10 Thoughts: WWE Raw 2.18.13 (The Rock, John Cena, CM Punk, New WWE Title)

Raw 2012 - 2

1. Well if you didn’t already realize that WrestleMania is right around the corner, cue up John Cena’s music to start off the show. Oh and make sure you don’t mention that he lost last night cleanly to 3 rookies.

2. Why am I watching the rest of the show? Next week we get a number one contender’s match between John Cena & CM Punk for a shot at The Rock for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. The only thing I can hope for now is that the rest of this show is used to build up the undercard for WrestleMania.

3. I know it’s only February but I think I have my Halloween costume already picked out. Thanks, Fandango!

4. There’s a lot people down on The Miz’s babyface run but I don’t think it’s been half bad. He does a great selling job as well as fighting from behind. His babyface promos aren’t nearly as good as his heel ones but they are improving quickly and he has the ability to get the crowd behind him very easily. Give him a little more time (especially to perfect the figure four) and he should be just fine.

5. FINALLY they at least attempted to tease a cash in by Dolph Ziggler. It’s literally been months since he’s even threatened doing it on actual TV and not just Twitter. Poor Ziggler’s been completely lost in the WWE/WrestleMania shuffle and it’s a true shame since only 6 months ago we were predicting his debut in a WrestleMania main event this April.

6. The ending of the Wade Barrett segment was completely awkward. And why was Sheamus involved? Just because Colin Farrell is Irish? While I will grudgingly admit that I will probably see Dead Man Down, the current WWE audience is NOT the same audience that is going to see that movie. Hence the complete silence after that segment “ended”.

7. Dammit, what the hell Swagger?! I said last night during the PPV that Jack Swagger’s new look was a HUGE improvement over when he was last on TV and then tonight he comes out with the hair covering his eyes like an emo-hillbilly. Not only does he look like a meathead frat-boy once again but now he’s also in a WrestleMania main event meaning I have to look at this horrible “dropped ball” that is Jack Swagger on two shows for another 6 weeks. As far as the “State Of The Union Address”, it was much of the same thing we’ve heard that last two weeks and not a very good kickoff to the Swagger/Alberto Del Rio feud.

8. Um, why does Vince McMahon have crutches & is only “Live Via Satellite”? OH because Brock Lesnar beat him up! That’s right! But wait… wasn’t there a video package earlier in the show promoting WrestleMania 30 which showed McMahon in New Orleans AND walking around perfectly fine? I swear if they ever get the WWE Network up off the ground, they need to use all of those earnings to pay for a damn continuity editor!

9. Any one else dying for a Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho WrestleMania program?! Another night and another solid showing from Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Last night’s PPV showcased their teamwork a little better but tonight was an excellent debut on TV. It looks like we might be getting Sheamus vs Ryback at WrestleMania so where exactly DOES that leave The Shield and Chris Jericho?

10. I have a LOT to say about the new WWE Championship and I’m sure I’ll have even more to say come Thursday when we tape the Creatively Endeavored Wrestling Pulsecast. First off, pictures don’t do this belt justice. I’m obviously watching Raw on tape delay and woke up this morning to pictures on every single website featuring the new WWE title and I found myself a little underwhelmed. Most of us had a general idea of what the title would look like from leaked photos but seeing the new belt on live TV and over the shoulder of the champion I realize that it doesn’t look even half as bad as I thought. While I personally like to see more silver or platinum on wrestling titles, they obviously went with a gold base and used the “diamonds” as the color substitute, which looks slick. Initially I didn’t like the sharp edges and thought it looked too similar to the United States Championship, now I can see the difference and especially the influence of past Super Bowl rings. The idea that the side panels are removable and possibly customizable is intriguing and I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the future designs if this is true. About the segment itself… The Rock’s promo about the spinner belt and the new title was spot on. Everything he said about what a championship should look like and what it represents was exactly right. It was also nice to hear someone talk about the actual title design instead of only about what it represents since it seemed like it was illegal to call the spinner ugly. It was also a nice touch to unlock the logo to show that it actually does still spin, making it that much worse. With all of that being said, The Rock was the wrong person to introduce the belt. The Rock, a part-time WWE wrestler AT BEST, should not have had the honor of introducing a new title belt that will presumably be on TV for at least the next decade. The fact that a part-timer even won (or had a chance to win) the WWE Championship is controversial enough and now he will be looked at in all of WWE history as the man who debuted the new title then left for three weeks and it all just rubbed me the wrong way. I get that they didn’t want John Cena to introduce the new belt since the spinner was technically his. And they obviously didn’t want CM Punk to debut the belt since his heel turn. They should have had Vince McMahon or Triple H present the new championship to the WWE Champion, even if that man is The Rock. In all moves that have a long-lasting impact on the company, I want to see a fixture of that said company involved in the segment and not someone who, while great, is not known as a WWE employee first. All in all though, The Rock’s promo delivered on everything that the WWE Championship should look like and represent. And while it made sense to debut the title tonight, it was too bad CM Punk’s attack on Cena looked extremely weak and the crowd was absolutely dead all night.

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