Coming out of Fastlane, WWE was faced with a number of problems, chief among them the fact that WrestleMania was not looking like it was going to be the yearly spectacle that has become a tradition. A variety of factors had led to the perception that WWE had nothing with which they might be able to legitimately fill the 100,000 seat stadium that was awaiting them in Dallas, and as a result, WrestleMania was starting to amass the stink of failure. But when the chips are down, somehow WWE always manages to have an Ace up their sleeve, and there was no better time to use it than on the very first Raw after Fastlane, at the point when the build to WrestleMania begins in earnest. While they may not have completely reversed the downward momentum, WWE certainly did a lot of things on Raw to try and halt the slide.
10. A Legacy of Excellence…No, Really!
If you had asked us the one person we never thought we’d see on WWE TV again…we probably would have gone with CM Punk. But Shane McMahon would have been a close second, with the only son of Vince McMahon seemingly content to make his own name outside the wrestling business for the last several years. And when Raw began with the presentation of the prestigious Vincent J McMahon Legacy of Excellence Award that had never existed until last week, we were fully prepared for the entire thing to be a shame designed to troll the fans. Of course, we were not disappointed. Actually, we were disappointed, but also correct. When Stephanie McMahon flounced out to accept the award, we settled in for another night of The Authority laughing at our pain. But then Shane’s ridiculous (admit it, it’s catchy, but terrible) entrance music hit and the entire wrestling world exploded. With a single huge move, WWE grabbed our attention and, through Shane’s dressing-down of Stephanie, acknowledged that such a move was necessary due to the perceived downward spiral that WWE has been on for a while. It walked the line between the on-screen world of WWE and the real-life issues that most fans are at least somewhat aware of, and did it very well.