WWE Raw: 10 Talking Points to Come from Monday Night's Show
Momentum is something that's hugely important in the world of sport.
And though that maxim can be applied to the world of sports entertainment as well, it is done so in a somewhat different manner. Not only do the performers need momentum in order to build up their storylines, but so do the actual shows themselves.
You can probably see where I'm going with this...
Because that's exactly what Raw provided us with this past week. With the return of some of the industry’s biggest stars of all time, and some major storyline developments, this week’s instalment of Monday Night Raw was everything we could have hoped for.
Such was the quality of this week’s show, it’s difficult to pick just five talking points to discuss in today’s article.
As a result, for the first time ever, we’re going to run through the 10 top talking points to come from Monday Night Raw in honor of what was, in my eyes at least, a thoroughly enjoyable show.
Hogan Comes Home
This was the perfect way to kick off the show.
And personally, I think Hulk Hogan is looking pretty good. The 60-year-old had a spring in his step as he pandered to the Green Bay crowd, with Hulkamania well and truly running wild on the Resch Center.
Truth be told, the segment was a bit of a shameless plug, but the nostalgic element more than made up for Hogan’s persistent sales pitch of the WWE Network.
Furthermore, it was a great way to build the hype for WrestleMania XXX; after all, Hogan knows as well as anybody what this pay-per-view is all about!
With less than six weeks remaining, it was important that the WWE got off to a good step in the final run-in before WrestleMania. The return of the Hulkster in this segment did exactly that.
Build for Orton vs. Batista
The WWE has backed itself into a corner somewhat regarding Batista’s WWE world title shot.
It’s no secret that the fans don’t like him, and yet the company has so far seemed adamant on persevering with The Animal as a babyface.
However, that stance seemed to soften somewhat on Raw this week.
Batista is essentially being forced to turn heel by the cumulative voice of the WWE Universe, and the company appeared to be testing the waters somewhat with Batista as a bad guy.
So does this make Randy Orton the face in this feud? I certainly hope not, as The Viper has showed in recent weeks that he’s vastly more suited to use a heel persona. On another note, the lack of a face could further fuel calls for Daniel Bryan to be added to the equation—but to be honest, I’m not sure I can see that happening either.
All in all, though, I personally think Batista came across pretty well. I liked his promo—it’s refreshing to see a character who’s neither a clear-cut heel nor face—and the crowd seemed to warm to him ever so slightly after he began to address it with more honesty and candidness.
Don’t get me wrong, though, the fans are by no means on his side yet. It may not be the WrestleMania main event that we asked for, but the build for this one is certainly shaping up to make for rather intriguing viewing at least.
Swagger Costs Cesaro
Cesaro needs to turn face.
The crowd is firmly behind him, and it now appears that the company itself may be jumping on the bandwagon also.
After testing him in Sunday’s Elimination Chamber match, Creative teased the disintegration of the Real Americans when Jack Swagger cost Cesaro a victory over Big E.
The two reconciled, but tension is certainly rising.
Could this lead to a WrestleMania grudge match between the two allies? Or will both men perhaps be put into a Triple Threat match for Big E’s Intercontinental Title? Personally, I hope the former is true, as then we’d be treated to two matches with great appeal rather than just the one overcrowded bout.
Either way, it seems likely that Cesaro could be the company’s next breakout star. He got another massive pop for his big swing on Big E, and the crowd even barked along with his “We the people” catchphrase.
How much longer can Cesaro remain heel when he’s becoming so over with the fans?
The Wyatts Attack Cena
We witnessed another exceptional promo from Bray Wyatt—and some tidy work from John Cena as well for that matter—which would suggest a WrestleMania showdown is firmly on the cards.
Based on the pair’s exchange on Raw, I can already imagine the pre-match video package coming together, and safe to say, it’s going to look awesome!
The only drawback was a suspected injury to Cena in the subsequent three-on-one attack that the Buzzards then launched on the Leader of the Cenation.
Hopefully it’s not too serious, not only for the sake of Cena’s health but for the benefit of WrestleMania, Wyatt and the WWE Universe. It seemed like Bray held off from furthering the assault on Cena, in which case, kudos for the newcomer for making a good judgment call.
This is another one to keep an eye on, as it has the potential to be one of the greatest rivalries on television as we head into the Showcase of the Immortals.
Bryan Clashes with the Authority
Having issued a WrestleMania challenge to Triple H himself, Daniel Bryan was tasked with knocking off Kane after the duo’s run-ins over the last few weeks.
Bryan duly delivered and scored a clean pinfall victory over the Director of Operations, which would suggest that his teased match with the Game will indeed go ahead at WrestleMania.
The WWE may be keeping its options open for another week or so before committing to such a match, but if Bryan were to be added to the Orton vs. Batista match, then that would leave Triple H unused for the biggest show of the year.
And let’s be honest, can anyone really see that happening?
With Kane now dealt with, it seems to be only a matter of time before Bryan gets his (improvised) wish and is booked to face Triple H at WrestleMania XXX.
Summer Rae vs. Emma
Perhaps I’m being far too generous today, but did we actually witness a decent Divas match on Raw this week?
Sure, it was a quick one, but at least Emma and Summer Rae appear to move nicely and work together well in the ring. Still, it would be good to see either woman given more TV time with which to develop a wider move set.
But nonetheless, it was refreshing to see a Divas match with something of a storyline behind it, particularly when the Divas title wasn’t even involved. And fair play to Summer Rae—she looked thoroughly convincing in her role as a heel.
So could the victorious Emma be destined for a Divas title shot in the future?
Perhaps it’s too early to jump to such conclusions, but this bout was at least a step in the right direction for the Divas division. Let’s hope the WWE gives us more in the coming weeks!
The Usos Defeat the Outlaws
This one was even shorter, with the Usos picking up a sneaky non-title win over the Outlaws to put them right back in the championship hunt after Sunday’s PPV defeat.
In my eyes, it’s only a matter of time before the brothers go on to win the Tag Team titles.
The only question here is whether it will happen on Raw or be saved for ‘Mania itself.
Personally, I’d like to see it go down at the Apr. 6 showcase, as it would mean more to the Usos and also act as a final send off for the great servants that the Road Dogg and Billy Gunn have been in recent months.
However, an earlier victory on Raw could result in a fresh new feud for WrestleMania, perhaps against the Brotherhood or the Wyatt Family?
Either way, things are continuing to look good for the tag division.
Tension Teased within The Shield
Prior to Roman Reigns' match with Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose was seen remonstrating with his Shield teammates before storming out of the shot in frustration.
Ambrose seemed to redeem himself later, though, as he came to the aid of Seth Rollins and Reigns after The Wyatts had begun breaking down The Shield for the second successive evening. Ultimately, though, Reigns was cost the victory via DQ, so this one could still be spun as a catalyst for the breakdown of The Shield.
It’s clever booking from the WWE, mind you, as it keeps open the possibility of the faction rivalry continuing in case Cena’s injury is worse than first feared.
Whether it results in The Shield imploding or another enthralling showdown with The Wyatts, the developing storylines surrounding the Hounds of Justice are as entertaining and interesting as ever.
Lesnar Will Face Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX
This was always a dead cert, and though the segment almost dragged on for a little too long, it ultimately delivered a solid close to the show.
Paul Heyman was as stellar as usual with his “That’s how they get you speech” about The Authority, and he spun the idea of Lesnar’s “open contract” pretty well.
And as for the Undertaker (awesome Ministry goatee and all), it was great to see him cut to the chase and nail Brock Lesnar with a chokeslam through the table. Too often, the WWE teases physical confrontation but avoids it. With a fearless heel like Lesnar involved, though, there was no risk of that happening on Raw.
From here, I only hope that Lesnar features regularly in the lead-up to WrestleMania. It would be a shame to let this explosive start go to waste by using his contracted appearances sparingly and limiting the Undertaker to unanswered promos.
Nonetheless, a great start to what could be a great fued.
Road to WrestleMania Gains Real Momentum
Perhaps the most significant talking point of all is the fact that the WWE has really ramped things up a notch with WrestleMania now less than six weeks away.
The returns of Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker are evidence enough to that, while we’re also seeing some interesting feuds being set in motion—Wyatt vs. Cena, Bryan vs. Triple H, and, of course, whatever capacity the members of The Shield are going to be used in.
As previously mentioned, it’s important that the WWE heads into WrestleMania with momentum on its side—and that’s exactly what this week's Raw started to provide us with.
I don’t want to sound like a suck-up, but I honestly couldn’t find too much wrong with Raw. It was a really entertaining show that rarely wasted a moment in my eyes.
But what do you guys think?
How did the returns of Hogan and ‘Taker go down with you?
What do you make of the potential WrestleMania rivalries?
And are you now more excited for this year’s Showcase of the Immortals?
Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts on Raw and any of the points that were covered in the article.