Make no mistakes, in the WrestleMania 28 battle between John Cena and the Rock, I'm clearly on Team Cena. And it seems to me that more and more people are getting on board with him each week, especially the so-called hardcore fans who are tiring of the Rock's schtick.

With that said, I didn't think the Rock was THAT bad last night. I watched the show with a bunch of my friends, and they hated the Rock Concert. I thought it was funny, even if Rock has resorted to the Five Jokes of Doom (see sidebar). I thought it was nice work bringing in the Cena/Eve kiss from a few weeks ago and mentioning Cena's wife, which is a point a lot of Internet fans questioned a few weeks ago. And you could see the joke about Cena's mom coming too, but I still chuckled.

Unfortunately, he didn't stop after his guitar playing. He should've wrapped it up there. Instead, he did an awful rendition of "We Will Rock You" that he stumbled and bubbled through like a drunk guy at karoake on a Thursday night. It was bad. Really, really bad.

But the real problem wasn't necessarily the content of what the Rock was saying. He did a lot of shameless pandering to the audience by having the chorus to his song be "Cleveland Rocks." He also lacked the trademark intensity that made the Rock so good in the 1990s. It's the same intensity that John Cena is bringing in his promos. In fact, if you listen carefully to the content Rock's concert and Cena's rap from Monday night, they aren't that different. It's a bunch of middle-school cutdowns. It's the intensity with which they were presented that made all the difference in the world.

The Rock is hanging out and having fun. And he's still getting strong reactions from live crowds because he is entertaining -- especially if you haven't seen the Rock live before. But the TV crowds are souring on him because it feels like the same content, just repackaged into history lessons or a Rock concert.

Meanwhile, Cena is "bringing it" each week with a lot of intensity, whether it's him in an empty arena or in a throwback Cavs jersey.

It's fine to have fun, but at some point, Dwayne Johnson needs to get serious and prove that he's not the same old sophomoric jokes and bring the intensity that made him "The Great One" in the first place. It wouldn't hurt to see him kick someone's candy *** the week before WrestleMania too, to prove he's ready physically.

The real question here is whether the Rock is simply mailing it in, or if this is all being done on purpose as a way to get the fans on Cena's side? ...

Cena's rap was a great way to kick off the show, and bringing back the Doctor of Thuganomics gimmick and entrance music were nice touches. Again, lots of the same jokes, but his intensity got the show off to a hot start. Cena certainly wasn't PG in his lyrics, and he's winning back a lot of the crowd. However, I fear that after WrestleMania, if Cena reverts back to his smiling, goody-two-shoes ways, fans will turn on him again, and this will all be for naught. Somewhere, a happy medium between Thuganomics Cena and HLR Cena needs to be reached. ...

If I never hear the word "Attitudinal" again, it'll be too soon. ...

The promo of the night might've belonged to Chris Jericho, who added an interesting personal layer to his feud with CM Punk by making some revelations about the WWE Champion's straight-edge lifestyle. Jericho claimed Punk's father was an alcoholic who Punk doesn't want to be like. Jericho also claimed that when he beat Punk at WrestleMania and took the WWE title, it would drive Punk to drink. Like I said, it adds a very personal layer to the feud and made Punk a sympathetic babyface. That's a good thing. Dragging Punk's personal demons and family skeletons (be they kayfabe or not) into the fold makes Jericho seem like a real jerk.

Could they have done without it? Maybe. I liked the idea of their WrestleMania match based simply on being "the best in the world." This angle would've been better saved for a rematch the following month, especially if Punk wins at 'Mania and Jericho needed to goad him into another match, or it could've been saved for a future opponent of Punk.

Punk did a great job of selling his emotions in this segment. His long face and slow walk to the back sold the effects of the promo better than any words could have.

I have no idea if Punk's father really was an alcoholic, or if it's just part of a storyline. However, I did find this video on SEScoops.com from Punk's Ring of Honor days where he uses a similiar angle in a feud with Raven.



Perhaps I'm in the minority here too, but I really didn't care for the Shawn Michaels-Undertaker stuff this week. Less talking is better for Undertaker, who really struggled here. I'll forgive messing up the date of WrestleMania (at least in the future, they can edit "twenty" out of April 21st) but he seemed stuck or searching for the right words at times.

The point of the promo this week was to play Shawn Michaels on the other side. Last week, he seemed to indicate to Triple H that he was going to favor Undertaker because of Triple H thinking he was better than HBK. This week, he seemed to hint that he might screw the Undertaker, "ironically becoming the man that still ends Undertaker's streak" which the Dead Man took exception to.

Of note, this was really the first time Undertaker has seemed to accept that he might lose at WrestleMania. The point being, however, if he did lose, he didn't want it to be because of Shawn Michaels biased officiating. He wants the result to be pure and if it's not, he's going to take it out on Michaels. So, they drove the point home, it just took a little while to get there.

Triple H made a cameo at the end to give a crotch chop to Undertaker. All three will be on Raw next week, in the same ring at the same time, to give their predictions on the match outcome. ...

Zack Ryder and Eve had another backstage segment. Ryder appears recovered from injuries. Eve proffered that they be "friends ... with benefits." Go Zack! Then, according to Ryder's Twitter account, she stood him up after the show. Beth Phoenix made an appereance, wearing way too much makeup, had a little back-and-forth with Eve and referenced a clip of Alicia Fox and the Bellas on Extra with host Maria Menunous. Maria has wrestled a couple of matches in the past, and it sounds like she might be involved in WrestleMania somehow. Apparently, the Divas were taping a segment with her for Extra today. ...

There was some actual wrestling last night too! Actually, there was more than the average Raw, it was just overshadowed by the promos. Sheamus beat Dolph Ziggler in a hot opener to the show that ended with a really stiff Brogue Kick. Daniel Bryan was watching from the skybox. I'm somewhat concerned that, starting with telling AJ to "shut up" during their face-to-face promo on Smackdown, that she's somehow becoming the central focusing point of this rather than the World Heavyweight Championship. ...

Team Laurinaitis and Team Long started to take shape, with David Otunga and Santino Marella as the announced captains. That was weird to type. Mark Henry was an addition to Team Laurinaitis, and he and Otunga beat Santino in a handicap match. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, presumably members of Team Long, ran in to make the save, but were also beaten down. Read here to see my predictions for the rest of the teams. ...

CM Punk beat The Miz in a match that, had the Miz won, would've made him a member of Team Laurinaitis. I still think he gets involved in Rock-Cena somehow, but will technically be left off the WrestleMania card. He actually got a decent pop because he was in his hometown of Cleveland. James Roday of USA's Psych was the guest ring announcer and did fine. He seemed to be having a lot of fun. Miz guest stars on that show Wednesday. ...

Randy Orton beat Jack Swagger in what I guess was the "main event." It was an extended squash. Neither have a WrestleMania match, although I'm assuming Orton vs. Kane will be added to the card at tonight's Smackdown tapings. Kane's pyro went off as Orton went to celebrate, but the Big Red Monster never showed. ...

Of course, the biggest news of the night was the return of the Funkasaurus Brodus Clay, who squashed Jinder Mahal. Literally. He won with a big splash. Then he danced. I can only assume he'll get a WrestleMania match if he's being brought back to TV now. ...

Coming up: Christian will host the Peep Show with Laurinaitis and Long on Smackdown, where he likely joins Team Johnny. John Cena will face Mark Henry on next week's Raw.

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