- Daniel Bryan has been cleared to wrestle and barring something happening at Royal Rumble ‘15, he’s back in the plans for Wrestlemania 31. This will likely have a ripple effect throughout the card as WWE will look to properly utilize him although I have already thrown my two cents in.
As for Bryan’s return, no one knew what he was going to say this week at Raw. It was only learned he was even going to be at the show in the hours before he announced to the world on Twitter that he was going to make a “crossroads” announcement. Very little has been known about his injury status, so WWE wanted Bryan to Tweet about his appearance to 1) draw the viewer in and 2) create legitimate suspense about what he was going to say.
There are, however, two glaring issues with the way this was done. First, since there aren’t plans for him to work between now and the pay-per-view, it probably would have been better for him to return as a surprise Rumble entrant. This would have assured a massive pop and not caused a big letdown if he doesn’t win it. The other problem is it will be next to impossible to keep Bryan hot before the pay-per-view, as it’ll be a month before it happens.
All kinds of rumors were swirling throughout the locker room before Bryan got the microphone on TV but the majority of people that I spoke with are happy that Bryan is going to get the chance to continue his career in WWE.
- Eyebrows were raised as to why WWE “seemingly tossed together” Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins for TV and never followed the build for what the match should have been. The lack of reaction Reigns is drawing is past the point of concern and we’re told it could impact his status. As noted, with Bryan back in the plans for Wrestlemania 31, it will surely have a ripple effect throughout the card.
- Brock Lesnar’s booking was described to me as nothing short of awful with one observer calling him a statue in the final segment. It’s not that Brock doesn’t have appearances on his contract, because he does, the problem is they have no idea what to do with him. Brock holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship was supposed to bring credibility back to the title but outside of programs with Triple H and CM Punk, he’s only feuded with John Cena in nearly three years. Vince McMahon and Hunter are at the opposite ends of the spectrum in regards to Brock. Vince wants to resign him and do the biggest match possible at Wrestlemania, while people close to Triple H believe he wants Brock to “pass the torch” and move on. It’s no secret that Hunter has handpicked Roman Reigns to be that guy but Vince isn’t sold. Vince sees Brock ending “the streak” as a huge deal and whoever beats him will have a permanent correlation to The Undertaker.
- The on-screen return of The Authority was moved up and while many are against doing Triple H vs. Sting at Wrestlemania 31, it appears to be the current direction. The suggestion is that Hunter will face Sting with Hunter representing The Authority and Sting representing Vince for “control of WWE.” Remember a similar idea (just not involving Sting) was pitched for the show this year.
- Randy Orton was at TV as noted but they didn’t use him because they’re not sure what to do with him.
- Dolph Ziggler’s stock is back on the rise and him receiving protection against Rusev was telling. A couple of months ago he would have went under clean.
- I talked about Cesaro in Tuesday’s Ask WNW but his promo was seen as a real disappointment. His booking is suspect but he did himself no favors on Raw.
- The idea of creating a humble and hardworking Ryback is all part of his reboot and if Raw was any indication, it’s working.
- Konnor and Viktor, known collectively as The Ascension, have been on the shortlist for a main roster call-up for months and both received negative marks this week for appearing out of shape.
- WWE officials know Damien Sandow will do fine on his own but they want to squeeze everything they can out of the Mizdow stunt double gimmick.
- We didn’t hear of any injuries other than R-Truth nursing his back after working the match taped for WWE Superstars. It’s unknown if this is something new or just wear and tear.