Hits & Misses 6/22 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Lesnar Apologizes, Cena - Owens, Kane vs. Ambrose, The Authority, Wyatt's Creepy Locker Room, more
Jun 24, 2015 - 3:53:23 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist
Sheamus vs. Reigns: The first hour of Raw ranged from lackluster to bad. The second hour started out better with this match between Sheamus and Roman Reigns. It wasn't great. It was slow at times. But, it was pretty good. It was physical. It had some really nice spots. I particularly liked how Sheamus countered Reigns' apron drop kick with that hard clothesline smash. Reigns' leaping clothesline knocking Sheamus onto the announce table was impressive too. The fans certainly seemed to be fully behind Reigns. I don't mind having Bray Wyatt distracting Reigns from the big screen, causing him to leave the match, but can we get an announcement of the match ending? Did Sheamus win via count out? Did Sheamus stay out of the ring making it a double count out? Could the announcers make a big deal about how a match was ruined by Wyatt? Or do the matches just not matter at all?
Wyatt's Creepy Room: WWE is doing a nice job with having Wyatt successfully playing mind games with Reigns. His creepy tea room was effectively presented. I can understand why Reigns would be mentally affected by what he saw there, with the wall of pictures with his eyes cut out. I think Wyatt's motives can be better defined. But, his performances have been strong and I am looking forward to seeing where they go from here.
Cena - Owens: John Cena and Kevin Owens have had some very good verbal exchanges over the past several weeks. This was not one of them. But, it was good. Cena started out strong talking about what it would mean if he didn't accept Owens' challenge for a U.S. Championship match. He did a nice job of juxtaposing himself putting the U.S. Title on the line as opposed to Owens' refusal to put the NXT Title on the line against him a few weeks ago. Owens wasn't as good as usual when he came out to interrupt. I don't like how he pointed out the fact that he looks like a slob. That type of talk isn't needed. The idea that he was giving the fans a reason to boo him at Battleground by talking in French was sort of amusing. It worked ok, but wasn't great. Cena then got a bit cheesy speaking different languages at the end. So, it was far from great. But, it was still good enough to get a Hit.
Brock "Apologizes": The opening of Raw didn't do much for me. It felt like WWE got criticized for largely ignoring what Brock Lesnar did the night after WrestleMania to get suspended in the first place, especially in regards to Michael Cole's reaction last week, so they forced themselves to address it this week. None of this felt believable to me. The noogie from Lesnar to Cole felt forced. I wasn't even sure how WWE wanted me to feel about that. It did seem like a bit of a bully move to me, but I think we were supposed to laugh. It was sort of like they were trying to humanize Lesnar a bit, but I don't want to see him humanized. Paul Heyman tried to bring the segment home with a strong promo at the end. It was good, but not good enough to save the segment.
Kane vs. Ambrose: There wasn't much chemistry in the ring between Kane and Dean Ambrose. I don't want to see more matches between these two and based on the ending, I'm worried that there will be more. WWE can't just have matches between wrestlers of this caliber with a clean ending, so they had to have Seth Rollins come out to distract Ambrose. That lead to one of the weakest looking chokeslams to end the match.
Neville vs. Kingston: Neville vs. Kofi Kingston could be a very good match. They are both talented workers who wrestle a high energy, high flying, exciting style. However, very little of that was on display in this match. I usually enjoy Xavier Woods' antics at ring side. However, all the ring side stuff really distracted from this match and took away from its quality. I barely remember anything that happened in the ring between Neville and Kingston. I wasn't clear why The Prime Time Players were immediately reprimanded and kicked to the back by the referee when they came out to try to keep the rest of New Day from interfering. That didn't make sense to me. Then having New Day get kicked out too just kept up the distraction. Actually putting some emphasis on a wrestling match would be ok once in awhile.
Bellas vs. Naomi & Tamina: What a mess. The entire Divas division other than Paige has been presented as heels. So we have a tag team match between two heel teams. WWE has done such a poor job of establishing actual characters for the Divas. They constantly flip back and forth between heel and babyface. WWE refuses to give us fans a reason to cheer for any of them. I don't enjoy watching heel vs. heel matches. I thought that maybe WWE was setting up Paige to bring in someone like Charlotte from NXT as a partner since she can't find a Diva on the roster to back her up against the Bellas. However, it seems like she might be off of Raw during Tough Enough (though I don't know that for sure), so I don't know what they are doing. Plus, I don't want to see Charlotte or any of the other NXT women wrestlers getting called up and ruined by association with this crappy product.
The Authority: The Authority was all over this show and it was not good. There were multiple scenes of Seth Rollins trying to get members of The Authority back on his side. He talked to Kane and later he talked to J&J Security. He talked to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. After having Lesnar apologize to start the show, I guess it just made sense to have Rollins apologize to end the show. Then they had to convince J&J and Kane to hear Rollins out. Some of the individual performances were fine here, but it was too much of a muddy storyline. They spent several weeks building tension among these guys and had that tension boil over to the point where it didn't make much sense that they would actually forgive Rollins for what he had done and said about them. Kane's character has been all over the place. They gave the fans a reason to cheer for Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury, but took that away by the end of the show. Then we get to the long closing segment with Rollins apologizing to them. This went on too long and felt overly scripted with the three of them pretending to reject Rollins, only to come back to attack Lesnar from behind. The beat down that followed was well done and memorable, but it left me with a few questions. Why bring back Lesnar only to encourage the rest of The Authority to help Rollins beat him? They said they wanted to put pressure on Rollins to see if he as a lump of coal could turn into a diamond. Yet, they want him to have his full back up and have an easy time beating Lesnar? How is that putting pressure on him? I don't get this storyline at all. And after what Rollins and Kane had done to him earlier in the show, where was Dean Ambrose? WWE has done a nice job of having Ambrose come to Reigns' aid recently (and vice-versa). I know that Ambrose has no reason to want to save Lesnar, but I would think he would want revenge on Rollins and Kane and would try to get his hands on them regardless of the situation.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com's WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at his NEW email address - firstname.lastname@example.org.
For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell's views to mine by visiting prowrestling.NET's "Hitlist" section here.
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