WWE RAW Review
December 13, 2016
By: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com
After a rather lackluster episode last week, I was curious what kind of presentation we were going to get from WWE just six days out from Roadblock this Sunday night.
While the three hour format has its shortcomings, I have to say that WWE did a really good job this week with pacing and did an excellent job building Roadblock.
Every segment of the show had a really good flow to it and it was great to see WWE give both triple threat match for the tag titles a lot of time. It didn’t hurt that Philadelphia was a really great crowd last night and added to a solid presentation.
The New Day makes history working double duty
What a great call by WWE to showcase The New Day reaching the milestone of becoming the longest reigning tag team champions in company history only to have the backstage celebration completely backfire thanks to Stephanie McMahon. This is where the “authority” aspect of the RAW show can really come in handy instead of opening the show every week making constant plugs for the WWE Network and footage from the prior week. I really hope WWE learned its lesson by putting too much focus on the authority figures the last few months and while it’s okay to feature them (case in point how Mick Foley was used this week with Sami Zayn), using it sparingly can be very effective.
Hats off to The New Day pulling double duty as well (more so Big E). They had a really good opener involving Sheamus, Cesaro, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows and then turned around to kill it even more with Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. I really liked the tease by WWE about New Day reaching the milestone and having that possibly pulled away with the odds stacked against them. Outside of the aggressively annoying Tower of Doom spot in the second match, I was very impressed with the transitions and creativity. Cesaro pulled off one of the most entertaining moments of the night getting in a string of offense in the ring, outside of the ring and then back inside the ring.
WWE hypes Roadblock very well
Many of these brand-only events have the potential to be pretty lackluster given how television can be flat out hit and miss week-to-week, especially when it comes to RAW. Despite this being a cloud over WWE programming as of late, I thought they did an excellent job on Monday night hyping the matches already set (Reigns vs. Owens, Jericho vs. Rollins) and then introducing new matches. The segment involving Mick Foley teasing the trade of Sami Zayn to Smackdown Live for Eva Marie was a rare example of how the overly teleprompter sounding promos aren’t needed and raw emotion can be effective. Just let these guys and girls talk without having to memorize paragraphs.
* You’d think Braun Strowman squashes would wear thin by this point. They don’t.
* Jack Gallagher is quickly becoming the highlight of RAW every Monday night.
* TJ Perkins leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to his promo delivery.
* Bayley wins again. Here’s hoping this cool down doesn’t last long.
* It will be nice to see Big Cass return to a solo capacity this Sunday against Rusev.
This was an excellent go-home show by WWE before Roadblock. Both tag title matches were paced out really well and the main event really helped seal the deal for the show. Look, this show is going to be hit and miss. It’s just how things are going right now in WWE. But man, when they do it right, it really stands out and WWE did a lot of right things on Monday night to get you interested for the Roadblock special on Sunday.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know your RAW thoughts in the comments below.
If you missed it last week, I was joined by Doug Lackey for Wrestleview Live #6 reviewing Survivor Series, TLC and the current state of WWE. I’m pleased to announce that a rebroadcast of the podcast now airs every week on 92.5 Phoenix FM in Dublin, Ireland!
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