A couple of Raw episodes back I wrote about a few of the things going wrong with the build up to WrestleMania. This is WWE so you always have decisions that leave you shaking your head in disbelief, but I still thought deep down that after this week's Raw, the last before the big night, most of the issues would be ironed out and we would be all set for the "Grandaddy Of Them All". But it hasn't happened and issues that were there weeks ago still remain, or are in some cases worse, and as a result I am very nervous about Sunday when I should just be excited. Now I'm going to take a look at the issues I raised a few weeks ago and how they have since been tackled by Vince, Triple H and the creative staff.
1) The disappearance of the Goldust and Stardust feud
Goldust himself tweeted that he was disappointed that this was no longer happening and it is thought that he originally wanted it for his retirement match. It emerged that WWE didn't feel like the feud was really working and wasn't over with the fans. As a result Stardust is now part of the Intercontinental Championship ladder match, a match he has no chance of winning, and Goldust will be part of the meaningless waste of time that is the "lets get everyone on the roster on TV for 2 mins" Battle Royal that should have been a one time only event. Where both brothers go from here is anyone's guess but a Rhodes family match at WrestleMania would have been a great way to end Goldust's career.
2) The fall of the Intercontinental title
Since I last wrote about it there has actually been some improvement in this area with a few decent matches between the contenders, rather than just talented wrestlers being lowered to chasing each other round like school kids trying to steal the belt from one another. Last week the best match on Raw was Bryan, Ziggler and Ambrose defeating Barrett, Harper and Stardust. One thing that hasn't changed is Barrett still getting pinned weekly. Or Barrett then laying out Daniel Bryan (remember him?) afterwards.
3) The fall of the Tag Team title
No change, Cesaro was humiliated by El Torito last week and along with his partner Tyson Kidd and Natalya they lost to Los Matadores in a poor "comedy" match this week. WWE are doing nothing to promote this quality team still its infancy and to further put the boot in they have now been relegated to the kick off show.
4) Cena destroying Rusev
This angle has gone from the ridiculous to the absurd, the latest instalment this week on Raw saw Cena's offence having no effect on Rusev who then knocked him unconscious, when two weeks before Cena completely dominated him and last week had him running away like he'd just seen a ghost. Whoever has been taking responsibility for this particular feud is clearly quite a forgetful person. Despite Rusev desperately needing this win for the sake of his future career in WWE after this shambolic affair, you just know that Cena will be fully recovered in time to claim a clean win come 'Mania.
5) Lack of Deadman
No change again here, there has been a pre-recorded promo and an in-ring promo, both from Wyatt of course. Now as good as the first promo was and the second and the third, this has become far too repetitive and frankly boring. I understand that The Undertaker not appearing until WrestleMania could be seen to add to the intrigue, but in that case this "feud" should have been started two weeks ago as Bray's monologues are losing all their initial impact. Very little effort has gone into promoting this match considering its magnitude.
6) Lack of Sting
This has improved since with Sting closing and opening Raw in successive weeks. I'm not a fan of how this has been positioned at times by Triple H and the painful to watch Stephanie as WCW vs WWE confusing face and heel roles, but thankfully "The Icon" has been making his presence felt and looks hungry to make a big impression at WrestleMania.
7) Lack of interaction between Lesnar and Reigns
Not much change here, although the two did finally meet face to face again this week on Raw. Not that it mattered as rather than have some real fireworks to promote the WrestleMania main event match they just had a little play fight over the title belt. No spear, no F5, not even a headlock or a hammerlock, I was left bewildered at the pathetic whimper Raw went out on. If people were making a decision on whether to purchase the network for 'Mania based on that final Raw then there is no chance of any late subscriptions. Who is making these decisions and why?
It really pains me to write this as I love WrestleMania, in fact a few weeks ago I was already getting so excited I sent my fellow writers a photo of my "Mania Goodies Shop". Enough energy drinks and peanut butter based chocolate treats to keep me awake through the night to watch the event live until 4am UK time, in fact probably enough sugar to keep me awake through to Raw. I still live in hope that the wrestlers can make it great in spite of the atrocious booking that has led to it.