Welcome to this week's edition of Raw Afterthoughts. I want to thank Drew for taking the show last night after a big night of WrestleMania recapping. Here's what I thought of last night's show - feel free to comment and ask questions below!
Welcome to Bizarro Land!
This live crowd last night had me in stitches. Size them up for Hall of Fame rings!
The fans flat out hijacked the show. When Randy Orton vs. Sheamus got announced, with the winner getting to face Big Show, they decided to entertain themselves. We got a slew of chants for the announcers, official Mike Chioda, Justin Roberts and more. Big Show hit the ring and got a "thank you" chant for interrupting the match, then when he threw the chairs they wanted him to throw all three. Making things even more fun was when they started singing entrance themes for Fandango and Mark Henry.
It was a riot watching this show just because the fans took over the way they did. Reports on other sites say that it was a group of UK fans that got things started, so it should be interesting when Raw goes to London in a couple weeks.
In the end analysis, it was harmless fun and made for some really entertaining television moments. Here's hoping the theme song thing (especially Fandango's) doesn't become the new "WHAT?" of Stone Cold Steve Austin fame, though.
The Champ Is Here...again.
John Cena opened up the program with the WWE Championship in hand. His new t-shirt has to be the worst in history of wrestling t-shirts.
That aside, he had to have known this crowd was going to be against him. I have to give the man this little bit of credit; he reacts in a way that doesn't show frustration and actually seems to embrace the reaction. Many other top faces seem to get frustrated in that situation.
I could have done without the comedy when Henry came out. Mark Henry is a badass, and that needed to be treated as such. The promo wasn't all that bad otherwise.
As for the show closing, it was a good angle when Ryback came out and attacked both Henry and Cena. It looks like we're heading for a triple-threat title match for Cena at Extreme Rules next month. I hope they let the fans choose whether Ryback is face or heel rather than flat-out turning him. Cole tried to sell the attack as something unthinkable, but the fans were chanting Feed Me More. I think we got a good setup going for the next month's program at least.
Here to Show the World...
We have a new World Heavyweight Champion, and it's not Jack Swagger. For many, it's about time. Dolph Ziggler cashed in his briefcase last night to claim the title.
The Swagger/Del Rio program just wasn't working as a main event program. For whatever reason they didn't go with a Dolph cash-in at WrestleMania. It left a lot of feeling that those in creative might just dig in and try to force the program to work. I think they finally realized it wasn't working and they pulled the trigger. The live crowd ate this up.
This was something they could have used at WrestleMania to put some life into the otherwise kind of flat and less than newsworthy night. Nonetheless, the World Heavyweight Championship picture should be more entertaining going forward and Dolph has finally obtained something he worked hard for.
The Dead Man Reigns...
Undertaker's appearance always feels special and the simple statement of dedication of his match to Paul Bearer was great.
At first many, including myself, would have written this off as a throw-away segment. The Shield showing up and surrounding the ring to presumably make good on their "historic" tweet earlier in the night. Kane and Daniel Bryan hit the ring for the save and The Shield left without incident.
Later, when they went back to highlights the announcers talked about a six-man tag. It leaves the door open for a six-man match either at Extreme Rules or at one of the shows in the UK where Undertaker is scheduled to show up.
It would have been a neat sight to see Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Undertaker doing the Brothers of Destruction pose together on the stage, which happened during commercial.
- Chris Jericho is the new tormenter. He praised Fandango for winning at WrestleMania, but has asked what Fandango will do to top that. His attack was well done.
- Wade Barrett and Miz had a good match, but I don't understand the title changes over the past two days.
- Good calls: keeping CM Punk and Triple H off of this program. Punk didn't have a hope in the world of turning this crowd against him and it helped sell the match against Undertaker. And I can't imagine what this crowd would have done with Triple H...
- It seemed like they really played up the authority figure drama more than normal. Not sure why or what direction that's going to end up taking.
- I really feel for Kofi. He got no entrance last night and was left off the Mania card. Perhaps the time to strike with him has passed. There's worse things to be than somewhere in the mid-card for life though.
- I wonder if Sami Zayn was smiling at the "Ole!" chant?
That's it for this week. Be sure to check in next Monday for more Raw coverage here on Ring-Rap.com.