On a week that will see the WWE superstars travels major miles on the European tour, it was kind of fitting that WWE was in the mile high city last night. Denver was the continuation of the elevation of talents to the top of the card. With John Cena out for the next few months and the news of Randy Orton being gone for the next 4 to 6 months, Vince and company cannot rest on their laurels. Last week, Roman Reigns earned his number one contender spot at Survivor Series against champion Seth Rollins in one hell of a Fatal Four Way. But now with the championship situation clear going forward, how would WWE shake the rest of the card up? By bringing back something that was once claimed to be a dead concept. The Survivor Series traditional match.

WWE once again had a solid story all throughout the night as things built to the main event. Seth Rollins finding partners was an interesting thread to carry the narrative of his upcoming Heavyweight Title challenger. Not to mention that but the interaction with Kevin Owens may lead to a title match down the road considering the phrasing between the two. Setting up for future conflicts for your champion is always a good thing. This always leaves your audience waiting to see when the big confrontation is going to take place.

But WWE smartly didn’t just focus on the World title this time around. We had solid divas and tag team action for the first time in a while on Monday Night Raw. Hell even tag teams got video packages which is rare in this day and age. If I didn’t know any better I say WWE knowing that they don’t have the attractions of John Cena, Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton to fall back on realize that other divisions aren’t exactly as potent as they might like. The company has quite a bit of work to do with the Lucha Dragons to build them up for title contention. But given enough time I think the highflying duo will be ready to go toe to toe with the New Day or perhaps in a multi-man spectacular. The reintroduction of the Usos lead one to believe that things will get interesting in the tag team division sooner rather later.

Much like the Tag Team Division, the women got a spotlight being one of the featured contests of the night. Becky Lynch, Sasha and Brie all did the best but WWE went with the tried-and-true obvious choice Paige. While I think the match will be good will be good between Charlotte and Paige, I think that a swerve of adding Sasha as number one contender would have been a little more intriguing. Although I will say this, Paige went for one heel in her promo and that the most interesting she’s been in months. It’s okay to want to do the obvious but occasionally you want to throw people a curveball. You always want to keep your audience guessing.

This rule in my opinion definitely applies to Bray Wyatt and his seemingly looming match at Survivor Series with the Brothers of Destruction. Overall I like the segment he did on Raw but I have doubts that it will prove dividends for the Wyatt family in the long run. I’m all for Wyatt being supernatural gatekeeper of the WWE going forward. But it seems highly unlikely given his latest track record against top stars. Who knows? I said the same thing at Wrestlemania 30 and look what happened. WWE needs to legitimately pass the torch or the in this case follow the fireflies and establish the new face of fear.

Speaking of new faces, the trend continued of establishing the new players in the WWE universe. Kevin Owens got a victory thanks to the help of Tyler Breeze. Alberto stayed strong and had interaction with Jack Swagger which I liked. That establishes a perfect storyline for the Oklahoman to reinvigorate himself in this time of open opportunity.

As for Kevin Owens if I didn’t know any better I would say he and Dean Ambrose will be going back and forth for the Intercontinental title someday soon. With Roman occupied with World Title aspirations it makes sense to put Ambrose in a similar hunt.

You could have a built in storyline later on where Roman wins the World title and Ambrose fails to capture the Intercontinental title. The TV basically writes itself going forward and that’s what you want as a member of WWE’s head trust really. You shouldn’t have to take long explanations to get a point across to the audience. It should be common sense. And that storyline really does make common sense considering how my times Ambrose has failed to do what he set out to do with Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt and other feuds he’s had.

Looking at Raw this week it reminds me a lot of the 2002-2004 era of Smackdown which you can watch a lot of it on the WWE Network right now. When the brand extension happened a lot of the stars went to Monday Night Raw. That left the blue crew to look at the talent they had and utilize of a lot of young stars in prominent positions. John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista would come from this and become top stars in the company. Edge, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle and others helped elevate new talent to make the brand even stronger. I think that’s what you’re saying more now than ever. Without the old reliable stars Vince has depended on were seeing a new future emerge slowly but surely. I’ll be interested to see who comes out of it to be the star of the next generation.

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.