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Thursday, May 26th

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WWE SmackDown Storyboard 6th April 2012: A new Challenger rises

The first SmackDown post WrestleMania started off with an emphatic show of power from John Lauranitis, who welcomed the SmackDown audience into his new regime and asked former General Manager Theodore Long to step in the ring and ‘welcome the transition'. Long did show up, but refused to accept Lauranitis as his superior and expressed his gratitude to the fans for appreciating his eight-year tenure. But as soon as Long was starting to leave, David Otunga (who had accompanied Lauranitis to the ring) made a startling revelation. Otunga revealed that the WWE board of directors had given the control of the educational fund for Long's grandkids to ‘whoever is the general Manager of SmackDown'. Lauranitis used this blackmail to force Long to concede in front of the crowd that Lauranitis was better than him, and then sent him to the locker room area to wait until Lauranitis could ‘figure out' Long's new job.

Lauranitis wielded his power against his supposed ‘haters' in the first match of the night, when he forced R-Truth (who was a part of Theodore Long's team at WrestleMania) to compete in a handicap match against David Otunga and Mark Henry. Otunga started off the match for his team, and went back and forth with his opponent until R-truth ducked under a clothesline and hit a dancing calf kick for a near-fall. Otunga reversed an Irish whip, but got hit by the Lie Detector for a near-fall. Otunga managed to tag Mark Henry. Truth punched away at Henry, but the World's Strongest Man caught him mid-way through an attempted calf-kick and hit the World's Strongest Slam for the victory.

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WWE Raw Recap 2nd April 2012: Here Comes the Pain, Again!

The first Raw post WrestleMania started off with a backstage shot involving John Lauranitis and David Otunga, who wanted to speak to members of both the rosters in the locker room after Lauranitis won full control of Raw and SmackDown as his team won at WrestleMania. Lauranitis announced that Santino Marella would be defending the United States Championship against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger in a triple threat match. Before the GM could speak any further, the WWE Champion CM Punk entered the scene and made it clear that Lauranitis's rise in power did not make a difference to him or the fans, who still loathed him to the fullest. A frustrated Lauranitis made 'good use of power' by setting up Punk vs. Mark Henry for the WWE Championship.

Back to the ring, The Rock came out in front of his home crowd in Miami amidst loud cheers and a standing ovation. The Rock soaked in the fans' enthusiasm, and commemorated the 14-month buildup to the WrestleMania main event as the fans kept chanting "Boots to A**es". He thanked Cena for bringing him back in front of his fans as the People's Champion, and added the fact that it did not matter who won, as they had electrified the arena like no one else could. The Rock then drove the fans wild when he said that after winning the main event at WrestleMania, The Rock had a vision that he would be walking up the aisle once again, as the WWE Champion!! The Rock promised to make this vision true as he left the ring, overwhelming the fans with the promise of yet another return.

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WWE WrestleMania XXVIII review: Streak retained, The Rock triumphs

The greatest Wrestling extravaganza of the year lived up to all its expectations, as did every superstar who took part in the exciting matches in it. Even though everyone was a winner, here are the results of the matches at WrestleMania:

1. The Rock def. John Cena:

Two icons from different generations collided in this match of epic proportions, and both lived up to their reputation by giving the audience a match to remember for a long time. Initially the two went back and forth with chain wrestling moves, especially head locks and arm-drags. Cena rolled out of the ring after getting hit by a big right hand, but came back and mounted quite an offense with a couple of big shoulder blocks in a corner. Cena threw Rock outside the ring, then slammed him rib-first into the ringside barrier and the announce table. The action went back to the ring as Cena connected with the five-knuckle shuffle but failed to hit the Attitude Adjustment. Cena connected with the AA after a little more dueling, but The Rock kicked out at 2. Shortly afterwards, The Rock hit the Rock Bottom out of nowhere, but it was good enough only for a near-fall.

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WWE SmackDown Storyboard: 30/3/2012: The final stop before WrestleMania

The last show before WrestleMania started off with Zack Ryder from Theodore Long's team squaring off against Drew McIntyre, who was announced as Christian's replacement for John Lauranitis's WrestleMania team. McIntyre won the initial test of strength and had Ryder down with headbutts and hammer locks, but Ryder fought back with a flapjack and a dropkick. Ryder charged into his opponent but ran into a knee lift, and then got caught in a modified cross-face submission hold. Ryder fought out and hit the Broski Boot for a near-fall, and got knocked out by a big boot himself. McIntyre tried to end things with a powerbomb, but Ryder floated over his shoulders and hit the Rough Ryder for the win.

A video segment followed with Michael Cole and Jerry 'The King' Lawler at the WrestleMania Axxess event, where they showed some classic footage highlighting the careers of Triple H and the Undertaker, culminating in a promo of their match at WrestleMania. Following this was a promotional video of the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania, the highlight being Chris Jericho's matches in Japan and Mexico as he was preparing for his return to the WWE. They also showed a lot of The Rock's vintage wrestling memorabilia as they plugged in the Rock vs. Cena match at WrestleMania. The package ended with the newest entrant in the WWE Hall of Fame, Edge, signing autographs for the fans. Also, Big Show came out to the ring, recalling his illustrious career, including the fact that he won the World Heavyweight Championship in his wrestling debut, but regretted not having a memorable WrestleMania moment. Show promised to 'chokeslam the hell out of' Cody Rhodes and claim the Intercontinental Championship, making it his WrestleMania moment.

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WWE Raw Recap: March 26, 2012: WrestleMania is Raw

The final Raw before WrestleMania started off on a huge note, as Sheamus teamed up with former arch-rival Randy Orton to take on the team of Kane and the World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. Bryan got the upper hand to Sheamus with a series of knee strikes to the gut and a flying knee to the face. Bryan missed while going for a second flying attack, giving Sheamus the opportunity to tag Orton in. Orton ran over Bryan with clotheslines and a powerslam, and then hit the middle rope DDT. Orton was getting ready for the RKO, but Kane distracted him, allowing Bryan to dropkick him through the ropes, gaining back some momentum. Kane tagged himself in and hit Orton with a sidewalk slam followed by a flying lariat. Sheamus and Bryan got tagged in, and Sheamus exploded on Bryan with hammer blows and shots to the mid-section. Orton and Sheamus clotheslined Kane over the top rope, but when Orton tried to RKO Kane on the outside, Kane shoved him into a ringpost. Meanwhile in the ring, Sheamus tried to hit the Brogue Kick on Bryan, but AJ got in the way, distracting Sheamus long enough for Kane to come from behind and nail the chokeslam on the Celtic Warrior, allowing Bryan to get the pin-fall.

John Lauranitis and Theodore Long were at ringside as the captains of their WrestleMania teams faced each other in a singles match. Before the match, Vickie Guerrero and Hornswoggle were announced as the flag-bearers for team Johnny and team Teddy, respectively. Otunga took control early in the match with some good mat-based wrestling moves, and then decided to pose around with his team's flag. Hornswoggle decided to do some posing of his own and Otunga tried to snatch the flag from him, hitting himself with the flag in the process. This allowed Santino to recover and hit the Cobra for the three-count. After the match, the Miz ran into the ring, dropping Santino with the Skull-Crushing Finale and was welcomed into team Johnny by Lauranitis.

Eve Torres was back in action as she was accompanied to the ring by Divas Champion Beth Phoenix as she faced off against Kelly Kelly, who will team up with celebrity Maria Menuonos to take on the team of Torres and Phoenix at WrestleMania. Eve dominated in the early goings of the match, but Kelly fought back with a tornado DDT, and followed it up with the K2 for the victory.

WWE Champion CM Punk was scheduled to face Christian in singles contest, but as the champion was making his way to the ring, Chris Jericho appeared on the Titantron, this time with some disturbing information about Punk's mother. This distracted the champion, allowing Christian to attack him from behind, but Punk recovered with multiple elbows to the head and threw Christian on the steel steps. Punk then locked in the Anaconda Vise, refusing to let go and screaming "This is you, Jericho". Trainers and medical staff had to check in on Christian, and the match could not happen at all.

Two very short matches happened afterwards. In the first, Brodus Clay faced Kurt Hawkins in a rematch from last week. Hawkins showed some improvement when he succeeded in knocking Clay off his feet, but Clay got back on top with a quick headbutt and a high knee lift. Clay capitalized with a T-Bone suplex, and then nailed the Funk it splash for the victory.

In the other match, Big Show knocked out one half of the tag team champion, Primo, in less than a minute with a huge chokeslam. After the match, the Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes taunted the giant some more, suggesting that "Big Show" be turned into a verb synonymous with failure. The World's Largest Athlete turned red at this, and since Rhodes ran out of the arena, Primo had to bear a savage beatdown from the Big Show.

The two giants from team Teddy and team Johnny faced off as The Great Khali went toe-to-toe with Mark Henry. The Punjabi giant tried to gain control of Henry with his axe chops and elbows on the corner, but Henry fought back, and in a feat of strength nailed The World's Strongest Slam on Khali, getting the victory. After the match, both teams faced off in the ring, and team Teddy looked to be losing the brawl that ensued, until Booker T joined in on behalf of team Teddy. Booker was announced as the final member of Long's team, and he celebrated with a spin-a-roonie.

Throughout the show, the Titantron kept showing video packages of the buildup leading to two of the greates WrestleMania matches ever: The Rock vs John Cena and The Undertaker vs Triple H. The careers of all four of these men were shown, with their finest WrestleMania moments. While Undertaker and Triple H were busy preparing for the big night, The Rock and Cena decided to have one final confrontation in the ring before their match.

The Rock entered the ring first, recalling how he thought that his match at WrestleMania XX was supposed to be his last appearance at WrestleMania, but how everyone around him kept asking him when he would get back in the ring. Pausing for the occasional "Boots to A**es" chants, The Rock acknowledged that Cena had become the biggest superstar in the industry, but also guaranteed to add him in the list of the legends like Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Stgeve Austin, whom he had beaten at the Showcase of Immortals.

This brought Cena down to the ring, amidst boos and jeers from the crowd that seemed to be going nuts over The Rock. Cena reminded the People's Champ that he was not the first one to talk trash at his face, and he had always 'risen above' and defied all comers. Cena then prided himself on sticking with the business when 'it was not very cool to be a WWE star' and admonished The Rock for leaving the industry for making movies. Both men agreed on one thing, however: to give the fans the greatest wrestling match of the decade, and the trash talking went on as Raw went off the air.

With all the mind games being played, will the scenario in the WWE remain the same post WrestleMania? We will find out next week on Raw.

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