Hey guys. I think my RAW review last week was well received, so I decided to go ahead and do another one. Let me know what you think guys!
Best: Stephanie Actually Puts Someone Over For Once
I got a little worried when Stephanie McMahon came out to Kurt Angle’s response because I’m pretty sure she was just going to emasculate Kurt again like she does with everybody else. She was kind of condescending in a way, suggesting that Angle’s GM job is what is going to pay the bills of him and a son he never knew he had until last year. However, Angle did stand up for himself and Rousey came out to her future tag team partner’s defense. I thought it was going to begin in a cliche way, but I think they were able to make this segment works as they finally got the first major build to their WrestleMania match going. Each person involved got some offense in and the faces ended standing tall.
Although, it must be said, watching Triple H and Kurt brawl was like watching two old guys fight over the last cream of wheat at the retirement home. Tell me you thought the same. Ronda Rousey still has some work to do on the microphone, however. She can be seen lowering the mic below her mouth, so sometimes her voice fades in and out, and I feel like she still thinks she’s in the UFC. I’m sure that she’ll learn how to talk like a wrestler soon because she’s that good, but it’s clear she’s not there yet. Also, what are we calling her finisher, which is basically a Samoan Drop? The Ronda Drop?
Best/Worst: Turns out, She Is Actually Like Most Girls
Nia Jax is like most girls. Why is that? Because she has joined a long list of women who have lost to Asuka. While I don’t really like the fact Nia has been treated sort of like a jobber to Asuka, I thought this was a good, well-fought competitive match that made both women look strong. But it’s hard to call this a rivalry when Asuka has beaten her time and time again. Also, I’m not sure what the deal was with the little post-match drama. Usually, when the camera pans in on the competitor in the middle of the ring, all emotional after a battle, it usually signals potential retirement or a character turn, with the latter, seems more likely. Or maybe she’s just upset. Nia just fits as a heel for me, but if they want to make her a face, I wouldn’t be mad. The fans seem to be slowly warming up to her, and giving people a reason to cheer her wouldn’t be bad.
Best: Mid-Match Interviews
I may be in the minority here, but anyone else digging these mid-match interviews with part of the screen panning backstage? It almost makes it seem real. It sort of reminds me of how a basketball game comes back from a commercial and almost always instantly cuts to an interview of one of the coaches while the quarter is going on. I don’t know, it’s something different. And different is sometimes better. They’ve clearly been experimenting with that more this year, and I actually dig it.
Best: Alexa Bliss – The Therapist
We honestly need to give Alexa Bliss for being able to switch from being a naughty, detestable brat to a therapeutic person of good-will. You see how soothing Alexa was to Nia Jax while she was crying literal tears? I have pretty much every indication in my mind that it will be Asuka/Charlotte and Alexa/Nia at WrestleMania, because let’s face it, both of those women’s matches are a long time coming. However, Bliss’ character changes and shifts in tone are something really special. This will probably result in Nia getting her WrestleMania moment and becoming champion by defeating Alexa, at least that’s how it should end, but honestly, I’ve taken Alexa’s speaking skills for granted. Not anymore.
Corey Graves uttered “This is weird..” faintly under his breath while this segment was going on. Truer words have probably never been said. So yeah, what the hell was this exactly? I honestly thought I was high for a moment when I heard Goldust’s music. No, I really did. A part of me actually thought he would remove his face paint and reveal himself to be The Undertaker. Whatever the case, John Cena came out to explain something that didn’t need to be explained. We saw Smackdown.
We saw him beat AJ Styles. We know that he’s competing for the WWE Championship at Fastlane this Sunday. We know if he wins, Shinsuke Nakamura will be facing him, and AJ Styles will probably cash in his rematch clause there, making this a triple threat match. So, everything he said was pretty much a moot point, but then, er, Goldust comes out? I wish I could make sense of what he was trying to say, but honest to Vince I couldn’t tell you. I was getting the feeling that perhaps he was trying to say that he was disappointed in his career and wanted a rejuvenation, but boy did it come off horribly incoherent. This added nothing to the segment and was pretty much a complete waste of time. One throwaway house show match later, and you get something that was cringe-worthy all the way through.
Worst: The Revival Need A Revival
So Titus O’Neil gets six or whatever matches against The Bar, yet the only two-time tag team champions in NXT history loses on their first try? The Revival lost an uninspiring match on RAW in which they would have competed for the RAW Tag Team Titles at WrestleMania had they been victorious. They lost, which means, at least for the moment, they won’t be going to WrestleMania. Screw right off with that. Apparently, WWE is considering having an outside tag team face The Bar, and everything in my mind tells me it will be The Authors of Pain getting called up to the main roster. But seriously, the fact that we got over a month of Titus Worldwide getting title shot after title shot and seeing The Revival sit in catering just to lose in a half-assed match is extremely frustrating.
Worst: In-Ring Interviews Are My Pet Peeve
Before Bayley came out, we got her backstage walking to the ring with the promise that she would explain her actions. Instead, we had someone already in the ring ready to ask her questions. I’m sorry, but I do not like in-ring interviews, primarily because what is said out there is probably something that could be said backstage. But more importantly, is Bayley not a grown up? Can she not get a microphone and cut a promo in the middle of the ring on her own? Yes, talking isn’t exactly Bayley’s strong point, but how is she going to get better doing backstage interviews in the middle of the ring?
Best/Worst: Subtle Advancement
Am I the only one was thinking that Bayley was going to do a Bayley to Belly when Sasha extended for a hug? Exactly, why is Sasha wanting to hug Bayley anyways after all that she’s done to Bayley recently? Eliminating her in the Royal Rumble? Shoving her off the chamber pod? Mocking Bayley’s chances of beating Asuka (though she never had a chance). Now she wants to be all buddy-buddy? And yet Bayley’s the heel here? For being reasonable and responding reasonably to her behavior? Well, regardless of what they’re doing, I do love the little tease of growing dissension, though I wish they would just go through with it already. Just turn one of them already. This is a year in the making. The suspense is killing me.
Best: Symphony of Destruction
This was a fun little thing for two of the Elimination Chamber participants to do before WrestleMania. While the match was more of a segment as it was an actual match, I actually had some fun watching it. Braun Strowman destroying things and handling musical instruments is the stuff of legend. We might as well start writing his Hall of Fame speech right now. As for Elias, he has a special charisma about him that is rare. He has his own unique thing, he has warmed up the crowd, and he’s been able to work with people with diverse styles in the ring. WWE needs more serviceable, grass-roots kind of guys like the Elias in the business if you ask me. Maybe these two find their way into the IC Title scene, but it’ll be interesting to see where both men go from here.
Worst: Wyatt Madness
Apparently, Matt Hardy has become so woken that he remembers he has a huge compound and declares the final deletion of Bray Wyatt is to come. Bray Wyatt came out and squashed the other half of Heath Slater and Rhyno because the entire RAW tag team division is as formidable as a mob of turtles and out comes Wyatt with his maniacal laughter. I’m honestly past the point of caring about what these two have planned because WWE has managed to pilfer a gimmick that was extremely over a couple of years ago and Bray Wyatt is beyond sad. I don’t know if this is going to take place at WrestleMania or whatever, but if it is, I’m sure there will be 15 minutes they can get on the pre-show. This feud just has no legs.
Best: The Mizzies
“It takes more than a hand sign that isn’t even yours to get over. ” Is that not the definition of a mic drop? My word, The Miz has been on some sort of a hot streak in 2018, hasn’t he? This guy is absolutely golden on the mic. Seriously, somebody got the look on Finn Balor’s space as The Mizkepty spitting hot fire at his direction? He looked so stupid there because he had no adequate response. That’s just the reality of the situation right now. The Miz as Intercontinental Champion is like steamed chicken with broccoli. They just go together. The Miz takes a mocking of the Oscar awards and turns it into a semi-shoot at Seth Rollins and Finn Balor. I’ve said all I’ve needed to about The Miz before, but the man just keeps finding new ways to impress on the microphone, and we really ought to appreciate him while we still got him.
Best/Worst: All Talk And No Action Makes RAW A Dull Watch
See, if you were to watch replays of Heyman’s promos on Roman before Lesnar’s match with him at WrestleMania 3 years ago, you would barely be able to tell the difference. Why? Because they sound exactly identical. Brock Lesnar won’t show up, Paul Heyman will speak in his place, Roman will come out, he will emasculate him, rinse, repeat. However, I did like some of the content that was said, though I believe some perspective was needed. The most powerful line that Heyman delivered was the fact that Roman Reigns defeated The Undertaker last year at WrestleMania, yet not one time did he criticize him for only wrestling once that entire year. Not to say Brock is all that much better, but still. Obviously, The Undertaker is a battered and broken old man who really should just stay retired, no matter how many times people want him to keep fighting like it’s Christmas every year. Roman didn’t bring it up once, yet he does so for Brock Lesnar.
Someone pointed this out in the comments section, but Lesnar’s lack of dates wasn’t being brought up during his feuds with Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe. Why? Because they didn’t need help getting cheered. Roman does. Now, don’t get me wrong. Roman Reigns’ attitude to begin this feud has been fantastic. He sounds like a badass. If you were new to wrestling, you’d think he was a conquering hero and that he was a good guy. He’s calling out a guy who holds one of WWE’s top titles for only showing up periodically and walking around as if he’s entitled, and Roman seeks to claim that prize for him. The issue, however, is that Roman has been maligned for being given opportunities he does not deserve for a while and fans have been hating him a good while. Now, what WWE is trying to do is lessen Lesnar’s invincible aura in lieu of making him look more detestable than Roman. Joe and Strowman didn’t need that because they were already badasses that just went out there and destroyed whatever was in sight. And yet, Brock Lesnar defeated both of them pretty handily in forgettable matches. Lesnar and Roman are probably set to be some sort of bloody battle.
The talking was all well and good, though it was a bit long-winded for my taste (Roman didn’t come out until 11 minutes past the top of the hour). The biggest problem for me is that all this talking won’t progress anything in the feud. I understand Lesnar really doesn’t show up on RAW these days, and we’re apparently promised Roman and Lesnar head to head in Detroit next week. Even though that we were promised Lesnar before and he didn’t appear, needless to say, WWE may actually play up his absence and stall it even longer. However they try to do it, all I know is that some hands better be flying soon. Becuase we saw all this three years ago and it ended in an awkward tug of war over the WWE Title. This needs to come full circle and end with the physicality that we know both men are capable of.
Decent RAW I guess, but to be honest, there was a lot of things that didn’t add to the quality of the show tonight. Just kind of felt like it was there. Ah, well. Swing and a miss. Until next week, folks.