Live from KanyeTown, Illinois
Last week I had a lot of time to think about the future of Goin’ in Raw. I came in on last week’s show a little late and was totally confused as to what was going on. Why was Dean Ambrose beefing with H Cube? Isn’t he already neck deep in suplex? Who is the number one contender for the Women’s Title? Why y’all gotta piece together a squad to come after New Day? Why is The Undertaker so cool with being McMahon’s tool? Last week’s effort was a little disjointed. Here’s hoping these tires get some traction…on the Road…to WRESTLEMANIA!
And the Cat’s in the Craddle with the Silver Spoon
The Show started with Shane-O-Mac addressing Chicago before answering his pops and The Undertaker’s short convo. He promised to change the show and give some dudes some opportunities who haven’t gotten any. He made some Bernie Sanderseque. Then there was a gong. But it was just Vince McMahon trolling everybody. He went on a ten minute tirade about a picture and grandkids and wills and Taker and whatnot. Then he sent some “security guards” down to the ring to feel what it’s like to take some bumps in front a capacity crowd. Aaaaaand scene.
Lot of talk in this one. But not so bad. Vince went on for a while but it’s good setup for the family feud. However, it’s evident that The Authority and McMahons are writing themselves into the starring roles of WrestleMania. It would be nice to see the SuperStars be the main attraction. The bosses should take a backseat and stop being the big bads. I get the story of having the faces having to overcome insurmountable odds. What’s wrong with making a monster heel who stands on his own and looks vicious and beats on everything moving?
IC Champ Kevin Owens vs. Neville
To prove that he can wrestle other people besides Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens took on the Man Creative Forgot, Neville. They had a pretty decent match. Kev did just as many high flying moves as Neville. He was out there looking like Bam Bam Bigelow 2.0 or Kung-fu Panda. Owens ended the match with a well-placed schoolboy roll-up. Winnie the Pow went for a post-match celebratory ring apron powerbomb when he was rudely interrupted by Sammy Zayn. A little dust up ensued and Sammy came up. This would be so ill if WWE could guarantee that the majority of that crowd know who Sammy Zayn is. I know I watch NXT. But when I ask a friend if they’ve ever seen a Takeover and they look at me like dude from the question mark memes. I wish I was wrong, but one of the last times creative did something for an NXT guy, they put a cape of Neville and pushed him down the ramp.
At some point they casually mentioned Roadblock, the WWE Network exclusive event where HHH will defend the WWE World Heavyweight title against Dean Ambrose. I don’t totally hate the idea for Roadblock. It’s not a big hyped up, sorta supposed Pay Per View extravaganza. WWE just kind of asked us all what we were doing this Saturday and invited us over for Roadblock and chill.
Dolph gets Stephed On
Stephanie: What’s all that shit you was talkin on Twitter?
Ziggler: Remember when y’all was gonna give me a push after Survivor Series that one time?
Stephanie: Nah. But you gotta fight the League of Nations later.
Ziggler: C’mon, dog!
Summer Rae def. Brie Bella
…with a botched roll-up after the DJ dropped Lana’s beat. Then she got in the ring and hit Brie with the X-Factor or whatever Brie calls it. Every man in the crowd was willing to trade places with Bella. They gotta do something about Lana’s weave. They actually gotta do something about all the Divas’ weave. They gotta do something about the name Divas. They gotta….
Dean Ambrose came out to chat for a bit. Then HHH came out to the ramp and stunted on him for a minute. For once Dean Ambrose made it out of a segment without getting beaten up. Unfortunately, for Ambrose, he was put in the main event against Bray Wyatt.
Dolph Ziggler vs. The League of Nations (tag team elimination match)
Dolph got jumped by the League. But it’s cool because it was sanctioned by Steph. Dolph was able to take out King Barrett with a Superkick because he’s willing to put a guy over on his “I’m leaving the company” world tour. Zig teased being able to pin Rusev as well. But took a couple
boots to the head and got pinned.
WWE gave us a Shane McMahon package that wasn’t as ill as the one somebody sent me on Facebook the other day.
Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch vs Team BAD
When they tell the girls how much time they have on the show, how are they able to cram as much tight work in these matches as they are? The see-saw only switched once really. But after a Backstabber, Sasha was able to put Naomi away with the Bank Statement.
R. Truth and Goldust the Saga Continues
Truth brings in a deep dish pizza, a real deep dish pizza (none of that Unos junk) to Goldust. He was dressed as a pizza guy. This is what, the eighth instillation of the Golden Truth? We obviously need new Tag Teams, so put these guys out there and let them make their way to New Day so they too can be dispatched. Anyway, if you’re wondering what happened to the pizza, Mark Henry took it. I think he might have eaten the whole thing.
Tag Team Champions The New Day vs Team Y2AJ
Anything with the beloved Unicorns of the Black Community is going to be worth the price of admission. This match was fantastic. All the moves were tight. They saved AJ for the turning point of the match. Despite the love they were getting from the crowd, New Day worked relentlessly heel. As a fan, I found myself getting concerned when it looked like the New Day was going to lose. But they didn’t. Big E proved to be worth his weight in gold when he ran AJ through the barricade outside the ring and Big Ended Jericho inside the ring to retain the titles. After the match Jericho turned on AJ and pretty much guaranteed those Team Y2AJ shirts would be going for $15 Monday Night. Turns out Chris was just hating on Styles because of all the love he was getting.
US Champ Kalisto vs. Tyler Breeze
Why is Kalisto not defending this title? It was awesome a little while ago when New Day defended their titles. There should be at least one title being defended on Raw every week. Anway, Kali put Tyler away with the Salida Del Sol. I’ve been watching a lot of Lucha Underground lately. I’ve been spoiled by masked men getting stories.
The Class of 2016 WWE Hall of Fame announced the late Ray Trailer AKA Big Bossman will be inducted. Salute.
Ryback interrupted Kalisto’s interview with Jo-Jo’s little fine self to deliver a long-winded speech to the K-Man about superhero movies and tag teams. He kind of had a point…when he finally got to it. Then he threatened to tear the wings off the Social Butterflies. That was good enough to catch on.
Ryback vs. Curtis Axel w. the #SocialOutcasts
Before the match, The Outcasts did their best New Day impression and said stuff. Axel started a “Yee!” (not Yes!) chant. The match was a little rough, but it wasn’t awful. This is the first time Ryback has been in Chicago since he stole C.M. Punk’s running high knee. Then he mocked the G.T.S. move and the Crowd lost their minds. He polished off Curtis with Shell-Shock and walked back up the ramp. Search and destroy. This is a good turn for Ryback if played right. I don’t know whether he’s a true heel or just like an anti-hero. He’s wrestling annoying goons like the Social Outcasts. But he’s walking out on people and decrying teamwork as a thing. I’m pretty sure his character is in limbo while the writers figure it out.
Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt
Surprisingly, Wyatt made his way to the ring without his subordinates. He and Dean had their usual beat em up brawl because, why not? It didn’t take long for things to break down and the rest of the Wyatt Boys to come out and drop them 5th Ward Ds on Dean. Then the King of Vultures came out to the ring with the belt…because stuntin. When Trips stood over Ambrose to pick the Lunatic Fringe’s bones, he ended up in a dramatic staredown with the Wyatt’s patriarch. Bray gave HHH a pass and took his boys out of the ring. Hunter went back to tend to Dean and caught a Dirty Deeds for his trouble. Ambrose stood tall at the end of the show. I’m just glad to see Dean gain a little momentum going into Saturday. Triple H had been beating Superstars to a pulp over the past couple weeks. I’m not saying he ain’t a bad boy, but c’mon, champ. Right back to burying the young talent I see.
While I do believe HHH will eventually (sigh) do what’s best for business, does he really need to be there in the first place? I guess the rush of being in front of the crowd and being the man is so addictive, that you gotta get that taste again. But I want assurance that he’ll give it up. And how about that Bray Wyatt? Can we just let him be the top heel and be done with all this corporate stuff? The feud with Stone Cold is the best thing to happen and the worst thing to happen to WWE creative because it gave us the McMahons getting into the ring or somehow directly affecting everything to happen to the main babyface for the better part of the last 20 years. It’s high time we just get the talent to perform while the management facilitates.
Spike Lee doesn’t jump in front of his cameras (anymore). Stan Lee hops in and out of his creations. You won’t catch him trying to play Magneto. Could you imagine Dick Wolf playing a rapist on SVU? Probably not. I’m not saying we don’t ever want to see them again, but the big wigs gotta go away and let the boys do their jobs. Think about all the time they take up on each Monday Night. That opening segment was about 20 minutes. That’s two matches, or one really good two segment match. Goldust and Truth could have actually spent some time developing their dynamic and not just talk about dookie. Anything else could have taken the place of all that chatter. You have guys you have to develop. Then maybe they wouldn’t have to kill themselves in the ring to try and get over before they tear a shoulder, or break their necks or get concussed. Manage these three hours wisely. Try to take us back to when this was a magic show. Whatever you have to do, do it. But you can’t do what you need to do as a promoter if you’re out there performing.