Monday Night RAM Resurrected?

This is Bonzai Sheamus Giamatti checking in. With a lot of us predicting the brand split would be a failure, it’s a pleasant surprise that RAM has been rather good (for the sake of this e-mail, I will ignore SD, whose roster is 2004-levels of staleness and greenness). First off, RAM cleared out its two long-running main eventers (Cena and Orton) and a lot of driftwood (Bray, Dolph, Miz, plus all the releases from a few months ago) and in their place are pushing the hell out of Seth, Finn, KO, Rusev, Cesaro, and Enzo/Cass (with Sami bound to bubble up again at some point). Roman has been shunted down the card (more on that in a sec), HHH is off TV and Steph has surprisingly been invisible, probably less than 10 minutes of RAM time since the split. The roster feels like it’s injected with fresh feuds and pushes that it’s OK when a show like this past Monday is just "alright". And the show is emphasizing fan favorites; it’s refreshing to see a show not anchored by the dreaded "controversial superstars" and Evil Authority Figures.

Then there’s the presentation sprucing which has really impressed. After years of the show stagnating in this department, it’s been infused with a lot of nice changes. Cole/Graves/Saxton has been a very solid team, focusing on the action in the ring over putting themselves over or shilling what Vince is screaming about. They’re pulling a lot of 90s-era tropes back in play: vignettes, post-match in-ring interviews, jobber interviews(!) pre-squash, opening with "Last Week on…" recaps, pre-taped packages, and so forth. All of a sudden, it FEELS like a newer product because it’s not the same exact formula theyve been running for so long. Also a shout-out to the cool panning Steadicam where the announcers used to be, which is worlds better than everything seen through Dunn’s handheld camera monkeys.

Heck, RAM is even booking Roman Reigns well. A Rusev feud is a perfect way to try to salvage him: lower stakes, better opponent (Roman’s more suited for power matches than trying to chain wrestle AJ Styles), easy USA vs Foreign Heel rub. He’ll never be fully embraced as is, but he’s getting the best reactions all year and at least sliding back into Cena "mixed reaction" territory.

I know a lot of us are bracing for the show to inevitably slide back into its moldy formula, but I am honestly impressed with the effort they are putting forth into recharging RAM (it helps when you stack the roster that much over poor SD). What say you, or you people in the comment threads below?

​The small amounts of the show that I’ve watched on YouTube for the past couple of weeks seem to be OK. Let’s not declare Mission Accomplished like Luger slamming Yokozuna on the carrier just yet, though. But if y’all are digging it, tremendous. I know it’ll just make it all the more sweet when they push Roman Reigns back to the top again in the fall.​