WWE’s Changing Of The Guard

This past week’s RAW could end up being a turning point in WWE history. Gone could be the days where the company relies upon the same tried-and-true superstars to draw money, instead turning to a new generation of up-and-comers. Indeed, this week’s episode felt more like a changing of the guard ceremony than a typical edition of the longest-running weekly episodic television program, as Michael Cole likes to affectionately refer to it as.

It was evident from the moment the program started, which was basically a coronation ceremony for Daniel Bryan. The place was simply electric, with nearly every fan in attendance participating in his signature “Yes!” chant.

What was interesting as the night progressed was that the WWE Universe turned on nearly every “old guard” superstar in favor of younger talent, whether heel or face. This was first seen during the Wyatt Family vs. John Cena, Sheamus, and Big E contest.

The WWE Universe has decided to follow the buzzards in recent weeks.

The WWE Universe has decided to follow the buzzards in recent weeks.

Cena was ripped a new one during his entrance and performance, as it seemed like not a single person in the crowd was cheering him. There is usually at least a vocal minority of supporters in even the most anti-Cena crowd, but the New Orleans crowd was completely against him, even singing, “John Cena sucks” to the tune of Cena’s theme song.

The Wyatt Family, on the other hand, were overwhelming crowd favorites even though they have been booked as nothing but heels since debuting. The crowd was singing Wyatt’s now-signature, “He’s got the whole world in his hands” while swaying back and forth. These guys are truly over and it was completely obvious which side the crowd was supporting during the Wyatt’s decimation of Team Cena.

A similar incident occurred later in the night during the Rey Mysterio/Bad News Barrett contest. Barrett has been booked as a heel in recent months, and unlike the Wyatt Family, he has not received any support from the fans. During his contest with Mysterio, however, Barrett had complete fan support and was even celebrating with the fans while Mysterio seemed a bit perplexed at times while he was mercilessly booed. It seemed obvious that the fans are in favor of change instead of the superstars of old.

The King of Swing is the newest Paul Heyman guy, much to the delight of the crowd.

The King of Swing is the newest Paul Heyman guy, much to the delight of the crowd.

You know things are a bit off when even Paul Heyman is cheered at one point in the broadcast. Cesaro announced his departure from the Real Americans and shocked everyone by claiming he is now a Paul Heyman guy, a move that set the place on fire. It set up an ironic situation where Heyman was practically booed out of building during his earlier promo with Lesnar but was later cheered after it was announced that he would now manage Cesaro.

The move highlights the popularity of Cesaro, as the crowd does not care who he is paired with as long as he is receiving a push, and the WWE does not usually pair Heyman with guys they are not planning to push. If you can get the crowd to cheer Paul Heyman, you must but doing something right, but after all, Cesaro is the guy who made a stable of immigrant-hating Tea Partiers popular with the crowd. In recent weeks, the crowd has even been chanting, “We the people.”

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  • BMPunk

    YES! YES! YES!

  • pwnez

    Cesaro will have a lot of success. He will definitely do better than when Ryback was paired with Heyman.

    • GodsLoyalSon

      That was just a bad timing thing, as it could have worked if they did it when Ryback just turned heel or when Paul Heyman announced a new Paul Heyman guy.

      • pwnez

        I agree with this. The big issue was that Ryback was paired with Heyman once he was already buried and irrelevant. No one cared about Ryback during the time he was billed as a ‘Heyman guy.’

    • QuiteFrankly2k

      To be honest, Rybak was in Daniel Bryan’s position. He was the biggest baby face in the house at one point. It seems that due to the fact The Rock was returning he was not handed the title. I mean if you ask me people were chanting “Feed Me More” just like they were chanting “YES”

      • pwnez

        I disagree. Although Ryback was over at one point, I wouldn’t say he was on the level of Bryan. Ryback was a victim of poor booking (due to the creative team deciding to push a group of younger guys all at the same time; something has to give in that situation) but lets not forget he wasn’t good in the ring, nor on the mic. I don’t think the Rock had much to do with Ryback’s downfall; the Shield had a lot to do with it.

        • Dresv

          I agree Ryback was over at one point, but his peak was nowhere near the level of Bryan’s currently, and I don’t even think Bryan reached his peak yet. The feed me more chant was probably more over than Ryback himself lol.

          • pwnez

            I agree with you 111%! Bryan is well liked because of his ability to perform at a very high level while being able to remain interesting and entertaining. The ‘Yes’ chant only adds to his popularity. Ryback’s ‘Feed me more’ chant was more over than he was.

        • https://www.facebook.com/RandomBrainActivity Bully FU

          Had they given Ryback the belt back at Hell in the Cell vs Punk or had him avoid the title picture altogether and kept him “undefeated” with his babyface gimmick for a few more months then I think he would be over today. They turned him too soon and he had a very poor turn at that.

          He would have been perfect to put in in the World Title picture and have him run with that title for a few months since that wasn’t really used or viewed the same way the WWE Title was. The World Title was basically the IC title of the 80’s and 90’s and Ryback would have been best served staying undefeated and destroying upper midcard people like Sheamus, Christian, Ziggler, Alberto, and such who were always vying for that title. The WWE screwed up Ryback but Ryan Reeves didn’t exactly help matter since he is no better in the ring now than he was then, his twitter rants, and reported sandbagging people.

        • The tater

          Whoa his mics skills may not have been great but you can’t deny his in ring skill was supurb. I mean come on the guys a straight up powerhouse.

          • https://www.facebook.com/RandomBrainActivity Bully FU

            His in ring skills were average at best. Go back and watch his Hell in the Cell match with Punk. It wasn’t a long match and he was blown up, bad. Punk carried the match also. Also he has a reputation for sandbagging people on moves which is the same thing that got Bob Holly’s neck broken by Lesnar back in the day. In the 2 years or so he’s been on the main roster he hasn’t improved at all in the ring. People complain about Cena not getting better or the 5 moves of doom but there are a lot of other wrestlers who coast on the same ability they came in with.

      • raVen

        Ryback was getting over but he was never close to Bryan and “YES”

  • nBonThaBeat

    Couldn’t have said it better myself… This past Raw seemed like a “new generation show”. Lol

    • G.I.R.L.

      Yup. This year will be great. We stuck with it and we’re being rewarded. Finally!

  • Cena Swallows

    Reality finally hits ….

  • Yofiel Malachi Yacov

    If you watched main event, only when zeb got on the mike is when people said, we the people. During the match when swagger did it, no one did it. After the match when they won, no one said it. No one cares about we the people now that cesaro is gone unfortunately.

  • Dave from Germany

    Best Raw in a looooooooong time.
    The sad part about it: We will always remember it as the last night of Warrior’s life

    • dae

      I agree. It was a solid show and maybe the best Raw I’ve seen since the three-hour era began. The night after WM is always known for surprises, but I was blown away how much change took place. What the WWF/E needs is a breath of fresh air, newer talent, and new storylines. Monday did that: new, surprise debut and title win by a popular NXT diva, Cesaro finalizing his break from Swagger/Zeb (and start what will hopefully be a short grudge rivalry before catapulting to the top), the Yes! Movement not only being cemented, but now defended (?) by the Shield (hoping that’s not a swerve), and the in-ring debut of Rusev who looks ready to dominate.

  • Dave from Germany

    I felt kinda bad for mysterio, to be honest

    • Mr. Tate

      Why he has always sucked it just seems like the crowed has finally realized what has always been true Mysterio is garbage.

      • Kjhaltz

        Not sure bout always but most of his career in WWE has been a shell of his former self.

  • RadicalRhys

    I wouldn’t exactly say everyone is going to start ‘shunning guys like Cena & Mysterio’ every week, since this is after all, the Post-Mania crowd, which is always full of crazy diehards (crazy in a good way mind you). Hopefully people will indeed keep warming up to the new blood debutting soon (Adam Rose, Bo Dallas) and the newcomers to TV (Rusev & Paige), especially Paige after her debut, hopefully people in other arena will take to her like they do to AJ in terms of reactions, maybe more so if possible, for Divas standards.

    However not every crowd will be as rowdy as this one was, and those crowds are usually the same old ‘cheer for the good guys and boo the bad guys’.

  • Houston Theriot

    It was a awesome night. They didn’t show the reaction to Damian Sandown we went bananas until RVD came out. At one point when Swagger broke the trophy we cheered the guy that swept the ring until he did a encore bow. If you’ve never been to a live show I recommend it the energy is unreal

  • dae

    Last Raw was the best one since it went to three hours! WWF/E is hopefully getting a breath of fresh air. Here’s what I would do…
    * Cena: He’s been a polarizing character for a while now. I don’t think the fans in every arena will be just as the New Orleans group, but maybe it’s time for a heel turn (at least against the fans who are against him)? He can be like, if you cheer for me, I care and thank you, but if you boo me, I don’t care.
    * Misterio: He’s the greatest little guy, but I’d like to see him in at least one more title run before he hangs up his mask and boots.
    * Undertaker: With The Streak over, it’s time to hang them up. Once he’s healthy, maybe one more match at WM31, go out with a win, let the bell toll and “disappear” with the bell tolling a second time with a blue spotlight and the urn in the ring. (He can say Thank You to the fans at the Hall of Fame.)
    * Cesaro: Time for his push to the top. Heyman will help put him over, even though I can’t stand all the talking in the ring, he is a genious on the mic.
    * Paige: I must say, I hope this means there’s going to be a revitalization of the Divas division like the tag division has seen a small renaissance in the past year.
    * Titles: It’s time to bring relevancy back to the IC and US titles as well. Either unify them as the IC belt or start putting them on the line at least every other week and at the PPVs. Same with the tag titles. The WWE/WHC championships need to be unified as one belt (we don’t need two straps for the same title). Retire the old WCW belt and use the new WWE one. That title should be put on the line at every PPV and rematches on Raw at two or three weeks after the title change.

    • Tyson Black

      They still have superstars on the roster that they can push like Cody Rhodes, Kofi, Ziggler and many more.. But with WWE unifying all the belts I dont think pushing new talent is going to be easy at all. They need to split the titles back up ASAP! I still look at the WWE/WHC belt as the WWE Championship. So them unifying it doesnt really make a difference.

  • 9 year old boy

    The reality era has BEGUN!

  • James

    I think we should wait until after next week’s RAW to see who’s really over with the fans, the night after Mania is always crazy. Having said that, I completely agree with what’s said in the article.

  • Buzzard Follower

    I think its to soon to call it the changing of the guard need i remind you who wwe still wants as the man

    • G.I.R.L.

      WWE wants whoever brings in the most money to be “the man”. It’s a matter of time until Cena becomes a B+ player (unless he becomes a monster heel).

      • llllNinjastarllll

        LMAO , little girl , Cena will never be a B+ player , CENA will always be a A+ , Wont be long until Cena is back up there with the title belt again , Cena will let Bryan have it for a bit , before Vince decides to put it back on Cena

        • nBonThaBeat

          Yeah WWE still wants Cena to be “the guy”. But Vince/HHH turning to someone else could happen. I mean it’s all about who makes the money right? So let’s say Cena is #1 right now in sales. Then let’s say he hits #2. Of course I don’t see that happening but it’s a possibility. But even at the #2 spot. Vince will have more merchandise made, even give Cena some better shirts etc. But if he hits #3 or #4 in sales. Then you can say Bye Bye Mr. Cena. Vince will then push who ever is in the #2-#1 spot. Because once the sales drop, then Cena has nothing else. He’ll get dropped to upper mid car or he may even take time off! Lol but my point is, with Bryan as big as he is, Cesaro with the crowd behind him, and Reigns getting ready for a big push in the future. Cena could be replaced.

          • G.I.R.L.

            Replaced by some of the best in the world at that. We’re finally getting diversity in the mainevent rather than Cena vs Orton or Cena vs Random.

  • satishwarne708

    Hey cena your time is up our time now papa paaa John cena suuccks papa paaa john cena sucks john cena suuucksss paappa pa paaa

  • mikey1981

    Fear it’s just the post mania crowd, hope I’m wrong, but the love for Barrett came from the thousands of brits there, we saw similar reactions last year, remember how over Fandango was.

    • scott

      I think youre right dude. But this is probably Barrett’s last shot at making something of himself. If it doesn’t work this time itll be time to cut him loose.

  • Mr. Beardsly

    It’s too bad for a guy like Mysterio. He’s given years to the fans, only to have them basically say “we’re sick of you” toward the tail end of his career when he still isn’t quite ready to retire. He certainly doesn’t deserve to get booed for no other reason than because he’s not a fresh face. But yet, I get it. I’m an older fan at 37, and even I’m way more interested in the up and comers than the established superstars. And it’s not about old vs young. It’s about old vs new. Neither Cesaro nor Daniel Bryan are exactly spring chickens at 33.

    Orton, ADR, Sheamus, Mysterio…they’re just all stale as hell. Cena I’ve been sick of for a long time, but that’s another story. None of these guys have exactly done anything wrong and it’s too bad that the fans want to push them aside while they’ve still got gas in the tanks, but it just is what it is. The real problem is that there really isn’t another viable promotion–I’m not counting TNA–where these guys can go to freshen up their careers, then maybe come back later to WWE.

    • MajorHeel

      I don’t think Mysterio is stale, he just doesn’t get booked right. Look back to 2005-2009 the crowd loved him and he actually had stories to work with. ADR is crap but he gets booed which is a step forward .Orton sucks with the viper gimmick but he was great back in 2004-2007. Sheamus can get over well as a middle carder.

      • Mr. Beardsly

        When I was watching Raw Monday night, it struck me that a Mysterio heel turn could be interesting. Have Mysterio come out and cut a promo castigating the fans for being so fickle and ignoring/booing him after he gave them years of his life as well as so much wear and tear on his body. But with Mysterio being so injury prone, I don’t know if WWE wants to risk putting him in a big angle only to have him get injured and be off TV within a month.

        I know I’m in the minority, but I actually like ADR. His face turn could have worked, but they tried to turn him too much into a smiling, baby kissing good guy. He should have kept that arrogant, aristocratic edge; the fans would have liked him better.

        • MajorHeel

          I felt like ADR’s face turn happened way too fast and I was okay with it at first but like you said it didn’t work. Mysterio’s prime is over but they could still do something with him

    • Yankee Hater

      I’ve always thought if you have legit talent that comes across as stale, that’s creative’s fault. I don’t care who or how amazing a talent you are. They all get stale if not given a different approach every once in a while. I even thought Austin was getting stale until his heel turn joining McMahon towards the end.

  • MajorHeel

    To me it just seemed like they were cheering the heels with the exception of Bryan and Shield JUST MY OPINION!!!!

  • Johnny B Bad

    Now would be a great time to turn Cena heel, the fans now have Bryan as champion, so unless the WWE plans to keep the belt off of Cena for a while, there is no way the fans would accept him as a face if he took the title off Bryan down the road.

    • One Swing

      A Wyatt-brainwashed Cena with a disgusting redneck, Deliverance gimmick would keep him fresh for at least a few more years. Cena can be entertaining you know.

      • Johnny B Bad

        I agree, if Cena turned completely heel, more people would probably cheer for him and buy his stuff again. As far as the kids go, they will always cheer for the good guy, Danial Bryan is in a good spot to take that spot as being a favorite with the kids, and adults alike. Cena on the other hand, most of his merchandise is worn by kids, I rarely see adults wearing his stuff these days. It’s hard for the storylines to be convincing when Cena is consistently booed every week when he is supposed to be the face, he could easily become the most hated heel if he came out next week and joined the authority and replaced Batista (since Batista was supposed to be a face) This would never happen, but it would make for a good storyline.

  • RyanStewart2007

    Rey Mysterio literally got no pop when his music came on.

  • scott

    The crowd has been chanting We the People for months now. It wasn’t just yesterday they did it. The craziest thing was I hadn’t heard Cesaro’s voice in so damn long I forgot what it sounded like. I cant say im surprised the crowd went nuts when Heyman came out. Lesnar will probably be gone until Summerslam im sure because they have to sell Heyman’s face turn I guess. Hopefully well see Cesaro win the MITB this year which means Bryan’s title run will probably be shorter than people hoped for. But that’s okay to me. It also seemed pretty cool to watch maybe they’ll take Orton and Batista out of the main title picture for a while and have them win the Tag Titles that would be a nice change and would bring instant relevance back to the Tag Team division which seems to be a joke once again.

    • Tyson Black

      so are you saying its a joke just because The Usos have it. The USOS is the best Tag Team they have on the roster right now!

      • Taiana Aubrey

        Agreed! Plus the USOS are sexy!

        • Tyson Black

          and married lol

          • Taiana Aubrey

            so am l. And?

          • Tyson Black

            Your response that they are “SEXY” had nothing to due with them being championship material

          • Taiana Aubrey

            I know it doesn’t have to do with them being championship material l was just giving them a compliment. But whatever…

      • scott

        No but they aren’t part of the problem. There aren’t any tag teams that’s why its a joke. I don’t care for the Usos theres nothing special about them at all. They do the exact same thing every single match and never switch it up. But with the basically written off role of the Rhodes brothers, Los matadors suck, the Real Americans are through, and we all know Axel and Ryback won win those belts who is there to win those belts? No one. So they might as well have Orton and Batista as a tag team and win those belts.

        • Tyson Black

          Yeah I do agree to put The Usos in a feud with Batista and Orton. It would be great to see my fave tag team go against my fave wrestler(Batista). But the tag teams never get good match types no more. They are always put in a normal tag match. I think they should actually do more ladder, tornado, Elimination Tag type matches etc.

          • Gary Wofford

            See how many NXT stars are coming up? Only a matter of time before the Wyatt’s or the Ascension come up and then the USO’s will drop the belts


    like I been saying for weeks in this website. orton, the irish man, big show,rey and kofi are 3 years way over due. what real WRESTLING fans want every year are people that get over,and are into their character, just like the larger than life guys in the past. wrestling fans know that people are heels but if the faces suck,then we’ll cheer the bad guy. simple very simple. what bret,bundy,ventura,bruno and others say “you cant fool the north east fans,they can spot the best,right away.” amen to these legends

  • Joe Wierzbinski

    I am 100% behind this changing of the guard. Been waiting a long time for this and perhaps we’re now getting the big pay off.

  • justbookit

    not to be a negative nancy because im very much pleased with this past raw but i dont want to jinx this next gen just yet. It wasnt too long ago there was that pic of a very fan friendly collection of champs(cm punk d bryan z ryder air boom cody rhodes beth phoneix) and it didnt take much time for wwe to get back to old habit. and it was a year ago ziggler was “on his way” now look at him. look at sandow. and I dig paul heyman, but crowning someone a heyman guy seems to (based on track record beyond lesnar) be the same as crowning someone a united states or ic champ. it means nothing if there isnt value brought to the concept. I dont count punk since he was already established. Trust me when i say its best to just enjoy each good raw when we get one but with peeps like sheamus cena orton batista big e (not that hes bad) still in the wings dont expect these guys to be jobbing each week to the new comers. I hope im wrong

  • brad

    Roman reigns is the future.

  • TDR25_Forever

    Everyone has the right to cheer and boo who they want as they pay good money to attend those events, but that crowd was just weird. I’ll never understand no matter how it’s explained above how they can boo the hell out of the guy that manages the guy that ended the Undertaker’s streak and possibly seriously injured him, and then turn around and give a sounding applause when Cesaro announces he’s a Heyman guy. That and other parts of the show really made me think that the WWE brass really does have the “universe” in the palm of their hands eating every crumb but the fans don’t realize it. They WANT the Wyatt’s to get over, They’ve BEEN wanting Barrett to get over, and the Shield’s, well pretty much the Shield…one of the best group gimmicks in recent history. The WWE has the fans eating every crumb out of their hands and the fans don’t see what’s going on. Many still think they have a choice or say in what’s going on.

    • Mr_DJ

      Barrett is always going to be a favorite when it comes to his countrymen. But what happens now after WrestleMania season…we’ll see.

      I believe that their own mismanagement is actually working in their favor now since they do have fresh talent that knows what they’re doing.

  • Gary Wofford

    Do you think the changing of the guard has anything to do with the Performance Center?