Tonight WWE is doing the Time Warp and going Old School! The last time this occurred it was very entertaining and got good reviews. So given that this one is taking place right as the Mania hype really gets rolling, it should be even better. Will the announcers be dressed in proper 1980s commentator attire? Will ‘Taker finally return after ‘returning’ at a house show last week? What is the over/under on how many times Jack Swagger says ‘We The People’? 42? How will the stars of the past be incorporated into the story lines of the present? Since The Million Dollar Man will be present, does that mean we’ll get the long awaited TV return of his son and the DiBiase Posse? Will Fandango make his in ring debut? Will Edge be there? Will Christian return? Will there be a 5 Second Pose?
‘Taker: What better way to go Old School then go with Undertaker? He was at the very first RAW after all. Not having him return last week after having him appear at a house show was WWE pulling a fast one on the audience. Of course they still made it unexpected by having him come out before the opening video and stand on stage with the Mania 29 logo on the Tron. Punk was the rumored opponent and they could’ve had Taker interrupt him. Setting up a Punk-Orton-Show-Sheamus Fatal Four Way to determine who faces Taker does add a little more gravity to the situation since they’re actually competing for the honor and earning it. Punk ends up winning, obviously, but he showed he was born to be a heel by insulting Mae Young.
Glenn Beck: The Real American characters of Swagger and Colter, as expected, drew the ire of many in conservative circles, such as Alex Jones, Michelle Malkin and the kids at Breitbart.com, who denounced the stereotypical portrayal of Tea Partiers. However, it was Glenn Beck’s response that got the most attention. WWE jumped on it and invited him to last week’s RAW. After being declined, they sent Michael Cole to Beck offices in a move to publicly shame him. Then when recording one of their video promos, Colter and Swagger stepped out of character to address Beck personally. This can only work for WWE. More mainstream outlets are covering this one sided ‘feud’, which is exactly what WWE wants. Whether Beck wants it to happen or not, he is being used to enhance and get The Real Americans over with the crowd. Though this ‘angle’ has seemingly died down, it’s yet another way WWE is expertly using the Real Americans to garner more of the attention it loves. Now if they could only get Swagger to say something besides ‘We The People’…..
Oh You Didn’t Know?: The New Age Outlaws were probably the best use of ‘Legends’ the whole show. Dusty Rhodes, Hacksaw and Sgt Slaughter were there to get beat on by Swagger, Million Dollar Man laughed and threw money, Honky Tonk bashed Slater with his guitar, but the Outlaws were the most entertaining. They squashed Epico & Primo, but Road Dogg is as good as ever on the mic and going Old School wouldn’t be complete without some portion being about DX. While the match was going on, Cole even told the story of how the Outlaws were originally formed. If you didn’t know that, then YO ASS BETTER CALL SOMEBODAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY
Mentorship: Not only did Miz face Ziggler tonight, but he had his own backup in the form of his ‘mentor’ Ric Flair (Woooo!). He’s his mentor? Really? When he bestowed the Figure Four on Miz a number of weeks ago, it seemed kind of cheap, as it just happened. There was no partnership or angle where Flair (Woooo!) is in Miz’s corner acting like a real manager and helping him get back to the top. It would’ve worked better to give Miz the Figure Four in that story. Flair might be Miz’s mentor backstage but it would make more sense if there was more to it onscreen. At least Flair (Woooo!) and Miz got to have a wooo/elbow drop/strut-off after the match was over.
Rock/Cena: This promo was the opening salvo in the building up to their ‘Twice In a Lifetime’ match at Mania and it’s already jumped the shark. Cena re-hashed the whole ‘I need this’ mantra from last year from the start so that definitely doesn’t bode well. Given that it’s incredibly likely that Cena will win this time and they’re building this redemption storyline to a crescendo, we can expect more of the same rah-rah from him for the next few weeks. One thing that could possibly make this better is if Rock continually rubs it in Cena’s face that the already failed. Not in a heelish way, but more to get under his skin.
Setting It Up: A few weeks after Elimination Chamber, will Creative ever get around to filling out the Mania card? Yes they have over a month until the event, but they’re starting to fall into their usual PPV planning where they throw together matches at the last minute or just announce them during to no build. That might be fine for a regular PPV, but this is Wrestlemania. It deserves a clear card far in advance so the matches can get their proper amount of build. Taker-Punk is official to go along with the WWE and WHC title bouts, HHH-Brock is all but official, Henry-Ryback was teased, but there only three confirmed matches on the card at this point. If Creative doesn’t get the ball rolling, then they may end up throwing the rest of the card together in the final weeks, which would definitely hurt the show’s quality.