Tuesday Morning Backlash: WWE Raw Gives Undertaker/Triple H Hell in a Cell, John Cena and Eve Soap Opera, and Mark Henry Afterthought

Some Raw Notes on Cena/Eve, Mark Henry/Sheamus, and Taker/Triple H:

I’m just saying – the start of Raw was pretty misogynistic, no? Eve, who a ton of girls in the audience seemed to be getting behind, is revealed to be a cold, calculating femme fatale… and then summarily dismissed as irrelevant. I get why this was done in storyline terms (for The Rock), but it’s a terrible bit of acting and character development that sends a terrible message. Does slut shaming Eve really fit in with the whole anti-bullying concept, or, really, moreover, PG television? This made me dislike Cena more than the entire silly angle that proceeded it. The good guy, white hat hero Cena is supposed to be should have handled this with a sad dismissal. More, though, Eve shouldn’t have been evil, EVIL all along, as a woman can like a man who isn’t the one hitting on her without it being Armageddon. Of course, at Wrestlemania when it’s revealed that Cena’s EVIL all along too and sides with Eve, this will all make more sense.

Mark Henry was World Champion for the majority of the year. By all accounts, were he healthy enough, he’d still have the title and be the one to face Sheamus at Wrestlemania. Sheamus and Henry have an outstanding issue from when Sheamus was originally turned. If Sheamus beats Bryan at Wrestlemania, there’s clear money in a Sheamus/Henry showdown. What does WWE do?

We get Sheamus crushing Henry in a minute on Raw. Daniel Bryan did the same to Santino, who the crowd was wildly behind, but, well Santino is a comedy act who got 1-week of build. Henry was built for six-months and drew solid ratings. They had a ready made reason to keep him out both kayfabe, he’s suspended, and real, he’s hurt. Even if you’ve soured on Henry as a company, milking what you already invested out of him makes far more sense than a squash on Raw.

This being WWE, no one thought of that. In six months, someone will remember Henry and Sheamus’ issue, no one will remember the Raw squash but the IWC, and we’ll get the expected feud. So, this may be much ado about nothing, but it also may be something fans remember, particularly young ones (as a kid, my wrestling fan friends remembered everything though I never had much of a head for trivia), and takes away from the potential later draw.

Finally, we have Undertaker-Triple H. Putting this in Hell in a Cell might have been the only way to make me care. Last year’s match was great, but nowhere near Shawn-Taker. This year’s build, with Triple H refusing the match and burying the roster in the process, was all set to have me hitting the snooze button. Indeed, I can’t think of a single other way to have woken me up for this without Hell in a Cell. Mind you, Triple H has no chance of winning still, but this ups the stakes, all but guarantees a classic, and means WWE will finally return to real brutality in the Cell. All of these are huge plusses and add excitement for the show. WWE needs to use this Wrestlemania, with the Rock’s return, to keep fans. While the build has sucked, Triple H-Taker in a Cell, Punk-Jericho, and Rock-Cena all have the potential to be good enough to bring lapsed fans back for more.

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