Tuesday Raw Roundtable: Non Finish To Close Show, Charlotte, Paige, Big Show, Paul Heyman, John Cena vs. Xavier Woods

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

Darren Paltrowitz

The New Day were, yet again, the most entertaining thing on the episode. They worked well with John Cena, and that must have been the longest singles match that Xavier Woods has ever wrestled on television. Both acts looked great as a result of this.

Big Show, on the other hand, is not making himself or anyone else looked great as a result of this current feud. He destroyed Mark Henry, who’s been jobbing as of late, yet stands no chance against Brock Lesnar. So ultimately, Big Show will look weak after this weekend’s MSG show, which does no one any favors.

The Miz continues to carry massive “change the channel” heat, as opposed to “I want to see this guy lose” heat. Plenty of people could do the confrontational talk show segment better than The Miz. Arguably, Bo Dallas could, and that would be a great spot on the roster for him. Miz is a great talker, but his character needs reinvention in order to stay relevant.

Paige is doing great as a tweener. Even if she acts like a heel, the crowd is behind her, which is a sign that she is doing well. By comparison, I’m not sure how much of the main Divas roster is truly over and popular at this point.

The Kane storyline requires suspension of disbelief, as usual, but it’s fairly interesting with him portraying two characters that are polar opposites. His feuding with Seth Rollins keeps Kane relevant, although no one takes Kane seriously enough as a singles competitor, which makes it a pointless feud for the time.

The Prime Time Players are in an unfortunate spot on the spot as tonight saw them jobbing to The Wyatt Family. They are way more popular than two-thirds of the Wyatts. Meanwhile, a lot of tag teams are M.I.A. including Los Matadores, The Lucha Dragons and The Ascension. The tag team division deserves a second story. Surely two lower-card competitions could form a make-shift tag team, as it’d be better usage for a Fandango or a Jack Swagger than what’s going on now.

Stardust and Neville put on a decent match. King Barrett’s return was puzzling, since he took the actions of a tweener but cut a heel promo. Barrett has been continually underutilized for years.

Similarly, the Kevin Owens and Rusev pairing for a match was a head-scratcher. Two heels, neither of whom positioned with babyface tendencies. Sadly it was just a set-up for Ryback interference, for a feud that isn’t going to draw ratings. Ryback and Rusev are two more characters that would fair better in tag teams, in my opinion.

Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt put on a compelling match by “RAW” main event standards, and both took some risky bumps. I would happily watch another match from these two as long as there weren’t going to be interference or a screwy finish of some sort.

Meanwhile, Damien Sandow is still missing in action. Hopefully this was just a random week off for Dean Ambrose and Cesaro, who were also missing.

JT

It’s a miracle – Raw is starting out with a match rather than 20 minutes of talking! And of course I’m immediately proven wrong as Cena picks up a mic and starts jabbering. And then some jawing from the New Day, which makes me think back to the time when Big E was considered a legitimate future contender for the world title. Instead we get Xavier Woods putting on a decent performance but losing because his pecs are smaller than his head.

Putting Cena with the Dudley Boyz is an interesting way to combat the triple threat of New Day, but I’m worried that we are going to be subjected to months of 6 man tag matches which tend to suck. On the upside, the Cena face in peril moment with New Day making multiple tags and stomping the crap out of him was amusing, and it was good to see the Dudleys putting over young talent.

The irony of WWE doing a skit about having an ‘unsafe working environment’ should not be lost on all of the workers who have sacrificed their health to appease Vince’s ego over the years.
Note to Dean Ambrose – real badasses don’t wear pleather. This is followed by more trio tag nonsense with Shield 3.0 saved by Ambrose skill on the mic.

‘I’m a damn giant.’ Yes, that much is obvious, Big Show. You’re also a barely mobile giant with your best days behind you, and squashing fellow carb enthusiast Mark Henry doesn’t do anything for your legacy. Give it up while you can still move, dude.

I don’t really have anything new to say about the Divas trio tag match, except to reiterate how rarely this stipulation results in a decent match. The Paige heel turn is good in that it bring Natalya into the picture, although I have to wonder if a solo Diva will get lost in WWEs obsession with trios.

So rather than the Wyatts vs Prime Time Players, Fox 8 decided to air their logo for 4 minutes, which was probably better than a match involving Braun Strowman.

Neville vs Stardust is giving us some decent wrestling, but the storyline with the Ascension feels kind of feeble to me. Bad News Barrett is back! Or King Barrett, whatever. Bull hammers all around!

I was fast forwarding the Rollins/Kane segment until the inevitable return of the monster. For those who have been saying that Seth has been booked as a weak champ, you’re right, but I must say that unstoppable monster Kane is sort of fun (despite his limitations in the ring).

Owens vs Rusev was a complete waste of time. The show improved briefly with the appearance of Paul Heyman, but dipped again with Big Show on the mic and the semi-decent but spotty main event. Three hours is too damn long…

Brittney Soban

John Cena Opens Raw/ U.S. Championship Open Challenge: I know a lot of people don’t like him but I still respect the fact that Cena has the open challenges. This week the New Day came out and did a goofy song and dance promo. They’re entertaining but, because they act so goofy sometimes it makes me feel like they take nothing seriously. The ref sent the rest of New Day to the back but when Cena had the STF on Woods his teammates came out to make the save and end the match in DQ style. Predictably the Dudleys came out to clear the ring and soon a tag match was made.

Check out my full 10 Thoughts on Raw!!

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