Hot on the heels of TLC, how will WWE respond with RAW? I’m hoping for a good show tonight with some new storylines that actually intrigue me. Let’s see how it goes…
I’m beginning to tire of Stephanie McMahon‘s act. It was fun for awhile, but the whole “Boss Bitch” act is stale. She drove me nuts at the end of TLC and she was extremely predictable last night. Roman Reigns did a decent job, but to not stop her from slapping him after three or four slaps was just Stephanie getting her rocks off to “get over”. That doesn’t do anything for Roman but make him look weight. He doesn’t have to fight back or anything…but at least grab her arm and prevent another slap. Damn, son…have some balls and defend yourself, Reigns…she bitch-slapped the shit out of you EIGHT times. Just look at your damn face!!
The Kevin Owens attack on Dean Ambrose was something I don’t remember seeing in awhile. How many times has a defeated heel champ attacked the new champ during a match to make a statement? I don’t remember, but it was perfectly executed by Owens…who continues to display reasons why he deserves to be in the spotlight. He decimated both Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler (admittedly after they had wrestled a great match for 15+ minutes) and stood tall in the end. Those who continue to complain about his booking really don’t see the bigger picture. Owens is a bona fide superstar.
It was awesome to see “Bully Ray” do a backstage promo with the “ECW Originals”. It was a great promo, actually…with all four men getting a pop for making an ECW/Philadelphia reference. But I’m sure most casual WWE fans were shocked to see Bubba Ray Dudley looking like a legit bad-ass in his street clothes, which is something TNA viewers remember well during Dudley’s awesome heel title reign as the company’s champion. I still see potential for a revamped Bubba Ray doing a singles run a la Bradshaw turning into JBL…but I’m sure it won’t happen. I can still dream, though.
I know that I can’t be the only member of the WWE Universe who was praying for Bo Dallas to get a victory last night. I completely BOlieve in Dallas and his gimmick. He is incredibly talented and I still love his gimmick. It’s just a damn shame that Vince thinks so little of him that he’d rather stop the match and go to commercial than let him wrestle on RAW. That, my friends, says all you need to know about his placement in the company.
The Vince McMahon / Roman Reigns / Sheamus segment, as expected, dragged on. Poor Vince looks incredibly old and needs to stop trying to act like a bad-ass (much like his daughter). He can curse and try to intimidate people all he wants, but it’s simply not realistic at this point. The act, much like the act of Stephanie, is old and stale. The ONLY saving grace from the segment was the final part where Vince gave Reigns the ultimatum of either becoming WWE champion or get fired. I was left hoping that WWE would hot-shot the title change in order to (a) create some buzz about the show and (b) show the world that anything can happen on RAW. And let’s face it…Roman Reigns has earned the title after putting up with bullshit for the past year.Will it happen? I don’t know…I’ve come to greatly distrust WWE when it comes to giving the fans what they want lately.
While it may not result in the best matches in the world, I’m happy to see something happening between Neville and The Miz. Neville NEEDS a feud that he can win against somebody with some clout to his name. Like it or not, Miz is one of the most successful superstars of the past decade, so if Neville can win a feud against him then he’s off to the next step en route to a title feud of some kind.
On the flip side of things, I can’t even begin to tell you how disappointed I am at how WWE has completely fucked Tyler Breeze since his call-up from NXT. I’ve seen him win two matches so far and he lost all of the rest. I mean, what the hell is going on? Why did you even bring him up?? Much like Bo Dallas and Adam Rose, WWE seems to have a really difficult time trying to bring up NXT talent in a way that works…so now ALL of them look like jobbers to the WWE Universe. There are exceptions to the rule, obviously (i.e. the Shield, Kevin Owens, Neville), but there seem to be more misses than hits lately…and I do NOT blame the talent.
Here’s a question…why do we need ECW guys to do a match like this? Can’t we have the occasional extreme match with current WWE guys? Don’t get me wrong…this was a fun-ass match that the crowd seemed to really love. But wouldn’t they love this type of match if it were the Wyatt Family taking on the League of Nations or even Roman & Friends? It’s not like we need to have this type of match every week…but why do we need to bring in Rhyno and Tommy Dreamer for this? Somebody responded to my question on this on Twitter with “ratings”…but that’s not the point I’m making. The point is that they don’t do a match like this with anyone on the current roster, then wonder why they can’t seem to make new stars.
Don’t get me wrong…this was a HELLA fun match and I have no complaints about the efforts of all 8 participants. I’d just like to see younger talent get the shine.
I had flashbacks to the day Edge & Christian, the Hardy Boyz, and the Dudley Boyz all met inside the ring to give each other some mutual respect when the New Day did pretty much the same thing with the Uso’s and the Lucha Dragons. I don’t know what WWE Creative thought was going to happen in the end, but the live crowd did NOT appreciate the Usos & the Lucha Dragons attacking New Day for simply bragging about winning. They said that everything they said was legit, yet just because they had some fun afterwards they got attacked…and the crowd responded in kind. The announcers tried to put it over as “they rubbed it in their faces and deserve this”, but at least JBL spoke the truth. THIS is why WWE is out of touch right now…unless they plan on turning both babyface teams heel while turning New Day full-on babyface. Just sloppy writing that could come back to bite them with live crowds down the road.
I like what they’re doing with Ric Flair, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch. My ONLY hope is that this is a slow-burn feud that culminates in a WrestleMania title match. I know a ton of people are wanting to see Charlotte vs Sasha Banks, but there’s no need to rush that match yet on the main roster (just like Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens). In another year or two, that match will be a HUGE draw. As it stands, it’s not quite there. However, watching Lynch & Charlotte going through this friendship angle that results in Lynch defeating Charlotte at Mania for the title is a big-time storyline that can garner a ton of interest as long as they take their time and slow burn it over the next couple of months.
I really wasn’t expecting a title change last night in the main event. I thought that, once the “Roman Reigns has to win or he’s fired” stipulation was in place, that he’d get screwed one more time and have to weasel his way back for the Royal Rumble. But low and behold, he FINALLY won the WWE title by defeating Sheamus. Was it “hot-shot booking”? Sure, but it was the right decision to make. On top of that, the match itself was booked PERFECTLY. With Vince McMahon himself trying to screw Reigns out of the title, it helped to FINALLY turn the crowd into Roman’s favour.
I think I said it best on Twitter last night…
After months and months of WWE ASSUMING that they could book Reigns to be a sympathetic underdog, last night they ACTUALLY booked him as a sympathetic underdog and made it believable. Because of that, the crowd was ready for him to finally overcome the odds and win it all.
He might get booed on future events as champion, but damn…he EARNED this WWE title win. I’ll cheer him out of respect alone. Fuck the haters.
And I’ll also say that this was a really good episode of RAW. Will we get this every week going forward? No…probably not. But hell…let’s take what we can get.
But what are YOUR thoughts? Sound off in a comment below or via social media and let me know!