Tuesday Raw Roundtable: Roman Reigns, Vince McMahon, Charlotte Goes Heel

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

Darren Paltrowitz

Rather than going segment by segment, here’s what really struck me:

– That was the first proper babyface reaction for Becky Lynch in a singles match that I’ve seen. With Charlotte becoming more of an obvious heel in this match, I’m curious to see who the next babyface diva challenger is. A returning Nikki Bella? A nicer Paige? A nicer Sasha Banks? Bayley, when she gets her proper call-up?

– The New Day was great as always. They are still great in the ring and on the mic, which cannot be said about much of the roster.

– Chris Jericho, whose return was not so much of a surprise due to the Internet, was lousy. It’s unclear whether he’s out of touch and thinks he’s that beloved, or he’s doing an outdated rocker character. I get that he’s a babyface and is supposed to mock heels — calling them “jackasses” is a great insult, of course — but The New Day is not the team that needs burying.

– I’m a Heath Slater fan, and I absolutely support the lower-card guys getting on-screen time. But that post-match promo by J.O.B. Squad 2.0 was brutal. Damien Sandow, Darren Young and Fandango weren’t available, I guess?

– Roman Reigns storyline with Vince McMahon has been surprisingly compelling. Bringing Roman’s father into the storyline made it seem more honest. But I still think that Vince is best on-camera in small doses, much like Ric Flair.

– The Royal Rumble match was getting a so/so build-up, as I thought they would have been better off with “qualifier” matches much more than the superstars’ declarations of entering the match. But the title being defended by Roman Reigns via the match itself is a great twist. I’m curious to see if Kofi Kingston, as a heel, still has a surprising high-spot as he’s had for the past few years. My curiosity is also piqued about who the surprise entrants may be, and if there is an NXT call-up among the 30 competitors.

Not a bad episode tonight, but definitely not three hours of compelling content. “NXT,” by comparison, is fantastic as is its companion docu-series, “Breaking Ground.” Same with the reality-oriented originals like “Table For 3” and “Legends With JBL” — I can watch those shows in a marathon. So there’s little reason for “RAW” to be so shaky.

Travis Leamons

Well that’s one way to make the Royal Rumble match more interesting. The added wrinkle of having Roman Reigns defend his WWE World Championship in the Royal Rumble match itself is novel, but I feel that an idea as good as this is destined to fail. Unless they turn the championship belt into a game of hot potato leading up to WrestleMania.

Dream scenario would be Daniel Bryan to make his return and win the championship as payback to coming up short against Reigns at last year’s Fastlane, which put Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania against Brock Lesnar.

JT

Overall a better than average episode of Raw, although three hours is still too freaking long for a wrestling show.

check out my full 10 thoughts on raw!

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