At least WrestleMania 32 left us with the foundation for tonight’s Raw…
It’s more than clear that many people were not at all happy with the show last night. Altogether entertaining as it was, many “angles” and stories were left sort of open-ended and inconclusive. There was enough left to peoples’ imagination for them to be interested to see how things will play out on Raw tonight. This was most-likely a tool used to help build the foundation for tonight’s Raw. It’s no mystery that every year the WWE attempts to put on the best edition of Raw the night after WrestleMania. The element of surprise that’s a fundamental component of WrestleMania every single year is also synonymous with the episode of Raw the following night. It carries right over from the evening before as the grandeur and nostalgia attached to the mega-event has not yet faded—and you can bet your ass that Dallas is still directly in the vortex of the year’s best party and people are totally amped for Raw tonight at the American Airlines Center.
So let’s look at some key points that we can take away from last night’s show. First, I must say that every single one of the wrestlers worked their tails off last night, kudos to them for that. With that being said, I have to start with the Intercontinental Championship match—this match was, by and large, a very good match that left us with a very big surprise. Zack Ryder climbed the ladder and retrieved the championship to get his WrestleMania moment, and I’m not even mad! Ryder hasn’t been on Raw in quite some time but, let’s face it, the guy has talent, charisma, and the ability to do great things with that belt on the main roster if given more opportunities. It will be interesting to see what happens with Ryder from here, but now there is a legitimate platform for him to really get himself over with the WWE Universe. Another good point to take away from this match is the fact that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s rivalry still has a vibrant pulse because these two guys are great, and they both know how to steal the show. As far as the other four men, this match did nothing for them or their future, but at least it wasn’t a complete waste. I hope that we will see something really cool with Ryder tonight, maybe a title defense against whoever has the guts? I also hope we see the Owens and Zayn story heat up on tonight’s Raw.
Another huge story to come from WrestleMania 32 is that the WWE has eliminated the term “Diva”, and the female wrestlers received a shiny, brand new WWE Women’s Championship title putting them on the same plane as the male wrestlers, which I think was long overdue. The female wrestlers of today, especially the girls that came up from NXT, are at the pinnacle of women’s wrestling and have taken their craft to an unprecedented peak. They are some of the best female athletes in the world, period. Last night, the triple threat match did deliver when it came to the in-ring action and I have no problem with Charlotte winning. I think she is a great performer, not to take anything away from Becky Lynch or Sasha Banks, but I think Charlotte has really come into her own with the microphone as well—she cuts great promos now and she really just resembles an all-around champion. All three of these women are amazing and will elevate each other if the WWE puts them in the right spots. The powers that be have the great opportunity to turn a corner for these women tonight on Raw.
Last night, the WWE Universe witnessed the emergence of Baron Corbin from NXT to win the 3rd annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. This match looked more like a gimmick show with guys like Diamond Dallas Page, Tatanka, and even Shaq all participating, but at least the WWE used this match to propel a new talent like Corbin. This guy is huge, standing at 6’8’, and he’s got all of the tools necessary to be a huge star in the WWE’s main roster. Corbin has made a great “heel” in NXT, so it would be best for business to keep him that way right now. He is also very charismatic with a microphone, so it will be interesting to see how he will use last night’s victory to get some heat and promote himself on tonight’s Raw.
By far, the biggest story to come from WrestleMania last night is the fact that Shane McMahon lost and did not capture the “brass ring” by defeating the Undertaker and, subsequently, will not take control of Monday Night Raw. Let’s face it, all of us are begging for some serious changes in the WWE and the large majority of people wanted Shane to win, take control, and make change—we did not get that. What we did get, however, was a pretty intense match that didn’t necessarily disappoint, and an open end in many ways. Any rational person should believe that this story is far from over and the WWE has left much for tonight’s Raw. If they gave us everything last night, how could they have anything left for Raw tonight? I’m sure most of us remember the lock-box that Vince McMahon declared he wanted back from Shane, along with all of the contents inside, so that he may never hold anything over his head again. I’m sure the WWE will tie up these loose ends tonight and, hopefully, Shane will somehow gain control on tonight’s Raw.
We also saw Roman Reigns defeating Triple H in the main event. I am a big Roman Reigns fan, so I have no problems with this whatsoever. The only problem is that Reigns makes a better “badass” than a “baby face,” and the WWE needs to wake up and realize that the fans do not want a “baby faced” Roman Reigns as champion, they want the smash-mouth, take-no-prisoners Roman Reigns. The WWE really needs to start that transformation on tonight’s Raw. The fans were cheering for Reigns when he was laying out Vince McMahon every week with a superman punch, and then they just killed all of the momentum and abruptly changed course—dumb move! Last night was one step in the right direction for reigns and, hopefully, we’ll see the second step on tonight’s Raw.
Then there was the street fight between Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose. We witnessed another Lesnar victory that did absolutely nothing for Ambrose. I wish the WWE would just stop burying the poor guy. The only evidence of lunacy we got from Ambrose last night is the fact that he is willing to take a vicious beating at the hands of “The Beast,” that’s it. I don’t care if Ambrose has to take one of Brock’s limbs with that chainsaw or if he has to kidnap Paul Heyman and torture him, we need to see that psychosis and insanity on full display at tonight’s Raw.
The WWE is certainly poised for enormous change and we may very well see it begin on tonight’s Raw. WrestleMania 32 was most definitely entertaining and fun, tonight, it’s back to business. We should be seeing the big payoff of the last two months. Where last night’s show was lackluster at times, it was also more that riveting at other times. Regardless, I walked away with excitement and enthusiasm about what may be in store for this evening. There’s no doubt that the WWE can deliver with the bricks that were laid last night in the foundation for tonight’s Raw.