Busy, busy week for yours truly so let's get right to it and begin with some observations of Monday night RAW.
Enjoyed how RAW started and for all the Daniel Bryan conspiracy theorists that were very vocal Sunday night, Bryan's inclusion in segment one and in the last segment of RAW should provide some anxiety relief for those thinking that no one in a decision making position is aware that Daniel Bryan is 'over.'
Trust me, if WWE wanted to bury Bryan he would not have been in both the opening and closing segments of Monday Night RAW. I think that DB fans will be happy when this particular journey reaches its destination no matter how dysfunctional it may seem to be.
Lesnar was back in nasty, beast mode (is there any other kind?) and he and his advocate Happy Heyman made their presence felt. I wish Lesnar's contractual matters would allow him to appear on more RAW broadcasts as that would help in maximizing Lesnar's earnings along with Heyman's share of the take.
If the Real Americans are going to grow creatively then liked what they did vs. Mysterio and Sin Cara. If the tag match was merely filler then I'm not so optimistic. I think both teams have mileage in their tanks for the record.
The Usos had a nice night and have been evolving well over the past few months. They were virtually invisible not that long ago and now they are in the game. How far they go is going to be largely up to them to execute what they are given and make all their presentations better than projected.
Ziggler being healthy and getting a win on RAW was a positive. Ziggler can be a player. End of story.
The Elimination Chamber scenario is a bit confusing as the main event, six man tag could have had much more drama around its presentation. The match itself wasn't bad at all but for what they were fighting for it seemed under promoted.
Good minutes for the Shield and especially sound, strategic usage of Roman Reigns. It's a big mistake to sleep on Seth Rollins or Dean Ambrose for those who might be over thinking the whole Shield business.
I was hoping for a little more from Bray Wyatt after his victory at the Royal Rumble. Nonetheless Wyatt had a really nice 24 hours and has separated himself from the pack.
The 'separation from the pack' theory isn't fool proof nor does it happen quickly. Hopefully, all the newer talents such as the Shield, Wyatts, Big E, etc will be fully rolling by WM31. That's not to say that they can't or shouldn't make a contribution at WM30 but rather the point is that the process takes time and something that many younger talents and fans don't have....patience.
One thing that is a concern is that many of the established stars have found themselves in their own personally created comfort zones which can be the kiss of death. Everyone needs to evolve and add some new wrinkles from time to time as to not become predictable. Some of WWE's top stars have allowed themselves to become predictable. When more competition comes their way for the top spots perhaps that philosophy will change. It's an age old issue within the business.
Comfort zones in virtually any walk of life are poison.
My next FoxSports.com column will be published next week. Stay tuned. We are also planning on me writing an in depth, personal look at the history of WrestleMania in a three parter that will drop closer to the April 6 event.
We found a studio near my home in Norman to produce my Podcast One shows which will hopefully begin in mid February. The plan is still for them to drop on Wednesdays. I will be taking your phone calls on some weeks and I've been busy contacting potential guests. That process could be an interesting, Fox Sports article in itself.
Ticketmaster.com has your tickets for my two, RINGSIDE: An Evening with Jim Ross shows coming Saturday March 1 in NYC at the Gramercy Theater and Thursday April 3 in New Orleans at the House of Blues. VIP meet and greet tickets are still available but are selling quickly. These shows will be a lot of fun especially when the audience rolls with the uncensored Q&A's.
Ticket info is listed here on the site as well.
Will be working on the many Q&A's here on the site later today. If you have questions, now would be a nice time to submit them.
http://www.wweshop.com will be fully stocked again this week with personally signed Rob Schamberger artwork that you get FREE with multiple packages of JR's products. It's our best offer ever.
Thanks for stopping by and come back and see us.