Cubed Circle Newsletter Issue 24: RAW Go-Home Show That Didn’t Reach The Mark & AJPW 40th Anniversary

The Cubed Circle Newsletter

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This week’s newsletter is being published on the day of WrestleMania 28, I was not able to include a preview in this newsletter, however the majority of my feelings should be contained inside of the RAW go-home review. The newsletter will be back early next week covering WrestleMania, Dragon Gate and more!

 

RAW Go-Home Couldn’t Find Home

 

Pre-Show

 

All in all I thought that the Mania pre-show was good; however I don’t think that it did a particularly good job of selling the pay-per view. Granted, both men looked like big stars and likeable people, but as far as the feud goes the build was practically non-existent. Footage was shown of Cena and Make a Wish, Mit Romney, the Fred movie and Nascar. They also showed Rock at the cemetery, visiting his grandparents, as well as a host of other things.

 

The show was produced very well, as expected and it was a fun show, but as far as selling the show I don’t think that their overall goal was accomplished.

 

RAW

 

Overall Show Thoughts

 

To be honest this week’s RAW failed as a go-home show, it felt more like they were five weeks away then one. Plus there was way too much junk on the show, like the Long and Laurinaitis stuff and the Diva’s match. There was no build for the Hell in a Cell match, baring the retrospective promo towards the end of the show and Rock and Cena didn’t have a very convincing closing segment.

 

I feel that a few of the shows over the past few weeks would have worked as much better go-home shows. But, that’s not the point, the point is that instead of building the animosity between Rock and Cena they have let it atrophy, which isn’t a very smart move giving the severity of the match.

 

Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. Randy Orton & Sheamus

 

AJ and Bryan kissed before the match, prior to Bryan and Orton starting off the match. Sheamus chasedBryanto the outside; he proceeded to go at it with Kane.Bryanhit a big knee off of the apron on Sheamus, Orton hot the hot tag as Kane was tagged in. AJ jumped onto the ring apron, setting up the chokeslam on Sheamus for the win. I don’t see how this helped Sheamus, nor do I understand why it needed to happen.

 

We had a Rock/Cena once in a life time retrospective from last year’s WrestleMania.

 

Michael Coal got into the ring wearing a Team Johnny t-shirt. He introduced the whole of team Laurinaitis, including the flag bearer Vicky Guerrero. Booker jumped into the ring and revealed that he was on the side of Team Long and introduced Hornswoggle and Marella.

 

David Otunga vs. Santino Marella

 

We then got Otunga vs. Marella for what seems to be the fourth time, which makes absolutely no sense. Marella hit the Cobra for the win on Otunga. Laurinaitis stepped into the ring and threw down the flag, but he caught a cobra from Marella. Laurinaitis took off his tie and began to scream at Long, Marella was poised for the cobra behind Laurinaitis, but Miz ran in and hit the Skull Crushing Finally on Marella. Laurinaitis then confirmed that Miz would be on his team, which made weeks of build for the Miz pointless. Plans change I guess.

 

We had another once in a life time retrospective featuring the challenge for the match. They showed an Undertaker/Triple H retrospective, which I would have been fine with, but there was no other build for this match on the show, which was a terrible move.

 

Eve Torres vs. Kelly Kelly

 

Kelly hit a terrible looking hurricanrana on Eve, Eve went up for the moonsault on Kelly, but missed and was pinned by Kelly. Did this really need to be on the show?

 

They showed the third retrospective which was of the Survivor Series tag and build.

 

CM Punk vs. Christian

 

Jerichoappeared on the tron, he said that he will beat Punk and become the new champion, exposing Punk as a fraud, both professionally and personally. He said that his father is an alcoholic, his sister abuses substances and he has done some digging about his mother. He said that she was a decent woman with no vices, but Punk was born out of wedlock making him a legal bastard. Punk sold it, but what is the big deal in 2012, plus how was this an effective selling point for the go-home show.

 

Christian attacked Punk from behind, but Punk turned the tables and rammed Christian’s head into the announce table, he kicked him, elbowed him and dropped Christian face first onto the steel steps. He finally finished Christian off by locking in the anaconda vice, screaming “this is for youJericho!” All of that just for mentioning that he was born out of wedlock? Sound like a pretty heelish move to me. Apparently Christian became injured, so he will be off the Mania card.

 

Brodus Clay vs. Curt Hawkins

 

Hawkins was squashed in your basic Brodus Clay match.

 

They showed the third retrospective for the Mania match, including highlights from the majority of the Rock and Cena promos. We had a WWE Hall of Fame commercial; it seems that the Horseman will now get a televised induction, which makes sense given the fact that Flair is clear.

 

Big Show vs. Primo

 

It was announced that Christian would not be in the Team Long vs. Team Laurinaitis match. Primo was then squashed along with Epico in the post match, essentially burying the tag team division.

 

Cody Rhodes came out and went on about what he has been going on about for the past few weeks. Big Show in an embarrassment, he has failed so many times etc.

 

We had a great Lord Tensai vignette. The Bellas argued over which team would succeed at Mania, out came Ryder, they were all wearing geeky team t-shirts. Eve came out and sad that she wanted to know what hotel Ryder was staying at, she said that she hoped that he would stay at her hotel.

 

Josh Matthews interviewed Punk. Punk said that Matthews should go ask Christian how he feels, him and his family are in better places now and his sister is off limits he said. He said that whatJerichosaid was a lie and that he was not a bastard, he was the best in the world. Again what is the big deal?

 

Mark Henry vs. The Great Khali

 

I have no idea why this match was on the card to begin with, there was so much stuff that should have been on the show that didn’t make it on and the show was already congested with a lot of junk. It went short; Henry hit the World’s Strongest Slam for the win, in an impressive feat of strength. Laurinaitis and Long argued, Henry went after Long, Ryder and Santino came out for the save, but they were killed. Out came Truth, who bowled over the mass of humanity which allowedKingstonto jump into the ring. But, this run was short lived asKingstonreceived a World Strongest Slam, Booker T landed up saving Teddy delivering a scissors kick to Henry. The go-home show for WrestleMania had become the Johnny & Teddy show at this point, causing my interest to drop even further.

 

The final retrospective was shown, which was a recap of the Cena/Henry match and the Rock run in.

 

The Rock came out, as the fans began to chant “boots to asses”. He said that the people always asked when he would be back; he made a thousand examples, he said that he finally found out that he would be back last year at WrestleMania. History was made because of the Rock and Cena he said. He said that finally he would return on the greatest stage of them all, there was one man that the millions wanted the Rock to face and that was John Cena. He said his last WrestleMania was Cena’s first (WrestleMania XX), the Rock said that Cena became the heart beat of the WWE and one of the biggest stars in the industry, but he had never faced anyone like the Rock.

 

Cena came out and said that he doesn’t need a crystal ball to figure out what will happen at Mania, he said that he has never faced anyone like Cena, there was no heat for this. He talked about his mom and the fact that he comes out there smiling every night and that whenever anyone wants to make an impression it is Cena who is fed to the wolves. He said that you can’t deny the emotion when him and the Rock come out (trust me I can). He said that every superstar has turned their back on the WWE including the Rock, he said that he will rise above and beat the Rock. He then said that he was a WWE superstar when it wasn’t cool to be a WWE superstar, which is a statement that seemed pretty counterproductive to add into the promo. He said that he loved the business and he is going to stay with the WWE after Mania, where as the Rock will go back toHollywood, but his office doesn’t change. He swore, but it was bleeped out which seems to be a recurring theme. He said that he needs to win at WrestleMania more than anything

 

Rock said that he knows that the match is important and that the people know that the Rock doesn’t something the WWE (it was bleeped out once again). Rock said that this was the house that he helped build and that he would be the first opponent that Cena couldn’t overcome. The fact that if he wins this match he will be able to say that he has beaten Hogan, Austin and Cena drives him he said. He ended his portion of the segment by saying that he doesn’t like Cena and that he will give Cena the ass kicking of a lifetime, he knows it, Cena knows it and the people know it.

 

Cena ended the go-home show for one of the biggest WrestleMania mainevents of all time by saying it doesn’t matter what you think. He said that he will put it in terms that Rock will understand, he will see Cena as plain as day with his hand raised and the headline will read “Cena whips Rock’s ass at Mania” as the show goes off the air.

 

All in all there just didn’t seem to be much to the closing segment or the entire show for that matter. They went out there for a long time, but didn’t get anything done, it just didn’t feel real. Two men throwing immature jokes at each other, singing songs and rapping does not a money making feud make. I couldn’t help thinking after the show went of the air that this was a big missed opportunity.

 

Bits & Pieces

 

All Japan Pro Wrestling 40th Anniversary Show “Pro-Wrestling Love in Ryogoku”

Ryogoku Kokugikan Tokyo, Japan 9000 Fans

 

Overall Show Thoughts

 

This was a very good show overall with some great matches towards the end of the card, although the undercard was far from stellar the upper and midcard more than made up for it.

 

1. Kaz Hayashi, Minoru Tanaka & Akira Raijin vs. KAI, Hiroshi Yamato & Gillette

 

Yamato botched a topé suicida, and then straight after that Gillette botched a topé of his own, this was a precursor of things to come. Raijin proceeded to land a well executed topé con giro off the apron onto everyone, but for god sakes if you can’t do the move safely don’t do it at all. Kai and Yamato hit dual topés to the outside, Gillette then pinned Raijin with a Brock Lesnar esque botches shooting star press in 12:10. The match was basically a match full of botches and spot-monkeys.

* ½

 

2. Masanobu Fuchi, Taiyo Kea, Akebono & Ryota Hama vs. Osamu Nishimura, Yutaka Yoshie, KENSO & Yasufumi Nakanoue

 

KENSO botched a dive to the outside, Akebono pinned Nakanoue in 7:38 with a running body press. This was another nothing match

** ¼

 

3. SUGI vs. RONIN

 

Sugi ran on the top rope and hit a hurricanrana to the outside! Ronin hit a double standing reverse moonsault, he then hit a brutal senton to the outside. Ronin caught Sugi who was going for a dragonrana and hit a brutal powerbomb, throwing Sugi over the top rope. Sugi then hit a dragonrana in 04:50 for the win, in a fun spotfest.

** ½

 

4. AllAsiaTag Team Title Match

Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi vs. Suwama & Takumi Soya

 

Sekimoto pinned Soya with a dead lift suplex in 19:13. The match was stiff and well worked for the most part with lots of near falls and a good build.

*** ¾

 

5. AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Title Match

Kenny Omega vs. Shuji Kondo

 

Omega came out with an awesome grey streak in his hair. Omega took a big knee bump and a lariat on the apron, followed by a huge snapmare. Kondo hit a big topé con giro and a tombstone for two. Omega hit a modified electric chair into a German suplex, for two. He hit another one for two; we had a whole bunch of near falls. Omega finally pinned Kondo in 21:01 with an electric chair into a modified package piledriver. Omega then gave the next challenger a cheap shot, followed by a perfect Japanese promo.

****

 

6. Cage Match

Yuji Nagata vs. Masayuki Kono

Credit http://www.puroresuspirit.com

Nagata won via KO with a backdrop driver in 18:44. Both men were bloodied, in a very good match were Nagata really shined.

*** ¾

 

7. Satoshi Kojima vs. Seiya Sanada

 

Kojima pinned Sanada with a lariat in 14:08. The match was strongly worked, with both men being babyfaces, Kojima worked as the heel with no heat.

***

 

8. AJPW World Tag Team Title Match

Dark Cuervo & Dark Ozz vs. Takao Omori & Manabu Soya

 

Basically Omori and Soya were beaten down the entire match until Omori hit a huge lariat on Cuervo for the win in 16:40. The champions cheated the entire match with chairs; all in all the entire match was good psychologically.

*** ¾

 

9. Triple Crown Title Match

Jun Akiyama vs. Keiji Muto

 

Akiyama killed Mutoh in the 1st minute, Mutoh then delivered a dragon screw on the apron. Mutoh began to work on the leg of Akiyama up until Akiyama got the guillotine. Akiyama landed a knee to Mutoh on the apron followed by a running knee and an exploder twice. Mutoh hit a knee in the corner and dragon screw and a shining wizard to the back of the head and then to the front, but it was blocked. Akiyama went for the knee, but it was countered into a shining wizard from Mutoh, he then hit a second shining wizard for two! Mutoh went for the moonsault, but it was countered into the guillotine, it was broken but Akiyama covered Mutoh for two. Akiyama hit a Buster for two, he hit a wizard but Mutoh leaped up. Mutoh hit two shining wizards, but Akiyama caught the third and hit a knee. Akiyama hit a buster for two, the crowd was still super hot. Mutoh countered the knee from Akiyama into a hurricanrana pinning combo. Akiyama hit another knee for two, Mutoh hulked up, but Akiyama hit a Sternness Dust for the win in 18:21

**** ¼

 

Next Week’s Issue

 

The newsletter will be back early next week covering all the events of WrestleMania including suspected run-ins, DGUSA and more!

 

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