Mike Tedesco’s RAW Review
June 2, 2015
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
I was watching this show last night and just shaking my head that a third PPV or special event is coming up. Two weeks ago we had Payback, two nights ago it was Elimination Chamber, and in less than two weeks we’re getting Money in the Bank. The closeness of the events certainly hurts the product in my opinion. Nothing can properly build. John Cena vs. Kevin Owens was incredible at WWE Elimination Chamber, but you can’t even decompress from the match before it’s announced that the rematch is in two weeks. While I think they’ll have a great match, I’m not ready for the rematch. They’re not even ready for the rematch. There’s no steam behind it. It’s hard to get excited about these feuds that don’t have much to sink your teeth into because of the little time the company has to build them up.
That’s not the only thing I was thinking about, though. Something someone said in one of my pieces from Sunday really stuck with me: Elimination Chamber and now Money in the Bank – these are two events with dangerous gimmicks separated by two weeks. Granted not everyone who was in the Elimination Chamber is going to be in Money in the Bank, but three out of the six announced so far were. I don’t remember Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler doing anything too nuts in the chamber, but Sheamus was bumping around on the steel grate. I’m just saying they need to consider their roster a bit. The person who left the comment (sorry I don’t remember who it was) hoped they were being properly compensated. I hope the same thing, but I’m sure they are.
Now onto RAW, which was a long, long three hours.
Roman Reigns is still being booked questionably
While WWE has been utilizing Roman Reigns much better than they did in the months leading into WrestleMania 31, last night they took a step in the wrong direction. I contend that Reigns should be running guys over at this point to make him seem like an absolute powerhouse. The guy isn’t polished enough at this point to carry guys who need a good worker to good match. Last night we saw him compete in three matches where all three matches saw the crowd caring less and less as the minutes ticked on.
Our first sighting of Reigns was coming out to confront The Authority who were calling Dean Ambrose out to return the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Reigns got a tremendous pop from the crowd – like it was noticeably better than anything he’s been getting for a while. Reigns laid down the challenge for Ambrose. Ambrose wants Seth Rollins in a ladder match with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line. Reigns teased Rollins and goaded him into accepting. The segment was more than good for him. Then Triple H said he would have to compete in a match to keep his spot in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. The Authority chose King Barrett. Out of all the guys they had on the roster they could’ve used to try to screw Reigns out of the match, they chose Barrett? That pick was disappointing, and the crowd was quite quiet as the match dragged on. On a quick side note, I wonder what the hell Barrett has done to constantly keep getting beaten like a drum. I mean the guy was eliminated from the Elimination Chamber by R-Truth for god’s sake! Winning the King of the Ring tournament has done absolutely nothing for him.
That’s all well and good. Reigns handily defeats Barrett in a match that didn’t have a lot of steam. Just be done with it. They had to keep it going. They then put him in a match a little later on against Mark Henry. Henry hasn’t been seen in quite a while and just got pinned by Sheamus in the Elimination Chamber. Sheamus isn’t positioned on the totem pole as highly as Reigns is. Reigns should be pinning Henry after a grueling match. Instead, they have Reigns beat him by a simple, cheap, unsatisfactory count-out. You could hear crickets during that one.
Finally they put him into a match with Bray Wyatt for the main event. By this point, this show was completely dragging and the crowd was comatose. The match itself wasn’t bad at all, but it had zero heat. It also showed that Reigns just doesn’t have the full support of the crowd to carry the entire show. These matches had no steam whatsoever, starting with the very first one. They overexposed him. He’s still finding himself as a top singles star and just isn’t there yet to really carry the show. There’s still work to do. They can’t just force him into this position. There has to be some substance behind him.
I must say the pop that Dean Ambrose got coming in to save Reigns from an Authority beating was really good. That guy has some major league, organic steam behind him. Creative hasn’t been all that great with Ambrose. Some of his promos are questionably scripted with jokes that miss more than they hit, but he’s gotten over with his passion and excitement in the ring. I hope he doesn’t fade into the mid-card again after this tiny run with Rollins.
Fantastic segment with Kevin Owens and John Cena
Wow – this absolutely blew me away. Kevin Owens was out first to gloat about his victory over John Cena. Owens talked about how he delivered on his guarantee to beat Cena at Elimination Chamber. Then he talked about how he called home and his son was asking how Cena was feeling. Owens criticized the WWE promotion machine for tricking kids into thinking that Cena is a superhero. Right at that moment I was thinking about a promo that Eddie Guerrero cut against The Rock in a mini-angle they did in July 2002 I believe it was. Guerrero was screaming at The Rock because his daughter had a poster of him on her wall. It was awesome and hilarious. There wasn’t much humor in Owens’ statement, but it had a ton of intensity.
John Cena then came out and really turned the tables on him. This was one of Cena’s better promos in some time. Cena talked about how it’s not promotion behind him. The reason people have such a strong connection to him is because he lives what he does every single day. Cena then pointed out a fan that was wearing his merchandise holding up a sign that said, “I’m beating cancer.” That was tremendous. Cena then talked about how the three words that define Owens are “Never give up.” All throughout his career, people told Owens he would never make it with his look, but he kept going and he made it to the big stage. Cena then said a very good wrestler would get beat by a real man in two weeks. While I’m not ready to see the rematch and think it’s coming too soon, this was definitely tremendous work by both men to sell me on seeing it. The segment was easily the best thing on the show.
I liked the little promo that Ryback cut before he was scheduled to face The Miz. I didn’t realize he came back in San Antonio. The Big Show made his return and confronted Ryback after knocking The Miz out before the match could start. The idea of a series of matches between Big Show and Ryback doesn’t exactly amp me up.
The match with Kingston and Ziggler being turned into a six-man tag with The Prime Time Players getting involved was probably a good idea on paper, but the execution wasn’t there for me. I just found it overly boring. They didn’t do anything wrong. It just didn’t click for me.
I don’t care how many blonde extensions Brie Bella puts on, she no longer looks like her sister. There’s a little extra something she’s missing. I can’t put my finger on what it is. Oh yeah – HUGE SILICONE IMPLANTS! You’re seriously telling me the referee didn’t notice it? Also, twin magic is kind of a heel finish. Are The Bella Twins heel out of nowhere? Is Paige a heel? I don’t know what’s going on. Why is Naomi pushed to the side? Why should I care about the Divas division? All questions that don’t have answers.
I liked the promo Rusev cut about having nothing before vowing to get it all back. He came off as kind of a babyface at first before swinging around and doing the heel line. Fun stuff. I’m not huge on the Ziggler and Lana pairing anymore. Now that Rusev is out, it definitely serves no purpose.
Neville beat Bo Dallas in what is probably the blow off to their mini-feud. It had as much steam as it did at Elimination Chamber, which is to say it had zero steam.
I personally like the match-up of Randy Orton and Sheamus. They have a lot of chemistry in my opinion. Unfortunately for whatever reason, whenever they face each other, the crowd just doesn’t care. They had a fine match I thought last night, but the crowd just wasn’t into it. Sheamus attacked him after the match, so hopefully Orton will be his main focus going into and coming out of Money in the Bank.
Too much Roman Reigns, not a ton of exciting angles, and a dead crowd really made this RAW feel like ten hours long. I was at the 9:00 EST hour and thinking it was 10:00 because it just felt so damn long. Well, unbelievable enough, next week is yet another go home show, so that should bring a little excitement.
Bump of the Night: Reigns clotheslining Wyatt on the floor
Match of the Night: Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt **
Final Rating: **
Well those are my thoughts. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know by commenting or using one of the other two options to get in contact with me.
Check out my recap of this week’s RAW here. Please check out my live recap of RAW every Monday at 8 PM EST.
Thanks for reading!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Monday Night RAW for Wrestleview.com.