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

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Why did WWE wait this long to have a live episode of Raw in Brooklyn?

For everything us fans despise about WWE – for some it is John Cena’s mere existence, others are assured that Dolph Ziggler is just not as over as the IWC would like to believe, and many find the storytelling insultingly simple or nonsensical at times – there are a lot of good things to counteract what we loathe. The last two months have seen some of the greatest episodes of Raw (forgetting that one awful show) in years, and two great PPVs.

As expected, Money in the Bank was a great show (last year was the closest it came to being disappointing, and even then it was good). It showcased two intriguing and relatively unpredictable Ladder matches (for those wondering, I picked Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes as my victors) which stole the show, and Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio put on another great match.

What I did take note of from Sunday, however, was the mention of Raw taking place in Brooklyn the very next night. I predicted a post-WrestleMania crowd as soon as I heard that news, and I was not disappointed.

Perfect timing

It was my understanding that everybody had figured Daniel Bryan was in line for a WWE Championship match at SummerSlam, and that fact seemed very obvious heading into a Money in the Bank Ladder match which was promoted very heavily on the back of Bryan himself.

Apparently, the WWE Universe on Twitter forgot about this the second Randy Orton climbed the ladder and captured his first contract (or his divorce papers, if you keep up with “Wrestling Memes” or “Heelbook” on Facebook). I mention this because the multitude of tweets I read post-MitB exclaiming that Cena vs. Orton has been done to death got my attention.

I completely agree, it has been done to death and I have no desire to see it unless it is built properly with one of the two men as a heel (to that point, the live crowds over the past few weeks have started to really turn against Cena, don’t you think?). The main thought I had was that it was really obvious that Bryan was going to get his shot after Orton won that contract.

This is, in no way, a bad thing. The Brooklyn crowd provided a perfect commentary on who the WWE fans want as their champion. Even Sheamus received mass jeers when Cena brought him up, which doesn’t happen all that often.

The ending of Raw was perfect in that WWE chose to end on a shot of the WWE fans. They spoke for the entire WWE Universe this week, and the enormity and unity of the “Yes!” chants told WWE the one thing they’ve known for months – Daniel Bryan is the most over talent in WWE today.

But two important questions remain…

How will WWE make this storyline with Cena memorable and then lead on to the obvious Randy Orton cash-in at SummerSlam?

I have a rough theory on what will come of the next few months, but I will keep it brief.

Bryan will be built in a similar way to Chris Benoit’s WrestleMania XX World Heavyweight Championship match as an underdog looking to achieve his long-awaited dream, potentially taking on all-comers along the way.

Cena will cut promos saying he could lose until the week before SummerSlam, where he will tell Bryan face-to-face that even though he could lose he has no intention of doing so.

This leaves Randy Orton. He will likely end up in an unimportant match at SummerSlam, which he will win convincingly before dethroning new WWE Champion Daniel Bryan just minutes after the Goatface’s victory. What ensues after this could be the progressive heel turn of Orton as WWE Champion whilst Bryan chases a title he believes he has earned.

Of course this is all speculation, but the seeds are in place for all of these things to happen and to memorable in the process.

The Battle of the Paul Heyman Guys

Paul Heyman’s turn on CM Punk has been in the works since Punk returned to a huge ovation in Chicago, but I did not see it happening at Money in the Bank. I guess I was distracted by Bryan’s push, and overlooked just how perfectly timed the turn was.

In one fell swoop, Heyman has taken away any chance of Punk regaining the WWE Championship in the immediate future and severed what Punk believed to be a strong friendship in the process. In truth, a story like this tells itself very well, but Monday night showed that with Punk and Heyman delivering the dialogue it can be taken a step further towards greatness.

It is well-documented that Punk and Heyman have great chemistry, what I am left wondering is whether or not Punk and Brock Lesnar share that same chemistry.

Their contrasting sizes and styles guarantee that this match will be very different to the Lesnar/Triple H battles we have seen, and while I am interested to see just how physical Punk can get against Lesnar I am just as curious to see how Lesnar can combine his physicality and his pure wrestling ability to match Punk’s technical prowess.

The storyline for this match offers a lot in terms of depth, and I look forward to every intense promo, brawl, and the match which will either see Lesnar try to destroy Punk with brute force or see Punk trying to prove that he is the “Best in the World” at something else – getting physical with a monster.

I could have simply copied and pasted the word “Yes!” for 1,000 words this week, and it would have been my sentiment towards this week’s Raw. It would not have been very analytical, but it would have been accurate.

I genuinely have nothing more to say on this week’s Raw, except that it was perfectly timed (one night after a PPV which has a track record for success) and perfectly located in Brooklyn (I still cannot believe WWE had not taken their flagship show to Brooklyn before). It had its moments in the second hour which we have come to expect as dull and tiring, but a great opening match and a terrific final hour capped off with a sold-out arena chanting “Yes!” gave this fan chills, and a reminder of what it truly can be like to be a fan of WWE.

Keep up the great work, WWE.

The question I pose my readers this week is: Now that Rob Van Dam is back under WWE contract, what direction do you see WWE taking him in? Who can he feud with, and which titles can he compete for in order to be a memorable re-signing?

Follow my Twitter account, @SpringerAJ, and let me know what you think of #YYYTRR.

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  1. Kajmere's Avatar
    The Punk-Lesnar and Mark Henry-Shield segments were awesome. I wasn't a fan of the end. No Henry or DB standing at the ramp was a giveaway, I expected Cena to surprise us and pick both, but DB was a lock. Brock Lesnar looked like a beast when he came out, by far my favorite right now just for sheer entertainment value.

    My friend's roommate (who doesn't watch wrestling) walks into the room as we're watching Brock beat up Punk:
    Him: "Is that Brock Lesnar?"
    Me: Yup
    Him: Why is he beating up that junkie?"
  2. Y2JLionsault's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ComingToCinemas
    The name comes from how I used to structure it. I just found that people didn't want to read a blog which spans more than 2,000 words so I decided to pick the two or three things which sparked the most interest. I am thinking of finding a way to include all of the show's events again without making it too much longer a read, since it has been a really great show lately.
    Ok fair enough. I can appreciate that. But I definitely agree that the show has been so good lately that there is so much more to include and so much that really deserves a mention.
  3. nothingmusic42's Avatar
    My hope is that Randy Orton faces a big man at SS (Big Show or Henry) in a brutal match. Bryan beats Cena for the title. Randy goes to cash in, but because of his physical match earlier, as he goes for the RKO, Bryan counters into the No Lock, forcing Orton to tap. Bryan will have won the title, plus beaten 2 of the top faces in one night. Bryan holds the title until WM, when he defends it against CM Punk. I would buy WM just to see that match headline.
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