Table of ContentsMonday Morning Thoughts
What I Am Looking Forward To
Live Raw Blog
Post Raw Thoughts
Monday Morning Thoughts
No CM Punk? Well, what now?
As great as last week’s Raw was (I have yet to watch Smackdown), there wasn’t much of a cliffhanger ending to anticipate Raw this week. The build up to last week was whether or not CM Punk would show up. Once that was answered, there’s little left to be intrigued about.
This isn’t to say Raw will be bad. Not at all, as Raw has been routinely solid for the most part over the last few months. The minor problem I’m having is that there aren’t any questions left unanswered, or beats to the story that are unresolved.
Taking a quick look at the top rivalries, everything is straight forward. Cena and Wyatt are on their collision course, Brock and Undertaker will have their usual face-offs for the appearances they are booked for, and Orton and Botoxta will continue to be underwhelming. I guess some twists and turns could be expected, but there’s nothing directly in line.
I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say WrestleMania currently hangs on the placement of Daniel Bryan. I am satisfied with the other matches in their own way, but they’ll be a major letdown if the match Daniel Bryan is booked in is not exciting. He’s easily the most compelling wrestler in the world today, so finding out what he will be doing next month is at the top of my list to sell me the show (I’m on the network, so I’m already sold, but you know what I mean).
Obviously the most likely answer will be the match with HHH, but there’s at least still some fun along the way on how they will get there.
Perhaps Hogan’s announcement that has been announced for tonight will pertain to Daniel Bryan’s match at WrestleMania?
WrestleMania XXX Prediction
This week on LOPforums, I predicted what I think will take place in New Orleans. I’m fairly confident with my prognostication, so I’m willing to lay it out here for you to read.
Many people have compared this year’s Mania plans to 20 years ago at WrestleMania X, or even a decade ago at WrestleMania XX. I don’t think these guesses are too far off, but completely on point either.
When thinking of 1994, many think of the announced mini-tournament, with Bret taking on Owen in the opening match, before moving on to face the winner of Lex vs Yokozuna in the main event.
Let’s start there.
We will get Daniel Bryan vs HHH booked for the event sometime soon. There will not be any sort of stipulation concerning being added to the main event. This is just a singles match.
That match will go on sometime between the middle and the Undertaker vs Brock match, with the Title Match going on last.
Most likely due to interference from Stephanie and/or Kane, Daniel Bryan will lose. He will lose to HHH. I said it again to make sure you understand.
The audience will be deflated going into the next match, which would be something like a Divas bout (a piss break). The “Yes” and “Daniel Bryan” chants will most likely not take place because of how deflated everyone will be from him losing.
Then, Undertaker vs Brock will take place to get everyone back into it.
This would move to Orton vs Batista. Expect the intros to be long and drawn out. We want the impression that HHH is put the entire budget into the entrances for his 2 buddies. One reply to my prediction suggested a chariot being carried by slaves/servants bring out Batista. Really go all out with how elaborate WWE presents their 2 handpicked stars.
Hogan’s music hits.
Hulk Hogan announces that as host (much like The Rock at Mania 27) he’s making an amendment to the main event, and he’s adding Daniel Bryan to the match.
We end with a stadium of 80,000 people chanting “YES” to celebrate the new champion.
Why does it go this way? With Bryan losing to HHH, it’ll kill some of the anticipation for him to be added to the later WWE World Title match. This is key. Having Hogan surprise not only the match contestants, but the Authority and the audience as well will make the match even bigger.
This also opens the door to more HHH chasing Bryan to remove the title. As much as I think Bryan needs to beat HHH, if he loses but wins the title, it makes a huge SummerSlam quality main event of HHH challenging for the title down the road.
I really like it. What do you think?
Get your inner 10-year-old ready, because not one, but two legends of the squared circle are returning to WWE’s flagship show this Monday. The impending arrivals of both The Undertaker and Hulk Hogan are sure to carry major implications for WrestleMania 30, especially since both Superstars will be on hand to address their respective tasks at The Show of Shows – Undertaker’s match against Brock Lesnar, and Hogan’s duties as host.
Speaking of WrestleMania, Daniel Bryan’s bid for a “Game”-changing match on The Grandest Stage of Them All faces more resistance than ever before; can the “YES!” man overcome his latest humiliation at The Authority’s hands? Here’s WWE.com’s Five-Point Preview for Raw.
Dead man's tale
Brock Lesnar is champing at the bit to face The Undertaker at WrestleMania, but as Paul Heyman outlined last week, the mad scientist has his own reasons for tempting The Streak a second time. According to Heyman, it was The Phenom’s defeat of CM Punk at last year’s Show of Shows that drove The Straight Edge Superstar to abandon Heyman altogether in late 2013. The Deadman has been confirmed to appear on Raw, likely with a response for both The Anomaly and his handler. What will he have to say?
A crack in The Shield
Things are … well, they’re not looking great for The Shield these days. WWE’s formerly inseparable trio are on shakier ground than ever before, thanks to Seth Rollins’ abandonment of the group in the middle of their second match with The Wyatt Family last week. The stunt that cost Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns the match was done, according to Rollins, in order to make a point. However, can “the architect” of The Shield be taken at his word? Or has the glue finally come undone?
The New Age Outlaws’ improbable run back to the WWE Tag Team Titles came to a crashing halt courtesy of The Usos, who finally fulfilled their destiny and captured their very first tandem title. Road Dogg & Billy Gunn are playing their chips very carefully when it comes to cashing in on their rematch clause, though. WWE Main Event and SmackDown came and went without The Outlaws throwing down for the WWE Tag Team Championship once again; might they roll the dice on Raw?
Breaking news, brother
The host with the most is coming back Monday night, and he has big news in store for the WWE Universe. Hulk Hogan, fresh off his big homecoming two weeks ago, is headed back to Raw for a follow-up, and word is he’s packing a huge announcement for WrestleMania 30. What does The Immortal One have up his sleeve, or lack thereof? (It is Hogan, after all; the man never met a tanktop he didn’t like.)
Live that fantasy
WWE COO Triple H claimed he was sick of dealing with Daniel Bryan’s “fantasy” after the “YES!” man reiterated his WrestleMania challenge to The King of Kings. True to form, Daniel Bryan then kicked The Game square in the head. Needless to say, Bryan is adamant as ever about facing Triple H at The Show of Shows; The Authority and Batista’s joint beatdown of the fan favorite left him lower than ever at the conclusion of last Monday’s Raw. Bryan has always overcome the odds, though he’s racking up enemies faster than ever now. Can he defy those odds and get The Game to play ball?
What I Am Looking Forward To
Wrestling - With very little carrying over from last week’s Raw, I can’t really think of anything to add here. Not yet anyways.
Live Raw Discussion
Intro - Hogan’s Announcement/John Cena
I’ll always be a sucker for Battle Royals, but I hope they add a reason that these men will be fighting for the Andre the Giant Memorial Trophy.
Can’t go wrong with a Cena and Hogan segment together. It just feels right.
Cena wants in the Battle Royal? That feels empty.
Ah, here’s Bray Wyatt to veer Cena’s attention to something more tangible and intriguing. Well done, especially with the commercial cutting before we see the confrontation.
John Cena vs Erick Rowan
I have to say I enjoy when top stars are in the opening segment and match of Raw. The era of cards building up from curtain jerkers to main eventers as the show goes along is over.
Cena with a roll up win? Tolerable way to keep things going. I don’t think the surprise victory means nearly as much as it used to, when it left the door open for rematches with the idea that one man was not exactly better than the other, but it’s nice to see a change up from the usual Cena dominant victory via Attitude Adjustment or STF.
The Authority Segment
Nothing new here. Shame, as there’s so much potential to move this angle forward with new twists and turns, but all we got was the standard, yet effective, Stephanie smug promo saying basically the same thing as always.
The Usos Tag Match
I hope they aren’t taking on Rybaxel; that’s a full fledged feud I want to see.
Standard tag match, with standard commentary from Roaddogg. What was Billy even going out there?
The Shield/Kane segment
I like the idea of The Shield staying together, as faces. I REALLY like it.
Jack Swagger vs Big E.
More hype for the Battle Royal. I hope they give a meaning to the prize, because as awesome as an Andre the Giant memorial trophy is, it’s antiquated in today’s wrestling world.
As for the match, I really enjoy watching Swagger wrestle. He’s one of those talents that seems perfect for main eventing with a manager doing his talking, but I know that’s just not enough in 2014. I also wish he’d wrestle more to his strengths, using his size advantage more often. I don’t like the Swagger Bomb that much either, it doesn’t fit the rest of his repertoire.
Where is the tension between Swagger and Cesaro leading? Another tag team break up? C’mon!
I’m trying to remember how often the Undertaker mystique has worked on me. I don’t think it’s happened too often. After 22 years of Undertaker, I don’t know what else he could do to really keep me captivated anymore. I’ll enjoy his matches, as he’s always dependable with at least average talent, and thankfully only seems to be booked with the best in the last decade.
Heyman can talk homosexuals into watching a Stacy Valentine movie.
Rhodes Bros. vs Rollins/Reigns
The matches announced for Main Event makes me wonder if they are starting to put some extra attention into that program again, and for how long until they get tired and let it become another Superstars.
I also wonder who will be the fan favorites in this match, as the Shield is starting to get some strong positive reactions, while the brotherhood haven’t had a lot going for them in a while.
Or maybe neither will get much of a reaction… strange.
Great finishing sequence to another strong match. The Shield bring awesomeness to the ring as a unit. I don’t see any reason to split them up just yet when there’s a shit load of potential with a face stable like The Shield.
I love AJ’s bum.
I hate Natalya’s commentary.
Not that I’m the biggest Chris O’Donnell fan, but how does a true actor feel about someone like LL Cool J being a co-star? I thought LL did fine in Oz as a bit player for a couple of episodes, but as one of the main stars?
Then again, LL is about a million times better than Iced T on Law and Order. That guy is awful.
Daniel Bryan promo
He’s no CM Punk, but **** Daniel Bryan is comfortable on the microphone. He was definitely rocky at first upon NXT, but he’s more than used to the millions of viewers every week.
This has been so entertaining that I haven’t been able to post. This is awesome.
And finally it is official.
Now that is a twist. There goes my prediction. I hope they work this out well, but I wonder if it’s Bryan overkill.
Sheamus vs Christian - Street Fight
I do enjoy TV matches like this getting strong promotion throughout the show. With the stipulation vote, and the recap of the backstage beatdown last week, these are the matches that should last through a commercial break.
It might not be the best or strongest feud, but using the TV time to advertise it, you can make up for the storytelling that is somewhat absent by creating an anticipation that latches on to the little heat between these 2.
As for where it goes at WrestleMania for these 2? I’m guessing they’ll be included in the battle royal. Meh.
Awesome match, and amazing ending. Well done guys. I think that feud is over.
Big Show/Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton/Botoxta
Looking at the heel team here, I think there’s major potential for a rejuvenation of main event tag teams in the tag division. Orton and Batista vs the Usos at Payback or some other spring/summer PPV? I like the potential there.
Great match, as tag action tends to be these days on Raw.
Solid show, with an amazing segment that will easily be included in highlights for years to come.
As for how it developed the HHH vs Bryan storyline, I like it. I still hope that Bryan loses, but not because HHH needs the win, but to delay that moment. WrestleMania needs Bryan to achieve something major, I’ll agree there. But I feel having him beat HHH and win the title in the same night would be overkill that leaves a lot less storyline to work with going forward. You need to remember how much WWE uses Extreme Rules to completely change the landscape going forward. It’s not a major PPV, but WWE definitely pulls out all the stops. It’s quite possible they have something up their sleeve like a CM Punk return to take on Daniel Bryan, but I think that’s unlikely. Using the current roster, there’s a lot more potential for a Daniel Bryan as WWE Champion angle if HHH still has something over him, like a win at WrestleMania. It could lead to HHH challenging for the championship, or finding new “friends” to go after the title if/when Batista and Orton fail.
But, I’m not against Bryan winning both matches. It would definitely be his night and moment. I just think you put a shorter expiry date on his reign if he accomplishes too much too soon.
Cena vs Wyatts has potential. I like Cena moving into these sorts of angles. He’s a talented wrestler who has done a lot in the main event. Dropping him down to an upper midcard position hurts him not at all. He can easily be a challenger to the title whenever he’s needed, win lose or draw. Let him work with Bray and create a heel. There’s a shortage of fresh ones, and they’ll be needed once Batista, Orton, and HHH are out of the title picture.
The Shield should stay face. My only issue is what to do with them as faces. There isn’t really a current angle available for them. Maybe vs The Real Americans if Swagger and Cesaro stick together, but it’s not likely, sadly. Maybe NXT Tag champions The Ascension can be called up soon, and do battle with The Shield before moving into the tag title hunt. Or, we can see more teams of top stars put together to extend the face run. I’ll take HHH/Orton/Batista vs The Shield. As awesome as many of these ideas may be, they are either highly improbable, or short term solutions to long term problems. I’m not getting my hopes up on a face run for these guys.
Sheamus vs Christian was a solid TV feud, and had legs to work into WrestleMania, but I doubt that’ll be happening now. I don’t know where either man goes, so I guess that means they’ll be contending for the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy. Meh.
On LOPforums, I heard a few people complain that this Battle Royal could cheapen the importance of the Royal Rumble. I can’t agree. I remember when Davey Boy Smith returned to WWF in 1991, he was put over huge in the UK at the Royal Albert Hall, which was used to promote him as a top contender to win the 1992 Royal Rumble. In fact, I think when he was a runner up for the 1995 Royal Rumble, the announcers references the Royal Albert Hall win again. The battle royals throughout the year can’t compare to the Royal Rumble, but winning them can potentially be used to give momentum to stars that would otherwise not be viable as winners. Not that I expect WWE Announcers to ever do that sort of homework, but it’s possible. If Ryback wins this Battle Royal, by the Rumble in 2015, it wouldn’t be that difficult for Cole to tell the other men at the booth and those at home that Ryback won the huge Andre the Giant memorial trophy, and is an odds on favorite to win. Will he actually win or be more credible? Meh. It’s something, along with being proof that it won’t hurt the Rumble in the slightest.
That means we have a WrestleMania XXX card of 5 confirmed matches:
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton vs Batista (vs Daniel Bryan)
- Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar
- HHH vs Daniel Bryan
- John Cena vs Bray Wyatt
- 30-man Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Not too bad, but I can’t help but feel it’s not quite on par of what the 30th WrestleMania should be. Or maybe I still miss Phil Brooks too much.
Anyone notice there was no Alberto Del Rio? Me Neither.
And on that note, Peace out
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