For the first time in WEEKS, Monday Night Raw was actually watchable. There were some moments that dragged but overall it was a good show. Compared to Fastlane, they didn’t have to try that hard to do better.
Can we talk about Fastlane for a moment? For the last event before Wrestlemania, it was awful. There was just nothing really special about it at all. There were no surprises, no real builds to anything, it was just mediocre. I always felt that from the time that the Royal Rumble happens until the final moments of Wrestlemania, everything has to be special in some way. With the brand split, there is only a limited amount of time for them to finish of current storylines and build to the matches. At Fastlane, they didn’t really utilize what time they did have and it felt like a regular show. And don’t even get me started on Goldberg taking the title from Kevin Owens, that’s a different post for a different day…
What we got on Monday was the show that we should have gotten on Sunday. It was full of action, built intrigue for the matches at Mania, it had the Undertaker for god sakes. You can’t really ask for much more than that. The standout moments to me were the interactions between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens and, of course, the Undertaker. I’ve been saying for months that if KO and Chris have a Wrestlemania match that it will be amazing. Those two guys have such a great rapport with each other that they could wrestle in the most ridiculous match ever and it would still be main event material. I’m actually really sad about the breakup of their friendship but I’m secretly hoping that it’s just a giant troll on their part.
My absolute favourite moment was when the Undertaker appeared because I was legitimately not expecting it at all.
When Strowman came out to confront Roman, I thought that’s who we would get. Roman’s music would hit, he’d come down the ramp, they’d get into a tussle, and then the show would be over. Instead what we got was the arena going black and the sound of a gong. I got so excited that I threw my phone and scared my dog. That stare down between Braun and Taker was the things that Wrestlemania matches are made of. I thought that they had abandoned the idea of Roman and Taker because we haven’t seen Taker since the Royal Rumble. Braun is a big guy but I didn’t think that a match between the two would go the same as the one with Giant Gonzales at Wrestlemania 9 (I think it was).
As the crowd grew louder, Braun backed out of the ring and the Undertaker was left by himself. Roman’s music then hit and the crowd let out a collective sea of boo’s. Even I turned on him, and I love Roman Reigns. One does not simply just step to the Undertaker and NOT expect an ass whooping. Now, I’m ever the WWE optimist and I want to believe that their match will be great because they both are great wrestlers and I enjoy them both. Like I mentioned before, Raw was everything that Fastlane should have been. There’s not that much time left before Wrestlemania and the build to it has been lacklustre.
They have a little over three weeks to get their asses in gear and actually build something of the biggest event of their calendar year. I hope that they can get it together…