I wanted to post about this yesterday, but I posted about Val’s anthology instead.
Damn, that was a good RAW this week! They really cranked it up, not a surprise since they were in Chicago, Ground Zero for the CM Punk chants. There was only one way to keep those chants down, and that’s by blowing them away with a great show.
Let’s start with Paul Heyman’s promo. I go back a long way with Paul, as I was a big ECW fan back in the 90s. He is just about the best promo guy the WWE has right now, and he tore the crowd apart. First, he teases a Punk return, and pulls the rug out from under the crowd. Then he turns it back on the audience, seamlessly moving into a promo from Brock/Taker. Just like that, he infuriates the crowd, gives Punk heel heat, and sets up motivation for the WM battle. Not that I needed any. Taker/Brock is sure to be a great match. They can both go all out, since they only wrestle once a year.
They actually let Brock talk. More surprising, he was good. When he shouted his name the way Heyman does, it was a bit intimidating. F5ing a 400 pound man into a table is always intimidating too. Poor Mark Henry, back to jobbing.
Bam! Right into The Usos/NAO. I’ve been waiting a long time for the Usos to get the belt, and I wasn’t disappointed. great match, satisfying victory.
The Big E/ Real Americans stuff I could do without. It was only in there to show character development between Swags and Cesaro. The Giant Swing was cool though.
If The Shield and Wyatts keep putting on 5 star matches in the middle of the show, the second half is going to be a let down. I can’t get enough of these guys. Tonight was Seth Rollins’ turn to show off. He doesn’t get much spotlight behind Reigns and Ambrose, but man, what an agile dude. Suicide dives over the top rope. That’s some crazy luchador stuff right there. I also like that he walked out on his team. It made perfect sense to me (“you sort it out”). If they are gonna leave him high and dry (as they did) so can he. They deserved the constant “this is awesome” chant.
And how good has Roman Reigns gotten in the past year? He went from being an athletic big guy with little ring skill to a breakout star. His in ring ability rivals his partners at this point, not to mention that he has a look that’ll get you pregnant faster than an Old Spice commercial.
Ah Emma, Emma, Emma. I love you so much. Not only were you trained by Lance Storm, but your finisher is The Muta Lock, one of my all time favs. When Diva wrestling is good, it’s really good. Of course, when it’s bad, it’s time for a bathroom break.
Speaking of bathroom breaks, Seamus/Christian was bad enough to get a “this is awful” chant. It was, it really was. Somewhere, the Captain lost his Charisma.
I can’t even comment of the Bellas/Aksana & Fox. Disappointing. I expect more from the Bellas.
The Bryan promo was excellent, though I could’ve done without the misogyny involved in the “why don’t you put on your wife’s skirt” line. It’s a minor offense in the promo, but come on man.
I loved that they bookened the last hour with Bryan. If you don’t want Punk chants, get them to scream YES!
Ziggles and Del Rio didn’t do much for me. Del Rio is the modern day Steve Blackman: A talented wrestler with MMA history, with no charisma at all. Ziggles is going to be big, but not for a few years. Aaron Paul was unnecessary, and kind of a distraction. I lament that he went from a great show like Breaking Bad to this cheesy Need For Speed crap.
Paul Bearer in the Hall of Fame makes me happy. Dare we see emotion from Taker during the induction? Probably not, but I bet Kane and Foley will cry.
Rusev reminds me of Taz or Rhyno. Those are good things to be.
Even Daniel Bryan couldn’t save his match with Batista. Lord knows he tried, but Batista is so bad, so very bad. It was still decent, but not on the level I expect from D-Bry.
Stephanie did kinda save it with the YES chant at the end. She is so good at being a corporate asshole.
All in all, it was a very entertaining RAW. I would’ve liked to see the Rhodes in there somewhere, but nothing’s perfect.
As an aside, they have to change the main event for WM. No one wants to see two heels fight for the championship, especially when one has limited ring skills, and they both have mediocre promo skills. I’d fix it next week by having Mr. McMahon come out and put Bryan in as a triple threat. The crowd needs somebody to cheer for.