Where was this all along? Did WWE fans really have to suffer through lean years to get to this point? Why hadn’t something as exciting as Monday Night Raw happen long before now? And why am I so pissed about it?
The thing is, I am a fan long before I’m a writer and seeing the greatness of WWE Battleground followed by how amazing Monday Night Raw was, I have to think that first – someone was holding the creative team hostage since the moment Edge retired from the ring, and second – Vince McMahon must have threatened to take away both Shane and Stephanie’s trust fund if things did not get better.
I don’t get excited about wrestling like this, but what I saw and fans witnessed on Monday was a complete 180-degree turn from the same old used to be, to where the hell have you been all my adult life.
Sasha Banks beats Charlotte on Monday night. Finn Balor wins the right to go to SummerSlam to face Seth Rollins for the Universal Heavyweight Championship. I cannot believe what I just saw. There is certainly a renaissance on the horizon in the McMahon’s evil empire.
A friend of mine said they saw a change in direction on Sunday night at Battleground. History was made, lives were changed, legacies created. I might not have phrased that correctly, but it was something along those lines. That kind of feeling comes around only when there is effective booking takes place. Maybe the light finally went on. Maybe the return of Shane McMahon and Triple H’s commitment to NXT and the Cruiserweight Championship has something to do with it.
Now comes the hard part – following up on what has been a great two nights. I figure something on Smackdown Live will try to one-up the competition. With the current WWE Heavyweight Champion in Dean Ambrose and John Cena on the other side of the fence, there had better be fireworks or the start of something big is all for naught.
Holler if you can hear me, Daniel Bryan? Give me a “Hell Yeah,” Shane McMahon. The score is 1-0 nothing and you are about to be down a service break. The intensity is real. The fire is white hot. The same friend I mentioned before said if Raw could pull this off every Monday night, things would be fine. Realistically, we all know this won’t happen. But if we got three nights like Monday night in a month and three nights in the same capacity on Smackdown Live, we could all agree things are pretty good for now.
And the talent is getting better. If this is not the best roster and talent WWE has had in the past decade, I’m not sure what is. With NXT just as hot and there is still room to blow the roof off of Brooklyn for SummerSlam, you can be sure the next four weeks will all be about restructure, rebuild and promotion. The vignettes were fresh, the dialogue we on point and the new freshness we all saw and felt gave us all goosebumps. You cannot fake it, you can only hope to bottle it up and contain it.
I’m certainly picking up what WWE is putting down right now. A new brand of style and substance. A feel of invincibility. A notion that the right buttons have finally been pushed. Fans are in for a new era, a new system. What took this so long to happen? WWE fans have longed deserved this. All I know is we had all better enjoy it while we can. After SummerSlam, who knows what will happen.
We can only hope it remains the same. And for real, when was the last time we all said that about this wrestling promotion?