With just two weeks remaining until WrestleMania, Raw looks to continue the build towards WWE’s biggest show of the year. Not only will they look towards ‘Mania, but also make up for last weeks awful show and poor rating, the lowest since The Rock won the WWE Championship.
With the WWE Champion The Rock finally returning to Raw, plus more Undertaker/Punk and Brock/HHH build, this weeks show should more than deliver. WWE has also started to build their undercard for WrestleMania up more, which could lead to a much more consistent show, as everything will be geared towards the show of shows.
Now, get an in depth preview of this weeks Monday Night Raw!
The rumored bout between Henry and Ryback was finally confirmed last week in the most awkward of ways. The blame for that can solely be placed on the shoulder of Vickie Guerraro, who brutally butchered her promo announcing the match. While it obviously doesn’t destroy the entire feud, it didn’t get the build to Henry vs Ryback off to the best of starts.
Despite Vickie’s less than stellar promo, many fans are excited to see a feud between two of WWE’s strongest competitors, as it’s sure to have plenty of hard hitting action. That would further be proved on Smackdown, where the two big men stared each other down before Ryback clotheslined Henry. It would sum up what the two’s feud is going to be all about.
No talking, just pure strength.
Because of that, fans can expect a somewhat similar segment on Raw this week, with both men once again playing up on their strength. The build to their WrestleMania match won’t, and shouldn’t, feature much talking, instead it will be all about how both men want to be the beast of WWE.
While Mark Henry was rumored to have injured himself at a WWE Live Event, I’m still fully expecting to see the Worlds Largest Man take on The Ryback at ‘Mania, even if they have to make the build to the match a bit less physical. In fact, it should be interesting to see how they work around Henry’s apparent injury in the coming weeks, as he’s been built like a major part of the show since his return.
Since the feud was reignited several weeks ago on Raw, Brock Lesnar and Triple H have done a spectacular job of building towards their WrestleMania rematch. That build continued last week, where Lesnar announced their match would be No Holds Barred, meaning that it has potential to be more brutal than their bout at SummerSlam.
Also last week, Triple H begged for another brawl with Brock, this time bringing his patented Sledgehammer with him. Not surprisingly, Lesnar declined the invitation and scurried to the back.
Considering many were less than excited at the prospect of a rematch between Lesnar and HHH, WWE has done a great job in getting fans amped up for the bout. In fact, many fans have said that they’re more excited for Brock/HHH than any match on the card.
This week, that build continues, as both Brock and Triple H are expected to be at Raw. Because of that, I’d expect to see The Game come out to kick of Raw and discuss how he will be going up with The Freak in a No Holds Barred Match. From there, Lesnar will come out alongside his close friend and ally Paul Heyman, with both men trying to make this feud even more personal then before. The Game will likely want to brawl once again, but Brock will retreat again, claiming that he only fights on PPV.
While a similar thing happened last week in the contract signing between the two, it worked well and could work well once again, as it plays up on both mens characters nicely.
While it won’t main event ‘Mania or even Raw, Lesnar vs Triple H has arguably been the best built match heading into WWE’s biggest PPV event of the year, and that build continues this week.
UNDERTAKER AND CM PUNK: CAN IT GET MORE PERSONAL?
Since his return, The Deadman has been forced into one of his most personal feuds ever by CM Punk, who has been less than respectful to Takers now deceased father, Paul Bearer. The feud would get even more personal last week, when Punk dropped Bearers urn in a backstage segment.
Due to the lack of respect shown by Punk towards Bearer, many fans have become infuriated at the feud thus far, saying that a legendary manager deserves more than thus. Oddly, those are the same fans that whine about WWE’s product being “too PG” and that the company needs to utilize more edgy storylines in the future. Also, Bearer’s family reportedly signed off on him being used in the storyline.
Anyway, this has already evolved into one of Undertakers most personal WrestleMania feuds of all time. Much like Brock/HHH, the storyline will likely continue that trend on Raw this week.
I’d expect to see the match continue to be built around Bearer and his urn, with Punk and Taker maybe getting physical.
Due to Bearer’s recent passing, plus Punk’s disturbing comments towards The Deadmans former manager, the match between Taker and Punk is certain to have the most heat on it come WrestleMania sunday. Because of that, The Undertakers WrestleMania match will likely once again steal the show, and the build to that match continues on Raw.
FINALLY…THE ROCK RETURNS
After missing back to back Monday Night Raws, The Rock seems to be set for his return to WWE’s flagship show this week. After what many have called a a terrible Raw last week, Rocks return is more than welcome, as the WWE has been without its champion for two straight weeks.
Fans have been highly critical on The Rock in those two weeks, telling anybody that would listen about how he shouldn’t be the champion unless he was on Raw every week and that he was dragging the show down. However, ratings have remained relatively high despite Rock’s absence, something that has likely been caused by the star power of Rock in mainstream media.
While it obviously sucks that Raw has been without the WWE Champion several times in the last month, ratings have soared since The Rock became champion, meaning that it’s obviously worked in one way or another. And now that he will be on Raw for the next two weeks, fans should be getting their moneys worth until WrestleMania.
This week, expect to see John Cena come out first, cutting a promo further hyping his desire for redemption. However, The Rock will quickly interrupt and the two will once again go to war, this time with words. Their segment from Old School Raw was phenomenal, and there’s no reason to believe Cena and Rock can’t improve off of it, especially with the added emotion of The Rocks return.
Personally, I’m excited to see The Rock back on Raw, as he’s one of the most talented men in wrestling history, plus is a massive star that effects the entire show by his mere presence. The Rock is good for business and good for wrestling, and that’s the bottom line.
WWE RAW PREVIEW GRADE: A-
After last weeks awful Raw, I’ve lowered my expectations a bit, but WWE will likely try to redeem themselves, putting on a great show in the process. Plus with WrestleMania just two weeks away, the company has no choice but to deliver in their last couple of Raw’s before their biggest show.