Tuesday Raw Roundtable: Daily Show w/Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, John Cena, Road to Wrestlemania 31 Continues

WWE continued the Road to Wrestlemania 31 with another Monday Night Raw last night, and the highlight was a Jon Stewart appearance.

What did the Pulse Wrestling crew think of the show?

Brian Mitarotondo

Up and down show for me. It seems like every segment had both good and bad in it.

The Good:
Ambrose and BNB had a decent match. I like both of these guys in the ring.
Wyatt’s promo was good, as always, and the flaming casket was a nice touch.
I might be in the minority, but Axelmania is funny. I am enjoying that gimmick. I hope he wins the Battle Royal now.
Nice to see AJ back. Maybe she could get me interested in the Divas again.
John Stewart kicking Set Rollins in the junk was the highlight of the night for me.
Bryan v Harper was a very good match. I would like to see these 2 work a singles program and have a ppv match.
Between Fast Lane and last night, that’s 2 strong matches from Roman Reigns. I know he is in there with 2 of the best workers in the company, but he held his own with both of them. Creative did a good job making Reigns look strong last night.

The Bad:
This whole “stealing the IC Title” is ridiculous. It’s reminds me of when the WWE had the Hard Core Title, and anyone could pretty much just take it whenever they wanted. I hated it then, and I still hate it now.
Where is the Undertaker. Wyatt is doing his best to work an entire program by himself, but Taker has to show up at some point before WrestleMania, doesn’t he?
Cena squashing Axel does nothing to advance the story with Rusev. Is beating Axel supposed to impress anyone?
Even with AJ back, the Bellas are still unwatchable.
As funny as that nut shot was, it is depressing to see that Rollins can’t even be made to look strong against John Stewart. Can anyone remember the last time Rollins won a match clean, or even just looked strong in any situation?
Why is Truth in the IC Ladder Match? I know they need bodies in the match, but R-Truth is the worst.
I don’t like the Orton angle at all. I applaud the WWE for trying something a little bit different with Orton, but I would have much rather seen him stalk Rollins for a month and finally getting his hands on him at Mania.

Darren Paltrowitz

Ups and downs. Jon Stewart’s low-blow on Seth Rollins reminded me of Jay Leno having Hulk Hogan in an arm-bar, but Jon Stewart added a lot to the show otherwise. It was great to see AJ Lee return. It was nice to see the Miz-Mizdow feud move forward. Paul Heyman was entertaining as usual in his promo, especially with the microphone improv. But I still wonder why so much exciting talent is not being used — instead, we’re still getting an excessive amount of replays. The tag team division needs the sort of attention that the Intercontinental Title got on this episode. Overall, a better episode than we were seeing recently, yet a long way to go before I’m sold on this year’s Wrestlemania being a can’t-miss event.

CB

Jon Stewart was funny. Also funny was how silent the crowd was for the main event. Believe That.

PK

The Intercontinental Title picture took a very interesting turn with the addition of Luke Harper, but than a very disappointing turn with the addition of Daniel Bryan (because he is above this). R-Truth also seems like the odd man out, and I still wonder what he’s doing there. I can’t picture anyone else being added to the match, maybe Sheamus, but currently the match has to go to either Bad News or Ambrose though, as a switch to anyone else wouldn’t have any meaning.

Maybe I’m in the minority, but Jon Stewart killed his promo tonight. I know he’s an actor, comedian, and professional public speaker, but we’ve seen some of those come to Raw and bomb (coughcoughDENNISMILLERcoughcough). His hype around Roman/Lesner was some of the best build done yet for the match aside from Heyman, and the confrontation where he cup checked Rollins was great. And kudos for him for realizing a backstage hallway isn’t exactly safe in the WWE.

Paul Heyman with another stellar promo tonight, and really, what more do you expect. It was a nice segway into the main event where Roman had a good performance in the ring, can capped it off with the dive over the top and the spear to the flying Rollins. Roman looked strong coming out of tonight, and that build has to continue.

CH Punk

Cena was not loved tonight. The fans wouldn’t even go with the flow, and cheer during his promo.

Steve Berkman

Amazing what a good, passionate Heyman promo can do for my interest in Wrestlemania (pardon me: Axelmania). I just hate that it could lead to Reigns winning a title he’s certainly not ready for. My hope is that Jon Stewart got through to Rollins – Take control, use that briefcase, make yourself famous at Mania! The pop for Rollins cashing in on an exhausted Lesnar would be huge, and it’s key that it be Lesnar. Burning Reigns’ first title win on an immediate cash in is no good. Reigns can still chase champion Rollins all through 2015 without using that lazy shortcut. When Reigns is ready for the title, it’ll be that much more special.

Steph and HHH remain the only people who can go over top stars or legends verbally and not “get theirs” for it and I think it leads every fan to resent them. Not resent them as heels, mind you- resent them as human beings. That ole “xpac heat”. Not good, boss folk.

Axelmania is a great low card gimmick and probably the most over he’ll ever get. Stick with it, make a big deal of being in the Andre battle royal while STILL being in the Rumble. Ham it up. The crowd will love it.

Anyone upset about Bryan in a multi man ladder match, put the torches down. He’s going to get to steal the show and should he win, the IC title will instantly be elevated. Bryan caring about it all matters. If he wins and defends the title in the best match on the show for 6 months, it could rekindle the “loser belt”. Same goes for the U.S. Title and Cena.

Welcome back AJ. This will probably be her last hurrah after the whole Twitter thing if I had to guess. This way, charlotte doesn’t have to come “up” and debut at Mania against terrible Bella opponents. No reason to demote her from NXT anyway.

Now, you’ll notice I didn’t comment on the matches. That’s because raw doesn’t have matches anymore. They have set piece events that potentially forward programs but mean NOTHING in terms of wrestling. Raw on the whole has become largely a background noise show.

Justin Czerwonka (@JCWonka)

The show had its ups and downs. It only took them two months to figure out how to book Reigns. Him wrecking people at the end is what should have been happening since Day One. Of course, the WWE is still doing weird things with this entire Randy Orton/Authority angle. The Jon Stewart stuff was done well. Axelmania continues to be great. But Bray Wyatt continues to cut the same promo every week. And we also got barely any wrestling on the show. The Divas match was good for the time it was given. And of course Heyman was great on the mic. I’m inclined to give the show a 5. There were some ups and downs, but not enough to make it feel like it was a big show leading into Wrestlemania.

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