Backstage news and notes from this week’s WWE Raw…
– There has been some talk about Undertaker wearing the classic hat and black gear with gray boots and tie at Wrestlemania as a tribute/throwback. More than a few feel this is it for Undertaker and if it isn’t, it will be difficult to give him another top match without him coming across on camera as old and out of shape.
– Big Show was praised for his work with The Shield on this week’s show for his efforts on the triple power. One backstage observer commented on the amount of balance it took to pull the spot off.
– We heard there were significant comments about Dolph Ziggler finally going over but CM Punk going under.
– The Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio program isn’t playing out to Vince McMahon’s liking. While it was Vince that fell in love with the revamped gimmick played by Swagger, ultimately saving Jack’s job and telling him to push his court day back (innocent until proven guilty), he sees the gimmick not getting over and feels it may have already died. We’re told Vince blames Alberto Del Rio for not being over as a babyface, Swagger for not looking legitimate, the writers and pretty much “everyone but Zeb Colter.” So much so, Vince is ready to pull the plug on the entire program that was originally set to run until May. They’re locked in for Wrestlemania but Vince was demanding rewrites over weekend.
– The Highlight Reel segment was seen as a monumental failure with Wade Barrett out of his comfort zone, The Miz awful and Brad Maddox forgetting half of his lines. Vince McMahon was upset backstage and everything said on commentary was straight from the back. One observer commented how this is the closest the company has ever gone to trashing their own product while the segment was airing on TV. Vince was very unhappy with how it came across on TV.
– We’re told Paul Bearer’s family (presumably his sons) signed off on the usage of his passing in the CM Punk vs. Undertaker program and had no problem with it. They stressed Moody loved wrestling and would have had no problem with it.