At its core, professional wrestling is about storytelling.
Every writer has good works and bad; it's simply the nature of the beast. Sometimes the simplest stories gain traction when they really shouldn't and become sensations (just ask Stephanie Meyer).
No matter one's thoughts on the pending match - giving "The Game" an unprecedented third shot at ending Taker's undefeated streak - viewers have to take note of the circular storytelling being employed for this feud.
In 2010, Shawn Michaels wanted nothing more than to receive a second shot at the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI. The Deadman refused, forcing HBK to use every trick he could to wrangle his way into another match.
Last week, when Undertaker issued his apparent challenge, Triple H simply brushed him off. It seems the roles of the build to WrestleMania XXVI have been reversed, with "The Phenom" now being the one hunting the "King of Kings."
On tonight's Raw, Triple H himself pointed out even more of the circular storytelling of this angle, relating last week's incident to the initial stare-down between himself and Taker before last year's WrestleMania.
"The Game," however, said he would decline the offer for a third contest out of respect, as he wants to remember Taker's career as one of strength and dominance, not one of brokenness and frailty.
This angle has to be building to something more than just an ordinary rematch. Odds are, and this is purely speculation, that it will become another Streak-vs.-career match, with Hunter putting his in-ring tenure on the line. Another stipulation, possibly Last Man Standing, will likely also come into play.
No matter the stipulation - or where the angle heads from home, as Taker promised "it's not over" - I will have a hard time getting excited for the match. Going to the well a third time could prove a risky move, but there are admittedly few other choices for Undertaker’s opponent.
There's only one man in my eyes who could believably end the Streak, and he's busy with The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII.
But even with low expectations and a lack of interest in the match itself, I must step back and appreciate WWE for two elements of this feud: The amazing video production work we've seen already and the fact they’re using the full advantage of circular storytelling to remind us - even oh so subtlety - that the writers do, in fact, remember the past.
- Chris Jericho earned the final entrant spot in the Raw Elimination Chamber match by virtue of defeating his five pay-per-view opponents in a "six-pack scramble." The match started out a mess with all six superstars in the ring, but by the end, it became an engaging and quality bout. The ending saw CM Punk deliver a Go To Sleep to Dolph Ziggler, only for Jericho to pull Punk out of the ring and pin Ziggler himself. He then mocked Punk by sitting Indian style in the ring. It appeared R-Truth may have been injured in the match, as well, when he fell on his back on the floor. Hopefully it was nothing too serious.
- Fans watching the first 90 minutes of this show may have been confused as to whether or not they accidentally tuned into Smackdown. The first three matches featured seven Smackdown stars and David Otunga. Yes, having the six Raw Elimination Chamber participants in the main event took a lot out of the roster, but does this reflect the sad state of the roster?
- Jericho explained his "end of the world" ramblings by calling out the locker room as wannabes and accusing people of stealing his routine. Some of it was humorous, but overall, the explanation was still a letdown. Things appeared to be ready to pick up when Punk's music hit, but the champ came out and said nothing before dropping the mic, raising his title belt and leaving. Isn't he proving Jericho's point by stealing his silent gimmick schtick? Also, did we really need another "say nothing, hand gesture" promo one week after having the Undertaker throat slash with Triple H?
- Randy Orton and Great Khali won a tag match over Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett when Khali chopped Rhodes mid-air for the win. After the match, he went after Orton but ate an RKO for his trouble. No matter what they do, they will not convince me that Khali belongs in the World Heavyweight Championship match at Elimination Chamber. It's hard to convince he that he belongs under contract, but that's another story altogether.