I often wrestle with how to approach these RAW Reviews. Typically, this centers on whether I should try to bullet point the whole show or simply comment on what really mattered to me. This week I am doing the latter. Let's go.
- STING DEBUTS ON RAW!--As a huge Sting mark this was obviously the highlight of the show for me and the first "Things have gotten REAL" moment leading into the Royal Rumble and the Road to Mania. Seeing him on the screen, hearing the crow sound and then watching him point at Triple H were absolutely awesome. It was a fitting RAW debut for "The Vigilante" Sting
- Main Event--I despise handicap matches, but this worked for me. It worked in large part to Sting's debut, but it also worked in general because it didn't feel like the typical "Cena overcoming the odds" nonsense. One thing that helped was the hot Dallas crowd. Another was the interplay between Lesnar and Rollins specifically after Rollins failed to defeat Cena. Triple H was excellent after Sting spoiled the match and every time the camera was on Stephanie she was perfect as usual.
- Legends Panel--Since I dig nostalgia I was happy to see Hogan, HBK and the Nature Boy. These segments have the potential to fall flat, but Big Show's arrival kicked things up. Flair was hilarious in going after Show and getting knocked out for his trouble. Check out this Deadspin article for a GIF of Flair getting punked.
- The Ascension Gets Their Due--This moved to fast, but we got a payoff for The Ascension's smearing of legendary tag teams. It was kind of sad to be reminded that "Father Time is undefeated," but it was nice seeing the nWo, New Age Outlaws and especially the APA. Bradshaw's Clothesline from Hell was nice as was him calling Ron Simmons/Faarooq down. Good times.
- Dean Ambrose vs Bad News Barrett--This was the biggest miss for me. Not because I ever have a problem with Dean Ambrose winning clean, but there's no reason whatsoever to put the two of them in a match against one another at this stage of the game. On that note...
- Bray Wyatt vs Daniel Bryan--Everything I said just above is true. In this case Bray is Dean and Daniel Bryan is BNB. It made no sense to have Daniel Bryan to lose here even if it was in screwy fashion with Corporate Kane's interference.
- nWo in the House--I'm a huge fan of the nWo much like Sting and most things WCW. Damien Sandow as X-Pac/Syxx was the highlight of this segment though.
- Booker T on Commentary--It dawned on me why I like Booker's commentary so much. Main thing is I just find Booker T to be immensely likeable in general. The other thing is that the commentary is kind of out there and almost reminds me of Dusty Rhodes' commentary from WCW. Just random and hilarious enough to work no matter how absurd it often was.
Highlight from tonight was, "That's not Sting, that's a picture of Sting" when he was shown on the big screen. You'd have to hear it to appreciate it, butBooker T is a fresh voice who has replaced the beyond tired Jerry "The King" Lawler and I love it.
MAJOR UPDATE! It was JBL who said, "That's not Sting, that's a picture of Sting." I attributed that to Booker T initially. My bad. Booker actually said, "That's Sting!" which was also awesome though.