I hate to be the one to say I told you so, but I told you so. This past week’s Monday Night RAW was absolutely off-the-charts. It was so good, in fact, that I’m not even sure where to begin.
We might as well start off with what has been the most discussed event of the evening, and that was the absolutely electric crowd that was in attendance. It is difficult to beat last year’s post-WrestleMania-RAW crowd, however in my opinion this crowd wins the battle by a landslide. I know there are a lot of people out there who aren’t a fan of the crowd’s antics, but I loved every little bit of it. Was it disrespectful to the wrestlers (especially Sheamus/Orton)? Perhaps, but I don’t think it was “disrespectful to the business”, as the argument seems to sway. It’s not the fan’s responsibility to be respectful of the business, persay, but rather enjoy themselves in any and every way. Being an independent wrestler, myself, I know it can be difficult to sway the crowd’s emotions in any particular direction, and have seen multiple co-workers fallen “victim” to the crowd trying to entertain themselves at the expense of the wrestler(s) in the ring. Sometimes that’s just a part of the business. “You F**ked Up!” was made popular by a crowd trying to get themselves over in spite of the business, and is still a chant heard some twenty years later.
But to the crowd I say, well done. Humming Fandango’s theme ranks as one of my all-time favourite RAW highlights, and made Fandango in the process (who I predicted big things for in my WrestleMania column). The environment created during the Sheamus/Orton match was a memory for the ages, as well, featuring amazing chants for referee Mike Chioda, Rob Van Dam, the pretzel vendor, Michael Cole, and my personal favourite JBL, amongst many others. Thank-You Big Show? Maybe that’s a bit too far….(I kid, I kid).
The world was abuzz leading into Monday Night RAW with news that The Rock had no-showed the event, throwing the creative team into a complete frenzy with script re-writes. Once the truth peaked through the “dirty sheets”, we found out that the Rock hadn’t no-showed, rather suffered a serious abdominal injury mid-way through his match with John Cena at WrestleMania. Of course, that changed major plans for WWE Extreme Rules (which was to feature a rumoured marquee match-up of Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock), however given how well RAW flowed, I think the creative team did a great job covering any major plot holes.
Ryback and Cena looks to be our major feud leading into the summertime, where we will likely see a Cena/Lensar match at SummerSlam. That’s alright with me, as Cena has been doing some great work with the moreso anti-Cena crowds he has encountered lately. I don’t think we’ll see a full-fledged heel turn, but I am looking forward to seeing a slightly edgier John Cena in the coming weeks, and months.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that my favourite WWE Superstar, Dolph Ziggler, cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase, taking advantage of a prone Alberto Del Rio, and winning the World Heavyweight Championship for a second time. The crowd went absolutely ballistic when he cashed in (as did I, in the comfort of my living room), and there isn’t a more deserving champion in WWE as of this writing. Ziggler has been ready for prime-time for a long time, and I am really looking forward to seeing where he goes from here. I couldn’t have predicted a bigger, or better, “glass-shattering” moment.
I’ll be back this weekend with a Smackdown review, and a recap of the USA Network’s WWE Hall of Fame coverage!