After another eventful few days in the world of WWE, Michael Dorgan takes a look back at some of the highlights in the latest edition of Wrestling Weekly.
Return of the Undertaker
We’ll start with the biggest story, which is the news that the ‘Phenom’ has finally returned and it now seems that Brock Lesnar will be the latest man to fall victim to the Undertakers streak at WrestleMania. The match-up was confirmed when the Undertaker choke slammed Lesnar through a table and should Lesnar lose it will make the streak 22-0. WWE continue to build up Brocks ‘beast’ persona, as seen by his recent demolition of Mark Henry, to make the streak look some way vulnerable but it is highly unlikely that the streak will ever be defeated at this stage. That being said it should be an outstanding contest with the added caveat that both men have actually feuded outside the ring in recent years.
Nothing of any major significance tends to occur in the last PPV before WrestleMania and as expected Randy Orton remains the World Heavyweight Champion after winning the Elimination Chamber match itself, thus confirming his spot as defending champion versus Batista at WrestleMania 30.
It was nonetheless quite an impressive card as all matches delivered. Of particular interest was the quality of the match between the Shield and the Bryatt Family which turned into an all-out warzone and the match-up was again repeated on last Monday’s Raw. The quality of the wrestling by all six men was most impressive and you know it’s good when you hear the “this is awesome” chant from the WWE crowd. The Wyatt’s eery backwoods cult gimmick has proven popular as leader Bray Wyatt portrays himself as the evil cult leader and reaper coming to take men’s souls while the protracted break-up of the Shield story-line is also developing nicely.
Batista Turns Heel
As previously reported in this column, the return of Batista was totally mishandled by the WWE hierarchy. While the leaking of his return was out of their immediate control, Batista’s victory in the Royal Rumble is viewed by WWE fans as robbing Daniel Bryan of his rightful place in headlining WrestleMania. Consequently fans turned on Batista after the Rumble and he has failed to win the crowds over; in fact he has become somewhat of a hated figure. This has led WWE creative no choice but to turn Batista heel which poses another major problem as Batista is up against another heel in the form of current World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton in WWEs showcase event. Heel v. heel is never appealing to headline the company’s biggest event of the year but their hand has been forced as it seems Batista’s contract stipulated he would headline WM30.
Return of Hulk Hogan & Launch of WWE Network
The launch of WWEs new subscription-based video streaming service, ‘WWE Network’, was officially launched on February 24ths edition of Raw and the WWE rolled out Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan to tell us how good it is (and how good he was) and why we should buy it. Hogan is always well received and he also revealed that he will be this year’s host of WrestleMania’s.
Return of CM Punk?
It was uncertain if CM Punks sudden departure from WWE a few weeks ago was legitimate or not and we currently remain none the wiser. The internet was buzzing with rumours that Punk would return last Monday as Raw was being held in Punks home state of Chicago. His music opened the night’s proceedings but there was no sign of Punk, instead Paul Heyman came out and blamed the fans for his Punks departure. That set the tone for the night as Punks name echoed around the stadium but to no avail as there was no sign of Punk. It now seems there were no plans at any point for Punk to be at the show and the Heyman promo was cut to write Punk off WWE programming without completely burying him, thereby leaving the door open for a possible return some time down the road. As reported previously, Punks contract expires in July and if he was to make a return before WrestleMania it would have been last Monday.
Pundit Arena – Michael Dorgan