michael dworkis looks at the WWE post-Monday Night Raw …
I am sure you noticed by now, but WWE fans are the greatest, especially in New Jersey. WrestleMania 29, MetLife Stadium and over 80,000 fans with the craziest chants and cheers you can imagine. If that was not enough, it spilled over into last night’s Monday Night Raw where a number of bizarre chants broke out. These events became so widespread, even WWE had to acknowledge what took place. Here is a quick breakdown:
John Cena – Opening the show, the crowd just tore into him and he rolled with it. He started dancing, and then shuffled his leg around and offered to do a “heel turn” which saw the crowd explode into cheers.
Ryback – Speaking of Cena, the crowd exploded once again when Ryback turned around and crushed Cena with the Shell Shock. As Ryback chased away Mark Henry, he extended a hand to the WWE Champion, which the crowd instantly booed. Ryback began his Feed Me More bit, and then out of nowhere, Ryback demolished Cena with a Meathook Lariat. As Ryback leveled Cena down, the crowd jumped up and cheered huge. After the Shell Shock, the hungry beast that is Ryback stood over Cena, holding the WWE Championship high. So I guess Cena teased that Raw would feature a heel turn, just not his. I wonder though, if Ryback will continue to be cheered as long as he is the new challenger for Cena.
Wade Barrett and Jack Swagger – Two solid heels got major pops during their matches. Barrett scored big by reclaiming the Intercontinental Championship from the Miz, and the crowd fully supported it. Before Swagger and Colter had their handicap match against Alberto del Rio, Colter asked the WWE Universe to chant “USA” and “We the People” with him, and the Jersey crowd was more than happy to oblige the patriot.
Referee Mike Chioda – Not a single person had any interest in watching Orton and Sheamus have a one-on-one match, so there was a variety of chants going, until the “Mike Chioda” chant boomed loudest of all. In a backstage interview, Chioda felt honored that while being in the ring with superstars such as Orton and Sheamus, the crowd chose to chant his name.
Dolph Ziggler – Throughout the Del Rio/Swagger & Colter match, the crowd chanted, relentlessly, “We Want Ziggler!” over and over. Sure enough, after Del Rio scored the submission victory, he collapsed due to sustaining and injury, “Here to Show the World” hit and Ziggler gave the New Jersey strong what they wanted. The crowd erupted, I thought my speakers blew out watching from home and the fans in attendance screamed as Dolph Ziggler defeated Alberto del Rio for his second World Heavyweight Championship.
Fandango – After Jericho beat the snot out of him, the crowd at the IZOD Center continuously sang his entrance theme throughout the remainder of the night. A fan live reported to me that at the end of the show, after already going off-the-air, Cena tried cutting a promo but the crowd signing in unison was so loud that Cena made a “screw it” motion and started dancing in the ring. WWE has posted his entrance theme music and video on their homepage, and even has a video from RAW showing fans singing throughout the night.
Fandango and his sudden popularity is much like Daniel Bryan and the birth of the YES! YES! YES! craze which happened just one year ago. WrestleMania 28, he lost the World Championship to Sheamus in just 18 seconds. The rest of the night, the crowd in Miami, Florida chanted YES! YES! YES! and the following night on RAW, it continued on! For Fandango his theme song being crooned by the Jersey crowd may pave the way for some unexpected results and rise in his career.
Very smart by WWE to push this, and post articles and columns all over WWE.com featuring the insane crowd. New Jersey has always been one of those states, along with New York to surprise WWE by leading with sarcastic yet popular chants and reactions.
This is what I love about watching WWE, and being at events live. I was very upset I could not be part of the insanity brewing at the IZOD Center, but still grateful to have been in attendance at WrestleMania.
I would have loved to have been there live to see Ziggler win though.