Vince McMahon returned to Raw to add a little intrigue to what is a feud no one wanted to see resurrected.
Let's face it: As much as John Cena likes to refer to Big Show as his once "friend," wrestling fans remember the fact that Cena and Show have been adversaries for years, going back to their feuds leading up to Wrestlemania's XX and XXV. Cena prevailed and was able to score with the FU/AA in both matches. (The slam in XXV had the added hype of having Edge involved in the lift as well.)
In both cases, the matches were average at best. Everyone can agree that having to work a match with a guy over 7'0" and weighing 500 pounds can be very limiting. But Show and Cena have done this dance where the giant is clearly the dominant force and "Super Cena" has to again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Yeah, everyone's been clued into that for some time. It has become the motif more and more fans have come to dread with each main event of a pay-per-view.
As the buildup has trudged along since Over the Limit, expectations for Sunday seemed to be the same as they had been in the previous Wrestlemania matches. Show looks like an unstoppable force, and Cena again has to overcome. (Queue collective yawn. Yes, you have seen this before.)
But now Mr. McMahon's inclusion as a ringside attendee and proclamation that a win by Cena means the firing of John Laurinaitis gives everyone a curious eye for the main event on Sunday.
There's always an odd aura to see McMahon come off as a face when he returns after long absences. He does the strut, everyone cheers, and he publicly buries the heels. But something never seems right. Like the boss is setting everyone up for a double cross.
Come on, how can you not expect it? This is Mr. McMahon, the prototype for the heel executive, whose feud with Steve Austin created the most vicarious storyline in wrestling history and created a mold that no one ever seems to quite fill—though, no one can claim the blubbering Laurinaitis isn't trying.
So what did we gather from McMahon's appearance on the three-hour Monday Night Raw in Hartford? Firstly, he too likes to make fun of Laurinaitis. Secondly, he really wanted to fire Laurinaitis but didn't pull the trigger. Finally, he also likes to throw Big Show under the bus for being a joke for most of his career.
Bias much? Sure thing, Mr. McMahon.
But wrestling has a certain way of setting its fans up and pulling the wool over their eyes. It just comes with the soap opera aspect of the business. The swerve. The twist. The "they won't see it coming" moment at the apex of storylines like this one with Cena and Big Show.
Everything seems to point at Cena overcoming Big Show (once again) in the cage and Laurinaitis hearing McMahon's two favorite words on Sunday. Which means there has to be a catch. Somehow, McMahon hanging around at ringside seems to carry an eerie deja vu back to an infamous moment 15 years ago in Montreal.
Is it possible he could screw Cena like he did Bret Hart? Now, granted, Cena isn't about to jump ship to another company like the Hitman did, but that doesn't mean it still can't happen.
Think about the nexus the WWE is creating with the 1,000th episode of Raw. Superstars past and present returning over the next six weeks leading up to the epic event on July 23. During one of the promos, Hart's image coincided with the audio of "superstar returns." It is very possible using the screw job finish with McMahon in the main event could be part of the WWE's move to jump start the ratings this summer leading up to Summerslam.
McMahon screws Cena, Hart comes out on Raw and the hatchet that was buried at Wrestlemania XXVI is unearthed as Cena and Hart battle the bosses.
Definitely, it's a short-term fix to a long-term problem in terms of good quality storylines built up over many weeks, but it still could be interesting...at least for a little while.
Then again, it's so easy to become entrenched in the history and lore of professional wrestling to the point where you want to connect dots that might not be connectible.
Maybe McMahon's appearance on Sunday will yield nothing. Maybe he is playing the face this time. Then again, maybe it's the same ole Vinnie Mac up to the nefarious backstabbing tricks that made him a bigger heel than most of his wrestlers for many years.
Either way, it adds a little more to an unearthed main event feud that everyone would have rather seen stayed buried.