The Monday Night RAW after WrestleMania is the most interesting night out of the year because you don’t know what to expect. First off, it’s the fallout from WrestleMania, which sets the pace for what’s to come in the following year; the returning and debuting Superstars; and then there’s the RAW After Mania crowd who are the most unpredictable of all, but more on that later.
At the start of every episode of NXT (Wednesdays on the WWE Network) the graphic reads “The Future Starts Now”, but as seen on RAW After Mania, the future has arrived. Think about it, Seth Rollins is the new WWE World Heavyweight champion. But before even debuting as part of The Shield, Seth Rollins jump started NXT as the first ever NXT Champion. Now look at him, an “indie” guy who used the NXT system to get to the mountain top.
Seth’s WWE championship victory is a major carbon “curb stomp” and a prime example of what NXT can offer. Another former NXT champion who is looking to blaze his own trail on the main roster is Neville. Debuting against the “Axe-man” Curtis Axel, Neville had a successful first night: He defeated Axel; he went over big with the raucous crowd; he was the number one trend of twitter; and he did not come out looking like Mighty Mouse.
Yes, strangely enough, the big rumor was Vince McMahon wanted Neville to dress like Mighty Mouse, which, of course, is why “Vince is out of touch” memes exist, among other reasons. But honestly, if Neville were to dress up like any fictional character, it would have to be a high-ranking elf like Legolas or Link, not a mouse.
But even so, you can’t have “The Man That Gravity Forgot” dressing up like a cartoon rodent. The hooded cape Neville debuted in was pretty stellar, a cross between vigilante and druid. Yet, although I don’t have a problem with the cape, he needs to lose it before executing any of his mesmerizing maneuvers because it covers it up.
Yet, what’s even more bizarre than a WWE Mighty Mouse, is that some fans were actually upset, pist off even, that WWE dropped Neville’s first name. Similar to Cesaro and Big E, WWE just doesn’t like long names (are they paying by the letter?). But look at it this way, shorter names are easier to chant. You can’t have a chant, “Let’s go, Adrian Neville!” It just doesn’t work. But “Let’s go, Neville” does.
Another fantastic debut was Kalisto, finally joining his Lucha Dragons’ partner Sin Cara on the main roster. As the Lucha Dragons, Kalisto’s brand of lucha libre offense had the WWE Universe enamored and ferociously chanting NXT! Kalisto even got the pinfall victory with the Salida del Sol finisher. On a crazy side note: how awesome would a match between Kalisto and Rey Mysterio (in his prime) would have been in the WWE?
Last year, Paige debuted on the RAW After Mania and captured the WWE Divas championship. Although there were no debuts from the NXT Women’s division (one day, Charlotte…), AJ Lee did sport a Bayley’s “I’m a Hugger” t-shirt (available on WWEShop.com) live on RAW. So, Bayley may not have been called up to the main roster, but her merch sure did!
Now let’s talk about the unpredictability of the crowd. Aside from pissing off a number of the WWE Superstars, including Seth Rollins who gave a nice “Suck It” cross chop to the crowd, they were very vocal on who they wanted to see: more NXT talent. They started hijacking the main event with NXT chants for superstars like Sami Zayn, Tyler Breeze, and even Enzo and Cassady. It’s amazing how much the WWE Universe supports NXT and are clamoring for more of what these Future Superstars have to offer.
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About the blogger: I love pro wrestling and all of its layers of athleticism and entertainment. I also love to read and write, which is why, hopefully, WrestlingTimesX will come across as different, in a better way, than anything else that you read on the web. My mantra on wrestling, in any state, is to love it then, now, and forever.