With the WWE building for the Extreme Rules pay-per-view while on a tour of Europe and Asia, this week’s Raw comes to us from London, England.
A cluster of returns and plenty of wild action has fans of the sport ready for the next installment of what should be an amazing Raw. While the ratings aren’t showing an improvement, the product is much better now than it was just one year ago.
Are you Excited for Raw?
Where: London O2 Arena, London, England
When: Monday, April 16, 9 p.m. ET
Watch: USA Network
Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena
Question on Everybody's Mind: Are you loving Brock’s return?
With all the talk of returning veterans, there is no bigger name than Brock Lesnar. His return is something everyone can get behind.
Hype Meter: 5 out of 5 F-5s
The WWE has thrown their biggest star, John Cena, into a feud with one of the biggest stars in WWE history. The WWE must keep the momentum going by letting the men interact this week as well.
CM Punk vs. Mark Henry
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is this a trilogy?
While it's WWE’s custom to not let stars go over in their hometowns, this may be one of the few cases that it could happen. I still think Punk loses the belt to Jericho at Extreme Rules in Chicago so he will retain the belt Monday night at the very least.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Anaconda Vice’s
While Jericho’s return should have been so much better, it’s clear that he still has the chops for this kind of long-term feud. As long as he and Punk are working a program, fans should rejoice.
Lord Tensai and the Rest
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will the crowd like Lord Tensai in England?
The crowds in America have been really no-selling what have been quality squash matches (if there really was such a thing). The hope is that the English crowd sees it as the way WWE is familiarizing them with the star before pushing him, and gets behind his character.
Hype Meter: 3 out of 5 grunts
There has been serious doubt about whether the crowd will like Lord Tensai, but all it will take is one attack from behind on CM Punk for the crowd to give him real heat. Once the crowd cares, Punk and Tensai will put on amazing matches.
If Monday Night Raw just isn’t enough for you, check out Ring Rust Radio’s next episode with Ring of Honor star Adam Cole talking about his ROH World Title shot and plenty of WWE, TNA and Indy wrestling banter as well. If you missed last week’s episode with WWE insider Justin LaBar and ECW and WCW veteran Scotty Riggs, here is your chance to catch it now!
Check back for more on the World Wrestling Entertainment as it comes, and visit Bleacher Report’s Wrestling Page to get your fill of WWE/TNA. For more Wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics you just can’t miss (some language NSFW).