On the last RAW before WrestleMania the last statements were set and WWE tried to make sure that predictions are still hard to make. But the best possible hype for the show was certainly created by Brock Lesnar one day after RAW because with that in mind I have to rethink my predictions.
The irrelevant squad in the ladder match has a meaningless tag team match
This is going to be my last wrestling review before WrestleMania because there need other things to be written plus Dean Ambrose won’t be at SmackDown. I still think that WWE will have a taped promo with him but more likely there are just replays from RAW. So, the main focus on SmackDown was on Daniel Bryan again, so nothing new at all.
Now at this episode of RAW Dean Ambrose was part of a tag team match of himself and R-Truth against Stardust and Luke Harper a.k.a. the guys who are just there to fill the numbers at the actual ladder match. It’s like WWE says, “it’s not enough for us to shove Dean Ambrose down to the mid-card, no, we’re shoving him back down even more”. I seriously don’t get it. Or I didn’t get it at that point when I barely oversaw RAW on the WWE app. So there was this tag match and Dean Ambrose went back to being beaten up. But at least he didn’t have to sell his left shoulder again.
But there was still a highlight during that match. Not inside the ring but at ringside on the commentary table in persona of Wade Barrett who bashed on all of his six challengers for the Intercontinental title at WrestleMania. It’s always a joy to listen to him. And after around ten minutes and the usual speed up during the latter stages of it, R-Truth got the win for his team. As some kind of celebration R-Truth did a little move set inside the ring that he would probably call dancing and Dean “Mr. I Don’t Wiggle” Ambrose answered with an even more awkward “dance”. Most people seemed to enjoy it but to me it’s nothing else than a weird case of Fremdschämen. But Dean Ambrose and the audience seemed to have fun and R-Truth liked it enough to give Dean Ambrose a hug afterwards. So, everything is fine.
Dean Ambrose officiates the match between the winner of the ladder match and his future feud opponent to make his fans believe that he’s got an actual chance to win on Sunday
And there was another match to promote the fight for the Intercontinental Championship on Sunday: Daniel Bryan versus Dolph Ziggler a.k.a. the main threat for Wade Barrett. But there was the special guest referee to vote for this singles match. The choices were all other five guys of this competition but only Dean Ambrose promoted this very vote with a short interview on the WWE app. These words are the ones you already had the opportunity to read in the caption to the collage of the day. And there was William Regal who appeared on the WWE app as well – like you could already see via the picture that lead you here. He told us about his nervousness before his match against Rob Van Dam on WrestleMania 18 as Intercontinental Champion and that every competitor would be a worthy champion. (He also mocked Tom Phillips about his hair but that’s a different story).
So, it was pretty clear that the outcome of the vote would see Dean Ambrose as the winner. And he was. Like I recall it that’s his first (televised) appearance in WWE as a referee and quite frankly, I was waiting for this match since his first day as Dean Ambrose. Because we already had his hilarious Mox referee, so I actually couldn’t wait to watch his Ambrose Referee. I seriously wasn’t interested in the match itself and distraction was easy, even if the best part happened to be on the WWE app again: Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan were outside of the ring and it took ages for Dean Ambrose to go back inside the ring again for the countout. He quite clearly counted in a way to encourage the crowd to count with him but at some point told the people that it was him who would do the counting. Funny as hell!
Anyway, Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan made it inside the ring at the count at nine, so the match continued. This also happened to last for around ten minutes – like the tag team match as well – with a fast paced finish and Dolph Ziggler finally winning with the Zig Zag on Daniel Bryan. Now, like any good referee, Dean Ambrose grabbed the arm of Dolph Ziggler to raise it for presentation of the winner but Dolph Ziggler didn’t like it too much. And he got the Dirty Deeds as an instant punishment.
Now the Ambrose Referee turned back into Dean Ambrose who grabbed a ladder from underneath the ring to climb this ladder and try to grab the IC title belt that was previously hung above the ring. Of course all other opponents now joined the ring from backstage to give us a little teaser of the actual match on Sunday. No-one grabbed the belt here – at the end of the segments all lads were laying inside the ring; no-one stood tall above the others.
So, despite Dean Ambrose gained back a more prominent role at the end, I still believe that Daniel Bryan will take the belt at WrestleMania. Just so I won’t be disappointed if he actually does. Still a shame for all that promo gold by Dean Ambrose for the title to make the belt rather interesting again. But it is what it is.
Thank you, Brock!
So, I put this video in here for you to watch. Because it’s quite interesting. First of all, why does Brock Lesnar announce this in such an official way just days before WrestleMania? Most people already thought that Reigns would win the title because Brock Lesnar was out of contract the day after, so he had to lose. But now that he re-signed, even a full time contract now, the door of possibilities is wide open again. Will Lesnar win? Will Rollins cash in afterwards – successfully / unsuccessfully? Will Reigns win? Will Rollins cash in on him? I even read rumours about Brock Lesnar could turn face on Sunday. Maybe with Paul Heyman turning his back on Brock Lesnar in favour of Reigns. And it would make sense because Reigns will certainly be booed. And because we boo Reigns, we have to cheer for Lesnar. In the interview Lesnar even said that he told his decision because the fans deserved to know. Was this said in character or in private?
I can’t see WWE turn Reigns heel really because he’s the heir of Cena which means the face of the company and that has to be a “good” guy. But maybe together with Brock Lesnar staying, WWE will slow down the push of Super Reigns a bit to give the man more time to learn because he’s in desperate need of it. So despite of being the chosen golden boy, Reigns could turn heel for a more fitting reaction by the audience. Right now they will boo Reigns no matter what. So maybe even Vince McMahon came to the conclusion that it would be better not to stress the audience with Reigns that much anymore. But whatever the outcome of that match will be, Brock Lesnar will make the match and he will make sure that Super Reigns looks strong.
On the other side, when Brock Lesnar indeed turns face and loses Heyman at the same time, he’ll be in need of another voice. Because let’s face it, he needs another voice to speak for him. I still have no idea which path WWE will choose to go with Dean Ambrose. But I had kind of a nightmare last night that WWE could make Dean Ambrose the voice of Brock Lesnar. Promo battles between Dean Ambrose and Paul Heyman would be great for sure but Dean Ambrose’s in-ring time would be reduced to basically zero in this scenario. So, for me that’s not really an option (but nice nightmare, mind!).
Anyway, with this more than silly finish of RAW when Brock Lesnar and Reigns pulled on the title belt like bickering children, WWE needs to come around with a far better booking for the main event at WrestleMania. Otherwise the booing from the audience will be deafening. And people would boo the WWE, not react to Reigns. The difference, however, WWE will certainly ignore. Because what they love are reactions and it doesn’t matter for them in which kind they come at them. The stronger the reaction the better, whether it be boos or cheers.