I watch Raw every week and try my best to live tweet what I’m seeing on the TV screen over at @averagenobodies, so I figured why not do a little Raw review on Tuesday mornings? The format I’m going to use isn’t set in stone, and the picks for five stars are meant to start a conversation, so if you have some suggestions for the format and agree/disagree with my picks comment on the post or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook (facebook.com/TheAverageNobodies). Who were the five stars coming out of last night’s Raw? Let’s find out!
1. Luke Harper and Dean Ambrose
I’m grouping these two together because they had the best match on the show. Harper is stuck in no man’s land but continues to beast every single time he’s in the ring, and Dean Ambrose is proving how crazy he is by continually wanting to be the IC champ. Don’t you know all IC champs lose every match they’re in, Dean? Anyways, these two went out there and had a great match, trading offense for offense until Ambrose eventually picked up the win. Harper has mastered the art of looking great no matter what the outcome of the match is and Ambrose has some momentum going into his IC title match at Fast Lane. Speaking of the IC title match, kudos to Dean Ambrose for the “unique” way in which he got Bad News Barrett to agree to a title match on Sunday. As for Harper, I think it’s time to retire Big Show and Kane as every week performers, which would leave a couple slots open for new Authority members. I’d much rather see Harper fight Daniel Bryan and whoever the Authority hates that week than watch Kane and Big Show labor through 10 minutes matches.
Watching this live, I did not expect this ending. What started off as a weird ‘love and respect’ thing between Flair and HHH turned personal really quick, and I loved the aggression shown by HHH here. He’s been embarrassed and upstaged three times by Sting, and he’s sick and tired of everyone telling him about it. This was the best usage of Flair in a long time, and I’m glad he stayed serious the entire segment, because there isn’t anyone who knows Sting better than The Nature Boy. This has been a largely one sided buildup as Sting is not going to be on TV every week, but HHH and the WWE production team have filled that void perfectly. It seems like HHH is fed up with the mind games of Sting, and things could get physical this Sunday at Fast Lane.
3. Roman Reigns
THIS is the Roman Reigns that should have returned from injury and won the Royal Rumble. The fact that the WWE got Reigns so wrong goes to show you that you they have such tunnel vision they’re unable to see what’s right in front of their faces. Roman Reigns is not a man of the people. If you pan the crowd at any WWE live, televised or pay per view event, I’d bet you $1,000 that there’s not one guy who looks like Roman Reigns. He’s an athletic freak with the looks of a handsome prince. He shouldn’t be pandering to the audience and bumbling through promos about cartoons and fairytales. He should kick ass in the ring (because he’s stronger than everyone) and cocky on the microphone (because he thinks he’s better than everyone). That’s the Roman Reigns we got last night, both in his backstage interview and ringside antics during Daniel Bryan’s match and in his post match brawl with DB. If this Reigns won the Royal Rumble we would have had two months worth of great buildup to an epic Reign/Lesnar match at Mania. Instead, we got Reigns vs. Kane last night. Keep building Reigns like this and the outcome of Sundays match wont matter, because the title match at Mania will be must see.
One of WWE’s major faults is building and building and building and building to something that either never happens or happens and then gets reversed shortly thereafter (see: Authority at SS, Bella Twins). I’m glad they finally pulled the trigger on the Stardust/Goldust split, because the will he/won’t he angle shouldn’t really last more than a couple of weeks. Dusty Rhodes showed up to try and talk to some sense into “Cody”, but Cody is gone, and Stardust is here, ready to start his own journey. Kudos to Booker T on commentary during the tag match for pointing out how he understands how Stardust feels from the perspective of a sibling that gets constantly overlooked. I’m glad Stardust finally turned and I’m glad the Cross Rhodes finisher is back. Hopefully these two get a series of matches that culminates at WrestleMania, but whatever time they’re given, you know the Rhodes Brothers are going to deliver. Kudos to Stardust’s backstage promo with Dusty: telling your father he’s dead to you is cold blooded.
5. Darren Young
This wasn’t the greatest Raw, but hey: the Prime Time Players reunited! If they’re the next tag team to be fed to The Ascension I’ll only be OK with it if we can get a few ‘millions of dollars’ promos and some dog barks from Titus.
With Darren Young recently coming out of the closet, WWE and the WWE Universe are behind him.
— Triple H (@TripleH) August 15, 2013
Congratulations to @DarrenYoungWWE for being the first openly gay WWE Superstar!
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) August 15, 2013
If I wasn’t blocked by Darren Young, I’d give him a Twitter bro hug. Coming out is hard, especially in the Twitter age as a celebrity.
— G (@Glenntertain) August 15, 2013
— Kevin O (@fromheretoLI) August 15, 2013
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) August 15, 2013
Good on you, @DarrenYoungWWE! Fearless and inspiring.
— Alex Greenfield (@alexdgreenfield) August 15, 2013
— Mike & Billy Show (@MikeandBilly) August 15, 2013
Congrats man, that takes guts.
PS- Tune into Summer Slam this Sunday on PPV!