Last night’s RAW kicked off big. Hulk Hogan came out, addressed his return, flexed his muscles, and got the crowd pumped. It was perfect. Hulk Hogan is a wrestling icon who looks even bigger standing in front of that large crowd only WWE can deliver. Naming him the guest host of ‘Mania makes sense. It’s great to see the Hulkster come home, and he looks better than he has in quite some time. Whatcha gonna do?
Batista and Alberto Del Rio got to square-off in the “rematch of the year (that absolutely nobody requested)”. It was fine. Where things got interesting was after the match, when Orton confronted Batista. I thought it was smart to have both men directly confront the chorus of jeers and “Bootista” chants that have dominated audiences recently. Batista was obviously a little gassed and probably didn’t have the best delivery. What I didn’t like was the ambiguity of Batista’s character after the promo. Was that a heel turn? How is he going to confront the WWE audience? Is he really going to “boo” them back?
Cesaro looked great, as always. While I’ll be sad to see The Real Americans eventually split, their ensuing matchup should be entertaining.
You know what was impressive? Bray Wyatt’s promo. The man has completely reinvented himself, and his total embrace of the Wyatt character is impressive. Fans who keep chanting “Hus-ky Har-ris,” really need to sit down and evaluate their position in life. I wasn’t originally sold on the idea of Bray Wyatt tackling WWE’s biggest moneymaker, but after last night, this feud has a ton of upside. Will Bray Wyatt eventually lose? Presumably. But if these two men continue to lock horns on RAW every week like they did last night, Wyatt can still come out of this looking like a mega star.
Hey, Christian is a heel again! That’s great! Now if only he could use his newfound heel tactics to win a match…
Daniel Bryan had a lengthy match against Kane that was pretty fantastic. Well, fantastic outside of seeing Kane wrestle in dress pants and a wifebeater… Bryan settled his score from Sunday and proceeded to call out Triple H. Wait, what? I’m totally on board with Daniel Bryan getting his ounce of revenge, and a match between himself and Hunter makes more sense than CM Punk EVER did. Unfortunately, where fans want to see Bryan (and where Bryan deserves to be) is in the ‘Mania main-event. Last night didn’t inspire much confidence that he’ll get there.
Roman Reigns taking on Bray Wyatt had a big-fight feel. Considering that just over a year ago both of these men were relatively unknown, it’s impressive that they’re taking up so much air time on a weekly basis. The DQ finish made sense as it protects both men. It also furthered the dissention between Ambrose and Reigns. Things continue to look bright for The Wyatts, The Shield, and the WWE roster.
It happened. Last night, Brock Lesnar came out and demanded a championship match or some such nonsense (why didn’t you enter the Royal Rumble then?), and Paul Heyman cut a promo about what “his client” deserves. Yada yada. We were all too busy waiting for THE moment to pay any attention. So when Undertaker’s music hit, so did the chills. The stare-down was intense, the moment was palpable, and Undertaker’s chokeslam to Lesnar did everything it needed to sell me on their match at Wrestlemania 30. I’m still not convinced there isn’t a better opponent for ‘Taker that actually wrestles on a week-to-week basis. But the idea of seeing two giants collide on sports entertainment’s biggest stage has me pumped.
Overall Show was entertaining. Unfortunately, it stayed in the lines, and played everything pretty safe, so there weren’t too many “can’t miss” moments. But WWE still has time to right the ship before April 2nd… and hopefully it will. Baby steps.
What was YOUR reaction to last night’s RAW? Give your opinion in the comments below, or sound off with Between the Ropes on Twitter and Facebook! While you’re at it, be sure to follow me @therealwiseman, for non-stop snark and loosely-guided opinions.