Vince McMahon Is Listening: Raw Improves with New Champ C.M. Punk, Young Talent

Ryan Senior Writer IJuly 15, 2008

It seems like all these years since the end of the Monday Night Wars, Vince hasn't been listening.  He trotted out things the fans would hate, like big plodding wrestlers, and push the same two or three guys.

Now, the latter point is arguable as the same guys are usually in the title picture (at least on Smackdown!) but things have been changing recently.

The last few Raws have been tremendous.  Not only do we have a new World Heavyweight Champion in C.M.Punk, but tremendous youngsters like Paul Birchill, Katie Lea, Cryme Tyme, Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase, Jr., and Kofi Kingston are receiving long stints in the spotlight.

The Shawn Michaels/Chris Jericho feud has been tremendous and has allowed Chris to do what he does best—play the heel. His in-ring work hasn't been top notch, but is solid no less. I'm also incredibly interested to see what, if anything, they're going to do with Paul London in this angle.

JBL, in my opinion, has been just as good as ever on the mic.  His back problems have limited him in the ring but he's still a tremendous overall performer and a great asset for Raw.

This mystery angle with Kane has a ton of potential, assuming it doesn't lead to the 1,900,485th feud with the Undertaker.  Please, no more. It's been beaten to death—and then beaten a bit more.

Kofi Kingston is a charismatic and talented star who is getting a hefty push and the crowd has been responding in kind, though I wish he had a different finisher than that spinning kick (Trouble in Paradise).

The tag team division seems like it's getting a boost with the big push Cryme Tyme is getting (main eventing with Cena and JBL) as well as the reign of Rhodes and Dibiase.  One more solid tag team and the belts can actually mean something again.

And the women's division has been getting better.  Annoying as she may be, Kelly Kelly is improving in the ring.  And the brand still has great female wrestlers in champion Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Melina, and (injured) Jillian Hall.

Rey Mysterio seems directionless for the moment, but that will undoubtedly change with a bit of time.  He's a huge asset to Raw and will no doubt challenge for the World Title at some point.

One of my favorite aspects of Raw is the comedy.  Santino Marella deserves a push but is relegated to jobbing out, going as low as losing to Beth Phoenix last night.  He's easily one of the most charismatic performers on the brand and constantly says something funny, even if a beating follows.

Long story short, Raw has been improving to the point where it's been a solid watch.  Top to bottom, the talent is there and they're being given chances.  Still, this could all come to a screeching halt if Batista wins the World Title at the Great American Bash.

I suppose we'll see if Vince was listening, after all.