Raw 1000 has come and gone, and, for what it was, I enjoyed it. If you didn’t expect it to lack actual wrestling and be heavily booked with long promos from top to bottom, then you don’t know the modern day WWE. But the promos that they did do were successful in accomplishing the goal of creating nostalgia for the fans.
There were a few surprises here and there, most of which were good. For example, AJ being named the Raw General Manager by Vince McMahon, was great because A. I love her character and B. It was unexpected. I can definitely see AJ creating a buzz about Raw going forward, now that the prestige of Raw 1000 has passed. Expect her to make some odd but interesting decisions as GM. But the missing appearance of the man who defined the attitude era, Stone Cold Steve Austin, left us scratching our heads in confusion. Apparently, he had major knee surgery and was still on crutches by the time Raw 1000 came around. I don’t care. If he can’t be there, then WWE shouldn’t have been allowed to have a 1000th episode of Raw. Stone Cold Steve Austin WAS the attitude era and without him, Raw would’ve never achieved the 1000th episode milestone.
The one true shocker of the night came in the main event between CM Punk and John Cena for the WWE Championship. The Rock came running to the ring to counter an ambush attack from the Big Show which caused a disqualification, resulting in Cena being the first NOT to win the championship when cashing in Money in the Bank. That wasn’t the shocker. This was: As the Rock was about to deliver the people’s elbow to Show, he was hit with a devastating clothesline from the Best in the World , CM Punk.
Following that, he put The Rock to sleep with his patented GTS finisher. Did we just see CM Punk turn heel? If we did, I’m an even bigger Punk fan than before. Oh, speaking of the Rock, he’s getting a WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble. Wait, what? HE’S getting a championship match? For what? He wins one match over Cena, all the way back in April, and thinks he can just walk in and name himself the number one contender on an event that isn’t even until next year? The sad part is that he can. The obvious matchup looks to be against CM Punk in January at the Royal Rumble, and with WWE often being very predictable, I bet this is the route they will take. However, there’s still a lot of time until January and if WWE does want to throw a swerve at us, they’ve got 5 months to book it. Here’s a suggestion, how about strip The Rock of his meaningless number one contendership? Just a thought.
The Miz has quietly been working his way up the ladder once again after winning the Intercontinental Championship from Christian on Raw 1000. Now a Triple Crown winner, having held the Tag Team, WWE and Intercontinental Championships, The Miz finally has something going for him. While it’s definitely a step down from where he was a year ago, it’s definitely a step UP from where he was a few months back, losing to Santino on the Extreme Rules pre show and then to Brodus Clay the following month in an un-advertised match at Over the Limit. Considering WWE’s lack of big name talent, especially on Smackdown, why he had to fall to that level and then work his way back up is beyond me. Ship him over to Friday nights permanently and have him contend for the World Title against Sheamus. I’d much rather see him in there at Summerslam than Del Rio again.
As of Sunday, July 29th, Randy Orton’s 60 day suspension for his 2nd violation of WWE’s Talent Wellness Program has come to an end. And considering he is one of my favourite wrestlers, I couldn’t be happier. Look for him to be booked heavily upon his return in order to re-establish his spot in the main event picture. Should be easy, right? As much as it hurts to say this, I’m not so convinced. The landscape of WWE has changed greatly during his two month hiatus and he missed out on some opportunities, including a feud with Chris Jericho as well as a spot in either the WWE or World Heavyweight title Money in the Bank ladder match. WWE should do something interesting with his return. Just before Orton left, it looked like he was starting down the road that would eventually lead him into turning heel again, which I was all for and still am. However, with the recent happenings concerning CM Punk and The Rock, it seems as though WWE would want all potential heel heat focused on Punk, if that’s indeed the route they are going with him. Whatever happens, I’ll be happy to see Orton back in action this week but hope to god that he doesn’t come out of that curtain, smiling from ear to ear and slapping hands on his way to the ring. Please, no…
Between all the fallout of last week’s Raw 1000 and the return of Randy Orton, it should be an interesting week in the WWE. Thanks for reading.