Chair Shots: Do John Cena and The Rock really hate each other?

Chair Shots: Do John Cena and The Rock really hate each other?
(Carroll County Times)

Suspension of disbelief is the ultimate goal in professional wrestling. Especially these days, when everyone seems to be a smart mark (me included) and can't see for the forest for the trees. That's why the interaction between John Cena and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was so good on WWE Raw last night. By the end of the show, you were asking yourself: Do these two guys really hate each other?

And the answer is -- I honestly don't know. I learned a long time ago to assume that everything that happens in professional wrestling is a work, and I'd like to believe that these two are laughing in the back over some Kung Pao chicken in catering after the show. But both men cut too deep, especially Cena, for me to believe anything except these two really believe what they are saying about the other (at least on same level). Hopefully, that still translates into a good match at WrestleMania, because if both refuse to work with the other, it ain't gonna be pretty.

With that said, add me to the list of people who thought Cena won the first round of war of words. He accomplished more in his two minutes than Dwayne, er, The Rock, did in about 18. Rock's promo seemed to be a lot more of the same, with him trying to get ridiculous stuff trending on Twitter, because apparently that's how you make Vince McMahan happy. Besides, any "How I Met Your Mother" fan can tell you that getting people to chant something isn't that difficult. Well, except "Can-a-da," which we can blame on Chris Jericho, since he invented Canada.

Like Cena, it was CM Punk who owned the show-opening promo against Chris Jericho. It was interesting that Jericho used the same "dying breed" line about himself that Triple H and Undertaker used last week, only he was talking about the dying breed of wrestler who travels the world honing his craft and becoming a star before getting to WWE. He's right. Too many guys go straight to WWE developmental and get called up. The best ones, typically, are guys like Sheamus, Daniel Bryan and Punk, who worked through the indies before coming to WWE. It's no surprise those are the participants in the two championship matches at WrestleMania.

Anyway, back to the promo, it went a little longer than I would've liked, but served its purpose to make clear that, unlike Cena-Rock or Triple H-Undertaker, this was going to be more of a pure wrestling match. Punk did a nice job of building up Jericho as being a true great in the ring, while still delivering a "truth hurts" cutdown of how despite Jericho being as good as he was, he was never "the guy" like Punk is right now. (I won't get into whether Punk actually is "the guy" right now, but point being, he's having a sustained run with the WWE title, something Jericho never really got as a babyface.)

The following match between Punk and Bryan wasn't nearly as good as the one they had on Smackdown, mainly because the focus was on the two general managers and their assistants outside the ring. I was waiting for Jericho to come down and cost Punk the match while the referee was dealing with everyone on the outside, but instead it was Sheamus who threw Bryan to the wolves, only to get Punk DQ'd by John Laurinaitis.

All the GM stuff kind of overshadowed what could've been a really good match, but that's OK. By the way, the big announcement is what I predicted on Twitter last night: WWE is doing a GM swap. Long will run next week's Raw (March 5) while Laurinaitis runs next week's Smackdown (March 9). So what are the odds Long makes a tag team match pitting Bryan and Jericho against Sheamus and Punk? Just sayin'. ...

Best match of the night was the Triple Threat Tag Team Championship match, even if my boy Jack Swagger had to do the job. At least it took two finishers -- Trouble in Paradise and a Backstabber -- to put him away. If we're not going to have a Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania this year, can we get these three teams in a Triple Threat Ladder match for the Tag Team titles? I don't see any way they get on the card otherwise.

Kane stole the show when he chokeslammed members of all three teams after the match, which unless you are a nerd like me who notices things like the fire tubes on the tops of the ringposts, probably didn't see coming. I assume this was a random attack by Kane that we'll continue to see over the next few weeks and not him starting a program with these three teams. ...

At the top of the 10 o'clock hour, Cena beat the Miz in fairly short order. It was a fast-paced match, but shows how far the Miz has fallen since last year's WrestleMania. But the Miz did cut a nice promo before the match about all the promotional work he does for WWE and how he doesn't have a match at WrestleMania, which is an interesting angle. He also posted a video on Twitter afterward where he promised to be in the main event of WrestleMania 28 "whether you call it that or not" which I guess is his way of saying he'll steal the show. I figure he'll either get involved in the finish of Cena-Rock, or he'll get pulled into the Zack Ryder-Eve feud. At live events over the weekend, he was defending Eve's honor after she cut a heel promo. I don't know if he was just piggybacking to get more heat or if there's a budding storyline going on there. ...

Eve, meanwhile, is easily the biggest heel in WWE right now and she is totally embracing it. Her promo on Raw was perfect to keep that heat going. Kelly Kelly got involved earlier on Monday when she Tweeted about how Eve had changed, and they furthered that by showing the tweet during Kelly's win over one of the Bellas, then again backstage when Kelly confronted Eve. My money is on a mixed tag between Miz/Eve vs. Ryder/Kelly at WrestleMania. ...

Mark Henry continues his fall from grace. He was a pawn in a tag team match pitting him and Cody Rhodes against Big Show and Sheamus which lasted two minutes. Show speared Henry, then tried to chase after Rhodes, who skedaddled to the back. Sheamus tagged himself in, hit a Brogue Kick on Henry and got the win. Sheamus keeps his momentum going, although he was clearly an afterthought in this match, which is being used to further Show-Rhodes. I don't like that so much. ...

Sheamus' WrestleMania opponent, Daniel Bryan, is slated to wrestle a returning Randy Orton on Smackdown this Friday. As long as Bryan wins, I'm good with this. The Viper shouldn't be going over the World Champion this close to WrestleMania, nor should he get added to the World Championship match. If so, you had Sheamus win the Rumble for no good reason.