Monday Night Raw kicked off with Vince McMahon coming out to start off the show. He reminded fans that Raw has been on the air for 25 years, and the reason it’s been so successful is that they’ve always changed with the times.
From there, McMahon said that in spite of the genius of one man, he can’t do it all by himself. He introduced Stephanie McMahon to help him shake things up.
As is usually the case, the crowd erupted with a chorus of boos for Stephanie McMahon, but they were quickly cut off by the entrance of Triple H. He was greeted by lots of cheers and a reminder from WWE announcer Michael Cole that he’s the man responsible for NXT, which definitely felt like a bit of foreshadowing.
When fans thought the introductions were done, Vince paused for one more arrival. And that was Shane McMahon, the GM of SmackDown Live. The crowd went absolutely insane for Shane.
Once Shane was in the ring, Stephanie claimed that we haven’t been listening to our audience and that that was going to change right now.
Triple H claimed that the days of absentee management were over and that the four of them (Shane, Stephanie, Vince, and Triple H) would be in charge. Shane McMahon also said that everything said here applies to SmackDown Live as well. While fans are generally happier with SmackDown than Raw, it’s far from a perfect show.
Hunter Hurst Hemsley claimed that “you are the authority;” referring to the fans. The McMahon family claimed that going forward, they would give the fans what they want. They claimed that they would actually listen to the fans and give them less of what they don’t want. Hunter made sure to say that this would happen “in the coming weeks and months,” letting fans know that these changes might take time.
The celebration was cut off by Baron Corbin, who made his way to the ring to an overwhelming chorus of boos. Once the crowd settled down, Corbin talked about what happened to him at TLC, claiming that it was unfair. He said that they needed to have a conversation, and then they went to commercial, leaving fans to wonder what would happen.
When the show came back, the crowd was still eviscerating Corbin with boos. Say what you will about Corbin, but the man generated a level of heat that is rarely seen on WWE TV.
The powers that be made a match between Corbin and Kurt Angle, and if Corbin won, he would get to be the GM of Raw. The special guest referee for the match was Heath Slater, which made sure to stack the deck against Corbin.
During the match, HHH came back out and made it a handicap match, adding Chad Gable, Bobby Roode, and Apollo Cruz to the match.
A little later, Shane McMahon came out to make it a no disqualification match, leading to even more destruction of Corbin.
Obviously, Corbin lost the match, reaffirming that he will not be the General Manager of Monday Night Raw.
Much later in the show, WWE announced six NXT call-ups, as reported by Inquisitr.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) December 18, 2018
It’s all well and good for WWE management to say that they’re going to give the fans more of what they want, but we’ll need to wait to see what actually happens.
Bryan Alvarez summed up the worries of the fans perfectly.
“I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Vince showed up on Monday and he fired Baron Corbin and maybe he debuted a few guys and he really shook the thing up and he gave us some matches we want to see and a few happy endings and the show ends and everyone’s really excited. If that happens, everybody’s got to remember there’s still gotta be another show next week.”
Saying that things will change only goes so far, and it’ll be up to WWE to build on their claims and actually move things forward in a way that’ll get the rating back to where they’re supposed to be. This is especially important with the new TV deals WWE has signed coming into play in the next year.