Tuesday, February 10, 2015

RAW Review: Roman and Daniel Cannot Get Along

Weird episode of Monday Night Raw last night.  As it relates to the two biggest storylines they advanced them just fine, but it was not an episode that left you feeling very satisfied.  I've used this term before, but Raw was just...there.  It existed, it kept you moving towards WWE Fastlane, you got to see some wrestling, and then it was over.  Once it was over I certainly didn't feel like it was worth my investment though.  The best part of the show as texting with my cousin about it and the show itself was uninspiring to say the least.

Hitting the high points here because there was not enough things that happened on last night's show to discuss in great detail in my opinion.
  • Tension between Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan--It is hard for me to gauge how effective this was simply because I cannot really figure out what WWE is trying to accomplish.  Rumor has it that Daniel Bryan will be added to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania against Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar (C).  My problem is that if WWE wants to keep Roman Reigns as a face they cannot have him treating Daniel Bryan the way he did last night.  If they are fine with him getting considerable heat in most arenas then it is perfectly fine to do that.  That is kind of the other problem.  Roman Reigns acted in a manner that made perfect sense and played into the story they were trying to tell with dissension between the two "fan favorites" as we head into Fastlane.  As I already mentioned, the problem is that Roman Reigns is in such a precarious position right now that you really cannot have him involved with Daniel Bryan this way.  The other issue is that while Roman Reigns' actions last night got him heat in the arena they were actually in line with how he should be presented.  Roman should be exactly that character he was last night.  That is what will make him a great face in the long run.  He cannot be the goofy, smiling, slapping hands with fans kind of babyface.  That dude needs an edge.  He needs to be presented as an athletic tough guy who is not going to suffer fools.  He needs to be a Randy Orton or Mark Henry face, not a John Cena one.  They've just handled him so poorly and the crowd is so behind Daniel Bryan that at this moment he isn't getting that response you would like to see if you're WWE.  Is it by design?  Are they going to turn him?  I don't know, but when the show was over last night it kind of felt like they did not do him any favors with live crowds at least.  Oh, and a 5-2 handicap match as your main?  Weak stuff there WWE especially when you're on the Road to WrestleMania.
  • Sting accepts his invitation to WWE Fastlane--Triple H's promo was excellent I thought.  I have seen high praise for the Sting aspect of the segment and I've seen it referred to as corny or hokey.  I fell on the side of it being excellent, but I did have one minor nitpick.  Even though the imposter Sting was only in the ring for a second, I thought they needed a better looking fake.  That guy just didn't look right and Triple H hitting the mat after being confronted by him was too comical due to that.  The premise I liked though and I really thought we would get these kinds of Sting games earlier in this process really.  I am an unabashed Sting mark so I am looking forward to his involvement at Fastlane.  This was a nice tease of what we might see there.
  • John Cena and Rusev in a promo battle!--The positioning of John Cena as some sort of crusty old veteran is weird if you just look at his age.  The idea that he's been on top so long makes it make sense though.  The thing that stood out to me here is that they are smart to make sure we know that Rusev is unafraid.  That's one heel who definitely does not need to play it like a chicken bleep.  Two, Rusev cut a better promo than John Cena.  I will fully admit that my bias against John Cena is rearing its head there, but I thought Rusev did a fine job.  Cena sounded like Cena always does...jack!
  • Everything Else--Paul Heyman killed it as usual and they even had him go topical again with the jabs at NBC's Brian Williams, Bray Wyatt continued to summon Undertaker apparently, you got the typical non-title tag match win for the contenders Kidd/Cesaro, The Dust Brothers continue to unravel with Stardust saying Cody is dead, more Miz/Mizdow shenanigans, Axelmania is continuing to run wild, New Day is still DOA, and the typical Divas stuff with The Bellas and Paige.
Fairly cookie cutter show with plenty of tired plot devices.  It was not a compelling show by any stretch of the imagination.  They seem to have a better idea of how to present Roman Reigns in the long term, but there are short term drawbacks to it.  They confirmed Sting's involvement at Fastlane which is a good idea too.  They did a decent job moving the two major storylines forward and added some sizzle to Cena/Rusev, but for a Road to Mania episode of Raw I have to consider it a pretty big disappointment. 

While I don't have any attention of covering this to any great detail I feel I should say something about the Seth Rollins Twitter drama from last night.  I choose to sum it up this way.  I wish that people's private lives could stay private no matter what kind of indiscretions they may have committed so long as they aren't criminal.  In that regard, I feel bad for Seth and the others involved and I wish this had not gone public.