Raw was in Toronto on Monday, and I was there. Jerry Lawler doesn't call Toronto "Bizarro World" for no reason -- the crowd is always expected to be lively, bordering on self-indulgent, much like a "Raw after WrestleMania" crowd.
A "go home" Raw (the last episode before a pay-per-view event) is always watched with extra attention, mostly because critics have the same question -- did this particular show do anything to increase my interest in buying the pay-per-view on Sunday?
First, an image of Madison Square Garden. Comments from Vince McMahon Sr. and Mike Tyson. The legendary Howard Finkel announcing: "From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania." And then, there he was, in his prime and in his glory, on WWE television in 2013. The "Living Legend," Bruno Sammartino.
During a phone interview with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin today promoting WWE '13 and Redneck Island on CMT, I asked "The Rattlesnake" for his thoughts on the controversial moment on Monday night's Raw involving Paul Heyman faking a heart attack (in case you missed it, detailed info can be found in my Raw recap here).
The Rock-John Cena program leading up to this year's WrestleMania was the first attempt at a long-term build with limited appearances by one of the competitors, and it was apparently a success, as WWE seems to be adopting that strategy with Lesnar, as well as The Rock's Royal Rumble challenge.
The most controversial Tout has come from Tensai (Matt Bloom). The Tout has since been deleted from Tensai's account (but you can watch it here). WWE has issued an apology for the Tout, saying that Bloom will be "reprimanded for his inappropriate comments."
Tonight's Raw was a heck of a rebound from last week. The episode brilliantly mixed quality in-ring action with solid story advancement. I was worried WWE may have been too focused on next week's show to put a good amount of effort into tonight's show, but luckily, I was proven wrong.