Thomas Fenton Reports....
For those wondering, Jeff Hardy was in the Ultimate Deletion match, which was already filmed. This was to be the debut return for Brother Nero. However, with the recent DWI arrest, WWE officials are weighing out their options. Some feel due to Jeff's history, he should do a rehab stint, while others feel it was so long ago that he should not be punished for them. It will be interesting to see come Monday if Jeff is edited out of the match or if WWE moves forward with his return, brushing the arrest under the rug. Let's not forget Jey Uso's DUI arrest in January, it didn't seem to hurt his push at all.
WWE is catching major heat for the Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal, as they should be. Originally, major national news outlets did not understand why people were upset, but it is not challenging to look up Moolah and you will see why. I will not get into details on her past, but I will say she wasn't a good person, and everything you read probably happened. A petition has started to change the name of the match and WWE is feeling the heat as they knew they would get some, just not this much.
As we have been reporting here for about two months now, one of the original Mania plans was Shane and a Partner vs. Sami and Owens. I bring this up due to the fact that WWE simply has not decided on which way they want to go. They had an idea on who they wanted to team up with Shane, but it did not come to fruition. The match between Zayn and Owens was announced knowing they were shooting the angle after, and that they could change it.
One of the reasons we saw the Strowman angle play out this week on Raw was because officials are now comfortable moving forward with Reigns and Lesnar. Braun was their backup plan just incase things went south for Roman. Now, it's Strowman vs The Bar. This was an idea that Vince was very high on for over a month, though others were not. They wanted to give Braun a partner, and even though he is a monster, they did not want the tag team titles to look weak.
Tom Reacts: If you don't want the titles to look weak, then build some teams instead of the start/stop on everyone. They have killed The Revival since they have came back, and then are high on Gallows an Anderson once every six weeks. They have to build teams. Having a gimmick like Strowman does not kill it alone.
Speaking of Karl Anderson, there is some talk of him going on a singles run. He even teased this on social media, however these are only talks at this point, and nothing is official.
Fans in attendance at Raw in Detroit were pretty upset and burned out by 10pm. I was there live for the event and the arena was announced as a sell out. Nothing was taped off, and it was a hot crowd to start the show. The crowd then witness not getting an advertised Brock in hour one, and advertised Ronda in the top of the hour. The nail in the coffin for the crowd was when the Cena/Taker tease happened, and there was Undertaker. At that point the crowd was dead and turned on the show, with only three women's matches, a battle royal, and Balor vs. Rollins. No one can blame them.
For those wondering why the crowd would be upset about the Undertaker not being there, well it is because during commercial breaks and before the show, Taker videos and teases were shown on the big screen. WWE also went out of their way to show every Undertaker sign to the live crowd on the big screen during the commercials.