Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Raw Review: J&J Stands Tall?

We got yet another "go-home" show from Raw last night as Money In The Bank is this Sunday.  Elimination Chamber was just two weeks ago so it seems like we are getting a go-home show every time we turn around.  Anyhow, this show was fairly paint by numbers and followed a fairly typical template heading into MitB.  The biggest point of discussion was the main event and that's where the majority of my focus will be this week.  Here's Jason Powell from DOT NET's Live Review of the show for your viewing pleasure as well. 
  • The opening promo between John Cena and Kevin Owens was another positive in this feud.  I don't know what they'll do at MitB, but I won't be as bothered by a Cena win as some will.  If they have him drop that one they are going to need to actually make it matter somehow though, he can't just keep rolling out after another loss to Owens and shake it off the way he did the first one.  It would be a huge missed opportunity if they don't take a look at how these failures affect Cena.  
  • I'm sure there's frustration over another Neville loss, but again he got to showcase his talents in a big spot.  I think the future is still bright for him even though you knew that Owens needed a clean win going into MitB.
  • John Cena on commentary doesn't work for me.  He sounds forced or stilted or something.  It just never comes across well IMHO.
  • R-Truth gave me one of my favorite moments of the night when he mistakenly thought he was in the MitB match itself.  That segment was one of the most paint by numbers ones on the show when they trotted each MitB contestant out one at a time.  It also gave us another played out format where all the participants were paired up into singles matches later that night.  The highlight of those for me was Reigns Superman Punching Kofi Kingston who came off the top rope.  Excellent work by both of them on that one. 
  • Nikki Bella took care of business against Summer Rae.  Nikki has really grown on me and I don't mind her Divas Title reign in the least.
  • Kane beating Ziggler was a minor surprise even with the dopey Rusev/Lana angle distracting him outside the ring.  
  • Orton and Sheamus is beyond tired whether the matches are good or not.
  • Ryback giving Shellshocking Show was impressive and Miz played his part well.  I'm assuming Ryback won't be repeating that feat at the PPV or else they wasted it here.  
  • Harper and Rowan used The Way (3D) to beat Los Matadores and cut promos.  I love that these two are back together.  
  • Titus and Big E was fun with New Day's Big E getting the win with the Big Ending.  
  • Good ol' Dean Ambrose showed up for the main event finally which had been teased on social media all day.  I got a kick out of seeing him running around Bourbon St. with Rollins belt.  J&J Security (if it isn't a swerve) appeared to be serious about proving their worth to Seth Rollins.  After a ton of shenanigans Joey actually pinned the champion which drove a lot of folks crazy apparently.  Considering how good Rollins is as the slippery heel champion and how fluky the win was in a handicap match of all things, I had zero issue with it.  To me, Rollins isn't like a Miz or Swagger as champion who needs further credibility.  He can continue to play this role, be smug, hold onto that belt, and just make you want to see someone finally unseat him.  I figure it'll be Roman Reigns cashing in MitB on him eventually in what would be solid storytelling IMHO.  Speaking of Reigns, I still hope they avoid the temptation to turn him or Ambrose.  They don't have to keep the close together at all times, but the idea that they are friends should come up from time to time.  I have less than no interest in seeing them feud or split at all.  
 Like I said, it was your typical go-home show.  It seemed a bit long and I think that has to do with the tired template they use for these shows.  I mean it is predictable and they continue to give you matches like Sheamus/Orton which feel repetitive.  I know in part that's just the nature of no longer having squash matches on wrestling shows, but it's still an issue. 

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