Who needs Brock Lesnar when Dean Ambrose is channeling DX on RAW. Photo Credit: WWE.com
After what feels like months, WWE Monday Night RAW finally delivered a quality show. The WWE managed this without even a recorded Brock Lesnar appearance nor did they bother addressing the rumors he wouldn’t be involved in Hell in a Cell.
Normally, a gigantic blank hole of information of that magnitude would drive me mad. Not only the WWE have a gap in their storytelling, but I would have this uneasy feeling that the WWE would again be driving a rudderless ship into their next PPV.
The lack of the WWE World Heavyweight Champion is certainly a blow to the show week after week; however, the WWE proved that RAW is far from dependent on his presence. They didn’t try to alter the flow of the show nor force-fit any explanation into this episode. Instead, they simply let things happen as if Brock’s absence was expected and very much a part of their universe’s accepted reality (which just so happens to mirror the reality behind the forth wall).
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I’m perfectly fine with Brock being this end-game boss that only pops up once and a while to take someone on. It makes his presence that much more of a big deal, makes any title defense a huge deal (especially if he isn’t defending every PPV), and he draws major heel heat for being the jerk that no-shows while everyone else busts their ass. It’s perfect.
But all of that only works if the story allows it to and you have a star that can carry a show. That story all started with the opening promo this week and that star was Dean Ambrose.
RIP CM Punk chants
Before we get too far into the opening promo, oh man, do I love Stephanie McMahon forever by nuking the CM Punk chants right off the bat by calling him a quitter. Not only that, she got all the heat by saying she understands how fans can easily understand quitting themselves and gave a soapbox speech that contained all kinds of wonderful condescension for the Chicago crowd.
Simply put: Stephanie is on top of her game right now.
We finally get our bridge from Night of Champions
Perhaps the most frustrating part of last week’s RAW was that, after throwing a huge curve at fans after Night of Champions, there was zero followup. There was very little mention of the fallout of the main event other than the fact that John Cena has now joined Dean Ambrose in the “wants to beat up Seth Rollins” club. Somewhere along the line, Brock Lesnar’s opinions had to be known because Seth’s run-in and attempted cash-in was so far out of left field.
Enter Paul Heyman–right after HHH said “we will let nobody disrespect this business” no less. I definitely appreciate the next level-jab the two pulled off.
Heyman asked the same questions that I would considering all the possibilities that were laid out after Night of Champions. Does Seth have an issue with Brock? Why run in? Does the Authority quietly have an issue with Brock that he isn’t aware of?
Seth Rollins had those answers and they were actually a bit off from what I initially speculated. Seth acted on his own. Much like Heyman, he saw the opportunity before him. Seth didn’t want Cena to be champion, so he made sure of it. Once he surveyed the wasteland he created, he realized that he had a chance to beat the one in twenty-one and one and took his shot. After all, Dean Ambrose certainly wasn’t going to interrupt him this time from making, potentially, the largest splash of the year in swiping the title from Brock.
But Seth has no issues with Heyman or the Beast Incarnate. He’s surprised Heyman didn’t see the genius in the move and offered his apologies for any unintended disrespect to the champion he holds in high regard. The apology was accepted and Heyman moved on with a “don’t pull that stunt again” warning for Rollins, immediately followed by HHH getting in Paul’s face, yet letting him go, as another warning shot that he didn’t appreciate Heyman’s earlier implications the Authority was scheming against Brock.
Connections made. Narrative continued. Layers developed. On to Seth trying to get his case back from Dean Ambrose.