Tonight’s episode of WWE RAW, emanating from Chicago, the home of CM Punk, promises to be one for the ages, thanks in no small part to the emerging “Hijack RAW” movement which is generating more than its fair share of controversy this afternoon.
Seemingly organized behind the Twitter handle @chicagoRAWcrowd, the movement seeks not just a return of CM Punk, but a change in the status quo of WWE, from the treatment of midcarders to the absence of Daniel Bryan in the WWE title scene.
Currently, a battle rages on Twitter and across social media over the nature and even the necessity of such a movement, with fans blasting one another for being “marks” and accusing the movement of being created by WWE itself.
As stated by the movement’s manifesto, the objective of Hijack RAW is four-fold: to “embarrass the brass,” place “Daniel Bryan in the title match,” “prove that CM Punk is a Wrestlemania Main Event level talent,” and to “elevate midcarders.” Overall, the Hijack RAW movement looks to change the course of the Road to Wrestlemania.
Throughout the manifesto, the piece suggests various chants and ways of derailing segments which would hypothetically bring attention to the fact that fans are dissatisfied with the current product.
Yet few of these options are unique to the way that fans have been reacting to WWE’s product of late, anyway. With the exception of trying to get the crowd to turn their backs on Batista (a moment that WWE would surely love for future video packages if it were to happen), many of these chants already happen, often during the very segments which this manifesto suggests they occur. “Yes” “No” and “Daniel Bryan” chants are often started during segments featuring the likes of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. While expletive-laden chants accusing the product of being the “same old” thing are not heard terribly frequently today, even these chants are not unheard of in the world of wrestling.
There is also the matter of the conflicting aims of the movement itself. The movement seemingly seeks to elevate both Daniel Bryan AND CM Punk into the main event of Wrestlemania. While a four-way bout featuring the likes of Batista, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, and CM Punk does sound like an excellent Wrestlemania main event, will the Hijack Raw movement be satisfied with this bout, or will they try to dictate the winner of the bout as well?
Seemingly all signs point to the possibility that this movement is, in fact, WWE supported. Consider the special “considerations” of the Hijack RAW manifesto, in which it asks the crowd to thank a celebrity guest host for his work, a very odd consideration when one considers how poorly received celebrity guest hosts have generally been received by wrestling fans. Asking fans to start a “Thank you Jesse” chant does not seem to be a request coming from someone who wants to change the direction of a wrestling product. It sounds like the sort of consideration an individual would make for someone who is walking into the middle of a designed conflict. This is exactly the sort of thing a member of WWE would write to assure actor Aaron Paul a reasonable, respectful response as he wanders into the middle of a battlefield.
If this movement is in fact a work created by WWE and animated through fan frustrations, then it is a brilliant (in a super-villain-ish sense) use of social media to channel fan rage. By handing out a list of seemingly “pre-approved chants” to be used at appropriate times, Hijack RAW gives WWE creative the opportunity to draft appropriate responses to the crowd for the characters involved, and removes some of the chaotic spontaneity of crowd chants which range from “Randy Savage” to “We Want Divas” to virtually anything in between.
Regardless of the origins of the Hijack RAW movement, one cannot discount the fact that it has added an extra element of interest to tonight’s show and the Road to Wrestlemania as a whole.
If the escalating controversy over the Hijack RAW movement is any indication, tonight’s episode of WWE RAW should be very interesting indeed.
Is the Hijack RAW movement genuine? Has it spurred your interest in tonight’s RAW? Let me know on Twitter, @midcrdmanifesto!