Shortly before the show, WWE advertised a WWE Championship rematch between new titleholder Bobby Lashley and The Miz. To add further anticipation (which they could have done by just advertising the match days in advance), they noted it would be the first match of the show.
After a 10-minute long promo from The Miz to begin the show that laid out some good heel tactics even if the promo should have been shortened, Lashley made his entrance, and goodness, what an entrance it was.
Lashley’s new entrance on WWE Raw showed that WWE is fully aboard the Lashley bandwagon and views him as big business (as they should).
If you haven’t seen it yet, just watch this marvelous entrance:
The entrance seems to be receiving an overwhelming amount of praise as well. I lauded the entrance in my report for PWTorch.
WWE is generally praised for its video and graphic work, and this is no exception. The attention to detail here is praiseworthy: everything was tinged in gold (and some black), not only representing the colors of The Hurt Business but exhibiting an aura of success.
It holds true with Lashley’s line from a few weeks ago along the lines of time is money and if you’re wasting his time, you’re wasting his money.
Sure, the lightning bolts were a bit reminiscent of The Undertaker (although, again, it was gold lightning), but the feeling of those bolts hitting was much different. Whereas The Undertaker’s lightning usually imposes a mystique of trepidation, Lashley’s bolts signified an aura of, again, success.
Now, that feeling of success wouldn’t have necessarily been there had they not immediately followed the bolts with the gold lighting, dichotomous to The Undertaker’s eerie black and purple lighting.
Here’s the biggest indication that Lashley is seen as a bonafide, big business WWE Champion by higher-ups: he received the rare full-screen Tron package during his entrance. Very few acts receive this or some facsimile of this (like D-X’s entrance), so for Lashley to receive this one week after winning the title speaks volumes.
After all, Drew McIntyre never received such a dignified, extravagant (yes, things can be both) entrance as WWE Champion for most of the last year, right? He had his sword, he had his pyro, but he didn’t have this.
The gold bolts throughout the video helped reiterate two points: one, Lashley’s offense has a lot of impacts; and two, Lashley himself is as beautifully destructive as lightning.
The 3-D graphic of him posing with the words “ALL MIGHTY” above him after the video really, again, just put over the dominance and legitimacy of Lashley as WWE Champion.
It didn’t hurt to also have Mike Rome introduce him as, “The ‘All Mighty’ WWE Champion.”
Of course, Lashley defeated The Miz pretty easily (even though it took much longer than last week). The match showed Lashley’s intelligence as well as he had an answer for every move and tactic attempted by The Miz.
Further, after rushing the corner and hitting the post earlier in the match, Lashley later caught himself to prevent doing the exact same thing and eventually applied The Hurt Lock.
He isn’t just intelligent in the micro sense of a match, though. Only an intelligent (and shrewd) (business)man would work his way into a WWE Championship match against the least imposing and least skilled foe. That takes some foresight.
I’ve been a fan of Lashley since he first debuted on Smackdown with his opening feud against Simon Dean and the “Simon System.” He’s definitely come a long way in those 16 years as he discussed earlier in the night.
He’s always looked like a WWE Champion, but now he also feels like a WWE Champion; he just looks so natural with the title around his waist, on his shoulder, or raised in his hand(s). He carries himself with the confidence of a WWE Champion, so it’s only fitting.
Last night’s revamped entrance was one immensely effective step in telling fans the new WWE Champion, Bobby Lashley, doesn’t just mean business but IS business.
Here’s to a long reign for only the third Black WWE Champion, all of whom won the title during my nearly 33 short years (and to a three-month build to a match against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam for the WWE Championship, with Lashley retaining).