In the past few days in WWE we have seen the return of The Undertaker, WWE trying to start a feud with a talk show host, and perhaps the greatest wrestling match on Raw in years.
It has been a busy few days on the Road to Wrestlemania, yet despite one match being set in stone, still the card for the big show looks as confused as ever.
On Monday Night Raw we saw a ‘fight’ between Paul Heyman and Vince McMahon to set up a rematch we all saw coming. We also had developments in the feud for the World Heavyweight Championship, and the match between CM Punk and John Cena for the number one contender’s spot for the WWE Title.
While we found out who The Rock would be facing come April 7 in New Jersey, the majority of the locker room still seem to be without direction on the road to Wrestlemania.
WWE Championship: The Rock (c) v John Cena
And so what came to pass was exactly what everyone predicted: the ‘Twice in a Lifetime’ match between WWE Champion The Rock and John Cena at Wrestlemania.
On Monday Night John Cena faced CM Punk to decide who had the right to face The Rock at Wrestlemania for the title. And what a match we were treated too. A match that already looks like it could be hard to beat for match of the year, this should surely go down as one of the great Raw matches. CM Punk and Cena have always had great in-ring chemistry, and Punk certainly seems able to get the best out of Cena. This time on Raw was no exception, with both men putting on a true clinic.
The storytelling was exceptional, the psychology on another level, and both men upped their games significantly in terms of their ringcraft. The sequence when the two men locked on and countered each other’s submission moves was fantastic, while CM Punk’s piledriver to Cena – apparently a banned move the way they did it – and subsequent near pinfall, was the moment of the match. Even with Cena’s slightly botched hurricanrana at the end, both men came out of the match looking golden.
And despite how you feel about the eventual victor, it was sweet relief to finally see an important match finish cleanly; no interference, no botched refereeing decisions, no cheating, just a pin in the middle of the ring.
And so at Wrestlemania Cena will face The Rock, in what is already being tagged as a matter of ‘Greatness v Redemption’. The Rock was predictably absent this week, as he probably will be a number of weeks leading up to Wrestlemania, but perhaps their feud will start for real next week. The course it will take seems entirely predictable. Do not expect any of the personal jibes or insults of last year, this will be all respect and mutual admiration between the two money-makers.
The Rock will not stick around for long after Wrestlemania, and John Cena has spent the year losing to the likes of The Shield, Dolph Ziggler and CM Punk. Those two factors, along with the fact The Rock is currently 1 to 0 against Cena, seem to make it all too clear that The CeNation leader is leaving New Jersey with the win and the title. There is always the chance WWE will try to swerve everyone in some way, but they haven’t bothered to with the build-up so far, so there seems no reason why they should start at Wrestlemania itself.
Prediction: In a match that stands little chance of living up to the one he just had with Punk on Raw, Cena will pin a ‘heroic’ Rock and take the title.
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This article was first posted on February 28, 2013