Inside Pulse 12

Tuesday Raw Roundtable: Here Comes The Money, Dean Ambrose, Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns Texting Multiple Times

WWE had another new Raw on Monday, what did the Pulse Wrestling crew think of the show?

Darren Paltrowitz

Still a lot of filler in those three hours, but definitely some enjoyable moments:

– The return of Shane McMahon was great, no doubt about it. I was surprised that WWE admitted their problems so openly in that segment, which I can get behind. Shane’s match against The Undertaker is a surprising “Wrestlemania” addition, and one I’d rather watch than Taker versus Braun Strohman, as was rumored.

– The Social Outcasts have settled well into their niche as promo-cutting jobbers. They were also great the previous night on “Fast Lane.”

– The R-Truth comedy segments with Goldust have been enjoyable.

– A.J. Styles is doing well in spite of who he has been paired with. His in-ring work continues to be inspired and exciting.

– Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar make for an interesting feud. I don’t think anyone has their money on Ambrose, but there should be some great bumps in that match.

– The New Day’s pre-taped promo was amusing, and their in-ring work was solid like usual.

– Charlotte cut a surprisingly-strong heel promo, and Sasha Banks was fun to watch in her match.

The incredible return of Shane helps forgive any slowness during those three hours.

Kate Hartford

Kate’s Favorite Moments – Raw 2/22/2016

HOLY CRAP SHANE FRIGGING MCMAHON!  That really made my night.  And his match The Undertaker?!?!  WHAT!  I can’t wait.  It’s still going to be a good WrestleMania.  But the whole the hell is going to win?  Will Shane be able to manage Monday Night Raw?  I’d love to see that, but I can’t imagine Undertaker losing, unless his retirement is coming up soon.  I guess we’ll see.

 

I always love seeing Neville.  He’s a favorite of mine. (Yes, yes, KO deserved the Slammy.  I’m not disagreeing with you.) I found his match with the Lucha Dragons and New Day enjoyable.  However, the biggest thing I admired about this match was that it was a good follow-up from the long but awesome promo with Shane.  It was low stakes because Neville and Kalisto always put on good performances, and New Day always brings entertainment and excitement to the table, even when it’s cringe-worthy.  It wasn’t anything that could immediately disappoint fans, and it was a hard spot to follow.

 

And after AJ and Jericho’s awesome Fastlane match and AJ’s much-deserved victory (called it), no one else could interrupt their promo but the Social Outcasts (perhaps save for KO).  If the Outcasts can’t have an upset just quite yet, then they’re at least getting the screen time each of those guys deserve and having matches with vets like Jericho and Styles.

 

Some of my complaints (I don’t like turning my submissions to the Roundtables in a rant, so I’m keeping this brief): I wouldn’t mind seeing a sudden end to the Dudley Boyz/Usos feud.  It doesn’t make any sense.  I also fast-forwarded through the Wyatts/Titans tag match, though I’m glad the Wyatts won.

JT

1. so the Vince award was just a way to reintroduce Shane McMahon… fine. I like Shane as a character and he has always been willing to put his body on the line in the service of entertainment.

Check out my full 10 Thoughts on Raw!

Darek Foreman

Sounding off on Raw
Good and Bad of Raw
 
Good: Shane McMahon returns
Last night saw the return of Shane McMahon!  OUT OF THE BLUE!  There weren’t weeks of rumors or leaks like everything else that happens in the WWE, so this moment felt great.  It was fresh, and received a legit monster pop from the crowd.  It was one of those “unexpected Rock returns” kind of pops.  The crowd went crazy, and I went crazy on my sofa! It was a true Attitude Era type of a moment.  Shane was clearly taken aback by the reaction as he was near tears throughout the entire segment. For the first time since 2010, “Here Comes the Money”  was heard on Raw and Shane came out and did the Shane O Mac shuffle. Great TV!
This wasn’t the only good thing on Monday night because the Wrestlemania 32 card, or at least the top of it, was laid out last night.  Fans already knew, and rejected, the main event of Triple H defending the title again Roman Reigns.  Last night, Brock Lesnar accepted Dean Ambrose’s challenge for a street fight, Shane was put into a match vs the Undertaker, although I am still not sure about that one.  Also Charlotte will most likely face Sasha Banks or Becky Lynch, though most likely both of them, it looks like AJ Styles and Chris Jericho are going to continue to feud or something along those lines.  So Undertaker match is crossed off, check, Brock Lesnar match is crossed off, check, and the WWE Title match is crossed off, check, so all that is left is to fill in the undercard and special guests. The card is shaping up and leaving a full 6 weeks to develop the stories. They get a pass for no Kevin Owens or did I miss his segment?  Still, the card is stacking up nicely. However….
Bad: Creative still has to book this over the next 6 weeks
Shane McMahon returning to lay claim to part of the company is a great storyline.  His return should have shaken up Wrestlemania season and shaken up storylines from top to bottom.  But that feeling quickly dissipated because the reason for his return was never fully explained.  Somehow he has stake in the company and wants to run Monday Night Raw, but he needs Vince to give it to him and the only way Vince will give it to him is if he wrestles the Undertaker at Wrestlemania in Hell in a Cell…..WHAT? So we go from a hot angle that could have lead to the booking of a new main event or a roster shake up or a new brand split, to angle that has been beat to death for the last 16 years….wrestling for control of the company…6 weeks from now!
WWE Logic at it’s finest.  So instead of Shane coming back and maybe going after Triple H, the COO, and Stephanie, he has to go through Vince and Vince sticks him in a match with the Undertaker. This line of booking leads to a lot of bad outcomes.  First off, for this to even work, Undertaker is going to take a second loss, but this time it will not only be to another part timer, it is to someone that isn’t even on the active roster or an actual wrestler.
Secondly, it doesn’t make much sense.  If Vince really wanted to put an end to this Shane rebellion, he would have booked him in a match against Brock Lesnar.  Lesnar fights for money and titles.  So it wasn’t a stretch for Vince reached out to Paul Heyman for Lesnar’s services.  Undertaker fights at Wrestlemania to defend the streak, which is no more, and to gain respect.  So now at Wrestlemania you have Undertaker forced into a match that isn’t about either, and Lesnar is in a standard grudge match that gets him nowhere closer to the title.
And the final reason this is bad, instead of Vince putting Shane in a match last night or Shane having the leverage to force something last night, we have 6 more weeks of the same stuff we have had all year long.  Shane won’t take over Raw until AFTER Wrestlemania…that’s if he wins. So the lead up to Mania isn’t changing at all! So outside of the monster pop, seeing Shane on TV again, and hearing that awesome theme, nothing is any different.  The pessimist in me sees this for what it really is.  John Cena, Randy Orton, and Seth Rollins are hurt, Daniel Bryan had to retire, Batista, Shawn Michaels, and Steve Austin flat out refused to return, and the Rock can’t wrestle due to insurance purposes. Shane was the only person that agreed to come back.  I really want to believe he is back in the fold for the long haul, but he said it himself in the ring, “See ya at Wrestlemania”, as if he isn’t going to be on TV again until Mania or a couple of weeks before probably.
BAD: THE MAIN EVENT
How can the fans cheer Triple H and boo Roman Reigns, when the same two guys received the complete opposite reactions in December?  Roman Reigns was screwed out of the title for the 100th time and he snapped and beat Triple H down with a chair and put him through the announce table.  The fans gave Roman the biggest cheers he has ever received and even chanted “Thank you Roman”.  Fast forward 2 months later, fans are cheering for Triple H.  The same two people, same two characters, so what changed?
This is creative’s fault.  First mistake, after the attack in December at TLC, Roman actually overcame the odds and won the title the next night on Raw, thus killing the underdog vibe.  In what should have been months of TV or at least played out until the Royal Rumble, instead Roman Reigns was booked like Cena and overcame, Vince, Sheamus and the League of Nations all on the same night. Vince should have screwed him too and somehow left the title vacant.  And then to prevent Roman from winning the Royal Rumble and the title, Triple H returns to cost Reigns the match.Meanwhile, Triple H was held off TV, (pretend like you didn’t see him at NXT Takeover London) and was given a TRIUMPHANT babyface return at the Royal Rumble to cost Roman the title and even win it for himself.
Still creative could have salvaged this by having Triple H out there each week holding the title and bragging and getting on everyone’s nerves. Basically let him be Stephanie each week, instead he wins the title and is suddenly on Raw less than Brock Lesnar. Last night he came out at the end with a full entrance looking like a bad ass, and beat down Roman Reigns by himself and got cheered while doing it. Why? Reigns is not that bad.  He has a great look and can work a good match with anybody.  I can’t wrap my head around this level of Roman hate from the fans, or the moronic booking that puts him in positioned to be booed so badly.
Roman usually gets a mixed reaction, depending on the city, but booking him in a triple threat vs Ambrose and Lesnar at Fast Lane and Triple H being booked as the bad ass out for revenge isn’t doing Roman any favors!  Looks like anything won’t change.  Storyline wise Shane can shake things up, in reality, creative is booking a crappy product at the main event level that even Shane can’t fix.
BTW
Shane has already flown off the titantron 15 years ago, are they going to try and throw him off of the giant screen at Cowboys stadium?  With a combined age of 97 by the time Wrestlemania gets here, nobody in that match should be flying off of anything!

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