Hits & Misses 8/24 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Opening Segment, New Day, Dudleys return, Stewart, Sting
Aug 26, 2015 - 3:43:47 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist
Opening Segment: The post SummerSlam Raw got off to a good start following up on the two big matches from the night before. It started with the video of Seth Rollins and Triple H at WWE Headquarters talking about Rollins' statue. It transitioned into Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman coming to the ring to address the end of Lesnar's match against The Undertaker. I had mixed feelings about that ending. I can see the arguments on both sides from the fans who hated it and who loved it. It would have been better if they had the shot of Undertaker tapping as the live shot when the bell rang instead of showing it on a replay. But I digress. Heyman was great at reacting to what happened. Lesnar was good in his reactions to what Heyman said. Bo Dallas' interruption was ok to get Lesnar a chance to destroy someone, but it wasn't great. I wish WWE had dropped a hint at a possible opponent for Lesnar. It didn't have to be a big confrontation, and it didn't have to happen in that opening segment, but at some point they could have dropped that hint (assuming Lesnar will have an opponent before once again facing Undertaker).
The New Day: Xavier Woods's antics at ringside were the best part of the fatal four way Tag Team Title match at SummerSlam. Having him playing the trombone with a parody of "New York, New York" on Raw as a celebration for winning the Tag Titles was awesome. The fact that Woods can play the trombone fits his character perfectly. That was hilarious. I also love the way that Kofi Kingston claps. That is the most heelish way someone can clap. His celebration at SummerSlam was almost worth the $10 Network subscription. The work these guys have done has been great and I hope WWE understands that they are great as heels and it is fun to boo them, so don't try to turn them babyface.
Return of the Dudleys: The tag team division has been pretty weak since the injury to Jay Usso (or is it Jimmy?). The injury to Tyson Kidd has hurt also as his team with Cesaro was really clicking when he got hurt. While I enjoy New Day, and while the Lucha Dragons are fun to watch in the ring, the rest of the division is just sort of ho-hum. I'm not a fan of the Prime Time Players. So, having a great tag team from the past who can inject some legitimacy into the division is very welcome. And the return was well done. It was the perfect venue in Brooklyn to bring them back for the maximum pop. It was exciting. And the announcers did a great job then and later on in the show of making it out to be a huge deal.
Jon Stewart Segment: I did not like having Jon Stewart get involved in the WWE World Title match at SummerSlam. I am a fan of Stewart and watched him every night on "The Daily Show" for years and years. I appreciate the fact that he is a legit wrestling fan. But, it was a very weak ending to a major PPV Title match. Moving on to Raw, Stewart's explanation about not wanting someone to tie Ric Flair's record 16 World Title reigns was pretty solid. Flair's presence was a nice surprise. Flair did a good job of telling Stewart he was wrong for doing what he did. Stewart was ok, but there is a reason he isn't known for his acting even though he has been in some movies. John Cena was also ok. He did a good job of showing some anger at what had happened, while also sort of understanding Stewart's rationale. They got the AA in for some more mainstream publicity and hopefully move on from a bad situation. So, I'm giving this a marginal Hit largely for that aspect of it.
Statue Hype: WWE did a nice job of building to the final segment of Raw and the reveal of Seth Rollins' statue. I already mentioned the initial video from WWE Headquarters. They showed videos of the reveals of the statues for Bruno Sammartino, The Ultimate Warrior and Andre the Giant throughout the show. We saw a glimpse of the statue with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon looking at it and then hiding it from Rollins. They teased that John Cena would interrupt the proceedings, but then had him removed from the arena by security. But, you knew something was going to happen so that made it fun to speculate about the possibilities. Once the final segment started, we got a very good promo from Rollins about beating Cena to cement his immortal legacy. I liked how he talked up Cena as the legit man in WWE for the past 10 years. Too often heels in his position would talk down about their opponents. He talked Cena up which means he beat a mega star. His promo continued to build anticipation for the statue reveal and while I was not that excited about the actual reveal (more later), the hype for it was very well done throughout the show.
Braun Stroman Introduction: I like the idea of adding a new member to The Wyatt Family. I also like the idea of introducing a new wrestler who hasn't been featured on NXT tv. And Braun Stroman certainly has a unique look with impressive size. But for some reason, I was underwhelmed by his introduction. I think part of the problem is that I haven't been that big of a fan of this Wyatt Family feud against Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. Their tag match at SummerSlam fell flat to me. It was ok, but it didn't inspire me to want to see more of it. Therefore, I wasn't thrilled with seeing it again the very next night. Their match on Raw wasn't anything special. It was just a set up for Braun's introduction. I was sort of bored with it.
MizTV: This segment points to the disconnect between the talent in the Divas Revolution and the creative in how the Divas Revolution has been presented. Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch are all talented workers in the ring. They all have personality, charisma and mic skills, though none of them are great on the mic. But, when you put them all together as a random team with nothing but fair skin in common, it doesn't make much sense. Having them all together in an interview segment like this made for bad tv as it was a jumbled mess. WWE isn't giving any of them a chance to establish their characters and connect with the WWE Universe. It is telling that these fans would have been cheering for any of them in a singles match if this were an NXT event. But, put them all in a six Diva tag match against Team Bella and you get "Boring!" chants and the wave. The match itself was ok, but I can't blame the fans for reacting like that. But I'm sorry, I have to say that doing some random chants and the wave doesn't make anyone awesome.
Everyone Beats Up Big Show: The big 8 man tag match was ok. It filled 18 minutes of tv time and featured a lot of talented wrestlers. There were some good moments during the match. I'm not giving it a Miss, but I'm not giving it a Hit either. What I didn't like was the ending with everyone beating up Big Show. I guess they are writing him off tv for now and needed a way to do so. But, having his teammates Kevin Owens and Rusev get upset at him at first for accidentally hitting Sheamus and costing them the match was a way of turning Show babyface and he has turned way too many times. Then moments later, the babyface team all ganged up on Show and beat him up too, so I guess that turned him heel again. It felt like piling on to me and it wasn't fun to watch.
Sting: This would have been a Hit if Sting had defeated Triple H at WrestleMania. At the time, I enjoyed the surprise appearances by the nWo and DX even though it made very little if any sense. But in Sting's own words shortly before WM, he wasn't supposed to be fighting for WCW. That would be ridiculous at this point. He was supposed to be fighting The Authority as a vigilante who was trying to bring down their corrupt regime. But, instead it turned out that he was fighting for WCW. And he lost. So while he had stuck it to The Authority at last year's Survivor Series, that action was undone a few months later when Rollins forced Cena to bring The Authority back to power. And he had a chance to stick it to The Authority again at WM by beating Triple H, but he lost. The last time we saw Sting was hugging Triple H after losing to him. So, why should I get excited about him coming back to "stick it to The Authority" once again? But if he had won at WM and stood tall over Triple H at the time, then I would be much more excited. He hasn't been a thorn in their side. If he can't beat another retired wrestler, then why would I think he has a chance of beating a top wrestler in his prime? This is why wins and losses matter. This is why it was a mistake to have Triple H's ego run wild at WM even if he justifies it based on what happened with The Rock and Ronda Rousey later in the show.
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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