Sometimes, I feel bad for WWE. In a business that requires hyperbolic promotion and huge promises, disappointing thousands of people comes with the expansive territory. Well, for all of the hoopla surrounding RAW 25, I think it's safe to say most fans turned off their TV's feeling a little empty.
We can't fault WWE for effort, though. I mean, they put on two different shows for us. While the folks at the Manhattan Center may rue the day they purchased those tickets, they can at least take solace in the fact the WWE tried to do something cool, right?
All in all, RAW 25 felt like looked and felt like the extravagant birthday party it was supposed to be, but there was no cake, and the sure as hell weren't any presents.
However thing did actually happen, and we caught them all. Here are the 5 Things We Learned From RAW Last Night.
1. Vince McMahon: Masochist
In a night where it would have been acceptable for Vince McMahon to sit on his throne and let us all kiss his ring, the WWE boss did the opposite. Instead of pandering for cheers, McMahon turned heel on his own celebration. And it was magical to watch.
WWE is the only business on the planet where it's best for the bottom line to insult your fan base. With a couple quick jabs against the Brooklyn populace, McMahon went from hero to someone the crowd was ready to execute.
In 2018, WWE doesn't have gallows, but they do have Stone Cold Steve Austin. Watching Vince set up Stone Cold's nuclear entrance reminded us all just how visceral their chemistry is. But they didn't stop there, we got to see 72-year old Vince McMahon take a Stunner and we all gleefully wet our pants.
Austin got McMahon! Austin got McMahon! pic.twitter.com/pbJ9rgKIdD— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) January 23, 2018
Those poor fans at the Manhattan Center. They spent all of their Christmas money to see The Undertaker cut an ambiguous and ultimately inconsequential promo.
After The Deadman finished his vague incantations, even Jim Ross had a hard time trying to sell what just happened. Looking back it seemed like Taker ran his speech by exactly zero WWE officials.
Did he retire? Did he enter the Rumble? Does he have dementia? No one knows. So instead of admitting that segment was a flop, we all distracted ourselves by saying he would show up at Barclay's at the end of the night.
Well, he didn't and somehow we know less than we did 24 hours ago.
3. The Miz Completes his Mission
It wasn't too surprising to see The Miz snatch back his Intercontinental Championship from Roman Reigns. However, with so many legends in the back, it felt like we were due some shenanigans. But WWE let this one play straight, and now the Miz has resumed his throne.
WWE is a better place with the Miz as the Intercontinental belt's master, and now that it's WrestleMania season, we're all anxious to know what's next. Well, given that nothing happens on WWE cameras that is not supposed to, the staredown between Miz and Daniel Bryan will be the source of endless internet speculation.
Previously on Talking Smack... pic.twitter.com/xCwuqssRVA— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) January 23, 2018
4. Elias and Jason Jordan Will Have Huge 2018's
I don't know if people have actually noticed or not, but Jason Jordan and Elias have been collecting significant RAW moments like they were on a methamphetamine-fueled Easter Egg hunt.
While there are bigger names in the company, no one has been more consistent than this pair. Even more, they're just getting going.
I mean, people hate Jason Jordan - they hate him not like they do Roman Reigns, but in the exact way WWE wants them to. A well-booked heel is the best weapon in professional wrestling and Jason Jordan will ride that psychology to a monstrous year.
The same goes for Elias, who WWE literally build RAW around. His interaction with Cena on Monday was spectacular. Mixing it up with Cena is the perfect barometer for any budding star. If they can't hang, then they'll be banished to the Andre the Giant Battle Royal for eternity. But Elias stole that segment with Cena, further confirming that he will be a player in WWE.
5. The Big Takeaway
With the backdrop of dozens of beloved WWE legends, RAW 25 presented an interesting juxtaposition. In 2018, WWE does have loads of talent, but how many of them will be at RAW 50?
WWE does have cemented megastars in Cena and Reigns, but what about the rest of the roster? RAW 25 told me that WWE has reason to be optimistic, with stars like Braun Strowman, Elias, Sasha Banks, and Jason Jordan. However, as of Monday night, it feels like WWE is in a transitional period.0comments
Look no further than the Royal Rumble's main event. Or the 8-woman tag match. Or the fact that Roman Reigns was Intercontinental Champion. Things are a little weird at the moment, weird enough for me to furrow my brow at the prospective WrestleMania season.
A few weeks ago, I was sure WrestleMania 34 would bee all-time good. But now, after a flat RAW 25, and a poorly built Royal Rumble, there's room to question WWE's current product.