Monday Night Raw blew the roof off the Amway Center in Orlando last night. The night after WrestleMania 33 proved to be just as important to the growth and development of this company as the show Sunday night that left us all excited about the future.
Let me start out by admitting something to everybody here. I’m a Roman Reigns fan. I like his ability, I like his look, I like the fact that you can’t tell whether he is a babyface or heel. And moving forward, the best thing he could have done for his career is serve as the opponent who retired Undertaker. The second best thing he could have done for his career was standing a the ring to open the show, take the verbal abuse from the fans for 10 minutes, and deliver one message.
Yes, it’s his yard now.
WWE did the right thing, as I said before, in making that match the launching pad for what could be a very solid heel run. If booked properly, the Roman Empire becomes the focal point of domination, either on Monday or Tuesday nights.
With the success over the weekend and Monday, there are some concerns I have about how the creative team will book wrestlers moving forward. There is a solid foundation from which to build. However, problem has always been that this company has ADHD. A great idea it started, it’s restructured, and it fails. Fans get excited and then have the carpet pulled out from underneath them. For the next eight months, the McMahons and anybody who deals with booking must realize the importance of taking the seeds that were planted Sunday night and let them grow.
The company must also deal with what appears to be an unbalanced roster on Monday nights. The tide turned for the red team, adding Matt and Jeff Hardy, the tag team of Dash and Dawson and the return of Finn Balor.
Impressive as that is, it creates booking issues. If this for the WWF of the early 1980s, fans would be beside themselves. There would be excitement over the fact that more big names were added to a stacked roster. The idea of things being bigger and better was appropriate for the times. Vince McMahon was creating an empire, destroying the territories of the NWA and AWA. Today he has no one to compete with. And most of that is his own damn fault.
If WWE is going to succeed with brand extension and create competition within its own ranks, there has to be a balance. With the anticipated arrival of Nakamura to Tuesday night programming, and possibly the addition of Tye Dillinger in the near future, the rosters for both brands may be the most talented they ever has been.
With exceptional talent comes exceptional expectations. And as fans know, there aren’t enough belts or feuds to go around.
The announcement by Vince McMahon that there will be a shake-up of talent on both rosters starting next week gives me hope. I believe he wants a level playing field if wants the masses to come back to Monday and Tuesday night. There are roughly 4 months until the NFL starts again. That’s plenty of time to build something special. The clock is ticking, and nervous anticipation has set in.
Of course, the events of the past weekend I set the wheels in motion. Wrestlemania was more successful than many of us anticipated. The return of stars to the rosters will prove to be a great enhancement. The addition of several stars after they have been called up to the main roster will excite the fans. But until there is balance, there is no way to create an inter-promotional feud.
I like the idea of change. I like the idea of the superstars making their debuts. I just want to see what happens when this company finally gets it right, and creates a “war” that makes sense and keeps the fans wanting more.