I'm so much later than I wanted this to be, and I'm not going to say that this won't happen again, because it has been happening. Between my health and the weather, I've had a bit of a tough winter. Three snow storms last week, another one scheduled to start tomorrow, yet Big M and Pedro are dealing with some of the worst heat in the southern hemisphere. Climate change much? Anyway, I'll admit that I hadn't stepped foot out of my house in over a week, and when I did go out I had to head home early and skip a gathering (which ended up canceled) due to more snow! I have another gathering and two meetings this week, but I have no clue if they will happen as we are due more snow through a couple more storms! What I'm trying to say is that I've been struggling with a bad cold on top of my other health issues, and snow is depressing, but I will try harder. I also want to say that after I post this, I'm going to finish editing a brilliant article by Big M, make sure you check that out and show him serious love for the timely and well thought out article. Now, on to the travesty that was Raw.
In Ring Segment > F
Of course, more Reigns, because he's not jammed down our throats each week. At least when Stone Cold Steve Austin came to the ring to get in McMahon's face, or Taker's face, or Trip's face, or Rocky's face, to start Raw, we all wanted to see him. Reigns is no Stone Cold Steve Austin!
And Steph is turning more than Big Show these days. What's up with her heel-not-heel-heel thing? It's minute to minute. You can't be a heel setting up a match at one moment and trying to get Teddy Long props the next, it doesn't work that way, and she should know that at this point in her life.
Reigns vs The Club > D-
Of course Super-Reigns was in this match, and no matter what Anderson or Gallows did to him, he prevailed through it all. Okay, he didn't win the match, but he was the one left standing in the ring, so obviously he can handle anyone and come out smelling as good as he looks. I get why he's pushed, but the fans need to be behind something for it to really work, and the fans are not behind this face version of Reigns getting this push. It's really sad, and somewhat painful to watch week in and week out.
Bo vs Kofi > B&C
Bo is so screwed in the WWE. There's so many guys like Bo who are too good for what they're stuck doing, and have no direction. Bo, Axel, Cody, and Sandy are at the top of my list of guys who have been downright fucked by the WWE. I will say that I'm thrilled Slater is finally getting somewhere, but so many others who are right up there with him are getting left behind. Bo is more than capable of being funny, being serious, being downright mean, and isn't afraid to make an ass of himself. He's well rounded and has proven that he will do whatever they hand him. He was really solid in NXT when he was very serious, so I think that he's going in that direction right now is a good thing.
I don't like that New Day is now directionless. They need something to work on, or they're a mess. This wasn't much of a match. More attention was paid to the members of New Day outside the ring than in, and that hurt the match as a whole. Actually, the lack of reasoning behind this match hurt it more than anything.
Winner – Kofi
Backstage Segment > B
Neville is great as a heel, and doing a wonderful job as Cruiserweight Champion. I honestly didn't think he had this in him, but it's why he's not on my list above. He's found his place, and I'm thrilled, but I'm all about Jack. Gallagher stole my heart (though anyone paying attention knows that I have a thing for gingers), and he continues to prove that he might be a bit odd, his type of odd is fantastic! I'm excited to see them in the ring soon.
Jack vs Dar > B
I love watching Jack in the ring, but I loved this that much more because of Dar's ego. I had been thinking that for such a young guy he displays great ego, but then I realized that all my kids have shown that much ego around his age. So I guess he's just going with what he feels?
These two put on a great little match, but that's what it was, little. I want to see more from these two. They're of a size, work really well together, and could really help the Cruiserweight Division if they were allowed to really feud. I know Jack is working with Neville now, but I want to see him working a solid feud with a great storyline (not including Foxy) with Dar.
Winner - Jack
Emmalina, Finally! > F-
Finally, and then, after all that, she's going to be Emma again? That made less than no sense. I don't know what happened backstage, but it really feels as though they are listening to the fans on this one – though I greatly doubt it. Speaking of listening to the fans, Big M has a great article that will be posted tonight or tomorrow that addresses just that, and more! Make sure you check it out.
Backstage Segment > C+
Bayley is so much better than that Emma segment we waited 17 weeks for. Though, I have to wonder if she's going to get involved in the main event that is Bayley's dream. I love Bayley, but that segment wasn't really very good – for her.
Backstage Segment > B+
Jericho was tossed off by Trip? Interesting! But I have to say I'm glad to see Trip back on TV. He has so much to do that's not on-camera, but he brings so much to Raw when he's on. He doesn't have to be in the middle of the main event to be adding things to Raw. I know he's truly a TV part-timer, but he should know that he helps the ratings when he's on. Like McMahon during the AE, the boss brings in the fans. Yes, we've had Steph every week, but as I said in the opening segment, her character is so wishy-washy that she's sometimes hard to watch.
Strowman vs Henry > B+&A
Henry got almost no reaction as he came out. They weren't in Texas, so they were quite quiet. That being said, I'm trying not to go there, but the fans in Vegas sucked more than ever during this episode of Raw. I know they had no reason to react to Emma, but this is Henry helping Strowman grow and evolve should be met with more than the fans staring, drooling, and doing nothing – good, or bad. They just sat there! I know that watching the shows and PPVs I've been watching (other than the newly aired shows) doesn't help me relate to the fans watching now, but I really expect the more hardcore fans in the front rows, but the fans just aren't reacting as if they know these Superstars, or care about them in any way! I should be watching these two monsters fight it out, but I'm more distracted by the fans and how horribly they're treating these Superstars! That's not a good thing in my book.
All that being said, this was a hard hitting match! Neither held back, which is great, but Henry looked weaker than I expected him to look here. Yes, he's a lot older than when he was pulling trucks and bending frying pans, but he's still Henry! I know he's putting Strowman over, but I thought a bit more fro Henry would make Strowman look that much stronger.
I should be annoyed that Reigns went out there and even looked as strong as he did, but seeing Strowman destroy him was good for my heart. One of the guys mentioned that how Strowman's running powerslam looks so much greater than British Bulldog's. One of the guys replied about how Strowman is two feet taller and hits a lot harder. As I've been watching a lot of Bulldog lately fro 1996, I have to agree. Of course Strowman is much taller, but he hits the move stronger, and crisper than Bulldog did. Not speaking ill of the dead, just so impressed with the man using Bulldog's move.
Winner – Strowman
Backstage Segment > F+
Why? So little of this made sense. The only thing that really worked here was Cesaro helping Bayley warm up for her match. The rest was just confusing. Why are Enzo and Cass getting into it with Cesaro? Faces attacking faces for no reason?
Interview > B+
Joe handled himself quite well here. He bent the truth a tiny bit here, but that's what McMahon is famous for, so that didn't shock me. I did wonder why this wasn't in the ring, but I know Joe can struggle on mic. He came off great here, but we don't know how many takes it took. It does seem that, like AJ, Joe is doing better with the WWE scripting and production on mic, which TNA had virtually none of. Now, since Dixie isn't running the company into the ground, this type of thing could get much better.
Back to Joe, I hope they don't block him into a corner with this Trip thing. I just see him as too much of a rogue to work as The Authority's guy.
Sami Zayn vs Rusev w/ Lana > B-
From the start Rusev and Sami looked like young boxers who wouldn't break. Neither of them seemed to be able to get their bearings in the ring, even in the early moves and holds after the break, they looked really off! I don't know if one of them didn't know the plan, or wasn't calling, but they looked a sloppy mess. The fans were chanting for Lana early in this match, but hello, Lana is hot! They got a bit behind Sami, but he's fun to chant for, and it didn't last long.
All the way around this was somewhat of a mess. Even when they started getting in the groove, Rusev was struggling with his face guard, and still didn't seem as on as he usually is. Then again, it must be hard to be on when you have no storyline, feud, or real direction within the company. I hope things get better for both of these men, because I know if they were on SmackDown that they'd be doing so much better. Raw has become the cesspool of lost and forgotten Superstars!
Winner – Sami Zayn
Stage Segment > A-
Sami on mic breathing heavy… Okay, I'll stop. But as solid as he was here, the fans really didn't have much reaction to him. Sami might have been breathing heavy “sigh” but he was working the mic hard, giving us the heart and passion that makes Sami one of my favorites.
I loved this segment all the way around. From Sami on mic showing his passion to him basically calling out Joe, to him getting his ass kicked by Joe. This is something I want to see more of. Okay, more of Sami's passion actually fighting, but they will get there. Sami makes Bryan's run look more like top dog than under!
Akira Tozawa vs Ariya Daivari > B+
These two really went at it in the ring. Daivari was a great competitor for Tozawa, and this match made them both look really good. They are even competitors, and I'd love to see a solid feud between them at some point, meaning after Tozawa is done with his opening push and gets settled in. also, after he destroys The Brian Kendrick, which is what I see happening sooner than later. That being said, I love TBK on announce, and it would be a natural move for him when he's done in the ring. Or, it will be if he can announce as someone other than who TBK is right now.
Winner – Tozawa
Festival of Friendship > A-
I forgot they were in Vegas for a moment, then the women in feathers and headdresses made sense. Jericho looked like such a goober, but he's done a lot of that lately. Actually, he was such a sappy mess here that it started feeling like some of those segments from the AE that just couldn't get out of its own way, and only gets worse as it goes along. In the Raw Open Thread Discussion everyone was rolling their eyes and complaining (lightheartedly) about how painful it was to watch, and comparing it to This Is Your Life Rocky! That sculpture! And that painting! I'd hang it in my house, but I'm a bit of a hardcore wrestling fan, and hang some of the strangest things on my walls. I have a velvet Kenny Rogers on my wall that I hope I can squeeze into my background when I start on YouTube.
But then KO gave him that gift. Jericho played that so perfectly! His confusion was wonderful. That was the way to end their friendship. I don't like that Jericho will cost KO his Universal Championship against Goldberg at Fast Lane, but it is what it is, and KO vs Jericho at WrestleMania will be fantastic.
Enzo vs Cesaro > B+&C
So Cesaro, the guy who was helping Bayley backstage earlier, is a heel working against a face Enzo? Enzo sure wasn't a face on mic this time around, and got some solid heat for picking on Cesaro. They were both great on mic, which is why the first grade is so solid, but not as solid as they usually are. Cass was great, but it seemed as though Enzo didn't have enough time to get this promo together. He just didn't seem as on point as he normally does when he's talking down a heel, when in reality, I thought the only heel in all of this was Sheamus!
Of course Enzo lost this match, he's Enzo! While he's solid in the ring, it's his mic game that McMahon likes, it's Cass who will be the big Champion in the future. The worry I have is that Enzo will get lost in it all and not even get his mic time. The fans need someone like Enzo to excite them. We've not had this since the Road Dogg, and I think it's hurt the WWE more than they thought. There's nothing like being in a full arena when Enzo and Cass come out. The whole place is right there with them, and it's a feeling like no other. I was in it at HIAC, and it brought a whole new level of the WWE to me. I never got to seen Road Dogg live, but Enzo and Cass bring a level of excitement like Dogg did, and it's an experience unto itself, and I cannot wait to feel it again!
Winner – Cesaro
Video > A+
This is the same video they showed on SmackDown last week, but it doesn't make what Rosa Parks did any less. She needs to be remembered right now with all the upheaval we're dealing with in the USA right now.
Backstage Segment > B
Dang, Sasha looked HOT! Charlotte wasn't bad here, but I had troubles seeing past Sasha. It's a shame that outfit was wasted on a backstage segment! All Charlotte said was to push Sasha that much, and she was decent in doing it, but really can't hold a candle to Sasha when it comes to mic work.
Women's Championship Match – Charlotte (c) vs Bayley > A
This match could have earned an A+ in there'd been no interference, but, of course, McMahon can't leave well enough alone. I know they need to build for Fast Lane and WrestleMania, but that doesn't mean interference in this match that Bayley had been waiting her whole life for.
This is one of those matches that you have to see for yourself. If you haven't already seen it, go watch it now, because it's too good to miss! Go, I'll still be here when you get back. Good? Okay, this match was very different from Sasha versus Charlotte, but Bayley and Sasha are very different wrestlers. My biggest hope is that Bayley and Sasha feud into WrestleMania after Sasha turns heel. Fingers crossed. I honestly cannot wait for Raw to see what will happen next with the Women of Raw!
Winner & new Women's Champion – Bayley
This episode of Raw was so horrible, other than the Festival of Friendship and Bayley winning the Women's Championship. I really don't know what they are thinking with the storylines and booking of Raw, because it's been horrible for weeks now, while SmackDown has been downright beautiful. It's time for Raw to step things up as SmackDown has been killing the ratings, showing Raw up, and making the show a complete joke. I won't blame this on three hours, I'm laying this at McMahon's feet, and blaming him for it all. He's the head of the company and has his hand in the direction of the shows, but I cannot get over the discrepancy between the two shows. I just wonder if he's letting Shane do more of SmackDown's creative work that he won't hand to Steph and Trip, because Trip showed him up with NXT? So many questions, but the one answer I do have is that McMahon has his fingers in it, so Raw sucking lands at his feet.
Queen of WNW