The year of big returns continues for the WWE. Stone Cold Steve Austin appeared on Raw last night and announced that he will be the special guest referee for the Michael Cole vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler match. All we need is good ole’ JR, Jim Ross, and we have an all out party.
Speaking of returns, Austin stunned Cole’s original choice to be the referee, former WWE champion John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL). Adding Austin to this match gives it that special attraction that and it creates a diversion from Cole’s wrestling skills or lack thereof.
The Undertaker promo was good. I like when Taker speaks. His Deadman persona keeps him away from the microphone a lot, but he’s a good talker on the mic. I’m a little concerned with the “no holds barred” stipulation. Now fans are going to expect some hardcore wrestling and weapons. With Taker’s shoulder still not 100 percent you have to wonder how much more pain can his body can take. On the other hand, this stipulation does take the pressure off these two from having a technical wrestling match which may be difficult for them to do. Remember, both of these men have not been in the ring for a long time. Who knows how much ring rust they have.
I’m waiting for Triple H and Taker to have some physical contact. Taker and Shawn Michaels had a ton of it in the weeks leading up to their two Wrestlemania matches. With less than a month to go the hype video for this match is looking a little dull. What are they going to show - Taker and Triple H staring each other down for three minutes? With Austin now the referee for Cole/Lawler, that pretty much rules out Michaels as the special guest referee. I can’t see the WWE doing two matches at Wrestlemania with the same stipulation. Also, when will Taker bring up his victory over Triple H at Wrestlemania 17 in 2001?
I think the world of Randy Orton and CM Punk, but their feud has totally been forgotten by fans and it’s not because they’ve gotten no TV time. These two have beaten each other up every week on Raw. But that’s the problem – over exposure. Not only have we seen these two guys go at it over and over again, but they’ve had too much contact with each other. I think they could have a solid match at Wrestlemania if given enough time. Both have the ability to tell a great story in the ring. I just hope Wrestlemania will be the conclusion to their feud.
And then there’s the Rock/John Cena/Miz main event. Everyone thought the Miz would get lost in the shuffle, but he has done a great job at keeping his ground with these other two titans. The Miz delivering the People’s Elbow after knocking out Cena was priceless. No doubt the Rock did not like that and will have something to say. As I said in a previous blog post, this all ends with the Rock and Cena raising each other’s hands at Wrestlemania. Yes, Cena will get a rub from the Rock, but it’s the Miz who has the most to gain. If he can continue to hang with these two guys and get the amount of attention he’s getting now, you know his ceiling keeps getting higher.
Sunny was announced as the next star to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. She is very deserving as she was the original diva when she made her debut in the mid 1990s. Even though Sable would garner more attention than Sunny during this time, Sunny can say she was still the first. She brought a lot of sex appeal which would become a staple of the women's division. Good to see she is doing well and still looks good.
And yes, it’s official. “Jersey Shore’s” Snooki will appear next week on Raw in an unknown role. I’ve been reading that she and Cena were exchanging tweets and apparently she’s a huge wrestling fan. Why wouldn’t she be a huge fan? She loves muscles and “gorilla juice heads.” Just let her loose in the locker room. I have no problem with her appearing. After all, we watched some celebrity host Raw for more than a year. The WWE did this for attention and they’re getting plenty of it. It’s good to get as much attention as possible in the weeks leading up to the biggest event of the year.
My only objection is we’re getting close to Wrestlemania and storylines still need to develop. I don’t want to see too much time devoted to her and not the stars we’re actually care about.
On a side note: The last time the Rock and Austin were on the same Wrestlemania card was in 2004 at Madison Square Garden. Austin was the referee for Brock Lesnar/Goldberg (sorry to bring up that bad memory) and the Rock teams with Mic Foley to take on Evolution.
Rock, Austin, Triple H, and Undertaker all on a Wrestlemania poster just might bring back some of those “Attitude Era” wrestling fans back to the WWE for a brief moment.