WWE had another new Raw on Monday, what did the Pulse Wrestling crew think of the show?
A lot went wrong on “Raw” tonight — for example, two enhancement-ish matches that didn’t really start due to “interruptions” — but 10 things that I feel went right:
– Whether or not it’s plausible that Kalisto could beat Alberto Del Rio, it was cool to see a title change on “Raw.”
– The Social Outcasts have shirts and were treated as babyfaces.
– The New Day were entertaining in the ring and on the mic.
– Brock Lesnar was positioned as the top guy.
– Ric Flair acted like a heel.
– Sting had a great Hall Of Fame video package.
– Kevin Owens was properly acknowledged for having a great year.
– Damien Sandow actually appeared on camera.
– Stardust did his makeup in tribute to David Bowie.
– Lilian Garcia did ring introductions in Spanish when both competitors were from Mexico.
But overall, not a fun episode to watch…
If you’re still reading, here’s an interview I did with Jeff Jarrett:
Vince & Stephanie Opening Promo: Okay, I get that they’re trying to play up the whole “This is the first time a champion defends his title in the Royal Rumble” thing but this promo was just poorly done. Add in Mr. McMahon going “boo-tay” and I was over it. They set up Ambrose v. Sheamus and got out of the way which was a small good point.
Dean Ambrose v. Sheamus: Not a bad match up, despite the double count-out. Sheamus came across as a teacher’s pet/bully and Ambrose performed as well as he always does, getting the crowd behind him and acting as though the pain was barely worth his notice. With Owens running out and attacking Ambrose after the match it spurred their feud on towards the Royal Rumble, one of the few consistent bookings WWE has accomplished lately.
Titus O’Neil v. Stardust: The only good part about this entire segment was Stardust’s tribute to the late David Bowie. Beyond that there is no point to this rivalry. It’s actually, in my opinion, a bit annoying. While I respect both wrestlers they both deserve better storylines than this. And, since we all know Darren Young isn’t injured, why aren’t he and Titus in the hunt for the tag titles? Admittedly the tag team division has been struggling and we want to avoid too many people mixed in but they were champions not that long ago. Am I the only one thinking their not hunting the titles down again is a clear sign that WWE doesn’t see the Prime Time Players, or the Tag Titles, as important?
Highlight Reel with The New Day/ The Usos v. The New Day: If everyone who didn’t win a Slammy could get over it, I’d be thankful. Instead, New Day whined about it some more and The Usos interrupted. Jericho was at ringside for the Usos while Xavier Woods paraded outside with his trombone. I get that they have a goofy gimmick but Xavier howling in apparent pain at the destruction of his musical instrument was a bit much. I have to say, Jericho at ringside was more tolerable than Flair lately but I’ll get to that later. This match was pretty much like all the recent ones between these two teams, nothing new or exciting here.
Hall of Fame Announcement – Sting: While I’m excited that Sting will enter the Hall of Fame it does make me wonder if he won’t step into the ring again. A sure loss of entertainment if he is, indeed, done wrestling but I have to say the video package of his career was well done and a fitting tribute to the Man They Call Sting.
Wyatt Family v. Social Outcasts (and Ryback running in): Okay, I get that they’re trying to give the men that make up the Social Outcasts some screen time. Much like the New Day in the beginning I have my doubts about this going over, we will see. Instead of booking the Social Outcasts to look like a talented, well-oiled machine, they looked like they needed Ryback to save them. Ryback’s run in, as well as the involvement of everyone else in this match/segment, was without drive, background or a point. WWE needs to get their booking back on track or let the Superstars come up with some of their own spots before their careers suffer more. (Side note: anyone know where Sandow is?)
US Championship Match: Alberto Del Rio v. Kalisto: I admit, if it wasn’t for the fact that I like Kalisto I was debating turning off the TV and going to bed. I decided to stay awake and watch the match and I’m so glad I did! Seeing Kalisto win was a great moment. Del Rio’s pre-match promo was well done and the match itself was a great spectacle. It looked like Kalisto would never get the belt but, in the end, he was victorious. This could set up a Latino Superstar feud which could be good, only if they handle it well. Could he go the popular “Rey Mysterio” route? Or is this a fluke for booking? (Side note: Also, with Del Rio returned and now without a title, what does that say for his future? Also, am I the only one whose noticed the League of Nations has kind of been forgotten? What’s going on here? Poor planning…as usual.)
Becky Lynch Attacks Charlotte: With another Diva’s friendship on the rocks let’s see if WWE lets these two women have a great feud or if it’ll be lost in the shuffle. So far WWE seems to be letting these ladies do a good job but hopefully it doesn’t suffer. Having Ric Flair on the sideline helps with Charlotte’s heel “I hide behind my daddy” thing but eventually it’s going to take more and more away from Charlotte as a character herself. Flair’s parading and crazy old man energy made him look goofy last night as he shouted that Charlotte couldn’t compete and for someone to hand him his sport’s jacket. Having Lynch attach Charlotte definitely spurred on the rivalry here, let’s hope WWE doesn’t drop the ball.
1 VS All Match: Roman Reigns v. 14 Superstars: 14 Superstars came to the ring and Kevin Owens was mandated by Mr. McMahon that he start off the beat down of Reigns. The battle was well done, giving each man a moment to shine but, as always there was a breakdown of action as more Superstars got involved. Finally, after Reigns was the recipient of a group beat down, Brock Lesnar’s music hit the arena. The crowd went nuts as Lesnar got to the ring. Given a few “miscommunication” points earlier on in the night between the McMahons, Paul Heyman & Lesnar I knew that Lesnar wasn’t there only to beat on Reigns. Sure, in the end, he did attack Reigns and deliver an F-5 but not until after Lesnar had taken out some of the Superstars that were doing the McMahon’s bidding (The New Day, Owens, etc). I wonder why exactly The Wyatt Family did absolutely nothing to Reigns and I wonder why those opposing Mr. McMahon’s puppets lately didn’t come out (namely Ambrose, Ziggler, The Social Outcasts, etc). I get that having Lesnar come out was a big enough pop but wouldn’t it have been more impressive with more Superstars in the ring and Lesnar tearing through both faces and heels? We’ll see what happens Thursday and next week on Raw, I suppose.
– after the long and predictable intro, Shamus vs Ambrose was mildly entertaining, which is more than you can say for most matches featuring Shamus. I wonder if the Owens run in was moved up due to Shamus getting busted open the hard way on the ring post?
– Titus vs Stardust was what it was, but I can’t say I’m particularly interested in either of these guys at the moment.
– Much as I generally dislike the filler segments on Raw, the Highlight Reel is always fun. With Cena and many others out injured it makes sense to bring Jericho back in a high profile role, I’m just not sure that hanging with the Usos is the best use of his talents…
– Solid match as expected between New Day and the Usos, although it feels like we’ve seen variations on this match many times before. I’m looking forward to Bullet Club or Jordan & Gable hitting the main roster and freshening things up a bit.
– Nice HOF package for Sting, followed by the Wyatts take on the newly named Social Outcasts. To try and focus on the positive, it’s good to see these guys getting some TV time, and it’s pretty funny that Ryback is now being backed up by the WWE equivalent of the chess club.
– ADR vs Kalisto was probably the best match I’ve seen from Del Rio since his return to the WWE, with Kalisto picking up the surprise win after getting the crap kicked out of him for ten minutes.
– Reigns vs The Heels started out well with Kevin Owens, although I’d like to see KO challenge for the belt for real. Things got a bit silly for a while until Lesnar hit the ring and suplexed everyone in sight, then hit an F5 on Reigns for good measure.
– If the final segment showed anything, it’s that Raw desperately needs Brock Lesnar right now, unless they’re willing to take a punt on Kevin Owens or hopefully soon-to-debut NJPW superstar Nakamura.
Tags: monday night raw, Tuesday Raw Roundtable