RAW Thoughts

Sheamus 1– I’ve been saying it since last night…I just don’t get where they’re going with Sheamus as champ. I honestly get that they are going to use him as an transitional champ in order to better get over Reigns, but with so many top performers out with injuries right now this was the perfect opportunity to do something different and go in a new direction. Whether it was Reigns as a heel, Ambrose as a heel, or even something like Owens as the screwed-over tweener.

The problem is that they turned an impressive Sheamus return (with a new look) into a joke run with the Money in the Bank briefcase and a silly tag team with King Barrett. He went from dancing like a fool with The New Day to suddenly being The Authority‘s face of the company. Sorry…we’ve already had Sheamus as WWE champion before and it didn’t work. It’s already stale and it just started.

So my problem isn’t with Sheamus winning or with Reigns losing…it’s the whole lack of creativity behind the booking decisions at a time in the company when risks can be taken. If the risks don’t work, then change it all up at Royal Rumble and hit the ground running en route to WrestleMania.

Roman Reigns 2Instead, we’ve got a played out story with WWE forcing Roman Reigns down our throat as the “picked on babyface” that people are supposed to cheer. This attempt to force the WWE Universe to cheer for a babyface has been played out and the booing will continue in the foreseeable future. It’s not Reigns’ fault because he’s miles better than he was even a year ago…it’s the fault of WWE Creative and, ultimately, Vince himself.

Wyatt Family 3– I’m glad that the Wyatt Family got back on a winning track last night. After this latest losing feud, the Wyatt’s need to go on a winning streak that dominates the majority of the roster. At this point, they’re all talk and no action…and Bray Wyatt is way too good of a performer to be the perennial loser. And hell…Luke Harper is too good to be a perennial loser, too. It was nice to see Harper be the one to actually pick-up the clean pinfall victory. I don’t know if WWE really has anything firm planned for the Wyatt’s over the coming months, but I like this faction and the idea that they will kill everybody they’re in the ring with.

Sasha Banks 1– They FINALLY have Sasha Banks wrestle live on RAW, giving the people what they want. I’ve said it before…when she walks to the ring with Team B.A.D. there is simply no comparison in terms of overall star quality and charisma. It “Banks & the other two”. Her win last night was “classic heel” and I loved it.

Paige 1– It’s so weird to see Paige act full-on heel and still get cheered. It’s the same as the Bellas acting heel and still getting cheered. It’s also weird to see the WWE Universe boo Charlotte and Becky Lynch when they’ve been set-up to be the babyfaces of the entire Divas division. Well…again, it’s WWE Creative’s fault and not the performers. I mean, the entire division has been a joke for years now and the increase of women who can actually wrestle hasn’t seemed to help WWE come up with writing that does what it’s intended to. It’s like the audience is ahead of the writing team, and until WWE writers can catch up to the audiences of 2015, they’re going to continue missing the boat on some great opportunities.

New Day Anniversary– While the end of the segment didn’t quite go over with the Nashville crowd, the “New Day Jamboree” was fantastically entertaining. Honestly…I don’t know how much the New Day has left in the tank in terms of entertainment ideas, but WWE needs to run with them for as long as they possibly can. They are one of the best things going in the entire company and their momentum shouldn’t be stopped any time soon.

– I don’t know what storylines (if any) that WWE has left for Mark Henry as he winds down his career, but I’d like to see him go out with a bit of respect. From what I’ve read, Henry won’t re-up his contract once it expires next year…but wants to stay with the company in a different capacity. I’d like to see him get a retirement match of some sort…just so his lengthy career is properly recognized.

– Having said that, the agent who put together last night’s match between Neville and Henry completely messed up. I mean…ONE GODDAMN KICK to Henry’s head knocked him for a loop to the point where Neville could hit the Red Arrow?? C’mon now…if you’re going to put somebody over like that, at least make it a BIT believable.

Alberto Del Rio 1– I’m still wondering about the health of Zeb Colter. Because again…it’s tough to boo the team of Colter and Del Rio when the guy is moving around in a scooter. Colter can promo all he wants to garner heat, but with the guy (basically) in a wheelchair it’s tough to still want to boo him.

Alberto Del Rio looks incredible, by the way. I don’t think he has looked any better physically and his work inside the ring has been stellar since his return.

Jack Swagger 1– I appreciate that WWE wants to make Jack Swagger look like a legitimate contender…AGAIN…but for Del Rio to back off from a confrontation with Swagger is laughable. I mean c’mon now…Swagger has been a jobber for months and now, all of a sudden, he’s back to being a serious threat to Del Rio’s title? The whole thing works from a storyline perspective, but that’s about it. People aren’t going to buy into it unless they put Swagger on some kind of winning streak.

Paige 2– As much as I love Paige, I wonder if she’s really working as hard as she can to be the best women’s wrestler in the company. Lately, it’s been th e”little things” that have bothered me. For example, at Survivor Series she was put inside of the Figure Four Leglock for a lengthy time and she screamed out like she was dying. Not one minute after that hold was released, she forgot that her leg should have been hurt and didn’t sell it for the remainder of the match. And on more than one occasion (as she did again last night), she was in a submission hold or a headlock and was more concerned about brushing the hair from her face than selling the actual hold. In addition, I heard Paige talking to Charlotte and calling spots throughout the entire match last night. It’s frustrating because I love Paige and have been a fan of hers for years now…but it’s the “little things” that make all the difference in the world, and she’s been slacking a bit lately.

– And count me in as part of the group who thinks that last night’s match between Charlotte and Paige was better than their Survivor Series match. In spite of hearing Paige calling spots, the match itself simply told a better story and was better worked than their initial match-up. I also loved the finish. All around, this was a great match.

Heath Slater 1– I can’t tell you how happy I was to see Heath Slater getting his own segment on WWE’s flagship show. He was entertaining and did exactly what he was supposed to do: get Ryback over as a babyface. But people just don’t care about him. They’ll do his chant, but he has to BEG them for a reaction to get one. And then having him no-sell a chair shot?? Nice spot that got the crowd chanting so I guess Slater accomplished his mission. To me, Slater got more out of this segment than Ryback did…especially considering the dead silence the crowd gave him for his finishing move.

Tyler Breeze & Summer Rae 1– Even though he got a MASSIVE win at Survivor Series, RAW writers still dislike Tyler Breeze and want to make him a jobber out of the gate. C’mon guys…why even bother bringing him up from NXT if you’re not going to do anything to make the WWE Universe care? It’s like you’ve given up on the guy before he’s even had a chance to succeed.

Rusev 1– I really enjoyed the main event last night, too. I mean, anybody who claims that either Rusev or Roman Reigns don’t know how to wrestle simply don’t know what they’re talking about. The match was well planned and well executed. Both men worked their asses off and did a great job. And really, at the end of the day, having Sheamus, Rusev, and King Barrett together as a faction isn’t a terrible idea. While I’m not a huge fan of the direction they’re taking, I suppose it could always be worse.


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