It’s too simple. Put two strong wrestlers in the ring, give them time, book a smart finish, and you have a match that builds to a story and makes everyone look good. It shouldn’t be this hard. Thank you Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, and to a lesser extent, Chris Jericho.
And because of that, my opinion of Raw and the first step in the road to WrestleMania is inflated.
Based on what happened at the Royal Rumble Sunday night and Raw last night, here’s where it looks like things are going for WrestleMania:
– John Cena vs. The Rock is the headliner of all headliners. However, since Rock is probably still a month away from being on a WWE show, the Kane vs. John Cena feud must continue. Kane attacked (sort of) Eve and told her that until John Cena embraces the hate, he’s going to continue punishing Zack Ryder and by proximity, her. Cena ran down to the ring and was more intense and violent than usual as he hit Kane with the steps a couple times and smiled. He’s also the worst Luke Skywalker of all-time. They are probably going to have a match at the Elimination Chamber, but the key to this will be to see if they turn John Cena full-on heel, or just amp up his violence. He’s going to be the heel against Rock at Mania anyway, so he might as well Stone Cold Steve Austin it up and wrestle as one. Of course, let’s hope he also doesn’t end up with Vince McMahon at the end of the night.
– The Undertaker vs. Triple H should be the semi-main. I didn’t understand this all that much. On the day after WrestleMania XXVII, HHH said he’d want to give it one more go ’round with Taker in 2012. So when the Undertaker came out, allowing Johnny Ace to live another day, HHH looked irritated and a bit disinterested. All of a sudden he doesn’t want to wrestle Taker? He came the closest to beating Taker at Mania than anyone ever has before and now, after Taker has been gone for a year and is seemingly injured beyond end, HHH has second doubts? Or is he showing pity for the Deadman? The match will be fantastic, but I didn’t like not understanding HHH’s reaction.
– CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho looks like it’s a go. And here’s why I didn’t like Sheamus winning last night. If the idea was that Jericho is facing Punk, shouldn’t he have been the one antagonizing the World or WWE Champion since he interfered in the match between the two champs anyway? And when he hit Punk with his Codebreaker, that could’ve been his decision. Of course, he could’ve gone to Smackdown and done the same thing to Bryan giving us a bit of a build up. Instead? We get the happy Irishman Sheamus who likes to say fella a lot. I like Sheamus, but his act seems midcard rather than top of the card. Which leads me to …
– Are we really getting Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan? But if Sheamus hasn’t chosen yet, and Jericho clearly wants Punk, does that narrow Sheamus’ choice down only to Bryan? If it were me, I’d have Randy Orton face Bryan because if anyone gives Bryan his comeuppance, it should be Orton, since he’s the most over guy on Smackdown. Unless the idea is to have the palest World Championship feud, I’m not too hot on this one. They’ll have a good match, but it doesn’t feel special at all. You could shove Orton in here as a three-way, but I don’t think it improves it much. And it looks like they may still be doing the Orton vs. Wade Barrett angle, even though Orton tossed him out of the Rumble like his name was Jey Uso.
They still have work to do. They already promoted that the Raw Elimination Chamber match is set and it’s CM Punk facing Chris Jericho (so early?), The Miz (who just lost to Kofi), R-Truth (a Rumble jobber), Ziggler (jobbed out to Orton) and Kofi who is now more famous for walking on his hands than anything else he’s done in his wrestling career. Because there’s really no stipulation to the match, the only storyline seems to be right now that Punk possibly loses his title to Jericho and has to regain it at WrestleMania.
I’m glad that we’re two months away and we already have the top three matches figured out and they should all be good. And maybe because the top three are strong for the show, they can take a chance with Sheamus and Bryan, or whoever has the title by then. I just worry that Sheamus’ Royal Rumble victory turns out to be unimportant. I’d hope not because it could kill the Royal Rumble stipulation.
We’ll see where they go next week!