We are watching the “go home” show for one of the big four PPV’s in WWE, the Royal Rumble. I’m looking forward to seeing how certain storylines are set-up, because right now the race for the belt is really down to two or three people. Let’s see how they play things out tonight…
I fully realize that WWE is light on babyface stars right now with Randy Orton, John Cena, & Cesaro on the shelf with injuries. But Chris Jericho‘s “routine from the 90’s” is NOT the answer…and neither is his “sport coat with no shirt” look. And now he’s booking matches and making himself the referee?? I mean…what the hell is going on? Why are we just ignoring all common sense in order for this to take place? I’m sorry, but this is LAZY storytelling on behalf of the creative team. Having Rusev vs Roman Reigns with Jericho as the referee with the League of Nations on the outside of the ring is not lazy booking by any stretch, but how we got there was ridiculous. I hate that kind of shit.
I didn’t hate the match, but I hated the whole “Referee Jericho throws everybody out from the ringside area while acting like a fucktard” near the end. It took away from the match and it was completely unnecessary. I mean, why did we need to make this about Jericho? Why did we need comedy during this match? Who allowed Jericho to be a goddamn referee to begin with??? I mean, if Stephanie McMahon later confronted Jericho about hijacking the segment and doing things without The Authority‘s approval, then who the hell gave him a goddamn referee shirt?? Why didn’t they cut the segment if the match wasn’t official?? What the hell is going on here???
The divas match didn’t do much but re-introduce Natalya (who was made to look really strong by quickly submitting Brie Bella) and show the world just how incredibly hot Paige is. I’m not a big fan of re-hashing months-old storylines from Total Divas and introducing them to the WWE Universe as if it were something new just because it’s being broadcast on the show now. I just don’t like the tie-in…I don’t believe that the show helps the “Divas Revolution” in any way.
The match between the Wyatt Family and the Dudley Boyz & Ryback was about as boring as you would expect it to be. I mean, on one hand I absolutely appreciate the fact that WWE is trying to push a feud for more than just one or two episodes. The problem, though, is that they go backwards instead of forwards when they have a normal 6-man tag match after already having no-DQ matches. The crowd was bored and it dragged the excitement down tremendously. Again…I don’t mind the feud itself, but if you reach a pinnacle then it makes no sense to go back to the well one more time, even if you do replace one person.
I have NO idea why Big Show was a babyface this week or why they decided to feed the #SocialOutcasts to him. I mean, this crew seems to be getting over ON THEIR OWN by simply being themselves. I love their shtick and their gimmick of being four unique personalities who don’t get along (but kinda do). Their mic work is tremendously entertaining and that, above all else, should be enough to help get them over with the creative team. Unfortunately, they’re simply a new version of 3MB.
And then I pulled out a little bit of a prediction as the McMahons did a segment where they drew for the # 1 spot in the Royal Rumble…
…and sure enough, that’s exactly where the segment went. The segment was long and boring and full of mistakes as Vince couldn’t open up some of the balls that he took out. The whole thing was stupid. Just name Reigns the first participant for the Rumble (it’s not as if there isn’t any precedent for that) or pull out that first ball with Reigns’ name on it, then let the audience speculate on whether or not it was rigged. Did you really need to do the segment and “prove” that it was rigged? Who did it get over other? Does it show that Vince & Steph are screwing over Reigns? Sure…but so could simply making an announcement and it wouldn’t have been nearly as boring.
I don’t think I need to recap the Becky Lynch match against Tamina, but I will say that I’m constantly impressed by Becky’s promo ability. She’s got real charisma and personality and can relay that with her promos. That is going to take her a LONG way in the company because she’s also got in-ring skills and beauty on top of everything else. And to be fair, Charlotte is also pretty damn good on the mic. Her facial expression after her father accepted a title match on her behalf was perfect.
I was a little baffled to see Kevin Owens sitting at ringside when Dean Ambrose was in a tag team match with Kalisto taking on Alberto Del Rio and…Sheamus. I mean, I get the whole “League of Nations” thing, but where Owens and Ambrose are battling on Sunday in a Last Man Standing match for the Intercontinental championship, I’m just a little surprised that they weren’t put in the ring together in a tag match for a “tease”. It’s classic PPV storyline building. I was hoping for a post-match beat-down of some kind, but it never materialized. I don’t think it really matters, though…Kevin Owens vs Dean Ambrose is probably THE match I want to see other than the Rumble match itself. They’re going to kick the living shit out of each other and I cannot wait.
The match between Jey Uso and Big E was about what you’d expect from them. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t anything spectacular, either. Thankfully, we had Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods on the outside keeping us all entertained. I appreciate the fact that the babyface team is going up against the heel trio, but I still don’t know if the Usos should be in the title picture prior to WrestleMania. I don’t know who else would challenge for the titles at Mania, but I just don’t think the Usos vs New Day is a WrestleMania match in 2016.
The 8-man “main event” was a joke. I only cared about Neville and Tyler Breeze…everybody else was just filler for me. I can’t believe that this is what they booked to keep viewers before the final segment.
I used to be a huge Chris Jericho mark…I really was. But now, it’s just lame and old and tired and I wish they’d find a way to better utilize younger, newer talent instead of relying on a star of over a decade ago whose best years are far behind him.
It was weird because Jericho was trying to be the “insult-throwing babyface” when Paul Heyman made his way to the ring. But the last time I checked, Brock Lesnar and Heyman were babyfaces (or at the very least “Austin-esque” without taking sides). And the longer the segment went, the more Heyman came off like a babyface and Jericho came off like an out-of-touch heel.
The brawl at the end of the show was awesome, though. Reigns vs Lesnar. The League of Nations getting involved and getting destroyed because Lesnar was taking on everybody. Reigns ended up giving Lesnar TWO spears. The Wyatt Family got involved and Bray Wyatt hit Sister Abigail on Reigns. Then you had Lesnar get a beatdown from the Wyatts before HE received a Sister Abigail. So now you have Bray Wyatt becoming a last-minute legit contender to win the entire thing on Sunday. He defied the Authority and left ringside during last week’s beatdown of Roman Reigns and took out everybody tonight to end the night the last ones standing.
It was a great ending to add speculation and interest to an already interesting PPV.
But these are just my thoughts. What did YOU think of RAW this week? Sound off in the comments below or hit me up on social media…
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