On the latest edition of Monday Night RAW (June 24th, 2019), WWE brought it’s superstars to the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, WA. On a night where the RAW and Smackdown Tag Team Champions joined forces against the USOS and New Day, Braun Strowman faced Bobby Lashley in a Tug of War, and the new United Stated Heavyweight Champion Ricochet went one on one with one of the very best ever AJ Styles, the powers that be in WWE shocked the world with the return of one of its greatest legends.
It was Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns in a 2 on 1 handicap match, on the heels of the Big Dog’s win over McIntyre at WWE Stomping Grounds the previous night. Shane and Drew vowed they would take out Reigns once and for all during this match, and it seemed that prediction may come true as Shane-o-Mac climbed the ropes for a ‘coast to coast’ while McIntyre held Reigns in place. With Shane ready to take the leap, the lights went out and a shocking GONG was heard throughout the arena. When the lights came back on, the Undertaker was in the ring, and the fans went crazy. The Undertaker would deliver a choke slam to his WrestleMania opponent from 3 years ago and a flurry of punches and clotheslines that sent both McIntyre and Shane out of the ring and up the ramp. As the show went to commercial, the Undertaker stood tall as WWE fans celebrated the best RAW moment in quite some time.
That being said, what does this unexpected (random night after Stomping Grounds) appearance by Taker truly mean? This journalist feels that though it was awesome to see, it’s probably safe to say it was move of desperation by the decision makers of World Wrestling Entertainment. Lets be real… Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Impact Wrestling and others have upped their game as of late, and with the emergence of All Elite Wrestling and superstars like Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Cody, and the legendary Chris Jericho appearing on shows that are not on WWE television, it has to be believed that WWE is feeling the heat. NXT has become WWE’s top brand in the eyes of many fans, and it is safe to say (at this particular time) that WWE is still the #1 company in professional wrestling/sports entertainment, but AEW is coming… NJPW is coming… ROH is coming… Impact (on a smaller scale) is coming… and I believe WWE is (silently) taking notice.
The fact is, a surprise appearance by arguably WWE’s most recognizable legend is a great thing, but it won’t be nearly enough if Vince McMahon hopes to maintain his company’s undisputed top spot in the industry. Perhaps the reported stance by WWE’s most important figure(s) banning the names of moves associated with those who went to other companies, should take a back seat to trying to make RAW and SMACKDOWN Live better on a more consistent basis and not just for a random moment where the Undertaker comes out of no where. Again, Taker’s appearance was awesome, but that was 2 minutes of awesomeness, and RAW is a 3 hour show. Just sayin’!
**Breaking News** WWE has just announced Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon will face Roman Reigns and the Undertaker at Extreme Rules on July 14th live from Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center**
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