With Christmas only two days away and a marquee match-up on Monday Night Football, I didn’t have high expectations for RAW this week. How did things turn out?
– Yet another great match between John Cena and Seth Rollins. I’ll give credit where it’s deserved: when Cena wants to work, he can work. Is he incredibly awesome? No…but he’s certainly a very good worker when motivated. There’s something about hangin’ with a future main-event player like Rollins that has lit a spark under Cena’s ass. Was it 5-stars? Of course not, but it was a damn solid match in spite of the “Super Cena” ending. Ugh.
– I don’t understand the pushing of the “New and Improved” Fandango. This version is 100 times worse than the original version. If they only got behind him like this in the beginning and gave him legit wins over more people than just Chris Jericho…maybe the gimmick wouldn’t have died off so much. People WANTED to get behind him, but the WWE machine didn’t. Now we’ve got a ridiculously bad reboot and they keep trying to convince us that it’s “new and improved”. Sorry, WWE…it’s not. Bring back the old Fandango. As silly as he was, it was better than what you’ve got now.
– We FINALLY got the Adam Rose heel turn!! I couldn’t be happier. I’m excited to see what they do with him next.
-How bad is it that I completely forgot to write about the Big Show vs Roman Reigns match until reviewing the photos on WWE.com from last night? I mean…wow. That speaks volumes to me. Of course, it could very well just be me. I like Reigns and think he’s got a great chance to get over and succeed at WrestleMania in being the “next big thing”, but I just had nothing but yawns for this particular match-up. I didn’t care and, I’m guessing, most viewers probably didn’t care, either.
– And listen…if you’re going to have the stars do things inside the ring after the match is over, shouldn’t you ensure your director doesn’t cut away from the action?? I had to hear Michael Cole tell me that Nattie looked upset at Tyson Kidd. Well…shouldn’t I have seen that instead of bad Bella acting? I guess I initially missed it, but Kidd picked up and wore Nikki Bella‘s hat at some point during the match. Thankfully, Twitter let me know that after the fact (must’ve been when I switched over to MNF).
– Who is approving these Ascension promos? They’re almost as bad as the wrestlers are inside the ring. Plus…they look ridiculous.
– Luke Harper is quickly becoming “the total package”. I realize that the match was designed to get over Dolph Ziggler as being the guy who can overcome all the odds, but Harper put on one hell of a wrestling clinic. He’s not a prototypical big-guy heel punch and kick artist. Instead, he’s a complete wrestler and has a fantastic gimmick. He’s going to be a guy WWE relies on for a very long time.
– And Ziggler? I’m absolutely SHOCKED that WWE is getting behind him like they are, even with the old-school “I did it for the fans” post-match interview. Don’t get me wrong…I’m all for it, but I’m just shocked that it’s happening. My fear is that WWE tries to force Ziggler on us in an unnatural way in an attempt to re-make Daniel Bryan‘s big run last year. Ugh…I hope that’s not the case.
– Kudos to WWe to getting ahead of the Ryback backlash by having him get into a feud with the biggest heel in the company, Rusev. I, for one, will be cheering for the Russian over Steroid Guy. I’m already sick of “The Big Guy”, but that’s because he acts like an asshole…whether he’s a babyface or a heel. Unfortunately, the WWE sheep still enjoy chanting “feed me more”…which means that he’s over with (probably) most of the WWE universe. I feel bad for those people. They should really cheer for who they want to cheer for, not who WWE wants them to cheer for.
– Nothing I can say about Damien Mizdow that I haven’t already said over the past few weeks. The match between The Miz & Jay Uso (or was it Jimmy? Does it matter?) was a solid 5-minute mid-card match. Nothing great, but nothing wrong with it. It continues the tag team feud without hurting anybody. It was exactly what it needed to be. I will say this: I am a bit surprised as just HOW over Mizdow is. Will that continue? It’s hard to say…but he should enjoy the ride while he still can.
– You gotta love a 30-minute + main event, especially when it’s a great match between two future mega-stars in Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose. They both took a silly concept match (Miracle on 34th Street Fight?) and provided an entertaining, hard-hitting match. Sure, they sold for empty cardboard boxes and plastic Christmas trees, but they did it in a way that wasn’t too comedic or over-the-top. Don’t kid yourselves…that takes talent. And the match itself, even if you take away the silly gimmick, was really good. I thought they made it about as realistic as they could without bringing blood into the mix. And I’ll be honest…I was REALLY surprised to see Bray Wyatt pick up the pinfall win. The way they set up the finish was brilliant…I just didn’t see it coming until the end (I thought they had forgotten about the kendo stick set up in the corner). Again, this was a finish that ensured neither man was made to look bad as the loss didn’t hurt Ambrose at all.
All in all, it was a great way to finish a very good episode of RAW. With a couple of exceptions, the wrestling was at the forefront and the silliness was left to a minimum. That, to me, made for a show that was definitely better than average..
Oh…and Jerry Lawler had an incredible Christmas sweater last night. How can you NOT love that?