Hey, did you hear that Hulk Hogan is coming back to Raw on Monday and is going to host Wrestlemania this year? Maybe someone should make a thread about that!
This week's main event was Christian vs. Sheamus, with Christian continuing to display his new desperate (i.e., heel) attitude. Christian exposed the ringside barricade and slammed Sheamus' shoulder into it repeatedly, injuring the surgically-repaired wing, but in the end it still wasn't enough as Sheamus got the pinfall victory with White Noise. The show went off the air as Sheamus was celebrating on the second rope, only for Christian to smack him off of it to the floor, right as the show was fading to black. That did help emphasize how desperate Christian is, but is desperation going to be enough?
In other matches, Daniel Bryan opened the show by facing Jack Swagger, putting him away with TKTBC despite his injured shoulder. Vickie Guerrero, seconded by Kane, booked Bryan immediately in a second match against Cesaro. This match did not go so well for Bryan, but after absorbing a running corner European uppercut, he came flying out of the corner with TKTBC, but couldn't capitalize with a cover. Kane took that moment to get into the ring and chokeslam Bryan, causing the DQ. Cesaro didn't look terribly pleased with that, but rather than going after Kane he went back into the ring to hit the Neutralizer on Bryan, leaving him decisively laying.
The Wyatt Family defeated the Rhodes Brothers and Rey Mysterio, when Bray hit Sister Abigail on Goldust. Emma won a dance contest over Summer Rae (haven't they already done that?). Dolph Ziggler defeated Titus O'Neil via rollup after Darren Young distracted Titus with Titus' own whistle. Finally, Jimmy Uso defeated the Road Dogg with a superkick.
Jack Swagger and Big E also had a pull-apart brawl backstage, after Swagger and Zeb were ejected from Cesaro's match with Bryan.
Smackdown has gone back to being the show that's all about workrate. Ever since the hour long tag match late last year, Smackdown has been really enjoyable and straight forward with action and way less talking than RAW.
I agree with most of what you just said, jjfc, except I don't think that any plans really changed because of a surprising level of reaction to Orton. You have to remember, HHH is the real focus of the show regardless of who the Champ is.