Following last week’s forced in-ring hiatus, the WWE train rolled back into Denver in dramatic fashion.
Right from the off, The Authority took charge of the crowd, playing on the frustrations of the WWE Universe in an attempt to shape storyline and make it seem ‘all part of the act’.
It may not have been received too well by fans but the resulting matches and stipulations going forward prove a nice curveball that should give all the chance to put Royal Rumble disappointment behind them.
Big, bad Triple H came out with his life partner in crime, Stephanie McMahon, and the pair made some interesting plays designed at spicing up the run-in to Wrestlemania.
Usually a straight line to the finish line following the Rumble, the WWE have now thrown in Roman Reigns vs Daniel Bryan at their new PPV, ‘Fast Lane’, for the right to take on Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania.
Bryan first had to go through Seth Rollins for the right to be in that final showdown, an enthralling encounter which showcased both wrestlers’ claims for a run at the title.
While the WWE are unlikely to once again shoehorn Bryan into a Wrestlemania main event, this does give Reigns the chance to truly prove himself as the No. 1 contender and a rightful Wrestlemania star in the making.
Elsewhere, this week’s Raw was very ‘talky’, but we did see another example of the wide array of talent on the roster at the minute.
Jimmy Uso and Cesaro teased what might yet be a scintillating tag team battle, while Dolph Ziggler and Bray Wyatt gave another superb showing.
The latter pair are really upping their game and both will be hot on the heels of Reigns, Rollins and Bryan in search of tackling the ‘big guns’, Lesnar and John Cena.
MOVE OF THE WEEK – Ryback’s one-arm delayed vertical suplex
An utter show of strength and power from The Big Guy as he gives Luke Harper a lesson in suplexing after a powerful initial play from Harper.
TRIBUTE OF THE WEEK
Not a usual part of this column but the last month has seen some nice points to the past from the WWE. This week they looked at Black History Month and paid tribute to some of the first black wrestlers to have made their mark in the company.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
— The Big Guy (@Ryback22) February 1, 2015
— WWE (@WWE) February 3, 2015
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) February 3, 2015
In the world of World Wrestling Entertainment, dust has settled on snow these past two days, allowing a fractured long-term relationship the chance to take stock.
Following a Royal Rumble that left fans at the Fargo Wells Center in Philadelphia ringing out the boos, the WWE was forced to produce a new kind of show from its head offices due to the storms whirling around the Northeast of America.
Superstars were brought out for candid promos with the WWE commentary team which allowed each wrestler, and the company, to have their say on the Rumble’s controversial events.
And it’s probably fair to assume that both the WWE and its fans were grateful for the enforced break, allowing both to focus their attentions on their baby, Wrestlemania.
An intense Royal Rumble was simmering before the main event took centre stage and it was then that things began to go wrong.
Fans wanted to see one of their favourite faces prevail but the WWE was having none of it, Roman Reigns racing to the top of the metaphorical muscle pile as he catapulted himself to the main event of Wrestlemania.
Long has the WWE needed its promising stars to take aim at the big guns but for the fans in Philly, Sunday night was not the time to do it. They’d expected a Daniel Bryan win – even a Bray Wyatt one would have sufficed – but saw the script book torn up.
If the #CancelWWENetwork trend was anything to go by, a hostile reception was bound to await the Raw show in Hartford, Connecticut. It would have been a toxic atmosphere and a harsh one for Reigns to step into the limelight and enjoy his moment in the sun.
Instead, the bad weather allowed everyone to take a deep breath and enjoy some much needed space.
For the sake of Wrestlemania, a brief separation may just be the thing that holds this relationship together in the coming months.
MOVE OF THE WEEK
No-one really moved this week on Raw, but one thing that was very impressive was the WWE’s decision to replay the 3-way battle for the WWE Championship and Royal Rumble from Sunday’s pay-per-view in their entirety was a lovely scheduling move.
Unfortunately, we can’t show it here.
TREAT OF THE WEEK
This little backstage nugget does little for the WWE in terms of selling the unpredictability of its shows, but this really isn’t something that bothers people anymore.
Long may people appreciate wrestling for what it is if we see more along these lines as the WWE captures Roman Reigns’ build-up and reaction to Royal Rumble glory.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
— WWE (@WWE) January 27, 2015
— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) January 27, 2015
— Bully Ray (@REALBully5150) January 27, 2015
Join us LIVE for one of the WWE's biggest pay-per-views of the year, the 2015 Royal Rumble from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
– WWE TLC: Sport360's 2015 New Year wrestling wishlist
Will Brock Lesnar retain the WWE championship title or will John Cena or Seth Rollins walk out the champion and who will win the chance to main event Wrestlemania by winning the 30-man Royal Rumble?
Follow the action as it happens and join the conversation by using #360LIVE or #360Fans and commenting in the blog below.