1. It is absolutely fantastic to see Ric Flair back in the WWE. I haven’t been following the news today but his return came as a complete shock to me and a very welcome one at that. And having CM Punk interrupt the Hall of Famer was predictable but still exciting since we haven’t been able to see a main event CM Punk against Flair. The John Cena bit was typical and predictable but it did just seem like an avenue to get Punk and Flair to face off. The additional “threat” of a Shield attack only made the segment work that much better.
2. I find it interesting that the Slammy’s have become somewhat of a yearly “Raw 1000” episode. It’s always nice to see the legends (used in a proper way) on WWE’s flagship. There’s one thing that WWE has always done right that other sport organizations don’t and that is take care of their former workers. Not their CURRENT workers mind you (no health insurance) but they do pay great respect to the legends of the business and take care of those who need professional help. Can’t really say that for even a company like the NFL.
3. I understand the obsession with Cody Rhodes’ new mustache. It’s horrific. But the fact is that Cody Rhodes returned WEEKS after an injury that puts other professionals on the shelf for months or even an entire season. He’s one tough bastard and just because he’s a heel shouldn’t mean we can’t appreciate that.
4. At some points tonight it seems as if the WWE has put months of effort into putting on the Slammy’s and at other times it feels like they decided to do this show last week. Zack Ryder and Layla awkwardly exiting the stage is a perfect example of this. I could understand the shakiness if the WWE wasn’t accustomed to putting on a 3 hour show every single week but that of course isn’t the case. They’re focusing much more on pushing the app than they are in putting together a cohesive show.
5. As much as I wanted Dolph Ziggler to successfully cash in the Money In The Bank briefcase, I understand why they went with a tease first. Can you remember the last time they teased a cash in by Ziggler because I know I can’t. As a matter of fact, I don’t even remember the last time the briefcase was relevant until last night’s PPV. They needed to re-establish the constant “threat” that Ziggler can cash in at any time and this was just the first opportunity they could show it.
6. Interesting that the WWE brought back Tommy Dreamer since I don’t believe they parted ways on the best of terms. That and the fact that Dreamer came out sporting a House Of Hardcore promotion t-shirt and it makes it even more surprising that they let him out live on Raw.
7. Ryback re-debuted on the April 6th, 2012 edition of SmackDown. Since then, people have chanted “Goldberg” at this man. Bill Goldberg‘s United States wrestling career lasted at total of 5 years and only one of those in the WWE. While Ryback’s mic skills are nowhere near main event level, he’s shown 100 times more improvement in his 8 months than Goldberg did in his first year. Ryback knows what he does well on the mic and he sticks with it. He knows what gets the crowd on its feet in the ring and he sticks with it. We always talk about John Cena’s “5 Moves of Doom” but Goldberg honestly had less.
8. Out of the four matches nominated for Match of the Year, I’d have to go with Triple H vs The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Honestly out of the four matches nominated, I wouldn’t have chosen any of them. There were many, MANY great matches this year that weren’t even mentioned but yet John Cena was featured in two of the matches. It was pretty obvious that the plan all along was to have Triple H and Undertaker win the award in order to make the Undertaker announcement but they could have at least given the fans a little more variety in their choices. Not including the TLC match between The Shield and Ryback/Team Hell No last night, there was CM Punk vs Chris Jericho, Punk vs Daniel Bryan, Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan and Sheamus vs Dolph Ziggler. And those are just PPV matches.
9. Well it looks like I have to be a fan of the Raw Active app:
10. A strong and surprisingly storyline driven closing to a gimmick edition of Monday Night Raw. First let me state, I am all for the introduction of new talent and fresh blood on the main WWE roster. That being said, in the past 6-8 months we’ve seen the debuts of Ryback, Damien Sandow, Antonio Cesaro, Brad Maddox, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and now Big E Langston. Not to mention the shot of superstardom AJ Lee has experienced that has taken over numerous hours of television time. So while the influx of fresh faces seems like a good idea on the surface, what happens to talented performers like Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, Jack Swagger, The Usos and heaven-forbid Ted DiBiase or Michael McGillicutty? WWE has been seen as over-saturating the marketplace for years and now it seems as if they are over-saturating their own roster. Plus, wasn’t Big E Langston JUST crowned the new NXT Heavyweight Champion because Seth Rollins had been promoted to the main roster?