This week, WWE goes old school for Monday Night Raw, throwing it back to the 90′s. With plenty of old timers expected to come back for cameos, it should be a night filled with nostalgia.
However, it won’t just be about nostalgia, as Raw is starting to roll on the Road to WrestleMania. Last weeks show featured plenty of great wrestling, most notably CM Punk vs John Cena, so there’s no reason to believe that trend won’t continue.
For the first time since he debuted the new WWE Championship, The Rock will make an appearance on Raw, kicking off the build to Twice In A Lifetime against John Cena, plus appearences from The Shield, CM Punk, and numerous WWE Legends.
But here is much more going on for Raw this week, so let’s get into the preview!
Nostalgia, Nostalgia Everywhere!
WWE.com, not surprisingly, has reported that Ric Flair, Ted Dibiase, Dusty Rhodes, and Jim Duggan would all be making appearances on the Old School Raw. This is hardly a stunning announcement, as WWE always brings back some stars from yesterday for their specials, especially for a special celebrating WWE’s past.
However, it isn’t just people that will be making a return, as they will also probably bring back the entire feel of Raw from the 90′s. That’s including set, commentary, ring, and just about everything else on the show. When WWE has a theme for a show, they often go all out with it, so expect to be bombarded with nostalgia to the point of nassau.
Personally, I’ve always been a big fan of when WWE utilizes nostalgia, as sometimes it can just be flat out fun. As long as they do it correctly and don’t over use it, it can be a great addition to any show.
That being said, Raw is going old school, so they very easily good go over board with it. As long as we don’t get long, drawn out segments featuring the returning 90′s stars, it should be a fun addition to the show.
Out of the 4 guys WWE has announced will be featured on the show, most fans, including myself, are most excited for Ric Flair. Flair, who returned to WWE late last year at the Slammy Awards, has been featured on multiple episodes of Raw and it’s always a fun time to see the Nature Boy back in his old stomping ground on Monday Night Raw.
I’ll admit, I really want to see somebody enter the Pipers Pit, but the host has been tight lipped on whether or not he would be making an appearence on the show. It just doesn’t feel right having a Old School Raw without the Hot Rod!
Another Lesnar/HHH Brawl?
Last week, as many predicted, Brock Lesnar and Triple H would officially kick of the build to their WrestleMania rematch, as they brawled throughout arena, a brawl that would leave Lesnar bleeding and The Game standing tall.
While many predicted that the two would have some type of altercation last week, few predicted it would be so physical. Lesnar would even have to get a handful of staples in his skull due to him being busted open by HHH.
If you are looking for a feud that’s constantly surprising you, this simply isn’t it, as it’s been quite predictable since it first started over the sumer. But that isn’t in the entertainment value is, it’s the fact that it has an old school vibe to it due to the brutality involved. It’s rare for a brawl to really take your breath away, and last weeks certainly did just that. For the first time in their feud, Brock Lesnar and Triple H have me excited.
This week, it’s still unclear what the two stars will be up to, but it’s easy to assume they will both be making appearances, especially after Triple H sent out a tout after last weeks show stating that “the ass kicker was back”. While I didn’t know Zack Ryder ever left, it should be fun to see The Game on TV more, as he’s one of my personal favorites of all time.
I’d predict that the HHH verbally spars with Lesnars ally, Paul Heyman, before getting physical with the former ECW owner in order to get back at Brock. It would build the feud nicely and make it even more personal, as each man would have taken out the others closest ally.
When it comes to story lines, it doesn’t get much more personal than Brock vs HHH, and that personal feud writes another chapter on Raw.
Twice in a Lifetime Build?
With The Rock returning to Raw, the build to Twice In A Lifetime will officially begin on Monday Night, as the two will look to verbally spar in order to hype one of the biggest rematches of all time.
Cena, who lost against The Rock at WrestleMania 28, has had one of the worst years of his career, failing to gain a WWE Title run or truly ever gain momentum. It was after his loss at ‘Mania where many felt that Cena would debut a slightly darker, possibly even heel persona. However, it never came to fruition, as WWE basically swept the loss under the rug and acted like it never happened.
That is, until 2 weeks ago, where they began to play up the redemption storyline a bit more as Cena prepared to take on CM Punk, with the winner facing The Great One at WrestleMania. Cena would pick up the victory, getting one step closer to the redemption he suddenly craves.
While The Rock is obviously a mega star, whether or not their feud is a success lies mostly in the hands of John Cena. If we get “good Cena”, a.k.a slightly more serious Cena, it could be a rematch for the ages. If not, it could taint their original match and all of WWE, as millions of eyes are on the company for the next few weeks.
Expect to see a promo or 2 from Cena and The Rock, either separate or together, hyping up their WrestleMania match. They could even throw out some type of stipulation, such as if Cena loses, then he will have to leave WWE or a No DQ match. It would add even more intrigue into a match that is already arguably the biggest draw since Rock faced Hulk Hogan.
Hopefully we do get a slightly darker side to Cena for the next few weeks until ‘Mania, as he can be one of the greatest ever even when he is being goofy, so just imagine him if he’s a tad more serious all the time.
That, my friends, is a scary thought.
NOW Can We Get the Undertaker!?!?!
In case you missed it (How could you?), John Cena and CM Punk would put on one of the best WWE Television matches ever, as the two rivals went to war for 25 minutes. Much of the hype surrounding their bout was the TV return of Undertaker though, due to the Deadman’s return at a live event.
Sadly, we wouldn’t see him come out during or after the match, despite reports that he was under the ring. WWE has done a masterful job of hyping his return without officially advertising him or making vignettes. Instead, they’ve had him make appearances at live events and questioned when he will be coming back. They’ve generated massive hype surrounding him without actually putting any effort into it, which is amazing when you think about it.
After his absence last week, it seems like a forgone conclusion the Deadman will be on Raw this week, especially after CM Punks promo from last week, where he stated that he was God. The promo was an obvious way to get Punks feud with Undertaker kicked off, and will likely be what the build surrounding their WrestleMania match is centered on, besides The Streak of 20-0 of course.
Perhaps the biggest question surrounding Undertakers return at this point exactly how they’ll do it. I’d guess that Punk will be in the midst of a promo, calling himself God again before we hear that beautiful noise of the Undertakers gong once again.
It truthfully doesn’t matter how they do it, as long as The Undertaker makes his return on Raw, I’ll be a happy man. It’s really feeling like WrestleMania season with The Deadman coming back.
And I mean, he has to come back on Raw this week, right? RIGHT!?!?!?!?!!??!!??!
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