After a bland Fastlane, WWE more than kicked its plans into high gear as they get set up for the nearly six week build that they have until WrestleMania. Raw had returns, beatings, and some good writing to bring the fans, some who had lost interest, in the storylines back. It was pretty well paced and most segments seemed as meaningful as they could be despite the three-hour nature of Raw. It was a good show, something that the WWE will have to continue to provide the audience if it hopes to garner interest in its premier pay-per-view event.
Pieces Coming Together
After having seemingly no idea what was going to happen at WrestleMania up to this point, viewers were able to get a clearer picture of the company's plans for some of its talent at WrestleMania. Undertaker's opponent was revealed to be Shane McMahon, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match was set at Fastlane, and that's really it at this point. While WrestleMania was made a bit clearer last week it is still so nebulous. It will be up to the next few weeks to set in stone the matches so fans can begin to get excited for what's coming.
The Undertaker Returns
Shane's return last week was a shock. The McMahon who had walked away from the business suddenly made a triumphant entry and totally caught the crowd, and much of the talent backstage, by surprise. He immediately set himself apart as the "savior" of Raw and the on screen plans of the rest of his family. He was given a match against The Undertaker and it looks as if this will be another authority storyline with the McMahon's feuding over the future of the company. The Deadman has been advertised for the show this coming Monday night, so he will be there to address the match itself. Why is he siding with Vince McMahon and what does he think of the match being thrust upon him? There are many confusing aspects of this match when looked at closely so hopefully the appearance tonight will make things less confusing.
Last week, Roman Reigns was bloodied and brutalized by the champion Triple H. Rather than get booed for his actions, like a bad guy typically is, Triple H was cheered and thanked by the crowd during the beating. Even a segment in which the audience was supposed to sympathize with the man getting beat up, they rejected him and instead cheered for his attacker. This was in an arena populated by less hardcore fans, an arena where Roman should get quite a few cheers. It will be interesting to see how the writers handle the character coming out of such an embarrassing performance. This good guy is so despised by many that they actively cheered for the man mercilessly beating his bloody face. Where will the character go? What will he say? Will he be different after a humbling beating? These all must be answered by Monday night.
Divas Contender Match
Monday night will feature the final battle between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks as they clash to find out who will face the champion, Charlotte, at WrestleMania. Both women are getting great reactions from the crowd and either will work well as the challenger at Mania. Charlotte has been playing a great bad guy to the tune of drawing boos for herself and her Hall of Fame father Ric Flair. She has positioned herself as the woman to beat and both women have a very good chance. Either Becky or Sasha could win this match and given their history it should be one to watch.
There is still much unknown for the largest show of the year. Where will Kevin Owens, The New Day, and Kalisto land? What sort of gimmick match will be announced? Look for the show to begin to take shape in the next few weeks like it did last week. Each Raw will bring the viewers closer to having a full picture of everything that will happen at WrestleMania. Hopefully this Monday Night Raw will be a good one.