The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 02/07/11 (Cena/Punk)

The WWE Raw Deal for 02/07/11 (Cena/Punk)
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter @johnreport

I’m two days late. I was away on business. It likely won’t happen again. You probably don’t care too much and I don’t care to tell you too much anyway! My buddy Christian Michael covered it live for me, so I’ll just hit on everything point form style and that should suffice. Also in case you missed it I did a a Q&A where I answered 99 questions exclusively to TJR, so give that a look in case you missed it. I covered a lot. I might be doing that every other week from this point forward as a weekend column.

Live from Milwaukee, Wisconsin this is the (delayed) Raw Deal…

– Vince McMahon woke up from his coma after “a year away” (June to February is now a year in WWE world) to announce that he’d have a big announcement next week about WrestleMania’s guest host. I’d imagine that it’s The Rock because they really need him or somebody close to his level to be in that spot. It could be Stone Cold Steve Austin. Justin Bieber? Oh no.

– I really liked the Punk/Orton segment that involved Punk getting a bloody nose and ended with him laying out Orton with a GTS. Didn’t Cena have an issue with Punk? Shouldn’t he help Orton? I guess he’s moved on already. I’m not complaining too much about it. It’s a good feud for Orton that will likely lead to a quality match at WrestleMania versus Punk. Works for me. I also liked that they brought up Unforgiven 2008 when Orton punted him. I did not remember that. Word has come out that Punk was the one to bring it up to creative, which isn’t much of a surprise. Continuity is good! Remembering the past should happen more often in WWE. By the way the bloody nose was accidental, but it was good for the story as you can see the heel Punk still being a mean bastard with a busted nose. I miss blood in wrestling. The ongoing story of Nexus taking out Elimination Chamber opponents was a good one.

– Bad night for R-Truth huh? He comes out, he says Green Bay instead of Milwaukee and the crowd boos. Then Cole rips on him, probably because Vince told him to do it over headset. The Mil-wau-kee chant was pretty classic too. Kudos to the crowd. Then he seemed to blow spots while losing to Mason Ryan (1/4*). Maybe Mason Ryan injuring his knee will take him out of the match. Brings me to my next point.

– Why is R-Truth in the Elimination Chamber match and not Daniel Bryan? The guy that’s the US Champion has more right to be in there. Plus, he’s fresher and a better worker. The fans know Truth isn’t winning. You might as well get the better guy in the match since Bryan’s probably not in a match anyway. It’s not like Bryan has a feud that’s better than going against the freaking Bella Twins.

– The divas tag match was typical divas (1/2*) rushing through things. I guess the Bellas are heels officially. I enjoyed Natalya’s banter with Cole especially for the Just For Men line that I’m sure he didn’t like. That’s why Natalya rules, buster. Plus I’m a biased Canadian. Eve versus Natalya next week. I’d expect Eve to win although I’m still confused by the title switch.

– This week’s 2.21.11 promo had “Ain’t No Grave” playing, which should tip people off that it’s for Undertaker since they used the song for the Undertaker/Michaels feud. Plus, the lyrics of the song say “ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down.” Makes sense for a guy returning from a Buried Alive match, huh? I wonder if WWE is talking to Sting, though, since they did get a lot of attention for it last week. You never know. Hmmm.

– I should add too that in this week’s Wrestling Observer they’re saying the Undertaker/Barrett WrestleMania match is likely off. They might get Shawn Michaels to be the ref of the Undertaker’s match and it could be against Triple H although that’s just speculation on my part. If they can get Sting it might be him. I’m sure we’ll find out by the end of the month.

– Morrison over McGillicutty (3/4*) didn’t do much for me. I think MM lacks something in the ring. I’m not sure what. Post match, Punk sprayed him with the infamous “something” and kicked him in the head. I have nothing else to add, so here’s a birthday shoutout to my buddy JLT. You and Charlie Sheen need to do it up big, my friend.

– The Miz/Lawler story lost a lot of steam with the promo faceoff they had. I understand why they did it and they compared Miz to Lawler, but Lawler looked like he forgot his lines or was struggling to remember. He’s old. And old people forget! It’s also lame to think that Lawler can only go to WrestleMania if he wins this match. We all know he’s not winning and he’s likely to be in a match at WrestleMania finally. Do you think Jerry Lawler finally getting a Mania match is a draw to anybody? I don’t. This promo was just average at best.

– The Lawler/Bryan over Dibiase/Miz tag match (**) was predictable with Dibiase getting pinned by Lawler. Can Bryan please have a feud? He deserves one. I know I say it all the time, but he went over Miz and Ziggler clean while establishing himself as a champion. Then he gets no feud? It’s silly.

– You know I love my boy Mark Henry, but why is Sheamus booked to look so badly every week? The whole thing about Josh Mathews going up to Sheamus to say “we heard you say stuff about Mark Henry” felt like it was out of grade six. Then Mark beats the crap out of Sheamus rather easily? And you want people to pay money to see Sheamus in the Elimination Chamber? Weak booking. The message? DO NOT FUCK WITH KOOL-AID~! Only 50 more weeks until the next Rumble, Mark. Get ready!

– Del Rio over Santino (*1/4) was basically a TV squash. I love how Santino eliminated him Royal Rumble style. Fine by me because I love Del Rio and you know he’s getting the big push. It doesn’t say much about the tag belts, though.

– The Cena/Vickie stuff was okay although it feels like we’ve been here before. I’m shocked that they haven’t made Vickie the Raw GM. The way she draws heat is fantastic and it’s a little surprising that she’s not on the “A” show. Michael Cole finally ripped John Cena. Wow. I was waiting for it after all these months. I guess feuding with Miz is a reason to start. It’s just weird to hear your “voice of WWE” ripping the top guy like that by calling him boring. Then after Cena had his fun he GOT ALL SERIOUS because that’s what he does.

– The freshness of Cena/Punk is already gone. The match (*1/2) was only about 5 minutes, but it was only an angle with Cena being worried about Nexus. Cena ended up getting DQ’d with a lowblow because on this show winning didn’t matter (so said Punk) and he ended up being saved from an attack by Jerry Lawler. I hope they revisit Punk/Cena after WrestleMania season when Cena is likely WWE Champ and Punk can get the belt off of him because Punk deserves that belt more than anybody.

The way I’d book the Chamber match is to have Punk be the 6th guy in the ring and the other five guys are still in there. When Punk gets out they all team together to beat the shit out of him, hit their finishers on him and eliminate him within 3-4 minutes. It would put over how hated he is while also showing he needs his backup. We all know he’s not winning the match anyway. It’s not a burial. It’s smart booking to put over how strong the character is.

It looks like WrestleMania will see Miz defending the belt against Cena, which will likely see Cena win. Then they’ll do Punk vs. Orton. I’d assume both of those matches happen again at April’s Extreme Rules PPV too since that was a common theme last year too. They could do a 4 way although that would be disappointing.

Three Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk – Great promos, great acting and all of it with a busted nose.
2. Randy Orton – For accidentally busting Punk’s nose and causing blood. It’s good for the story!
3. Daniel Bryan – I’m biased. Sue me.

4.5 out of 10
Last week: 6.5
2011 High Score: 9 (Jan. 3)
2011 Low Score: 4 (Jan. 10)
2011 Average: 5.92

A step down from the last couple of weeks. The in-ring stuff wasn’t that good and while the ongoing Nexus vs. Elimination Chamber guys story was okay, it wasn’t great either. The run up to WrestleMania is not as good as last year, which I absolutely loved.

I’m not going to be writing about TNA Impact anymore. It will give me more time to write other, shorter articles as well as a few epic ones. There’s a big Undertaker career column coming this month. I’ll also write one about John Morrison in February too.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton – john@thejohnreport.net
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