My Raw Review and WrestleMania Thoughts
To begin the show, they started off having Chris Jericho open the show. Great choice as Jericho is one of the top stars in the WWE and just pulled off the impossible the other night. Jericho did what he did best, talk himself up and put everyone else down. When he talked about WrestleMania, the music of Edge hits.
Out from the crowd, here comes Edge to nail a sickening SPEAR and announce that the main event of WrestleMania is going to be Edge against Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship. A lot of fans were dreaming and hoping for this and we finally have it. I'm on the fence about it just because if Jericho is to get defeated at Mania, how does this help his character? Jericho needs the win and to retain at the grandest stage of them all. This will keep the feud alive, have Jericho wear the title just until summer begins, and then give it to Edge. Doesn't make Jericho look weak and we aren't passing the title around. I'm happy to see Jericho back at the top of the card at Mania, I just hope they aren't jobbing him out to Edge.
After this is done, John Cena comes out and demands his rematch with Batista. Vince McMahon comes out and tells Cena the only way to get to Batista and the title at Mania is by defeating Batista tonight. If he fails, Sheamus will get the rematch. I know everyone was talking about Cena and Batista at Mania, but I was hoping Sheamus would come out, screw up the match, and somehow we'd get a triple threat match at Mania. I was foolishly hoping.
We FINALLY got the Diva's Championship match and what a DISAPPOINTMENT. It lasted what, less than 5 minutes? Whatever, typical WWE television Diva match. Gail Kim looks weak and Maryse walks out with the title. I'm hoping they don't showcase these girls at Mania. At least the Smackdown Divas are having good matches and given the time to feud.
I'll skip over the host/Diva segment and hit up Legacy. Nice surprising Legacy segment. Seemed like Orton was turning over and trying to do anything to save Legacy. Saying sorry for his past sins while Rhodes was blaming everything on Teddy. What was really interesting was Ted and Cody talking after Orton left and talking about the plan. My guess is, the backstabbing Rhodes and DiBiase Junior were doing was all part of some scheme they thought up and screwing with Orton's head.
The next match was Legacy against the Jobbers, sorry, Yoshi, Kofi, and Evan. During this match they talked about the Chamber and how Triple H and Sheamus were out, Sheamus with a concussion (which might be legit). My hopes were still there for Sheamus, but that brought my hopes from like 20% down to about 5% he was going to screw over Cena.
In that match, what we all expected happened. Orton turned on Legacy, dropped them both, and walked away. Not sure what they might pull at Mania, either a triple threat or a two on one match, but it should still be interesting. It was announced that Orton will fight DiBiase Junior on Raw this upcoming week, so I doubt we'll see that match come Mania.
Next we get a video package for Shawn Michaels and Undertaker and WHAT A PACKAGE WE GOT!!! People can mock WWE all they want, but they know how to put a package together. The perfect music went along with a perfectly edited video. A+ right there.
Again, we got what we all expected. A great staredown between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels and our WrestleMania match. There were two things I was quite surprised with. The first, Undertaker didn't come out pissed off and demanded his title rematch or how Michaels cost him everything. However, Taker was pretty calm and accepted Taker's challenge after weeks of turning it down. What was more surprising, though, was that Taker accepted the challenge under one condition; streak versus career.
Michaels is getting up there and we know that he may retire, along with Taker (and maybe Batista). But to retire after Mania against Taker, wow. Now fans are going to be spilt. This match has a reason now. Everything is in place. Taker fans are not going to want to see the streak broken. Michaels fans are not going to want to see the Mr. WrestleMania hang it up. I don't know who I'm going to cheer for. I don't think Michaels should be the end to end the streak. However, I don't want to see this being the last match Michaels has. I know Shawn wants to spend time with his ministry and family, but he still has it and can still go. I'll be sad to see his career end. Either outcome will have a whole lot of emotion, which WWE wants.
After this segment, we got two more nice little surprises. A, Christian is on Raw, not the rumored Smackdown brand he was supposed to go to. B, the Money in the Bank WILL HAPPEN AT MANIA. That's a great thing to hear for those wrestlers who might have not have showed up on the WrestleMania card.
More hype for NXT and we get Carlito against Christian. Good quick match and Christian is the first one named for Money in the Bank. Here's hoping Christian gets the case at Mania and becomes World Champion very soon.
Dumb host/Diva segment, though the girls did look hot and sexy on the bull. ShowMiz comes out for comedy and it is announced that ShowMiz will defend the titles against MVP and Mark Henry right now. Quick match that gets ShowMiz over and hopefully ends the feud with MVP and Henry. I'm a bit bored of seeing MVP and Henry always lose in the big matches to ShowMiz so hopefully we get a better challenger for the tag titles or the US Title. Hopefully something big happens with those titles for Mania. I may be too hopefully, but we'll see.
Some Bret Hart hype and we'll see exactly what they have planned for Mania next week. We also find out Wendi Richter will be in the Hall of Fame. Good for her. My guess is Stu Hart gets named next week.
We finally come to our main event with Batista and John Cena (rumor had it that it was supposed to be Cena and Sheamus, but Sheamus had a real concussion). Strangly, Batista hits a low blow and thus, John Cena wins. Seems like Batista doesn't want anything to do with Sheamus and instead wants John Cena. Quite the joke and I feel sorry for Sheamus. So now we have to watch Batista go against Cena at Mania for the title.
Rumor is, HHH and Sheamus will have a go at it at Mania. I won't comment on it until it is offical, I'll just say that if it does happen, the title should be the focus on that match and now they got a few weeks to hype the match that no one is going to take much interest in. At least people can finally get off Hunter's back about Mania and him being in the title picture.
As for Cena and Batista, don't get me wrong, the story is there. The title doesn't need to be there, though. And that's the mistake. Just like Michaels/Taker, the title doesn't need to be there to make it a highly anticipated match. I know the online wrestling community could care less about this match, but the WWE viewers are behind the match. Cena has gotten over with the fans with his Bret Hart backing and Vince McMahon put downs while Batista has gotten over ever since the heel turn. The story is there, I just stress that the title didn't need to be in this match.
All in all, it was a good Raw that gave us the WrestleMania card. A lot of matches that were rumored were conformed and we know Money in the Bank is going to be showcased. We got more NXT hype, even saw Danielson on Raw. Going to be interesting to see what Smackdown does to hype Mania, besides the Edge/Jericho match and next week's Raw should show us where the Hart/McMahon feud will go at Mania. I'm excited and hopeful for what WWE has to offer. Let's not forget that TNA Impact moves to Mondays the week after next, so WWE should give us a big main event for the 8th.
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