The two most talked about segments on Monday's Raw were promos that got the crowd excited in two extremely different ways.

Bray Wyatt finally got an answer after his weeks of promos calling out the Undertaker. After giving yet another long promo, which seemed like it wouldn't get a response, he pulled out the fabled urn and opened it, in an attempt to show that the Undertaker had nothing left.


Instead, smoke came out of the urn, and the gong sounded. After several gongs, a light came on in the ring, where a rocking chair sat. Lightning struck before Undertaker's disembodied voice (complete with graphic on the tron) accepted Bray's challenge for WrestleMania. It was a segment many expected, and had been seen in various forms before, but the crowd went nuts for it.

Meanwhile, earlier in the night Paul Heyman came out once again, this time with Brock Lesnar at his side, as he continued to build the groundwork towards a Lesnar-Roman Reigns match.

This time, he put over Lesnar as the wrecking machine that he is. He talked about Lesnar's career, not just in the WWE but in UFC. He even alluded to the thoughts that Lesnar will be leaving after WrestleMania, saying that if he wanted to unify the WWE and UFC titles over the summer, that he would do it.

Heyman continued to toe the lines of kayfabe and reality in his promos, pretending that the mic cut out on him again (I'm fairly sure he's pressing the mute button on the mic himself), and playing off the crowd's expectations, and their love of a promo that blurs the line between the show and real life.

They were two promos that represent two dramatically different thoughts on wrestling, and quite frankly, two different time periods. One involves the supernatural, with the crowd fully in on the joke. The other allows the crowd to think that they're going off script. Yet both were loved by the same fans.

What is it about The Undertaker that allows even the most hardcore fans to like his segments? Is it just the nostalgia? You'd think that would have worn off by now.

Still, every time something truly unrealistic happens with the Undertaker, fans tend to love it (as long as it doesn't cross into the insulting). Yet, you ask fans, and most like the blurred reality promos like Heyman, or CM Punk, would cut.

Monday's Raw showed that there isn't just one way that segments need to be done. Even with this move into the "Reality Era" there's still room for some old school suspension of disbelief.

The Rest of Raw

** At the beginning of the night, Randy Orton joked with Seth Rollins that he rejoined The Authority just to wait to get Rollins alone, where he would turn on him. At the end of the night, he did just that.

Big Show and Kane had been sent out of the arena by Stephanie earlier in the night after losing to Ryback and Kane. During a handicap match between Orton/Rollins and Roman Reigns, J&J security were also sent away from ringside by Rollins.

Finally, Rollins went for the tag, and Orton backed away, giving the famed Stone Cold Salute. Reigns speared Rollins for the win, and after the match, Orton brutalized Rollins around ringside, through the crowd, back to the ring, and ended by RKOing him through the table.

While it made for a nice visual, I just wonder if it would've been better received by the crowd if he did it right off the bat, instead of having the two-week interlude. Whether it was because it was the end of the night, or there was less interest, the crowd seemed a bit muted during the lengthy beatdown.

** The other match that came together for WrestleMania was John Cena and Rusev. Rusev beat Curtis Axel in a short match, and Cena came out to attack after the match. He took down Rusev, and locked him in the STF.


It should be noted that whether Cena locked it on differently, or Rusev contorted his body differently, or both, the STF looked particularly painful. Rusev passed out in the hold, Cena went to get water, poured it on Rusev, only to apply the hold again. This caused Lana to get on the mic and grant Cena the match.

The look Cena had on his face could be described as maniacal or even, dare I say it, heelish.

The whole attack seemed rather off for Cena's character. Yes, he had been denied a match, but to go that far so quickly really seemed extreme for Cena's character. Granted, he has shown that he's not the squeaky clean face enough times. The question is do they build on this, or now that he has the match, does he just go back to the same-old Cena.

** The Intercontinental title situation continued to grow through a series of matches. Bad News Barrett lost to Daniel Bryan in a non-title match, with R-Truth on commentary. After the match, Dean Ambrose came out, blindsided Barrett, and then started his own match with Stardust, who had taken the IC title on SmackDown.

After Ambrose won, everyone involved in the IC title picture (Ambrose, Stardust, Barrett, Bryan, Harper and Ziggler) brawled in the ring, as R-Truth stole the belt. This match is starting to get a little unwieldy, especially if Stardust and Goldust both end up in the match, and it needs to get more serious soon.

I did like the way the two matches flowed into one another, which is something that they did later in the show as well.

** The other series of flowing matches started with The New Day beating Cesaro and Tyson Kidd in a non-title match. After the match, The Usos came out, and stared down The New Day, as they accompanied Naomi down to the ring for a match with Natalya, which Naomi won.

Kidd, Cesaro and Natalya went to the back, and Los Matadores came down to the ring, where they beat the Usos. It was a really clever way to keep the flow going, which made it feel like one big segment instead of three lackluster shorter matches. And it seems to set up the tag match at WrestleMania, a four-way between those four teams.

** Sting had a video package air. It was either someone else talking, or an oddly distorted version of his voice, but "he" talked about seeing corruption bring down WCW, and he wanted to stop the same corruption he saw in WWE with Triple H.

** AJ Lee beat Summer Rae. It was announced that AJ and Paige would face the Bellas in a tag match at WrestleMania. I thought there was a chance that the match would be a four-way for the title, but this is a logical match as well.

** Connor "The Crusher" Michalek was announced as the inaugural recipient of the Warrior award, which will go to someone who exemplifies courage. If you remember, Connor was the wrestling fan who was diagnosed with cancer and formed a friendship with Daniel Bryan. He attended several events, including WrestleMania XXX, and even was brought to the ring before an event, where he got to pin Triple H. He died last April and will be regognized with the award at the Hall of Fame ceremony this year.

Thoughts? Questions? Leave them in the comment section, email me, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster

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