For the last few weeks, I have been harping on making Monday Night Raw feel more organic and unpredictable. And after a lackluster Fast Lane, WWE had me worried about tonight’s episode of television. However, the company had quite the rabbit to pull out of their hat. It seems that every year around this time WWE knows exactly what to do to pull the disenfranchised back in and get them excited for the Grandest Stage of Them All.

What was the hook this year? How about bringing back Shane McMahon? There’s a question when the “Here Comes the Money” theme hit, the crowd in the Joe came unglued. It was unthinkable. It was unpredictable and it felt real. I know 32 years of age I pretty much have seen it all. But that reaction and that promo felt a genuine that it rose above anything else on that show. Especially, seeing the exiled Shane McMahon get teary-eyed hearing the reaction of the live crowd after seven years away. It’s one of those moments that will live on in Raw history.

Overall I like the angle with Shane being the voice of the people. He was the one that wanted to buy UFC in 2001. He is the one that wanted to make ECW in 2006 an Internet only brand. An archetype to what is now WWE NXT.

But all his projects seem to be overshadowed by his sister and brother-in-law. So there’s a kernel of truth in the storyline. I’ll let it be said that as great as I think the angle is at generating fan interest. I question putting a fortysomething Shane McMahon against a fiftysomething-year-old Taker in Satan’s Structure Hell In a Cell. I know these two will will give it their all but why would the Dead Man against The Prodigal Son in the first place? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

The other great angle WWE did on this week’s Raw is between Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose. WWE used their on Facebook well, showing a video of the two brawling before the show in Detroit. This is how you use 21st century tools to do old-school angles and make things feel organic and real instead of the formulaic calling out to the ring. These are two people don’t want to fight and have no qualms about hurting themselves or each other. This makes the challenge of a No Holds Barred match all the more interesting considering what these guys have done in the past. The intensity should help really makes a Wrestlemania moment for all remember.

The other interesting thing on Raw was had to do with Ryback going on his own leaving Kane and Big Show to be lambs to the slaughter of the Wyatt family. Notice I’m mentioning nothing Of the World Title because it definitely felt like a back burner thing to WWE creative. Even though it closed the show, it definitely feel like the lesser than of all the things set up for Dallas Texas on April 3. I think WWE knows what they have here and I would not be surprised if it is not on our one or two of the show of shows. Even with a blood angle to close Raw, it still feels like they’re trying to artificially make you care. And I don’t if that’ll make it work considering what fans saw at the beginning of the night. The building was electrified all throughout the first hour with Shane returning and Brock Lesnar/Dean Ambrose

All the talent on the roster seemed to be in another gear, there is a great six man tag to open the show were Neville and the US champion did some amazing tag team work. It looks like Becky Lynch and Sasha will be battling it out to see who wins the Divas Title Shot. WWE’s creative came out with such ferocity that I’m worried that they can continue this for six weeks. Within three hours , we now have three matches set with and a ton of talent still unaccounted for. Buckle up. It’s going to be quite the ride to Wrestlemania.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.