It’s been a slow week in the wrestling world aside from Daniel Bryan’s retirement and Titus O’Neil’s suspension, but things get going again this week with WWE Monday Night Raw tonight in Anaheim and then the Fastlane pay-per-view that takes place on Sunday night.
As usual, there are no matches announced for Raw early on Monday. Normally what they do is announce matches about an hour before the show begins. Is it the best strategy? No, but that’s what they do.
Brock Lesnar isn’t scheduled for Raw. He is scheduled for the Smackdown taping on Tuesday night in Ontario, CA. It’s the first time Lesnar has been on Smackdown since early 2004.
Here are the five questions on their WWE.com preview of the show.
* How will The Dudley Boyz begin their no-tables campaign?
* Who has The New Face of Fear marked as his next victim?
* What’s next with Chris Jericho and AJ Styles?
* Will Brie Bella pick up steam going into Fastlane?
* Now that Ambrose has put The Beast on notice, will he turn his attention to The Big Dog next?
The Dudleys heel turn last week was a surprise. Their promo on Smackdown was short and simple. I figure they’ll have to do some tag match with The Usos at Fastlane. My worry in all this is that they’ll turn The New Day face, which I think is a mistake.
The Bray Wyatt story has seen his “family” take out Big Show, Kane and Ryback in the last month. I assume it’s leading to a tag match at Fastlane. If they take out a fourth guy on Raw then that easily sets up a four or four tag match. It could be Mark Henry.
Regarding Jericho and Styles, they’ll probably set up their third match for Fastlane. It’s 1-1 in their series, so a third match makes a lot of sense.
Since Brie Bella is getting the Divas Title shot at Fastlane, they will probably book her to win a match. Her feud with Charlotte needs some momentum, so a win would help her.
I thought Ambrose was fantastic on Raw last week in his segments with Lesnar. Too bad they can’t do more of that on Raw. Maybe they will on Smackdown.
Brie Bella Leaving WWE Soon?
I just listened to the latest Wrestling Observer Radio on f4wonline.com with Dave Meltzer talking about how Brie Bella is going to be done in WWE very soon. Apparently it was something that they decided months ago, even before her husband Daniel Bryan was forced to retire due to concussions last week. She has talked about wanting to start a family with Bryan for a while now, so it makes sense that she would be wrapping up soon.
Brie will face Charlotte for the Divas Title at Fastlane on February 21. After that, she may stick around for WrestleMania if there’s some multi-divas match or something like that, but it’s very possible that Fastlane is her last match.
The Bellas signed with WWE in 2007, took a year off in 2012 and came back in 2013. They’ve had a pretty good run. Both Brie and Nikki improved in the ring significantly and rose to a spot to where they were the top divas in the company for a couple of years. Did they date and marry well? Of course. They still improved as performers.
Considering all of the injuries in WWE of late, I’m glad she’s able to walk away on her own terms. I’m also happy that we won’t have to hear that “Brie Mode” song for that much longer.
WWE Network After Raw: Stone Cold Podcast With Big Show
Tonight after Raw on WWE Network, Steve Austin will be in the building to do a live interview with Big Show. The last two Stone Cold Podcasts on WWE Network were taped segments with Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair. They were good, but I like the live format better.
As usual with WWE Network, if you miss it live don’t worry because it will be available on demand immediately after it’s over.
While I won’t admit to being the biggest Big Show fan in the world, he’s always been a well spoken guy with a 20 year history in the wrestling business. I’m sure he’s got some interesting stories. Plus, he can be pretty funny at times and likely will be when talking to Stone Cold.
IN OTHER NEWS
– John Cena sent out a tweet that has people speculating that he’s working really hard in order to get cleared to return in time for WrestleMania.
— John Cena (@JohnCena) February 15, 2016
Cena underwent shoulder surgery on January 7. At best, the recovery time is about four months. He has a history of coming back from injuries sooner than others, but this one seems like a stretch. Then again, it’s Cena, so maybe we should believe it can happen.
The expectation is that if he’s Cena is cleared to return to action, he’ll face The Undertaker at WrestleMania on April 3. It would arguably be the biggest match on the show and would certainly help the show seem like a bigger deal.
– Congrats to Rosa Mendes on the birth of her daughter on Saturday. I mean no disrespect by this, but I have a question: How has she worked for WWE for nearly a decade? I don’t think she’s done anything memorable in her entire career, yet she’s been there longer than most of the greatest women in WWE history. Bizarre.
– I think WWE Network is doing a great job of adding more content in the Collections sections. Read about the Daniel Bryan section they just added.
READ OUR STUFF
– Here’s Marc Madison with a look at the road to WrestleMania.
– Brandon Lasher was at Smackdown last week featuring an awesome AJ Styles/Chris Jericho match. Read all about it here.
– New column by Ron Pasceri looks at CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and the fans.
That’s all for now. I should be back tonight with a live WWE Raw Deal review column.
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