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Yes! Yes! Yes! The Raw Review (#YYYTRR)

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I started this blog off the back of my own trip to London’s O2 Arena three weeks after WrestleMania XXVIII, and the idea was to offer my thoughts on Raw, but mainly the experience I had watching it live and on TV. With that in mind, I just want to say that tonight’s crowd was insane – exactly what a WWE crowd should be. I’ll even go as far as saying that it was better than last year’s post-WrestleMania Miami crowd – the very same crowd that helped to inspire the title of this blog.

With that being said, there were a few things which were only slightly outdone by the crowd tonight, and my thoughts on such events are presumably why you read my entries. Let’s get this started, shall we?

“I’m here to show the world!”

There was no way I could leave out the biggest moment on a WrestleMania-eclipsing Raw, let alone one that the IWC (coincidentally the majority of my readership) have been waiting a long 267 days (around 8 ½ months) for.

I, like many others, had dubbed tonight Dolph Ziggler’s final chance at cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase before it became an afterthought. And as annoyed as I was to not see it happen at WrestleMania, tonight was seemingly perfect. I have to give the crowd a huge amount of the credit, because tonight was the perfect time for change and it was amplified by a crowd which seemed to echo the thoughts of an often overlooked older generation of fans.

I am a part of that section of the WWE Universe who thinks Ziggler has been ready to main event for a long time, and the two opponents he is likely to come up against at Extreme Rules are both superstars who can bring the best out of the “Show Off” in terms of athleticism and his famous selling abilities. Not only that, but he has the choice to go up against a firm crowd favourite in Alberto Del Rio or Jack Swagger. I personally would love to see Swagger try his luck against the newly-crowned World Heavyweight Champion purely because the history is already there. Former tag team partners who split on bad terms, and the challenger came back with a whole new attitude.

I can’t help but feel that Del Rio will be a part of Extreme Rules as part of a Triple Threat title defence so he can fill the role of the face, but I hope WWE goes down my desired road in the near future.

Until then, I await the latest Ziggler t-shirt, “Shine it up & Show it off!”

The Shield; looking to make history

Somehow The Shield ended up being one of the more forgettable things about tonight’s Raw, which can only mean that the show was stacked with relevance.

It might have even been the fact that this segment was immediately preceded by Ziggler and his cash-in, but nonetheless something unthinkable happened to me tonight – I actually jumped at Kane’s pyro for the first time in years due to how much I wanted The Shield to attack Undertaker. I even half-expected the familiar sounds of “Cult of Personality” to distract the Deadman. No matter where WWE goes with this, I’ll be happy.

Not only does it look like Undertaker is planning on sticking around for Extreme Rules, but The Shield are being trusted to look strong against him. It helps, too, that Undertaker, Kane & Daniel Bryan looked like an awesome team when stood in unison.

My hopes for this match, should it happen, are that Ambrose, Rollins & Reigns keep their undefeated streak going and look incredibly strong against WWE’s most notable icon.

Has Ryback REALLY turned heel?

The only drawback of the post-WrestleMania crowds every year is that they tend to cheer what WWE doesn’t want them to, and jeer what WWE in fact wants them to cheer.

That was the only thing which has left me wondering if Ryback’s attack on WWE Champion John Cena was in fact a heel turn. That, and the fact that Cena seems to have added a slight bit of arrogance to his persona – a move I actually like. Ryback attacking Cena can resemble a lot of things in this respect, and it was a strong way to lead into next week’s Raw.

WWE can take this angle anywhere due, once again, to the crowd in attendance tonight. Cena’s Countout victory combined with the popularity of Ryback could give us the mythical Cena heel turn (at this point I just wanted to note that I did like the pun Cena made at the top of the show about such a thing) that has been a hot topic for a month or so now. On the other hand, it could propel Ryback into the monster heel territory that Tensai failed to succeed in.

Depending on how this develops – in other words, so long as Cena isn’t made to look like a huge underdog week after week – WWE may achieve the impossible and make me care about a John Cena match again. I encourage WWE to listen to the crowds over the next few weeks and develop the storyline based on that.

After sifting through the tremendous crowd and their huge number of chants tonight (the fact that Fandango’s theme was hummed for much of the last hour was amazingly funny), I did manage to find the change that comes with this particular episode of Raw every year.

We got two title changes, The Shield look to be stepping up a level, and there is every chance that a John Cena title reign could be worthwhile and entertaining. There is literally nothing I can honestly say I disliked about tonight’s Raw, and my faith in the WWE product after six weeks of poor build and a slightly under-par WrestleMania has been restored.

I want to leave you with this question; since he wasn’t a part of Raw this week, where do you see CM Punk going from here and why?

It really is amazing what the fans can do for WWE…

Follow me on Twitter (@SpringerAJ) and use the hashtag #YYYTRR to send me your views.

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  1. jethro's Avatar
    I hate when Jerry Lawler went all "Its bizzaro land!"
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