RAW Thoughts

The promised landAs we come off an event-filled SummerSlam, the rumours are swirling around that big things are in store for tonight. So we’re back at the Barkley Center in Brooklyn, NY for Night #3 of WWE. I have a feeling I know how things are going to kick off tonight…

– We’re shown Triple H talking to new two-title champion Seth Rollins at the WWE Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Triple H tells Rollins that he is no longer “the future of WWE”, he is THE MAN in WWE. He then promises to reveal his own statue later tonight, to which Rollins dishes out a massive hug and we get set to start the show.

– 24 hours later and Paul Heyman isn’t happy about what happened last night. At all…

“The Beast” Brock Lesnar (along with his advocate Heyman) makes his way to the ring and is NOT in a good mood. Brock Lesnar

Heyman can’t believe that Undertaker tapped out for the first time in his career, yet the history books will record Lesnar being the loser of that match.

As a result of all this, Heyman challenges Undertaker on behalf of Lesnar to one more match to take place tonight…NOT at WrestleMania. As he’s waiting for Taker to come out and respond, instead comes Bo Dallas. He got on the mic and set himself up to get killed by insulting Lesnar as only he can.

Dallas received four incredible German suplexes before Lesnar walked away and up the ramp to the back. Heyman stopped him at the top of the ramp and told him that five suplexes would be better. Brock kills Bo 2

Lesnar began walking back up the ramp again when Heyman stopped him, again, to ask Lesnar to give him “one more for him”. Lesnar went back and gave a dead Dallas an F5 to end the segment.

#SuplexCity

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New Day, New Day– Next up are the Lucha Dragons as they take on the NEW tag team champions, NEW DAY (with the Prime Time Players on commentary again…for whatever reason). I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am to see New Day being tag team champs again. They really are fantastically entertaining…especially when Xavier Woods came out playing the trombone to “New York, New York“, while all three of them sang a horrible re-written version of the song. Just hilariously entertaining. LOVE these guys.

The match itself was just okay, but the highlight for me was when Xavier actually played “TAPS” just as Kofi & Big E set up Kalisto for their finisher. They were celebrating their win a little bit when all of a sudden…

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!?!?!?!

The Dudley Boyz storm the ring and begin decimating the tag champs. The crowd was going APE-SHIT for this!! All of the signature spots were hit including the “Wazzup”…

…and the 3D through a table.

I mean, it was surreal to watch it all take place. Wow. I don’t know what the plans are for the Dudleyz, but they are HOME where they belong. This is going to be a GREAT way for them to end their careers. Congrats, boyz!! The Dudley Boyz

– We’re treated to a sneak peak of the new Seth Rollins statue with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon backstage. Rollins comes into the room (but not before they cover up the statue) and then everybody proceeds to blow each other.

SummerSlam rematch

Roman Reigns makes his way to the ring as we prepare for a SummerSlam rematch. I’m a bit confused as I got the feeling that this feud was over after the decisive win, but I guess not. Dean Ambrose comes out next, followed quickly by the Wyatt Family…much to the delight of their fireflies.

Fireflies are out in Brooklyn. #WWE #raw #brooklyn #pwinsider #prowrestling

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Reigns vs WyattThe match itself was pretty darn good. Two things I noticed: (1) Luke Harper always seems to find new ways to impress in his matches, and (2) Bray Wyatt is a lot faster than any man his size deserves to be. The crowd was hot for this match and it’s clear that Reigns is getting more cheers than boos these days. He’s working his ass off and is doing whatever he can to put on a good match every time he’s inside the ring.

Just as it looked like the babyfaces were going to win, the lights went out and when they came back on, an extremely large man was standing on the ring apron while Wyatt just laughed.

Adam Scherr (aka Braun Stowman)The new Family member is NXT wrestler Braun Stowman. He’s a 6’8″, 385lb former ASC pro strongman competitor who has been at the NXT Performance Center since May 2013. The man is an extremely impressive physical speciman, but I really wonder if he’s ready for the main stage. We’re in an era where these jacked-up monsters don’t spark the crowd like they used to. They want to see guys like Harper…big men who can work their asses off. This guy no-sold two main event players and destroyed them both on his own. I’m not entirely sure the boos he heard were the kind he wanted to get.

Wyatt Family

– It’s now time for Miz TV. His guests were Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch. They were bragging about themselves when out came Team Bella, who continued the trend to brag about themselves, too. A small “We want Sasha” chant went out.

Everybody had a microphone and the segment died the quickest death you can possibly imagine. Miz then insulted the women’s wrestling ability…

…and the Bellas attacked PCB. I mean…ugh. THIS is how you kill the momentum that the Divas division has built up lately. And again, only louder, a “We want Sasha” chant went out.

Don’t let my review of this segment come off like just some “negative internet dude” speak. If you have two minutes of your life that you never want back again, watch the last part of the segment for yourself and come to your own conclusion (but note that they left out the worst part…the FIRST two minutes).

Vince…stop trying to manipulate the crowd. Give them what they want. They DON’T want the Bellas (it’s X-Pac “go away” heat at this point) and they DON’T want catty mic work where the girls insult each other. They want competitive matches that make the male wrestlers wish they could do the same. The writers for this segment were simply terrible. And really, there’s only one person to blame for the difference in the product we see in NXT and on RAW. FFS…

StraightOuttaCompton(2)Botched double dropkick– Now we get Team PCB taking on Team Bella in a 6-woman tag team match. I gotta be honest…this match had very little crowd heat. Y’know why? Because the whole thing was tanked by the Miz segment/comments and nobody gives two shits about Team Bella. The match itself was more about trying to hit spots than trying to wrestle, which is what Team PCB does best.

The match just didn’t work. The crowd ended up doing the wave just to keep themselves entertained…as it was followed by a loud “boring” chant. 

Thanks to some incompetent refereeing, Team Bella won the match and proceeded to NO-SELL EVERYTHING THAT JUST HAPPENED IN THE MATCH while celebrating their win and posing for the cameras. They were as fresh as a daisy as if they just finished a workout at the gym. Ridiculous.

And later in the evening, Paige tweeted out her massive disdain for the reaction the Divas got during their multiple segments (and as anticipated, the tweet was later deleted):

Paige is pissedPaige really shouldn’t throw blame to the crowd, though they were a little harsh. The segments were bad, the scripted dialogue was bad, the match was bad…everything stunk and the writers really are the ones to blame. 100%.

King Barrett and Stardust are ready to take on another tag team when Stardust attacked Barrett.

Out came Neville to…I dunno…save Barrett or just attack Stardust? I don’t know, but the segment was over almost before it began.

Does this make Barrett a babyface now? The announcers dropped it as quickly as they could to move on to…

Jon Stewart– …Jon Stewart screwed over John Cena at SummerSlam. In a very intriguing segment, Stewart is ready to come out and address the crowd on why he did it. My question is…does Stewart truly love wrestling THIS MUCH?? Or is he doing it because his kids love it?? Or is WWE just paying him that much?? I’d like to hope that Stewart just loves wrestling, because that then makes him even MORE awesome in my book.

Stewart came out to a “Thank you, Stewart” chant. He went on to say that he didn’t screw Cena to help Seth Rollins or The Authority, it was to prevent John Cena from ever tying or eclipsing the 16-time World champion Ric Flair.

“The Nature Boy” then made his way to the ring while Stewart over-played his excitement at seeing him (foreshadowing, perhaps?).

Flair proceeded to tell Stewart (and the crowd) that he was rooting for Cena because, at the end of the day, he respects Cena and wanted to see his record broken by somebody he respected.

The crowd did NOT like Cena…at all. Cena was not happy with Stewart…at all.

As expected, the segment ended with a bump. And MAD PROPS go out to Jon Stewart for taking a big-time bump…

The #WWE medical staff continues to attend to #JonStewart backstage at #RAW!

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8-man tag match– Now it’s time for the main event match of the night. And I’m a little curious…Dolph Ziggler has a new look (darker hair & long tights) and Lana is now wearing a jean skirt. It’s just…odd. They look like a heel tandem, not a babyface team. Very strange. Dolph & Lana

StaredownThe first five + minutes of the match saw the heels decimate Ziggler. It was strange, because the crowd (for the most part) was sitting on their hands. Both Big Show and Sheamus were trying their best to get the crowd into it, but were met with a tepid response. It should say a lot when you’re “main event heels” can’t elicit a response from the fans.

At one point, Summer Rae got involved but that just pissed off Lana…which FINALLY popped the crowd.

This gave Ziggler the incentive he needed to tag crowd favourite Cesaro (do you hear that, Vince??).

Big Show accidentally KOs SheamusRyback came in to his own tepid response. The ONLY reaction he gets is the “Feed Me More” chant. Other than that, the crowds are quiet. Thankfully, Randy Orton tagged in and got the crowd going again. It’s crazy that Orton is so over right now, but he is. The end came when Big Show accidentally punched Sheamus, leading to an RKO outta nowhere.

Big Show defends mistakeAt this point, Kevin Owens and Rusev were pissed at Show for messing up the end of the match. Show got frustrated and shoved down Owens, which led to both men beating down Show before walking out in disgust.

Now get this…

Nasty babyfacesShow is struggling to get to his feet after being attacked by two heels. Does he get a sympathetic reaction? Hard to say, because ALL FOUR BABYFACES then decided to JUMP HIM UNPROVOKED!!! Sure, they delivered a pretty cool spot to Show with an assisted RKO, but really…what in the hell?? To me, this was a gang of thugs beating up a guy who was already beaten. If this was the Wyatt Family or New Day, the announcers would have been all over them whining and crying about how this wasn’t necessary or about how wrong this was. Who booked this crap??

Assisted RKO

Bray Wyatt officially introduced the world to the newest Family member…

– Backstage, Triple H and Stephanie had John Cena escorted out of the building so he wouldn’t mess up their next segment in one of the most ridiculously fake “security escorting out somebody” segments I’ve ever seen. Seriously…I’ve seen Cena destroy tag teams on his own, so all of a sudden he can’t handle two no-name security guards? Ugh…

– After singing “Happy Birthday” to Vince McMahon (who didn’t come out from behind the curtain), The Authority proceeded to praise the hell out of Seth Rollins, who then made his grand entrance. Seth Rollins

Rollins promoRollins then delivered another money promo about how great he is. Honestly…this guy has come so far along in his promo skills, it’s truly unbelievable. He’s done an incredible job as the new face of the company in 2015.

As Rollins unveiled his statue, inside of the box was…

HOLY SHIT, IT’S STING!!!

Sting proceeded to beat the crap out of Rollins before chasing everybody out of the ring and ending the show by holding the WWE title high up over his head.

Sting

Michael Cole then said that exclusively on the WWE Network once RAW goes off the air, they will have an exclusive interview with Triple H about what just happened. Ummm…really? Shouldn’t they have time to at least ASK the guy if he wants to talk about Sting??? What if Triple H was so upset he didn’t want to do the interview? Jesus…more ridiculous writing.

**********

To me, in spite of all the big surprises that took place tonight, the writing of the show made the whole thing really unenjoyable for me. From the Divas to the final drawn-out segment, the writing was just plain bad.  I’m excited about some of the things that happened (welcome back Dudleyz!), but am puzzled over others (Barrett attacked? Big Show attacked? lesnar being fed Bo Dallas?) while just disgusted with others (the entire Miz/Diva segment).

Jesus…really???

I hope WWE realizes it’ll need to rebound a lot over the next week or two. Any ground they picked up from the big weekend in Brooklyn was halted by a really bad RAW.

 

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