WWE Raw aired this week from Charlotte, N.C. as a three-hour special featuring all three brands: RAW, Smackdown and ECW.
There were a couple questions lingering in everyone's mind: Who would be the new RAW General Manager? Who would become the new WWE Champion?
Vince McMahon shared his surprise announcement. Most of us assumed he would announce the name of the new general manager.
Oddly enough, McMahon announced that he sold Monday Night RAW to, none other than, Donald Trump. Yes, Mr. Apprentice himself, Donald Trump. The news was not quite the "thrill" I was looking for. In fact, I find this move quite desperate.
Switching gears, the evening featured a few "quality" matches.
Earlier in the program, a Fatal Four Way took place to determine who would become the WWE Champion. Randy Orton defeated Triple H, John Cena, and The Big Show to recapture the title.
This match was pretty much a no-brainer.
Randy Orton is the future. He outsmarts his opponents with his sneaky, stalking persona.
Orton shines in matches involving multiple opponents. He will observe each wrestler, watch them destroy each other, then strike where it's hot. He's called "The Viper" for a reason.
Any wrestler who is given a nickname synonymous with a "snake" knows how to
outsmart their opponents. The originator, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, "The Rattlesnake," and now, "The Viper" Randy Orton. Orton is in great company.
ECW hosted a One-on-One Championship match. Current champion Tommy Dreamer defeated Christian to retain his title.
While watching Dreamer today, I experienced feelings of both joy and sadness. Sadness, in that I know ECW will never be the same. I would only assume that Dreamer misses the extreme days.
Joy, in that I am very happy for Dreamer. He was the heart and soul of the old ECW and remains the heart and soul today.
He is the ECW Champion and this is only fitting to a man who has lived the best of both worlds.
Smackdown hosted a Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Current world champion, CM Punk defeated Edge and Jeff Hardy in primetime fashion.
After the match, Smackdown's General Manager, Teddy Long, revealed that Jeff Hardy would have another opportunity to compete for the title as he will face CM Punk at "The Bash."
One interesting highlight of the evening, was the change in CM Punk's angle. He was featured in a backstage interview, where he boldly stated, "I'm not here to make friends." This attitude works!
CM Punk has always had a bit of an edge to him, and I'm talking beyond the "straightedge" profile; whereas, a superstar like Randy Orton, who entered the WWE as the golden child, absolutely shocked the world with his switch to heel.
Punk can play both sides (face and heel) depending on who he faces in the
Matt Hardy shared a small scene backstage with CM Punk, which also hinted towards Punk turning heel.
Punk could make a smooth transition into this role; especially since he is facing the "face" of Smackdown, Jeff Hardy, at The Bash.
This could become a very great rivalry, if only the storylines allow it.
Lastly, RAW hosted a 10-Man Battle Royal to determine the No. 1 contender to face Orton for the WWE Championship.
Triple H defeated Legacy's Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes, John Cena, Kofi Kingston, William Regal, The Miz, Matt Hardy, Big Show, and MVP.
Donald Trump will begin his duties as the owner next Monday night. He announced the main event: Randy Orton vs. Triple H in a Last Man Standing Match. He also announced that RAW will be airing commercial-free. I am looking forward to seeing how RAW will handle all the extra time on their hands.
Obviously, the Gold Rush intended to gain back the interest of the viewers. Is this enough?