Hits & Misses 9/7 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Paige vs. Banks, Rollins vs. Ryback, Orton vs. Sheamus, Cena & PTPs vs. Rollins & New Day
Sep 9, 2015 - 3:59:20 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Specialist
Opening Segment: Raw got off to a solid start this week with Seth Rollins coming out to the ring to address the situation with Sting and his statue. Rollins is very good in his role. The crowd did grow restless and it did go on a bit too long. The appearance from Sting worked well. He is better in smaller bits than longer promos (though last week's was ok). I'm not a fan of the statue angle to begin with, so I'd like to see them go in a different direction, but at least this was well done in that context. There is a part of me in the back of my mind that says that The Authority has hired Sting to screw over Rollins for becoming too arrogant. He keeps putting his foot in his mouth. They could have been angry that Seth demanded a statue which Triple H doesn't even have. I'm not saying that it is likely to happen, but if it does, it would be a turn that would make some sense. The segment ended with Sheamus coming out to remind Rollins that he has the Money in the Bank briefcase and that Rollins might have to end up wrestling three matches at Night of Champions. That worked, but Sheamus isn't that over right now.
Paige vs. Banks: I wish the Divas Revolution included proper hype and build up to a big match. I am giving this match between Pagie and Sasha Banks a Hit as they did put on a good match. The match went about 10 minutes and was fun to watch. Paige and Banks are two talented workers and given a good amount of time they are going to put on a match that you want to watch. I just wish that WWE did a better job promoting these matches. What would it mean for Paige to win? What does it mean for Banks? Give us more.
2/3 Shield vs. The Ascension: WWE needs to find ways of building to PPV tag matches without having singles matches between the two teams. We don't need to see matches in the next few weeks like Roman Reigns vs. Luke Harper or Bray Wyatt, or Dean Ambrose vs. Braun Strowman or Harper. This was a simple squash match to get some momentum for Reigns & Ambrose without stalling the momentum of their opponents at Night of Champions. This was an effective squash match and WWE should do more of them.
Rollins vs. Ryback: This was a good match. Rollins continues to just shine at everything he does. Ryback has also been impressive with his Intercontinental Championship run (including his good Title defense last week against The Big Show). The fans have been reacting positively to Ryback. He and Rollins worked well together here to have a good match that went over 17 minutes. I particularly liked the sequence later in the match with Rollins continually attempting to get a count out victory. I really enjoyed that as he kept diving at Ryback and knocking him into the barrier. The ending worked with Sting distracting Rollins allowing Ryback to get the big win. Ryback did a nice job of celebrating making the win seem like a big deal.
Rollins, New Day, Edge & Christian, Dudleys: This was fun. The New Day are great annoying heels and played a great contrast to Rollins' heel character. It made sense to have Edge and Christian interact with Rollins after what happened the last time he was there. Luckily he left so that we could get some offbeat shenanigans as those shenanigans would not have made sense to have Edge and Christian acting like that in front of Rollins. I enjoyed the bit with the kazoos (because kazoos totally reek of awesomeness) including Big E trying to eat one. And I have to admit to getting a bit of the chills just seeing Edge & Christian standing next to The Dudley Boyz (they are in their 40s now, can we drop the z and just go to an s at this point?). And their appearance moved the segment along to include hype for a big match at next week's Raw and another at Night of Champions.
Summer, Rusev, Ziggler: I don't remember liking Raw. If you had asked me before I started writing this, I would have said that that it was a poor show. But suddenly, I'm halfway through the show and I have five Hits and zero Misses. Suddenly, I'm questioning my instincts about the quality of this episode. Now I get to this segment with Summer Rae, Rusev and Dolph Ziggler and I start to remember why I didn't like this show. Has there been a worse storyline in WWE in the past few years? Nothing comes to mind (feel free to email me other nominations, going back say three years). The acting is atrocious and I can't imagine who thought it would be a good idea to let Summer go out there and talk as long as she did. There is no chemistry between Ziggler and Lana. The storyline is almost as bad as the acting. This convoluted twist that they added starting last week with Summer sneaking into Ziggler's locker room has made a bad storyline even worse. I don't want to spend more time talking about such a terrible angle.
Orton vs. Sheamus: And shortly after that terrible segment, we get to another reason why my gut told me this was a bad show. It isn't that this was a bad match, but I can't sit through another match between Randy Orton and Sheamus. This was the match up a few years ago on the post-WrestleMania show that really lead to the fans famously hijacking Raw. That had more to do with a match that the fans didn't care about. This has more to do with the match now growing into something that we've seen far too many times for it to have any meaning at this point. They work well together. They put on solid to good matches. But, they trade wins so that the matches mean nothing. And here they stalled, got mad at the fans using the mic to stretch out the thin match even thinner, and even if they did a better job towards the end, nobody cared.
Strowman's "Hug": Am I the only one who isn't impressed with the look of Strowman's hug like move? It looks to me like someone hugging a loved one they haven't seen in a long time. One of his arms sort of cuts off one carotid artery but his opponent still has one on the other side supplying his brain with oxygen. The other arm just wraps around his opponent's shoulder and doesn't look like it would hurt that much. He isn't squeezing the life out of someone like in a bear hug. It isn't a full sleeper. He just sort of hugs the guy for like three seconds and suddenly a guy like Reigns or Orton in this case is out. It looks terrible to me. Strowman looks like he belongs in the Wyatt Family and he has good size. I liked the storyline that they did here where Orton had been seen talking to Reigns and Ambrose earlier in the show and might have been recruited by them to face The Wyatts at Night of Champions, so they beat him up to keep him from joining them. But, the bad hug move took me out of the moment.
Dudleys vs. Los Matadores: I like the idea of having The Dudley Boyz (ugh) get a series of strong wins including some squashes to reestablish themselves to a new generation of WWE fans who might not be super familiar with them since they've been in (and out of) TNA for the past 10 years. And most of the teams in WWE don't need to be protected, so having The Dudleys squash a team like Los Matadores makes sense. What put this in the Miss column to me was the result being because of the fight between one Matador and El Torito. The whole angle with Torito was terrible. I guess it gave The Dudleys a reason to put someone through a table afterwards. But, the whole thing came off as stupid and annoying.
Miz, Cesaro and Show: I was not a fan of this angle at all. The set up for Cesaro vs. The Miz seemed very flimsy to me. A feud between them has potential, but they didn't have a chance to do much in the ring before The Big Show came out. I didn't like Big Show and Miz's recent storyline with Ryback and the IC Title, so I don't want to see it continue. Show is a heel, but is more of a babyface in his dealings with Miz. But then after chasing Miz away acting like a babyface, he did the heel move of knocking out Cesaro for no real reason. His character is a mess. Cesaro should be used better than he is being used and I fear he is now going to be stuck in this bad angle with Show and Miz.
Cena & Prime Time Players vs. New Day & Rollins: Now I see why I came away from Raw feeling it was a bad show. All the Hits were in the first half and all the Misses were in the second half. And as it turns out, I have more Misses than Hits. This main event featured way too long of an isolation on John Cena by the heel trio. Cena was the only member of his team in the match for about the first 11 minutes of a 12:30 match! I get the psychology of having the heels isolating a babyface to build anticipation for a hot tag. But, this isolation went on and on, and since I'm not a fan of Titus O'Neil or Darren Young, I wasn't looking forward to one of them getting into the match. But, I was looking forward to Cena getting out of the match as it dragged and dragged. There was a little bit of excitement after O'Neil finally got the hot tag, but after selling for 10 minutes and taking that long of a beating, Cena was 100% just a moment later whereas O'Neal acted like he had taken a 10 minute beating after only one move from Big E. I didn't like how this match was put together at all.
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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