By Zack Zimmerman
I'm reading around the net that Monday's crowd was there to get themselves over and couldn't have cared less about what was happening on the show. For those under that impression, YouTube the video of John Cena confronting the live crowd after the show went off air. In those few moments, Cena showed that he gets it.
WWE fans make the stars, and let you know when a star isn't being made. That is precisely what happened on Monday's Raw. To say that the live crowd only wanted to get themselves over, is to completely ignore the other half of a very valid argument. It's as simple as this: If the things happening in front of the crowd were over and working, we were 100 percent invested and added a special spark to those moments. Proof? See The Undertaker, Ryback, Team Hell No, Barrett/Miz, and Jericho's segments. Oh, and this guy Dolph Ziggler won the the World Heavyweight Championship in an indisputable top career-moment. When was the last time there was this much interest in a WHC title change?
The flip-side to that is also being misconstrued. The crowd in attendance was likely the "smartest" (or at least "smarkest") crowd that WWE has had at any show at any point. The same crowd knows that we should not be watching Sheamus versus Orton in a 15+ minute, babyface versus babyface back-and-forth matchup. They are both miscast, bland, and stagnant in their roles. THAT, is why the crowd turned on this segment.
If the things that were happening in the ring were not over, the crowd decided to put themselves over out of necessity. The initial "Ole" chant got under Orton's skin, and he taunted us for it. To show that we could play the same game, the next crowd chant was for Mike Chioda. He was more over to the live crowd than Orton or Sheamus were. Following that was a "boring" chant, which Orton combatted with an extended chinlock, and smiled at the crowd as if he had "won". This is where it became a pissing contest, Orton vs. the crowd. And the crowd chanted everything we could to express that the things we were chanting were more over than the match. And good, sustained "wave"? You just don't see those anymore.
There were "end this match" chants at points, which goes to show that those in attendance were fully aware of the action (or lack thereof) in the ring. Fully aware, but care free; Rebelling to send a message that its time for a change. The reactions were a great indicator of how the "smarks" feel about the product. "Smarks" are "smart" marks for a reason, because they have a passion for, and generally, a devout understanding of professional wrestling.
The crowd made a long boring match with two stagnant characters into the most entertaining and talked-about segment of the week; Wrestlemania included. And we gave Dolph Ziggler a absolute lifetime moment. THAT, is why "we are awesome."
Believe me, I have no convoluted thoughts or expectations that a revolution of any kind started on Monday. I do however, think that WWE took note. I think that WWE IS aware of why we did what we did. For proof, again, see John Cena's dark promo where he showed that he gets it and ultimately, got cheered because of it.
Singing Fandango's theme? Again, that was more over than anything happening on the show. And realistically, the Jericho/Fandango brawl was the final thing worth getting excited about on the show. That being said, why wouldn't the crowd have sang for the rest of the night?
Fans were forming kongo lines, dancing and singing in the corridors and streets. Cars leaving had Fandango's music blasting with windows down, so those in the streets could keep enjoying themselves. Why? Because it was fun, and that's what Monday's crowd was about: FUN. If the things happening weren't fun, we made our own. If the things happening were fun, we had fun because of it.
Being in attendance Monday was special. Clearly, this isn't going to be a weekly, monthly, semi-annual occurrence. In all actuality, it may not even be like that annually, so the overt cynicism is entirely lost on me. It was one night that will go down as incredibly memorable for all the right reasons, especially for (the majority of) the wrestlers involved and the fans in attendance. If you don't get it, that's fine too, but I think I've said all I can say to lay it out and make sense of it all.
Now that this blog is just about wrapped up, I'm going to go sing some more. Care to join? Its fun. Do-do, do-do-dodo-dodo-do-do...
Throw any comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @InVasionZim; Always happy to discuss.
Zim's Blog: Manifesto for the Hijacking of Monday Night Raw
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