The WWE will close out the road to WrestleMania 26 with a bang on Monday. In what is becoming a tradition, WWE RAW will feature a WrestleMania Rewind of WrestleMania rematches. On top of the familiar rematches, WWE Hall of Fame wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will captain the ship and run the show. Can you say WWE ratings bonanza?
Some will point to this strong effort as a response to TNA’s decision to go head to head on Monday nights with TNA Impact. However, Austin was booked on the show long before the weekly Monday Night Wars became a reality. Additionally, the WrestleMania Rewind has become something of an annual event leading into the biggest pro wrestling event of the year. Unfortunately for TNA, there really won’t be much they can do to combat what should be one of the most exciting editions of WWE RAW of the year.
[adinserter block=”1″]The WWE announced three WrestleMania rematches on this week’s WWE RAW. Obviously with two hours to fill, there is a possibility that more could be added by G.M. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Already announced for Monday are a rematch of last year’s WrestleMania XXV co-main event Triple H vs. Randy Orton, a rematch from WrestleMania XIX between Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels, and finally a rematch from the WrestleMania XX opener between John Cena and The Big Show.
Without a doubt, the Michaels-Jericho WrestleMania XIX rematch will be most anticipated by WWE fans. Michaels vs. Jericho had arguably the feud of the year two years ago. They wrestled each other several times in big matches with each match outdoing the other. Could this be Shawn Michaels next-to-last match? Both guys have a tremendous amount of respect for one another so this could be something of a tribute to Jericho by Michaels in giving him his second-to-last ever wrestling match.
The complexities of this whole Legacy feud just keep on growing with a rematch of last year’s main-event between Triple H and Randy Orton. It is really odd to me that two guys who have had big parts in the last several WrestleManias are playing such small roles this year. For Randy Orton, it is even stranger that as of this writing, Orton has yet to have an officially announced match at WrestleMania XXIV, although most expect some kind of a match with Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes. To me, this whole feud isn’t resonating with fans because there are no clear lines on who are the babyfaces and who are the heels. By sticking Randy Orton in a match with Triple H, the WWE are once again blurring the lines. However, if the match ends with Triple H and Orton standing side by side and fighting off members of Legacy and Sheamus, all of that would undoubtedly become clearer going into WrestleMania. Then again, how ridiculous would that be when after all Randy Orton did physically attack Trip’s wife a year ago? While I am not particularly interested in seeing a 500th match between these two, I must admit that I am curious to see where they go with this whole thing.
[adinserter block=”2″]Finally The Big Show and John Cena will tangle in a rematch of their “classic” WrestleMania XX opener. In all seriousness, it really was a monumental match as it was Cena’s first big WrestleMania match. Now let’s be honest, I don’t think anyone is beating down the WWE door and demanding a rematch here. But, I am sure that Batista and possibly even Vince McMahon get involved here and throw in a few twists. My prediction is that Steve Austin comes out to even the sides and ends the night with an old fashioned Stone Cold Stunner on Vince McMahon for old time’s sake.
For all of the criticism that the WWE generally receives, I think they have done a better job of building up this year’s WrestleMania than they have done in quite some time. Considering all of the goofy angles the WWE threw at us last year building up the Triple H-Randy Orton match, this year’s buildup is a welcome breath of fresh air. Throw on top of the above mentioned a likely appearance by Bret Hart and I can’t think of a better way to bring home the road to WrestleMania XXVI.