WWE Doesn’t Advance WrestleMania Booking on Raw

Looking back at Monday's Raw, there just wasn't much that happened to progress the storylines ...

If you missed Monday’s Raw,don’t worry, because you didn’t miss much. That’s not a knock on the performers, but when Monday’s show finished after about three hours and 10 minutes, looking back, there weren’t many storylines actually forwarded.

Let’s first look at the main event picture. What was established here? Reigns and Ambrose teased zero antimosity when they teamed up and beat New Day, despite being opponents in just a few weeks at Fastlane,which will determine the main event for WrestleManiaand put them in, arguably, the biggest match of their careers. Certainly it would be the biggest match in Ambrose’s career.

But for now, they’re best buds. 

Brock Lesnar is the wildcard in that match, and will almost surely be attacked by the Wyatt Family in order to set up another WrestleManiamatch, in case you miss Fastlanethere isn’t much to worry about, because we can see this angle coming a mile away. Lesnar comes out after Reigns and Ambrose win, he F5s Ambrose and that’s it.

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It was a maintence show, in most regards. There wasn’t much advanced. That’s OK but it felt a little out of place for WrestleManiaseason, when WWE is usually ramping up its product with big happenings ahead of its Super Bowl.

Where is Undertaker? Is it possible we don’t see him at WrestleMania 32? Remember, the idea was that Undertaker would wrestle John Cena in one of the show’s main events, but with Cena lost to an injury that will keep him out 6-9 months, that match appears to be shelved. There doesn’t seem to be another spot for Undertaker on this card, unless something develops quickly.

Or, maybe there is the slimmest of slim chances that Cena can be ready by April. That would only be about three months, and half of the projected recovery schedule, but we’ve seen Cena come back quickly from injuries in the past. In 2008, Cena won the Royal Rumbledespite originally being expected to miss the entire spring, including WrestleMania, with a torn pectoral muscle he suffered in a match against Mr. Kennedy. 

That’s another big-money match for the biggest-of-money shows.

Aside from the World Title match, which I can promise you will be Triple H vs. Roman Reigns, there isn’t much else we can really project for WrestleMania 32, and stagnant Raw‘s like this week doesn’t help. Triple H vs. Reigns and Wyatt vs. Lesnar appear to be two matches we can bank on. I’d also believe that Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the Divas Title is a good bet.

But in order to hit 100,000 people at Jerry’s World just outside of Dallas, WWE will probably need more than that.

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WWE’s Narrative Again Lost

In what turned out to be an unintentional comedic moment, Michael Cole talked about how the matches are so important now with WrestleMania 32right around the corner. Dolph Ziggler pinned Kevin Owens, and instead of raving about the upset, the announcers talked about the matches being important.

That’s funny, because last week, the matches were so important that the Authority completely ignored them when setting up the main event for Fastlane,booking Brock Lesnar in the main event despite him not even being on the show.

You just can’t have it both ways. If your matches are worthless and there to merely fill time, which is ironic for a wrestling company, but that’s essentially what the matches on Raware there for, to fill up time, then at least be honest with your audience. Treat the matches seriously, treat them with importance, and then tell me how important they are, and I might actually believe you.

Goldust, Truth Do Wrestling Comedy Right

Wrestling isn’t supposed to be funny. That’s one of my longstanding issues with the way Vince Russo wrote the shows. There was too much humor for me, and a lot of it was very much written for the sophomore side of people.

R-Truth and Goldust, though, they do it right. There’s something about their timing that, despite it not being taken seriously, I think could seriously have some legs. It’s OK to laugh every once in a while, despite what Jim Cornette might suggest, and these two guys have a chemistry and a timing that made their segments on Rawlast night genuinely funny. Goldust begging Truth to be his tag-team partner while in the bathroom actually had me laughing out loud, even when they went to the “turd” humor.

And let’s face it, R-Truth nor Goldust are ever winning the WWE World Hvt. Title. As long as they keep them in the comedy role and don’t push it too far, or even push them too far over wrestlers we’re supposed to take as legitimate threats to win titles, then there isn’t any issue with it.

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Match Results

1. Kalisto beat Rusev in a non-title match

2. The Usos beat Adam Rose & Curtis Axel

3. Brie Bella beat Charlotte in a non-title match

4. Big Show beat Erick Rowan

5. Titus O’Neil beat Tyler Breeze

6. Dolph Ziggler beat Kevin Owens

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7. Becky Lynch fought Sasha Banks to a no-contest

8. Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose beat New Day in a non-title match

Mike McMahon covers pro wrestling for Den Of Geek US. You can go ahead and follow the fun on Twitter.