The string of good WWE programming came to an end last night with a lukewarm episode of Raw. It was only a matter of time, plus it wasn’t that bad. Just not really worth watching, but it’s definitely worth a good ole analysis.
The Saddest Player In the Game
It looks like WWE has struck gold with Sasha Banks and Charlotte for their third hour viewers. Good, keep it up. I don’t mind the fact that the Women’s championship seems more important than the Universal title. I didn’t mind the segment either. Charlotte did her best job playing it straight (though the swerve was obvious). A part of me wanted them to mend their fences, so I was on board.
Then she slapped him and Ric Flair cried immediately. It’s weird seeing Ric cry so easily these days. You know what else is weird? Sasha is very quick to defend Ric, but he screwed her over plenty earlier this year, but whatever. This feud needed another catalyst to garner some heat until the final bout. Charlotte’s performance as a heel was so good tonight that it might just work. Even more so than Sasha she seems like a star. It was a great look to have her beat the crap out of Sasha and tease her dad going out. If this leads to The Nature Boy interfering and helping Charlotte win again, I’m out.
Finally, Triple H
Seth Rollins opened the show and he mentioned Triple H, and here I thought we were finally getting that big babyface promo Seth should’ve given after KO was awarded the title. I was wrong, but it was almost that promo. He talked about how he learned that his actions had consequences. He didn’t drive the point home that he is a changed man though. Too be honest, it’s too late for this promo. To be blunt, WWE botched Rollins’ turn. It was interesting that he at least acknowledged The Game.
I got less interested when he mentioned Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens because that’s more of the same flavor we’ve been getting. Also, last week it was nice to see Rollins get his payback on Jericho, but this week Jericho didn’t seem to care about Rollins at all. That’s a bad sign two weeks before the PPV. Also why is he going through Jericho to get to Owens? Aren’t they broken up. Also, I don’t see how beating Owens will make Triple H come out? There’s too much going on, and they’re stretching this out so long, all the heat is being lost.
Owens came out during the promo and said he wanted to make it up to Jericho by giving him a few gifts. The first gift was for Big Show to beat up Rollins. The Second was a title shot for the US title. The third was a match with Rollins at Roadblock: End of the Line (I’m pretty sure they have to say that EVERYTIME).
Rollins vs Beard Show
It was nice to see Big Show after all this time, the fans seemed to like him. The match was nothing special, just Rollins spending most of the match trying to get big show off his feet. I enjoyed the series of flying knees to The Giant. During the entire match, Owens was annoyingly shouting at big show like a douchey little league coach. Obviously the future Hall of Famer wasn’t going to take it. He choke slammed the champ inside the ring. He held him in midair for a second to remind us that he still is a force in the WWE. Rollins got a nice pedigree in and moved on.
US Title match
Jericho and Reigns had a good match. Longer matches with Roman Reigns vs a talented superstar is WWE’s not so sneaky way of giving Reigns credibility to try and get him over. It’s not going to work, but we all know that. Owens trotted his way down toward the end of the match to interfere on behalf of Jericho. He kicked Reigns in the mouth and Jericho gave him a code breaker. At this moment, I almost (almost) thought Reigns will lose. It was a great moment.
Jericho told Owens earlier in the night he doesn’t want his help, and he scolded Owens for it. Seeing Jericho so intense tonight is giving me the idea that it is a swerve. I prefer Jericho and Owens to stop teasing and just get to it, but there’s an important thing to note here. Owens got more boos tonight than he usually gets, and I think it’s because of Jericho. That all may be undone at Roadblock, but it’s important they make this payoff in a big way. Maybe they’ll face off at the Royal Rumble and Jericho can truly put Owens over as a heel.
My Thoughts on the Enzo Skit
There’s a lot of people who aren’t so sure how to feel about this segment. I’m in that group. Last week I was ok with the Cesaro/Sheamus bar segment, but that’s because it was comedy. When you have a camera outside the ring with no logical explanation, the fans will look down on the segment. Because it makes no sense. Why would Enzo Amore bang Rusev’s wife on camera? Or why would she seduce him on camera?
When Rusev didn’t show up for his match with Big Cass, I fully expected them to go the comedy route. I hoped Rusev would be in bed with a blonde wig or something. That’s what skits like these call for. But when you go all the way serious, it doesn’t have it’s full impact that it should have.
With that said, I enjoy the fact that they are at least trying to give Rusev something to do. Also, if your willing to buy into it, the performances made it work. Lana yelling in Russian while Rusev mercilessly beats Enzo and the last image of Lana staring at Enzo’s lifeless body is what villains are made of. This is the first time in a long time Rusev and Lana were actually evil. WWE did a good job of making Enzo into an every-man type, instead of a sleazy dirt bag. That might be enough to make the clash between Cass and Rusev a big deal.
Here We Go Again
Sami Zayn and Owens had another great match. It meant nothing though. They at least mentioned Braun Strowman, but it wasn’t enough to give Sami’s storyline any justice. They missed the mark this week.
Meet Mr. Gallagher
I was very impressed with Jack Gallagher‘s debut. It wasn’t anything special, but for what it was worth, he was treated with the proper attention and he had ample time to showcase his style. Normally with the Cruiserweights they’d just throw somebody out there and expect us to care. I think Gallagher has potential to be a break out star, because the audience definitely took notice.
Girls Girls Girls
Nothing else in the divas division matters except for Sasha and Charlotte. Don’t waste my time with a match between Bayley and Alicia Foxx with a stupid premise. Next!
Instead of giving us a gold tag match between two good teams with a decisive finish, they went the easy route. Next week there’s a triple threat tag match for the titles. Whatever…
TJP is Done
I don’t know when it happened but the crowd is not liking TJ Perkins anymore, and it’s got nothing to do with Rich Swann because they didn’t cheer him either. On 205 live we got to see a different side of Swann. Until that side is revealed on the main roster, people will continue to yawn.
There was a Tussle in Texas match, but you won’t hear me talking about it
As you can see there was a lot of filler on this show. Say what you will about the Lana segment, but it was at least interesting. The tag division, the women’s division and the mid-carders keep getting ignored, and that’s just boring TV. If they ‘d have the disciple to carry these stories from week to week, there would be a stronger product. Until then, the ratings will keep falling.
My grade D++
Huge fan of pro-wrestling for over 25 years. Lived through the Monday night wars (WWE/WCW) and the ECW revolution. Currently a big fan of Lucha Underground, NXT, MLW, PWG, and even Impact Wrestling…