Following a fantastic edition of Monday Night Raw I have been infused with hope for the company's near future. Whether this is a sign of great things to come or simply a flash in the pan, it is difficult not to feel optimistic. The show's few low points were largely related to the spreading thin of content across three hours and there aren't many people who don't hope that will soon be rectified. However, I feel it is better to look at the positives of Raw this week. Here are five things WWE did right on this show:
Teddy Long making a fatal four way title match where the fans got to choose whether to put the United States or Intercontinental Title on the line was a great twist to the show. This is the type of consequence-carrying twist WWE programming has been lacking for a long time. These are the bombshells they need to be dropping as opposed to those regarding peoples' personal lives. This was likely the best wrestling match of the night, though it is hard to say.
Good use of the Divas
AJ Lee versus Tamina Snuka was the first decent women's match since the stand-out showing between Eve and Kaitlyn at Survivor Series. AJ and Tamina still weren't given nearly the time the Divas deserve, but they rocked what they were given. The match told a nice story and ended in the only way it could have so that the story between the two can continue. With a sudden comeback roll-up AJ picks up a win that keeps her from being buried and still leaves Tamina looking dominating.
Screen time for the boss
Say what you will about Vince McMahon, but his on-screen character rarely fails to deliver some compelling television. Granted, this week he was just back to his same old stuff with bullying Vickie Guerrero into making the decisions he wants her to make, but the man's presence brings an excitement of its own. I'd like to see more of him in a different scenario. Perhaps the boss has one more big heel story line in him.
Battle of the mic
The out-of-ring highlight for me was the back and forth between The Miz and CM Punk. I mentioned on Twitter during the show that I would love for this to be the WrestleMania main event. The lead-up for that would be fantastic and I don't even need to speak for the match itself. This may not be likely to happen as no rumors for CM Punk's 'Mania opponent mention The Miz, but I can dream. On a related note, I hope The Miz doesn't get any PG-related backlash for that "your mom" joke in the final segment.
Finally we look at what should be the top priority for any wrestling show: great matches. This should be a no-brainer but WWE television seems to skimp on it week after week. This week, not only was there a great match, there were several of them and it is the first time in a very long time I can remember being torn on what the match of the night was. Though we just saw Alberto Del Rio beat Sin Cara a couple of weeks ago on Smackdown, they still put on a nice show. The big tag team match which saw John Cena and Sheamus defeat Big Show and Dolph Ziggler was another top contender that got me pumped for both of those one-on-one matches at TLC. The United States Title fatal four way was outstanding. For me, however, being a huge fan of women's wrestling, my favorite match of the night was AJ Lee versus Tamina Snuka simply because it was the first really good Divas match on television in a long, long time.