Monday night was the go-home RAW before Wrestlemania, and the crowd went wild…ly apathetic towards the evening’s proceedings. What went wrong with this year’s WM build? Here’s a five-point list.
1) No one likes Roman Reigns. He’s been the lucky recipient of a Willy-Wonka Golden Ticket to the top of the card, despite not being all that popular. John Cena, while largely unloved by the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC, or “those goddamn smarks,” if you will,) is well loved by children, who buy lots of merchandise. His place at the top of the card, while sometimes annoying, is understood. Reigns doesn’t make any sense. In one year, or even two, he could have been someone the audience could grow to love. Right now, however, it’s still too close to the Shield’s glory days, and Ambrose and Rollins are both better on the mic and in the ring.
2) Too many part-timers, not enough appearances. Come on, Undertaker. You couldn’t show up once to accept Bray Wyatt’s challenge? I honestly think Bray is doing a fairly good job building a match all by his lonesome, but couldn’t Taker have met him halfway? Once? Sting’s decidedly half-assed appearance schedule is also annoying. Triple H doesn’t appear every week. So this is a “main event” level feud that’s only built up some of the time.
3)Plotlines? What? Bray and Taker are fighting over who is the “face of fear.” What does that even mean, really? Sting and HHH are fighting because WCW went out of business fifteen years ago or something. Nothing feels personal. It feels like Creative found a filmsy reason for each fight and went with it, with very little idea of how to make the fight personal. Yes, beating the stuffing out of people is pretty much Brock Lesnar’s thing. To him, nothing is personal, and that’s awesome. It’s more awesome when it is personal to his opponent. Nothing feels personal to Reigns, who elicits pretty much no emotion from the crowd. Out of the card, only Cena vs. Rusev seems to have any kind of real, personal fight.
4) You get a match. You get a match. EVERYBODY GETS A MATCH….except most of the Divas. Since pretty much the entire current roster has been kept out of the top of the card, we get a ladder match of supremely talented people that could be way higher on the card, and the Battle Royal, or the miscellaneous pile of the WWE. Cesaro’s treatment after his Battle Royal win doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in what the WWE will do with whoever wins. So why not Zack Ryder? These huge matches are very fun, but there isn’t much by way of storyline involved, and Creative more than likely won’t use this great opportunity to set themselves up with more storylines.
5) All of the matches they left off the table. I am still furious with Memphis for ignoring the very good Stardust vs Goldust match at Fastlane. With the storyline incomplete, I thought we would get a Dust Bros match at WM31, with Dusty Rhodes guest refereeing (or better yet, Dean Ambrose just doing his Dusty Rhodes impression.) The Brie vs Nikki storyline that just got forgotten about when they turned Brie heel and elected to not follow through with the sister vs sister storyline. Ambrose and Seth Rollins? Probably not still thrilled with one another, probably Ambrose should keep trying to ruin Rollins’s life, you know, for funsies. Hopefully, we’ll get some of these for Summerslam?