Tuesday Morning Backlash: WWE Monday Night Raw Review, CM Punk is better than John Cena vs. The Rock at Wrestlemania, Money in the Bank

I’m now convinced that WWE announcing John Cena vs. the Rock for Wrestlemania was the worst move they could have possibly made. They absolutely have one of the best angles since The Corporation sitting in their laps and they can do nothing with it. What will happen is that Cena will win or lose Sunday, CM Punk will not keep the title for longer than Summerslam, at which point he will leave, if not sooner. Punk leaves and sooner than later Cena gets back the belt. We build to Cena vs. the Rock at Wrestlemania. Business for that match is huge and everyone is psyched. Immediately after that, The Rock leaves again. Business gets a short term kick before falling to a level slightly lower than it was because with the post-Wrestlemania lull kicking in after The Rock is gone for good, people realize there’s simply no reason to be excited.

Of course, without that match, WWE could take advantage of what was set up during Raw. They so wanted Randy Orton to be that outlaw face that they destroyed Ted Dibiase and nearly killed Cody Rhodes to get him there, but he’s still just a corporate pretty boy with a cool finish. He can’t deliver the kind of ice cold killer, or the impassioned angry promo of a “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. He’s great, but not ready to be one of the real greats as he just doesn’t threaten to turn average segments special in a way Flair, Hogan, Austin, and The Rock did. Cena does so inconsistently, so he gets to be the man. CM Punk has now proven that as the outlaw, he can bring the special moments. He’s the closest thing to Steve Austin with his sheer intensity, but because he’s so cerebral, he doesn’t need to just be an Austin clone. He’s morally correct AND speaking for the fanbase against the real heel, Vince McMahon and the WWE’s corporate and political structure, and the heel by association, John Cena, who represents all of that as much as he likes to claim he doesn’t.

If WWE had any balls, if they still wanted to make money and create a boom period… if they didn’t bet the farm on the huge, but short lasting bump from The Rock, then a double turn would be perfect at Money in the Bank. I won’t fantasy book it – I’m sure the commenters will. But CM Punk, in Chicago, standing up, winning the title, and being crushed by Cena as Lawler (I’d prefer Ross too, but we are where we are) cries out in horror. Kids would freak out, parents would protest, and a new era would be born.

The Rest of Raw: (But, really, can you believe it’s been 10 years since the last Nitro? The Very Best of Monday Nitro DVD Review will remind you why.

You can find my Raw and Smackdown Money in the Bank match winners right here. Raw changed nothing of those picks, and they really need to not beat every cool image into the ground. The promo atop the ladder was special and memorable. Now it’s yearly and contrived. If they want new storytelling, new images, then part of that is not just repeating everything until the dead horse is pulp.

Told you – without a reason to keep caring, people would be done with Alex Riley.

The Tag Champs were needed to make John Cena look good, as is a large part of their role, now. That’s fine, but note that in the process they looked as effective as they have a long time. Each man is improving. It might matter, it might not, but if it does, don’t claim it came out of nowhere. Michael McGuillicuty and David Otunga looked effective.

Shocking though it may be, Big Show and Mark Henry have an actual effective feud going. Henry seems actually dangerous, and Show has been so deadly for so long that Henry constantly showing up out of nowhere and bettering him is getting wildly over. Given how violent they’ve been getting, this is a huge success. All of that said, I could have done without 2 handicap matches on one Raw.

I think my favorite part of CM Punk is that as he acts real and outraged, he constantly tells us exactly what he’s doing and how it’s part of the show. He’s going to “talk them into the seats” and he wants better merchandising and he wants his friends like Colt Cabana and Luke Gallows respected. All of this is really cool and different, and, better still, when he isn’t breaking kayfabe, he’s still good enough, like with his Red Sox/Yankees comparison, that he’s pure money. At this point, every segment he’s in is special, the way every Austin segment was once special. It’s almost unheard of for that level of performance not to overshadow the rest of the show. Money in the Bank is one of the most exciting concepts WWE has to offer. It’s overshadowed. CM Punk is made of pure gold.

If you enjoy the general Wrestling writing, check out my other InsidePulse writing here and bookmark that. There’s a lot of NBA stuff, a No B.S. review for Horrible Bosses, and by the time this is up, there will be Two Guys Talking About the upcoming week in comics. Thanks all and see you throughout the week with plenty of random articles, and next Monday for WWE Money in the Bank thoughts on InsidePulse Wrestling!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,