Monday’s Raw Marks the End of an Era

Wrestling fans who tuned in to World Wrestling Entertainment’s Raw saw the show begin with a peeved Batista angry over his loss at Wrestlemania to newly crowned champion John Cena. While some viewers might have been amused by the confrontation between the two wrestlers, other fans of the sport who have been tuning in for years might have been unmoved by the spat.

It’s disappointing to constantly see the same people in contention for the title. It’s even more annoying listening to Batista gripe over losing his beloved championship belt. Why can’t he quit whining? He’s held the WWE Championship twice and the World Heavyweight Championships four times; he has worn more gold than many of his peers could ever dream of. Why the WWE thinks such incessant whining makes for good television might baffle longtime viewers.

It seems like fans have seen the likes of Cena and Batista throw down a million times, making Raw, as well as Smackdown, stale and predictable. It would be refreshing to see younger talent get their shot at greatness and break away from mid-card bouts and random tag team clashes. The WWE’s reluctance to stir the pot could potentially influence fans to jump ship, change the channel and tune in to the rival company, TNA, which in addition to having some prominent legends, have loads of young talented wrestlers that are eager to make names for themselves.

Another aspect of the night’s show that might frustrate viewers is the use of the WWE Divas during the episode, though it wasn’t anything unusual. Guest hosts Clark Duke and Rob Corddry, from the movie Hot Tub Time Machine, schemed their way into getting in a hot tub with a few divas. Though this skit attempted to be witty, it came across a cheesy excuse to get these women into as little clothing as possible.

The divas match that followed later in the broadcast was also trite and pointless, only lasting a few moments. Perhaps the length of the match is a good thing considering that most of the divas are not great wrestlers. The performance of most current divas is far different from former superstars like Lita and Chyna, who left fans in awe during their days inside ring. Though there are a few exceptions to the lack of natural athleticism, Mickie James, Beth Phoenix and Natalya; the thing that probably amazes seasoned wrestling fans the most is the fact that such skimpy clothing can stay on and that there aren’t many wardrobe malfunctions.

Hopefully in the future, the divas will be known for more than just their beauty and physical attributes; maybe they’ll actually get an opportunity to improve and showcase their in-ring skills.

While most of the night’s show was typical, the watershed moment of the broadcast was watching the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels reminisce about his career and say goodbye to his fans. Fellow superstar the Undertaker, briefly appeared and paid homage to Michaels by tipping his hat. Michaels was also embraced by long-time friend Triple H, who he credited with standing by him during trying times and throughout his career.

It was truly touching to see one of the best in the business shed tears over how much his experience being in the wrestling world from the green age of 19 to the veteran age 44 has meant to him. Though the showstopper has apparently taken his final bow, his legacy will live on in the hearts of his fans for many years to come.

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