Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Raw Review: The Highlight Reel Main Events

It dawned on me some time ago that just about every Raw Review I did called the show "solid, but unspectacular" or that it was "just there" or some form of that type of analysis.  Honestly, I probably should be more skilled at expressing my opinion as it relates to the show, but it's quite often true.  The criticism or review of the show doesn't change a ton because the show itself doesn't hardly change at all.  This is one of the reasons that that Raw Review kind of comes and goes.  It's also the reason the format of it changes occasionally.  In order to review last night's Raw I am going to simply focus on the things that mattered to me.  I am only delving into the things that seemed somewhat important.  With that being the case I basically followed and had real opinions about these three segments which were all tied to the main angle going right now...Roman Reigns v The Authority.

  • Opening Segment--One thing I liked about this is that it avoided the Roman Reigns faces off against a McMahon template that we've seen so many times recently.  Now my biases are well-known, but if you are unaware I am a huge Reigns fan and I just about completely detest Chris Jericho.  I thought Reigns' involvement here started strong and was solid enough, but it kind of tapered off as he stood there laughing at Rusev instead of keeping the fire going as it relates to some payback on Brock Lesnar.  The Rusev v Reigns match was fun and I have to give the devil his due and say that Jericho's involvement as the guest referee did actually add something to the proceedings. 
  • Royal Rumble Drawing--The execution here was just flat...off.  The whole thing with Vince screwing around with the plastic balls was somewhat amusing, but the whole segment just fell flat.  It's like it took the goofiest way to get to the point of saying, "We are screwing Roman Reigns" that it just didn't go anywhere.  It felt like Vince and Steph were dying a death out there too.  In theory I had no real issue with the segment, but it needed to get to the point faster and it also needed to be executed in a way that built anticipation or something better.  I can't put my finger on it other than to say it was just all over the place and seemed unnecessarily convoluted.  
  • Highlight Reel--As much as I dislike Jericho I was actually looking forward to this segment.  I thought it was going to be important to see how Roman Reigns responded to Brock Lesnar's F5 last week.  This thing immediately started off on the wrong foot with Jericho and Heyman bantering in front of a DEAD crowd.  When Lesnar's music finally hit there was a little energy injected into the arena, but he didn't get the response you're accustomed to seeing either.  Reigns coming down and Spearing him almost immediately was a  pretty effective visual, but I would have held off on that since he got him again later.  It was like they led with what should have been the big moment.  The League of Nation's involvement made sense from a storyline standpoint, but adding little of value aside from Del Rio taking one heck of a German suplex.  The Wyatts eventual arrival should have been a real MOMENT especially the way they left the two baddest dudes in WWE laying.  Problem is I think I speak for a lot of fans who have trouble buying them as a legitimate threat after being treated like absolute garbage for so long.  Again this may be my biases showing again, but after the way John Cena and The Undertaker specifically dumped all over that gimmick I cannot really look at the Wyatts as having any sort of in-ring legitimacy.  That's where the visual of them standing tall over the fallen Reigns and Lesnar fell apart for me and I am fairly certain that I am not alone in that boat.  Much like the Royal Rumble Drawing segment this wasn't the worst idea necessarily, but its execution was...lacking.  
Overall, the show wasn't as bad as those ones that were headlined by the Kane/Rollins feud which I hold up as the absolute worst Raws in recent memory.  This show was far more of a "just there" than a "solid, but unspectacular" in my view and wasn't anywhere close to being a quality episode of Raw like the Philly title win for Roman Reigns for example.  Hopefully the Royal Rumble shakes things up considerably because right now the flagship show just doesn't have much juice.  Despite this, I am looking forward to the Rumble this Sunday.  I just wish the last Raw leading up to it gave us more reason to be excited about the show.