Raw Analysis for January 16, 2017: The "Big Dog" gets put down.
The WWE is a strange place.
After a weekend of great wrestling action, intriguing stories, and excellent commentary with The United Kingdom Championship Tournament, we got blessed with Monday Night Raw...where we saw more of the same garbage we typically get from "the juggernaut" brand.
Raw did have its moments, which is an improvement from last week...
The opening segment was good, as any segment that shows Roman Reigns being shown as weak is a highlight now-a-days. Unfortunately I did feel "the Big Dog" got a little too much offense on Brock Lesnar who just should be booked as the pissed off beast after his loss to Goldberg at Survivor Series. The WWE's golden boy can't look too bad though. I also thought Braun Strowman walking away from Lesnar showed this supposed monster looking a little weak. I get saving that moment for a bigger stage, but they could have done it in a better way without jeopardizing the narrative of Strowman's character. The highlight though was the pop the crowd gave when Lesnar and Sami Zayn had a stare down. Sami...the "Indy darling" who is not huge, or pretty, got the biggest cheers just going toe-to-toe with Lesnar. Minus Reigns getting suplexed, and dropped with the F-5, that was the best moment, and something I hope Brock and Paul Hettman recognize as a potential match-up.
After the chaotic opening moment, Raw quickly went back to its usual recycling of the same old BS that it usually does. Another chapter in the horrible Rusev/Lana/Jinder feud with Enzo and Cass. The New Day, who's novelty is quickly wearing off, and Titus O' Neil had another segment where the clever faces made the nitwit look stupid (but hey, Be A Star!), and a ton of Cruiserweights on the show, with only Neville shinning in the mix (damn, he's a great heel!).
Then there was the women...I was fine with the Sasha Banks/Nia Jax angle because it's a fresh match-up at least, but the Bayley/Charlotte segment was awful to me. The reasoning for Charlotte bad mouthing Bayley was terrible. Showing pictures and poems and discussing how "basic" she was did nothing in telling me why Charlotte is better than Bayley. Especially since Bayley has so many wins against Charlotte. What was worse was how Bayley responded with what some writer probably thought was genius in her "add-lib" poetry, but it was quite the opposite and it was horrible, especially after Bayley herself put it over. The Raw Women's Division while dead-set on making history, is getting worse and worse as the weeks go on.
Of course, as per the last several months, the show was bookended with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, once again facing Jericho and Owens, but with Zayn and Strowman added to the mix. The addition of Zayn and Strowman made a tired match-up entertaining, and I even got a kick out of the backstage segment with Zayn, Reigns and Rollins. Finally, after months, KO looked like a bad ass by putting Roman threw a table, but I fear that's just a tell of who is going to win at the Rumble.
I'd give the show 7 out of 10 rating. It gets extra credit for not having Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon on camera. That and a decent main event and excellent opening made up for an otherwise normal Raw...which is not a good thing. Last weeks episode made me doze off, and this weeks wasn't far behind. Luckily I had this blog to think about which kept me engaged.
None-the-less, Raw has to improve!! I can't stress that enough. They have the talent and the time, but as long as they keep people on the wrong spots, push the wrong talent, and over-complicate simple wrestling booking, I'm afraid that other than this blog, the "Raw Deal" fans will get is watching a piss poor wrestling product every Monday night.
Some random thoughts...
-Happy to see Kurt Angle getting inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. The guy deserves it, as he's given his body to pro wrestling, and has had great matches in doing so. Also glad to see him back on the WWE stage. He was quite a "get" for TNA back in 2006, and had a great career there, but there is something that feels like "home" with him in the WWE.
-The United Kingdom Championship Tournament was an amazing event to witness on the Network. I don't know what it is, but I enjoy the hard hitting, old school style of English wrestling more than the Cruiserweight style. Yeah, there were few crazy spots, but a hard lariat, a punch to the face, or just a painful looking slam is a lot more appealing than a shooting stat press. The English wrestlers also look like legit bad asses. Compound that I enjoyed the two night tournament format, and we were even treated to some great character development with Pete Dunne being centerpieced as an amazing heel. The commentary team of Michael Cole and Nigel McGuiness was a treat too. All in all, and excellent effort by WWE and Triple H.
-The sad news of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka's death was not unexpected. His rapidly deteriorating health was well documented due to the murder case he was recently involved in. I'm not even going to speculate or point fingers, but the highlight video on him during Raw was well done.
That's it for today. Until next time...