WOW!! That’s what sums up the last ten minutes or so of Monday’s RAW. What was turning out to be a pretty average show with some awful matches, a freakin’ dance-off and the world’s worst tag-team in Hornswoggle and Khali, was thankfully forgotten when it all went to hell! When Bradley Cooper literally appeared for a few minutes before leaving it to Sharlto and Rampage to pick up the pieces as The A-Team (realistically 50% of it), I thought we were in for a pretty half-assed show. The guest hosts literally had to humiliate themselves in a terribly conceived and executed storyline, in-character no less! Props to both of them as they committed themselves to it, and Sharlto really tried to give us some decent humour and Rampage will no doubt get a lot of grief from his UFC peers for what he had to put himself through. I think this clearly shows that finally the creative team have ran out of ideas for the guest hosts to mean anything on RAW. Please, please stop – we beg of you! If you must, bring back some Wrestling veterans to guest host alongside Bret, it would be fun, and maybe even educational for the fan-base to learn a thing or two about the history of the WWF prior to John Cena!
Anyway, back to ‘that’ ending. Go to any column on TWNP, and others online and I think it’s a unanimous verdict that the angle on the finale of RAW was the best thing WWE has done in years. It was completely without warning, brilliantly executed and genuinely intriguing to watch this army of brand new stars literally tear the place apart. Hell, I would’ve even had some plants in the audience for them to drag into ringside and beat up to truly put the sh*ts up viewers and the live audience! They absolutely destroyed Cena, and I even liked how Punk came back to help him. It made sense, someone really thought about it and instead of pigeonholing faces and heels, we got a grey area for Punk to have reason for fighting them off. It felt like the show’s title, raw. Live and unpredictable. I love how they attacked the ringside crew and commentary with the exception of Cole, who will no doubt have some kind of part to play in all of this. As much as people dislike Cole, I really like this heel character he is developing! I also love that the Next guys didn’t do the stereotypical heel faction thing by raising each other’s arms. This wasn’t about being victorious; this was about making a viscous, violent statement, to worry the hell out of the locker room. They left as they arrived, in silence and without fanfare, job done.
What genuinely excited me is that we have a whole potential new fleet of stars ready to make an impact in WWE. Each one has the potential to become a long-term recognizable and successful star, with Wade Barrett, Daniel Bryan and Heath Slater shining the brightest out of the bunch. Wade looked like a seasoned guy, a legitimate superstar ready to lead this faction and no doubt win titles. Could this be the Invasion angle version 2.0? Only this time, done how it should have been done in the first place? I really hope and pray the writers and Vince have this well planned out and add some depth and intrigue to make this a long-lasting, much talked about angle, that could well revive the WWE into a brand new era. …Okay, maybe I’m getting too hopeful here, but I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about what the WWE was producing on a weekly basis. If I were Vince, I would drop these tedious gimmick-themed PPV’s every 4 weeks with sub-par shows built only to hype them, and start concentrating on building some legitimate stars for the future, who may attract a much larger audience and freshen things up for the industry! …One can only hope, because it’s a DAMN good start, and I will be glued to the TV/internet next Monday night!
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