The three big moments on Monday’s ‘Raw’ that got WWE fans way too excited


John Cena was not one of the three exciting moments… (Jonathan Bachman/AP)

It doesn’t take much to excite WWE fans, including yours truly. Usually, a well executed leap off the top rope will do it. So when three metaphorical bombs were dropped on “Raw” on Monday night, the WWE Universe, as the fans are collectively called, went bonkers.

The first of these eye-popping moments began with the unmistakable first few notes of Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality,” the entrance music of one of the WWE’s most popular, but least-seen and controversial superstars, CM Punk. But the straightedge wrestler didn’t walk down the ramp. The music was part of an advertisement for the WWE Network, which announced it would be airing the “Beyond the Ring” documentary about CM Punk tonight at 9 p.m. EDT.

That’s not really that big of a deal in and of itself, but considering the timing of the WWE’s decision to air the two-hour program, it brings up a lot of questions. Specifically, will CM Punk finally return? (The Chicago native famously walked off the program earlier this year and has been rumored to have retired.) The supposedly estranged star is still under contract with the WWE, but that deal expires Thursday. Will he sign a new one? Some say no way, but let’s continue to dream, shall we?

Which brings me to another one of these metaphorical bombs dropped on “Raw” — nefarious manager Paul Heyman’s “Plan C” for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt/ The belt will be up for grabs on Sunday’s “Battleground” pay-per-view with current champion and babyface John Cena set to face heels Randy Orton and Kane, as well as crowd favorite Roman Reigns in a fatal four-way match. Meanwhile, turncoat ex-Shield member Seth Rollins, who holds the coveted Money in the Bank briefcase that allows him to call for a championship match at anytime, will be waiting in the wings.

The Authority, made up of evil masterminds Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, have made it clear they want Orton or Kane to win, so the belt is under their control. If the two heels lose, the Authority’s Plan B is to have Rollins cash in the briefcase to take it from a tired Cena or Reigns. However, lurking in the background, will always be Rollins’ arch-nemesis Dean Ambrose, who has vowed to foil Rollins’s every move.

And so, Heyman offered up his mysterious “Plan C” to the Authority without dropping a name or, really, any hint at all about what he meant. Presumably, the plan could involve evergreen “Paul Heyman guy” Brock Lesnar coming back to scoop up the championship, or maybe — just maybe — it could involve a reunification with a returning, heelish CM Punk. Like I said, we’ll continue to dream…

But perhaps the biggest mark-out fan moment of the night came in a surprising WWE video game advertisement.

Sting, the most famous pro-wrestler never to have been a WWE Superstar, will be featured in the company’s WWE2k15 video game. Does this mean the 55-year-old will finally, finally sign a WWE contract and get in the ring? Fans certainly hope so.

Full match results from Monday, July 15:

  • The Miz defeated Sheamus in a non-title match via a roll-up
  • Dolph Ziggler defeated Fandango by pinfall after executing the Famouser. He was also helped by a distraction from Layla & Summer Rae. Immediately following the match, however, Ziggler, the arrogant “show-off” nonsensically looked surprised that girls liked him. Um, what?
  • Alberto Del Rio defeated Rob Van Dam with a Cross Armbreaker submission hold.
  • Cameron and Alicia Fox defeated Nikki Bella in a two-on-one handicap match. Fox pinned Bella following a modified facebuster.
  • Big E, valeted by Kofi Kingston, defeated Cesaro by pinfall after the Big Ending. You know things get real for Big E when he puts the straps of his singlet down and reveals his ample bosoms.
  • AJ Lee defeated Eva Marie in a non-title match with the Black Widow submission hold in front of Paige, her frenemy. The two had a pretty great back-and-forth bit afterward.
  • Bo Dallas defeated The Great Khali by count-out. The match included an entertaining “Bad giant!” scold from Dallas.
  • John Cena and Roman Reigns defeated Randy Orton, Kane and Seth Rollins by disqualification after Orton & Kane continued to double-team Reigns.

Extra cheese:

One of the most entertaining bits of the night came when announcers Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole and JBL announced there would be a detente between the recently turned babyfaces The Real Americans and the Russian/Bulgarian side (yes, the WWE just pretty much lumped them together…) of Lana and Rusev. The detente was not much of a detente, as animosity escalated between the two parties, but before it started this sentence did come out of Lawler’s mouth:

“To join the conversation, we invite you to use the hashtag ‘detente,’ D-E-T-E-N-T-E.”

Yes, he had to spell it out, and yes, “#detente” did trend on Twitter, along with the phrase, “Putin 3:16.” WWE fans are the best.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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