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The overall show fits into this category tonight. Knowing that Bret Hart would not be on Raw heading into the show last night I thought WWE definitely had its work cut out for itself in trying to put together a show that would either top last week or remain consistent with last week. While I didn't think last night's efforts topped last week, the show certainly did maintain the strong momentum it had coming into it from Bret Hart's memorable appearance. The key is pretty simple: play to the audience's intelligence, not to the lowest common denominator of "entertainment." This is two weeks in a row now where Raw has focused on simple, forward moving story telling as opposed to low brow comedy bits that have nothing to do with the overall direction of WWE story lines.
The main event picture looked impressive on Raw tonight. Yes, guys like John Cena and Randy Orton are always going to be around because the bottom line is that WWE can not just throw Kofi Kingston vs Sheamus on one of the biggest PPV events of the year. Instead, they wisely injected Raw with talent like Kofi and Sheamus, while keeping the money guys like Cena and Orton around to help strengthen the rookies. It was great to see Sheamus come out tonight to interrupt the guest host as opposed to the usual faces like Orton, Jericho or Cena. Sheamus established that he is on the top of WWE's food chain right now, and it was about time he did so. There's speculation abound right now that Orton is on the verge of a face turn, and judging by the audience's reaction to him tonight, I'd say that might be a good idea, even though he plays his heel role so well. However, I'm not sold at this point that the Rumble match is going to end up being Orton vs Sheamus one-one-one, as I still think WWE will figure out some way of inserting Cena into the match to give it a face boost. I might be wrong, and I hope I am, but it's unlike WWE to book what is essentially a heel vs heel match at such a high profile PPV.