By Will Pruett
Full disclosure: To retain his sanity, Will Pruett watches the 90 minute edit of Raw on Hulu. He has no regrets. We are going all bullet point thoughts this week, because nothing important happened.
– These driving euphemisms used to discuss WWE’s journey to WrestleMania are getting out of hand. I thought we had switched to the fast lane (well, Fastlane) just over a week ago, but now we are suddenly encountering a road block (well, Roadblock) of some sort. My friend Zack Zimmerman has already used his “HOV Lane” joke. I’m trying to think of a “Detour” pun. This is all just too much.
– Undertaker addressing the whole “being forced to kill Shane McMahon in a cage with a lid” situation seemed like it would be newsworthy, but it wasn’t. Part of me wonders if this is for the better. Undertaker and Vince McMahon didn’t offer a long explanation to an inexplicable story. Why would they? They simply played out the next chapter without offering a ton of backstory. In a way, I admire this effort. It doesn’t answer every question, but it makes the story as interesting as possible.
– Dean Ambrose and Triple H’s mini-feud seems to be kicking into full-blown feud territory. This is a positive for the Triple H vs. Roman Reigns WrestleMania story. While it demonstrates how much better Dean Ambrose is in quite a few ways, it also fills time for Roman. Roman Reigns getting killed by Triple H and occasionally beating Sheamus for seven weeks would be boring. Now, we get to anticipate Roman showing up and eventually saving his good buddy. This makes Roman look a little better.
– Don’t get me wrong, WWE is still playing against type and against the crowd when it comes to the WrestleMania main event. We’ll have time to discuss this in the coming weeks.
– Dean Ambrose is supper good at getting beat up, then finding a microphone.
– Stephanie McMahon’s promo on this show will be analyzed by wrestling journalists incessantly this week, and for good reason. I believe she spoke what she believes to be truth for much of it. It was a compelling performance from one of the best talkers in wrestling right now (actually, both Shane and Stephanie currently occupy my “best talker” category). Her anger at Shane for leaving and response to the fans’ reaction to him was true enough to make her compelling, but not too true, to turn fans against Shane O’Mac.
– The emphasis on The Authority going into WrestleMania this year makes me feel like The Authority may be ending at the show. I guess we will find out.
– Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch have yet to have a standout match with each other on the main roster, despite multiple opportunities. The double pin sequence in this match was borderline embarrassing. The replays of it didn’t help anyone on this front. Charlotte’s facial reactions and backstage promo were pretty good, especially compared to the match.
– The New Day vs. A.J. Styles and Chris Jericho (Please do not make Y2AJ a thing) was a fun match. I’m looking forward to the title match next week and seeing where the story goes from there. Styles and Jericho still haven’t had the heated match I expected them to build to, so maybe this is the time.
– People can stop complaining about The Freebirds not being in the WWE Hall of Fame. Also, Michael Hayes’ suit will likely be legendary.
– Alberto Del Rio is not the hook you want to keep people tuned into Raw’s third hour.
This wasn’t the most exciting episode of Raw. Between the mixed metaphors included in the Road to Roadblock to Fastlane to WrestleMania thing and the lack of development in most top stories, it just felt like a time-filler show. Even the opening segment, which had some compelling moments, felt padded with filler. WWE is stretching for time after sprinting quite a bit last week. I don’t mind a little time to recover from major developments, but this was a total nothing show for the most part.
Got thoughts on this show or my review of it? If they aren’t super annoying thoughts (and please don’t ignore this and post super annoying thoughts), hit me up with them! Check the Twitter @itswilltime, leave a comment, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ProWrestling.net's Will Pruett discussing AEW Full Gear including the polarizing Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega match, what's drawing Will to AEW Dynamite over NXT TV, the appeal of NWA Powerrr, and much more...