It always amazes me how quickly pessimism can turn into optimism around these parts. This time last week I was sitting at my computer bemoaning the fact that this year’s WrestleMania(why no roman numerals anymore?) was shaping up to be one of the most disappointing I could remember. I was reduced to fantasy booking to try to fix the mess WWE creative had made leading up to the most important show of the year. For the first time in a long time, I was considering taking a break from the WWE after Mania. Fast forward 7 days and I am on Cloud 9!
WrestleMania(Play Button?) seemed to be on cruise control. The three title matches, while entertaining in the ring, had predictable outcomes. The Orton/Rollins grudge match never really meant anything to me. Don’t get me wrong, those guys brought it, but it didn’t matter to me because regardless of who won, Rollins still had the briefcase. Sting/HHH was good for nostalgia, but not much else. Taker got his win at the expense of Bray Wyatt. And the Divas match got more time than I expected(5 whole minutes!), but was still nothing to write home about. Then the main event happened. Oh that glorious main event!
Brock Lesnar beating Roman Reigns from pillar to post for 15 minutes was a thing of beauty. Even Reigns comeback at the end was good, albeit enhanced by Brock’s bloody cranium. The old head-to-the-ring-post move looks more devastating when blood is drawn. If Brock doesn’t get busted open, it would have been hard for me to believe that shot would have done that much damage. But I digress. Then came the moment we were all waiting for. Seth Rollins music hits, and for me, the most important part of this booking was the fact that the match was not over yet. Rollins cashes in, turning the match into a Triple Threat. Rollins ends up pinning Reigns. This finish was the best possible outcome for all three wrestlers. Brock still looks strong without having been beaten, Reigns looks good for taking the beating that he did and still putting up a good fight, and Rollins’ cash in was successful.
Then on Monday, we get the best character the WWE has had in years; a pissed off, uncontrollable Brock Lesnar. Even Paul Heyman couldn’t talk Brock off of the ledge of sanity he was precariously perched on. Seeing him snap when Rollins weaseled out of the rematch he demanded was a thing of beauty. Watching him destroy everyone, and everything he could get his hands on was something we haven’t seen in a WWE ring since the original Nexus destroyed everything in sight, including John Cena, and that took six guys. (Quick note to Michael Cole, nice bump! Your shoe flying off was a nice touch.) Stephanie suspending Brock for nearly killing the entire Raw announce team and a random camera man/local jobber was a good way to get Brock off TV to accommodate his part time schedule. Now when Brock comes back he will be even more pissed off. I can’t wait to see what he does to Rollins when he finally gets his hands on him. In the meantime, Reigns can feud with Rollins and get his one-on-one shot at the title he feels he deserves. Considering how bad the booking of the main event leading up to WrestleMania appeared, this was a great recovery by WWE creative.
Moving on from the main event scene, there were other pleasant surprises at Raw. Namely Adrian Neville and the Lucha Dragons. While these guys may not have been my first choices for call ups to the main roster, they certainly have the potential to inject some excitement to Raw and Smackdown. The Dragons could compete for the Tag Team Titles as soon as Extreme Rules, while Neville can wow audiences with his athletic abilities while waiting for a shot at one of the secondary titles. It is no secret that NXT has been the WWE’s best weekly show for a while now. This is the perfect time to give some of these young stars a chance to shine on the big stage.
WWE also succeeded in making the secondary titles relevant again. For all of John Cena’s faults, he still puts asses in the seats and hats, shirts and wrist bands on the kids. He doesn’t need to be in the main event anymore, but he does need to be an important part of the show. Him holding the US Title, at least for the time being, is a good way to both keep him out of the main event, and make the US Title mean something again. And I know this is not where most of you think Daniel Bryan should be right now, but is it really that bad? He is now a Grand Slam Champion and he can defend the title every week if they want him to. For me, the only downside to the results from the past two days is now that Seth Rollins is the Heavyweight Champ, we won’t see him in as many singles matches as before.
So good job WWE. The Road to WrestleMania was a bumpy one, but once you got us there, it did not disappoint. And the new year is looking bright so far, lets just hope they don’t screw it up.
Tags: Falls Count Anywhere, seth rollins, WrestleMania 31