Note from JC: No Headlines today. Cody is away. Here's Mike. WrestleMania 8 review and EC PPV preview coming later today. Raw Dissect: Embrace the HateBy Mike Aires
Welcome Aireheads to what I hope is a new ongoing part of the “On the Aire” series that deep-dives into certain segments, matches, or interviews that could possibly be major angles going forward. We all know that on the day-to-day basis, Raw and SmackDown’s storylines progress with a fairly normal pace. However, every couple of months, something happens that alters a storyline enough to get us intrigued. It could be good OR bad, but it gets us talking regardless.<!--more-->That’s where this comes in.Last night really had two very interesting plot points. The first was the fantastic in-ring segment between old friends Triple H, and Shawn Michaels. We saw Triple H speak words of truth of how the whole entire WWE Empire will soon be his, all preceding by a video of Undertaker going all Britney Spears and cutting off all of his (fake) hair.But I covered that match quite a bit last week. So let’s talk about the other segment(s): The interaction between John Cena, Kane, Eve, and Zack Ryder.<!--more-->First, the brief history of how we got to where we are with them:Zack Ryder, before he became somewhat popular, was just a jobber who started an online video show to try and get noticed in the world of wrestling. As his show got more and more viewers, he became more noticeable on the WWE shows, and started to be a regular contributor on Raw and SmackDown. John Cena was one of the first wrestler/Superstars to really show support of Ryder’s show, and even was on the YouTube show a few times. They soon became on-screen buddies, teaming up on occasions and Cena even helped him get a shot at the United States Championship. Eve entered as a romantic interest for Ryder. She rejected him at first, but then she seemed to warm up to him, and started to accompany him around backstage. Kane, after a several month-long absence, was resurrected and came back donning his familiar mask. He set his sights on Cena, wanting him to “embrace the hate” and become evil just like him. To do so, Kane has set his sights on those around Cena he considers friends…namely Zack Ryder and Eve.All of this brings us to Monday Night Raw this week. The show opened with Kane speaking ever so well about getting Cena to embrace hatred, and that “someone” would be leaving in an ambulance tonight.We come to find out that Zack Ryder has shown up in his Woo-Woo-Wheelchair to give Eve some presents for Valentine’s Day and confess his love for her. Cena basically locks Ryder in his dressing room telling him to not leave and that he would bring Eve to him.Towards the end of the night, we get the cue (as in, we literally see Kane and Eve waiting to get their cue, then a producer waves at them to go) and we see Kane lock Eve into the ambulance right before Cena attacks him. Kane shrugs him off, and climbs into the ambulance to drive off with Eve locked in the back. She was able to unlock the door, and before Kane has the chance to drive off, she jumps poorly from the non-moving vehicle right into John Cena’s tree trunk arms. After a brief stare down between the two of them, Eve and John start digging for fillings in each other mouths. After they finish each other off, they turn around to see a very emotional Zack Ryder staring at them.Eve tries to talk to Ryder, but he has none of it. Then Cena tries to do the same thing in the middle of the ring. Ryder comes out, looks beyond pissed, and smacks the microphone out of Cena’s hands, followed by smacking the taste out of Cena’s mouth. Cena acted as if he was about to throw down with Ryder before pulling back and seeing Ryder head back up the ramp to get into his wheelchair. As Cena continued to talk, Kane appeared on the big-ass screen and talked about their match at the Elimination Chamber this Sunday, Cena going to the dark side, and losing friends. Kane then appeared behind Ryder and the show ended with Kane pushing Ryder off the stage onto the floor below.The acting was terrible, the lines were fairly cheesy, and we even saw Eve and Kane miss their cues completely. Yet in all that, there has been another level added to both the Kane/Cena feud, and Cena in general. This segment could take these four participants in several different directions.The person to change the least is Kane, obviously. He’s just doing what he does best…which is be a horror-movie monster and try to destroy people. But it seems logical that after the Elimination Chamber PPV, Kane will move on to a new feud. He’s been tied up with Cena since he returned and hasn’t really paid any attention to anyone else, minus Zack Ryder. Does that mean Kane might move on to feud with Ryder? Doubt it, although having a feud with a vet as well-respected and fairly sound in the ring like Kane could do nothing but help Zack Ryder.What about Eve? Well, without sounding completely sexist or asshole-ish…who cares? The “part” of the girl between Kane, Cena, and Ryder could have been just about anyone. I do not see her character changing all that much, nor do I think too many would care. So the fact that she’s caught in the middle with Zack Ryder should not matter too much in the grand scheme of things. Unless she just starts making out with Cena again, or trying to get with Kane. Then she’s just an on-screen (insert “off-screen as well” joke here) whore.Speaking of Ryder, he probably has the most to gain OR lose with this entire situation. I think it’s fairly obvious and safe to assume that he is going to undergo some changes. With his confrontation with Cena, Ryder seemingly threw their friendship into a dumpster (currently occupied by Chainsaw Charlie and Cactus Jack). Zack has numerous ways he can go from here. It may all depend on the audience’s reaction. Zack can be seen as a helpless face, and that Cena is the bad guy. Then again, some might basically see Ryder as a sap and fairly annoying. On the other hand, Ryder could become angry enough at Cena and Eve to become a heel. He could become a bad guy JUST against Cena, since Cena was who he blames for getting his ass beat every week. He could become a full blown baddie too, wanting to show that he isn’t a pushover. Hell, Ryder could even side with Kane. Anyway you look at it; I can see Ryder becoming a bit of a thorn in Cena’s side. He might even cost him his Ambulance Match with Kane, or even his match with Rock at WrestleMania.Last but not least, where does this leave Cena? Do we even bring up the fact that he has a wife? I guess we don’t talk about that to the WWE Universe. So Cena makes out with Eve and has his feudal partner, Kane, beat the holy hell out of Ryder each and every week. What then happens with Cena? His feud with Kane will end after Elimination Chamber. That much is a given. He’ll focus on Dwayne. But how his confrontation with Ryder progresses could either just not matter, or could almost give him a mini-feud between him constantly yapping back and forth with the People’s Champ. Just depends on how “evil”, if at all, Zack Ryder becomes from these beat downs. It would be a huge wasted opportunity if they don’t have Ryder try to go after Cena though. He can directly blame him for all of his suffering. Within all of this, Cena and Rock will put on one hell of a match at WrestleMania. I’m calling it here. It will be one of Cena’s best matches of his career. I think the crowd will be extremely into the match, and I see both men going all out in order to try and out-do the other. Should be fun.Before I sign off for today, with Elimination Chamber hitting this weekend, I figured I would give my picks for the night.Beth Phoenix (c) vs. Tamina Snuka – So they are using Tamina’s heritage finally? Only took a few years. It’s obvious at this point that there are only two women that are legit threats to Beth’s title. One of them might show up during this match to set up a feud. I’m leaning more towards Kharma than Nattie. We’ll see.Winner – Beth PhoenixKane vs. Cena in an Ambulance Match – As discussed before, this will be the send-off (pun intended) to the feud. Does Cena embrace the hate and take out his frustration on Kane, or does Kane continue his dominant ways over Cena? Cena beats the hell out of Kane, with appearances from Zack Ryder and/or Eve.Winner – John CenaSmackDown Elimination Chamber Match: Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Big Show vs. Santino Marella vs. Wade Barrett vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Great Khali – Really? Yikes. We can throw out Santino and Khali for them being stupid, and we can throw out Show since he has another feud coming up. That leaves Bryan, Barrett, and Rhodes. Don’t know if they would trust Rhodes to hold both SD titles. Bryan losing still gets him a rematch at WM. So I go with who is left, and it would be fantastic.Winner – Wade BarrettRaw Elimination Chamber Match: CM Punk (c) vs. Miz vs. Truth vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler – Miz, Truth, and Kofi are not winning. Ziggler is a wild card but he has already had his chance. That leaves Punk and Jericho. More than likely, no matter who wins, they will fight again at WrestleMania. That being said, it’s not time…just yet…for the TRUE Best In The World to stand up.Winner – CM PunkSo what do you guys feel about that Raw segment with Cena, Eve, Kane, and Zack Ryder? Have your own ideas? Let us know in the comments section below. You can also give us your predictions and ideas about the Elimination Chamber PPV this Sunday in the same spot, or hit me up on twitter.@OSUmike03
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