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   August 20, 2014



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COMMENT





Raw: The Rock teaches history while Shawn Michaels gets a WrestleMania role
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling


The Rock confronts John Cena at Monday Night Raw. Photo by Bruno Silveira, www.topropephotography.net

Maybe the big WrestleMania match between The Rock and John Cena didn't need to be set up almost a year ago, because the feud has really only kicked into high gear over the past few weeks with both men exchanging barbs on every show. Expect more of the same tonight on Cena's home turf in Boston, plus an appearance by Shawn Michaels. The TD Garden hosts Raw, live on USA.

To the delight of the fans, Michaels comes to the ring to kick off the show. Believe it or not, Shawn caused some trouble a few weeks ago trying to convince Triple H to end The Undertaker's streak. Since The Game not only changed his mind but upped the ante and made the WrestleMania match Hell in a Cell, HBK is here tonight to find out what made his buddy change his mind. Michaels admits that he tested the limits of their friendship, even called Hunter a coward, but it didn't work. But someone made Triple H change his mind, made him have a revelation, and HBK is dying to know what it was. Before an answer comes, Michaels interrupts and asks for the footage from two weeks ago to be rolled so he can see it for himself. Of course, it was Undertaker's taunt that HBK was always better than him that made Triple H change his mind (#awkward). The worst thing that someone can say to Triple H is that Michaels is better than him? Hunter tries to make it about something else, saying that he's tired of Undertaker and other people talk behind Shawn's back about not being able to get the job done, because he believes that Michaels was the greatest in-ring performer of all time. It pains Trips to look at his buddy as a loser, so he wants to end The Streak, and he'll do it for both of them. Michaels sarcastically says he's glad they have no problem, and that Triple H has everything under control. Saying that it pained him to be right about The Game not being able to win last year, he at least take comfort in the fact that he'll be right again this year – and he knows that because he's been named the special referee.

Match 1 – Santino Marella (challenger) vs. Jack Swagger (champion) – United States Championship Match

John Laurinaitis comes down to ringside (with David Otunga, naturally) even though he's not in charge of the show tonight thanks to the GM swap. Swagger looks like he's going to wrap this up quickly thanks to help from Dolph Ziggler, but Santino kicks out. Teddy Long comes down and immediately gets into it with Johnny Ace. Aksana and Kofi Kingston are also on hand to help him even the odds. After a commercial break, Marella takes advantage of the chaos to pin Swagger. Laurinaitis is livid, saying Long can't do that on his show. But it's Teddy's show tonight, and he's going to give the WWE Universe a present by telling security to have Laurinaitis and Otunga escorted out of the building.

The Rock shot a video earlier today in Boston to teach Cena some history lessons. Let's watch it, shall we? Mr. Johnson talks about the Boston Tea Party, when the American colonists dumped tea into the harbor, and figures he may as well put his own spin on it by dumping a bunch of Cena's merchandise into the water. Among the items are Cena wristbands, cologne and... a garden gnome? The Rock asks some jabroni to get in a rowboat and clean all of Cena's trash out of the harbor.

Match 2 – Eve Torres vs. Alicia Fox

Kelly Kelly joins Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler on commentary for this one. At least it doesn't take up too much of her time, with Eve winning in about 90 seconds. Zack Ryder hobbles out to tell Eve that he's glad they never hooked up, because you know what they say: Broskis before hoeskis.

Eve catches up with Ryder backstage and plants a big kiss on him. Yeah, tongue action and all. And unless my eyes deceive me, Zack looks like he may be wavering on that whole “broskis before hoeskis” thing from before the break.

Earlier today, Cena sat in an empty arena and recorded some thoughts on his WrestleMania meeting with The Rock. Despite his personal feelings, Cena calls Johnson the most successful WWE superstar of all time, both in and out of the ring. He goes on to talk about Boston since he grew up nearby, and how the 18-0 New England Patriots that lost in the Super Bowl reminded him that no one looks back fondly on second place. Cena feels this year's WrestleMania will be the biggest WWE event of all time, which is why he desperately needs to win.

Match 3 – CM Punk and Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho

It's pretty awesome how Cole has changed his tune on Bryan now that the World Heavyweight Champion has turned heel. That may be the lone good thing about Cole's character. All four men get in on the action as they look to build up the two WrestleMania title matches. The announcers are selling the damage that Jericho did to Punk's back last week, and the WWE Champion sells it too as he looks like he's in pain while dropping the big elbow on Bryan. Sheamus has Bryan up for the Irish Cross but is interrupted by Jericho. With Bryan and Sheamus out on the floor, Jericho tries for the Walls of Jericho. Punk tries to roll him up, but Jericho manages to get one shoulder off the ground and pin his rival instead.

Time for another history lesson from The Rock. He asks what would have happened if it was Cena instead of Paul Revere who made the famous warning ride. Apparently we'd all be sipping tea and playing crickets. The Rock tells a confusing story about time travel but does drop a nice line calling himself “25 percent black, 25 percent Samoan and 50 percent Clydesdale.” He also fits the word jabroni into “Yankee Doodle.” Well played sir.

Match 4 – The Miz vs. The Big Show

Before this one can get underway, Cody Rhodes wants to show another video to embarrass Show. At WrestleMania X8, Show wasn't even in Toronto, but was hanging out with guests at WWE New York. Yikes. Miz gets jobbed out quickly here, pinned after a big right hand.

The Rock has one more lesson for everyone, touting the Rock Revolution that will overthrow Cena. Rocky says he has the charisma of George Washington, the brilliance of Ben Franklin and the you-know-what of John Hancock. On April 1, Cena will fall to The Rock, but the Great One says he is coming to the TD Garden tonight.

Main Event – R-Truth vs. Kane

With The Rock and Cena still due to face off again in the ring, I suppose the term “main event” is relative here. As if to prove my point, Kane finishes off Truth in a matter of minutes with a choke slam. But we're not done here, because Randy Orton would still like to get involved – and he does, hitting Kane with an RKO. He tells the Big Red Machine that it's good to be back. Your move Kane.

Cena comes to the ring, addressing The Rock and his history lessons. Perhaps sarcastically, he gets a “Rocky” chant going. But what is The Rock really saying? He's obsessed with breakfast cereal, he makes fun of the way Cena looks, he talks about his “Stonewall Jackson” and how many girls he's had sex with. Cena wonders if Rocky is having a mid-life crisis and claims he left him shook up last Monday. Poking some fun at himself, Cena says he's unsure if Johnson should come to the ring even with his University of Miami swagger back, because lately his best stuff has been either pre-recorded or via satellite. He wants the real Rock out there in the ring and is quickly obliged. The Rock says he sees fear in Cena's eyes. The fans give it to Rocky a bit by chanting “Tooth Fairy.” The Rock says if you strip all of the Hollywood away, he's still 6-foot-4, 220 pounds of man who will rip your throat out, while Cena will always be a little boy who is The Rock's bitch. He leaves, but Cena stays to talk about how he's not afraid, even though he'll lose everything if The Rock wins. Cena plans on making history by whipping The Rock's ass at WrestleMania. And that's a wrap. See you in seven!

RELATED LINKS

  • WWE Raw in Boston Photo Gallery

    Nick Tylwalk also thinks most of his best stuff is done via satellite, or rather, via internet, but that's okay in his line of work. Touch base with him on Twitter, on Google+ or by email.