RAW Thoughts

After two pretty solid weeks in a row, how would RAW stack up with a live event taking place in Richmond, VA? Would there be enough star power to carry the show? I guess we’ll find out…

Edge & Christian– It’s awesome to see Edge & Christian back in a WWE ring together again. I like how the commentators are telling us they’re “childhood friends”. I mean, they ARE…but when did WWE drop the whole “brothers” thing? It was refreshing, though, to have two guys who could truly work the mic work off of each other like that. It didn’t come across as being 100% scripted and people reacted to it. If only WWE could find people like that again…

Lesnar &  Heyman– Watching Brock Lesnar interact with Paul Heyman is absolute genius. It’s the little things that go a very long way to make things look as realistic as possible. They can ensure that Lesnar doesn’t look like he’s scared while still making John Cena look like he chased Lesnar away. It’s a whole intricate cat and mouse game that needs to be given its due.

Ziggler vs Rusev– I love the Rusev gimmick. I gotta be honest…I wasn’t sold on Rusev when I first saw him do his pre-ring ritual in NXT. I thought he was some kind of sumo wrestler mixed with MMA ability with zero direction or personality. Bring in Lana and give him a Russian background and, all of a sudden, you’ve got an incredibly hot gimmick and a potential main event player. This guy is learning by leaps and bounds.

– And as if he needed any more kudos, Dolph Ziggler does such an incredible job that I don’t see how he can’t be viewed as the MVP of 2014. He makes EVERYBODY he’s in the ring with look better. He’s like a combination of Curt Hennig and Ric Flair. He’s simply the best seller I’ve seen in well over a decade and his comebacks are realistic and have people popping for him.

Rusev v Ziggler

– Having said all that, it was a pretty lame finish to the match. But really…what else could they do than continue to build on Ryback’s momentum?

– #SteroidGuy #ImADumbFuck

Ryback– I gotta say…kudos (again) to WWE for trying to actually give Ryback some kind of reason for people to cheer for him. I mean, while he’s been getting pops with the “Feed Me More” chants and for when he attacks Rusev, there was still a big “Why in the heck should I cheer for this asshole?” thought process going through the live crowds. So finally…after three years…he gave a “heart-felt” promo that was meant to build him up as a genuine babyface that people can believe in. While I still think he’s a talentless fucktard, you HAVE to give WWE credit for at least TRYING to put him over. And giving credit where it’s due, Ryback delivered a pretty decent promo.

ugh– I don’t care about these Total Diva matches. I don’t care about the Bellas, I don’t care about Natalya. I don’t care about the “issues” going on with Tyson Kidd and Natalya and Nikki. It’s all Total Bullshit and I flip around the channels whenever they’re on. Now the NXT Divas? That’s a whole other story…

Miz & Naomi– On the other hand, I was actually intrigued with the whole Miz / Uso / Naomi storyline. It didn’t really seem forced (even if the acting had been atrocious). I actually WANTED to see what happened next. Of course, we were told after the match that the Uso clan were playing Miz all along, so there won’t be any payoff at all. Another missed opportunity.

USO CRAZY– I’ll fully admit that I popped for the false finishes in the tag team title match. What’s more incredible is that Miz actually wrestled the whole match against the Usos on his own. I know it was all part of the storyline, but I gotta give credit where it’s due. And honestly, I didn’t think the Usos were going to win the titles last night. I thought that Miz & Mizdow were going to move onto another team, so I popped for the title switch, too.

Cesaro– I can’t tell you just how awesome it was to see Cesaro given a minute or so of promo time. Will it result in anything? Doubtful…and that’s a shame. I almost think they’re trying to show Cesaro as a “Stone Cold” type of wrestler with no entrance, no elaborate ring gear, and just black tights with a black t-shirt. He wants to go in there and kick ass. Of course, as he mentioned, “decision makers” don’t think he connects with audiences. Giving him a microphone will certainly help.

BNB– So is Bad News Barrett back as a babyface?? I can’t lie…that’s a pretty awesome. I mean, he’s one of those guys who has been so entertaining that you WANT to cheer for him. They could have easily brought him back as a heel, but giving him a face run is certainly a no-risk gamble for WWE. Give it a shot…what have they got to lose?

– All in all, it was a pretty good match considering the limited time both men had.

King of Swing

Sweet Dreams– It was nice to see Luke Harper deliver a promo, albeit a short pre-taped one. They need to give him more personality now that he’s no longer a member of the Wyatt Family. He needs his own personality…and the promo helped move that right along. I mean, his intro music and “eyes only” back-drop is fantastically entertaining (as are all of the cellphone lights that continue to be lit with his entrance), so it’s good to have a promo to go along with it to make a total package.

Harper v Swagger– So is Zeb Colter still injured somehow? Or is Colter just “gone” now? I mean…does that mean that Jack Swagger is officially back to being a jobber again? With Zeb along, it was always a toss-up…but with him gone, I guess it’s a done deal now. Don’t get me wrong, I think Swagger is a good hand and totally capable in the ring. But let’s face it…some people have “it”, some people don’t. And some people don’t fucking bitch and moan about it like Zack Ryder…hence they get more opportunities.

Rollins v Reigns– I was a little surprised that WWE was giving away Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns on RAW for free. I was even more surprised that it wasn’t placed in the main event slot. Of course, once I saw the match play out I realized why it wasn’t the main event. I fully realize that both Rollins and Reigns are capable of a better back-and-forth match (especially Reigns), so I’ll blame whomever was the agent backstage. The post-match “possible injury angle” was well done, too. Reigns knows how to sell, so that should bode well for him down the road.

Big Show kills commentary– The whole “Big Show heel turn excuse” is ridiculous and to hear him whine about it on commentary didn’t help the lame-ass reason get over with me. His incessant ramblings during the match actually put him over as a heel with me, though. Guest commentary kills matches. Period.

YES– Okay…I popped for Daniel Bryan‘s announcement. I’ve never given Bryan props for his promo skills, but he actually had me for a second there…thinking he was going to retire after initially believing it was a swerve. That, my friends, is why I love wrestling. He actually had me…then when he told the world that he’d be a participant in the 2015 Royal Rumble, I popped along with the crowd. Well done, Daniel Bryan…well done.

 – The Ascension finally debuted. Meh.

Ascension

Cutting Edge Peep Show– I realize that they only had half of the roster with them tonight, but to push a dragged-out talking segment to end the evening was a little much. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about trying to get Seth Rollins over as a main eventer and he needs to talk on the mic as much as possible in order to make that happen.

C'mon John!

– I saw an excellent tweet this morning by Matt Hardy, pointing out a glaring error in WWE’s continuity:

– So yeah…Cena could have stopped Rollins anyway and, apparently, WWE management/medical staff had no problem with attempted paralysis on a non-performer. Excellent points, Mr. Hardy.

The Authority– I won’t lie, though…I’m not upset that The Authority is back in power. Sure, it happened a LOT sooner than I expected and using Edge as a way to do it was a little odd and “out there”, but I don’t have a problem with it. Seeing Rollins and Big Show as part of a faction isn’t bad, either.

Overall, it was an okay show. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great, either. They made up for a lack of stars by having a couple of really long matches and a couple of debuts. Throw in a title change and The Authority coming back into power, and those things made-up for the lack of overall star power.

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