I am not a sadist like Kevin so there was no guest edition of “Almost Live and Definitely half-Assed “review of Raw. Watching and commenting on a three hour show with ninety-minutes of filler per week is no way to finish off your day. Instead I am taking a more reasoned approach and commenting the next morning. Yeah the Tuesday Morning Quarterback idea in full effect.
The Roddy Piper tribute was nice and I actually laughed as the video started with a bunch of Piper as a face moments only to have the video pick up as soon as he smashed the gold record over Lou Albano’s head. When I die I want my video packages music accompaniment (Which will be a song by Clutch) to crescendo with me doing something horrible. This may be a tad difficult since there isn’t a lot of footage since I grew up before cell phone cameras; thank god. Maybe I should start reenacting these times? Hmm, will talk to the wife about this one.
The package featured a lot of pictures of his early days without much context. The accompanying song lyrics made the video pretty rough to watch and the timing of “I am here to chew bubblegum and kick ass” finally got the tears .What kind of person starts a cry to that line? This guy I tell ya.
Bringing Seth Rollins out next was an interesting choice. His heel work was strong and he managed to turn the crowd against him. This must have been a nod to Hotrod’s legacy as the heel bragged a lot and talked himself up. The segment would have been fine and nicely positioned if there was no championship challenge. I like the idea of Seth stealing the gimmick but as an open I would have preferred him slinking away and saying it would be later in the show just to be a dick.
It also could have given Neville a little talking time to build up to the match up until the 10:40 mark. WWE was successful last night in building up the main event with the Wyatt Family with Sheamus vs 2/3 Shield and Randy Orton. Both teams got their promo time when they didn’t necessarily need it since they are well established. Taking the approach with Neville wouldn’t have made an earth-shattering difference but at least he would have had talking time on the flagship show followed by what turned out to be a very good match.
The teams you don’t care about with New Day was what it was. Taking the tag titles off of New Day still doesn’t make sense as their antics, while being champions would have gained them some nice heat by now. The Primetime Players are fine as a team but new Day actually has the charisma and gimmick advantage.
Submission Sorrority, hmm. Does anyone in WWE realize that the general populace looks down on sororities and fraternities? Why name your face group after one? Are they bratty, dopey nothings who submit people? They sure don’t seem to be but Charlotte’s arrogance in NXT would have been perfect for a sorority gimmick. The match was pretty good but one item was really stupid in execution. Going in to break the heels stood over a fallen Becky Lynch. It wasn’t the end of the match and the rest of the sorority hadn’t been incapacitated. In fact Paige can be seen in the background looking on. Why didn’t she immediately attack them or at the very least run at them to make them move off of her fallen teammate? Poor execution there. If it had taken place in the ring with Brie standing over her or even both Bella’s standing tall it would have made more sense.
Charlotte submitting the champ was a surprise. Typically Brie takes the fall. The interview with team BAD, sigh, was handled as well as they can. All of the talk of Ronda Rousey is a positive for the women’s division. By constantly mentioning her in the same breath as Rousey the women can get a small rub by executing their matches and issues in the context of sport instead of the hen peck way WWE usually books them. Eventually though all of these teams have to break up and the interviews showcasing each person is a positive. Hopefully the ratings are strong or at the least hold steady for these women. The fear is that if they do not the women’s push will be aborted.
Before we leave the women it must be said that Becky Lynch has a great look. The orange hair and steampunk inspired outfit are great and make her unique.
Boy the crowd sure was flat for the MizTV segment. Can you blame them? Miz is annoying but he starts off the segment praising Roddy Piper in a total face move. Then he switches gears and introduces Kevin Owens who played nice with Miz instead of acting belligerent like he does with everyone else. Instead he admits having all of Miz’s movies and that makes him come off as a tool instead of the arrogant disdainful heel he has portrayed. The quick interruption form Cesaro didn’t help matters. Cesaro didn’t have his best time on the mic as the words seemed forced and clearly written. This is going to be his downfall. He has to come across much looser in delivering lines or someone in creative needs to let him use his own voice. Kevin Owens ate him alive just off of presentation.
The end of the segment with Owens accosting Miz in order to get to Cesaro was a nice chickenshit heel moment. Owens wiggling out of the Cesaro swing was good as well. It gave the audience just enough to want to see Cesaro nail him in the end and hopefully pay money to see it on the network or if they are stupid buy the PPV.
OK look, Rusev is awesome and totally in the right with his feud with Dolph Ziggler. He should be going over people strong but him beating down mark Henry with ease was a surprise. These two had feuded before, which was never mentioned, and those matches were competitive. This one was not. Maybe if the announcers had mentioned they had a history and that Rusev had figured out mark Henry it would have helped. Instead Rusev rolled over Henry without a fight and no follow up or shock. Mark Henry isn’t a main event wrestler now but he isn’t Heath Slater, yet.
How bad is it when the announcer needs to explain basic economics to their audience? Hell, he actually explained basic math. $9.99 is less than $54.99 dummies.
Wade Barrett beating Zack Ryder is the exact type of match Monday Night Raw can utilize more often. I mentioned Heath Slater; why not have Heath in a match with Owens or Cesaro? The guys at the bottom of the roster can be better utilized in this way without giving us worthless tag and even worse six-man tag matches? There is a small audience for these modern day enhancement wrestlers but they are only showcased on Superstars. Barrett needed a win so may as well have it showcased on Raw.
What was the point of bringing Brock to Raw if he wasn’t going to do anything? I enjoyed Paul Heyman ranting and telling the truth but the segment didn’t need his presence. It was also clear that production didn’t have any clue how to shoot Brock standing on the steps. The camera angles changed constantly as they scrambled to find the best position to show both Heyman and Brock in the same shot. Regardless of that Heyman was his usual great self and he confused the audience which was even better. Heyman bringing up the WrestleMania 31 match that didn’t happen was a great touch. It helped present the Undertaker as desperate and added motivation without having The Deadman show up.
I was surprised they had Paige so late in the show knowing she was going to be on The Stone Cold Podcast. By the way; people complaining about Paige being on the podcast are the same people complaining about how the women are treated by WWE creative. Make up your damn mind. Paige being on Stone Colds podcast is a huge deal. Her presence on the show immediately makes her the face of the women’s revolution if you will. No she isn’t the Undertaker, Sting or one of the top dogs but oh well. There is time enough for that. By showcasing Paige in a larger format WWE fans, if they tuned in, gained a clearer picture of who she is and what she has gone through to make it in WWE. She helped build the foundation for her claims on the top of the women’s division. It was a smart business move as well as a personal move for Paige. In review; if you support the women’s wrestling and utilization on WWE programming but complain about Paige on the podcast; shut the fuck up.
Stephen Arnell on Raw next week makes me happy. I will be happier if they have footage for this upcoming season of Arrow. Also, if he personally guarantees Hawkman’s costume won’t look idiotic like Smallville. Hawkman should be a total badass. The best version would be Conan with wings. I don’t care about Arnell feuding with Stardust though. How weird must it be though for Eden to interview her husband in character? Role play possibility?
Yeah it’s the consequences free six man tag match to end the show. Roman reigns was so strong it reminded me of Roman Reigns before Vince McMahon interfered. I really like the fact Bray and Luke avoided the pinfall and the Money in The bank winner lost yet again. At lea the MITB briefcase isn’t as bad of a curse as the Intercontinental title.