We're less than twenty days to Wrestlemania and Monday Night Raw is in the books. As we head toward the WWE's biggest show of the year, we saw Brock Lesnar make an appearance hyping his match against Goldberg at Wrestlemania, Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe faced off against Sami Zayn and Chris Jericho in a tag team match, and Roman Reigns have a discussion with the legendary Shawn Michaels discussing Roman's upcoming match against The Undertaker. How did the Red Brand of the WWE stack up?
The opening of the show with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar was another instance of Paul Heyman giving a free lesson in how to give a promo in the ring. On his worst night, Paul Heyman is better on the mic than most people that have ever laced up boots in the history of professional wrestling. Brock Lesnar himself seemed more animated than he usually does in the ring, obviously excited for a chance to face off against Goldberg as well as enjoying the type of payday Wrestlemania has to offer.
One thing I have to question the WWE about is the fact that this promo was not advertised the week before. The only part of the show that was advertised was the tag team match between Enzo and Big Cass vs Sheamus and Cesaro. Why they don't do more to tell folks what is happening on the next week of Raw just befuddles me. Either they are content with not wanting to intrigue the audience enough to get them to want to tune in next week or they simply don't know what the hell is going on week by week. Evidence would probably indicate that the latter theory is true more than anything but even if the show is not set in stone more than a week out, why they can't have one to three reasons to get people tuned in the next week is just silly. It's common sense for any television show to want to hook viewers into wondering what is going to happen next. The less they hype what happens the next week, the less they hype big names like Brock Lesnar making an appearance, the more people they're leaving in the dark as to why they should tune in on a weekly basis.
The tag match between Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe vs Sami Zayn and Chris Jericho was great. While it won't go down as the greatest match in wrestling history, it did a lot to continue the feud between all four competitors. The match on Raw was not going to settle any feuds so having it go for an extended period would have been pointless. They did enough to keep folks intrigued which is all they need to do at this point for the main story they're looking to tell among the four between Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho.
Having Shawn Michaels show up to talk to Roman Reigns about his upcoming match with The Undertaker at Wrestlemania was great. The segment itself was a great tease into the power Roman Reigns could have if the WWE pulled the trigger and made him a full fledged bad guy. Roman showed more edge in his promo with Shawn Michaels than I've seen him show for a long time. It was some of the best work I've seen from him. It's like he's channeling the anger he feels for the fans not accepting him like he feels they should. He needs to embrace that and bring it to the microphone more. The only thing that went wrong with this angle was having Braun Strowman show up and attack him at the end. If Strowman had nothing to do with this segment, folks would want to hate Roman even more than they do now yet at this point it would be because Roman wanted them to. I hope to see Roman cheat his way to a victory against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania and ride the wave of a heel run for at least a year. The man has talent to be big. He just needs some time to season as a performer. Being a bad guy will give him that time.
Overall, this show was more about the setup for the biggest show of the year than anything else. I didn't expect much to happen news wise. The only thing that was a bit of a surprise was Seth Rollins appearing at the end of the show without the aid of crutches. Yet Pro Wrestling Sheet reports that Seth Rollins status for Wrestlemania is still up in the air so I would be a little hesitant on breathing a sigh of relief just yet. Wrestlemania is looking to be a good show comapred to years past. They're using the WWE Network to their advantage. They're also at a point where they appear to finally be listening to fans as to who to push. Granted, the fans are a bit crazy compared to years past but that doesn't mean the fans are always wrong as to who is popular and who isn't. As the old saying goes, a broken clock is right twice a day.
Wrestlemania will be on April 2nd on the WWE Network.
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SOURCE: Pro Wrestling Sheet