- The opening segment to this week’s Raw is the best promo sequence of any wrestling TV show since the elimination chamber go-home last year. WWE Creative deserve enormous credit for transforming the Batista disaster into a title angle with four interesting, truly three-dimensional characters. It’s like a truth and reconciliation segment. Acknowledging the fans (and reality) always seems to lead to pro wrestling at its best. Guaranteeing a triple threat at Wrestlemania makes the title match work whether Bryan or HHH win. The characterisation is just fantastic, as it tends to be when the writer’s backs are against the wall. Maybe make it an elimination match? That would be the icing on the cake.
- Nice to see the Real Americans getting a win. This is a clever, unpredictable result which adds a little intrigue to the division.
- WWE Slam City reminds me of the brilliant Kurt / Van Dam Olympics TNA skit a couple of years back.
- I’m glad to see Cena making a kind of apology for pointlessly burying Wyatt last week. God, the writers are on fire this week. Seriously.
- Orton is also *great* tonight. His facial expressions; his old-school heelage. His character suits him perfectly right now. The finish to his match with Bryan seems like a sneak preview of what I don’t think will be happening at Wrestlemania.
- I enjoyed Heyman’s video package. It made me think of something the company might put out themselves, desperately trying to convince us that Taker might lose the tiresome streak.
- Goldust didn’t look at all happy after his match. No idea why but I hope it doesn’t lead to repercussions backstage for him or Fandango, both of whom are great fun.
- Kane did a great job of loooking scared of the Shield. To think he’s spent so much of his career under a mask. However if this was a Shield face turn, it fell a little flat.
- Naomi somehow looks even hotter in her eye patch. Great to see her back.
- Maybe the final beatdown of Bryan was predictable, but it was fun and necessary. I’m personally a great fan of action between wrestlers with contrasting physiques and styles, and HHH / Bryan has that in spades. Now that there’s an actual point to the match, I suspect it’s going to be the highlight of the card.
This was a great Raw featuring a not nearly so great crowd. With the Bryan Problem dealt with, the Wrestlemania card (aside from the terrible Battle Royal idea) is finally building momentum.