And so we are in the proverbial “holding pattern” as things start to come together for the final PPV before Wrestlemania XXX, The Elimination Chamber. Not much new ground was covered this week on the RAW broadcast, but that is to be expected as we inch ever closer towards The GrandDaddy of Them All come the first of April.
With that said, RAW was live from Los Angeles and the Staples Center this week. With guest host Betty White providing some laughs, the scene was ripe for some great viewing, but again the WWE failed to deliver on most fronts. Stone Cold Steve Austin and Rob Van Dam were both backstage at RAW this week, and neither of them appeared on the broadcast. What a huge, wasted opportunity. Even a one-off promo teasing the WWE Network would have been just fine from SCSA.
But we are getting close to the Elimination Chamber PPV, and what follows that is prime WWE time as well as the launch of the WWE Network. So let’s take a look at 5 things we learned this week following RAW, as we hold steady in preparation for better things to (hopefully) come:
The Announce Team Breaks Down The 4th Wall
You’ve heard this term before: the 4th wall. What it describes is pulling back the proverbial curtain, seeing behind the scenes and discussing within earshot of the fans the things that go on backstage and throughout the wrestling business.
Prior to the show going live, the crowd in the arena was very, very hot. And of course they were chanting for the absent CM Punk. Cole and his fellow announcers took it upon themselves to make snide comments regarding the chants and the lazy live crowd, all the while pointing the unspoken finger towards CM Punk and his absence. Their behavior was completely unprofessional and childish. And of course the video of this sad event that had surfaced on YouTube entitled “michael cole & jerry king l…” has already been removed by the WWE.
Had it not been for all that Punk has done for the WWE over the past 3 years, its arguable that the WWE itself could be in real trouble at this point in time. Punk went on to hold the WWE title, captivate the fans, and become one of the most prolific acts in the history of the WWE during that time. And had he not been so committed and in love with his job, these unprofessional announcers could have very well been without a job come Monday night. Punk has done more than his fair share for the company, and he and his legacy deserve to be treated better by the voices of the WWE.
John Cena Pins Randy Orton
At this point we have lost count as to how many times Cena and Orton have faced each other in one on one match-ups, and this week on Raw’s main event, we got them both again in a non-title confrontation. And while the end result was somewhat surprising, we have seen it all before and most fans are growing beyond weary of these two performing together time and again at this stage of their careers.
That said, however, it was another decent match from both men, especially down the stretch. Cena gets the clean pin, and surprises almost everyone, and Orton takes another loss as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. They are setting Orton up for a big win at the Elimination Chamber PPV, no doubt, so look for this trend of him losing to his Elimination Chamber opponents to continue for the next week or so.
Amy “Lita” Dumas Will Enter The WWE Hall Of Fame
In another fantastic addition to the 2014 WWE Hall Of Fame Class, Lita has been announced as the next inductee for this year’s ceremony. It can’t be argued that there is no one more deserving from the storied WWE Diva tradition than Amy. She was a trailblazer, an innovator, and an influence to a new generation of Divas (our current Divas roster) and WWE fans across the globe, and she has earned this honor without question.
Lita has been retired from the WWE since 2007, but she is still very active in the convention scene and at independent shows, mostly making appearances as opposed to performing. Her induction is the next logical step for the Divas, especially seeing that her good friend and great foil Trish Stratus is already in the Hall. Congratulations to the great Amy Dumas on her selection!
Roman Reigns: The Push Begins
It’s been obvious for some time now that Roman Reigns was poised for greatness. He has been due to breakout from The Shield at any time, and it looks like that time is now. WWE is now featuring video packages recapping his Royal Ruble record-breaking performance from this year, and the dissention between Reigns and his Shield partner Dean Ambrose has never been higher.
And so it looks like WWE will pull the trigger and send Reigns out on is own very, very soon. He still has significant ground to cover in relation to his promo work and mic skills, but his skill and presence in the ring cannot be ignored. Look for him to finally separate from The Shield and go one on one with Dean Ambrose, as soon as the Elimination Chamber PPV occurs, in less than two weeks.
One Great Segment From RAW This Week
For all the filler and nonsense that we had this week from the continued bloatness that is the 3 hour long RAW broadcast, we did have one segment that was some great television: the confrontation between the Shield and The Wyatt Family. If anything, we can all give WWE Creative some real credit with this story line, having crafted and stayed with this slow boil of conflict for several months now. Their segment this week on RAW was really well done, with the crowd eating up the tension and build for their inevitable clash.
These standoff segments work best when the storytelling behind the warring factions is solid, and the conflict between these two groups is no exception. This thing should reach it’s peak on the RAW prior to Elimination Chamber, and come full circle at the PPV itself. While it will be sad to see this story end, and to see The Shield break apart, it will be some great WWE viewing…you can count on that.
So what say you fans? Sound off in our COMMENTS section below, and with me on Twitter: @davyshrader.