Well, well, well. What a week in the WWE.
We have three major new champions after a superb WrestleMania that not only delivered, but delighted.
– #Quiz360: WIN a group paintball session at Zayed Sports City
– Relive Wrestlemania: Cena vs Rusev, HHH vs Sting & Lesnar vs Reigns
There was a plethora of feasts at the top table of WWE as superstars past and present all took to the Santa Clara stage to drop the jaws of a record crowd at Levi Stadium.
So much has been said of Sunday’s showpiece already, and it’s rightly been talked about the world over with the world and its mother having their say on everything from overt product placement, through NWO vs DX and on to Seth Rollins’ show-stealing turn at WrestleMania’s conclusion.
— WWE (@WWE) March 30, 2015
The most important thing to happen since Sunday, however, was this week’s Raw.
We have long said in this column that this roster has all the potential to usher in one of the finest eras of the WWE if given the chance.
And on the evidence of Monday’s show, the men who make it happen in the ring seem to be getting all the reassurances they need from those outside of it.
A fired up Brock Lesnar wreaked havoc as the untamed beast the franchise has needed. Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Bad News Barrett and the returning Sheamus forged a tantalising run-in for the Intercontinental title. We saw NXT stars Adrian Neville and Kalisto make their main-roster debuts. John Cena, fresh off of his US Championship victory lit up the arena against Dean Ambrose and the Divas were given the time they need to properly work a match to good effect.
The list goes on, but the real thing that remains is an overwhelming feeling that the WWE is in rude health.
Not since the days of the Attitude Era have its crowds been so vociferous, engaged and entertained and it’s all down to some superb storytelling from its performers and the trust being placed in them by the big boys.
The hope is that this continues and that all four factors named above continue to fuel each other in the coming months.
If that happens, then rest assured this year’s run of pay-per-views will be absolute treats for all concerned.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK – #TweetAMania
— Mick Foley (@realmickfoley) March 30, 2015
— WWE (@WWE) March 30, 2015
— Howard Finkel (@howardfinkel) March 30, 2015
— Sami Zayn (@iLikeSamiZayn) March 30, 2015
— John Layfield (@JCLayfield) March 30, 2015
The night: Historic. The moment: Electric. The Rock, Ronda &the WWE Universe: Magic. We’re just gettin’ started… pic.twitter.com/mUOoBIFsaQ
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) March 30, 2015
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) March 30, 2015
— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) March 30, 2015
Join our #360LIVE blog for all the action, conversation and social media from Santa Clara as the 31st Wrestlemania rolls into town.
From John Cena's attempts to end Rusev's unbeaten run, through HHH's showdown with Sting and on to Roman Reigns' challenge for Brock Lesnar's WWE World Heavyweight title, we have you covered.
– WWETLC: Stage set for Wrestlemania 31
– #360LIVE: Catch all the latest LIVE sport
Finally, the talking is over and we are just five days away from the Wrestlemania 31, with this week’s Monday Night Raw drawing to an end months of build-up.
This week’s edition gave us the promise of a head-to-head between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns before their World Heavyweight title match in Santa Clara. While they didn’t come to blows (instead a mundane grapple over the belt ensued), the two have been sold as a fine showpiece, largely thanks to the superb work of Paul Heyman.
Elsewhere on the show, Dean Ambrose took a turn as special guest referee between Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan ahead of the ladder match for the Intercontinental title, with fans given a clear indication that one of their favourites will come out on top in California.
All three have excelled in the ring in the last six months and each deserves a good run as champion.
Speaking of which, Rusev was dominant in his performance on Raw as he took control of John Cena ahead of their showdown for the USA title. It is hard to look past a Cena win and the end of Rusev’s unbeaten streak but the WWE have played the story superbly in selling the pair as evenly skilled competitors.
Without doubt, the most exciting matches at Wrestlemania, however, are HHH vs Sting and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt.
The build up to the first of those, bringing together respective WWE and WCW legends, kicked off the show on Raw as Sting and Stepanie McMahon exchanged barbs in the ring. It was a good sell and the whole bat vs sledgehammer will be an exciting prospect for those looking for both wresters to unleash fury on each other next week.
As for the latter, the Undertaker once again stayed away from the show and it was left to Wyatt to control the narrative of the storyline.
Yet again Wyatt excelled, proving his reputation as the most intense and talented storyteller on the roster.
With all the talking over, roll on Wrestlemania.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK – #SnoopMania takes over Raw
This could be the new WWE tag team champions HulkaSnoopMania brother. HH pic.twitter.com/j4f4KiSlEK
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) March 24, 2015
— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) March 24, 2015
— Ariane Andrew (@WWECameron) March 24, 2015