There are several possible reasons why star basketball player LeBron James left Miami for Cleveland.
I kind of think it’s because he found out the Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar was coming back to Miami.
Paul Heyman introduced his client, the former WWE and UFC champion at the close of “Monday Night Raw” at the AmericanAirlines Arena, home of the three-time champion Miami Heat.
Lesnar hasn’t been seen since ending the WrestleMania undefeated streak of The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX in April in New Orleans.
The AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami was the same place he made his return to the company the night after WrestleMania 28 in 2012. There is no better orator in the sports entertainment business today than Heyman with his South Florida appearance being a prime example.
The official announcement was made on Raw in Miami as the powerhouse Lesnar will headline the WWE SummerSlam pay-per-view against WWE World champ John Cena on Aug. 17 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately the leader of the CeNation didn’t appear in Miami, but that didn’t stop Lesnar and Heyman from firing the first shot and challenge for the title.
It’s easy to see the pieces for the “Biggest Party of the Summer” melding at Raw and the Battleground pay-per-view the night before in Tampa.
Dean Ambrose versus Seth Rollins is the best feud going today. I think the best thing to happen to Ambrose was the breakup of The Shield, as he has been on fire ever since. After cameras stopped rolling the two rivals stood on opposite sides in a tag match with Roman Reigns and Kane as their respective partners. Their Battleground match never happened, leaving the door open for the first official encounter occurring at SummerSlam. If that’s the case, consider the show stolen.
Speaking of stolen shows, Dolph Ziggler had a great match besting the new Intercontinental champion The Miz, who won the title at Battleground. It’s nice to see Ziggler get a win for once, even in a non-title match. Although no matter if he comes up short, he consistently delivers bell-to-bell. It’s the reason why fans continue to support him.
I think the audience also stands behind Damien Sandow, even though he enjoys getting a rise out of the crowd. Miami wasn’t any different as he got “heat” by appearing in LeBron’s Heat jersey. He X’d out Miami and wrote Cleveland on it. Sandow wrestled the ‘inspiring’ Bo Dallas, and with Sandow mocking Heat fans, and Dallas being Dallas, Bo-Lieve you me, it was easy booing both. In Indianapolis on Raw, Sandow wore an Lance Stephenson Indiana Pacers jersey and made some belittling comments about the Pacers and their fans. Sandow is someone who takes what is given to him and runs with it.
I’m happy they finally pulled the trigger on Paige’s heel turn during Raw. She immediately looks comfortable in her role, angry at AJ Lee for taking the diva’s title from her. The popular female athletes met at Battleground, but the latest developments on Raw hints to another championship defense for Lee in the future.
On the subject of divas, you have to applaud the efforts of Brie Bella and Stephanie McMahon the last few months. This program has been the most developed storyline directly involving two women in a long time. One of the biggest reactions of the night happened when McMahon left in handcuffs after slapping Brie in the face while Brie stood as a fan in the audience. At least the WWE executive got to introduce platinum recording artist Flo Rida, who performed a medley of hits, before she was arrested.
The divas are doing a tremendous job with Lana being another standout. Her controversial statements on Battleground created a mainstream uproar. No matter what side of the fence you are when it comes to her role as a pro-Vladimir Putin character, Lana is hitting it out of the park.
It’s nice to see young talent like Reigns and Cesaro evolve in the last year. The incoming talent from NXT, WWE’s developmental system, has been doing a tremendous job. Xavier Woods took his next step on Raw joining with Big E and Kofi Kingston. Could we be seeing another Nation of Domination? Adam Rose is gaining a following with his Exotic Express and catchy party theme. Then you have Bo Dallas, who fans seem to “Bo-Lieve” more and more in every week.
Bray Wyatt’s entrance needs to be felt live and in person at least one time, if you are a fan. I liken it to the feeling you get when The Undertaker emerges from the shadows. Wyatt elicits fans to pull out their phones to light his way to the ring. It’s a truly visceral experience. The next few weeks heading into SummerSlam should prove to be compelling television.
Scott’s Raw Rebound
Ata Johnson, The Rock's mom, and other family members were in attendance to watch the show.
Chris Jericho wasn't on Raw but did appear in a pre-tape with Wyatt. Jericho is busy with his other night job, promoting the release of Fozzy’s new release “Do You Wanna Start A War.”
One South Florida fan made a sign “LeBron is a diva.” Another help up a sign for Lesnar’s return that read “Beast For Business.”
Fans in Miami who signed up for the WWE Network at the show got to select a WWE shirt. I think offering an incentive is great but at least allow others who already subscribed the same offer.
WWE in Florida
WWE returns to Florida in February
A WWE house show will be Saturday, Feb. 14 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Monday Night Raw will be Feb. 16 at the Amway Center in Orlando. More TBA.• Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN.