WWE Raw Thoughts, February 24th 2014

With the WWE Network launching today, there were many theories floating around that the WWE would go all out to bring attention to tonight’s show. The theory being that they would try and get casual people to tune in that might not normally tune in, so they could at the very least find out about the WWE Network launch.

Would a major swerve happen on the show? Would big names make an appearance? Would Daniel Bryan be inserted into the title picture? Would Daniel Bryan WIN the title??

Well, they brought some big names back, but that was about it.

Before we get to the Raw, though, let’s back track to December, when it was first rumored about what the top matches at the Wrestlemania card were going to end up being. The rumored matches were:

Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker

CM Punk vs HHH

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt

Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus

Randy Borton vs Bootista

Obviously the Bryan vs Sheamus match stands out as a pile of shit because it would mean Bryan’s Wrestlemania moment would be…. facing a guy who beat him in 18 seconds two years ago. Not even for the title. Just for the sake of having him on the card.

This seemed like an insult to the top face in the company. A man who had gained such popularity that he was getting the loudest reactions at shows across the country. It would also fly in the face of the “slow burn” story line idea that Bryan being held down and screwed over repeatedly for half of the year was going to ultimately lead to his ultimate Wrestlemania moment. Jim Ross and Steve Austin recently chided fans for being upset about Bryan’s handling, saying it was indeed a “slow burn” story, and that fans just weren’t used to that kind of long range story telling.

The problem is, there is clearly no evidence that the WWE is doing anything close to a slow burn on this one. It feels like the WWE is doing the exact opposite of what the majority of fans want, and pass off any anger as “good heat”. You hate the story line or what you’re seeing on TV and boo? Well the WWE views that as a good thing, and that just shows how good they are at getting people to boo. It doesn’t matter that there is a huge difference between booing a dastardly heel (think Damien Sandow) vs booing a product that makes you feel like you wasted your money, all that matters is that the WWE is getting some sort of reaction, because they will then spin that as the desired outcome all along. Calling John Cena “the most controversial figure in WWE history” just shows you the kind of disingenuous spin job they like to pull off nowadays.

Case in point, let’s look at the rumored Wrestlemania card as it stands after today’s Raw.

John Cena vs Bray Wyatt

Randy Borton vs Bootista

Brock Lesnar vs Undertaker

Daniel Bryan vs HHH

Sheamus vs Christian?

So the question that stands out is, if CM Punk doesn’t quit the company, is Daniel Bryan still stuck fighting Sheamus? It seems like the long term plan they had several months ago is still the general idea they want to go with, which is having Orton vs Batista main event WM30.

Again, this can all change, we know how the WWE works. But as I said yesterday, even if Bryan does fight his way into the title scene and manage to win the title at Wrestlemania 30, this story line has been handled so poorly, the push managed so badly, that there is no way anyone in the WWE can possibly try and say it was a slow burn and that it played out just how they wanted it to, while keeping a straight face. There is simply no way to explain away 5-6 PPV’s thrown away for an inconsistent storyline about how Bryan gets screwed over all the time.

Anyways, as for the Raw itself, what happened?

– Hulk Hogan came back and basically did an infomercial for the WWE Network. He screwed up his lines at one point, but recovered nicely. It was so obviously a plug for the WWE Network, that it again fell flat as a segment.

Look, I get it that the WWE likes to make money for its shareholders, but my god, find a more subtle way of plugging your wares. What they do each week is the equivalent of standing in your face screaming “DID YOU DOWNLOAD THE AP YET??” over and over again. There is a subtle art to good advertising. Right now the WWE is kicking you in the junk and demanding you buy their shit. It’s god awful and annoying. I don’t need you to tell me to download the ap nor eat a Sonic burger at the commentary desk, just shut up and put on a good product instead of wasting my time watching Santino play with Lego.

– Alberto Del Rio faced Batista, and beat him when Randy Orton came out and distracted him. By standing on the stage.

I don’t like PPV’s having the same match the next night on Raw. It makes the PPV match feel less important, and it usually leads to the guy “giving back the win” to the guy he just lost to. I hate this recent trend of “giving back the win” to the guy who pinned you, on the next show. It’s right up there with title holders losing a bunch of non title matches. It just makes everyone look like a bunch of shitty wrestlers and doesn’t really push anyone as a strong wrestler.

On top of that, nobody wanted to see ADR vs Batista again. ADR only gets tepid reactions, unless it’s a PPV and people want to see him beat Batista. Batista can barely wrestle at this point as he has the stamina of an 90 year old man. Seriously, his matches currently consist of kicking a guy in the gut a couple of times, a couple of punches, then a sloppy spear, sprinkle in some no selling of offense, then he grabs the ropes and stomps the ground and hits his finisher. He is basically wrestling like Hulk Hogan.

His in ring crappiness was highlighted by Del Rio trying to do a head kick and Batista just ignored it and the announcers had to try and play it up as if ADR had JUST missed his head. It was a really really bad and sloppy spot. (To be fair, the Rock sweated more than Patrick Ewing at an NBA game his first match back, it’s a different stamina to have a match vs working out, so Batista could round more into form. It’s just right now, he looks done.)

Anyways, after Batista lost, Orton cut a shitty Orton promo about how Batista sucks, and how Orton is awesome. The crowd bood….well, they just bood everyone. Batista then got the mic and cut a SUPER awkward promo (he’s never been strong on the mic, but this was awful even for his standards) where he spent most of the time trying to catch his breath, while at the same time spitting all over the mic and drooling on occasion. Batista basically said he’s an honest guy and that if the crowd cheers him he cheers them and if they boo him he boos them, and that like it or not, he’s going to be WWE champion. I assume he then stopped in order to get access to an oxygen tank.

After this was done, the crowd bood some more. All I can say is if they keep this as the main event of Wrestlemania…..holy shit. Good luck with that one. If I’m Orton I am BEGGING HHH to find a way to get Bryan into that match to make it a triple threat, otherwise the fans are going to absolutely HATE that match. Seriously, the fans are bored of Orton and they HATE Batista. I have never seen a Wrestlemania main event for the title between two heels before, but that’s where we are. Crazy.

Funny part of the Orton promo was him calling out Batista on his return being a flop, I found that to be a solid part of the promo. It caused Batista to spit and drool in response.

– Big E defeated Cesaro due to Swagger DQ-ing Cesaro when he locked on the Patriot Lock on Big E.

Are they teasing a Real American break up so they can push Cesaro? Or are they just randomly doing things? I lean towards randomly doing things, because if there is one thing the current WWE likes to do, it’s do fuck all about what the crowd wants.

I will say this, Cesaro got the biggest face reactions during the match. His Cesaro swing absolutely kills, and during the match when he teased going for it, the crowd went bonkers. When he finally did the Cesaro Swing on Big E, Big E let his arms float, instead of putting them behind his head….it looked like he felt so free, flying in a circle…

But I digress. Cesaro continues to impress me with his brute strength spots (which the announcers play up, to their credit). His ability to toss Big E around was fun to watch and just showcases his potential as a main eventer.

Will they break up the Real Americans? Like I said, god knows, but it will be interesting to see if they can make Cesaro a viable face, or if they’ll Miz it up and screw his face turn up terribly. Or maybe they keep him in the Real Americans and sit back and watch the crowd chant “We the People?” (which they did, tonight. Again, a racist tag team is getting face reactions. Well done WWE.)

– John Cena came out and cut a promo on the Wyatt family. The Wyatt family came out and Bray rambled a bit then they beat up Cena, and later the WWE claimed Cena hurt his knee when later in the show they had Cena being taken away in an ambulance. Cena usually doesn’t sell injuries too well, and he was limping heavily on the knee, and it would be odd for him to play up a knee injury on a move that didn’t even look like it targeted the knee (it happened during the usual three man beat down of punches and kicks). It would be odd if Cena missed Mania with an injury, but this is Cena, he could lose both arms and he would still fight through his Mania match.

That being said, while the match itself does hold some intrigue (will the WWE actually allow Bray Wyatt to go over Cena?), I do have to say I am tired of Bray Wyatt’s promos. I fully admit he has a presence and he is a unique characters right now. And his delivery of his promos? Top notch!

But the content of his promos? Good lord, it’s like manager speak. If he started talking about leveraging his synergies in order to promote healthy outputs on the TPS reports, I wouldn’t even blink an eye. Tonight, for example, he said a line along the lines of “You’re hollow John Cena, you’re full of empty lies”….It sounds pretty, but to me all I’m thinking is “If he’s hollow, he shouldn’t be full of anything….”

He just says a lot of shit and has no purpose. It’s like he saw half a horror movie on TBS once and is just going off of that.

Seriously, what is Bray Wyatt’s purpose? God knows. He just comes out and accuses people of not being like him, in a roundabout way, and that’s that. Some people might love his promos, but I find them very empty. I would be excited if his promos had a purpose, as again, he has great delivery, but his content….blah. IRS had better content to his promos, I knew where IRS stood. You didn’t pay your taxes, well IRS was coming to get you. Bray Wyatt? I have no idea why he would come after me, except maybe to tell me my fortunes are flawed and that I am standing on a table made of shattered dreams that will only be fixed once I reap what the butcher sows….. Yay for random words!

– Sheamus beat up Christian

Yay? Christian didn’t look as yellow as he normally does tonight?

– Daniel Bryan was shown in a video demanding HHH fight him in a match, HHH called him a B level player then joked about possibly “finding him a spot on the Wrestelmania card”.

Yay. Bryan vs HHH. That would be awesome if HHH beat him clean.

Sigh.

– Booker T and Ric Flair were on a panel but I skipped it. I hate Booker T with the passion of a thousand suns (Spinarooni! Who wants to see a Spinarooni! Fuck off, not me.) and Ric Flair is a heart attack waiting to happen, it makes me uncomfortable to watch his face turn all red as he screams and woos.

– Daniel Bryan defeated Kane.

Typical Bryan match, with Kane slowly beating him up for most of the match, only for Bryan to dig down and win the match. I still don’t know how I feel about his knee finisher. A lot of the times it looks weak. It looks really strong when he actually hits people with it for real, like he did to Cena at Summerslam.

Bryan then grabbed a mic and played up wanting a match against HHH. The kept mentioning the “Yes Movement” throughout the show, so for those at home, the WWE loves cashing in on Bryan’s popularity for money and recognition, but not to actually let him win the title.

– Summer Rae vs Emma

Ok so let’s get this out of the way, I FUCKING HATE EMMA. I can’t stand her. Emmalution? Emmataining? More like fucking stupid and get off my TV. Her music is annoying. Her fucking dance, my god, her fucking dance is stupid. The fact she does her god damn fucking dance as she’s applying her submission finisher? Fucking fuckity fuck, fuck off. The fact she uses her Emma name in every fucking thing she does? Fucking die. Fuck fuck fuck. I hate it. We had JUST gotten rid of Brodus Clay and his fucking dancing, yet here we are again, stuck right back at having another stupid fucking dancing character.

And the weird part is she’s totally over in NXT. The crowd loves her. I don’t know if they do drugs in NXT or pump marijuana smoke into the crowd during shows, but fuck, they enjoy her character. I don’t get it. She’s fucking awful. I hate it.

Anyways, she beat Summer Rae and continued her stupid fucking story line of having a crush on Santino. Fuck both of you.

– New Age Outlaws lost to the Usos in a non title match. See, this is the “give the win back after the PPV” mentality I hate. On top of that, it’s doubled down with “Lose a non title match” which again, just makes things look weak overall. Weird part of the match was Uso 1 super kicking Road Dogg during his intro speech. It’s odd because the crowd fucking loves singing along to that intro, so it’s odd to have the Uso’s interrupt it, which comes across heelish.

Of course, in a perfect world the NAO wouldn’t even be DOING that intro right now, because they are heels. They shouldn’t be getting the crowd to chant along with them, thus it would be ok if the Uso’s attacked them preemptively.

But again, that would mean the WWE respect the ideas of heels vs faces, which they don’t right now. WHICH IS SO CONFUSING AND SHODDY.

Anyways, the Usos won after Uso 2 hit a splash on Road Dogg.

– Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt

They showed a quick clip of the Shield asking Ambrose about what happened last night (during the PPV Ambrose and Bray fought into the crowd and Bray eventually made his way back to the ring, while Ambrose never returned) and Ambrose alluded to the fact they didn’t trust him, so he took off.

I didn’t like the match, because a big part of the magic of the Shield vs Wyatts is watching Reigns and Bray face off. It’s like watching the two leaders go at it, like back when The Rock in his Nation days would square off during a match with HHH in his DX days. Putting Reigns vs Wyatt just felt like a waste on the Raw show, but maybe that was done on purpose to be a big draw for the show?

Either way they fought until the rest of the Wyatt family ran in, then Rollins appeared to help out, then they waited a few moments to tease the “Ambrose let them down!” idea, but then Ambrose ran down and helped out his buddies. The  matched ended with Reigns getting ready to spear Bray Wyatt only to be thwarted by Ambrose running in and attacking Bray, thus DQ-ing the Shield.

It was fine, it was just annoying to see the EXACT same storyline played out earlier with Swagger and Cesaro. Like, exactly the same DQ finish.

If Cena is out with an injury long term, I would happily watch the Shield stay together and take on the Wyatt family again at Wrestlemania, as I think those two factions have a lot more to give.

– Brock Lesnar signs contract to fight Undertaker

Ugh. I know people dig Undertaker, and I respect the hell out of the guy. I also know wrestling is fake, much like movies are. But much like movies should always respect a certain believably in order for me to continually suspend disbelief, wrestling must do the same as well. Having 48 year old Undertaker taken on 36 year old freak athlete Brock Lesnar is just too much for me. Lesnar should kill Undertaker. Absolutely kill him. But the fact that UT will never in a million years lose his streak to Brock, means the match will be Brock beating the crap out of him, getting several near falls, only to be tombstoned and beaten (god help me if they make Brock tap to him, so help me god if that happens).

Again, I like Undertaker. But at this stage in his career, just pay Sting whatever you want and have those two face off. Sting vs Undertaker? That’s a neat match between two old men. Brock vs Undertaker? I just can’t get behind it.

It also just underlines how BADLY Lesnar has been used by the company. Instead of bringing in Lesnar and building him up as a monster, they make him lose matches to Cena and HHH, and don’t use him to put over the new talent. Instead of having him come in like an unstoppable beast and then having someone like Bryan beat him, or Roman Reigns beating him (imagine Reigns taking on Lesnar, after months of booking Lesnar like the ultimate beast. Imagine the fan reaction if they had Reigns doing power spots on Lesnar, over powering him and having Lesnar sell his moves? It would be insane) they wasted Lesnar on HHH (THREE FUCKING TIMES. NOBODY WANTED THAT ONCE LET ALONE THREE FUCKING TIMES) and the god damn Big Show. If there was one name you would put last to face Lesnar when he first came back, it would have been Big Show. Show me one person who saw Lesnar come out that night against Cena and thought to themselves “Oh man, I hope this ends up with Show vs Lesnar!” Even Big Show didn’t think that.

CM Punk vs Lesnar at Summerslam was one of the best matches of the year, they handled that well, but seriously, you have limited appearances for Lesnar and you use three of them on HHH? How is that not HHH’s ego out of control? Ugh.

Anyways, UT will beat Lesnar and I will get sad. That is what I took from tonight’s segment. God bless Lesnar for selling people’s offense, though. The dude is a freak, he is so big, yet he can oversell like god damn Ziggler. It’s amazing. And Lesnar does it, every time. He would sell an old man pushing him softly the ground like it was a nuclear blast. Dude is a professional.

Anyways, the Raw was blah, and Wrestlemania looks to be full of garbage matches in my humblest of opinions, so I am not in the least bit excited. Again, all I keep seeing is “Well the WWE might be waiting to do….” as a hope that the Bryan story line somehow hits a pay off, but I don’t see it happening, or again, even if it does, it could have been done so much better.

The good news is the WWE looks to be hitting a high point in talent in the next year, as Cesaro, The Shield, The Wyatt’s, Damien Sandow, the stronger tag division are all full of talent and could make things far more watchable if they are pushed properly. Seriously, the Shield vs Wyatt’s at Elimination Chamber was amazing and it makes you excited for someone who actually knows how to tell a story to take over and run things next year. HHH could easily ruin it, but hopefully there is enough talent that will float to the top and displace the old guard whose time has come.

In closing, god damn fucking Emma. You’re garbage!

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8 Thoughts on WWE Elimination Chamber

1.) The Shield and the Wyatt Family is the best thing in wrestling in many years. It’s almost odd at this point to see a person or group of people booked well by the WWE, but here we are. The match was electric, and even after watching that match you get the feeling they could do four more matches even better. It saddens me that the Shield might be breaking up soon, as the Wyatt Family vs The Shield feels like it has a lot more in the tank.

2.) If the Shield is breaking up I will give the WWE credit for slow playing it. The dynamic of everyone in the Shield has kind of evolved and shown more depth to their characters since they’ve teased the break up, and as a result, we’ve seen a lot more character development from the team. From Roman Reigns becoming a legitimate future star, to Seth Rollins showcasing the same skills Ziggler has, except having just enough size that might actually allow the WWE to push him, to Dean Ambrose verbal skills on the mic, the Shield is my favorite thing in the WWE to watch. The best part of the match tonight was Ambrose jumping on Bray Wyatt like he was a monkey, throwing a bunch of punches as he took him down. It was just so chaotically desperate that it made you believe it was real for a second, and that is what the good wrestlers do, they suspend reality for a second or two. Ambrose and Bray Wyatt especially excel at the chaotic style, but everyone in the Shield vs Wyatt is fun to watch at this point. Seth Rollins moonsault landing from a top rope backdrop on his feet tonight spot might be the top moment from the show.

3) Roman Reigns is a stud and will be a huge star. This time next year, I have no doubt he will be in the title scene. The WWE continues to push him well, showcasing his power and giving him memorable spots. From fighting out of Cena’s STFU (or whatever the hell he calls it, I assume it’s the “I love puppies and kittens” finisher or whatever else he did to PG rate himself) to fighting out of Bray Wyatt’s first attempt at Sister Abigail, to the Rumble push where he eliminated 482 guys and several unicorns, Roman Reigns is being highlighted in almost every show. He is a big part of the WWE future. Which means let’s all pray they don’t screw it up.

4) Cesaro, who was rumored to have been disliked by Vince due to “not being marketable”, is now apparently marketable (again, for all the good things the WWE does, they do 9 things that make no sense, such as seeing no potential in Cesaro.) Luckily talent rises to the top once in a blue moon, and Cesaro was the MVP of the Elimination Chamber match for me. He emerged as a star in this match as he had several big spots, and just seemed to have that “IT” factor where you got excited watching him wrestle. He got some of the biggest cheers of the night, especially for his Cesaro Swing which is one of the most over moves in the company. He honestly looks like the legit strongest guy in the company.

5) Now to the bad stuff. Batista has been a huge flop so far. The crowd does not like him, and it’s garnering a lot of heat for him. Not the good heat mind you, he is getting X-Pac heat, where the crowd just doesn’t want to see him. Here is how bad it got tonight:

Alberto Del Rio, who is an emotional black hole that nobody has any investment in, someone who is playing a very boring heel as of late, was blatantly cheered on by the crowd during the match tonight. Yes, Del Rio in one night became one of the top faces in the company, just for the sake he was fighting Batista. You got the feeling Hitler himself could have risen out of the grave, and people still would have cheered him on over Batista.

The WWE did everything they could to prevent this. They had ADR fake an injury at the start of the match, coming down with a neck brace and a crutch, claiming he couldn’t fight. Then he proceeded to beat down Batista for 2 full minutes with the crutch. Then they booked the match so ADR beat up Batista for almost all of it, leading to the “epic comeback spot” that John Cena usually uses to get at least a few cheers. Nope, nothing worked. They cheered on every ADR kick, punch, and slam. It was bizarre. It got so bad that the crowd hijacked the match and just started chanting the names of people they’d rather see than Batista. RVD, Y2J, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, they all had their name chanted during this match.

I know the WWE wanted Batista to come back and bring some star power with him, and to be fair, he was a top guy when he left, but man, picturing him in the Wrestlemania main event seems like such an awful proposition right now. Part of it is people don’t have a huge attachment to Batista, and lot of it has to do with people seeing Batista as another guy that isn’t Daniel Bryan getting the top spot, which leads to a lot of hate.

I would say make him a full on heel, but the WWE seems to get off on having blurred lines as of late, plus they have a boner for Orton vs Batista for some reason.

6) Rumor has it Naomi was going to face AJ Lee at ‘Mania for the title, and win it, which would have been a nice story line for Total Diva’s. With Naomi getting hurt, it seemed like that was thrown by the wayside, but nope, Cameron took Naomi’s place tonight, and it looks like they slotted her into the storyline they had for Naomi. AJ won tonight, but Female Diesel (Tamina Snuka) super kicked AJ and almost cost her the fight, which has the whole Female Diesel is going to cost AJ at Mania written all over it. Female Diesel should just wear chaps and aviator sun glasses and get it over with at this point.

My problem with this is two fold:

1)      I know the Diva’s title is a joke right now, but having a title win for the benefit of Total Divas just cements the fact that yes, this title is a piece of trash and will be passed around if it helps get some ratings for a side project.

2)     But fine, it’s the Diva’s title, it’s not like that is sacred to me. Even then, though, the thought of Cameron winning it, who is one of the sloppiest wrestlers on the roster, makes me very very sad. If you want someone to win it from Total Diva’s, at least let Nattie win it, who although can also be sloppy, at least has much more technical prowess then Cameron. Lita and Trish would shed a tear if Cameron won the title.

7) Randy Orton won, by shock of shocks, having Kane come out and screw over Daniel Bryan. It was down to Orton and Bryan after the Wyatt family took out Cena, and then Kane came down and cost Bryan.

So here is my problem with this.

1)      We’ve seen this before for like 4-6 PPV’s. It’s tired. It’s old. It’s boring.

2)     Anyone with half a brain saw this, and the last gazillion PPV’s results, coming. Which is shitty writing no matter how you slice it.

3)     Right now, Daniel Bryan isn’t in the Mania main event. As it stands, it is Orton vs Batista in the main event. That is INSANE to think they could even THINK of doing that. Wrestlemania crowds and the Raw the night after, is purely in the 18-42 demographic, the demographic who cheers on Bryan and CM Punk and Ziggler. If you’ve ever wanted to see a crowd shit all over a match and completely ruin it, watch it happen if they actually make it stand as Orton vs Batista.

Now, the theory that always gets thrown forward of course is that “Bryan will have his moment.” So technically, yes, Bryan could end up getting into the main event, and somehow win the title, thus getting his Wrestlemania moment, and thus technically being the big pay off for being “screwed over” for an entire year basically.

My problem with that line of thinking is that even if it does happen, it means the WWE threw away around 5 PPV’s on screw job Daniel Bryan endings. They basically said “hahahah give us your money” and wasted people’s time by repeating a story line over and over again. It’s one thing to play the long game with a storyline, it’s another thing to completely bury a wrestler and give him no sort of revenge and bore the fans, making them feel like they wasted their money. How many rows in a week did Bryan get tripled power bombed by the Shield at one point? Five? It got so repetitive that it lost all entertainment value.

So think about it, when did Bryan really get to extract revenge? He got to spray paint a car. That was his big moment. Take that authority, Daniel Bryan just spray painted your car! Yeah!

Sigh.

Steve Austin got to basically anally probe Vince McMahon in a hospital in the Attitude days and that was just a regular Monday. He always had his spots where he got the upper hand after being held down. Daniel Bryan was consistently beaten up and given no sort of momentum of any kind and the only way to view that is an attempt to minimize him and bury him.

“But Wyatt, that’s the point, it made him super sympathetic and made people want to see him win even more!”

Well my problem with that line of thinking is that it gives the WWE too much credit. This is not a smart company. This is a company that cares more about corporate sales than telling a good story. This is a company that prefers its low end wrestlers sell toys on a PPV instead of wrestle a match. This is a company that reverses a heel turn for the Miz a week after it started because he has a Christmas made for TV movie coming out the next week. This is a company that has such god awful story telling that nobody can tell who is good or bad, which has led to people CHANTING FOR A RACIST TAG TEAM. The Real American’s get CHANTS now, because at least they can wrestle and aren’t being force fed down their throats. People literally have zero idea who the hell they are supposed to cheer and boo which is insane to me. For a company that runs a “Be a Star” anti bullying campaign, it’s really odd to see racists get cheered on TV, that’s all I’m saying.

A lot of this starts with HHH. He is so busy being the “wink wink” cool guy that he wants to be both an oppressive regime authority figure but also a guy who “won’t get pushed around” and acts like a face. In short, HHH is a fucking idiot.

Seriously, the WWE takes credit for things it shouldn’t (Daniel Bryan’s popularity. Remember, they tried to fire him once for real, for choking someone with a cable cord because that was too extreme for PG, but the crowd basically chanted his name until they had to bring him back) and the WWE shits in your mouth over things that are bad and acts like it’s a storyline. When HHH has his buddies like Orton, Batista, and the New Age god damn fucking Outlaws all on the top of the show, it pisses people off. Why? Because HHH has the reputation of holding people back his entire career, and only helping his friends.

So what does HHH do when people boo Orton and Batista? He makes sly subtle jokes about it as if it’s part of the show. HHH notices people booing Batista? He mentions how his “good friend Batista” won the Rumble, knowing full well mentioning someone is his friend will garner heat.

And again, not good heat. It’s bullshit X-Pac heat.

On top of that, the rumored matches for Mania before CM Punk left was that Punk would fight HHH (hence Kane’s involvement with him), Cena would face the Wyatt’s, and Orton would face Batista, and Bryan would face Sheamus. Yes, Sheamus.

With Punk out, Bryan seemingly got the Kane story line, which doesn’t lead me to believe they had any thought of putting Bryan in the main event.

Remember, this is a company that knows the fans love Bryan yet held him out of the god damn Rumble match. Again, there is one thing to slow play a story line, there is another thing to shit in your mouth, and that is what the WWE did with not putting Bryan in the Rumble. They could have EASILY put Bryan in the Rumble so the fans could see him and still have Batista win (it’s not like they’re against screwing over Bryan), but they held him out, and as a result, made people hate Rey Mysterio for not being Daniel Bryan, and made them officially turn on Batista.

So yeah, Bryan might still end up winning Mania, sure. But it will not have been done well (there were so many better ways to do it, such as having Kane being an inside guy for Bryan the entire time), and it will have been at the cost of many bad PPV’s. It feels like anytime the crowd hates a result, the WWE pretends they are hip and cutting edge by having fans with mixed reactions about the results. No, it’s not cool that people don’t know who to cheer for, it’s fucking bad story telling, which at the end of the day, is 50% of wrestling.

Anyways, I could go on and on about this, but let’s just leave it at that. The WWE’s inability to tell a good story is making it unwatchable at the moment, save for the Shield and the Wyatts.

8) The WWE Network launches tomorrow, and maybe they have a huge title change occur to get people to tune in, but most likely the big names of Hogan, Flair and Undertaker will be all they do, but it should still be an interesting night. The only sad part for me will be if Lesnar vs Undertaker happens. I have zero desire to see that. Lesnar is a beast and to have to see him sell Undertakers offense and lose to him (no offense to Taker, but he’s old now) just slows down Lesnar’s momentum that could have been used to elevate another star (*cough cough* Reigns *cough cough*)

Three Stars of the Night:

The Shield

The Wyatts

Cesaro