Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Raw Review: Post-Mania Show Peaked Too Soon

The Raw after WrestleMania is typically one of WWE's best nights of the year.  The finish of WrestleMania and the overall quality of the show created lofty expectations for last night's show as well.  WWE did a lot right last night, but unfortunately there was one glaring issue. 
  • "The Beast Incarnate" Brock Lesnar--The bait and switch on the WWE World Heavyweight Title match and Lesnar's meltdown were really good.  The thing that puts Lesnar a step above everyone else is the aura that dude has.  When he's in the ring the mood changes.  There's a vibe that he projects that no one else comes close to touching.  The over-the-top damage, the F5 to Michael Cole, the loss of Cole's shoe, etc. were all done really well.  Lesnar's suspension served as a way to send him away for a while which is better than having him just disappear as well.  
  • Main Event: Randy Orton/Ryback/Reigns vs Rollins/Big Show/Corporate Kane--It was like WWE Creative went out of their way to irritate the post-Mania crowd with this main event.  While I think the heat Reigns gets is ridiculous it was clear that crowd wasn't going to embrace him.  Setting him up as the mystery third partner was doomed to failure.  To make matters worse you're trotting the beyond tired Big Show and Corporate Kane out there as well.  I really like both guys and I also respect both guys tremendously, but at this point I'm ready to see them inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as opposed to on WWE TV every week.  I did like the shot of Big Show posing with his ATGMBR trophy at ringside.  It was goofy and it worked.
  • Secondary Champions--Both of these matches were encouraging signs for the IC and US Titles held by Daniel Bryan and John Cena respectively.  Bryan's Knee Plus to Ziggler looked brutal in a good way.  Cena and Ambrose had a fun match and again the champion went over strong.  Former US Champion, Rusev, also looked strong in a way over Goldust.
  • Sheamus Returns--As someone said Sheamus looked like a 12 year old's create-a-wrestler in his return which actually worked considering he's a heel now.  He embraced the crowd's reaction too which made the dopey look work better as well. 
  • NXT Debuts--The Lucha Dragons and Neville were impressive in their respective debuts.  The New Day foolishly continued clapping although the crowd was participating in a negative manner in that 8 man tag match. 
  • Six Divas Tag: AJ/Paige/Naomi vs Bella Twins/Natalya--Solid tag match which Naomi won for her team with the Rear View.
  • Mizdow Is Free--Mizdow looked good in his first independent appearance and was attacked by his old boss after his victory.  Looking forward to that feud.
  • The Crowd--I said it on WCMB, but this crowd was complete trash.  They weren't rowdy enough to make up for their snarkiness.  They serenaded the Divas with wildly inappropriate chants, the kicker for me was their "WE ARE AWESOME!" chant at the end.  That says all you need to know about them.  A misbehaving crowd should at least be energetic, but that crowd went full apathetic by the end of the show.  WWE certainly bears some of the responsibility for that, but a crowd that chants "WE ARE AWESOME!" is not a crowd I like.  
Overall the show was pretty good, but it suffered from the fact that it peaked way too soon with Lesnar's meltdown and suspension.  That was a really awesome segment and other stuff happened after that which was interesting, but it felt like the show was a slog until a disappointing main event after Lesnar exited the scene.