Monday, March 30, 2015

LIVE Raw thoughts - March 30, 2015

11:08 - Overall an awesome, nearly flawless episode.  The ending was a bit weak, though.

11:05 - I can't even make out what they're saying with half of these chants.  They are NOT being kind to Reigns though.

10:56 - If I'm remembering correctly, last year's Raw after WrestleMania ended with the awesome Shield save when the Authority attacked Daniel Bryan.  It was a truly awesome moment that made the audience erupt.  I hope we see something better than Reigns or Orton pinning Rollins to become the new #1 contender tonight.  It's been an awesome show otherwise....let's end it big.

10:52 - Half of the guys in the main event of Raw after WrestleMania were left off of the WrestleMania card.

10:41 - I'd hate to say it, since I love Goldust, but without any connection whatsoever to Cody/Stardust, will WWE ever do anything with Goldust again?

10:22 - Already over Jerry Lawler being here.  He couldn't even remember how Paige debuted a year ago?

10:14 - So who steps up to be Orton's partners?  Reigns seems like an obvious choice.  Ideally, THIS would have been a great use of Ambrose.  Who else is out there?  Ryback?  Assuming they don't use anybody who has already fought tonight.

10:07 - Obviously it was important for Cena to win there to re-establish the championship.  And Ambrose did come out looking like they were in the same league.  It's just unfortunate to see him losing against pretty much everybody at his level or above him, when he needs some big wins.

10:03 - I love Ambrose....but that powerbomb spot was bad.

9:57 - I have to agree with what the others are saying....Byron Saxton needs to show a bit more emotion and passion out here.  He's being hit doubly bad right now -- he both has to sell concern for his coworkers AND he's out there by himself.  It's a difficult to win situation.  I don't love Lawler, but him being out here probably does help the situation.

9:46 - I'm a pretty notorious Cena defender but how can you not appreciate the fact that, for the past few years, he's taken a significantly reduced role at WrestleMania so that somebody else could have a moment?  Not to mention that he went a long way in getting over Daniel Bryan and CM Punk.  Not to mention the fact that, while still being one of the most over and successful guys on the roster, he allows himself to be "lowered" to the United States Championship.  And he did so proudly.  You don't see that very often and hopefully it removes the stigma of guys getting a secondary title after a World title.  Plus, I kinda like that new shirt.

9:37 - It's rather brilliant having all of these NXT debuts at the smark heavy Raw after WrestleMania.  The secret, of course, is to continue the momentum.

9:22 - The Rhodes Scholars Explode!  In all seriousness, I do hope that Mizdow reverts back to his Sandow persona.  Not the intellectually superior part, but rather his own identity.  Actually, come to think of it, this match is two guys who are both aping their former partners.

9:12 - Similar to when the Nexus tore apart the ring and ringside area, Brock's attack on the ring announcers and cameraman will, at the very least, give the show a new feel.  Visually....audibly....we'll see and hear something different.  And that's important.

9:08 - Wait....strangely, WWE's Instagram page has a photo of the Rollins sideplates.  Hmmmm.

And yes, Lesnar killing people was loads of fun.

9:04 - Hmmmmm, looks like Rollins has the generic "WWE" sideplates.  Does that not bode well for a long reign?  I certainly hope they didn't give up on that feature of the title yet -- it's the best part!

9:02 - I want to see what the Rollins sideplates look like.

9:00 - Shocked that they're using the Brock appearance this early in the show.  Thinking that there has to be some sort of twist coming.  Reigns heel turn?  Heyman turning on Brock?  A surprise return of some sort?

8:54 - What's with all the hate towards New Day?  I understand it's a weak gimmick and there isn't much reason to care about them, and that they're not quite the darlings that Lucha Dragons and Cesaro/Kidd are, but I figured there was still a soft spot for Kofi at least.

Awesome performance for Kalisto and Sin Cara.  Good for them!!

8:47 - Loving the Lucha Dragons.  I don't watch NXT as often as I should, but I've always had a soft spot for the Sin Cara character.  I'm glad that they found something for him and I would be thrilled if they became a regular fixture on Raw.

8:45 - I noticed it last night at WrestleMania, but it appears that the LED ring apron is now a permanent fixture on Raw too.

8:31 - Really fun match and quite possibly the best running knee we've seen yet.  By the way, I love that Bryan has shown some edge since his return.  He's not your traditional, happy, loving life babyface.  Well, he is.  But he also shows some legitimate tension with Roman Reigns and Dolph Ziggler.  Good stuff.

Also, loved the Sheamus heel turn and new look.  Both things were desperately needed.

8:27 - Yeah, let's do that move we banned on a body part that will impact the rest of the match......during the commercial break.

8:13 - Personally, I love the idea of using one of Brock Lesnar's wrestling dates on a Raw match.  Yes, gaining Network subscribers is the new PPV buyrate, but right now extra eyes on Raw COULD mean increased Network subscribers.  People, I do believe, want to see something new and different.  Brock has been most interesting when he's not surrounded by Triple H and John Cena, who Brock fought pretty much exclusively for the first year or two of his deal.  I'm about 50% sure that we won't actually see Brock fight tonight....but teasing it is something different.

And yes, this does seem like the beginning of a face turn for him.

7:54 - Well, an extremely strong WrestleMania has come and gone and the comment I keep hearing (from both fans and those within in the industry) is that viewers need to be more patient, since they complained about the build to WrestleMania but it ended up delivering -- big.  But do the ends justify the means here?  I mean, if the show is built on weak stories and characters that we're not invested in, don't fans have the right to be skeptical about devoting 4+ hours to see if the matches and results deliver?  Frankly, the build WAS terrible.  It's one thing if you're not into Roman Reigns the character, but WWE gave us no reason to get behind him.  Where was the dominant monster from the Shield?  He was struggling to beat Kane and losing to Big Show and Seth Rollins.  All while spewing ridiculous lines that even supporters couldn't get behind.  And other big matches -- like the Intercontinental Championship -- was built on an extremely flimsy story that really didn't make anybody look good.  And your main event stories like Wyatt/Undertaker and Sting/Triple H really had no story at all.  It was just -- "this is what we're offering!  Be excited!  CARE!!"  And in both of those cases, one man was building the entire story.

I'm glad WrestleMania delivered and I really enjoyed the show.  But I think fans deserve better than, "See, you just needed to wait and see where we were going."

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