Raw this week came live from Birmingham Alabama. There was plenty to look forward to on this weeks episode; more AJ Styles, Brock Lesnar, New Day, the continuation of the first Divas feud in years to actually have a storyline and more teases for a (hopefully) upcoming Chris Jericho heel turn. Yet there was plenty to be concerned about as well; more boring Authority promos, more awkward and smug Roman Reigns segments and an increasingly weak roster as injuries continue to mount up. It makes me wonder who I’m actually going to see at Wrestlemania this year.
Unfortunately it was another generally quiet crowd for Raw this week, which never helps a show. It can hinder good segments let alone killing bad ones. Nothing particularly ‘Ugly’ about the show but I’ve got quite a few problems, so with that in mind, lets look at The Good and The Bad from Raw this week.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman kick off Raw, which is always awesome. Granted it’s yet another promo to open the show, but who better to do it than Paul Heyman? Other plus points include the lack of both Roman Reigns and The Authority. Which at least has a slightly fresh feeling to the affair.
Brock Lesnar has the best job going by the way. Turn up, stand around while Paul Heyman does all of the talking, murder people and then go home for a few months. Amazing.
It just dawned on me that the main event for Fastlane, which is the number one contenders match for the WWE Title, is a triple threat between three faces. You don’t see that very often. Unfortunately I’m pretty sure I can give you a beat for beat prediction of how it will play out, which isn’t as good.
POTENTIAL SPOILER/PREDICTION: Roman Reigns pins Dean Ambrose after The Wyatt Family attack Brock Lesnar.
Miz TV with AJ Styles. The Miz won’t let Styles talk, preferring to tell AJ’s story for him. The crowd begin to boo, which sends Miz into full rant mode talking himself up and insult AJ by calling him a big fish in small pond as well as a rookie. Styles sits patiently, if not slightly bewildered before eventually having enough, attacking The Miz and chasing him off.
Say what you like about The Miz, but he is great at generating heat. Which in turn helps get the faces over. He’s done it before with Daniel Bryan, Alex Riley and Damien Mizdow and now he’s using his powers to help get AJ Styles over too. It’s smart booking by WWE, which we don’t say often enough these days.
I’m slightly concerned that WWE don’t feel comfortable letting AJ Styles talk, but we all know he isn’t the greatest talker anyway. He’s not bad, but he’s definitely an ‘actions speak louder than words’ kind of competitor. It’s just a matter of letting him do his thing and impress in the ring.
Chris Jericho continues his slow burn heel turn, or at least rather what I hope is going to be a slow burn heel turn. I do have a terrible fear that I’m reading too much into it, but it’s the only way I can cope with Jericho’s awful incredibly dull, dad joke version of Y2J. He puts over AJ Styles hard during an interview with Renee Young. Potentially laying the ground work for a feud between the two of them. Perhaps a match at Fastlane that finally pushes Jericho fully heel?
The Rock might not have been on Raw this week, but that doesn’t mean that The New Day can’t continue their work with him with yet another humorous promo. They talk about The Rock’s inappropriate comments, how they love the kids but they’d still fight them and Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose fan fiction. Hilarious stuff as always.
Rusev V Kalisto. Let’s start with the positives, I dont remember seeing this match before, which is quite rare these days and Lana was on TV two weeks in a row! Alright moving on.
Now no disrespect to Kalisto but there is no way he should be beating Rusev. I don’t care if it was only a count out victory, he should have been crushed. I’m not a particularly big fan of the whole wanna be Rey Mysterio (who I didn’t care for either) ultimate underdog shtick. Kalisto might be a future merchandise money making machine, but right now. Rusev needs to start getting some wins under his belt again. He could be so good for WWE, but they’re holding him down.
Alberto Del Rio was on commentary dealing with an oddly cocky Michael Cole, even he doesn’t take the League of Nations seriously. This really shows how mistreated they are. We also got confirmation that it will be Del Rio verses Kalisto at Fastlane. Again?! Talk about beating a dead horse of a feud no one was interested in anyway.
We avoided an Authority/Roman Reigns opening promo, but we weren’t lucky enough to avoid it totally. Instead we got an awful segment between Stephanie, Reigns and Ambrose in Stephanie’s ‘office’. My complaint here is once again Roman Reigns’ character, everything he says or does repulses me as a fan. He’s smug, annoying and his body language generally shouts ‘HEY, I’M A MASSIVE HEEL’. Yet somehow he’s the face of the company. I don’t get it.
Stephanie does make a good point to Dean however, saying that he needs to get away from always being Roman Reigns’ sidekick. Ambrose replies saying that Reigns is in fact his. This is rather amusing. Ambrose is often booked to be Reigns’ sidekick, however the reason they are paired together is due to Dean’s popularity!
Dolph Ziggler Vs Kevin Owens. Again. For the 123rd week in a row. I like Dolph, I like Owens but I don’t care about their pointless Raw matches any more. It’s been done too many times. Repeating the same thing over and over wont help WWE bring in any new fans either and it will just bore the ones they already have.
It honestly doesn’t even matter if the match itself is good. I’m just bored of it. Dolph Ziggler won this won, which isn’t a surprise as Kevin Owens won last week. When will WWE realise that 50/50 booking helps neither man get over!
For the past few months the only way to tell if Brie Bella was face or heel was to see who her opponent was. This week she was face as she went up against Charlotte, who was mean about her sister Nikki having surgery. That’s right, Brie is face because Nikki had surgery. Give me strength. Brie picks up a shock victory with a devastating roll up pin, not that it matters as most of the match was focus on Ric Flair being crazy on the ring apron stealing. Good old Ric Flair, stealing all of the heat for himself. I’m not sick of seeing his face at all.
Jimmy and Jay Uso can have their characters summarised by one simple JBL description. ‘They love to have fun’, that’s it. That’s all they’ve got. Other than that they are just another classic bland babyface tag team. It makes it difficult to care for them, especially when they are feuding with such over the top characters like The New Day. If you ever wonder why people seem to prefer heels these days, it tends to boil down to the fact that they’re actually interesting. Villainess scum bags sure, but at least they’ve got something to sink your teeth into.
Big Show must be regretting his most recent face turn, which happened this past Smackdown. Mere days ago Big Show came to the rescue of Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns during an assault from The Wyatt Family but not one of those guys came to his aid in return! What the hell guys?!
I’ll accept the excuse that Ambrose is crazy so is unpredictable but Jericho didn’t even have a match! As for Roman Reigns, you’d have thought he’d want to make as many friends as possible to help him in his fight against The Authority. You know who else use to constantly get saved by his friends but would never return the favour? John Cena. Which is somewhat fitting.
Can someone explain to me what is going on with the Prime Time Players? Darren Young is back from injury but teamed with Damien Sandow during the Royal Rumble Preshow. Meanwhile Titus O’Neil is picking up a lot of singles victories, mostly against Stardust. Considering how desperate WWE are for tag teams to rival The New Day, it doesn’t make sense to be wasting one they actually have.
After the Royal Rumble PPV suffered from missed moments from poor camera work and editing the negative trend continued on Raw this week. The most obvious mistake was during the post main event scuffle between Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and The New Day. For some reason, instead of witnessing Brock Lesnar get into the ring and F5 Dean Ambrose, focus remained on Kofi Kingston and Roman Regins out of the ring, where they did nothing much at all. Sort it out WWE.