cena-title-mania

What will happen tonight on RAW after a shocking and historic Elimination Chamber??? At least that’s how the commentators will probably phrase it. After all every PPV has it shocking and unpredictable moments. More importantly, how will the build to Once In A Lifetime 2 begin with Rock and Cena? Will CM Punk go berserk again like he did after the Rumble? How many people will Mark Henry induct into his Hall of Pain tonight? Will Undertaker make an appearance? Who will he face at Mania?

Best
We The People: No one was quite sure how the All-American American would come back from his hiatus, but the ‘Real American’ gimmick is looking very good so far and has big potential. Having Zeb Colter as his manger is great because he’s shown he can draw major heat. Their proclamations that they are great and/or real Americans and the not-so-subtle implication that no one else is makes for interesting material going forward. Maybe Creative is tapping into some undercurrents of the immigration debate in America, but usually the heel that is insulting Americans is one that is from another country. So the build to a Del Rio-Swagger Mania match is intriguing. Unless of course Creative decides to throw a curve and have Ziggler successfully cash in MITB, though they did tease it tonight.

Del Rio: The way Alberto was booked in the last few months of last year, it seemed like Creative had no idea what they were doing with him. Turning him face is the best thing they could’ve done since it’s re-invigorated his career. The crowd is behind him, from chanting Si during his matches to following along Ricardo as he bellows out ALBERTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DEL RIOOOOOOOOOOOO. To keep his face momentum going and ingratiate him with the fans, as he walks to the ring, he gives his scarf to a fan. It’s very reminiscent of Rey Mysterio and ADR has even started using a seated senton from the top rope, another of Rey’s signatures.

The Shield: Even more shocking then Swagger winning in the Chamber, more shocking then a Cena heel turn was The Shield beating the Super Friends. Not just beating them, but beating them clean. This was the outcome that people predicted was the least likely to happen. Then right near the beginning of RAW, the group is booked in a match against Sheamus, Ryback and Jericho whom they beat in convincing fashion. Back-to-back clean wins against supposed ‘All Star’ teams? BELIEVE IN THE SHIELD!

Worst
Ring Psychology: Something that definitely help the quality of matches, not just on PPV but TV as well, is more use of ring psychology. One way that could be done is focusing on a body part that is injured during the match or beforehand. Del Rio does this very well, his finisher is a submission after all. Another way this could be used is if a smaller guy is going up against a giant like Big Show or Mark Henry. In this case, using regular punches and kicks doesn’t make much sense. What would is to go after their legs since once they’re off their feet, they’re much more manageable. It’s things like this that are rarely seen in the WWE today and booking matches like this would help take some of the lethargy out of the plodding 3 hour RAWs.

#1Contender: Speaking of psychology, Punk successfully goaded Cena into putting his Mania title shot on the line next week against the BITW. Normally it would land in Best, but there’s very little chance that Punk will actually win that match and lead to Punk-Rock III. So Cena will either beat Punk to get his mojo back after the Super Friends lost to The Shield or there will be some shenanigans and neither man will win the match. This will of course lead to a Triple Threat for the WWE title at Mania. A possible reason for the latter outcome is if Taker is unable to wrestle at Mania, given that Punk has been his rumored opponent. Still, the result of the #1 Contender match doesn’t seem as big as it could be given how it will probably turn out.

Waiting Game: Not only will we have to wait until next week for Cena-Punk, but Mr McMahon coming back to confront Heyman and the advertised ‘return’ of Brock Lesnar. There wasn’t any big game-changing segment that really let you know this was the beginning of Wrestlemania season, which one would think the first RAW after Elimination Chamber has as its objective. Apparently WWE is setting up next week to be that big kickoff and it does look that way on paper. On the other hand, if they make people wait and then deliver something that’s underwhelming, then it messes with the momentum. On a side note, how utterly unexciting was the ‘reveal’ that Brad Maddox is now Vickie’s assistant?