WWE Raw: 5 Talking Points to Come from Monday Night's Show
Monday Night Raw was always going to be big this week.
Both Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker were present in order to add further hype to their respective WrestleMania involvements. And the show’s solid work in recent weeks meant there were a whole host of budding rivalries worth keeping an eye on.
Oh yeah, and there was the small matter of Daniel Bryan and the Yes! Movement occupying the ring and holding The Authority to ransom—an original piece of storytelling from Creative and something that facilitated the elevation of this feud to the next level.
All in all, it made for an exciting show. Here, we round up our five top talking points to come from Monday Night Raw this week.
Hulk Hogan in Cena’s Corner?
The Immortal Hulk Hogan returned to Memphis, Tenn. to make his WrestleMania announcement: 30 Superstars will compete in a Battle Royal in memory of the legendary Andre the Giant.
This in itself could have been a talking point, but the Hulkster then went on to form arguably the top babyface alliance of all time as he stood in John Cena’s corner for his match with Erick Rowan.
Some have spoken of the possible pairing in the past, but could this be the first evidence of such an arrangement coming to fruition?
My take on this is that it would be a great alliance, one that truly captivates the spirit of WrestleMania.
But on the other hand, would the WWE really have two of its most infallible characters of all time suffer defeat on the Grandest Stage of Them All? It seems unlikely, and personally, I feel that Bray Wyatt needs to be put over in a big way in this feud.
Thus, as memorable a moment it would be to have Hulkamania in SuperCena’s corner at the Showcase of the Immortals, I think it’s more important that Wyatt picks up the win. Of course, the duo could yet pair up and Wyatt could go on to beat Cena and his iconic manager; I just can't see it happening myself.
Here’s hoping that the WWE proves me wrong, though.
The Usos vs. the Outlaws at WrestleMania?
Ever since The Usos beat The New Age Outlaws for the Tag titles on Raw last week, there has been rampant speculation as to when the former champs will get their rematch.
Many thought that bout would come on last week’s Main Event, but with it now being over a week since their defeat, we have still yet to see The Outlaws challenge for the straps.
With the WWE stretching this one out, could we be destined for The Usos vs. The Outlaws at WrestleMania XXX?
Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem with this. We’d be guaranteed a solid match and given that the teams have been feuding for a while already, the contest would seem all the more significant thanks to its drawn-out build.
Furthermore, since The Shield and The Wyatts will most likely be otherwise engaged, and with teams such as the Rhodes Brothers and RybAxel seemingly no longer contenders, are there really any other options?
Calm Before the Midcard Storm
One thing we look destined for at WrestleMania XXX is breakups.
The Shield has been teasing its implosion for weeks, and we now find ourselves faced with the likelihood of The Real Americans disbanding either on or before the night of WrestleMania.
However, at this moment, it’s still difficult to tell exactly when the disintegration of these teams will take place.
The members of The Shield are seemingly back on the same page and were dominant in their victory over the Rhodes Brothers—developments that don’t really tell us a great deal about where this one is headed.
Similar things can be said of the Real Americans, as we saw more of the same with Cesaro and Jack Swagger bickering amid defeat in singles competition—though the duo ultimately shook hands and quelled the tension somewhat for now.
Unfortunately, Big E appears stuck in the middle of this one when he perhaps deserves a more leading role. But the bottom line is that the WWE appears to be biding its time with these midcard feuds and adopting some slow-burn storylines.
Expect more fireworks in the coming weeks, but for now, this looks like the calm before the midcard storm.
Undertaker and Paul Heyman Promo
After the news that Brock Lesnar would not be featured regularly on the Road to WrestleMania, I was initially quite sceptical.
However, the beauty of Lesnar is that with Paul Heyman as his spokesman, he can easily remain relevant despite not making a physical appearance. Combine that gift with the mystical aura of The Undertaker, and you get a pretty good combination—and that’s exactly what we saw on Raw.
This promo was about as much as we could have expected with only one of the combatants actually present. But it did the job, nonetheless.
However, now is a crucial time for the WWE; it can’t simply regurgitate the Heyman-Undertaker promo segment in the coming weeks. This one needs to escalate somehow.
This promo laid the groundwork; now we need to see this feud push on if it’s going to make the most of its huge potential.
I’d say my initial scepticism has been replaced with cautious optimism.
Daniel Bryan Gets His Wish
In this day and age, it’s sometimes difficult to remain original.
However, that’s exactly what Creative achieved on Raw when they staged the Yes! Movement’s occupation of the WWE ring. Maybe I’m being generous, but it had the kind of novelty that memorable scenes such as the Rock’s "this is your life" segment of 1999 possessed.
Long story short, it was a unique segment that was entirely fitting with the current mood in the company and successfully managed to keep this one fresh.
And speaking of keeping things fresh, the WWE went one better with a blockbuster announcement regarding two WrestleMania XXX main events.
First, Daniel Bryan will face Triple H, and if he is successful (which he really has to be), then he will be inserted into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match later that night.
I could go on for a long time about the significance of this, but basically, it shows that the WWE is listening to what the people want.
Surely the company will have Bryan go over The Game? Winning the title outright might be a little more of a long shot, but we’ll think about that when we come to it.
For now, I think it’s fair enough to just sit back and enjoy an entertaining segment (kudos to Triple H being on top-heel duty again, by the way) that yielded a result that will send just about everybody home with a smile.
With a new WrestleMania match as well as an updated world title bout to look forward to, there must have been many a satisfied WWE fan after Monday Night Raw this week.
Add to that Hulk Hogan’s Battle Royal announcement and the slow-burning storylines in the middle of the card, and we have plenty to look forward to ahead of the Show of Shows on April 6.
A number of questions remain, however, with few clear-cut answers surrounding the Tag titles, the Intercontinental Championship and, of course, the Hounds of Justice. But nevertheless, it looks like the WWE landscape is perfectly poised with less than four weeks to go until WrestleMania XXX.
But what did you guys think of last night’s show?
Please feel free to comment on the events of Monday Night Raw, as well as any of the issues that were covered in the article.
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