WWE RAW certainly to build steam towards Wrestlemania XXVIII with red hot segments featuring CM Punk facing off with Chris Jericho and John Cena trading verbal barbs with The Rock. Here’s Pro Wrestling Examiner @KevKellam analyzing and reacting to last night’s WWE RAW and how it effects the big show on April 1st. Read the RAW Reaction for The Rock and John Cena
Who is the “Best in the World”?
This swerve of an opening segment on last night’s RAW told more in 10 minutes then the two opposing wrestlers have told in weeks, silencing some growing yet unnecessary criticism from a minority of WWE fans that feel CM Punk and Chris Jericho have not made a sensational story out of their WM28 match for the WWE Championship. Jericho really dug into the “Best in the World” narrative between the current WWE Champ and himself. Jericho’s reveal that he came back just to face Punk at Wrestlemania made complete sense, and tied up loose ends with his odd return in early January. It just all clicked together from the moment Jericho walked into the ring and cut Punk as he was preparing to face World Champion Daniel Bryan in a ‘Champion vs. Champion’ match.
Punk came off stronger in at the end of promo segment though, which played into the pace of a fued so far with Jericho winning the ‘Mania title match last week in a Battle Royal. The most biting line of all was the Chicago native’s insult/comparison he made between his challenger and himself when he said Jericho ‘was dancing with stars while (he) was swimming sharks’. This was a reference to Chris Jericho’s stint on the ABC game show hit, Dancing With the Stars which he performed on during his most recent hiatus from the WWE .
Jericho was the last one laughing on RAW in Portland when he visciously slammed Punk on the steel entrance way after the ‘no-contest’ finish with Daniel Bryan. Jericho then added even more punishment to Punk when he applied the Walls of Jericho, turning Punk’s back like a broken bycycle chain.
Overall, Punk got bold declaring he wanted to have the “best wrestling match in Wrestlemania history” with Jericho, which is throwing down a hammer in a year when Punk and Jericho are sharing the card with Undertaker vs. Triple H and much-hyped Rock vs. John Cena.
It’s a challenge laid out by both men to themselves and not just the rest of the lockeroom. This “Best in the World” match for the WWE Championship is personal hurdle for both men to top their previous performances on the biggest show of the year. Jericho has stolen the show before on ‘Mania with memorable battles with Shawn Michaels in 2002 and various Money in the Bank matches. Punk has also had his ‘Mania moments winning two consecutive Money in the Bank Ladder wars in 2008 and 2009. Beyond just ‘Mania, both of these outspoken performers have resumes among the best in wrestling history.
Considering all of the other high-profile matches on this year’s card Punk and Jericho will surely have a mountain to climb to outperform other top stars looking to be the one match everyone is talking about on Monday, April 2nd. These two have dymanic and chemistry that started to show itself last night on RAW, and more importantly they have strong grasp of how will the live crowd into where they are going. The Portland crowd at this week’s RAW was despising Jericho and loving Punk, loudly choosing their favorite and installing a emotional perception that makes it easier for the TV viewers to get captivated as well. That’s sounds like a simple explanation but it’s specific performance trait that a lot of under-card wrestlers lack and one that Punk and Jericho exceed at: they know how to connect with the audience and tell the story from that connection.
Read about Wade Barrett’s injury he suffered on the Febuary 20th episode of WWE RAW and how it’s keeping him off Wrestlemania