While an opinion-based wrestling program is hardly the place for me to give a definitive opinion, one thing is for sure: Monday Night RAW took place tonight.
Yes, the longest-running episodic program in television history yet again started this week by hitting another milestone, smashing last week’s previously-set record for longest-running episodic program in television history by a full one program.
Perhaps not as long-running but certainly long-overdue is Bobby Lashley’s now three-week reign as WWE Champion. Big Bad Bobby has been on fire the past few weeks since winning wrestling’s top prize and that was the case yet again tonight. Bob and the Hurt Business – excellent band name, by the way – continued to carry tonight’s wrasslin’ programming,
That’s not all that provided excellence tonight, though. Drew McIntyre made a major impact across all three hours of programming, looking great through all of them. Mustafa Ali was on our televisions, so don’t need to tell you that yup, that was terrific.
Most importantly, Shane O’Mac delivered the segment of the century that I will go to the grave defending and describe at length below for those who weren’t fortunate enough to witness the awesome power of The Money this evening.
No sense running back the whole thing in the intro, though. Like somebody putting a hat back on, we re-cap.
The Big Stuff
The section in which I write at length about the portions of the programming in which I felt passionate enough for paragraphs.
Shane McMahon is the Best in the World
Life, at its very essence, is a series of random events that all of us here on the planet Earth are simply muddling our respective ways through on the inevitable march to the end of our lives. While it’s a depressing thought, certainly, it adds all the more poignance to those rare moments of perfection that strike us all-too-rarely through our journeys on this floating rock in the Universe. Your child’s first steps. Finally getting hired for your dream job. Your wedding.
Shane McMahon and Braun Strowman’s segment on the March 15th, 2021 RAW.
Truly, folks: this segment had everything.
Hopscotch! Top-rope elbow drops to the outside! Broken tables! Goo reminiscent of the hit Canadian game show Uh Oh!
There will be so many who hated this segment, but to me, it was goofy done right. I loved it, I absolutely loved it. I said it earlier, but pro wrestling should be fun. This was fun. I quite literally dusted off my Shane McMahon ‘Mania 32 jersey.
What a day. Shane’s truly the best. You can’t un-sell me on this match for Fastlane.
Drew McIntyre is a Stud
The top of tonight’s programming confirmed what we’d all assumed for weeks: Drew McIntrye will challenge Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania.
This is good news indeed, and should bring smiles to faces and high-fives to hands everywhere. Their post-WrestleMania 36 tilt last year was a fantastic one, and after the incredible years Misters Lashley and McIntyre have had, both are fully deserving of a main event slot at the Show of Shows. Notably, Lashley cut a hell of a promo for the 2nd straight week, directly playing into Drew McIntyre’s comments later on in the segment. McIntyre’s sewing of the ol’ doubt seeds between MVP and Big Bad Bobby was absolutely fantastic, with Drew taking the opportunity to point out that, unlike earlier in their relationship, Lashley was fully capable of speaking for himself. It was a subtle touch and one that was only slightly played-to between the Hurt Business stars, but one that will certainly come up (at least, if my WrestleMania predictions are correct) in a few weeks’ time.
Huge shout-out to Drew showing up in a kilt, shirtless, to what looked to be a very formal meeting between a bevy of dapper dudes.
The Miz also took part in the opening segment. The best part of that was John Morrison’s hair. It must be noted.
Anyways, Drew cut a promo later in the night regarding his match at Fastlane against former friend and frequent foe Sheamus. It was also neat. Pretty standard stuff for ol’ Drew.
Naomi and Lana
Look folks, I have all the time in the world for complaints about thrown together tag teams, or some that seem to come about more randomly than your ‘traditional’ tag teams.
In argument to my own point, however, I present Lana and Naomi.
At its best, professional wrestling is supposed to be fun. Just as importantly, professional wrestling is supposed to be inspirational. To me, those are all qualities that both Lana and Naomi exemplify, which to me, makes up tremendously for perhaps the haphazard way they were put together. Frankly, far better writers than myself have described at-length as to why Naomi’s been so foundational to not only WWE, but as a representative of her community. Even as recently as yesterday, this year’s Royal Rumble winner Bianca Belair was crediting Naomi as one of the individuals most fundamental to not only her desire to be a pro wrestler, but in today’s WWE locker room.
Lana, too, is someone who I think gets a bad rap as far as her abilities as a pro wrestler. I won’t make any argument that her transition to an in-ring talent has had it’s speed bumps, but to me, her impact in pro wrestling is much more than that. Her talent as a manager and as a mouthpiece is obvious, but over about the past two years, countless WWE stars have gone on record singing praises about her work ethic and desire to get better in the ring. I’m a sucker for effort, and it’s certainly not unnoticed. There’s been evident improvement in her in-ring work, and at this point, I think her reputation as a ‘bad worker’ is a little undeserved.
And hell, they’re fun! Try and tell me their joint entrance doesn’t make you smile, especially on a night like tonight where it was imperfectly perfect in it’s execution.
The match itself was entertaining, there’s multiple storyline developments coming out of it, and both Naomi and Lana are looking good in defeat. Do I think that they should be losing en route to their future tag title opportunity? Not particularly, but let’s not spoil a good thing, friends.
The section in which I present an amuse-bouche of thoughts related to tonight’s wrestling programming as they happened.
- Another shout-out to John Morrison’s hair. Truly glorious.
- I know, I know – there was a pre-match beatdown on Drew McIntyre, but to me, still seems like one of those matches you’d want you #1 Contender at WrestleMania absolutely dominating the guy who, in storyline, has been shown to be much, much weaker than his opponent over the past few weeks. Not a bad match by any means, but an odd decision.
- My goodness am I excited about the RAW Tag Team Championship match at ‘Mania. I haven’t been this excited about a big dude since Dabba Kato.
- R-Truth, really neat dude. I don’t even hate a product plug from that guy. Fully deserving of his championship.
- That Bad Bunny is an honourable dude. Giving up the title because he loves THIS BUSINESS.
- Pleased with the Damien Priest match, for obvious reason.
- I write this during the MVP/Bobby Lashley promo on Sheamus, but is it odd to anyone else that the other members of the Hurt Business have been appearing with Lashley and MVP more and more often?
- Shayna vs. Asuka should be a WrestleMania match, and very few things you say will convince me otherwise.
- Friends, by no means am I making a unique point here, but hot damn is Mustafa Ali an incredible professional wrestler.
- Friggin’ Riddle. I really thought Ali had ‘er there.
- Holy hot damn is Sheamus delivering the best run of his career. That’s saying something, truly.
Bags o’ Popcorn
Agree? Disagree? What’d you think of the flagship tonight? Get ahold of me