Hits & Misses 8/3 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Piper Tribute, Rollins-Neville, Divas Revolution, Heyman
Aug 5, 2015 - 4:09:44 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist
Piper Tribute: WWE did a nice job with this moving tribute to Rowdy Roddy Piper. The show started out with the usual 10 bell salute followed by a good video package. Later in the show, they replayed the video and had the announcers talk about him. There were also some wrestlers who kept their Hot Rod t-shirts on for their matches and Dean Ambrose got in the classic line from "They Live" about kicking ass and chewing bubble gum. The Miz also gave a shout out to Piper's Pit, and they showed the clip of Ronda Rousey talking about Piper after her dominating win over the weekend. Roddy Piper was one of the all time greats and it is sad that he died so young. WWE as they usually do in these instances gave Piper a very nice tribute.
Rollins' Promo: Seth Rollins continues to do some very good mic work as the WWE World Champion. He was good in coming up with an excuse for losing to John Cena last week for being too sympathetic to Cena after breaking his nose. I like how he acted super tough since he knew that Cena wasn't in the building and might not be medically cleared to wrestle by SummerSlam in the way that he challenged him to a Title vs. Title match for that show. He also got in some mocking of Cena's US Open Challenge with a nice tease for a WWE Title Open Challenge after the first commercial break.
Rollins vs. Neville: Neville had some credibility when he first came up to the main roster, but he hasn't been used very well since then. So, it was good to see him used in this situation where he could take Rollins to the limit in a surprise WWE Title match. Despite the loss, he was definitely elevated in this match. It was a very good match with those two close near falls that popped the crowd. Neville played his role very well showing the frustration at not being able to get the win which caused him to take too much time on the second Red Arrow attempt which allowed Rollins to pick up the win. This was all well done.
Divas Matches: I don't like how WWE is going about this whole Divas Revolution gimmick (much more later), but I am enjoying watching the better quality women's wrestling matches that have been part of the result. That was the case with the tag match with Charlotte & Becky Lynch taking on The Bellas. It is so refreshing to see women's matches like this go 13 minutes. That has been mostly unheard of for so long. WWE is also doing a nice job of establishing Charlotte's Figure 8 as a strong finishing move. Later on, we got a 7+ minute match with Paige defeating Naomi which actually went without a commercial interruption. It seems rare to see any match on Raw go that long without a commercial break. Paige got the tap out win to continue the theme of their team being strong on submissions. On a side note, I am not yet sold on the name Submission Sorority.
MizTV: This was a good use of The Miz as his storyline with Ryback and The Big Show has been sidelined due to Ryback's injury. He did a nice job of hosting his show with guests Kevin Owens and Cesaro. I am definitely looking forward to seeing their eventual match at SummerSlam. Owens is so great on the mic. He just seems to have a better understanding of his character than most of the roster. I loved his backhanded compliment to Miz saying that he owns all of Miz's movies on Blu-Ray implying that he likes him as an actor, but not a wrestler (which he later enforced by saying to him that the real fighters were talking). Cesaro is hit or miss on his mic work. This week was a Hit. He played well reacting to Miz and Owens. The brief physicality at the end was a nice tease for eventually seeing them actually wrestle.
Paul Heyman: Once again, Paul Heyman was the best part of Raw and that is really saying something on a very good episode. After Battleground, WWE had a difficult task of making me care about a rematch for Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar considering how poor their WrestleMania match was and how both are babyfaces, so I don't want to have to pick one to cheer over the other. The hype started out a bit shaky, but got better with their super intense pull apart brawl two weeks ago. I still wasn't sold that this will be a good match, but damn if Paul Heyman didn't sell me on wanting to see it. This was an amazing promo hyping the rematch of then, now and forever. His history lesson of what happened after their last match, including behind the scenes info about Undertaker begging Vince McMahon for a rematch at WrestleMania 31 was great. I loved how he called this the match too big for WM. He single handedly made this match out to be the truly can't miss match in WWE history. He did everything an orator can do to get the fans excited to see a match. He even threw in some Latin! I could go on and on about how great this was, but it would take too long to get to all the great moments in it.
Tag Team Situation: Ugg. WWE just did a multi tag team title match at Elimination Chamber a few months ago. Are we really going to get another one at SummerSlam? The last few weeks with these matches have been ugly. The Prime Time Players are not good on guest commentary. Yes, Titus O'Neil is sometimes funny, but he does a lot of stupid things like questioning the fact that Los Matadores are from Puerto Rico instead of Mexico. By having Los Matadores look good one week, The Lucha Dragons look good last week, and now The New Day looking good this week it leaves me feeling muddled about the tag division. Instead of building up one team as the strongest contender to the Prime Time Players, and build an issue between those two teams, they are just throwing out all of the teams in these matches with no team actually standing out. And I am certainly not looking forward to the inevitable five way tag title match that we seem to be heading towards at SummerSlam.
Divas Revolution: Let me start by saying that I am happy that Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch have gotten elevated to the main roster, although I don't think introducing all three on the same night was the best way to go. I am also happy that we are getting more, longer and higher quality Divas matches on Raw and Smackdown. For the most part, we are getting two Divas matches a show and they are going much longer than they used to. This is a far cry from the days of the 10 Divas tag matches going under 2 minutes. There is a very good mix of talent with the new Divas going alongside some of the better established talent like Paige, Naomi, Alicia Fox and the Bellas (particularly Nikki). And they are getting more mic time as well. However, the storyline is pretty weak. They have not done a good job of defining from a storyline standpoint what exactly the Divas Revolution is. The individual Divas should not on camera be talking about how they want to revolutionize the Divas division. Paige's goal was to take out Team Bella who use their numbers game to keep Nikki at the top. That should still be her goal and the goal of her new teammates Charlotte and Lynch. Naomi and Banks shouldn't care about a Divas Revolution. They should care about winning matches, becoming Divas Champion and thus making a lot of money. What do they care of the division is revolutionized?
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.
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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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