Kester's WWE Raw Rundown: The Rock and John Cena debate, The Undertaker gets his hands on CM Punk, and Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton unite against The Shield
By Ryan Kester
The Rock and John Cena
While the setup for the face-to-face between Rock and Cena was awkward, once the two men launched into their exchange they produced some great hype. The Rock displayed a great deal of confidence and Cena, while perhaps a bit too hyperbolic for online fans, did a great job of showing his fans that he was threatened by The Rock and he was obsessed with the idea of winning at WrestleMania.
This exchange was everything that last year's build between these two men wasn't. It established that both men are focused on winning the match rather than one upping each other on the mic, and, more importantly, it produced a brief physical exchange that will leave Cena's fans guessing. This still isn't the match that's selling me on WrestleMania, but I respect the way WWE is booking it this year.
CM Punk and The Undertaker
CM Punk has to be commended for his show-starting promo. Trying to explain the urn with the modern version of Undertaker is awkward at best, but Punk did a great job of covering that topic briefly before refocusing on how he believes he's in Taker's head and having the upper hand. Punk is doing a great job of gathering heat with these promos.
I was surprised when Undertaker showed up in wrestling gear and actually got his hands on Punk. I really thought WWE would save those aspects of the feud for the big show. WWE is primarily selling this match on the idea that Undertaker will finally get his hands on Punk at WrestleMania, so it was odd to see him accomplish that in some capacity here.
Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton vs. The Shield
The build for this eventual showdown has been interesting yet awkward. I like the idea of having an established heel begrudgingly teaming up with two babyfaces to take on a common foe. It's already produced some good segments as they established the tension between the WWE main event team.
The issue is, the entire time WWE has been telling the story about that team, The Shield feel like an afterthought. Yes, they're still winning matches and pulling off impressive triple-powerbombs, but the story is so focused on the established stars that The Shield simply don't feel as intense as they once did. I can only hope that The Shield gets a bit more storyline advancement and focus coming out of WrestleMania than they have during the build.
Last night's show was all about getting the undercard of WrestleMania squared away while giving the featured wrestlers a chance to look good in the ring. It's an understandable tactic, but it got repetitive quickly and Raw fell into the usual drag by about the midpoint of the show.
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