The Road to Wrestlemania continues to roll on and as usual questions abound. How will Taker respond to Punk stealing The Urn? What will Punk do with it this week? Will he do something absurd like fill it with his signature ‘diet soda’ ? How much will Rock’s absence hurt his match with Cena? Will Cena show up this week? Since it’s the day after St Patty’s, there will be some segment with Sheamus, but will Hornswoggle be involved? Will The Pale One bring back Storytime with Sheamus? What injustices will The Shield correct this week? Will Jericho win his record-breaking (yet again) 10th Intercontinental Title?
The Streak: Of course WWE as going to use Paul Bearer’s death in a storyline. The Taker-Punk matchup didn’t have much back story on its face but now that Punk disrespected Bearer and stole The Urn, that’s all the motivation Taker needs. While it would have been more appropriate for there to be a week between the Bearer tribute and Punk disrespecting him, it was handled as well as it could have been. You have to think that Taker, as Bearer’s long time friend, would have some sort of veto power if he thought the angle was too soon or too disrespectful. He certainly has the clout for it.
Background: I’m not sure quite when this happened, probably when JBL came back, but lately the commentators have been throwing in background facts about the wrestlers. For example when Del Rio wast taking Cody Rhodes, Cole brought up ADR’s background wrestling for Mexico at the Pan Am Games. JBL does this kind of thing on a regular basis and it can only mean good things for viewers. Understanding why certain guys have certain styles in the ring makes for a richer and more enjoyable experience then knowing nothing about them.
IC Title: Wade Barrett retaining in the Triple Threat against Miz and Jericho does sort of keep each of their Mania plans up in the air, though Barrett getting a sneaky pin on Miz might lead to something. However, that’s beside the point as this was an excellent match. It was a bout that had back and forth action, especially towards the end with near fall followed by near fall. The Spot of The Match most likely goes to when Jericho Lionsaulted onto Miz who had Barrett in the Figure Four.
WTF: Lawler had it right when during the PTPs long winded and bizarre interruption of Cena’s opening promo who asked Cole “Am I dreaming, Michael?” The whole point of this was to get to a Cena squash win over Darren Young, but it was so incredibly unbelievable when Titus in his new ‘persona’ said he would beat Cena. Of course he volunteered his tag partner, but I mean really how could Creative sit around in a room and decide that this is worthy of TV time? Could they come up with nothing better?
Divas: The return of the Bellas shows WWE at least putting some thought into the division where none had existed before. However, it looks like they’re focusing on eye candy more then treating it seriously. I’ve said it numerous times, but not treating Natalya as a comedy act or Mrs Khali could do wonders. The reasons why have been listed ad nauseum, but I don’t really have any faith in Creative to pull it off or do anything at all that could improve the division. Maybe if they brought up Paige from NXT, it would help, but she’d probably get lost in the shuffle.
Unexpected: That certainly couldn’t describe the ‘announcement’ that it will be Big Show joining Orton and Sheamus to take on The Shield. The only questions was how to get Ryback out and facing Henry instead. What could have worked was Ryback wanting a piece of Henry so much that he gave up his spot. Of course WWE doesn’t do that instead having Vickie saying she’s taking Ryback out and booking the Muscle Guy Showdown. It really wouldn’t have taken that much effort from Creative’s standpoint. It’s like they’re taking advice from their TNA counterparts.