A Closer Look at RAW last night…

Last nights Monday Night Raw began to answer a few questions, tie up some loose ends, and then confuse us all over again. Lets go over a few things.

  • CM Punk opens the show, shoots on whomever he feels like. Gets booked for a match with Ziggler and states his intentions of ousting Interim RAW GM John Laurinitis.
  • Kevin Nash comes out, names drops Scott Hall, HHH does not appear. Come to find out (according to LordsofPain) Nash has been pulled from all upcoming live events and extraneous WWE tours.
  • Cody Rhodes finally got the chance to recognize he has dropped the protective mask, claiming to be uninhibited and unbeatable. We’ve heard rumors for a while Booker T will get back in the ring, and these two mixing it up after Rhodes’ match solidifies that.
  • Jonah Hill? Nothing? It happens from time to time throughout the entire entertainment industry that a bit has to be pushed or scrubbed last minute. So far there has been no explanation as per why it the guest host was previously advertised then completely vacant. Normally WWE reserves this treatment for past employees, not actors.

John Cena tries to explain what happened to him last night, Awesome-Truth intervenes, and does more of that Reality Era stuff. 17,000 people chanting “don’t tag Cena?” That’s a tough pill for the face of the company to swallow. So he shoots on them, blowing their entire credibility as a heel team out of the water. They squabble, Truth hits Miz, Miz buries Truth. Come to find out the next day R-Truth is off WWE programming for 30 days for a Wellness Policy Violation.  Consensus being that Truth tested into this suspension leading into the PPV weekend, however WWE writers could not simply side-step his role in this conflict. The Rock hits a “People’s Elbow,” ends the match, as well as Awesome-Truth as a whole and we get to wonder how Ron Killings comes back in a month

There is plenty going on story wise right now. However these are not what everyone is jawing about the next day…

A little flicker of a small banner on the screen, a URL pops up, and WWE has us all slamming fingers into keyboards. Ever vigilant at CDWS, we were one of the first outlets to chase this lead and discover a cryptic YouTube account; created yesterday, with only one upload, and just under 135,000 views.

Lets put that in perspective. Zack Ryder’s webisodes are generally posted on Thursdays. The week in between posts he breaks 100,000 views, with episodes topping out around 130,000 and higher, tapering off with the start of the following weeks post.

In less than 24 hours this viral account has generated similar numbers, and has yet to be mass released or recognized by the WWE. However what did air was a small vignette video featuring a monstrous figure culminating with this image.

The mask previously worn by WWE Superstar Kane. Excellent, we love Kane. But lets get down to the meat of the videos.

“Come my people and shut thy doors about thee. For a power shall come to punish the meek for their inequity. For on the second day of 2012, a familiar force shall arrive to claim what is his. And it will be the end of the world as you know it.”

Freaking out? Chills? Yeah, me too. Someone BIG is coming back. Who? It’s the Undertaker. No, I have no proof. Well aside from the last 25 years of wrestling programming I have watched. The WWE has tried so many strange gimmicks. Boogeyman, Papa Shango, Doink the Clown (terrifying), all of these characters got luminous vignettes and we attempted to suspend disbelief to an extent for the magic of their characters.

NO ONE gets this type of treatment from the WWE like the Undertaker though. Earlier this year similar videos began to air hyping up the date of 2/21/11. They featured a tall shadowy man in an overcoat (hands not shown) lurching through a shack in the midst of a thunderstorm. Three similar videos were created, with the third showing much clearer images of The Phenom, and tolling the bells of Johnny Cash (chills, again).

Speculation ran rampant, with many insisting it was misdirection and that WWE had finally signed Sting. Doing his dark presence character, Sting in theory would go on to feud with ‘Taker and have a match at Wrestlemania. Apparently this may have been a possibility, as Sting was in talks with the WWE (same time Kevin Nash and Booker T were being scooped up), unfortunately and ultimately leading no where. It’s even happening again. CDWS reader Kevin Ford points out that “it begins” is an anagram for “I be Sting.” I safely can say that I speak for most of the writers on CDWS in saying we wish it were, it would be great, we’re sure it’s not.

This is great work by the WWE writers. It’s amazing to see these guys when they have an extended period of time to really put some work into one of the only performers left in the business who is still working a successful gimmick. I am hoping for more hidden messages and paths to follow. With WWE TV looming, Wrestlemania possibly being broadcast for free, the WWE is doing their part to stay relevant and fresh.

Working viral angles now is much different than a Blair Witch or Cloverfield style. The viewer is accustomed to this form of marketing, and we’ve been bombarded by it by countless other mediums time and time again. Dragging their feet on this one, working the suspense, is masterful, and it makes us desperately care about an older beloved Superstar who now disappears and gets a major return almost yearly.

Where does this go? I will take a stab at guessing how this gets booked. Mick Foley is back, Kane is coming back, Undertaker right behind the two of them. Arguably these are three of the darkest characters the WWE has ever featured (with Mick as Mankind). Did you know Mick just went on Network TV as the Mankind character? I’d also love to throw Paul Bearer back in that mix. In fact, he’s already refusing to talk about it on twitter!

What say you? Do we see Undertaker in a match with Kane? Does Mankind get mixed in? Do we bring back the Acolytes and the entire Ministry as well?? Let’s just see how and if they approach this on SmackDown and next weeks RAW.

3 Comments on "A Closer Look at RAW last night…"

  1. Sikdar says:

    Please, PLEASE let it not be the umpteenth Kane vs. Taker match. Mask or no, that would be painful to watch. Taker, at this point in his career, needs to be paired with someone who can carry the load – in the promos, and especially in the ring. Kane CANNOT do that. I fear that’s what the whole lame push for Barrett is. There were whispers last year they wanted Barrett and Taker to dance at Mania, and I think that’s why we’re getting the now-annual Barrett push again. I know he is Chad’s number one and has been for a while, but I don’t see it, and I think he is wrong for the annual Taker match at Mania. He is great on the stick, and he has the look – no argument there at all. But he is BARELY passable in the ring. Watch a match of his – kick, punch, resthold, slam, hit the chinlock, clotheline, resthold…and he has the WORST finisher of anyone of any non-comedy act on TV. Wasteland? Really? It was lame when he was on NXT! With a littler dude that can bump like crazy (Bourne, Barretta, even Kofi) it looks ok but with anyone of any size he puts them on his shoulders…and then drops them like a bag of groceries. When Dukes gets excited because Barrett can do a Black Hole Slam, you know his in-ring work is well below average. I think Orton continues to give Wade the rub, and they build Barrett vs Taker, and Taker walks over him in a forgettable match. I agree 100% with Dukes about the long term potential at the top of the card of both Cody and Ziggler, and I think Sheamus can easily be a main-event heel again if they wanted to go that way. But I think Wade is going to be an upper-mid card heel for life, which is fine. Once in a while they push him a little and he gets beaten by a main-event face at a secondary PPV, but he never really breaks through.

    I would hope I am wrong, though, and that the viral marketing is Jericho, and that builds towards Taker vs Y2J. That would be my top choice, for what it’s worth.

  2. Gus says:

    Although I feel differently about Barrett than Sikdar, his last two sentences are basically my feelings on the viral matter. Y2J vs CM Punk at Wrestlemania would be immense.

    • Gus says:

      Edit: I saw he wrote Y2J vs Taker, my top choice would be him vs Punk in a “Best in the World” match.

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