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Monday Morning Thoughts
Bryan’s WrestleMania Booking (yes, again)
Many have been quick to point out that my prediction for Bryan has been once again destroyed by WWE’s ever evolving booking. I’ll agree that the exact replica of what I proposed would be impossible, but the basis for my idea is still quite probable.
For those who have not read my previous installments, I suggested that HHH would defeat Bryan earlier in the night of WrestleMania by extremely questionable means, which would leave us with Orton vs Batista in a one-one-one main event. After elaborate intros for both heels, Hulk Hogan would make an appearance and use his guest host power to insert Daniel Bryan into the match, giving us the closing moment of WrestleMania with Daniel Bryan hoisting the titles in the air with a stadium chanting “Yes!” The loss to HHH would keep a door open for HHH vs Bryan in a rematch for the title in what I feel would be the best way to continue the Authority vs Daniel Bryan story.
Well, obviously that can’t happen, but the key parts are still quite likely, in my opinion. I still think Daniel Bryan will be screwed out of the main event, I still think Hogan will get him put back in making it a Fatal Four Way match, and we’ll still get Bryan as champion to finish off the night, with HHH vs Daniel Bryan still available down the line.
“License to print money.”
Kane and the Outlaws vs The Shield!?
It seems a lot of people are upset about this proposed matchup. I’m unfazed. I understand the expectations of having a bigger match for The Shield, but it would most likely be their first real bout as faces. I recently had a decent discussion with how most face turns require some strengthening wins. The Shield, as dominant as they have been, have been built by some nefarious wins using their numbers, along with some cheating along the way. I’m not saying they aren’t credible, but in most cases heels tend to get by without legit wins. The Shield is a minor exception, though they’ve still won many matches by breaking rules.
So, in a very subconscious way, they still need to prove themselves in the fans eyes. This will require some wins in credible fashion, which is most likely what this bout is being set up for. Will it really do much to get them over more? No, but it’s still a logical step to start.
Besides, is there really a compelling 3-man team to take on The Shield that isn’t involved in the top matches already? The face turn works against Kane more than anyone at this point, and Kane needs 2 men to join him. Another duo could have joined the Authority for just this match, but the Outlaws have already had their association hinted at, so they make sense more than anyone.
I think the real anger is the idea that HHH’s friends can simply request a match and get it, even though they aren’t full time on the roster. I have no issue with this one, because unlike how the other part timers should be used, The Outlaws are present to put over the full time guys. I’ll take that over the way Punk lost to Rock, Taker and Lesnar in his 3 biggest matches of 2013.
The bell tolls once again on Monday Night Raw when The Undertaker returns to confront Brock Lesnar just two weeks before they go head-to-head at WrestleMania 30. While The Phenom tends to his “yard,” Triple H makes his Raw return one week after handcuffing and beating Daniel Bryan into unconsciousness last week. Suffice it to say, the “Yes!” Movement will not be pleased, to say nothing of The Game’s old foil and Raw Guest Star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here’s what else WWE.com thinks lays in store for this Monday’s show, which will also feature an appearance by WrestleMania 30 host Hulk Hogan.
1. Ruh-Roh Raw
Arnold isn’t the only dignitary stopping by Raw this week: Scooby-Doo himself is set to swing by WWE’s flagship show with The Mystery Machine in tow. The famous pooch is already getting into WWE-flavored misadventures in “Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery,” but what trouble will he cause when he shows up in the flesh … er, fur, on Monday night?
2. Justice for all
Looks like The Shield’s brand of justice isn’t limited to the fan favorites of the WWE locker room: The Hounds of Justice turned their fangs on WWE Director of Operations Kane last Monday on Raw, and lost an opportunity to become No. 1 contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championships on SmackDown courtesy of The Big Red Monster and none other than The New Age Outlaws. The one thing The Shield loves best is an enemy, and now they have one. The only questions left are who exactly orchestrated the ambush ... and how will they be dealt with?
3. We’re tellin’ y’all it’s ‘Sabotage’
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back on Raw, and he brought some extra muscle with him. Joined by “Sabotage” co-star (and noted WWE fan) Joe Manganiello, Schwarzenegger is set to make his grand return to a WWE ring and anticipation is running high. With Manganiello at his side, anything can happen. Not gonna lie, we’re looking forward to this one.
4. ‘There is no ‘Yes!’ Movement!’
In a career of statement beatings, Triple H may have topped himself last week when he hired a crew of fake police officers to handcuff Daniel Bryan and (with Stephanie McMahon’s help) and beat him motionless, injuring the “Yes!” man’s shoulder en route to sending him out of the arena on a stretcher. Bryan amazingly gutted through the excruciating pain at WWE Live Events this weekend, but with The Game’s decree that the winner of their match joining the WWE World Heavyweight Title contest at The Show of Shows, clearly something special will be required of Bryan. Can he deliver when it matters most?
5. The Beast and The Phenom
Paul Heyman has certainly made use of his famous speechifying the last couple of weeks, imploring The Undertaker to abandon his match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania — to prevent The Deadman’s ultimate annihilation and the subsequent snap of The Streak. The Phenom materialized on WWE Main Event to warn Heyman he’d be coming for Brock on Raw, and it was confirmed on SmackDown that The Anomaly would be in Brooklyn as well . What will go down when the two titans meet for the first time since their explosive contract signing?
Live Raw Discussion
Watching these recaps of last week, I can’t help but wonder how the story would have differed had CM Punk not left. Would he be taking beatdowns, and competing for a WWE Title shot later that night? I’m a huge Punk fan, and still believe he’s the more valuable asset to the company than Daniel Bryan in the long term, but nothing Punk was involved in could have matched what Bryan is achieving today.
I have been watching 2003 PPVs, and Stephanie was pretty damn over as a face back then. The story with her father was sensational, and their match at No Mercy was quite the spectacle. It’s amazing what they’ve sacrificed for WWE PG, but I’m not complaining. I just wonder what stories we’d be seeing with the same characters if we were seeing more limits pushed for storytelling.
Nice chants, thank you Brooklyn. CM Punk still deserves respect.
Orton getting a pop? Is that an indicator of how well The Authority has finally been treated as heels, or how poorly Orton has been portrayed as a heel?
Fatal Four Way for IC Title shot
I have often said that the midcard needs for multi-man matches, especially for contendership. This is the perfect example. Not only are we given a solid bout with 4 talented superstars, but it elevates everyone involved. The only one who even seems to be out of the league of the others is Christian, since we’ve seen him lose to Sheamus a couple of times recently. But by being included in this match, he’s being given a subtle rub translating to the crowd saying he is on the level with the other 3 men.
On top of that, something I couldn’t have predicted, but the Intercontinental Champion looks stronger out of this. I would have suggested 4 other stars completely to compete for a title shot (Fandango, Swagger, Cesaro, Kofi maybe?), but in the improved effort to make the other titles mean more, this match is being used as a message to indicate that the Intercontinental Championship is now in a very similar position as the former World Heavyweight Title; a belt all 4 of these men have held over the last couple of years.
I hope I can get this posted in time, but I predict a Christian win, making up for his recent losses to the Celtic Warrior.
Made it with a minute to spare!
This match reminded me of how much I would love a Christian vs Ziggler feud. Christian vs Big E. should be damn good though.
I’m liking how the IC title is being treated at this point. Very nice.
Sin Cara w/Scooby Doo vs Damien Sandow
Is this better or worse than the WCW Robocop appearance?
Why do we still have the weird lights?
More CM Punk chants from Brooklyn. Some cities just know what’s actually best for business.
I’m betting the man in the Scooby costume is someone on the roster. I laugh at the idea that it’s Brock Lesnar.
Los Matadores vs RyBaxel
I just like seeing RyBaxel being involved in a storyline. That team has so much **** potential in tag action with a rather solid division surrounding them. Not enough teams like this, where the partners make sense without being too identical.. Like a modern Hart Foundation.
Michael Cole interviews HHH
Without Daniel Bryan in the house? I doubt much can happen here without a surprise appearance by the Flying Goat.
Unless the man Brooklyn has been cheering for is around…
I have to show this.
I am starting to feel bad for Dave.
I should have seen this coming: the return of 20 minute HHH promos. Shit.
Cody Rhodes vs Fandango
Goldust mask? That is an interesting idea.
Fandango stole his outfit tonight from John Morrison.
Hulk Hogan promo
Did Hulk butcher the actor’s name?
I can’t help but smile and love hearing Arnold talk. I’m not even much of a fan of his movies, but he’s such an icon, and that voice is legendary.
And he looks ****ing tiny!
Arnold can ****ing promo!
This is an awesome segment. I’m surprised it’s not a top of the hour segment.
Big Show vs Titus O’Neil
Can Titus get a surprise win here, please?
I know, I know. I just hope he looks decent before getting knocked the F out.
John Cena vs Luke Harper
I would like to say that a lot of credit is owed to Luke Harper for those chants, but as much as many have come to appreciate his talents, I don’t think the appreciation is widespread enough to have caused loud reactions like that. Sometimes it’s just enough to be over for the night if you’re taking on John Cena.
Harper has a bright future as a singles performer. I am just stuck on how to break him out of the Family down the line. That could be an entertaining chain of events eventually. Hard to imagine any of the Wyatt’s in tights and knee pads, with generic rock music entrances.
Not Scott Hall? But Razor Ramon? Strange.
It’s very hard to find something to blog about tonight. Sorry if this is lacking, but the show is not inspiring a lot of discussion or thoughts for me to bring up. I’m not giving up, but it’s been weak in general.
The Shield vs The Real Americans
With the rumors of Rollins and Ambrose turning back heel on Roman Reigns, it’s proper to see those 2 combined for tonight’s tag match.
That was a main event quality match, especially with how The Shield was showcased as fan favorites.
Shame that it won’t last long. I’d love to see the potential of The Shield as part of some youth insurgence in WWE, siding with Daniel Bryan and others looking to unseat the Authority. I just don’t think it’ll happen. As long as this break up is entertaining, I’ll be fine with it, but I want all 3 to look good coming out of this somehow. My expectations aren’t that high on it, because it’s so rare team break ups, or stable splits end up working for everyone involved evenly.
Brock, Paul, Undertaker Final Segment
I am showing my age, but this had no effect on me whatsoever, because it was a simple regurgitation of so many other Undertaker segments. This felt hollow on someone like Brock Lesnar in 2014.
An average Raw at a time when Raws shouldn’t be average. I think it was a huge risk to keep Daniel Bryan off TV, especially without CM Punk around. It made for a very uneven show throughout the night.
****, CM Punk was drastically needed on a night like this. I honestly didn’t think WWE would miss a beat, but when you remove Daniel Bryan, the only other fresh face from the last couple of years, from the show entirely, there’s going to be a major void.
And on that note, Peace out
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