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The Raw Rollup – Tug of War Edition (Mar.24)

This was the WWE’s last chance to make an impression for the larger part of their audience. It was crucial that they make the most of it, but apparently some writers in the back didn’t think that for Roman and Brock.

Opening Segment

They opened the show with a bang, and there was no better way to get everybody excited. Sting’s opening words felt electrifying, and full of great substance. The promo reminded me that Sting is a good mic worker. It didn’t matter who interrupted, the segment was going to be refreshing. Stephanie did a great job with Sting, and worked well around the crowd. I’m glad to see they kept the insults harsh, it made the segment feel that much more epic. When Triple H’s music hit, I marked out like a 12 year old, because we knew things were about too escalate. The stare down between Hunter and Sting was very intense; it was tough not to shout at the TV telling Hunter to go into the ring. What truly made this segment entertaining was seeing how much fun Sting was having. I felt this was an awesome way to start the show and set a good tone.

Dean Ambrose & R-Truth vs Stardust & Luke Harper

It was quite obvious that the commentators didn’t care much for the match, because they were having too much fun chatting with Wade Barrett. The first half of this match was very stale, and there wasn’t much going on. It was a shame that the action finally started during the commercial break. Harper’s side slam was executed great, and was much needed to get a solid crowd reaction. Other than this there really weren’t any exciting spots .I thought it would have been a great idea for Stardust to pick up a win because he’s the only one heading into the match with no momentum. Overall I found this match decent enough to open the show, but not as exciting as I expected.

Miz, Mizdow, The Ascension, & Adam Rose vs Ryback, Zack Ryder, Titus O’Neil, Darron Young & Rowan

I absolutely loved the Miz interview with Kevin Hart and Will Farrell, it was short, but very entertaining. They could have picked a better segment to use Bill Simmons, simply because he was distracting and took away attention from this match. This bout felt like a clutter, and just a way to get as many people on the show as possible. While it felt busy, the work rate was decent. Mizdow was easily the star of this of this match just because of the loud reactions he received. While Mizdow got biggest pop, Ryback’s hot tag stole the match. His moves looked crisp and fluid. It was a smart decision to have him pick up the victory.

Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins and J&J Security

Obviously Orton wanted Rollins in this match, but it was obvious they weren’t going to spoil anything for Sunday. This match was meant for Rollins to sneak in some cheat shots and for Orton to beat down J&J Security. In terms of in ring action, it felt a spot fest for Orton’s signature moves, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. By the time Orton had picked up the win, I was hoping this wouldn’t be the last segment for this feud, but unfortunately it was.

Nikki Bella vs Paige

I thought this was a great way to further this feud. Nikki’s intentions make her look like a better heel, and it was a good way to create tension. Since it was a championship match, I knew we were in for a good contest. Paige’s flying clothesline from the apron looked great, and was definitely the spot of the match. I enjoyed watching Nikki takeover at one point, it’s a neat way for her to show that she can compete as a clean wrestler. The back and forth towards the end was very entertaining, it proved that these two can build great chemistry together. They definitely had the crowd going and the near falls were an intense spot for this match. It’s been quite a while since a divas match has had this feeling on Raw. Everything here was going to well for it to end cleanly, but it we were given the result we needed to further this storyline. Personally, I thought this was the best match of the show at this point.

Snoop Dogg/Curtis Axel/Hulk Hogan Promo

I thought this was a great use of Snoop Dogg, and it was much better than Wiz Khalifa’s performance a few weeks ago. Promos like this are a lot more fun when the celebrity guest appears to be having fun and is a fan of the product. Hogan’s appearance was a surprise to me, but a good one. It was only a matter of time that Hulkamania and Axelmania were in the ring together. While they didn’t need this segment for the go home show, it was fun to watch and made me smile.

Tyson Kidd, Cesaro, & Natalya vs Los Matadores & El Torito

We give the commentators a lot of grief for being foolish, but sometimes they’re pretty funny, especially during this match. There weren’t any particular spots that stood out, but the match was technically sound. For a contest that’s meant to be slightly comedic, I think these 6 performers did a decent job at making it entertaining. I didn’t agree with the finish, there was no need for El Torito to pick up the win. One of the Los Matadores would have been better off getting the pin, just go give them some steam heading into the PPV.

Rusev vs Jack Swagger

What was the point of this match? Could they not have used some one more credible to wrestle Rusev? I’m aware these two can put on a good match, but it’s tough to take Swagger seriously after he jobbed to Rusev multiple times. This match was a little different from their previous encounters, because Rusev was in complete control. The way Cena came running out, I was convinced he’d stand tall over Rusev, but I’m happy they let rusev get the upper hand. Also Rusev got the advantage in a clean way, which will be good for him heading into Mania. The beat down went a lot longer than I expected, but it was nice to see Rusev remind us why he’s been so dominant.

Bray Wyatt Promo

The way Wyatt was speaking about people hiding had me thinking that Undertaker might make an appearance. Bray did a good job at making his promo less confusing, and I’m sure everybody understood his message. As usual I enjoyed his promo, I thought he did a great job at setting a tone for this feud. The lightning was a great touch, it made this segment feel more frightening.

Daniel Bryan vs Dolph Ziggler (Dean Ambrose as special referee)

Ziggler and Bryan stole the show last Thursday, I expected the same from this match. These men know how to work a slow start, and that’s exactly what they did for this match. The slaps were a good spot, it definitely added to the drama between the two. The clothesline from Ziggler over the barricade was a brilliant spot, it definitely made me pop. Bryan came back later in the match and gave us a great german suplex, he landed it well, and Ziggler sold it properly. After putting on a solid match, I was again suprised that Ziggler picked up another win on Daniel Bryan. He’s definitely looking like the favorite heading into the ladder match. I felt Ambrose was completely useless, I wish he had added some more antics. The brawl at the end was a good way to finish this program for the show, but I think it would have been better if Barrett escaped with his title.

Brock Lesnar-Roman Reigns Promo

Heyman did a neat job at plugging in the network by hyping up this feud. It wasn’t the traditional plug-in, but worked. At one point his promo got slightly weird, to the point where even Brock looked confused, but it added up when he was done. That part definitely made me laugh. Roman came out to a very mixed reaction, but once his music went off, the negative reactions became louder. Once they came face to face, this segment became absolute garbage. The fans wanted to see some sort of action, or words spoken, but instead we had the two playing tug of war with the belt. This made them look very ridiculous, and childish. Considering how both of these men are promoted as tough guys, they didn’t really look the part in this promo. Heyman did such a good job at building this segment, but Brock and Roman threw it down drain. The WWE had a good chance to redeem themselves after receiving all this criticism, but they chose otherwise. After seeing this, I think they should have just ended the show with any other feud.

Conclusion

This Raw was quite simple, it had some decent matches with some entertaining promos. The only black mark on this show was the last segment, which was the most anticipated segment. For this particular Raw, I was expecting a lot out of the last segment, but instead WWE gave us more for other programs. It was the complete opposite of last week’s Raw. Overall I give tonight’s show a 6.9/10, and let’s just pretend that ending hadn’t occurred.

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