18 years ago today, Vince McMahon appeared on screen during Monday Night Raw and proclaimed that WWE had the “Cure for the Common Show”. The company unveiled a new logo and a new Attitude when it comes to their superstars. WWE designates this time at the start of the most beloved “Attitude Era”. This period which ran from 1997-2002 was perhaps the most ballyhooed in the industry. Many of my generation have always clamored for a return to the TV 14 presentation of the WWE product.

Well, this past Monday’s Raw is probably as close as you’re going to get. The main storyline of the show saw Roman Reigns facing off against the McMahon family in the aftermath of Sunday’s WWE TLC. The Samoan Superstar raise the ire of the Billion-Dollar Princess and her genetic jackhammer of a father. This would lead to Reigns getting the ultimate opportunity become the WWE Champion or be fired for his actions against Triple H. While I’m not a big fan of going back to the past too often. The McMahon’s really made the episode gel. Not to mention that keeping Roman Reigns statements short and sweet made him much more likable. Although I’m not the biggest fan of the whole talking about everybody’s balls motif we seem to be going on. First, tater tots with Sheamus and now prunes with Vince. Hopefully that stops after this week. But overall I thought the segment really established Reigns as something different than John Cena or Randy Orton.

The show was paced really well with very strong segments opening the first and second hour. You can definitely tell WWE is really trying to bring out the big guns for this week given that USA Network is giving them a full week of programming on their channel next week. Matches were solid and segments were much less goofy than these we are. I liked a lot of what they did last night.

Talent got a major focus. Kevin Owens proves to be vindictive over Dean Ambrose capturing the Intercontinental Title. Saying that he will make the new champion go crazy until he gets the title back. And It seems that Dolph is still in the mix for that.

The Tag Team division got a great segment with The New Day giving props to their ladder match opponents The Lucha Dragons and the Usos. This was reminiscent of Edge and Christian versus the Hardys after No Mercy 99 where all teams gave props to the fans for the their love for the match. Of course, there was a little bit of New Day silliness but that just keeps the feud going so all three teams are on equal footing which is great.

WWE furthered their new push for the Wyatt family as they demolished Team ECW in a PG friendly brawl that was great. I loved the promo with Team ECW before the match using the old footage really putting over the Philadelphia roots. And the Wyatt rebuttal was great as well. Bray and company have never appeared as vicious in the last few weeks, the question is what do you do with him now? Have them dominate the Rumble? It’s an interesting story. You need quite a few threads going into that match to really make the Rumble feel important.

I like the fact that the League of Nations is now more of a cohesive unit. Between Alberto and The Bulgarian Brute teaming up to the main event shenanigans, they now seem like an actual faction. Still no Wade Barrett. I’m curious where he went to last night?

And the build of the main event was great. The City of Brotherly Love really gave their love for Roman. I feel like WWE really corrected the mistakes they made originally pushing him down everyone’s throat. They gave him an edge. They made him silent and violent hopefully the trend continues as I think he’s winning most people over.

I like Reigns winning the title on Raw for two reasons. The first of which is obvious. Raw has been suffering in the ratings for the last few weeks. And with the knowledge that the ratings go in the toilet during the holiday season they needed to really gain fan interest in the show overall. Having a title change on television helps that. And it sets up the title rematch between Sheamus and Reigns at the Rumble giving someone new a chance to win the 30 man spectacular.

Of course not everything was great on the show. I thought the Divas segment on the show was a little lackluster. But it seems now to WWE has their story line with Becky Lynch and Charlotte. It appears that going with her father is a bad influence and causing this new side of Charlotte. This should lead to both women facing off at the Rumble. Also you had the continued storyline of Team Bad (or as I dubbed them on Twitter “Nubian Day” for their New Day like attitude these days) against the Bella army. Not sure, where this leaves Paige for future storylines. I’m guessing she’s going to take some time selling the injury from the match at TLC. And while I applaud that they created a reason for a feud between Neville and the Miz I’m not sure anybody really wants to watch that match. Not to mention Tyler Breeze got the shaft again.

All in all I thought this week’s Raw was a blast from the past in a lot of ways. As I said before it’s really one of the closest you’ll get to an Attitude Era experience in the modern era.

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.

  • Sam

    I’m honestly happy that people are happy. Also I’d state that I have nothing against Roman Reigns as a person.

    Still with that said, despite the recent good will towards him I’m seeing in some normally cynical places on the internet, I’m still not enthused by a continued televised main event push for him.

    Perhaps I’m just falling out of love with wrestling?

    • That happens from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with that