Tuesday Raw Roundtable: The Final Build to Wrestlemania 31 Ends In A Tug-O-War

The Road to Wrestlemania 31 went through its final Monday Night Raw with another 3 hour show.

What did the Pulse Wrestling crew think of the final Raw before Wrestlemania?

Darren Paltrowitz

I’m very excited for the Intercontinental Title match, as the match between Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler was easily the best match of the night. If the rumors of Sheamus’ involvement are true, then it was a shame that they did not build him into the storyline.

As usual, Paul Heyman cut the promo of the night and made people care about a match that’s likely to be boring.

The Divas match was good for what it was, but the whole Divas division is definitely being shortchanged — e.g. a few of them only being used tonight as arm-candy for Snoop Dogg.

Bill Simmons brought a lot of entertainment during his segment, but he probably said too many kayfabe-breaking things for him to be brought back again.

It’s a shame that the tag team title match is being pushed down to the pre-show. If anything, the Andre The Giant battle royal should be in that spot since it has so many lower-card wrestlers.

I still think that the ball was dropped on the Mizdow-Miz and Goldust-Stardust feuds, as both of those would have been great Wrestlemania matches.

Overall, I am looking forward to watching Wrestlemania on Sunday, but I am more excited for what may come afterwards — e.g. NXT call-ups to the main roster, NXT expansion as its own brand, the certainty of Brock Lesnar’s future with the company (and in turn Paul Heyman’s future), Seth Rollins no longer carrying that beat-up gold suitcase.

CB

So the big Reigns and Lesnar showdown is them having a tug of war with the title? Incredibly lame ending to the go home show for WrestleMania. Sting was great tonight, the Bryan-Ziggler match was awesome and Wyatt’s promo was solid, but that’s about it. Mania will be a chore to watch, and I’m looking forward to the Raw after it more.

Penny Sautereau (@PennyOfHedon )

Sting finally getting to talk live was great, but felt a bit “too little too late” as far as building the ppv up. The Ziggles/Bryan match was as good as you’d expect, followed by the obligatory pre-ladder match go-home clusterf*ck we all knew we’d get. Rusev practically owned Cena tonight. The Divas got to put on a good match that got decent time. And with no King on commentary to reduce them to eye candy, it felt as important as any man’s match would. Glad they finally got the inevitable Hogan crap out of the way to mercifully kill this Axelmania crap.

Also I want some chicken fries goddammit!

Brittney Soban (@Brittney_Lynn22 )

Let’s face it, Sting starting Raw was amazing. End of story. Him getting on the microphone and calling Stephanie a brat, even better. The stare down then back down of Triple H was disappointing but understandable this close to Wrestlemania.

Dean Ambrose & R-Truth v. Stardust and Luke Harper: Interesting to see a decent match with the guys since they’ll be fighting each other on Sunday, it was like most matches involving these wrestlers leading to Wrestlemania, not astounding but not bad.

10 Man Tag Match (Ryback, Ryder, Rowan and Prime Time Players v. Miz, Mizdow, Ascension and Rose): It was nice seeing Ryback show his strength a bit, I’m glad Ryder got some air time and the growing support of Mizdow gives me hope for an official split of Miz and Mizdow at Wrestlemania.

Randy Orton v. Seth Rollins and J&J security: Showing Rollins as sneaky and tentative about getting the ring built his heel persona while boosting Orton into the hopeful winner seat was nice to see.

Divas Championship Match, Nikki Bella v. Paige: One of the best booking moments for the Divas division in a while, the Bella’s scheme to tear apart their Wrestlemania competitors worked, driving Paige and AJ to brawl after Paige lost the match due to an accidental (or purposeful) elbow from AJ Lee.

Snoop Dogg/Axelmania/Hulkamania: It may just be me but I’m not a fan of “special guests” unless they do something truly entertaining. Snoop Dogg and Curtis Axel banter was funny but the highlight was Hulk Hogan’s appearance.

Los Matadores & El Toritio v. Kidd, Cesaro & Natalya: I’ll admit, I miss the comedy of the Attitude Era but not like this. Pointless match bookings in an attempt to be funny…not funny. It also took away the chance to hype the tag team title match at Wrestlemania.

Jack Swagger v. Rusev: Good hype for Mania, I just wish Swagger didn’t have to pay the price for it after being used as an obvious trap for Cena. Cena being beat down switched it up before Wrestlemania, showing both Rusev and Cena are dangerous in the last few weeks.

Bray Wyatt Promo: Another entertaining promo for Wyatt. Another build for Wrestlemania. Well done.

Dolph Ziggler v. Daniel Bryan with Dean Ambrose as special guest referee: Like most matches in this storyline the match itself was good but the aftermath was better. Ambrose, taking exception to Ziggler shaking him off hit Ziggler with the Dirty Deeds before grabbing a ladder and everyone from Sunday’s ladder match hit the ring to fight.

Lesnar and Reigns come face-to-face: This bothered me to no end. What could have been a great send off for Raw ended up making Reigns look like a kid taking his toy like a brat and left the crowd cheering Lesnar. Heyman, as usual, saved the promo from being terrible but let’s face it, WWE Creative did no good having Reigns grab the title like that.

Brian Mitarotondo

Up and down Raw last night, but mostly down, again.

HHH backing down from Sting leads me to believe that Trips and his enormous ego are going over at Mania. Good segment though.

I love tag team wrestling. I hate 4 singles guys wrestling a tag team match. They should have just had 2 singles matches and scrapped the Snoop/Axel/Hulkamania segment.

I love tag team wrestling. I hate 10 man tag matches. What a clusterf*ck.

I love tag team wrestling. I hate 3 on 1 handicap matches, especially when one of the three refuses to get in the ring and the other 2 are jobbers. Orton beating up J&J was kinda fun though.

The Divas match was solid. It is a shame the Mania match is going to be a tag team match that gets 5 minutes, max, instead of a singles match for the title.

Why is WWE bringing in celebrities to “guest star” the week of WrestleMania? Aren’t there more important things to worry about this week? This should be the one 3 hour Raw of the year that doesn’t need any filler segments.

I love tag team wrestling. I hate six “man” tag matches involving a female and a midget. And a rematch to boot? Was the first one that good?

How many times does Rusev need to beat Swagger? Beating the same guy over and over again isn’t making him look any stronger.

I love Bray Wyatt, but this is getting repetitive. By the time these two get in the ring, I’m not sure who is going to be more rusty. This Mania match has disaster written all over it.

Bryan and Ziggler were the best part of this show. Solid match, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Ziggler win clean. This segment did more for the Ladder Match build than the tag team mess.

And the big blow off for the main event of the biggest show of the year was another Heyman promo, and a 2 minute tug of war/awkward stare down? You couldn’t give Brock a few extra bucks to brawl for 30 seconds?

Justin Czerwonka (@JCWonka)

I thought they were doing a decent job of building up most of the matches for this Sunday. They added a nice final layer to a lot of the stories and that was fine. Then the final segment with Lesnar and Reigns happened. What the hell was that? Your goal is to get people to care about the main event of Wrestlemania, and all we get is a struggle over the belt? No physicality? Not even a Superman punch? That was weak. Just a horrible build for what is suppose to be the main event of Wrestlemania. That didn’t make me want to see that match on Sunday at all. Everything else wasnt bad, so that helped the rest of the show. I’m giving it a 6.

Steve Berkman

Daniel Bryan loses clean. Check.
Hogan and sting in the ring in 2015. Check.
The monster world champion and the “badass” contender go off the show fighting over the physical belt when the whole build has been who kicks more ass. Check.

Holy crap do I not care about Wrestlemania this year. It may be my end point with wwe. With nxt, roh, evolve, CHIKARA etc all available, wwe really doesn’t deserve my viewing time with their current product.

Rusev is about the only thing I care about on the show and we all know where that’s going on Sunday…

Pat Metalhead

I think they did a really good job of promoting their March B-Pay-per-view. What is it this year? Backlash? No Way Out? Judgment Day? The only thing I found mildly disappointing was the final. I mean, come on, CLEARLY these two should have been bitch-slapping each-other. But perhaps that was judged too intense for a B-level event… What? Wrestlemania? … That’s next year no? Anyway I’m watching Invasion Attack next so sorry, can’t help you…

Widro (@Widro)

It was the final snoozer Raw heading into the least anticipated Wrestlemania in years.

With that said, HUGE thanks to Justin Czerwonka for doing live coverage of Raw for over three years.

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