I hope everyone had a pleasant Easter/Passover holiday. WWE gave us a double dose of new original content this past Monday. Of course, we had Monday Night Raw from Houston, Texas which was followed by Live with Chris Jericho interviewing John Cena. Both pieces of content had their merits as WWE tries to find itself post Wrestlemania bubble.

I thought the bulk of the action on Raw was solid for the most part and I like the narrative of finding a number one contender all throughout the night. Having The Authority gone from television made the show more fun in my eyes. Kane booking the champion and his perspective challengers with matches before the main event made everyone look stronger. It puts Ryback, Randy Orton and Roman Reigns up in a higher echelon in the minds of fans and creates a sense that more challengers are being set up for The Future Seth Rollins in particular. Having Rollins versus Neville with a good showcase for the longest reigning NXT Champion on the main roster. I know that some are unhappy with the caped Crusader in a losing effort. But remember you can gain just as much in a loss as you can with the win. All that matters is that you book it correctly. And they did just that.

Neville showed a lot offense and gave the new titleholder a run for his money in the shades of men like Harley Race and Ric Flair. This is what Rollins means to really submit himself as a strong champion going forward. In essence I think the fact that WWE is getting ready for the European tour actually helps the show overall as it made the creative team break away from past formulas due to travel schedules heading into Scotland and England this week.

As I said last week I like the John Cena US Title Open Challenge because it gives fresh match ups for both Cena and his challengers. As Rollins did with Neville earlier in the show, John helped make Stardust seem like a legitimate threat for his championship going forward. I think this idea for the US title is great because it makes it feel important to those in the audience.

The tag team division is a little odd. I like what the Primetime Players are doing with a very attitude driven set of promos. I’m not sure what that means for the future of the division. But I like that there’s a little bit of heat between the teams. Hopefully, we see a metamorphosis with the New Day because there’s something missing. And I think WWE knows this whether they decide to course correct is another story.

I like the tag team match with the Divas on Raw this week. Naomi get the victory over Nikki Bella. This puts Mrs. Uso in a prime spot to be number one contender. However, there will be a Battle Royal decide who will battle for the Butterfly at Extreme Rules in Chicago.

Bray Wyatt did another nice promo to rebuild himself following his lost to Undertaker I have to wonder what is next for the Everglades evangelical?

One thing, I really thought was missing this Monday was Michael Cole. I know I may get a lot of heat for that statement but I thought the announcing with Byron Saxton at the helm felt like it was missing something. I know fans rag on call for his use of vintage catchphrases and pitching WWE’s media. But that guy is great at his job and not having them there proves how important that guy is. I know Saxton is doing his best but it felt like something was never quite right.

Moving on to John Cena’s interview with Chris Jericho, I thought it was a great look at a man with passion and understanding of his position in the company. John Cena said he trying to make the company better than when he came in and I believe it. Cena implored those on the roster to take risks and make waves. He understands the criticism coming from a guy like him on the top of the card. But he points out he wasn’t always that way. He took a risk and make things happen. One thing, you have to say about John Cena he lives and breathes this product. The US Champion talks about what he wants to bring to the title and showcase the young talent underneath.

Cena talking about The Rock felt a little disingenuous but with very magnanimous in talking about their feud for the last few years.

And on the age-old question of why doesn’t WWE want him to turn heel. I found it interesting that Cena created a new theme song and gotten gear when the idea was brought up few years ago. But he made a cogent argument saying that there’s no one there to take his place as the hero of the kids. He’s going to do anything to help the company. I don’t know if I exactly agree with that I think there are plenty on the roster Daniel Bryan for example that would gladly take the spot of John Cena. But I get what John means. As always The Champ comes across very humble and really wanting the company to grow.

The stories of John Cena and Chris Jericho going back and forth I found really enjoyable. And I love that he brought up the guys that helped shape him In Ohio Valley Wrestling was nice. Overall I like the interview and it looks like were going to get more of Jericho in the future so we will have to wait and see what is next.

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.