So remember way back, roughly 24 hours ago, when I said that a lackluster Fastlane pay-per-view left WWE with a lot of work to do to get us properly prepared for what is supposed to be one of the biggest shows in the company’s history?
Over the last week we hear a lot of hype about the Vincent J McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award and the hype continued with the start of Raw. After a few minutes talking about the history of the McMahon family in the promotion business, Vince announces the first recipient of the award … Stephanie McMahon.
…OK…so obviously something is going to happen here…but what? Does John Cena come down and make his return to spoil the celebration? Does Roman Reigns come down in a way to continue the WrestleMania main event story? You could have gven me 25 guesses as to what would happen, and I would not have guessed what I heard next …
HERE COMES THE MONAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!
For the first time in God knows how long, a rumored Raw “surprise” lived up to the hype…and then some! The Prodigal Son, Shane McMahon has returned! After several minutes of much deserved uninterrupted applause, Shane-O-Mac cut a refreshingly real promo on Stephanie and Vince. How refreshing was it for WWE to address the fact that things have gone downhill in a hurry as of late? See internet community, they KNOW there is a problem, and this was a HUGE first step to fixing it!
The reason behind Shane making his return was that he wants control of Raw. In an unexpected twist, Vince gave Shane that opportunity in a match…at WrestleMania…against The Undertaker…in Hell in a Cell.
…OK…initial thought is…really? And I’m sure that was the reaction for a lot of fans. It was certainly the reaction of the fans in the arena last night. But take a step back for a second. Stop thinking that an Undertaker match HAS to be a 5 star wrestling clinic. Taker vs Brock at WrestleMania was arguably one of the worst matches that Taker had during the streak – but it provided one of the most memorable moments in history. This will be a match that will provide moments. The “control of Raw” stipulation obviously adds intrigue.
It is still a little confusing though. If The Undertaker wins, then Stephanie keeps control of Raw…so is The Undertaker a heel? If Shane wins then he gets control of Raw, but did so by beating one of the biggest fan favorite characters ever at WrestleMania…so is Shane a heel? The next few weeks should be very interesting to see how this match is set up. Do yourself a favor – just sit back and enjoy! Don’t try to predict single aspect of the angle. It will be a lot more fun for you!
While that was an extremely high note, we also got a pretty low note – the continued demise of The Wyatt Family. Simply put, it’s starting to piss me off! This group that is obviously over with the fans, led by a man that is the best WWE has on the mic and one of the best in the ring, are used on the Raw after Fastlane just to further a Ryback/Kane/Big Show story? FAIL! This is such a waste of talent!
We have heard for months that it would be Bray vs Brock which would have been amazing! Not taking anything away from the Brock/Ambrose match, but Bray deserves more than he has been given. What’s left for him to do at WrestleMania? Hopefully something will happen in the next couple weeks to put The Wyatt’s on the pedestal that they belong on, but let’s not hold our breath!
Speaking of, Brock and Ambrose got their WrestleMania story off to a great start! Nothing but physicality and Paul Heyman on the mic, a beautiful mix. The fact that they aren’t waiting and already made the match official only helps the build-up. More time for what we know will happen.
Along with wondering what would happen with Bray Wyatt now that his WrestleMania match has been changed, the same could be said about Chris Jericho – what is next for him? It seemed like Jericho/Ambrose was the most set in stone match this year. WELP! We got more Y2J AJ Styles interaction on Raw, which is never a bad thing. Side note, props to Adam Rose for the Y2AJ label, pretty clever!
The night ended with our first real taste of the intensity that the main event of this year’s WrestleMania could have. Triple H came down to interrupt the Roman Reigns/Sheamus . This wasn’t the suit wearing COO of WWE though. This was jeans and a t-shirt, this was taped fists, this was The Game!
The two have an uphill battle ahead of them to get the fan interest that the main event of WrestleMania deserves, and they took a big step towards it last night. When was the last time you saw that much blood on a PG WWE show? Yes it later came out that it was from a blood capsule…but so what? It’s still the image that WWE wanted to give. It also leaves you asking the question that WWE always wants you asking after Raw…what’s next?
Last night’s Raw gave us a huge moment, a couple top WrestleMania matches and still left several questions for what could be next. The homestretch of The Road to WrestleMania is off to a perfect start!
SO WHAT DID YOU THINK? WAS THE RETURN OF SHANE MCMAHON ENOUGH TO RAISE YOUR EXCITEMENT LEVEL FOR WRESTLEMANIA? ARE YOU BUYING HIM VS THE UNDERTAKER? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE REIGNS/HHH BRAWL TO END THE SHOW? FOLLOW US ON @FROM_THETOPROPE AND LET US KNOW!