Monday, March 23, 2015

LIVE Raw thoughts - March 23, 2015

11:00 - Alright, I'm watching this final segment from bed.  Check Twitter to follow my thoughts on the rest of the show.

10:55 - That post-match segment actually made me lose interest in the Intercontinental title Ladder Match.

10:51 - You know, I always love when Ziggler is made to look good....but I hate when it's at the expense of Daniel Bryan.  Especially leading into WrestleMania.  But thank goodness we got to see Ambrose some show edge.

10:43 - Ambrose's reaction to Ziggler and Bryan brawling was great.  But can we move past this whole "turd" thing?  It's humiliating.

10:39 - So according to WWE fans, we REALLY want to see Ziggler vs. Bryan and we REALLY like Dean Ambrose.  So let's throw them all in a story-less 20 person match.

10:30 - Phew, I thought they were going to focus exclusively on Nash's WWE tenure like they did with Hall.  Glad they're focusing on his entire career.  Truth be told, Nash's significance to the wrestling world will probably be more tied to his time in WCW than his time in WWE.

10:23 - I mean, the passion and commitment to character is certainly there with Bray Wyatt.  I just can't get into his character.  His promos are far too repetitive and the culmination of his feuds ultimately have little to nothing to do with his character.  Plus, the fact that the Undertaker isn't here to respond to these threats really does make it lose its luster.

10:05 - Ironically, it was a losing feud with Rusev that got Swagger over -- fairly significantly -- as a babyface.  If they had given Swagger something to do afterwards, he might have actually become a solid upper midcard attraction.  But instead he did nothing, and really only continued to exist to repeatedly put over Rusev.  And now he's really in no better position than he was before the Rusev feud.  He's only a good guy now.

10:03 - I wish WWE wasn't so coy about the length of time WrestleMania would last or how much it would cost to watch it on the Network.

9:50 - By the way, disappointing that a year after his big Andre the Giant Battle Royal victory (and being super hot going into that), Cesaro is on the WrestleMania pre-show this year.  What a wasted opportunity.

9:49 - Really?  Again?

9:38 - Typical modern-day WWE:  Curtis Axel is getting great babyface reactions through this goofy Axelmania thing, and what does WWE do?  Goes out of their way to put him in a heelish situation.

9:22 - This whole "strong" Nikki Bella thing confuses me.  She's obviously fit and on the stronger side of the Diva spectrum, but the announcers never really focus on her strength advantages.  And she does these little things like the push ups and the Rack Attack and that thing where she lifts up her opponents and chokes them, but she isn't a power worker like, say, Beth Phoenix or Chyna or Victoria were.  It's like a very half assed attempt to make her the power Diva.

9:09 - Thank goodness!  We're finally going to see Rusev vs. Swagger!!

9:06 - I think it was a mistake not having Rollins get the upper hand here.  Have we seen Rollins get the upper hand on Orton since the beat down on Raw a few weeks ago?  If not, we already saw the payoff.

9:03 - It's strange, I never remembered Mercury being that short when he was in MNM.

8:56 - Remember how I said I kinda sorta care about the Rollins/Orton match?  Well, stop giving it to me every single week leading up to the show.  Again -- I'm sure that we won't actually get a match between Orton and Rollins tonight, but show some restraint.  The story is there.  We already want to see Orton get his hands on Rollins.  Just ride that hype for another week into Mania.  No need to give us the match now.

8:53 - I literally had no idea that Erick Rowan was even in that match.

And why in the blue hell did we devote THAT much time to discussing Bill Simmons for THAT?

8:39 - And I will also remark, this isn't an anti-Roman commentary.  The fans CAN care about the guy.  They cared about him when he was in the Shield.  He DOES seem destined for great things.  But why not take the slower, more natural route?  Look at some of the greatest legends in WWE -- Steve Austin, The Rock, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Edge, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan.  Let's even count guys like Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Jeff Hardy, or, hell, even the Miz (who just appeared on television).  What do they all have in common?  They all took similar paths climbing UP the ladder to the top.  Many of them began in tag teams and won the tag team title.  Then they moved onto the Intercontinental/United States Championship.  They had a few reigns there and then moved onto the WWE Championship.  Why not do that with Roman?  Why not take advantage of the monster Rusev push by culminating it at WrestleMania with Roman?  Have him be the first person to pin him and win the United States Championship.  Roman is young -- let him climb to the top instead of throwing him there.  For every Steve Austin or John Cena, there's a Sheamus or Jack Swagger -- somebody who was given a World Championship before any significant time in the midcard or with a secondary title.  And they suffered because of it.  The only guys that really seemed to successfully jump into the main event World title scene in the modern era are Batista and, to a lesser extent, CM Punk.

8:38 - The amount of effort WWE has put into making us care about Roman Reigns when they had a perfectly viable option RIGHT THERE shows just how little this company cares about giving the fans what they want.

8:29 - Between Ambrose, Harper, and WWE.....I'm kinda shocked nobody has objected to the fact that Ambrose and Harper are essentially wearing the same exact thing.  Yes, there are differences, and the two guys don't look alike physically, but it's really, really close.  Why not have Ambrose wear a black tank top?  Or black jeans?  Why not do something to stand out?

Oh, good, Dean Ambrose is dancing and being a nice guy.  Everybody loves a nice guy who dances.

8:15 - Also, why not give us some fun pairings with these IC title match competitors?  There are, like, seven guys in the match and it seems like we see the same match over and over again.  Various pairings of Ambrose/Ziggler/Truth/Bryan vs. various pairings of Harper/Barrett/Stardust.  We've established that the faces aren't friends, nor are the heels.  We've seen the faces against each other.  Why not give us Ambrose and Stardust (a fun team, considering their manic characters) vs. Bryan and Barrett?  Or Bryan and Harper?  It would be fun to see them discuss his past with both guys through NXT/Nexus and the Wyatt Family.

8:13 - Okay, Sting explained that he's not here to defend WCW (even though 90% of the promo and Steph's response was about WCW), but rather that he's here to take Triple H down.  But did he explain why?  Or why now?

8:11 - Haven't they had this bat/sledgehammer showdown, like, 3 times already?

8:09 - How does Stephanie go on a two minute rant comparing Sting to a dog without mentioning that it's National Puppy Day?

8:04 - Who thought you would ever say "Sting On Raw"?  How about one of the two other times he appeared on the show?

8:03 - Annnnnnnnnnnd the cameras miss Sting's "Woooo!"  Great job.

7:22 - So, WrestleMania is 6 days away and I honestly cannot think of the last time I have been less enthusiastic about it.  There's literally one match that has has competitors that I care about succeeding, and it's a multi-person match where all but one -- and potentially all of them -- will end up a loser.  And it's for a title that hasn't exactly been put on a pedestal over the past few years.  Brock vs. Reigns?  Couldn't care less.  Wyatt vs. Undertaker?  Couldn't care less.  Cena vs. Rusev?  Couldn't care less (although I am intrigued by the possibility of the face of the company holding a secondary title).  Sting vs. Triple H?  Couldn't care less times a million.  I like the fact that Seth Rollins is going to be highlighted, but that also makes me sad that he and Reigns are in high profile matches, while Ambrose is stuck in the Intercontinental title purgatory match.  And remember how Edge cashing in Money in the Bank was a huge event that "made" the stipulation?  Well, what happened to Cesaro this past year had the opposite effect on the Andre the Giant Battle Royal.  So I couldn't care less who wins that match, because I have no reason to believe it'll mean anything.

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