without this segment? Of course. But Im confident including this segment took it from a 10 to an 11, which is almost always a good thing.

Now this brings me to the segment between Otunga and Laurinaitis. I'm not one to make bold predictions, but I'm saying that Otunga's plan for Johnny Ace to become permeant Raw AND Smackdown General Manager will be a huge story leading up to Wrestlemania. I'm not sure if Otunga will draw up some legal mumbo jumbo, but I see a power play storyline coming up similar to the Trump/Mcmahon feud at Wrestlemania 23. Johnny picks a wrestler, Teddy picks a wrestler (or a team of wrestlers) and the winner's General Manager gets full control. That's my call, so remember to give me credit when it happens (or completely ignore it if it doesn't!)

Hit: A match we haven't seen before.

Even with the rules of the Supershow, it is always a challenge to give fans contests between wrestlers who do not have much of an in-ring history. Thankfully, two of the six Smackdown Elimination Chamber participants were available had a reason to go toe to toe on Monday Night Raw. I know many fans may have come into this match with some trepidation, but in the end they really did put on a good show.

Another great facet of this match was that Michael Cole was just glowing with compliments for the "Wonderful "World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. The obvious fact that he is only saying it because Bryan is near him was great, and was executed well when Cole flipped the switch the moment he was sure Bryan couldn't hear him. I'm still hoping for Michael Cole to come around as a full fledged Daniel Bryan supporter, but for now I'll settle for him being deathly afraid of what Daniel Bryan could do for him.

Hit: Special Spots.

They don't happen that often, but when they do, they are amazing. I can't think of a really fancy eye-popping term, so we will stick with special spots. Last night, the Big Show found himself draped over the top rope. It was then that the fans started to realize what was going to happen. With some effort, Orton locked Big Show's massive melon in his arms and planted him with the vintage Orton DDT. It was certainly  impressive because of Big Show's size, but even more-so because it took a signature move that is used often, and changed it up. Orton actually has a monopoly on these kinds of things. Whether its an RKO to Carlito from a springboard splash or an RKO to Evan Bourne mid-shooing star press, its seems like the Viper is always ready to deliver something special.

Note: A rant on the Big Show.

This is not a hit or a miss, this is simply an observation. Big Show's last two major feuds have been with Mark Henry and Daniel Bryan, correct? Well I have a question, how did they start?

For those who watched last summer, the rampage that Mark Henry went on can easily be linked to the Big Show. Alberto Del Rio had been responsible for running over Show's foot with a car, and Show was angry. He had a scheduled match against a Mark Henry who was doing nothing but treading water on Smackdown. But Show was so angry, he snapped and attacked Henry before the match. This one outburst sent Henry to a place where he has never been, and was influential in making Mark Henry into the monster we all knew he could be.

You may be sitting there thinking "but that was an isolated incident!" Well before you get all riled up, lets take a look at the end of the Mark Henry Big Show feud. While Henry's reign of terror was building, a wrestler named Daniel Bryan secured the Smackdown Money in the Bank briefcase, guaranteeing him a championship match at any time for the next year. That next Friday, Bryan came to the ring and proclaimed that he would cash in his briefcase at Wrestlemania and fulfill his dream of main-eventing the grandest stage of them all. But the Big Show's feud with Henry was so intense, that he saw an opportunity to get back at Henry. He encouraged Bryan to cash in his briefcase on an injured Henry, which he did. Unfortunately Henry was not medically cleared to compete, so Bryan's dream would have to wait. That brings up to TLC in Baltimore. Big Show finally defeated Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship, but Henry would attack him from behind before he could begin celebrating. It was then that Daniel Bryan, following the advice of the Big Show, cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase. He won the match and became champion. The only problem? Big Show was the one who lost.

Obviously Henry and Bryan's changes in attitude cannot be fully blamed on the Big Show. But it would be wise to remember that Big Show's rash actions created two huge throns in his side. My question is, who's next?

Bonus Hit and Miss: Brodus Clay

Hit: Someone had a sign last night that said "Funkasaurus ate my family :(" which was amazing.
Miss: Are we done with Brodus? This is what I was afraid of, they overused him in the same capacity and now they have nothing for him. Here's hoping Brodus comes back, whether he is funky or a just plain monster.

Hit: "I'm not willing to do that, I'm not that guy anymore"

One thing was abundantly clear last night. Triple H and Shawn Michaels are two of the best talkers in the buisness. I have my problems with the Game, but his intensity matched with Michaels prying churned out a great segment last night. When HHH told Shawn that he wasn't going to face the Undertaker, old HBK hit him where it hurts and called him a coward.

I've already talked in depth about Triple H's reasoning for declining the Undertaker's challenge, but last night added yet another layer to an already intriguing story. HHH's first line of defense was the same as last weeks, that he was afraid of what he would have to do to the Undertaker to beat him. That is when he uttered the line I used for the title of this hit. As soon as those words came out of his mouth, I knew it was golden. Yes, on the surface it means he is the COO. As he said (somewhat to my shock) "All of its going to be mine" and that he cannot justify getting into the ring again with the Undertaker.

But Michaels pressed on, and the Game laid it all out bluntly. The Undertaker is a brand, and he is a brand that is good for buisness. This may have been the most truthful statement of the night, that the buisness side of HHH is telling him to let someone else face the Undertaker this year, and hopefully he will be in shape to give the company one or two more Wrestlemania bouts in the future. It makes complete sense. But again, Michaels pressed on.

Triple H was losing the war of words, so he pulled out another great point. Himself, Michaels, and Taker are truly an end of an era. Shawn is retired, and HHH is COO, so the last great wrestler from that era is the Undertaker. If Triple H accepts a match with the Deadman at Wrestelmania, he will have no choice but to end that era. As he put it, he won't be the one to do that, no matter who may want him to.

I think you can fill in the blank here. Michaels wasn't buying it, and so he pressed on. That's when Triple H took out the big guns. He accused Shawn of wanting to live vicariously through Triple H because Shawn couldn't beat the Undertaker. He accused Shawn of wanting to find peace through this rematch. But for man who said at his Hall of Fame induction that he has "absolutely no regrets", he was able to reserve this jab the knife deeper into HHH's wound. Shawn said that it was Hunter who has no peace, to which he responded by trying to leave the ring.

Shawn would not let it go, and finally yelled for Triple H to look him in the eye and tell him he doesn't want to end the streak, to tell him no. HBK put it all out of the table, and Triple H would have to respond. Taking his time, the Game finally said "No" which no doubt disappointed Shawn and the WWE Universe. Michaels knows Hunter is lying. We all know he is lying. But he is committed. He is not going to face the Undertaker, which leaves us in a very interesting and exciting place.

To wrap things up here, I do believe all of the reasons Triple H gave for refusing the rematch are true. But in the end, I know that his fear of what he would have to go through is what is really stopping him. I said it last week and I'll say it again, Triple H/Undertaker III would have to be an absolute war. And if that match happens, neither man will be walking out of Miami under his own power.

Miss: Triple H is delusional

As great as that segment was, I've got to give Triple H a miss here for swaying back into his weird delusional self. Did anyone catch him saying to Shawn that he has REAL responsibilities. Compared to what? Owning a ranch, having a wife, and taking care of two kids? Are those not REAL responsibilities? I get the point he was trying to make, he has the weight of an global juggernaut on his shoulders, but he just wound up looking like a fool with the way he put it.

Oh and I know he was trying to put over the importance of not losing the era that he is one of the last stallions of, but how ignorant was it to say that they exemplified a "smash mouth style that doesn't exist anymore." We don't even have to leave the WWE to know that isn't true. This Sunday the are having TWO Elimination Chamber matches. You know, the deadliest match in WWE history? But I digress.

Hit: What a pop!

A quick hit goes to the crowd last night. Their reaction first to the gong and then to the lights going off signally the Underaker's presence was insane. I think many of you would agree, there really isn't much better than bearing witness to an amazing, off the charts pop like that. One of my personal favorites is the reaction of the Impact Zone when it was announced Kurt Angle was coming to TNA. Forget everything about his run there, the reaction was astounding and showed you just how important he was (and is) to that company.

Maybe I'll do a favorite pops article soon if you guys would be interested. Suggestions are surely welcome!

Hit: Truth Roll-Up

Get it? Truth Roll-Up? Alright obviously that fruit roll-up pun was terrible. But I do actually have something substantial to say about this match. I really liked how Cole pointed out that Truth's craziness could actually help him in the Elimination Chamber this Sunday. As he said, you have to be a bit crazy to go into that match in the first place. This little point gives Truth even more legitimately going into the match, which is never a bad thing.

The second part of this goes back to the "Wrestling" hit from earlier. Truth and Ziggler put on a good solid match with a finish to benefit both men. In my opinion, Truth needed the win more than Ziggler, but his loss can easily be written off of showing off too much. Sweet, simple, and intelligent booking once again here.

Miss: Why should we care?

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Tamina Snuka will win the Divas Championship this Sunday. But I'm betting that if I took a poll, most of you would say that Beth Phoenix is a shoe-in to retain her title. With the Divas division getting so little focus, why should we care about Tamina and Beth this Sunday? Sadly, I don't have an answer.

Bullseye of the week: WOW, I didn't see that coming!

I'm not going to rehash how the kiss happened, but damn was this great television. It didn't hurt that Cena, Eve, and Ryder all put in pretty good acting performances. Eve's look when she first sees Ryder is perfect, and the reaction of the crowd sold the importance of the entire story. This had me and Charlie Speed with our jaws hanging open.

But the jaws dropped even more when they came back from commercial break. Eve friend-zoning Zack was cold and shocking all at the same time. I'm sorry but her saying "I didn't think we'd actually be together" was a shot to the gut and couldn't help but make me feel sorry for Zack.

Normally this would be one of your run of the mill, soap-opera type storylines that most of us hate. But the fact that this is John Cena getting kissed by the girl his good friend loves makes it special. Everything is rounded out when you think about how Kane has been trying to get Cena to embrace the hate. Instead of rolling their eyes, the crowd was stunned with what went down. So bravo WWE, that is how you use human emotion coupled with solid booking to get a reaction like that out of the fans.

Miss: Am I jaded? 

I love professional wrestling. It is truly one of my main passions and has a deep connection with my life and how I've come to be the person that is sitting here today. But every once and awhile I find myself being bored by a match I feel like I should like. I think to myself, maybe I'm jaded. Maybe I'm being too critical. But I've come to learn that most of the time, the sad fact is that a certain performer has simply become stale. I like the Miz. I think he is a very good wrestler and a great talker. But he has grown stale.  I should add that there is nothing wrong with that. Just a few years back, Randy Orton was staler than three month old bread. But he changed some things up. A small gimmick tweak along with some new moves and a beard made him relevant again. He took his attitude to another level, and he is now performing at maybe the highest level of his career. The Miz needs this type of change. He is too good of a talent to let fall by the waste-side because someone is too afraid to pull the trigger on a change.

Hit: A thinking man's match.

I don't know about you, but I wound up enjoying the match between the Miz and Punk last night a lot more than I thought I would. This was mainly due to the fact that the Miz focused and continued to work on Punk's arm. As I was watching, it dawned on me that working over a body part adds so much depth to any match and makes it easier to stay interested. It is a wonderful story-telling tool and one I think should be used out more often.

On a side note, there is a point in the match where the Miz plants Punk with a DDT. Re-watch it and see where Miz's hand goes when he attempts a pin. I promise you will laugh.

Hit: We All Hate You

Lets put aside the fact that all this hate talk had me thinking of the famous "Player Haters Ball" sketch from the Chappelle's show and lets focus on the importance of last nights ending. John said that "its been like this for six years" but I've never seen that. Of course its been worse, but I've never seen a regular WWE crowd chant "We all hate you" at John Cena, or any competitor for that matter. It was amazing, and I'm inclined to think the extra harshness was helped by Eve's kiss earlier in the night.

Hit: Adapt, Overcome, Win? Not so fast.

John Cena came out to end Raw last night fully embarrassed. The situation in which Eve's kiss put him in is one I wouldn't want to be in. But Cena has other things to worry about, namely an Ambulance match with the big red monster Kane. I loved John's line here: "I will adapt, I will overcome, I will win!" That is the kind of attitude that we've come to love (or hate) about Cena for years. It was perfect. Too perfect.

Seeing Zack Ryder wheel himself out onto the stage created a "It's about to go down!" feeling in the audience and I'm sure in many living rooms across the nation. Ryder slapping Cena was great, but it was very telling when Cena blocked the second one and was ready to strike. This of course lead to Zack falling to the mat. Was Cena's fist up because it is a natural reaction at this point? Or had he made a conscious decision to hit a crippled man? The answer to that question will certainly impact how Cena goes about taking care of all of this "embracing the hate" buisness.

Ryder yelling that Cena was never his friend was powerful, and the night ended just as it should, with Kane throwing Ryder (wheelchair and all) off the stage. I'm not sure where this will lead. Could we see a Zack Ryder heel turn? Sure, I think that would actually be a great place to go with it. But they actually have a few options and I'm excited to see where Ryder fits in the picture when he comes back.

But the most telling image last night was also the show's last. EMT's surrounding the injured Zack Ryder, with Eve shaken up looking over her fallen friend. The facts are that John Cena did not cause this. Kane did. Kane's incessant obsession over Cena embracing the hate and Cena's refusal to do so lead us here. But you have to consider this. Looking at all of this carnage around him, the mess that he is now knee-deep in. How can John Cena not think to himself "maybe I did cause all this?"

If John is asking himself that question, then you can bet he will have an answer in mind come Sunday. The Ambulance match at the Elimination Chamber Pay Per View could wind up being nothing more than a bump in the road to Wrestlemania. But after last night, there is a chance it could be a huge turning point in the career of John Cena. For that, I know I'll be tuning in.

Note: Thanks again for all the read and support. Comments, likes, suggestions, etc are all fully appreciated. 


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hits and Misses: 2/06/12 Raw Review

Hello all! I'm back again for another Raw review and this time it will be in full! We had a jam-packed show last night that lead us both on the Road to Wrestlemania as well as the dangerous path to the Elimination Chamber. Without wasting any more time, lets get right to it!

Hit: What is Important. 

We started off Raw this week with Triple H coming out in style, wearing the freshest damn minty green tie I think I've ever seen. All jokes aside, I was weary of how the WWE would approach the lack of resolution in the Laurinaitis performance review from last week. I was almost sure Triple H would brush off Big Johnny's "firing", but thankfully they used their heads and explained that the extra week of lobbying afforded Mr. Laurinaitis a meeting with the Board of Directors. That meeting went well enough for the board to withhold there decision until Tuesday.

What was even better about this segment was how they handled the importance of the Undertaker's return. Instead of throwing the Laurinaitis story to the side, they used the importance of Triple H's position as COO to further push the significance of the Deadman's arrival and subsequent challenge to the Game.

Hit: HHH, Deathly Afraid

Last nights promo on why HHH would not be facing the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 28 was very reminiscent of his feud with Ric Flair from back in 2005. The Game finally returned after a few months on the shelf to team with Ric Flair in a match against Kurt Angle and Carlito. The two former Evolution members won the match, but the Cerebral Assassin shocked the WWE Universe by turning on his former friend and mentor. He brutally assaulted Flair throughout the arena with a sledgehammer and showed no mercy for his actions. Before I go on, let me state that I have no problem with them going back to the idea that someone HHH is facing is less than what they used to be. It fit in the context back in 2005, and it certainly fits now.

HHH's explanation for his actions then were to say that Flair was no longer the legend he once loved, that he was a shell of his former self. He said that the Nature Boy was long gone and likened Flair to Old Yeller, and said that he needed to be taken out behind the barn and put out of his misery. The Game said that because he loved Ric, he was the one that would have to do the deed. Fast forward to 2012, and the Game is calling the Undertaker a shell of his former self. But this time, he isn't willing to be the one to put the Undertaker out of his misery. Triple H is refusing to indulge the Undertaker. He says he is afraid of what he will have to do to take out the Undertaker. But I don't believe that is the case. HHH is refusing to face the Deadman because he is afraid of what kind of war would take place in Miami. The Game gave the Undertaker everything and more at Wrestlemania 27, and still couldn't beat him. Triple H walked out that night, but I think he knows a rematch will only lead to both men being unable to walk to the back.

And to a point that will most likely come up in the next few weeks: maybe Triple H knows he can't beat the Undertaker. It took quite a while last year (the week before Mania IMO) for the buildup for HHH/Taker II to actually live up to the hype surrounding it. With this storyline, I'm confident we are in for a hell of a ride down the road to Wrestelmania 28, and I can't wait to see how we get there!

Hit: One Year

This weeks Raw Review figures to be just a bit longer because of how much there is to say about what Triple H and the Undertaker did last night. The last point I have to make though is about the Deadman's video response to Triple H's refusal to grant him a rematch. We all know the man behind the character, Mark Calloway, took the year off to heal up and spend time with his family. But the Undertaker, well the Deadman did something completely different. It was apparent to me that for the last year, all the Undertaker has been thinking about is Triple H. Some may point to the fact that HHH lost at Wrestlemania, but he did to the Undertaker what no man has ever done. For years it has been his opponent asking for a match at the Wrestlemania. But now, it is the other way around. The Undertaker is back on pride alone, and that may just make him more dangerous then he has ever been. If Triple H doesn't' rethink his decision, he is in for a rude awakening in the coming weeks.

A bonus hit goes to the production of the video, or on a more narrow scale, the writing of the video. Having the Undertaker say that his victory at Wrestlemania 27 meant nothing was powerful and showed you how much he needs this rematch. And the repetition of the phrase "this is not over" was a great tool to get across there point. This is not over. In fact, we are really just beginning.

Hit: Love is Complicated

Depending on the kind of person you are, you may have sympathy for AJ. Some look at this poor girl who fell in love with a man who obviously doesn't care for her the same way that she does, and feel for her. However, others will vilify her for not realizing the game Daniel Bryan is playing. And that is why this is a hit. It is a true reflection of human relationships and how complex they really are. Bryan shows her just enough to keep her infatuated, but not enough for people other than AJ to take his feelings seriously. D-Bryan may be the most complex character in the WWE at the moment, and hopefully he is able to display that character on the Grandest Stage of them All.

Two bonus hits have to be given out here. First, to the guy in the crown next to the "We Hate Cena" guy, you are awesome. Telling Bryan to "take your girl and get out of here" among other things was priceless. I love when fans participate in this way. Secondly, the promo for the main event of Smackdown next week (which we will get to) called Daniel Bryan a relentless World Heavyweight Champion. I think that is a perfect word for him and does a good job of putting him over as a competitor as well.

Miss: Big Show...Change Your Clothes

I'm sorry Show, but I just cannot get behind the whole camo singlet thing. It looks weird. I know it fits with your hold "WMD" thing but it just makes you look silly. I'm fine with wanting to spice things up, but this just doesn't work for me.

Hit: Road To Wrestlemania Promotion

The WWE has always done a good job of taking advantage of great promotional opportunities and last night we saw another one. The Daytona 500 is, to my knowledge, the biggest race in Nascar. Having John Cena there to be the Honorary Starter is huge, and its a great thing for the WWE to use to even further drive home how important Cena is.

On the other side of the spectrum, they also do a good job of tying in there shows leading up to Wrestlemania. As I've said before, I love the idea that to get to the biggest dance of them all, you have to go through hell first. I'm not the biggest fan of Gimmick PPV's but having the Chamber as the last giant road block on the road to Wrestlemania is great. And how about that statistic from last night. Out of the 13 Elimination Chamber matches, the Champion has lost a total of SIX times. That is huge, and I see the trend continuing with at least one title changing hands in just a few weeks.

Hit: David Otunga: Attorney at Law, One Hell of a Snazzy Dresser

Otunga is awesome. Everything about him is great. The thermos, the bow tie, the sweater vest. It all works. But damn, did you guys see his shoes. They were the same ones from a few weeks ago, and they still look as awesome as ever. Oh and my man trended worldwide last night! Take that Jerry Lawler!

Miss: Triple H: COO, Hypocrite

*Face-palm* Let me get this straight, HHH was going to fire John Laurinaitis last night for putting people in unfair matches and abusing his power. So David Otunga is praying for Mr. Laurinaitis (awesome) and he gets interrupted by Justin Roberts. Apparently the Game is angry at Otunga for sticking by Laurinaitis, so he sticks him in a match with the 2012 Royal Rumble Winner Sheamus. Oh, and Otunga is in street clothes!!! Dude, you are doing the exact same thing you are mad at Laurainitis for doing. Maybe it will all tie in with HHH proving that he really hasn't put all his personal problems aside (i.e. The Undertaker) but I doubt it. I for one think Otunga should take Triple H's ass to court!

But as much as I love Otunga, I must also give him a bonus miss. When he was saying his plea for Big Johnny to be retained as Interim General Manager of Raw, he should have pushed further. Something along the lines of: "In fact, I think Mr. Larinaitis has done such an exceptional job, that he should be rewarded and have the Interim title stripped and be named the permanent General Manager of Monday Night Raw!" It would have been the perfect sort of over the top statement that would draw him even more heat.

Miss: Damnit Jerry

"It wasn't fair, but it was fun!"-Jerry Lawler. Can I suggest Michael Cole writes down the stupid shit Lawler says and then throws it back in his face please? That was the Cole I enjoyed.

Bullseye of the Week: This is how you do it.

While looking for the bullseye of the week, I realized I didn't have to look far. Jericho finally cutting a full fledged promo was great, and was exactly what it should have been. We finally know what the end of the world means. No longer will impostors and wannabees run around proclaiming to be things they are not. Jericho promised the end of the plagiarism and the lies that had been going on before admitting to trolling the pathetic audience. I'm not going to go into detail here, but it is a must watch segment if you missed Raw. Jericho proclaiming "I am. I live and breath it. It's who I am" when referring to being the Best in the World was fantastic. Y2J singled out CM Punk as the biggest offender and promised to reclaim what was his. That's when the song Jericho hates hit the airwaves.

When Punk came to the ring, I was hoping that he would not make fun of Jericho's hair, jacket, etc. For this feud to truly live up to its potential, we don't need the cute and funny CM Punk. We need the master of the Pipe-bomb. The guy who is willing to say whatever the hell is on his mind. And last night, Punk decided against unleashing any jokes or any pipe-bombs. He simply raised the WWE Championship, and left. This accomplished two major things. One, it showed how important the WWE title is. He has the right to call himself the Best in the World because he IS the WWE Champion. Second, it absolutely made Jericho go bananas. Seeing Y2J's plan fall apart was great, and the scowl on his face was even better. Punk has never been one for silence, but he was last night. Thankfully, it was the right move and only served to get me even more excited for their eventual main-event match.

Miss: Hooray, its the Great Khali!

Since I don't do a Smackdown Review, I've got to say this here. The Great Khali being in the Chamber...its just wrong. They guy looks great, but he can't go. Putting him in the Chamber takes away a spot from a guy who could really use it. Hell, have a battle royal for the final spot and have Drew McIntyre weasel his way to a victory. Just not the Great Khali. Oh and I'm not thrilled about him pinning Cody. It's not the end of the world, but I just wish it didn't happen.

Hit: On the bright side!

Okay, Khali was actually bearable last night. He didn't do much, but he looked better than usual. It doesn't change my mind about him being in the Chamber match, but at least Khali played to his strengths last night. On a completely unrelated note, how hilarious would it be if Khali and Orton switched gimmicks for night? God I would love that lol

But coming back to Smackdown for a moment, I truly believe that the main-event for this Friday's Smackdown is very important for the direction of the blue brand. If D-Bryan looks strong against the Viper, then we are headed in the right direction. Lets just hope that's what happens.

Miss: This is all of them

So last night we had a Royal Rumble rematch when the only four face divas in the company took on the only four heel divas. Look, the Kharma/Beth feud should be great, but what are they going to do when its over? I like a lot of the current divas, I even think Eve is better than most give her credit for (hope her nose heals up!) but you cannot sustain a healthy Divas division with eight women. You just can't. That got me thinking, if the WWE Network is going to put on an all Crusierweights show (great idea by the way!) then why not an all Divas show. Hire some more women wrestlers and give them a chance to shine. Build characters and storylines that go beyond heel versus face and the standard "You're such a loser!" "No I'm not, you are!" that most of the Divas storylines are predicated on. I doubt it will happen, but I for one would like to see it.

Hit: Call an Ambulance.

The only Ambulance match that really stands out in my mind is the one between Shane Mcmahon and Kane at Survivor Series 2003. Heck, that may have been the only one but I don't want to paint myself in a corner there. Anyway, that match was a fun one and really worked with the feud Shane and Kane were having. Now with the Cena/Kane feud, I think this may be the perfect vehicle for the culmination of the embracing the hate storyline. I have my reservations, but I am interested in seeing this match and hopefully it is a good one.

Okay, before I move on, did you see Triple H and the end of that segment with Laurinaitis?!? When John left, Triple H went straight to his phone and started texting!!! Is Triple H becoming John Laruinaitis? And what exactly was he saying in that text? My guess: "LOL Big Johnny is such an ass. Suck it! roflamo XD"

Hit: 10 am came, and Big Johnny is Still Here

I woke up this morning and before heading out the door saw that the Board of Directors have decided to retain Mr. Laurinaitis as the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the Interim Raw General Manager. I think this is the right move, but I'm just hoping it doesn't turn sour. I don't really have a basis for thinking that, I just feel like we could get another...oh here we go...Nash texted Nash situation which would not be good.

A bonus hit has to be awarded as well to Big Johnny for planting the seeds deeper into the fans minds that Triple H is afraid of facing the Undertaker. Some may not want to believe it, but the facts are staring you right in the face. As of now, the Game looks afraid of the Deadman.

Small Miss: What the Funk?!

So Brodus Clay was kept off Television this week. Which I have no problem with. I'd rather them hold him back then just have him have another squash match. That being said, I think it would have been best to throw in a little video package or a quick 30 second interview from the Big Man. The people aren't going to forget about the Funkasaurus, but I still say they could have had him on the show in some capacity. Actually at one point in the show I saw balloons in the rafters and thought they may be for him. Obviously they weren't, but I wouldn't mind seeing Clay getting funky with some balloons. Wow, that sounded weird....Moving on!

Hit: "He talks to an invisible character"

That sort of quick comment by Michael Cole is great and had me laughing my ass off. Cole often buries talent but this was fine because of just how crazy R-Truth has shown he can be.

Hit: The WWE Obviously reads Erock's Reviews

A few weeks ago, I was very pleased to see the Miz and R-Truth facing off to determine who would enter number one in the Royal Rumble. I called for more qualifying matches and such, and lo and behold we now have a Six-Pack challenge with the winner getting the right to enter the Elimination Chamber match last! This was exactly what I was talking about, and you're welcome WWE!

Hit: The Execution of a Six-Pack Challenge

This match had so much in it, I figured I'd just go through some bullet points of what I liked best:

  • Everyone (but Punk) attacking Jericho at the beginning was great and showed that Jericho had made no friends with his words earlier on.
  • Jericho following this up by simply hiding during parts of the match was brilliant.
  • Geez, R-Truth took a nasty fall and I'm glad to hear he is okay. I'm also glad they got him out of the match that quickly.
  • Ziggler deciding against diving was perfect, and looked even better considering Truth had just knocked himself silly with a miss. It didn't hurt that he did a bit of showing off afterwards!
  • Teasing physical confrontation between Y2J and Punk is great and I like that they had only as much contact as needed to get to the finish of the match. 
  • If I had it my way, Punk and Jericho would have little to no contact in the Chamber match and I'm thinking we may get exactly that. 
  • I will always appreciate a Tower of Doom sighting.
  • Kofi hit a nice Trouble and Paradise here. The more I think about it, it really is one of my favorite finishers in the WWE today. 
  • And as an aside, the "We Hate Cena" guy must have been disappointed. He only got to yell at Cena during the dark match!
Hit: Y2J in the Driver's Seat. 

Last night, Chris Jericho picked up the victory and guaranteed that he would be the last entrant in the Elimination Chamber match. Considering this will be his record-breaking seventh chamber match, the odds on favorite has to now be Y2J. Thus, he is in the driver's seat on the Road to Wrestelmania. Sitting Punk-style in the middle of the ring with the WWE Championship on his shoulder was the perfect picture to go along with the picture with the two of them and the Wrestelemania sign from earlier in the night. The WWE seems to be committed to this Jericho/Punk feud and that is good news for all wrestling fans. I'm not sure what the next move will be, but it certainly has me excited. 

Meh: Kane says Cena MUST embrace the hate.

I couldn't give this one a hit or a miss. If it was earlier in the show, I probably would have marked it as a hit. And while I see why it was put on last, it just felt wrong to me. I guess it comes down to me already being invested in the Punk/Jericho feud and being fully aware that the Cena/Kane program is coming to an end. I am curious to see what happens between the two men at the Elimination Chamber, but nowhere near as excited as I am to find out who truly is the Best in the World. 

Note: Thanks for reading as always and comments, shares, likes, and everything are truly appreciated it.