Uncharacteristically, and surprisingly, WWE did almost everything right in this week’s RAW! Finally, feuds were booked cleverly and well – something which has been lacking for a long time in the WWE Universe (excusing NXT). It feels like the backroom staff have finally got back on track following the hasty booking following Seth Rollins‘ injury over five months ago.
For the first time in an eternity, going into a PPV, all of the main competitors look strong and any of them could legitimately win any of their matches. AJ Styles and Roman Reigns both looks strong in their encounters, with the alignment of Anderson and Gallows still seeming to be up in the air. With Finn Balor‘s recent title loss, surely he will take the helm at the expense of AJ.
For those who aren’t familiar with NXT, the Kevin Owens – Sami Zayn encounter finally makes sense, although I feel that particular promo could have been saved for Payback itself as it really got me excited for the match-up. This is one I really can’t call. I truly believe Owens will be the next Heel to challenge for the biggest prize, but I don’t see him facing Roman. Whereas a loss for Sami may see him somewhat without focus or direction (something which has often left up-and-coming talent to get buried).
As far at the Intercontinental championship is concerned, if Cesaro doesn’t take home the gold,there may be a riot at the Allstate Arena. There’s only so much Miz people can take, and we are way past the limit (maybe that’s why he’s such a good Heel). On the same vein, Dean Ambrose must also beat Chris Jericho in their bout. Following defeats at Money in the Bank, SummerSlam, Hell in a Cell, Survivor Series, TLC, Royal Rumble, Fastlane, ,Roadblock AND Westlemania, its about time the lunatic got his break!
Despite the positives , however, there were the obvious negatives which were hard to overlook. Firstly, the opening segment involving Shane and Stephanie McMahon took far long and just wasn’t entertaining. Thankfully, the company has finally addressed the situation regarding Shane running RAW every single week – we shall find out the Chairman’s decision at Payback. Also, a complete lack of time for women’s wrestling with blatantly apparent, and the quick finish didn’t appease the fans – especially those who are fully behind the revolution.
Last, but not least, (and this may just be me being picky) but the newest members of the roster – formerly of the Bullet Club – should have gone over a whole lot easier against The Usos. This faction should build to become something comparable to the early NWO. Domination and disrespect should be a staple. This match had too much length and made the team seem to struggle against the twins. I would much rather have seen a2 minute destruction by Gallows and Anderson (with the extra time given to the women) than the back and forth contest we did pay witness to.
In conclusion, this week’s show has served it’s purpose: building excitement for this month’s PPV. In many ways, I am looking forward to this more than ‘Mania itself, as there are so many unasked questions. The company could go in a completely new direction by handing Styles the title. Unfortunately, I just don’t see this happening…