Monday, February 2, 2015

LIVE Raw thoughts - February 2, 2015

11:08 - I'll admit it, Reigns got some pretty good distance on that Big Show spear.

10:45 - I'm confused.  How would that have been a threat against Reigns?  Wouldn't it have been a threat against Rollins?

10:41 - WWE's treatment of Erick Rowan is so odd.  They keep him at the top of the card, right in the mix of things, yet he never really wins.  And a lot of the times he loses clean.

10:25 - I like that Sin Cara has gone the Rey Mysterio route of constantly changing his color scheme.  I'm surprised they haven't successfully marketed him in Mysterio's absence.  This is more WWE's fault than Sin Cara's -- they haven't really given the fans a reason to rally behind him.

10:06 - Well that was telegraphed.  I'm guessing Orton returns tonight.

10:02 - I certainly can't criticize WWE for strongly pushing Bray Wyatt (and they have been going to great lengths, sacrificing the momentum of Dean Ambrose, Daniel Bryan, and Dolph Ziggler to name a few), but I REALLY REALLY hope this is not just to feed him to the Undertaker.

9:40 - I like how Rowan uses the same mask every week.  It's a nice little touch.  He's the type of personality that wouldn't just grab a fresh one from Shopzone.

9:30 - Glad to see Cesaro win but, again, it's discouraging that Cesaro is basically in the same spot he was this time last year (except with a less bright future) after the momentum he had coming out of WrestleMania last year.

9:19 - It feels like so many guys have these overruling storylines going on, but they're not necessarily going anywhere and they're not resulting in anybody feuding.  Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, and Ryback are great examples.  They're in this feud with the Authority, but none of them are going to be involved in the climax of the Authority storyline.  They're just, like, peripherally there.  And as a result, they're in these meaningless matches that they either win (by "overcoming a challenge") or they lose (by "being in unfair circumstances").  But win or lose, the story is essentially the same.  And they'll often have these same matches with the same guys, but they're not actually actively feuding with them.  A win or a loss does not really advance the story in any particular situation.  You know all three of these guys are "against" the Authority, but will any of them be in an Authority-related match at WrestleMania?  No, probably not.  And there are loads of other guys in similar situations.

9:07 - Wait, didn't she just say that Wyatt/Ziggler was next?

9:05 - Kinda surprising that they're coming out to Ryback's music, huh?  This isn't a fanboy moment, but Ziggler has consistently been pushed as the "top" star of this trio.

8:58 - THAT'S how they need to play the Stardust character -- that everybody BUT him knows that he and Cody are the same person.  They did it this way for a long while (JBL would regularly say "what happened in that household?" and stuff like that), but then at the Royal Rumble Cole noted that this was his first Royal Rumble appearance (the person, not the character) and they seemed to be doing an about-face.

8:54 - Do all of these "Welcome Back" celebrations for Ziggler, Ryback, and Rowan seem odd?  Like, are they leading to anything?  They're kinda treated like homecoming kings or something.

8:42 - While I am happy that Dean Ambrose at least has some direction, it's still sad seeing him aiming for the Intercontinental Championship while his two comrades are getting for the World title.

8:36 - Okay, I am a LITTLE more forgiving of the opening promo for at least explaining that it was a giant manipulation and that they never had a legitimate announcement in the first place.  Yet it was still overly long and there were a huge amount of unintentional holes.

8:33 - Wait, really?  That's how you book your (arguably) struggling babyface?  This is not the show you book before an Austin podcast.

8:27 - So, um, what was supposed to be the announcement?  You know, that one that was supposed to rock the foundation of the company?

And holy crap....Reigns vs. Big Show is like Daniel Bryan vs. Kane as this feud that just will not end.

8:25 - This segment makes me a little sad for Dean Ambrose.  He's the only former Shield member not even in contention for the main event slot at WrestleMania.

8:17 - I am just BEGGING Daniel Bryan to mention that Brock Lesnar hadn't defended his title in the amount of days it took the Authority to strip him of his title.

Also, perhaps if they didn't waste time talking about Sting, the Super Bowl, and the WWE Network, they wouldn't have to go to a commercial break in the middle of their big announcement.

8:05 - Gotta love WWE totally dismissing their unsatisfied customers.

8:02 - Man, does that new entrance video make the roster seem depleted or what?  It's just basically a rotation of Cena, Reigns, Ambrose, Rollins, Wyatt, Bryan, and the Bellas.

7:39 - So tonight's Raw is set to kick off with Triple H's earth shattering announcement.  What will the announcement be?  The strong belief will be Triple H somehow contesting Roman Reigns' Royal Rumble win in a ploy that will ultimately further establish him, to fans, as the new face of the company.  That's all fine and good, but what's the motivation?  From a booking standpoint, what's to contest?  Roman Reigns won fair and square.  Sure, the Rock came in and helped, but it was to beat up two guys who were cleanly eliminated.  Rock never once laid his hands on an active competitor (even though that wouldn't have been illegal either).  And the individuals that the fans are rallying behind -- Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, and arguably Bray Wyatt -- were all cleanly eliminated as well.  There's no basis for them deserving to be in the WrestleMania title match.  And from a character standpoint, what's Triple H's motivation.  Why would he want to give people who have challenged his authority (Bryan, Ambrose, and Ziggler) a shot at the WrestleMania title match?  If the actual announcement is to have Reigns put his title shot on the line against himself or Rollins -- which would make sense for Triple H's character -- that would be entirely underwhelming.  And if Triple H puts the title shot on the line just for fun, doesn't that hurt the credibility -- even if just a little -- of the Royal Rumble stipulation?  One of the few stipulations that has gone undamaged, for the most part?

I'm curious....but I'm not sure I'm optimistic.

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