This week’s episode of Raw was the big one, the last chance before WrestleMania for WWE to try and convince any viewers not already planning to watch their biggest Pay Per View of the year to tune in this Sunday. The final show before a PPV gets called a lot of things, like “the go-home show” or “the hard sell”, terms based around a single idea: get people to buy the product (or in this case, subscribe to the WWE Network). The only problem is, aside from a single bright spot, WWE completely failed in that regard. Whether it was due to a well-earned fear that somebody important might get hurt with no time to change plans, or just plain laziness due to knowing the venue is already sold out, WWE went into Raw needing to hit some home runs and came out having hit a few safe singles. And while playing it safe may work at other times in the year, it seems like when you’re headed into a WrestleMania with more than a few question marks that need addressing, it might have been a good idea to just grip it and rip it instead.
10. You Will Believe A Shane Can Fly
Probably the worst part about that single bright spot that we saw took place in the first fifteen minutes of the show, as Shane McMahon finally delivered that promo he’s been trying to spit out since he came back, then showed off some of his fighting skills (we’re pretty sure Undertaker just told him to stop pulling his silly little rabbit punches, but the important thing is they looked better). After somehow getting the better of the Undertaker, Shane ascended to the top rope and delivered his signature maneuver: a flying elbowdrop off the top rope, through the announce table, a better Superman impression than the one we saw in that terrible movie that came out last week. Somehow, that never ceases to amaze us, and probably even more so now that Shane is on the wrong side of 45. Here’s why it was effective, even if Taker sat up and no-sold it a minute later (and actually, that contributes to the reasoning): if Shane did that spot on the Raw before WrestleMania, we can rest assured he’s going to do something even dumber at WrestleMania. That flying elbow was literally a promise that Shane will be falling off something high this Sunday, and frankly, that almost certainly sold people on the match. Also, Shane briefly revealed that he’s somehow developed a six-pack during training, after he returned looking like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man six weeks ago, so maybe the whole thing won’t be as terrible as we anticipated.