Steve Austin ’s first appearance in the WWE since being inducted into the Hall of Fame consisted of a small amount of beer (by Stone Cold standards), and virtually no hell raising.
Austin explained the more peaceful side of the Texas Rattlesnake in this Tweet afterwards:
“with 2 weeks to go to mania, had to work within story lines. couldnt give stunners to everyone, they have a huge ppv . promoted DAMAGE.
the pg thing is a real deal. great direction for the wwe. a wise decision. although that took 92% of my vocabulary away.”
The remaining 7% was the word a**, which had the WWE censors working a lot harder than usual in the PG era.
So did Austin’s return take this episode of Raw to a whole new level of awesomeness?
Before you spew me with hate mail, let me confirm that I do not think this was a bad episode of Raw by any means. It was good, and did the things it had to do.
There was a lot of work done in the way of developing storylines, and WrestleMania was hyped up accordingly all night long.
However, one of the consequences of keeping the ship so steady going into Mania is that the shows prior to it become rather sedate, and that analogy rang true last night on Raw.
Nothing happened that made you jump out of your seat.
Stone Cold could have taken care of that with a Stunner, but I digress.
Because, before Wrestle Mania, we have...JOBBER Mania!!!
Bourne to Job
Did you know? Evan Bourne ’s entrance music is entitled “Born To Win.”
So you could make a reasonable argument that Bourne has failed to achieve his life purpose, seeing as his winning record is on par with the likes of Shark Boy and Steven Richards.
Former WWE Champion Sheamus was scheduled to face Bourne this week, in a rematch of their previous rematch, which was a sequel of their earlier encounter.
Needless to say, WWE knew we had all seen this before. Rather than go through the hassle of actually having the match, they just had Sheamus destroy Bourne before the bell rang.
They might be wasting our time, but at least act of time wasting is getting progressively quicker.
Kofi Needs Jamaica
When Kofi Kingston embraced his West African roots and began a feud with Randy Orton , wrestling fans were just counting off the days till our ex-Jamaican hero would become a main event player.
However, at some point WWE soured on Kofi. Maybe it was the incident when Kofi botched the finish of match with Randy Orton, but that is just a wild guess.
Whatever it was, Kofi plays the role of a glorified jobber these days, as Batista demonstrated by beating the former US Champion in a main event that made TNA Impact matches seem long.
Bret Hart Faked It; He FAKED IT!
So Bret Hart is going to face Vincent Kennedy McMahon at WrestleMania. And most importantly of all, Bret Hart is going to be at a 100 percent.
Well, about as 100 percent as a person who was forced to retire due to injury can be.
The segment between Hart, McMahon and Austin was the best part of the show, and unlike the rest of Raw, this actually felt engaging.
Both Hart and Vince played up their match very well, and took some well-aimed shots at each other. Whether they will be able to deliver a contest at Mania is another matter altogether, but tonight I did not have any complaints.
John Cena versus the Big Show was a passable contest, purely used to further the storyline of bad things happening to Cena when Batista (who made an appearance here) is involved. In fact, in just a matter of weeks that line has already become clichéd.
Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho had the match of the night, in a rematch of their Wrestle Mania 19 encounter.
HBK was merely an extra at the end of the match though, as Edge came into the picture.
Given that Shawn and the Undertaker receive a great deal of attention already, maybe it was apropos to remind the Raw audience that the Royal Rumble winner does have a match at WrestleMania.
Triple H against Randy Orton gave match that seemed to epitomise the energy that Raw had last night. The match never really kicked into gear until the end, and even then the swerve finish only raised a few eyebrows.
Michelle McCool and Layla of Smackdown laid waste to Raw’s excuse for a woman’s division this week, as they came to the aid of Maryse, who was under siege for attacking Kelley Kelly.
Kudos to WWE for crafting what seems like a decent Divas storyline thus far, in lieu of WrestleMania. The match won’t be anything to write home about, but at least it might have some purpose.
Is TNA Paying Attention?
In case you are wondering, TNA Is watching WWE. Minutes after Raw, Kevin Nash Tweeted:
“is it just me or did bret just throw up a klique/wolfpac sign? looks like klique might have to hit the ring at wrestlemania.”
That of course gave the impression that Big Sexy was watching Raw instead of his own company’s program, TNA Impact.
So Nash had to send out another Tweet to clear up the confusion he created, reassuring his followers and his employers that TNA was very much at the top of his wrestling priorities:
“was sitting at a bar with my wife and raw was on. my tv was set to tna. ratings from my house went to tna. do the math.
1 more time..I watched tonight's show that tna produced last tuesday LIVE. i talked to 1 of my best friends 2day and he asked me to watch.”
And that is a wrap. Maybe I seemed a bit negative this time out, but excitement was not in abundance on Raw this week. Did you guys feel otherwise? What did you think about Stone Cold’s return to WWE? Do tell us all what you think! Thanks for reading.