Let’s get that on that road to WrestleMania 32.
Since I don’t write about Raw weekly any longer, I wanted to bring back the Road To WrestleMania column so that I could write about the build to the big show, which I will be attending in Dallas.
(By the way, can you blame me for not wanting to blog three hours of Raw every week? I did it as long as I could. You could say that I lost my smile.)
The Big News!
Here comes the money!
What does Shane McMahon’s return to WWE TV mean? For one, it means that they have no real stars outside of Brock Lesnar. If they did, they wouldn’t have to bring back someone who has been away for so long and was never a regular wrestler. When Shane came on screen, both of my kids who are now teenagers and not every day WWE watchers both said, “How did Shane get so old?”
You can tell that bringing Shane back wasn’t a long-term plan because of how abrupt the storyline is. There was a one week tease and that was it. If they had known longer than a couple weeks, there would’ve been segments with Vince being made aware that someone was coming back. But as it is, we have a stipulation for the company (again) and it came out of nowhere.
It’s possible that they can make the angle interesting, but from the start, it feels rushed and really non-sensical. Vince decided that Shane would face the Undertaker and if Shane wins, he gets to run Raw. Since when did the Undertaker join The Authority? And why would Shane, normally a suit and non-wrestler, accept a deal which has him facing a guy who has only lost once at WrestleMania? Doesn’t he have Vince by the proverbial balls already?
The part that did work was the blurring of the lines. We know that Vince didn’t see Shane as his successor in real life and that probably at least led to Shane’s split from the company.
They have a lot of work to do. And I still wonder if Shane is really plan B for John Cena’s plan A. If Shane was able to have Cena fight for him, the match has a ton more intrigue. And it would make sense as to why Cena’s been trying to create hype surrounding his injury and possible comeback on social media.
What else important happened?
A few hours before Raw, WWE put the video above on social media. It was fairly clear to Jason and me on the Fastlane postgame edition of FGB Radio that it would most likely be Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32, rather than the rumored and based on the Royal Rumble, already beginning feud between Brock and Bray Wyatt.
During Raw, Ambrose came out to take more punishment from Lesnar. I’m surprised he didn’t ask for another.
My main issue with this feud is that it’s been so one-sided so far that Ambrose comes off as a glutton for punishment and dumb babyface rather than as the star they need him to be. Will surviving a terrible beating from Brock make him at WrestleMania? I think it’s highly unlikely.
Our pal Big D thought it was hokey for Brock to be angry at Dean for causing him the match and to not be bothered with the Wyatt family who eliminated him from the Royal Rumble. I agree that it’s sloppy storytelling, but once Brock received the number one contender’s match the night after the Rumble, all could be forgotten.
The main event angle showed Triple H beating the breaks off Roman Reigns to end the show. Triple H beat him so badly that I almost don’t want to see them fight anymore. However, Reigns will get vegeance at some point. Let’s just hope that Triple H can control his “cool heel” urges and actually be the heel who gets him over.
WWE posted a story on their website about Roman Reigns sustaining a shattered broken nose and tweeted out a photo of the supposed broken nose.
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) February 23, 2016
If you gave the side eye to that story and photo, I don’t blame you, especially after this video which shows Byron Saxton giving Reigns what you’d presume to be what is the cause for all of his blood.
What’s not certain?
I thought we’d see signs of a Kevin Owens and AJ Styles feud brewing stemming from Owens tossing Styles out of the Royal Rumble. And while it still could happen, Owens wasn’t on Raw (and wrestled Big Show according to the Smackdown spoilers on Tuesday) while Styles and Chris Jericho have been placed in a tag team. What that could mean is that Jericho turns heel and we see another match between the two at WrestleMania 32.
Based on what Charlotte said in their segment, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks will have a match and the winner will face her for the title, presumably at WrestleMania. I hope they heat that up well. Even though the work is still sloppy at times, Charlotte has great presence and the main Raw audience hasn’t seen Becky’s nor Sasha’s best work yet.
Smackdown doesn’t look to be too newsworthy, but the Undertaker is expected to show up on Raw Monday night.
I’ll be back next week as we continue on the road to WrestleMania 32.