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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 3/12: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - Rock Concert vs. Cena Rap, Taker returns

Mar 12, 2012 - 10:15:10 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
March 12, 2012 - Episode #980
Live in Cleveland, Ohio
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor


This week's live WWE Raw started with full pyro inside Quicken Loans Arena for a big Raw taping with a full house at the Q. Live in the building, Michael Cole announced the show and stressed they are sold out tonight.

Already in the ring was color commentator Jerry Lawler. He said tonight will be a first. Yes, the first-ever Rock and Rap Concert on Raw. Lawler noted there have been some heated arguments between The Rock and John Cena, but, tonight, they will get to express themselves in their own way. Lawler then introduced Thuganomics.

John Cena's old-school music hit and out came Cena sporting his old look with a backwards baseball cap, old-school Cleveland Cavs jersey, and chain around his neck. Cena sternly stood on-stage and stomped to the ring as the crowd popped for the nostalgia. In the ring, Cena waited out about 75 percent cheers. Cena took a mic and started rapping on Rock. He name-dropped former Cavs star LeBron James to boos, then mocked LeBron to cheers. Cena then noted to Rock that if he forgets the words to his rock concert, it's all in the wrist. Cena said if Rock and Dwayne are the same person, then they're both jack-offs.

After April 1, Rock won't be making any more movies because he'll be needing surgery on his face, just like on his boobies. He then vowed to give Rock a Cleveland Steamer. Cena said Team Bring It is Team Lost It because the crowd was chanting Tooth Fairy last week. Cena told Rock to keep making fun of this Fruity Pebble because Rock is Miami Chicken Fried ---- (bleep on the ten-second delay). They cut to a middle-aged woman who seemed confused because it said PG on the marquee. Cena closed with a bag of nuts to indicate what he'll put in Rock's face at WrestleMania. Cena's old-school theme played and he stomped out of the ring after a quick five-minute opening segment. Cole called it "attitudinal."

(In-person notes from PWTorch correspondents on Cena: The crowd was mixed for Cena on his entrance, but cheered him on the way out after being into his Thuganomics flashback. He got a very favorable response after his rap.)

Still to come tonight: The Rock responds to Cena. Plus, Shawn Michaels and Undertaker go face-to-face.

Lawler's plug was interrupted by Vickie Guerrero, who said Daylight Savings should be illegal. Huge heat on Vickie, who kept doing the "Excuse Me" bit over loud boos. She said the whole world was deprived of an additional hour from this man...out came Dolph Ziggler back in his hometown after doing media appearances the entire morning. Ziggler came to the ring playing to the crowd as Cole, of course, plugged Twitter responses to Cena's rap. Ziggler posed in the ring before Sheamus's music played to bring out the #1 contender to the World Title. Good reaction for Sheamus.

1 -- SHEAMUS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero)

Basic feeling-out process as Cole hyped Sheamus vs. World Hvt. champion Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania. Sheamus then knocked Ziggler to the outside and Zigs recovered on the floor as they cut to break at 2:00.

[Commercial Break]

[Q2] The match was back in the ring following the break. And, again, Sheamus knocked Ziggler over the top rope to the outside. Sheamus tried to follow up, but Vickie provided a distraction for Sheamus to crawl under the ring to the other side and sneak-attack Sheamus. Ziggler then smashed Sheamus into the announce table, nearly prompting Cole to curse to sell it. The camera zoomed in on Sheamus's back, which was cut up from the announce table.

Sheamus beat a ten count back into the ring, where Ziggler went to work with a methodical attack. Cole then relayed information that Daniel Bryan and A.J. are watching the match from a skybox. Josh Mathews was up in the skybox with Bryan and A.J. to discuss recent events. Bryan accused Mathews of judging their relationship. Bryan asked A.J. for comment, and A.J. gave a response that was essentially saying what Bryan wanted to hear.

From the skybox back to the ring, Sheamus made a comeback as Vickie tried to encourage Ziggler. Sheamus then blocked a top-rope attempt from Ziggler, but Ziggler rolled through the Celtic Cross into a crucifix pin for a nearfall. Sheamus then tried the power move again, but sort of awkwardly dropped Ziggler. It was good for a nearfall and the wrestlers talked a bit in the ring to reset. Ziggler then hit a Rocker Dropper, but Sheamus kicked out in time. The crowd came back to life after the botched spot and rallied behind Sheamus, who nailed the Brogue Kick out of nowhere. Sheamus with the pin for the win. Up in the skybox, Bryan wasn't impressed as A.J. stared straight ahead. Afterward, Cole and Lawler recapped high points from the match before noting the three count is how quickly the World Title count change hands at WrestleMania.

WINNER: Sheamus at 11:53. Solid match other than the pre-finish botch. (**)

Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged the 12-man tag match between Teddy Long's hand-selected team and John Laurinaitis's hand-selected team for WrestleMania. Lawler noted the winning GM will run both Raw and Smackdown. The two GMs will be heard from next.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Back from break, John Laurinaitis was already half-way down the entrance ramp toward the announce position. Laurinaitis was introduced to boos before he joined the announcers. Justin Roberts then announced a mixed tag match. Out came new U.S. champion Santino and Aksana. Roberts also announced Santino is Teddy Long's captain for Mania. After a video replay of Santino retaining the U.S. Title over Jack Swagger on Smackdown, Laurinaitis was asked some questions by Cole that he didn't seem to understand.

[Q3] David Otunga's music played to bring out Laurinaitis's captain at Mania. No sign of Otunga's partner and Laurinaitis ignored Cole again. Laurinaitis then took the mic and noted he's still the interim GM. Instead of making it a mixed tag match, it will be a handicap match. He awkwardly paused for some music to play, then Mark Henry's music played to bring out Henry as Santino sold fear.

2 -- U.S. champion SANTINO (w/Aksana) vs. MARK HENRY & DAVID OTUNGA -- non-title handicap match

After the bell sounded, Smackdown GM Teddy Long stomped out to the ring as everyone paused to watch Long approached the announce position. Before that, he grabbed Askana to make sure she was okay. Long then began arguing with Laurinaitis as the director cut back and forth between the announce position and the ring. Long gave Laurinaitis a light shove and Laurinaitis over-sold by spilling himself over the announce position. Back in the ring, Henry blocked Santino's Cobra and gave him the World's Strongest Slam for the pin and the win.

Post-match: The ref sold concern over Santino before the heels picked up Santino and slapped him around a bit. Kofi Kingston then stormed the ring and went after Henry, but a World's Strongest Slam took out Kofi. R-Truth then stormed the ring and was beaten down by Henry and Otunga. What happened to babyfaces who know how to make a save? Henry wasn't done with Truth, as he gave him a giant splash mid-ring. Laurinaitis then entered the ring and introduced the newest member of Team Laurinaitis, Mark Henry. Ringside, Long and Aksana sold concern over these developments as the heels stood tall in the ring.

WINNERS: Henry & Otunga at 1:33. What a giant cluster during the match. If Laurinaitis was intentionally acting completely lost and clueless (more so than usual), then he's the greatest actor of all-time. The post-match was effective for finally getting Henry back on track and setting up Long to find some new babyfaces. Kofi and Truth sure looked ineffective, though.

Psych plug: Cole introduced a video package on The Miz guest-starring on "Psych" this Wednesday. Back live, Cole said Miz is must-see. Lawler joked that he's everywhere...except at WrestleMania.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera again to re-introduce Cena's rap from the opening minutes of Raw. They replayed Cena's line about Rock needing surgery after WrestleMania, just like he got surgery on his boobies. Still to come tonight: Rock Concert responding to Cena.

[Commercial Break]

Arena: The WM28 logo was shown hanging in the arena above the announcers. Cole and Lawler did some dialogue about everyone talking about WrestleMania before feeding to a video of the Divas appearing on "Extra" with Maria Menonous earlier today. The Bellas and Alicia Fox were profiled and they talked generically about wrestling at WrestleMania since they currently do not have a match.

Backstage: After the video aired, they immediately cut backstage to show Eve strutting down the hallway. Zack Ryder then met up with Eve to ask why she hasn't responded to his calls, tweets, and DMs. Ryder asked if Eve is trying to play him. Eve said he's trying to play himself, then suggested they be friends...with benefits. Eve suggested they meet up for dinner tonight. Divas champ Beth Phoenix then barged into the shot and complained that she should have been profiled on Extra and she can't stand Maria. Eve then told Ryder to scram before Beth noted she admires how Eve is playing Ryder. Beth asked Eve if she would mind if she did the same thing. "Actually, I would," Eve said before stomping off.

[Q4] GM Office: Laurinaitis was on the phone, then The Miz barged in. Miz couldn't get any time since Laurinaitis remained on his phone call. Miz ignored the phone call in progress and said he wants to know when Laurinaitis will make him part of his team at WrestleMania. Laurinaitis finally hung up and noted he was trying to score points with a member of the Board. Miz then brought in James Roday from "Psych" to discuss matters. Miz said Laurinaitis's team needs star power like him. Miz tried to get Roday to endorse him, but Laurinaitis cut off Miz and noted he has a match tonight. If Miz wins, he's on the team. Laurinaitis then asked Roday to be the guest ring announcer. Roday said he will Finkel it up tonight. Miz returned to the discussion and asked who his opponent will be. Laurinaitis told Miz it will be WWE champion C.M. Punk. Miz's confidence dropped, then he walked off. Roday tried to "act psychic" predicting the outcome before suggesting it doesn't look good for Miz.

Up Next: Brodus Clay is back.

[Commercial Break. Of course, a spot for "Psych" aired going into break.]

In-ring: Back from break, Jinder Mahal was on his way to the ring. Mahal placed his headdress into the protective case before the Funkasauras's music played. This brought out Brodus Clay and his dancers for Clay's first TV appearance in nearly two months. After Clay and Co. danced in the ring, they cut to a shot of Mahal indignant over these developments. Mahal then tried to jump Clay from behind and the ref pulled a TNA by calling for the bell.

3 -- BRODUS CLAY vs. JINDER MAHAL

Clay quickly shook off Mahal's attack and delivered a slam followed by a big running splash for the pin and the win. Afterward, Clay danced it up with the Funkettes. The post-match celebration lasted longer than the match. After a video replay, they returned to the ring for more dancing to stretch out the segment.

WINNER: Clay at 0:28.

Backstage: A stern-faced Shawn Michaels was shown slowly walking down the hallway. He'll confront The Undertaker in the ring up next (top of the second hour "main event" segment).

[Commercial Break]

Smackdown plug: Things are heating up on the Road to WrestleMania. What happens next?

Ringside: Machine Gun Kelly, who recorded John Cena's Mania theme music and is providing one of the Mania theme musics, was shown ringside since he's from Cleveland.

In-ring: One minute before the top of the hour, Shawn Michaels's music played to bring out Michaels in jeans and a black t-shirt. No cowboy hat. Michaels looked all-business as he marched to the ring and Cole plugged Michaels as special referee for Taker-Hunter at WrestleMania in the "End of an Era" match.

[Q5 -- second hour] Michaels continued to pose in the ring as Cole referred to Michaels's "checkered" history as special referee. Cole also planted a seed of doubt about Taker winning by saying Hunter doesn't seem to lose when Michaels is special ref. In the ring, Michaels waited out an "H-B-K" chant before saying Triple H and Undertaker will be locked inside Hell in a Cell in three weeks at Mania. He said it will truly be the end of an era. Now, last week, he told his good buddy that he had been assigned the job of special ref. As best he could tell, Hunter wasn't aware of that. Strangely enough, though, he got some information he wasn't aware of. This led to a video from last week when Hunter claimed to HBK that people are talking behind his back about Michaels not being able to get the job done against Taker. "I'm going to do it for me and I'm going to do it for you," Hunter told HBK.

Back live in the ring, Michaels questioned this. He said he's talked to wrestlers in the locker room and no one has called him a loser or a failure, or implied he couldn't get the job done. Now, there is one person who has been absent the past few weeks. He called out Undertaker to come settle this. Pause. The gong hit and the crowd erupted. The lights temporarily went out and flames started shooting from the stage as Michaels stood stoically in the ring. Out came Undertaker with his jacket hood still covering his head. Taker walked through the darkened arena toward the ring and slowly entered the ring before pacing Michaels.

Once Taker's music stopped, Michaels recapped their history together. Michaels said there was a time when they were on opposite ends of the locker room, but they always had the utmost respect for each other. Michaels said they did something that people will remember for all-time, but, yet, he figured Taker would be the last person to say things behind his back. Taker lowered his head and paced slowly before asking Shawn what he wants him to say. "That you're a failure? A loser? Or, is it that you couldn't get the job done?" Taker said. He told Shawn to stop and think. "Are you repeating my words or maybe, just maybe, you're repeating the words chosen for me...by your good friend, Triple H."

Taker told Michaels that whatever the case may be, HBK needs to let his insecurities -- Michaels cut him off and told Taker that he practically begged for this match. Here he sits at 19-0 and he feels like he still has something to prove. HBK told Taker he's still searching for validation, especially after Hunter beat him within an inch of his life last year. Michaels said he told Hunter he knows who's going to win because of that. Taker paced the ring and told Michaels that he should know that whatever happens at Mania, he's prepared to accept the outcome. But, what he's not prepared to accept is Michaels sticking his ego into this. Taker said their two matches and the match with Hunter last year were all part of destiny. On April 1, destiny will happen. But, what can't happen is for the outcome to not be...pure.

Taker told HBK that if the outcome isn't pure, he promises there will be hell to pay. Michaels said Taker calls all of this destiny, but he calls it irony. Isn't it ironic who the guy whose career was ended be the guy who counts Taker's shoulders to the mat. He said he could turn Taker into a failure who couldn't get the job done. Michaels said he could be the guy who possibly ends The Streak. Michaels tried to leave, but Taker held him back. "I will beat Triple H in the Cell," Taker said inches away from Michaels. "The Streak will continue. And, I will officially end an era. But, if you don't do the right thing, I will officially end you." Michaels then yanked himself away from Taker and they stood off against each other as the WM28 logo hung in the background.

Michaels gathered himself, then patted Taker on the arm a la Hunter patting Taker on the shoulder at the start of this program. Michaels then left the ring as Taker held his ground in the ring. Michaels's music played, then Triple H - in a suit - suddenly came out on-stage. Hunter stood next to Michaels, they exchanged glances, and Michaels disappeared to the back. Michaels's music stopped and Hunter looked into the ring with a bit of a smirk. From a distance, Hunter sent a crotch chop toward Taker, whose nose flared up as Triple H's music played.

To silence other than Hunter's music playing, a graphic indicated WWE champion C.M. Punk vs. The Miz is up next.

[Q6]

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Back live, Justin Roberts introduced guest ring announcer James Roday for the next match. Roday hit the ring and shook hands with Roberts before taking the mic. Roday announced, "Finally...The White Guy from Psych has found his way back to Monday Night Raw." Roday then gave a formal ring introduction for The Miz that was terrific. After Roday noted he's Cleveland's own, The Miz came out back in his home area. Lawler played this up like it's a mid-major conference tournament final for Miz. If Miz doesn't win, he might not get an at-large berth at WrestleMania. Fill out your bracket! Roday then announced C.M. Punk at "precisely 218 pounds, give or take." Cue up Cult of Personality to bring out the WWE champion. Cole noted Punk defends the WWE Title against Chris Jericho at WrestleMania. On cue, they cut to a shot of Jericho backstage watching the ring intros on a monitor while dressed in his wrestling gear.

4 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. THE MIZ -- non-title match -- Miz makes Team Laurinaitis if he wins

Early on, Punk and Miz collided and sold the effects leading to a break after 40 seconds.

[Commercial Break]

Back live three minutes later, Miz was in control as the announcers discussed Miz's recent rough patch. Punk then made a comeback with a swinging neckbreaker before landing a corner knee followed by a bulldog. Punk teased the GTS, Miz escaped, and Punk answered with a flying leg to the face. Miz came back with a kneeling and leaning DDT for a two count. Cole said Miz needs to calm down as they showed Miz looking toward the WM28 logo and trying to keep himself under control. Miz then went for a corner move, but Punk countered and slapped on his submission finisher. Miz fought the hold, but had to tap out. Roday made it official as Cole wondered if Miz's Mania dream is gone.

WINNER: Punk via submission at 6:15.

[Q7] Post-match: Chris Jericho was shown clapping on the Titantron. Jericho said he sees straight through Punk and he sees a fraud. He said he did a little research on Punk and found out some deep secrets. Jericho noted Punk has been Straight Edge since he came to WWE and he wants to tell everyone why - Punk's father is an alcoholic. He said Punk's father let him down every stop of the way and Punk is afraid to become him. Jericho said the idea tortures him and Punk acts like he doesn't have a care in the world, but the alcoholic cravings must give him nightmares. "Was the pain of drinking so bad that the pain of a tattoo needle was your only solace?" Jericho asked.

Jericho vowed to make Punk drink. He said he's going to take away Punk's WWE Title, he's going to take away his sobriety, and he's going to take away his bravado. Jericho said he will be recognized as the new WWE champion on April 1 and Punk will be recognized for who he is: a pathetic, damn drunk. In the ring, Punk sold the effects of Jericho's words as he looked serious and sold dejectedness. Punk looked toward the announce position and mouthed something before leaning down to pick up his WWE Title belt. Punk sort of stumbled around in the ring as the crowd rallied behind him. Punk then left the ring before they cut to break. This feud has been up-and-down from the start, and now the feud has apparently moved from being about determining the best wrestler in the world to being "personal."

[Commercial Break]

Fake Video Commercial: David Otunga can provide legal services that get you cash. And, he has a Twitter account. That was random.

In-ring: Back live, Randy Orton's music played and Lawler said Orton looks ready for WrestleMania. Already in the ring was Jack Swagger, who received the enhancement wrestler entrance. After a recap of the odd Kane-Orton feud, Cole asked why they're feuding as Orton looked around the arena to sell the idea that Kane could be anywhere.

5 -- RANDY ORTON vs. JACK SWAGGER (w/Vickie Guerrero)

Vickie's voice was the only noise heard in the arena early on as Orton and Swagger felt each other out in the "comedown match" position. Orton flung Swagger to the outside, then followed up on the floor with more offense. Orton threw Swagger back into the ring and they cut to break with Orton still in control.

[Commercial Break]

[Q8] Back live, Swagger was working on Orton as Vickie screamed at Swagger to focus. Orton teased a comeback and the two men began trading right hands. Swagger then clipped Orton at the left knee and Vickie cackled from ringside. Swagger went to work on Orton to set up for the Anklelock, but Orton escaped and kicked Swagger away. Orton hobbled on one leg before dragging Swagger to the top turnbuckle for a superplex clear across the ring. Orton then went to That Place to get the crowd involved for the first time in the match, leading to a powerslam and spike DDT from the second rope. Orton then teased the RKO and he connected center-ring. Orton with the cover for the win.

WINNER: Orton at 8:32. Orton wasn't presented as a big deal here, which is either a product of WWE not planning in advance or WWE losing confidence in Orton as a top star. The finish was fine to give Orton a solid win pre-Mania, but, then again, Swagger lost to Santino twice last week, so a victory over Swagger doesn't mean much.

Post-match: Kane's pyro shot off in the ring and Orton freaked out before looking around for Kane. No sign of Kane, though. After Orton looked around the arena enough times, Cole moved on, calling tonight an explosive night that started with a John Cena rap. WWE replayed Cena's line about the Tooth Fairy. Next: Rock Concert responding to Cena.

This Friday: Christian is returning to Smackdown. And, he's bringing back the Peep Show with guests Teddy Long and John Laurinaitis.

[Commercial Break]

Next Week: Cole plugged Taker, Michaels, and Hunter in the same ring at the same time to predict who will win Taker-Hunter at WrestleMania. Lawler also announced John Cena vs. Mark Henry on next week's Raw. There's your reason for WWE giving a quick re-build to Henry the past week.

In-ring: After a pause, If You Smell... hit to bring out The Rock with guitar in-hand. The law of diminishing returns is in-effect with Rock's pop. Rock stood on the stage and slowly played to both sides of the arena before Roberts formally announced Rock, who entered the ring and surveyed his musical arrangement in the ring. Rock posed in the corners as WWE got a shot of the WM28 logo hanging over Rock's shoulder.

After Rock posed, the crowd came to life a bit with a "Rocky, Rocky" chant. Rock looked around the arena and waited out the noise before milking his first words of the night. Rock saluted someone off-camera before announcing that Finally...The Rock Has Come Back To Cleveland. Rock paced around the ring and said he's proud to come out and tell the audience that they have broken a record. Tonight is the largest sell-out crowd in the history of WWE in Cleveland. Rock then pointed to his arm for the goosebumps. "Rocky, Rocky" chant from the vocal males.

[Q9 -- over-run] Rock continued that he appreciates the chant, but the crowd should be chanting for themselves. Rock said that speaking of sell-outs, did anyone see his boy Marky Mark a/k/a John Cena? Rock mocked Cena's rap and noted the guy who came out earlier was not John Cena since the Cena who has been running around here for eight years is the offspring of Vanilla Ice and a Teletubby. Rock waited out the crowd reaction before introducing a Photoshopped graphic for the visual. Rock had a good laugh before sitting down at his musical arrangement. Rock approached his guitar to a "Rocky, Rocky" chant before setting up.

Rock said tonight isn't about a two-minute rap because everyone knows Cleveland...rocks. Cue up the mood lighting and Rock began strumming a guitar. Rock had a line about Cena totally sucking. He said Cena started rapping when he should have shut his mouth. Rock said Cena has a menstrual clock and they're dancing because Cleveland rocks. Rock vowed to shove his boot up Cena's ass and sang that the crowd is happy to be listening to him instead of an Eminem wannabe. Rock ended with another line about Cena sucking and Cleveland rocking.

For his next number, Rock has a song about Cena visiting his doctor. Little Johnny Cena went to the doc because Rock punched his jaw. But, Cena kept begging for a rectal exam. Rock closed with another Cleveland Rocks finish. Next was a song about Cena and Eve. He sang that Cena was making out with Eve and tugging on her weave. He noted that Cena didn't tell her he has a wife (reference to the end of Raw last week). Rock sang that a divorce lawyer is right up the block, but they're dancing because Cleveland Rocks.

Next, Rock has a number about the day Cena was born. April 23, 1977, the doctor shouted to send that baby back to heaven. Rock sang that Cena was born with lady parts as Lawler cackled in the background. Rock closed by noting Cleveland Rocks. Rock took another sip of water before noting they're having fun tonight. Rock then asked if there are any grown men here. The males cheered, but Rock said he wants to know if there any grown men who are Cena fans. The males booed. Rock then found a few male Cena fans in the crowd. He said he's not going to mess with them because he's sure they have it hard enough already. Well, no, he's going to go after them anyways. Rock sang that it doesn't really matter how hard you try, but you will never taste pie. He said they're a walking virgin and 42. Rock closed with another Cleveland Rocks reference. The crowd was mixed in its response, but mainly "Rocky, Rocky" chants.

Rock then asked where the ladies are. The females in the crowd shouted and Rock noted he has a very special connection to women. He has a very special song to sing to his baby, who he will see tonight. "With My Baby Tonight" was not the selection. Rock sang that he's getting the wine and getting ready to see...Cena's mom tonight. He said Cena's mom can barely walk, but they're singing because Cleveland Rocks. If this is supposed to be a personal feud, wouldn't Cena be out to the ring on that one? Rock smirked and put down his guitar after finishing his musical performance.

Rock stood up from his stool and said there's only one way to end this concert. Rock said this song is for the people. He said this song is for Team Bring It. Rock said this is for the people who support him and he came back to scratch a major itch by making John Cena his Kung Pao Bitch. Rock said they broke a record tonight and this is how they end it. He said they're all singing this song.

It goes like this...WWE cued up the classic NBA arena theme "We will...we will...we will...rock you, rock you." Rock sang along and led the crowd in "We will, we will rock you...Cena sucks." Rock did Karaoke on his own Cena remix to the classic song. As the music kept playing, Rock noted they broke a record tonight and Rock said he's going to WrestleMania to kick Cena's ass in the biggest match of all-time. The anthem kept playing, Rock closed with his usual close, and Rock smiled while posing in the corner. They faded out 15 minutes past the top of the hour. Two questions answered - no, they were not in the ring together at any point during the musical numbers and no, they still have not touched before their Mania match.

FINAL THOUGHTS: If WWE is selling a playground fight between two fourth-graders on Friday afternoon, then mission accomplished with the opening and closing segments of the show. Otherwise, I thought that was simply awful for trying to sell a PPV. Part of the problem is Rock can't bring out the heavy artillery to tear down Cena, which shouldn't be part of the build-up anyways, so he has to stick to the same digs and jabs and general cut-downs he's used going back to last year because that's the unproductive and unsustainable direction WWE went with from the start. Overall with the Rock-Cena hype, WWE often runs into this problem when they're a few weeks away from a PPV where they seem to procrastinate until the final week of hype and just fool around with meaningless drive beforehand. Or, WWE is supremely confident they've already sold WrestleMania and it doesn't matter what they do on TV between now and April 1. I still think WWE needs to get back on track next week.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "Raw Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Raw, email to pwtorch@gmail.com using our Feedback form.


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ABOUT US

THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE

PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTORCH STAFF

EDITORS:
Wade Keller, editor
(kellerwade@gmail.com)

James Caldwell, assistant editor
(pwtorch@gmail.com)

STAFF COLUMNISTS:
Bruce Mitchell (since 1990)
Pat McNeill (since 2001)
Greg Parks (since 2007)
Sean Radican (since 2003)

We also have a great team of
TV Reporters
and Specialists and Artists.

PWTORCH VIP MEMBERSHIP

PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.

Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.

The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...

-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars.


**SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**

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