Thoughts From Raw:
- I’m happy to see that after months of speculation, the CM Punk/Undertaker match at Wrestlemania is finally in stone. I’m interested to see how they build this up over the next month, specifically in terms of Punk’s promos. Over the last three years, each of ‘Taker’s Wrestlemania matches has been built off the previous one. The story kept rolling and rolling until it finally ended with the Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Triple H leaving the arena together last year. This year we have to start fresh. But f anybody can make an interesting opponent for ‘Taker, Punk can. I’m curious to see how involved Paul Heyman will be here, if at all.
- On a related note, can we get rid of Undertaker’s spikey robe? It worked well as a Wrestlemania outfit, but I’m not digging it for every show. I also found it amusing that the graphics team had to Photoshop ‘Taker’s hair off the fatal four-way match graphic. I think now that his long hair is gone, the days of him wearing the classic wide-brimmed hat are officially over.
- The promo with John Cena and the Rock was surprisingly meaty. It wasn’t the same jokey trash talk we saw last year. The redemption angle is something different, which is good. But I’m wondering how they’re going to keep that interesting. They can’t just keep talking about Cena losing last year. Though it is nice to hear a Cena promo that doesn’t sound like a press release, or God forbid, a rant about Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj.
- Triple H’s promo on Brock Lesnar was also really good. One of his best in recent memory, in fact. The close up on his face at the end was perfect. Like Rock and Cena, Hunter and Brock have to find something to talk about until we get to Wrestlemania. Thankfully for them, they can bring Vince, Stephanie and Heyman in to expand the story.
Incidentally, last week I tweeted the following: Now that @TripleH and @StephMcMahon are on Twitter, there’s only one person missing…Vince himself. #nevergonnahappen.” Now, @VinceMcMahon is on Twitter. At least that’s supposedly him. That’s right folks, I totally did that. Like, totally. Not that it matters. I’m convinced Vince McMahon will never tweet on a regular basis. He’s just not that kind of guy. But I’d love to be proven wrong.
- They should do Old School Raw every year, preferably in either late spring or the middle of fall when we’re between the bigger pay per views. Granted, we’ll have to try and bring in bigger names than most of the guys we saw on this episode. But it’s a fun gimmick show.
- The New Age Outlaws looked great out there. I only wish the damn kids n the audience knew who they were. Their music hit, and the crowd hardly gave them anything. I guess they’ve got to be in the right town. Also, somebody apparently forgot to tell the sound guy that their music stays on when Road Dogg is talking during their entrance. Do your homework, folks!
- So it looks like we’re going to get the Shield against Sheamus, Randy Orton and the Big Show at Wrestlemania, and the big question will be how Show will co-exist with the babyfaces. I guess we can officially write off the Sheamus/Wade Barrett thing as something that was done to promote Dead Man Down. It kind of sucks to have three stars of their magnitude shoved into a six-man, but we’ve got to have the Shield on the show in some form, right? By the way, whenever they air one of those handheld camera promos, the Shield ends it by putting the cam down and walking away. All I can think about after those promos is how somebody has to pick that cam up after they’re done. From an in-story perspective, who does it? Do they walk back over and pick it up? Is it some stagehand guy? It must be weird…
- Yeesh, Kofi Kingston dodged a bullet this week. He almost had to job to Fandango! Johnny Curtis really needs to surprise people with his portrayal of this character. We’ve got a lot of good midcard heels these days (Cody Rhodes, Antonio Cesaro, Damien Sandow, Wade Barrett). He needs to make the character stand out or he’s going to be left out in the cold. Still, at least the character gives Johnny a chance to be flamboyant, which he’s good at.
Is this stuff with Team Hell No and the Prime Time Players leading up to something at Wrestlemania? If so, that’s fantastic! It’s more likely though, that we’ll get some kind of four-way tag match, possibly featuring those two teams, Team Rhodes Scholars and Tensai & Brodus Clay. It seems like if they were going to pull the trigger on a Kane/Daniel Bryan match, they’d have done it by now. It likely would have been forgotten among all the big matches anyway. No offense, guys.
- So we’re calling Tensai “Sweet T” now, huh? You know what? I’ll take it. It’s better than what he was doing before.
- It looks like Ryback and Mark Henry might be working together at the big dance. If we’re not going to do Ryback and the Big Show, then putting him with Mark Henry is a good move. It puts a nice spotlight on both men in a “battle of the monsters” kind of way.
- So between the three matches that have been announced, along with the Triple H/Brock Lesnar match, the six man tag, and what might will likely be Ryback/Mark Henry, Wrestlemania is starting to really take shape. Considering the card usually has between eight and 10 matches (not counting the pre-show), the show is more than half full already. And we’ve still got to find room for other marquee stars like Team Hell No, the Miz and Dolph Ziggler…
All images from WWE.com.
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