Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Raw Review: Rollins Shines

This was another excellent edition of Raw in my opinion.  There weren't any historic moments, huge returns, or anything like that.  What it was though was a solid episode of Raw that was enjoyable to watch.  For an alternate take on the show here's Jason Powell's WWE Raw Live Report from DOT NET.
  • No Authority, no problem--Well The Authority was there, but Triple H and Stephanie were not and that turned out to be just fine.  While I have zero interest in seeing Corporate Kane in the ring I felt he did a good job as the decision-maker on this show and the tension between him and "The Undisputed Future" Seth Rollins came across as organic. Seth really carried this show in a lot of ways without Trips and Steph there and I thought he did a great job.  He plays the slimy, weaselly heel to perfection. 
  • Determining the #1 contender--This was probably in large part due to the fact that I like Reigns and Orton a lot.  It seemed pretty clear that Orton was going to end up earning the spot based on The Authority attack on him and that's the direction they went while keeping Reigns looking strong.  It was painfully obvious that Ryback was there to eat the fall which he did.  Even my 7 year old said, "Ryback doesn't look like he really belongs."  As for Reigns his dive in the main event was awesome yet again.  His match with Big Show was decent despite Show's limitations.  It looks like they are running with the idea that Reigns is exceedingly tough instead of simply unstoppable.  That's not a bad way to do it.  Show did play the big man spots well too I should add.  As for the crowd's reaction to Reigns I heard it described as mixed, but I didn't hear that at all.  It seemed overwhelmingly positive.  Texas apparently wants to see the Roman Empire rise.  Good for them.
  • Rollins vs a mystery opponent--This made Neville look like a huge star.  Rollins playing the overly confident champion worked perfectly here too.  Smart of them to give Rollins the clean win while still making Neville look like a big deal.
  • John Cena's US Open Challenge--I almost hate to admit it, but this version of John Cena is somewhat palatable and I think part of it hinges on his place on the card for me.  I like the open challenge aspect of his US Title reign as well so we should see a wide variety of challengers.
  • The New Day turns--Highlight of this match was when Kofi kicked whichever Dragon from the outside, Woods stares at him in shock and then smiles.  Absolutely perfect non-verbal heel turn.  I take back what I said about New Day at Mania.  Clearly the clapping and getting "NEW DAY SUCKS!" chants was intended and this faction finally looks interesting.
  • Sheamus is a great heel--He does look stupid which is perfect for a heel.  He seems to be embracing the new role and it really has breathed new life into a stale character.
  • Bray Wyatt calls out...someone--Powell mentions in his review that this could be Reigns.  That sounds right although I'm not looking forward to either guy having to do the J.O.B. to the other, but since they seem to be playing it smart and not rushing to get Reigns back in the title mix this would be something to do.  I find both guys very interesting and it will be interesting to see them square off. 
  • Everything Else--Miz and Mizdow wasn't great.  The crowd popping for Mizdow doing the same thing they booed The Miz for is always fun though.  The Divas match was terrible and Naomi's convoluted offense seemed to be a large part of that.  No Cesaro/Kidd aside from being shown backstage watching Lucha Dragons/The New Day was a bit odd.
It wasn't an Earth-shattering show or anything like that, but I don't believe a quality episode of Raw has to be.  Keep the goofy nonsense down, give us some quality action and put guys in positions to succeed instead of having them work against their strengths.  That is the recipe for a solid Raw without having to have a big return or some sort of insane moment.