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The Raw Rollup – Texan/Russian Accent Edition (Mar.17)

All I can say is that last night could was the most bizarre Raw I’ve seen in quite some time. Never can I think of a show that had me less interested at the beginning but had me marking out like a mad man by the end of the show. This show even made my review inconsistent, I’m sure you’ll notice how my mood gradually got better after a certain segment.

Opening Segment

Rollins was in his home state, so naturally he was going to be over with the crowd. What makes him a great heel is that he turned the crowd against him. Even though it was cheap heat, he needed to do that in order to keep Randy Orton hot. I also believe Big Show did a good job in this promo. J&J security was the most comedic spot in this promo, and I like how they’re finding different ways of getting over with the audience. Randy Orton’s babyface promo felt refreshing, and it bothered me that we’ve been missing out on these promos with Rollins for all these weeks .The entire segment came across as funny, and it was great for setting the tone for this feud.

AJ vs Nikki Bella

I enjoy how the WWE is giving this feud a lot of TV time, it shows that they’re serious about giving the divas more attention. It was clear that AJ carried this match in terms of selling moves and guiding Nikki. While it was AJ carrying the match, Bella worked great with her. I felt Nikki did a good job at playing the heel in this match, and her character is really finding a way to shine off the mic. The spot of this match was easily the cross body from AJ, she caught a lot of air and made it look spectacular. I was happy with the ending of this match, it flowed well.

Ryback vs The Miz

This show was beginning to feel exactly like Smackdown, full of recaps. At this point they had spent a good 15 minutes on showing us highlights from last week. The spot with Mizdow contemplating striking Miz was awesome, and I love Ryback got involved. That was the only stand out from this match, because this was just a glorified squash match. The hit from Miz to Mizdow was another good way to push this feud before Mania. For some reason this was a decent segment, but I didn’t care much for it.

US Title Contract Signing

I liked the idea of a contract signing, it does give the two something else to do rather than cutting promos in the middle of the ring. Cena’s promo wasn’t his best work, but he did a good job at getting the crowd to go against Rusev. I felt John’s part was beginning to drag, seemed to me as if he needed to kill some time. Rusev definitely upgraded by getting a new suit, but downgraded by replacing Lana with an older gentleman. The crowd didn’t agree with Rusev’s decision, and they had the right to. This actor that played Rusev’s lawyer was just terrible. They would have been better off having Rusev cut his own promo. The commentary team was right to run this man down. Also did Rusev need to read his promo off a script? I know he was trying to make a legal statement, but it just didn’t add anything .All I can say is that this was a failure of a segment, and it possibly ruined the show for me.

Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs New Day

This match was already better than the last segment. It was great to see it start off fast. Kofi and Kidd were the standouts in this match. I expected the match to last longer, but I don’t think it went longer than 2 minutes. Having the Los Matadores beat down the two teams was a great way to put them over, but I found it insulting that El Torito took out Cesaro.

Brock Lesnar Interview

The first part of this promo didn’t accomplish anything for Brock, Roman, or their feud. I think we’ve seen him beat the streak enough times and heard how he doesn’t care for anybody. Even his words on his contract status weren’t anything special. It sounded like a paraphrased version of Heyman’s promo from last week.

Big Show vs Eric Rowan

I think the WWE was trying to make this the worst Raw in recent memory. Why do they continue to book these two together? They have zero chemistry together, and they’re both terrible wrestlers. This was a complete waste of time, and I think the show was just killing time.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal Demo

This match/segment was pointless. It did nothing for me, and was pointless. Was it too remind us that Mark Henry is officially back? Because they could have done that with an actual match.

Paul Heyman Promo

This Heyman promo had me thinking that Brock might have already signed a new contract or is very close. Why else would he continue to talk about Brock leaving or staying? I think if Lesnar wasn’t at least close to signing they would stay away from this type of drama. Either way, this promo made this Raw bearable to watch. There isn’t anything Heyman can’t do with a mic. When it was Roman’s time to speak, I thought he did a great job. He took his time in between sentences and added the right tone. I do feel as if he could have been more aggressive in this segment. Somehow this was the best part of Raw at so far.

Dean Ambrose, Daniel Bryan, & Dolph Ziggler vs Bad News Barrett, Luke Harper, & Stardust

I wasn’t looking forward to watching this Smackdown rematch, but I was happy to see R-Truth on commentary. While Bryan’s momentum has gone down, it’s still good to know the crowd still cheers for him. This match was pretty exciting, but because it has been a subpar Raw, I had a tough time getting invested. After soaking this contest in, it began to get me interested .I noticed that the heels had some great tag team work, it was most evident when Stardust and Harper were double teaming Ziggler. Even Barrett was great on the team work. I found it a shame that they cut to commercial when this match became exciting. While the team work of the heels stood out for me, Bryan was the star of this match. He was great every time he was tagged in, and the crowd was very hot for him. The after match brawl was highly entertaining, and Barrett finally stole the show while stealing his title back.

Bray Wyatt Promo

This promo felt different from Bray’s other promos, I think the creepy music added to his mystique. I couldn’t help but notice that the urn was a different color from the other one. Overall, I enjoyed Bray’s promo, I just hope they have some sort of meeting next week. Considering how dramatic last week was, they’ll need to have something just as dramatic heading into Wrestlemania.

Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins

Rollins’ trap was very clever, I’m sure many people didn’t figure this out until a few seconds before it was revealed. If you were paying attention earlier today, you might have figured out that Sting was in the building last night. His surprise appearance was perfectly timed, and it’s been quite some time where two feuds were booked well within one segment.

For anybody with the WWE Network, Sting and Orton cut a short but an exciting promo. Neither of these men are about long promos, so their few words were great for getting the crowd going.

Conclusion

This was easily the weirdest Raw I’ve seen in a while. Last night’s edition of Raw easily fell victim to the 3 hour time slot, and it appeared that the WWE didn’t know how to fill it properly .It went from awful to decent, and I’m not sure how they miraculously recovered. While the show didn’t go to spectacular, it made up for a horrendous start. Since I don’t grade the shows based on first and second half, I’ll have to be fair. Overall I give this show a 5.5/10.

 

C

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