The Sens just scored a game tying goal early in the first, so I’ll be starting on a positive note. Don’t worry, this is not a hockey blog, I absolutely despise most forms of split-focus. This will be a wrestling blog, where I plan on reviewing Raw, NXT, and Smackdown. I do plan on including Impact within a few weeks, and possibly Lucha Underground.
Before I start on this journey of reviewing the world of wrestling, I should give my audience (all two of them) some background information. My name is Erin Sidhu, I am a born and raised Torontonian that has a passion for wrestling and hockey. Currently, I am working in sports management, but lately my love for the wrestling has taken a higher priority in life. I am writing this blog on a daily basis because I enjoy sharing my thoughts with other fans and I always wanted to venture into journalism. Journalism was an industry I have always wanted to be apart of, but due to the competition in the field I decided to strive for a career in sports management. At the moment my goal is to become a well established public relations representative for a major sports organization, or make it big writing this blog.
I will begin my first entry with this past week’s episode of Raw.
Monday Night Raw this week started off rather strong. Triple H opened the show and went out of his comfort zone by keeping his promo to 15 minutes. I am not sure how many fans are keeping track, but it is fair to say that for the past few weeks Raw has been an average of 19 minutes for the opening segment. Hunter kept his words short, set the theme for the night, and announced a few important matches. Most importantly though, he made a significant change to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at the Royal Rumble by adding Seth Rollins. Even before getting a chance to take this in and figure out what their angle will be, he told audience that Ziggler vs Barrett for the Intercontinental title will be the opening match. Barrett initially lost by a quick roll up, but then proceeded to lay a post match beat down on Ziggler. Shortly after Kane interfered in a different way then usual, as he claimed the match is actually a 2 out of 3 falls. Barrett picks up 2 falls, and becomes the new Intercontinental champion. I will admit, I thought this was a clever way to start the first Raw of the year. The idea of a Ziggler-Barrett feud excites me, but I feel this is hurting the title because a new champion is crowned every month. Although in hindsight, this may have been a good decision because after seeing the show’s last segment, it can be said that creative has bigger plans for Ziggler in the upcoming weeks.
– After an Ascension squash match, we got another Roman Reigns vs Big Show match. This week’s match ended in a DQ, but left Roman standing tall after delivering a post match spear to Show. At this point, we know this feud is close to finishing, considering Reigns will probably have a more marquee feud coming out of the Royal Rumble. If I had to guess, Reigns will eventually beat Big Show clean at the go home show for the Rumble. I personally believe they are using Reigns in the right way, and by this I mean his on screen time is just perfect. Once he sharpens his promo skills, he should be able to win over another chunk of the viewers.
– Harper and Rowan squared off for the second time since the Wyatts seperated and wrestled a short match with Harper picking up the win. It should be pointed out that J&J security helped with their amazing officiating. This is a match that could have used some more build, and could have definitely been aired on a PPV instead of an episode of Raw. These two men have too much history to just have a casual match.
– The ambulance match for Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt was the blow off match for a feud that has become rather stale. The match itself was quite fun to watch. There were a few stellar spots that lead this to be the best match of their long feud. Wyatt went home with a 4-0 record against Dean, which does give Wyatt some much needed credibility, but drained all the momentum from Ambrose. It is fair to say these two will not be crossing paths for a while.
– Seth Rollins was announced to go head to head against Ryback, but with the way the Authority was punishing the rebels who stood up against them, there was more to come. Kane made his way to the ring and announced his entry into this match by making it a 2 on 1 against Ryback. The big guy tried his best, but was pinned clean by Rollins after taking a curb stomp. This match was purely meant for Ryback to be punished by the Authority. I didn’t feel this match had much impact, it came as an after thought to the other two matches that involved two anti-Authority wrestlers. As wrestling fans, we tend to complain about the lack of clean finishes, but this is one match that would have fared better with a DQ finish to keep Ryback looking strong . It was tough to garner any interest, especially after the Wyatt-Ambrose match. It was average, but it could have been placed closer to the start of the show rather than the end.
-The last segment of the show, hate or love it, did have large implications for the weeks to come. This was not Cena’s night in terms of being in a good mood, and it was unfortunate because it was Cena Appreciation Night. The Authority came out and requested Cena join them in the ring while they gave him sarcastic compliments. They go on to bring out his partners from Survivor Series (except Big Show) in a way which reminded me of “Rock, this is your life”. Triple H begins to talk about suspending each of them but then decides he and Stephanie must consult outside of the ring. They proceed to walk up the ramp and turn around only to fire Ryback, Ziggler, and Rowan. The look on Cena’s face told it all, he felt like the lowest form of life. Confetti and balloons were falling from the rafters as Stephanie was dancing with her beloved husband. This segment was a hit or miss, depending on your taste. I enjoyed this, simply because it was a great execution on dark humor. The audience knew Cena had no choice but to bring back the Authority, so we could not blame him. His face told the entire story, he let his friends down. This was not Cena being angry like how he was over Zack Ryder’s multiple beat downs from Kane, but it was the look of failing his friends.
– Seth Rollins has been added to the the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match, it is now a triple threat meaning this match has become unpredictable. Going into the Royal Rumble, we all know Lesnar could possibly lose because he may have plans to leave for UFC/Bellator after Wrestlemania. The WWE could justify either men winning, but what does it mean with Rollins entering? Part of me believes he will be used as a fall man, this way Cena and Lesnar are booked strong. There is also a part of me that thinks Rollins is ready to enter Wrestlemania season as champion. One thing I can tell you for sure is that WWE does not know who the winner is yet, but they have found a way to create more possibilities.
-Ambrose and Wyatt should have been either the last match, or the match before the Cena-Authority segment.
– This may be nitpicking, but Hunter really knows how to bury others with the mic. He referred to Sting as a “goof” multiple times on the show. I am not against Hunter in anyway, in fact I am a huge fan, but there was no reason for him to use that particular word. In the past weeks, Rollins has done a great job building Sting as a vigilante, and has kept him looking like a threat while off television. Why did Hunter feel the need to insult him in such an immature way? Especially if this is the man he will face at Wrestlemania.
Overall I give this Raw a solid 6/10. The Authority made their presence known, especially with that assertive opening segment. As the night went on, the matches lacked excitement, but the Wyatt-Ambrose is the one exception.