The Smarked for Death Wrestling Review for WWE Monday Night Raw 3/19/12.


CM Punk shows how amazing he is tonight in the opening promo.  This speech isn’t that far removed from his heel “I’m Straight Edge and I’m better than you!” mantra.  However with subtle changes it comes across as inspiration.  It is not the poison of beer, it is the disease of alcoholism.  Then Chris Jericho shows up on the TitanTron and its a battle of words.  Two words, “Your sister”.  Chris Jericho is a splinter on Punk’s hand.  No matter how hard he scratches or picks at it, this splinter is under his skin.  While it shouldn’t bother him so much it does and the pain grows larger.  The only way to remove it is to cut himself open and hope the wound heals clean.

Nothing is going to be clean about this match.  Seriously, we’re looking at the potential for another Steamboat and Savage WrestleMania moment.

Kane vs. Big Show.

Cody Rhodes comes out to play another embarrassing Big Show video.  There is a severe lack of Raven from the Hardcore title match on these Big Show moments.  Cody distracts Show allowing Kane to chokeslam Show for the pin.  Two world champions should never have a match so short.

Cody comes in, hits the Disaster Kick and then handcuffs Big Show to the ropes.  Although its the middle of the ropes so he could slide back and forth.  Cody punches down Big Show, who barely moves.  Show is freed from the cuffs but by that point Cody is long gone.

David Otunga (with Johnny Laurinitis) vs. Santino Marella (with Teddy Long)

Johnny drops his phone.  By drop I mean, he dramatically sends it half way across the ring for no reason.  Santino gets distracted by smart phones, hey don’t we all, and has to put a Garvin stomp on it.  Otunga takes advantage of this distraction and gets the pin.  Teddy slaps John and then runs away like a scared bitch.  He doesn’t dare stand toe to toe with a Dynamic Dude.

The Rock cuts a promo in front of the Rocky statue.  I wish the Rocky statue was still up all of those steps.  Then hopefully Rock would have ran up the steps and been too out of breath to cut a promo.  Obviously Rock isn’t spending any time improving his promos so hopefully all that downtime was spent getting into ring shape.

Daniel Bryan (World champion, with AJ) vs. Zack Ryder.

Ryder still gets an insane reaction from the fans.  Zack’s rally from earlier in the day is shown.  He is a merchandise machine but needs a good and worthy story on TV.  Daniel Bryan is a natural heel.  Always a good wrestler.  One of the best in the world no matter who he faces, no matter what side he’s meant to be on.  However ever since turning heel he’s a more interesting wrestler.  Part of it being, his style is so aggressive that it needs an aggressive, and that usually means heel, personality executing the maneuvers.

John Cena vs. Mark Henry.

Cena was in a car accident earlier today, and thankfully everything so far looks good and healthy.  So why not survive the equivalent of a car wreck:  Going up against Mark Henry.  Cena has a pretty good match with Henry.  Lasts a fair amount of time.  Both men get in offense.  Cena powers up Mark Henry for the finish and you have to give Cena credit for wrestling such a big guy less than two weeks away from ‘Mania.

The Rock comes out, scares Cena and then hits a Rock Bottom on Mark Henry.  This is not the same as actually wrestling matches Rock!  The Rock might be the best actor to guest host Raw in the history of the gimmick.

Scenes from the TV show Extra, which is now a WrestleMania match.  “Diva Cam”?  Remember, random guys in flannel are strong enough to hold back the woman holding the biggest women’s title in the world.  Yup.  That seems right.  And a talk show host is supposed to be good enough for ‘Mania despite numerous Divas also on the roster who are not doing anything.  I think I have my “worst match” pick.

The Miz vs. Sheamus.

Not a bad match but nothing to it either.  Did anyone think for a minute that Miz would beat the guy who is about to be in one of the main events at ‘Mania?  Of course he was going to lose!

Randy Orton cuts a promo in an area that no one has cut a promo at in years.  Very very strange interview segment.  Also, why are so many of the ‘Mania match participants staying away from each other?  No Sheamus and Bryan fight, nor Punk and Jericho, etc.  I want to see some violence to hype up the show!

Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero) vs. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (with Aksana).

Dolph wins the match, pinning Truth despite Truth having his foot under the ropes.  A long match, which was quite the nice surprise tonight.  Everyone had a chance to do some fun work in here.  Aksana and Vickie fight after the match.  The fans love it, but that’s more because of how they feel about Vickie.  No one knows anything about Aksana.

Shawn Michaels comes out, then Undertaker, then Triple H and everyone talks A LOT.  Past the point of meaning anything.  Past the point of selling tickets.  It ended up being this three way stare down that sucked all the energy out of the show.

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