3/22 Barnett's Raw is Blog: Did Triple H succeed in furthering interest in his WrestleMania match? Was The Miz able to continue making the case that he can beat John Cena?

Mar 22, 2011 - 10:55 AM

By Jake Barnett

In the debut edition of Raw is Blog, we ask ourselves a couple important questions, and what the answers mean for WrestleMania 27.

1. Did Triple H succeed in furthering interest in his WrestleMania match?

I was a little disappointed with Triple H this week. I felt like I had heard the promo before a few weeks ago. He didn't really push the narrative forward in the sense that as a fan I knew where my sensibilities should lie. Going in to this feud, I think just about everybody has a ton of respect for both of these guys. We've seen them together in the ring countless times before, and they even put on one hell of a WrestleMania match 10 years ago at WrestleMania X-Seven. I think this might be where I diverge from most fans, but I can't escape the feeling that I've seen this better before.

The feud Triple H and The Undertaker had ten years ago was phenomenal, and led up to a classic match that was arguably the best match on a great card. Ten years later, this feud seems to be fueled on more history than hatred, and it's a story that we most likely already know the ending to.

I feel like next week really has to sell me on this match. Wrestling is at its best when stories are personal and fans can connect with the emotions the character is feeling on a personal level. So far, we've really only seen these guys talk in general terms about their own character mythos. I keep waiting for the moment when this feud gets personal, when we see the true ruthlessness of Triple H's dark character. I keep waiting for someone to draw first blood.

Until that happens, and I still hope it does, I'll keep thinking to myself that there is no way that this match can rival the intensity or the quality of their match ten years ago. I guess we'll see what we get on Friday and beyond to see if I can get pushed over the fence on this feud.

Question 2: Was The Miz able to continue making the case that he can beat John Cena?

In a word, no, and I still think this feud was cursed to wait for Godot ever since the Rock made his first appearance and called out John Cena. The Miz has been the most compelling young WWE Superstar for some time now, and it's a shame that early in this feud his role was marginalized, because he has done a very admirable job of climbing out of that hole since. That being said, I still think The Rock hangs like The Sword of Damocles over this entire storyline.

The Rock early on introduced an element that put the WWE Champion in a situation where he could have legitimately been called the smallest player in his WrestleMania feud. Given John Cena's aura of invulnerability, and the Rock's status as a mythical figure, the WWE Champion has started from the position of literally having to prove to fans that we had any reason to believe he could play on the same field as the people calling him out.

Given the mountain in front of him, he has done an admiral job of asserting himself both on the microphone and physically with his assaults on John Cena. Tonight, however, WWE put him back in a position of vulnerability by having him tuck tail and run away from John Cena after he was at a two on one advantage. What point did this serve? The Rock comes back and casts his shadow again next week. Just about everybody is fully invested in John Cena confronting him. Can The Miz make us question the outcome of WrestleMania again? This week I think they failed.

Hopefully The Miz can avoid the large shadows of his nemeses and plant a seed of doubt heading into WrestleMania next week.

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