WWE Monday Night Raw recap – April 9, 2012

The future of WWE?

On this week’s Monday Night Raw, John Laurinaitis referred to Brock Lesnar as the future of WWE. Of course, this is a little strange considering that Brock already had a WWE heyday around a decade ago. While it’s probably not how Johnny Ace meant it, I think that he could very well be onto something here, as the return run of Brock (and the Rock before him) points toward a different way of booking main event wrestling feuds.

Though he’s now appeared on two Monday Night Raw broadcasts in a row and has a match booked for the next pay-per-view, Extreme Rules, don’t let that fool you: If the dirt sheets have it right, Brock Lesnar isn’t expected to work a full-time wrestling schedule for WWE. That’s already set some backseat bookers to complaining about Cena possibly jobbing out to another part-timer, or the company pinning its hopes on a guy who probably won’t even be showing up for the company’s numerous house shows. But, potential booking pitfalls aside, to my mind, this looks like nothing but positives.

Obviously there’s the fact that Lesnar, despite the somewhat unimpressive finish of his MMA career, is still a huge get, and remains a big name amongst UFC fans. We’ll have to wait until pay-per-view buy numbers for Extreme Rules come in to know for sure, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Lesnar returned with some lapsed WWE fans in tow. But just as importantly, Brock’s abbreviated schedule – one previously only available to long-time veterans like Undertaker or Shawn Michaels before his retirement – could be a fantastic thing for the industry if it became more prevalent, giving more wrestlers time to pursue other projects, concentrate on promoting big marquee matches or even just recover from nagging injuries. With a fresher, less worn out talent pool, the WWE product could only improve.

Plus, every time WWE allows a big name talent to come back and perform in a series of matches – especially a talent like Brock, who left the company under not-so-great circumstances – it normalizes the behavior and means that it’s more of a possibility for other wrestlers. With the knowledge that they are free to leave and come back to the organization, perhaps with even a lighter schedule, wrestlers might be more inclined to take time off to recuperate from injuries and travel-related wear-and-tear. While WWE’s live event business would start to run into trouble if all their top guys went this route, the fact is that a guy like the Rock or Brock Lesnar doesn’t need to be around all the time to build up to a big match.

Finally, guys like the Rock or Brock Lesnar are a great alternative to the necessary evil of WWE Celebrity Matches. Regarding WrestleMania XXVIII, some people were surprised that the biggest celebrity to participate in the show was Maria Menounos, but that wasn’t exactly true: The biggest celebrity at WrestleMania XXVIII was the Rock, hands down. Thing is, he’s a celebrity who can actually wrestle, which means that not only do you get the star power, but you also end up with a phenomenal match. As long as WWE can keep Cena looking strong in his confrontations with wrestler celebrities like the Rock or Lesnar, this is a great use for the face of the company, who has grown so popular that he doesn’t really need to hold the WWE Titles any more, and can instead leverage his celebrity against that of a series of antagonists from outside the company.

Could WWE totally screw the pooch with the Cena/Lesnar storyline? It’s certainly possible. But after the two’s brawl this week, I’m finding myself more and more excited about their feud’s possibilities and the potential changes in booking philosophy it could point toward.

WWE Monday Night Raw recap – April 9, 2012

5 responses to “WWE Monday Night Raw recap – April 9, 2012

  1. Ok, this is where I’m officially pissed off at WWE creative or booking or who ever the team of hobos that comes up with their story lines. For a whole fucking year Rock and Cena had dick war that went in to one awesome match that saw Rock defeating Cena, who, the week before said that he MUST win that match as Rock was taking away EVERYTHING CENA WAS.
    So monday after WM, Cena has now officially lost everything thanks to the great one. In comes Brock Lestner and suddenly the whole Cena losing everything he stood for means nothing ?? Its all wiped clean and Cena is brawling with Brock just like that ?? WTF ??
    An year long buildup leading to just one match and its all over ? isnt this the same guy who quit WWE cause he lost to nexus (or some similar shit) due to his principles (never mind cena’s mexican cousin) ? Has Cena lost his integrity completely ?
    Not even a vow from Cena to beat Rock at Summer Slam before going all out brawling in Brock. Is this the role model WWE wants ?
    Or does WWE think their viewer/fan/universe demography has gone down to 4 year olds with the attention span of 5 minutes or something ?

    • about Cody Rhodes; you want to see him get saemhsd for being a jerk, but the way he goes about being a jerk is so great, you kind of don’t want him to get saemhsd. His rapport with AJ is consistent with his character, heel or not. Macho Man has been brought up in comparison, which definitely fits. It follows their characters, and above all, it works. Plus, he was getting decent matches out of Big Show for a while, which, looking back on it, is something. He doesn’t sell murder like DZ, but he wrestles how one might think a normal person would wrestle. Not over the top, but like a CM Punk, or Swagger. He puts on a good match not matter who else is in the ring. Combine that all, and Bryan is slowly becoming that main event staple kind of guy, and he is a guy that I don’t mind listening to, as well as watching him wrestle. A guy like the Rock (again, late 90s, early 00s). Yeah, he may not win EVERY match, but that’s the thing. He shows some vulnerability, so you are worried about the result, but it’s okay because you know he is going to do something fun and cool even if he loses and you will still like what he is doing regardless. Whereas, with Zack Ryder, it’s tough to pull for a guy just made of catchphrases (i.e. Poochie, the Talkin Dog). DB won over another fan who was on the fence for reminding me of childhood faves, especially for the literal LOLs had while watching the dark match video, and the fun that will be had following this Mania and RAW. Also, Sheamus is getting some undeserved heat right now from people saying he screwed over Bryan and such nonsense (though I totally understand the crowd reaction). Naw, he’s still the same big ol’ white dude he always has been, just the beneficiary of a bizarre match result at the most expensive, and therefore biggest event. Plus, it’s not lucky to diss the Irish

  2. Met my buddies for a coffee yesterday and I said exactly what you are saying about bringing back The Rock. It really is a blueprint for bringing back former talent and making use of them in a limited capacity.
    Could we see a possible return of Goldberg in a similar capacity in 2012? He has said he isn’t finished with wrestling and given his set move he doesn’t need to be massively agile to deliver for wrestling fans.
    Wishful thinking maybe.

    • Jesus, I know I’m late to this party, but dammit if I wasn’t going to chime in and agree how aznmiag this Raw was start to finish. I had a bad feeling after Punk pulled out toolbox as his most devastating insult that it would be a long night, but them it turned into a night I never wanted to end. The title match was awesome, the Punk/Jericho stuff was edgy and borderline shocking, and of course, you can say enough about the crowd all night and the Brock return.I’m not one of the bring back the Attitude Era trumpet-blowers, but Gat Dayum if I didn’t feel like I was 16 years old again tonight. Two hours of nearly everything that’s right and good about wrestling. New characters, shocking returns (even ADR!), a crowd that made what things seem important, even if they weren’t yelling about the things happening in the ring at that moment. Thank you, thank you, thank you, wrestling gods, actual God, Buddha, Space Pope, AJ, and everyone for tonight.In conclusion: YES! YES! YES!

  3. Pingback: Brock Lesnar, John Cena’s bloody mouth and WWE’s self-censorship « Dropkick out the jams·

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