Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Raw is... Entertaining???

Sean: A one time Hulkamaniac 
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

After facing reality that no matter how rash of a decision I wanted to make, I just wasn’t going to be able to make to WrestleMania this year, I decided that if I couldn’t make the 5 hour drive to San Jose, I’d make the one hour drive downtown to see the last Monday Night Raw before WrestleMania. Knowing that  attending a show alone isn’t the most enjoyable experience, I decided to ask my 
friend Sean to tag along. Sean hasn’t watched wrestling since Hulk Hogan was a cartoon character. I wanted to see how a non-fan related to the show that I am often very critical of these days. Sean agreed and on Monday night we had a more enjoyable WWE experience than I would have expected. 

Because the show was actually entertaining (maybe it was due to be in the arena instead of watching on TV) I didn’t get to question Sean to get deep analysis into the show. Instead, we just sat back, watched the show and enjoyed the ride. 

Hulkster, Snoop Dog and Axel
Without a doubt the highlight of the night was a surprise appearance from The Immortal one, Hulk Hogan. Sean was enjoying the in-ring antics of Snoop Dogg, as were the kids in front of us who kept holding up their “Keep Calm Snoop is Here” sign, when out of nowhere, “Real American” started blasting through the speakers. Sean and I looked at each other and for a split second I let go of my 
great dislike of the Hulkster and marked out like a small child reacting to John Cena. I’m curious where Axelmania goes from here but for one night it wasn’t about criticizing the booking. 

Rusev rules
The second highlight for Sean was Rusev’s destruction of John Cena. First off, I have to point out at the last Raw I attended which was in August 2014 before SummerSlam, I saw Rusev vs. Jack Swagger. Wasn’t thrilled that the booking of both guys hasn’t advanced that far in seven months to where I was watching the same match again.  The match not withstanding, the destruction of Cena was a nice sight.  Though the WWE cynic in me is now afraid Super Cena will prevail at WrestleMania. For Sean, it was flashback to his childhood when he would cheer Ivan Drago in his match against Apollo Creed. 

Everything else on the show was just kind of there. Thankfully though the crowd was into almost everything. Even Zack Ryder got a huge “woo woo woo” chant during his match.  There was one segment the fans weren’t into though. Unfortunately for WWE, that segment was the face off between the two guys fighting in the main event of the biggest stage of the year. 

Lesnar taunts Reigns
If Raw’s crowd was any indication, come WrestleMania, the audio team better have a loop of Roman Reigns cheers on standby.  There were definitely more “Let's go Lesnar” chants in the Staples Center than any cheers for Roman Reigns. The tug of war to end the show did not go off very well with the fans. Now that Brock Lesnar has announced he is sticking with WWE, I wonder if the Roman Reigns project becomes more like the 1995 Shawn Michaels project instead of the 1994 Diesel project. 

While I’m still not entirely sold on WrestleMania, after Raw, my interest is up a couple of notches. As for Sean, I don’t think he’ll be coming over to watch WrestleMania on Sunday. He said something about his girlfriend from Australia coming into town, but he did say that he did contract a full-blown case of Hulkamania.  Hopefully a couple shots of penicillin will take care of that before his skin starts to turn orange.

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