“5 Things I Liked & Didn’t Like about RAW” will be a regular feature on this site. I’ll probably do something similar for NXT and Smackdown, but likely only focus on three positives and negatives since those shows are a bit shorter than RAW.
It’s easy to go online and just completely bury RAW, plenty of people do. I’ve decided to channel my “inner pro wrestling fan” and try to find at least five things on each RAW that I enjoyed.
5 Things I Liked About RAW 8/24/15
1. The return of the Dudley Boyz
While not much of a Dudley Boyz fan in their heyday in WWE, I did appreciate their work in ECW. Overall, I saw their surprise return on RAW last night as a good thing. The tag team division is stagnating again and the title can only move between The New Day and The Prime Time Players so many times before it becomes really stale. Obviously losing Tyson Kidd to injury ended the Cesaro / Kidd team that was starting to build steam. The replacements in the division; Los Matadores and The Lucha Dragons just haven’t seemed to really click. I was previously familiar with the Lucha Dragons from their tenure at NXT but, like the Ascension, they seemed over down there, but aren’t getting much to do on the main roster. At the very least, having Bubba Ray and Devon back will shake things up in the tag division for the short-term.
2. Braun Strowman debuts as the new Wyatt Family member
Who would have ever thought that the Adam Rose “Rosebud” dressed up like a gladiator on NXT would end up being the next Wyatt Family member? It was good to see something finally happen with the Wyatt Family again. I like the idea of the Wyatts, but haven’t been a huge fan of their execution. They seem to get wrapped up in pointless feuds that just sort of peter out. With Erick Rowan out for a few more months, it was cool to see the Wyatt Family grow a bit and Braun seems to definitely fit the look the stable well. I do wish they would have debuted him at Summerslam instead of having a clean finish that, seemingly, ended the Wyatt / Reigns storyline. Essentially redoing that match on Monday just to debut the new character seemed unnecessary.
3. Bo Dallas getting destroyed by Brock Lesnar
If they’re not going to make Bo Dallas the level of heel he was at NXT, I can at least find enjoyment in him being utterly destroyed by people. While having Brock Lesnar take out his frustrations on an unwitting bystander is one thing, having him take it out on a smarmy heel is even better. Bo sold like he was literally dead and it was wonderful. I really wish they’d do something meaningful with him on the main roster, but I suppose this is better than just being relegated to Superstars or Main Event.
4. The Seth Rollins statue
We only saw it briefly, but the bronze statue of Seth Rollins holding both the WWE Championship and WWE US Championship was incredible. Especially since it really looked more like Jesus Christ than Seth Rollins.
5. No appearance from the Undertaker
Since they seem dead set on giving us Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker III at WrestleMania 32, I like that they at least put this on the slow burn and didn’t have another “pull apart brawl” or Undertaker trying to explain why he’s now the low blow King. I’m sure this was due to Lesnar’s part-time status and potentially due to the reports that Undertaker was worse for wear after the Summerslam match and didn’t stay in town. Either way, I’m not entirely sure what is the end game here. If they’re going to retire ‘Taker, this seems like a convoluted way to go about it that also makes him look very weak.
5 Things I Didn’t Like About RAW
1. Miz vs. The Diva Revolution
Ugh. Having The Miz try to bury Becky, Paige, and Charlotte was the worst. I don’t see the benefit in tearing down the women’s division in a segment like this one. While not yet the caliber of the NXT women’s division, the new call ups, especially, have breathed new life into the Diva matches. Still, I’m bummed that they’ve more or less saddled Sasha Banks with the lesser faction in this feud, especially with Paige part-time right now due to Tough Enough. This whole segment seemed unnecessary and harmful since it ultimately just led to another pointless match with no real stakes.
2. The crowd was exceptionally bad tonight
I can’t believe this is the same crowd that was hot fire for Saturday’s Takeover event. I get that there is no point to the “Diva Revolution” yet, and there likely will not be one until Nikki Bella surpasses AJ Lee’s championship record (and that’s a whole different rant), but, really? The crowd trying put themselves over while ignoring the match in the ring was incredibly annoying and distracting.
3. No appearance from Sasha Banks
Of course “The Boss” was part of the best match I’ve seen in ages on Saturday, and also appeared at Summerslam, but it seemed lacking to not have her involved in RAW at all. Clearly the crowd wanted to see her, since they chanted her name several times throughout the show. Looking at the Superstars taping results, she didn’t appear there either. Kevin Owens worked both Takeover and Summerslam and still worked RAW so I’m not sure why Sasha didn’t at least get a backstage segment.
4. The pointless eight man tag match
Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see Cesaro and Owens on the card, but this match just reeked of “throw everyone into a match that we have no idea what to do with”. Sheamus and Orton are completely on autopilot. Ditto for Ziggler and Rusev. It really feels no one has figured out the third act to either feud at this point. Add in Reigns / Ambrose and the Wyatts and you have an identical match to the main event of last week’s Smackdown. This just came across as lazy and something to fill time before the end segment with Rollins.
Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see Sting in a WWE ring again and he looks like he’s in even better condition than he was for WrestleMania 31. But, where is this heading? Are we to believe he’s a realistic challenger for the WWE Championship at 56 years old? Does he get that status because of his past? If so, this is getting dangerously close to WCW booking. Like the Undertaker / Brock feud, I have no idea where they’re planning to go with this. Sting beating Rollins clean for the title seems unrealistic at this point in the game. Rollins going over Sting puts him at 0 – 2 in the WWE and makes me wonder what the point is to him coming to the WWE just to job at Pay Per Views. I’m holding out hope this actually goes somewhere interesting between now and Night of Champions.