There are certain times throughout history that we, as WWE fans, are privledged to watch history being made on live television. These events do not occur very often, but when they do, they resonate for years to come: impacting not only the current product, but also changing the way we view the Superstars, the angles they are/were involved in, and transcending the overall state of the business. Monday night, 3/10 of 2014, was most definitely one of those nights.
From the amazing opening segment involving Hogan, Cena, and Wyatt, and on through the Occupy Raw / Yes! Movement that occured towards the end of the show, the WWE this week delivered a RAW broadcast that changed the game (no pun intended) as we head towards Wrestlemania XXX. From top to bottom the show felt important, like it had something to prove, and that absolutely everyone was getting involved in order to break through what had been the stagnant glass ceiling that has been this year’s Road To Wrestlemania.
Everything changed this week on RAW. Let’s take a look at 5 things we learned following an incredible WWE RAW program:The Opening Segment Makes History
Hulk Hogan returned and opened the RAW broadcast this week, announcing the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania XXX. Now this is a fun idea, but we do get an annual battle royal each January with The Royal Rumble. However, even more exciting was how the opening segment unfolded following this big announcement with the entrance of John Cena, who headed to the ring to join The Hulkster.
This was a fan-boy moment. It’s obvious that John Cena was strongly influenced by Hogan during his formative years, and as he joined Hogan in the ring, you could see on Cena’s face he felt like a kid again, seeing his idol and sharing the ring with him. And just when you thought the segment couldn’t get any better: cue The Wyatt Family’s music.
The Wyatt’s then made their way out, and suddenly you have the past, the present, and the future of WWE on the scene and sharing the opening salvo of Monday Night Raw. This was a fantastic, transcendent moment for fans of this industry, and to have Hogan continue to head into Cena’s corner for his match against Bray that followed was a lot of fun. The WWE made some fun history with the opening 30+ minutes of RAW this week.
And Hogan hasn’t exactly been on fire since he came back, but he has been fun. It’s obvious he’s required to plug the WWE Network, but he would have been better served by WWE if they would hype his appearances throughout the RAW’s that he has been a part of. Him opening the show is now becoming expected, and it just doesn’t feel as huge as it should.
Paul Heyman Interrupts The Phenom: In another fantastic segment, Paul Heyman interrupted The Undertaker this week, who was in the ring to discuss his upcoming return match at Wrestlemania XXX against Brock Lesnar. Heyman’s appearance and following promo went a long way to sell some Wrestlemania buys as they relate to the ‘Taker/Lesnar confrontation that’s about to take place.
Paul Heyman has been “money” for years now. His presence this week on RAW, they way he confronted The Undertaker, comparing his Wrestlemania greatness as second-to-none the way he did, and then telling him he is afraid for him and what will happen at the hands of Brock Lesnar, was masterful. The Undertaker was also great in his role, not backing down an inch and delivering his great lines like he always does. After watching this, I can tell you that I, for one, am a bit more excited to see this match, and they have several more weeks to really bring it all together.The Yes! Movement Arrives: Daniel Bryan Will Fight Twice AT WMXXX
Wow, what a segment with Daniel Bryan and the arrival of his Yes Movement! Taking the entire Raw broadcast hostage, Bryan filled the ring with his fans, and along with the arena’s live crowd, they all stood their ground, stopping the show and forcing Triple H to answer Daniel Bryan’s challenge for Wrestlemania XXX. Hunter was forced to accept, and just like that, the two men will fight at ‘Mania in a few weeks.
But that’s not the only match Bryan has made for himself at Wrestlemania thank to his Occupy Raw takeover this week. Bryan then added the stipulation that if he beats Triple H at Wrestlemania, he must then be included in The World Heavyweight Title Match between Randy Orton and Batista later that night. And Hunter was livid, but he was forced to agree, after a fun segment that held up the entire show in order to finally push Daniel Bryan into the main event territory. You have got to give the WWE credit for trying so hard to sell the drama between Bryan and Triple H, all the while making it seem that Hunter’s hand has been forced by the underdog that he has tried so hard to hold down time and time again.Stephanie McMahon: Coming Into Her Own
It’s been a long road for Stephanie McMahon Helmsley. From her early days as The Princess, which were full of overacting and terribly scripted lines, to her ascension to the top of the McMahon family legacy, she has seen it all. And while she was at times laughable when she was younger and trying to make a name for herself as a wrestling television character, she has finally come into her own as the new leader of the WWE. And what a great heel she has become.
She is giving a master class on how to be a bad guy every single week that she appears on WWE television. The Divas would do wellto watch closely and to take notice, and we should also all take the time to watch how a great heel can be executed on WWE programming. And now she is in the authority role, much like her father years ago, as the heel leader of the business. And it’s working, hand over fist.
She may still act a little outside the box and over the top from time to time, but that’s fine, she has now earned it. What she is doing is providing another great evil McMahon character for a new generation of WWE fans, and she is doing it brilliantly. Stephanie McMahon is what a great heel figure represents, and we are all better off having her taking over the family business.The Rhodes Brothers: What Has Happened?
So much potential, but in the end The Rhodes Brothers have now been delegated to tag team “jobber” duty. And they still give it their all, with a case in point this week on RAW. Again the brothers put on a helluva show, but we all have to start asking what they have done behind the scenes that has forced them to fall this far out of the tag team title picture.
Wrestlemania XXX could still provide a great opportunity for Cody and GoldDust, provided they get added to the bill. Right now it seems as though the WWE is setting up for a re-match between the New Age Outlaws and the current champion Uso’s for ‘Mania, but with The Rhodes Brothers having another great outing on RAW, they may not be finished yet. And let’s hope that is the case: a 3 way tag match at Wrestlemania could be alot of fun with all 6 of these competitors.
Fans, are you excited now for Wrestlemania? I know I finally am, and I am ready to hear from you. Sound off below in our COMMENTS section, and hit me up on Twitter, I invite your opinions and welcome the discussion: @davyshrader