'Monday Night Raw' recap: The Rock strikes back
On another solid episode of "Monday Night Raw," The Rock returned, again, and laid the verbal smackdown on John Cena. Also, Chris Jericho gave the promo he needed to give a couple of weeks ago.
The show opened with CM Punk coming out to face Daniel Bryan in a champion-versus-champion match. However, before Bryan made his way to the ring, Jericho came out to tell Punk a thing or two. Jericho proceeded to explain why he came back to the WWE, why Punk is nothing but a Chris Jericho wannabe and why he is the best in the world at what he does.
By the end of Jericho's promo, and Punk's response, you wanted to see the two wrestle and prove just who is the best in the world. Which is sort of the point of pro wrestling, a point that often gets lost in all the pyro and scripted comedy.
The show closed with The Rock coming out, putting the crowd in the palm of his hand and showing Cena how you do a proper promo in the ring. No smirking to the camera, no acting like "Hey, this is all a big joke so let's just have fun!" And then something amazing happened. Cena came out, and for the first time I can remember, made The Rock look human, if only for a moment.
While watching The Rock's promo, you could occasionally see some writing on his wrist -- probably just another tattoo. But Cena let us know otherwise when he took off his wristbands and said, "Unlike you, Rock, I don't have to write notes on my wrist to remember what to say." And for a moment, just for a moment, The Rock faded away and it looked like Dwayne Johnson got legitimately mad. For a moment, you forgot that pro wrestling is sports entertainment and believed that two men legitimately don't like each and will fight it out at WrestleMania.
And that is why pro wrestling has been around for over 100 years. The fans know it's scripted. The fans know the outcomes are predetermined. But the fans want to suspend their disbelief and buy into the characters. Just like watching a movie, when we suspend our disbelief and think for a couple of hours we are watching Indiana Jones take on some Nazis.
And for two fantastic segments Monday night, thanks to CM Punk, Chris Jericho, John Cena and The Rock, we were able to suspend our disbelief and think we are watching people who want to match up and see who is the best. And that is when pro wrestling is great.
-- Houston Mitchell