Promo v Promo v Promo
by, 03-15-2012 at 08:17 AM (2271 Views)
I’ve definitely got the Mania bug now and extremely excited for not only what the night brings us fans but also what the fallout is afterwards and where it takes the business. I also do have a minor caveat as I felt similar feelings this time last year only to be rather underwhelmed by the show. But I’m pretty confident this one will be a classic.
I thought I’d focus this time on the promo work of the 3 ‘Main Events’ its interesting to see how they all are relying on promo work to promote the matches but each has their own unique style. Its right that the WWE would want to hold back the physicality on as many matches as possible otherwise why would we tune into Mania. So lets have a look at what the promo style for each of the 3 mains has been so far.
Jericho v Punk
After a dubious start this has built up nicely and I think the promo work between these two will peak next week on RAW. In this Verbal Attitude Era (see my previous blog) you would expect these two performers to not hold back and be prepared to break taboos to build tension. And it was definitely first blood to Jericho this week when he discussed Punks past and gave the fans a new angle to the Straight Edge image. The reply Punk gives next week should be the final part of the build up to this amazing match – after Jericho ‘went there’ will Punk do the same or will the WWE keep building this as potential weakness for Punk? If Punk ‘went there’ I could imagine him making reference to Jerichos late mother though if he did he would redefine ‘going there’ it would make the tensest tv promo in a very long time.
HHH v Undertaker
Legends of the ring that these two are I don’t actually think they’ve ever been hailed for their great promo work – true they bring an aggression and intensity to their work that is clearly displayed in their promo work but it still does feel a little bit old school and scripted. I think the human side of the Undertaker should have been exploited more, for me this is the key to making the crowd genuinely doubt if the streak will continue. It would build on the doubt cast by him being carried out last year and could be done without breaking the mystique of the Undertaker character. An admission by him that he’s getting older, maybe even a reference to surgery could of added a realism to this match that would take the anxious anticipation from and 8 out of 10 to a 10 out of 10.
Cena v The Rock
What can I say about this one that hasn’t already been dissected and discussed? Probably not much. We’ve got to remember that this has been hyped for the best part of 13 months now so full credit to the WWE that it is still grabbing headlines and still amusing and surprising fans. Cena has been magnificent throughout this and deserves to increase his fan base as a result of the feud, his years of being booed and placed in difficult matches has prepared him well for this. (I still mark out at the abuse he received at One Night Stand PPV.) The problem is real or not there really is nothing that The Rock can say to Cena that can damage him and funny as the Rock work has been (this week was hilarious) it still failed to deliver the killer blow and comes across as nothing new to what was Rock was saying ten years ago. I recently revisited The Rocks old promos to see if they were any different back then and in all honesty no they are not. Case in point is a classic Rock promo for the 6 Man Armageddon Hell In A Cell match in 2000, no doubting the charisma Rock shows but break it down and all he does is joke and mimic the other 5 superstars (The way HHH speaks, the fact Rikishi is fat, that Kurt Angle drinks milk) but behind that there is no substance. Yes the fans want to be entertained but there is a new breed of fan now, the fan who wants more than just the catchphrases and good guy v bad guy feuds they want to be challenged and the lines between black and white blurred more and more. What we need to hear from Rock is his true motivation for fighting Cena (at the moment he doesn’t like the way he runs his fruity pebbled, kung pow bitch mouth and wants to kick his ass) whereas Cena has said clearly what the match means to him and what winning means to him.
More than anything what this has shown me is just how much the WWE has changed in 10 years and for the better I think. Rock still is struggling to find his form in this new era but he’s got a week or so to fix it.
The match itself? My prediction is that it will be flawless and I’m going for a Cena win.
As always this is just my random thoughts, all comments, abuse etc welcome as usual and feel free to follow and comment on my Twitter @dmayerl