RAW Thoughts

The crew just got back from a very successful European tour and RAW is emanating from Albany, New York tonight. How will WWE continue to set-up their next PPV, Extreme Rules? Let’s find out…

Randy Orton, the new #1 contender, kicks off the show by making his way to the ring. He pushed the boundaries of PG television while delivering a promo describing how he was going to destroy his opponent inside of a steel cage at Extreme Rules.

Seth Rollins then came out and delivered a pretty damn good promo. I mean, let’s face it…Rollins is becoming better and better on the mic on a weekly basis. He’s an absolute joy to watch and the people are hating him, which means he’s doing his job.

Ambrose vs Harper– Once the segment FINALLY ended, “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose came out to battle Luke Harper. On the way to the ring, Harper actually delivered a short promo…which is something that he should do more of. I gotta admit: I’m really looking forward to this match. Ambrose is crazy and Harper is one of the best big men I’ve ever seen in my life…so the match should be great if given enough time. Unfortunately, the match got tossed out before it really got started and both men began battling all over the arena. At this point, I’m REALLY looking forward to their match at Extreme Rules. Great booking here…give the people a taste and leave them wanting more.

– To determine the new #1 contenders to the tag team titles, the super-hot Lucha Dragons are about to take on the lukewarm New Day. #1 tag team contendersKofi vs CaraI gotta be honest…I wasn’t a huge fan of the Lucha Dragons in NXT. I was a fan of Kalisto, but not so much of Sin Cara #2. At this point, though SC2 seems to be clicking and showing a bit more life. Kalisto is proving himself to be everything I read about: a fantastic cruiserweight who has the legitimate potential to be the 2nd coming of Rey Mysterio. The two teams put on a nice little match. Once Kalisto tagged-in and began going off on Kofi Kingston, the crowd was eating it up.

In a surprise finish, Xavier Woods grabbed the legs of SC2 from underneath the ring and prevented him from beating a 10-count…meaning that New Day are meeting Cesaro & Kidd for the WWE tag team championships  at Extreme Rules. Randy Orton then came out and RKO’d 2/3 of the New Day to the cheers of the crowd.

AxelMania– Out came the newly-babyface Fandango, without a chick to hold him down. While now crazy over, there were still a number of people “Fandango-ing” in the crowd. He took on Curtis “AxelMania” Axel and quickly put him away with the Last Dance top-rope leg drop.

Last DanceLet’s talk about Fandango for a second. I’ve been a fan of his for quite some time. The guy can wrestle, looks fantastic, and oozes charisma. He took this lame-ass gimmick and owned it. Now he’s at the point where he’s being given a new opportunity to shine and I really hope it takes off. He’s earned another chance and I think he could be the fun babyface that Adam Rose couldn’t. My only concern is his finishing move. I mean, it looks spectacular and he does it very well…but that’s going to catch up to him some day. Big time.

The following graphic hit the screen:

Oh dear god, yes…let the madness end.

Kane and RollinsTriple H made his way to the ring next. He went on and on about the new season of Tough Enough before Kane made his way down the aisle. He gave Trips his two week notice, saying that he couldn’t handle Rollins. Seth Rollins then came out to start a verbal war with Kane, in which Kane delivered one of the best promos I’ve heard him give. In the end, Trips prevented a war from breaking out and named Kane as the “gatekeeper” to the door at the steel cage match between Rollins and Orton at Extreme Rules. Another interesting turn of events that has me intrigued for the PPV.

Naomi vs Brie Bella– Newly-turned heel Naomi takes on fellow heel Brie Bella next. All of a sudden, Nikki Bella was on commentary telling the world about how she’s a fighting champion and such like a babyface. I mean…why should anybody give two shits about this match-up? Two heels that aren’t over are fighting each other. Yawn.

At one point, Booker T actually said that he thought Naomi may just be the greatest diva of all time. I need some of what Booker T is smokin’ because…what the actual fuck?  Naomi won…setting up a title match. Nobody cares.

Bo DallasRoman Reigns made his way through the crowd and into the ring. He called out Big Show but, instead, BO DALLAS showed up!! He’s grown a goatee during his time off and, being honest, he looks a little goofy. I mean…goofier than normal, anyway. It doesn’t really match his character.

Dallas called Reigns “…the Tim Tebow of the WWE“. Yikes. One Superman Punch and a spear later, and Reigns finished his anti-Big Show promo by saying that “…you can Bo-lieve that!”  Ugh.Reigns spears Dallas

Fuck you RyderSheamus came out next. I don’t care what anybody says, I absolutely LOVE his new look and theme music. I mean, he looks like a new-age viking. The guy has an incredible presence about him now and looks unique and bad-ass. Zack Ryder came out and immediately got a book to the face. Instead of pinning him, though, he grabbed a microphone and continued to beat the snot out of him while doing commentary. This was the most entertaining Sheamus has ever been in WWE.

Dolph Ziggler came out to help Ryder and continue to set-up their “Kiss Me Arse” match at Extreme Rules. Ummm…really?

Cena sucks– It’s now time for the “JOHN CENA SUUUUCKS U.S. TITLE OPEN CHALLENGE”. I love this gimmick, to be honest. It’s giving us all new match-ups and showing people wanting to battle for the U.S. championship. I think this is great, in spite of the fact that it’s John Cena doing it. Regardless, it’s helping to elevate the title. Cena rambled on about how the Russian Chain Match works and how he was going to beat Rusev at the PPV.

Attitude AdjustmentOut came Kane for the open challenge. Kane, obviously, is out to prove that he’s not a corporate guy and still has fire and brimstone and blah blah blah. It was a decent little match where Kane dominated, but Cena whipped out an AA out of nowhere and Kane was immediately pinned.

Then…backstage…

– So now we’re finally getting Miz vs Damien Mizdow (accompanied by Summer Ray) to “the rights to the Miz brand”. I liked this idea more, though…

Damien Mizdow and Summer RayIf Mizdow was smart, he’d just lay down and let Miz pin him. Does he REALLY want that “brand”?  In a separate note, I’ll admit…Summer is lookin’ pretty hot tonight. What I’d like to see is Summer turn on Mizdow and join-up with Miz full-time. There’s a lot of fun that could be had with those two working together.

Turns out, that’s pretty much exactly what happened. Summer raked Mizdow’s eyes, which resulted in Miz pinning Mizdow. Summer turns on Mizdow

Just before Miz could scream his catchphrase into the microphone, though, Randy Orton came back out and gave him an RKO. RKO outta nowhere to Miz

Rosa and Rose#SteroidGuy lumbered his way to the ring to destroy Adam Rose. After he won, the cameras showed the crowd sitting on their hands in apathy. I mean, he can get the crowd to chant “Feed Me More“, but that’s about it. In an interesting turn of events, Rosa Mendes came out to see if Rose was okay. I like this idea…get rid of the dancers and have a valet help him win matches. If it can work for Miz (and it can), then it can work for Rose. WWE needs more valets and managers. And they need to DO something.

Then…backstage…

Ziggler vs Rollins– Now it’s time for the main event with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins taking on Dolph Ziggler.  The match was fine for what it was. I mean…Rollins and Ziggler aren’t going to give you a bad match at all. Sheamus distracted Ziggler long enough for Rollins to hit his new finisher (a front-drop-down DDT type of thing…no more Curb Stomp, kids) and get the pinfall. Rollins' new finisher

– To end the show, Randy Orton somehow ended up inside of a steel cage with Rollins. As promised all night long, Orton delivered an RKO as we faded to black. RKO to Rollins

***

There are definitely some storylines that progressed in a very positive way tonight. It wasn’t a bad episode of RAW by any stretch. Was it a great go-home show? No…not really. A slight thumbs up. The PPV should be interesting.

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5 thoughts on “RAW Thoughts

  1. Great review

    I liked this episode of Raw but mainly cos it was a huge improvement on last weeks in the UK. Can’t believe they’ve banned the curb stomp (I hope they’re just going to use it less and bring it out for PPVs but I very much doubt it).

    Sheamus’ bit with the running commentary was awesome and I totally agree that he’s really running with his new look – great job.

    I’m excited for Extreme Rules but at the same time I know I’ll be disappointed with something along the line.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I gotta be honest…I think WWE has totally dropped the ball after coming off the “high” from WrestleMania (arguably the best beginning-to-end Mania in history). They’re trying a few new things, but are still running with the same ol’ stuff in a lot of cases (Reigns vs Show). Hopefully the boys put on a good show because they need some extra motivation.

      And from what I’ve read, the Curb Stomp is GONE gone. I haven’t read of anybody getting concussed from Rollins using it, but I think it’s a case of “perception is reality” and want to not have it shown on the nightly news 5 years down the road when they’re sued yet again.

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      • It might seem like the same ol’ crap with Reigns v Show but this is the best move to take with Reigns. He obviously is too green for the big push but give him a year or so to scrap it out with big guys then hopefully he’ll get back over with the fans working for the chance to sit at the top instead of being handed it… But I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him main eventing quicker than we should expect.

        If that’s the case then where will the WWE stop… If they carry on at this speed then wrestling will be banned altogether and we’ll just be left with crappy soap opera acting.

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      • My issue with that is I believe Reigns isn’t too green for a big push. The problem has been his booking. He should have been dominant leading up to WrestleMania so he looked like a viable threat to Lesnar. Instead, he was mired in snooze-fest matches with Big Show and Kane that did nothing for him but make him look “normal”. He needs to stop battling the big guys and start having great matches with the top level singles guys who can actually “go” and help make him better. He’s improving by leaps and bounds, so I’ve got no issue with Reigns making the main event sooner rather than later.

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      • I kind of think he is a little bit green in the sense he hasn’t quite found his character yet or what he can truly bring to the ring as an individual performer as I still think he’s riding the waves of The Shield (What with his attire and entrance, etc). I saw a big improvement on his mic skills/character front this Raw though – Came out saying very little and just wanting to fight is what will work best for his character in my opinion. He should just stick to accentuating his positives and not trying to be someone he’s not by reading Vince’s goofy scripts.

        I agree that he needs to be booked in a better more effective way (unfortunately that argument can be made to a lot of guys on the roster) but I do think he still he needs to find himself so to speak. I would really love to see it work for him though as there really is a lot of potential there –

        WWE just needs to handle it better than they have.

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