This week’s episode of Monday Night Raw was certainly a highly anticipated one; with rumours flying around for over a week that CM Punk will be returning to the WWE in his home town of Chicago.
Of course if you tuned in to Monday Night Raw then know by now that CM Punk did not make his return, instead we witnessed Paul Heyman make a very bold move and enter the arena using ‘Cult of Personality’; Punk’s theme music which had everyone believing Punk finally ended his sabbatical and returned.
The fans have been vocal ever since Punk walked out the night after the Royal Rumble pay-per-view; wanting the WWE creative to make immediate changes so the self-proclaimed Best in the World could entertain the millions every single week. As the weeks went by there was still no sign of Punk, he was removed from events and was not mentioned on TV until last night and as the time approached for Raw to hit Chicago, Punk’s beloved fans planned to ‘hijack’ Raw.
Five key steps were spreading across the internet, a big ask from the fans as some were just impossible to fulfil but nevertheless the fans wanted to make sure they got their points across. From wanting silence during the intro and using The Authority’s promo as a bathroom break, the WWE actually did very well to counter ‘#HijackRAW’.
The trend became popular and gained more and more interest but the WWE were always a step ahead and managed to put on a good show even for the hardcore CM Punk fans.
Firstly WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee did not appear on television at all throughout the three hour show, she was backstage at the event but the WWE were aware of the ‘smart’ fans in Chicago and knew beforehand that any appearance from Punk’s real-life girlfriend would probably get a reaction the company would not want.
They were not taking any risks with the crowd, security were put on high-alert to make sure nobody managed to sneak in any weapons and continued to confiscate any offensive signs, just like they have been doing for the last couple of weeks.
The WWE booked the night intelligently, knowing the fans will be vocal about CM Punk not appearing they booked it in a way where the fans would have no choice but to cheer. Paul Heyman dropped his own brilliant ‘pipe bomb’ which continues his brilliant work, and even went adlib throughout his segment. The Uso’s capturing the WWE Tag Team Championships, Aaron Paul, Dolph Ziggler picking up a win and Daniel Bryan finally stepping up to The Authority physically were all WWE winning over the Chicago crowd.
Did they do it? Yes, of course CM Punk is always going to be missed whether you like him or not and it showed in the night that the WWE are capable of running a brilliant show without one of their top stars. Just take a look at the crowd during the rematch between The SHIELD and The Wyatt Family and see for yourself if it felt as if the fans missed CM Punk.
What did you make of Monday Night Raw? Did you enjoy it despite CM Punk not turning up? Have your say in the comments below or hit me up on my Twitter @RazK28 to discuss all things WWE.
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