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.
THIS. This is what the WWE needs. Last week The Wyatt’s aired a promo clueing us in their mysterious absence from WWE TV, specifically keying on Wyatt family member Luke Harper. This week, a similar promo aired, this time focusing on Erik Rowan. The promos are eerily similar, except the end, which this week featured a pregnant woman with the words “it’s coming” drawn onto her stomach. It seems as if WWE is branching each member of the Wyatt Family off on their own, which I think will ultimately be a very good thing. Having the Wyatt Family mutually split now makes a reunion down the road not only more likely, but it will make more sense. As far as the “it’s coming” portion of the promo, this could signify a couple things: the rebirth of the Wyatt Family as individuals, or a new member that is coming to wreak havoc on the WWE roster. Wyatt consistently mentions a “her” in his promos, which seems to be a reference to Sister Abigail. My bet is that the pregnant woman shown signifies the rebirth of the Wyatt Family mission, which could be the beginning of the Dark Ages era in the WWE, with Wyatt and his family on top. The Wyatt’s are starting to create a buzz again. Someone keep John Cena as far away as possible please.
The Wyatt Family first appeared on our TV screens via mysterious yet intriguing promos in May of last year. It was clear from that first promo that Bray Wyatt and his duo of bearded monsters were not your average superstars. In an era when the debuts of characters like Fandango and Adam Rose have perplexed that key 18-34 male demographic, Bray Wyatt immediately had our attention, and more importantly, our support. Wyatt, real name Windham Rotunda (son of Mike Rotunda aka IRS, brother of Bo Dallas) was first introduced to the WWE as part of the Nexus under the ring name Husky Harris. He was underwhelming, and after a brief stint on WWE TV, he was sent back down to what is now known as NXT, and soon after the Bray Wyatt character was born. When Wyatt finally debuted, he seemed like a breath of fresh air. His promos were effortless, and his in ring skills, though not on the level of Daniel Bryan or CM Punk, were very good. He had a decent feud with Kane, and a very good feud with Daniel Bryan. Then the wheels fell off.
For whatever reason, the WWE decided to feud Wyatt with John Cena. Wyatt’s reasoning was something we’ve seen before: he wanted John to embrace the dark side that we all knew was inside of him, and Bray was going to bring this dark side out of John no matter what. Wyatt told the WWE Universe he didn’t care about wins or losses; all he really wanted was for John Cena to become a monster. The only problem with this storyline was that in every match Bray Wyatt wrestled, Harper and Rowan were at ringside, and they either helped him win, or interfered to make sure he didn’t lose. Most fans blame the WWE for this hypocritical booking (and probably rightfully so), but the feud with Cena derailed the momentum Wyatt had going for him. You can’t have a character say he doesn’t care about wins and losses in his promos when his actions in the ring prove otherwise. Wyatt losing at WrestleMania to Cena made zero sense, and hurt his character immensely. He gained a win in a cage match at the next pay per view, but only after Harper, Rowan and a singing child prevented Cena from leaving the cage. He went on to feud with Chris Jericho, who has a history of helping build young stars, but unfortunately did nothing for Wyatt.
Wyatt has been conspicuous by his absence from WWE TV over the last few weeks, and last night’s promo was the first we’ve heard from the eater of worlds in quite some time. What does this promo signify? Is Wyatt unleashing Luke Harper on the WWE Universe to do his dirty work? Will we get an Erik Rowan promo next week? Is the Wyatt Family splitting up? My theory is that they will remain as a group, but Harper and Rowan will not be a tag team any longer. Harper will return to WWE TV to seek vengeance on those that have wronged both Wyatt and himself. What this means for Wyatt’s future is anyone’s guess, but I think he’ll also be back soon, hopefully with a slight tweak to his characters in ring agenda. Whatever the case may be, we’re talking about Bray Wyatt again. That’s always a good thing.
P.S. If this tweet doesn’t get your blood pumping for a potential Wyatt/Sting feud you don’t have a pulse.
it exists in us all we are the ants destroy the scorpion Be Heard
— Bray Wyatt (@WWEBrayWyatt) September 29, 2014