Photo credit to sportskeeda.com
I know, it’s cliche to use a phrase coined by individuals Shane does not associate the same morals and ideals with (only genes and the same last name) but it’s so true. If you’ve watched Monday Night Raw the last two weeks, you’ll know exactly what I mean. To be quite honest, I felt last night’s Raw trumped Raw after Wrestlemania! Here’s why:
Last night, Shane promised a show full of “new Superstars, new opportunities and fresh match ups” and he delivered on those promises. Last night, we witnessed Kevin Owens face Cesaro for the first time for an opportunity at the Intercontinental Championship. Kevin recently lost title at Wrestlemania to Zack Ryder (although Ryder only possessed the title for a little over 24 hours before losing it to The Miz) and had demanded his rematch. If he won, he would be awarded his rematch. Unfortunately for Kevin, it did not work out that way. Cesaro hit Owens with The Neutralizer and obtained the victory and opportunity for the Intercontinental Championship. I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER! Cesaro is a Champion, a “main event player” and should be featured weekly as Roman Reigns and Charlotte are featured. I hope this is a stepping stool for Cesaro to get to that point (as long as Maryse doesn’t interfere at Payback…).
We also witnessed The #1 Contender Tag Team Tournament, where eight teams will face one another for the opportunity at the Tag Team Championship against The New Day. The Dudley Boyz defeated The Lucha Dragons to move on in the tournament along with The Usos who defeated Heath Slater and Curtis Axel. At this time, “new superstars” made their debut, in the highly anticipated and highly talked about arrival of Luke Gallows and Carl Anderson of The Bullet Club! I wonder if they will somehow get squeezed into this Tag Team Tournament. I also wonder how the WWE plans to use these two gentlemen in general. I’m excited to see!
Natalya had the opportunity to take on WWE Womens Champion Charlotte for the title and Sami Zayn had an opportunity to fight for gold, as he had to compete against AJ Styles to make the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Payback a Triple Threat Match. Unfortunately, neither Natalya or Sami are any closer to obtaining their prospective titles than they were when Raw started, but their matches were sure as hell entertaining. They were actually my favorite matches of the evenings, leaving me at the edge of my seat throughout their entire matches. And finally, we saw a “fresh match up” of Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt teaming up to take on Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio. They were a bit rocky at first when it came to working together but that quickly settled and they were successful at defeating the duo from the League of Nations.
If you ask me, this Raw was incredible from start to finish. I know Kevin Owens had made a comment about last night possibly being Shane’s last at running Monday Night Raw, but I certainly hope not. He’s done so much for the fans as far as entertainment value and I’m sure Vince McMahon has seen an increase in ratings also! That’s clearly what’s “best for business” so in the best interest of business, it would be a very smart move on Vince’s end to allow Shane to continue running Monday Night Raw. Only time will tell if that will happen. My fingers are crossed tightly that it does!