First of all, wrestling fans, I would like to say that yesterday was the first Monday since I can't even remember that I actually looked foreward to a WWE Raw show. I even prepped myself for the event by watching the first dvd of the Raw 15th Anniversary 3 DVD Collection.
The first match was from the first Raw. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair loses to Mr. Perfect (RIP) in a "Loser Leaves Town" match.
That set the stage to remind me why I love wrestling. It reminded me of a time in my life when I thought the world would end if I couldn't watch WWF Monday Night Raw. It reminded me that beneath it all I am just a wrestling fan looking to be entertained by these wonderfully gifted athletes.
Last night proved to me that WWE has all the necessary tools to make it through these tough times. "The Man" was definitely back in town.
Last night's Raw was spectacular; it had that vibe again. The fans in the arena were electric knowing that Ric Flair would be returning to the mix. The arena was dark at the opening except for just a few lights.
As the show opened Lillian Garcia announced "Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the 16-time Heavyweight Champion of the World, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair."
The crowd is on their feet cheering loudly and proudly holding various Flair signs up. Most notably the most famous "Woooooooooooooooooooo!" "Naitch" then proceeded to enter the ring and give a short speech to the fans that mirrored the one he said on his farewell on Raw last year.
In mid-sentence "WWE's Hottest Heel" Chris Jericho comes out to a strong, and I mean strong chorus of boos. He proceeds to tell Flair a barrage of disparaging remarks in which he makes reference to the fans not really caring about Flair and that he's just their puppet, completely untrue.
Flair knew good and well that this was just Jericho trying to get under his skin as only he can. Flair shoots back something to the effect of "I have too much respect for myself, Shawn Michaels and the fans to wrestle again. I said I was retiring from the ring, but I will never retire from this business!"
To which the fans went absolutely crazy. Jericho then began to bark orders at Flair to tell the fans he doesn't need them and that he's better than them. At which point Flair cold-cocked Jericho in the jaw. Jericho exited the ring holding his jaw. Flair stayed in the ring, took his jacket off, strutted around and did his thing.
He certainly set the mood for a great Raw.
This one opening incident proved to me that Jericho has possibly the most heat of any WWE competitor in the WWE right now. When Orton came out to do his promo it seemed as though the fan reaction was mixed. He wasn't strongly booed like Jericho. I believe the WWE is trying to push Orton as their top heel, but his fan response is taking a life of it's own.
Almost the same as they crammed Cena down everyone's throats as the next best thing. And then there's Legacy.
Legacy is a very strong heel faction. DiBiase and Rhodes completely owned Cryme Time last night. When I saw Rhodes hit the Crossroads on that poor schmuck last night I knew that was a wrap. DiBiase and Rhodes are extremely gifted in the ring.
They have the intensity and what it takes to be big names in the WWE. They have adapted that "ol' school style" of wrestling that made their fathers famous.
They are truly carrying on the tradition well. And with Orton as their leader they can't go wrong. I strongly believe that we are currently watching men who will be future Hall of Famers (Jericho, Orton, DiBiase and Rhodes).
They are classic wrestlers who have taken it back to the level it needs to be. Not knocking any other wrestlers but these guys are definitely on the forefront.
WWE could build the company around these individuals and usher in a new era of WWEwhich it so desperately needs. I believe that after Wrestlemania they should have some shocking face and heel turns sparking from a few double-crosses. That would really get the momentum going, which it already is.
I think last nights Raw proved that WWE is really heading in the right direction. The show was great, and I bet you the ratings were through the roof because of "you know who."
The Legacy faction is working real well. WWE needed that for a while. I fell asleep right before the Taker/Orton match but I knew that the match would end in DQ due to Legacy. But that's cool, It reminds me of the days when Flair was Champ and the Horsemen would always run in to ensure he never lost his title.
Orton has such a tremendous amount of charisma it's hard to not dig him as a performer. At least that's my opinion on the matter. He is truly the WWE's next mega star.
I see no one else comparing to his mic and in ring skills. Except Jericho, who in my book is the hottest heel right now. It's obvious his heat is hot when he's being attacked by fans who can't discern reality from fiction. He is truly great at what he does.
I'm glad WWE adopted this whole PG rating thing. Before it was just seeing what kind of blood, out of line mish-mash they could come up with to shock the people. You don't need shock value to impress the people. Just good ol' fashioned "Good guy vs. Bad guy" matches that speak for themselves.
If the WWE has a roster of talented performers, they don't need shock value. They just need great wrestlers who do their job, and do it well. Wrestlers that spark emotions within the fan base.
As always, wrestling fans I would like to see how you feel about Raw last night. Were you excited to see Flair? Were you impressed by the shows lineup? Do you think the WWE is going in the right direction? Or do you feel that I left anyone out as people who could lead the WWE back to an era of greatness?
Please hit the polls up and cast your vote. Leave a lil feedback too if you want to. This is definitely a topic I could discuss until the cows come home.
That's all for now, but there's more where that came from.
This has been a Ryan Simon article :)