Just two days removed from a Royal Rumble that delivered the right winners, but underdelivered between the ropes throughout the PLE, WWE started its Road to WrestleMania with an episode of Raw that didn’t exactly sprint out of the gates.
It didn’t help that Raw was smacked with the double whammy from the jump of Pat McAfee taking Wade Barrett’s spot on commentary for the foreseeable future and then CM Punk announcing that he’s going to miss WrestleMania 40 due to a torn triceps.
Both Rumble winners were on hand to presumably announce their choices of Mania opponents, and both Bayley and Cody Rhodes had their decisions pushed off due to outside forces. That’s the sort of thing one would think would have been discussed beforehand so things don’t look or feel repetitive.
The in-ring action was decidedly better Monday night, but that was a low bar to clear. Still, the Intercontinental Championship and tag title matches were solid, fun efforts from all six men.
Still, as a WrestleMania season kickoff program, this episode was somewhat lacking firepower. It just felt like another Raw rather than the kind of show that really sets the table for a long, slow build to April. But that’s a vibe, and it’s something that can be adjusted for next week. However, if it repeats next week, then there’s a problem.
Let’s get to it…