It’s Raw Afterthoughts, where we break down last night’s show in more detail than we do during a show recap. Got questions or comments? Hit me on Twitter (@Bill_SoonerFan) or the site (@RingRap) and be sure to use the #AskRingRap hashtag so we see them.
1. Bashing Musical Instruments, Yet Again…
I have to confess that I groaned when I considered the possibility of Sheamus and Christian facing off again. Adding to my frustration was the fact that this was a Memphis Street Fight, complete with guitars and drums. These two guys have worked hard, but there’s just no storyline to support their feud.
All that said these two really worked hard last night to put on an entertaining street fight. They beat and abused each other (go look on Twitter for Sheamus’ welts!) pretty thoroughly. The fans took notice and this match ended up being a pleasant surprise.
2. In Memory of Andre…
I have never been a big fan of those “get everyone on the show” matches for Wrestlemania. But if you’re going to go that route, well, why not make it mean something. Hulk Hogan opened the show and introduced the first Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale and that drew a nice reaction. I would have preferred the winner getting a title shot, but the trophy is a nice touch and it gives some distinction to the match.
3. Oh You Didn’t….Want to See This…
Road Dogg could have a future being a color guy at the announce table with some effort. The problem with him, and the Outlaws being on commentary in general, was that they weren’t going for heat. They just tried to be funny heels instead. If they were serious and trying to build a story with the Usos, I could handle this much better.
Right now, I am seeing the Outlaws going to Wrestlemania to contend for the titles, and that’s not something I want to see. Why can’t we have the Rhodes Brothers back in the title picture?
4. Short, Sweet, and to the Point…
Undertaker’s appearance last night on Raw was simple and to the point. I’m not as down on it as some might be, and surely it helped draw in some eyes to see the game-changing angle with Daniel Bryan that I discussed elsewehere. Heyman was wonderful here. He sold being scared of Undertaker and approached him respectfully, then put over how impressive the Streak really is with numbers and past legends’ names involved.
The only problem is that right now, Lesnar is in need of heat and soon. He has lost several matches on pay per view, so right now this just feels like the annual Undertaker appearance more so than a big fight that it could be.
5. The Shield is Repaired.
WWE is starting to put their focus on Seth Rollins in The Shield and I’m enjoying that. Rollins seemed to be the silent third party, less important than Reigns and Ambrose, but he has now started to stand out. He has had some great in-ring moments and last night was no exception. And they overall showed unity after their “Summit” on Smackdown this past Friday.
6. Real Split Up Ahead…But Why Big E?
I am enjoying the slow build to Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro breaking up the Real Americans team. I’m confused though as to why they have Big E involved in the middle of this. Big E has stated his intention to enter the 30-Man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale, so that seems to eliminate a possible triple threat match for the Intercontinental Championship. As good as the overall story has been, the “Big E” factor is really confusing.
7. I Was Afraid of This…
When they came out with hints that John Cena would face Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania, I got a little worried. The Wyatt Family act has been so good, but I felt like it was too soon to put Wyatt in that kind of a spot. Further, I feel like this match would be a step down for Cena, and he would treat it as such.
Well, it’s all coming to pass.
John Cena worked The Rock the last two years, so anything would be a “step down” for him. Thankfully, Bray Wyatt is that good on the mic that he singlehandedly has made this feel more important. The problem is that Wyatt was so good last night, and all John Cena could do was trade sophomoric barbs and bad Jimmy Buffett impersonations.
The Hulk Hogan/John Cena visual was cool. I don’t want to see a six-man tag though, and I don’t suspect we’ll get it. Hogan would have trouble getting cleared to work for starters. I would prefer to see Cena face Wyatt one-on-one instead.
Unless the plan is for Cena to plow through Wyatt. Then give me a tag match to protect the Family’s gimmick.
That's all for this week. We'll be discussing this and much more tomorrow night on RingRap Audio. Be sure to join us for that, and more WWE, TNA, and other wrestling coverage throughout the week here on Ring-Rap.com.