Thursday, November 19, 2015

Raw Review: WWE World Title Tournament Quarterfinals

Right from the jump I'd like to say that Raw was pretty good this week.  It wasn't an episode that was fantastic or incredible, but it was a lot of fun and avoided a lot of the typical nonsense.  The main reason for this is the tighter focus the show had due to the WWE World Title Tournament.
  • Main Event Angle with Charlotte/Paige--Full thoughts here and needless to say I wasn't a fan.  It was lazy and unnecessary to bring Reid Flair's death into it.  
  • QF: Roman Reigns vs Cesaro--I don't give matches stars or analyze them to the degree that many hardcore fans do, but this was a really good match.  I think Roman Reigns advancing is the right decision (he should win the whole thing IMHO), but it was another example of how criminally underutilized Cesaro is.  I liked the mutual respect moment at the end. 
  • QF: Alberto Del Rio vs Kalisto--Most seem to think that Kalisto might be in line for a big face push.  I have no issues with that.  ADR is a guy I really like although I think the gimmick hampers him right now.  This match wasn't that good, but the finish was cool with ADR getting the win.
  • QF: Kevin Owens vs Neville--Owens is obviously not buried although some seem to maintain that he is.  Neville, like Cesaro, is underutilized and delivers in moments like this.  He strikes me as a guy that the fans would love to rally behind like Daniel Bryan.  Unsurprisingly, Owens advances. 
  • QF: Dean Ambrose vs Dolph Ziggler--Enjoyed this and Dean's promo after his win, but it feels like we are once again heading into a scenario where it looks like Dean and Roman are going to split.  In this case I do believe Dean will turn and I'll get into that with our next point.
  • The Authority Lurking--One reason I think Dean Ambrose is turning is this Raw Fallout video from this week's show.  Now this could be a red herring, but it's also been noticeable that Dean Ambrose has not been publicly approached by The Authority so far as I recall.  They certainly could be swerving us and obscuring the Roman Reigns turn, but Reigns turning at this point makes little sense.  Once he was offered the opportunity to get a bye to the finals I can't really see him turning that down and then accepting the deal down the road.  You can make it make sense still though if you sell it as Reigns once again being so close to the big prize that he reconsiders the deal.  I don't know.  I think they are going to keep Roman face for now and his buddy is going to turn on him.  
  • Everything Else--The Ascension got squashed by the Dudley Boyz, New Day was entertaining as always, and that's all I really recall as being important.  Like I said the focus on the WWE World Title Tournament has really improved Raw tremendously.  
 Raw went from near unwatchable in the lead up to Hell In A Cell with Rollins vs Kane being the draw to insanely interesting even with the Rollins injury.  Good Raw and I hope they keep the momentum going with whoever the new champ ends up being as we get close to the Road to WrestleMania. 

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