Monday Night Raw was live from Dallas, Texas, soon to be home of Wrestlemania 32. This was evident in many fan signs, and it’s expected to be announced sometime today. Raw itself was very up and down, and kept fans going through many emotions. It was fun, but at times it was dreadful, either way it certainly wasn’t boring.
-There couldn’t be a better way to start, within 5 minutes and several uses of the word “baby” this show had already picked up steam. How often does Brock take the mic away from Paul Heyman? Not too many times, meaning Brock meant business, and this was a superb way of selling it. I was hoping once Triple H came to the ring he and Brock would attack each other. I thought Rollins’ appearance on the titantron was even better, he portrayed himself as a true coward. The only problem with this opening promo was John Cena, who came as an afterthought. The crowd was hot for Rollins-Lesnar, and they’ve been this way since last week’s edition. John’s appearance soured me on a segment that had me excited. This was a terrible idea from creative because it just made Cena look oblivious to problem occuring with Rollins and Lesnar. They could have also found a way to bring back Ziggler, Rowan, and Ryback, rather than just having another stipulation match. Needless to say this segment became stale very quickly. Take a look at how it went down.
-I’m not lying when I say this, but I was about to predict Bray Wyatt- Daniel Bryan match for this edition of Raw. The reason I decided otherwise was based on the amount Wyatt actually wrestles. A match of this stature definitely could’ve closed the show, but either way the decision to have it on the card was brilliant. These two have battled in the past, and they have great chemistry which continues to show. As fun as this match was, it needed to have a spotty finish because Wyatt also needs to appear strong before Sunday. What shocked me (maybe most fans) was that Wyatt pinned Bryan, and it was close to a clean win. This should have been a simple DQ. The way Bryan left this match made me second guess him as a Royal Rumble favorite. Here’s a look at this match.
-In my Raw prediction post I made it clear a Kliq reunion was a terrible idea, and I was proven right. Did they purposely plan on Hunter looking like a face? About 2 segments before this he was the evil Authority figure, but he quickly became one of the “guys”. I know kayfabe is slowly dying, but all of the top wrestlers should stay consistent with characterization.
-I’ll admit, I was excited for the legends panel. It was entertaining to see HBK, Flair, and Hogan, but as soon as they opened their mouths I wanted them to go away. Their answers to Byron’s questions seemed forced, and tad bit campy. It was worth noting, neither of the legends picked Reigns to win the Rumble. Big Show didn’t help this segment, but at least he was bearable. For the entire segment I kept asking myself, why did Big Show come out? He’s closely aligned with Triple H, he shouldn’t be disrespecting Hunter’s best friend, HBK. When Reigns came out I was happy to see him, he definitely saved us from this horrendous panel. I liked how they used the juggernaut, he didn’t need to cut a promo but played the strong-silent type. This is the character he plays best. Reigns wouldn’t appear after this, I assume he’ll play a bigger role on Smackdown.
-Ambrose finally picked up a win, and to be honest I can’t remember the last time that happened. This win brought his stock up, especially since he pinned Bad News Barrett clean. With Flair predicting him to win the Rumble, his luck might turn around. Creative was spreading the momentum for this show, and I applaud them. It was evident the Rumble match will be the main focus on Thursday, but it was made sure all men who are considered favorites or wildcards were showcased.
While I’m at it, here’s a look at some Rumble statistics.
-The NWO comes out, and they have a similar segment to the legends panel, but instead of Big Show they get the Ascension. I must point out, X-Pac still looks annoying. I don’t get why the Ascension fell victim to this promo, weren’t they supposed to be a threat? It’s one thing to get buried by 3 guys, but they didn’t need the APA and New Age Outlaws to help. It was nice to see all these legends, but not at the expense of team they’re trying to push .I would have preferred Miz and Mizdow for this segment, because they’re actually a comedy tag team.
-It was made out to be that Cena’s opponent was a surprise, and it was disappointing to learn his opponents were Rollins, Kane, and Big Show. That match itself was nothing special, mainly because of its staleness. When it looked like Rollins was ready to hit the curb stomp, Sting surprisingly appears. This was a swerve for the ages. Nobody expected to see Sting, at least until the Rumble. The crowd reaction was unbelievable, and I’ll be the first to say I jumped off my seat. I just wish Cena went to go celebrate with Sting as opposed to the crowd .Hunter exploded in anger calling for Sting, instead we got Lesnar. At this point the entire segment had turned into a good type of mayhem. The crowd was hot for Sting, but they couldn’t be disappointed by an angry Brock. The team of Rollins, Kane, and Big Show is dismantled, leaving Lesnar standing tall. After the way the beast was booked last week, it was important to have him look strong in this segment. The conclusion of this show was exciting, despite its major split focus. There had to be several emotions going through the hearts of fans, and it’s a great reminder why many of us love wrestling. After seeing this, all I can say is that they have me sold for Sunday.
This Raw had its ups and down, like last week, it struggled to stay at a consistent pace. They acknowledged all the top contenders for the Rumble, but I imagine they’ll be promoting that match on Smackdown, which isn’t a bad thing. The legends could have been used more sparingly, by this I mean having them all in one segment as opposed to 3. The ending of this show was worth the 3 hours. I figured they sold the fans on another Cena beat down, but instead swerved them with some great outside involvement and drama. Overall, I give this week’s show a 6.7/10 or a C+.
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