5 Stars From Last Night’s #RAW
Last night was the first Raw to start the real build towards WrestleMania, and it wasn’t great. I enjoy the WWE, and for the most part try to rationalize their decision making, but last night’s Raw was a train wreck. WAY too many talking segments, a baffling booking decision on Randy Orton and more disrespect to the Divas that have fans voicing their disdain with the WWE rather than talking about the WrestleMania pay per view. The WWE only has four more Raw’s to get the casual viewer invested in WM, and they just dug themselves an unnecessary hole. Now, onto the 5 stars of last night’s Raw.
1. Dolph Ziggler
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Dolph Ziggler had the best match on the show. He took on Bad News Barrett, so you knew he was going to win before the match started, because the IC champ does not win non-title matches, but it was still a fun match. It looks like the WWE may be building to a Fatal Four Way match for the IC title at WM between R-Truth, Ziggler, Ambrose and Barrett, which I like. As much as a guy like R-Truth doesn’t deserve to be elevated the same way Ziggler does, it’s always fun to create different kind of matches for WM. A Fatal Four Way would be a lot more fun than a regular one on one match, so I’m all for it. As for last night, Ziggler proves once again that he’s one of, if not the best worker on the show, and if WWE ever decides to roll with him, they have a guy who will consistently upgrade their in ring product.
2. Daniel Bryan
Whether fans like it or not, Roman Reigns is going to WrestleMania to face Brock Lesnar for the World Heavyweight Championship, and Daniel Bryan is not. They both put on a great match at Fast Lane, but Reigns came out victorious, and he may be the Champion in four weeks. As for Bryan, he had a very good Raw, per usual, both on the microphone and in the ring. His promo on originally doubting Reigns then respecting him after their match at Fast Lane was great, and seemed to be planting the seeds to a more aggressive, edgier Daniel Bryan. The best thing about the WWE is that they don’t have an off season: if you’re favorite team loses in the Super Bowl, you have to wait all offseason to see who is going to stay on the team, what moves they’ll make and if they’ll ever be that good again. If you’re a Daniel Bryan fan and you’re upset he’s not in the main event of WrestleMania, guess what? The day after WrestleMania ends, the entire cycle starts up again. Daniel Bryan could be the #1 contender at Extreme Rules, or the next pay per view, or the next one; it’s a 12 month, 365 day cycle that the WWE has to write for. Just because he’s not the top dog for some of that cycle doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen somewhere down the line.
3. Bray Wyatt
Man, Bray Wyatt is on some other level with his promos right now. You had a feeling pairing him with The Undertaker would up his game, but his promo from the coffin at Fast Lane and the follow up promo last night were both awesome. This is what COULD have happened during the build to last year’s WM, but Cena thought it was more important to put Bray’s head on a baby body and call him a swamp hillbilly. While I’d love to see Bray win at Mania, at this point I’m just relishing in the fact that even being mentioned in the same sentence as The Undertaker is giving Bray some much needed wind in his sails. The first confrontation between the two, whenever that may be, should be epic. Speaking of The Undertaker, looks who’s training…
4. Lana & Rusev
I hope you’re noticing a theme here. Almost all my stars from last night have to do with promos, which is what happens when the WWE puts on a three hour show with 7 matches, with four of them going less than 4 minutes. Anyway, Lana and Rusev were great here. I didn’t like the finish to Cena/Rusev at Fast Lane, mainly because it seems like they’re setting Cena up for a big win at Mania, which he doesn’t need, but other than the unnecessary low blow, Rusev looked great. He was equally as great here, and Cena deserves some credit for avoiding the kiddie jokes and staying serious the whole time. That’s where we are at with John Cena: the WWE’s top guy and face of the company get’s credit for not being a jackass. The main thing I loved about Rusev’s promo was that he bucked the trend of title match losers immediately getting their rematch. It’s the dumbest stipulation WWE has and allows them to be extra lazy with their feuds. If the champion wins, they face the same person in a rematch. If the champ loses, they get their rematch. It’s especially lazy when so much of the roster isn’t being utilized. It’s inevitable that Cena will face Rusev for the title at WM, but I’m glad Rusev didn’t give in right away. He is a true hero, JOHN.
5. The WWE Production Team
What happens when your three hour show has one good match? You get a lot of talking, and a lot of video packages. With that said, the Sting video package was phenomenal. Whether the creative aspect of their show is good or not, you always know if a hype or tribute video package is being presented, it will be expertly done. Sting has had such a great career, and I’m so glad that the WWE Network exists, because I’m able to go back and watch the old NWA/WCW shows from the 80s and early 90s and watch Sting at his peak. He was so strong and charismatic, and was every bit an equal of HBK in his hey day. As I’ve said before, a lot of credit needs to be given to HHH and the WWE production team, as it can’t be easy building up a feud, especially one centered around a WM match, when one of the guys isn’t there. All in all, this video was great, and gives the casual fan a chance to see just how great Sting was, and give them some context for the WM showdown. My only problem with the HHH and Sting match is that it’s the third WM match being promoted that features one of the guys not being on Raw. Lesnar/Reigns, HHH/Sting and Wyatt/Undertaker are all going to be marquee matchups, but each feud is missing a participant. I think Lesnar/Reigns will be ok because of Heyman, but the other two would definitely be more intriguing if both guys were there full time.
Posted on February 24, 2015, in Average Blog Posts, Raw Recap and tagged bray wyatt, dolph ziggler, hhh, john cena, rusev, sting, the undertaker, wwe divas, wwe fast lane, wwe network, WWE Raw, wwe wrestlemania. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.