Hits & Misses 9/28 WWE Raw Hits & Misses: Kane's Split Personality, Divas Revolution, Heyman & Big Show, Reigns vs. Wyatt
Sep 30, 2015 - 3:21:06 PM
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By Jon Mezzera, Torch Specialist
I was on vacation and I came home sick, so I have taken a few weeks off. In binge watching a ton of WWE in a short amount of time (including Night of Champions) in order to catch up, it would be nice if the product was actually enjoyable to watch. Unfortunately, there is a reason why Raw has reached historically low levels in the ratings. I've been dreading writing this and putting it off as I don't want to surround myself with so much negativity. But, what can I do?
Xavier Woods' Trombone: After a decent promo from John Cena to start the show and announce the return of his US Open Challenge, Xavier Woods answered that challenge by playing the "John Cena Sucks" part of his entrance music on the trombone. That was awesome. Unfortunately that was the best part of the show. The ramblings from The New Day after that were bad. The match that followed with Woods challenging Cena for the US Title was decent. But, none of it got me excited to watch the rest of the show (and apparently I wasn't alone).
Hype for Main Event: WWE did a nice job of hyping the main event of Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt throughout the show. They announced it early and often. They had the backstage scene with Reigns talking to Dean Ambrose about wanting to end this feud by himself, one-on-one which Randy Orton interrupted. The announcers were able to talk about it during The Wyatt Family vs. The Prime Time Players. And then Bray Wyatt had a chance to cut a promo in the back about the match. Unfortunately for WWE, the hype didn't work as the ratings dropped throughout the show, but at least they tried.
Wyatt vs. Reigns: At the end of a really bad show, the well hyped main event was pretty good. Wyatt and Reigns delivered a solid main event match that was intense, hard hitting and went a good length at 13 minutes. I like the fact that it was one-on-one and that it stayed that way as the rest of The Wyatt Family, Ambrose and Orton all stayed away for the entire match (which went against what I was expecting). They hyped this like it was supposed to be the end of the feud, but I don't think it will be which is not good. So instead of a strong win for either wrestler, we get the double count out with the post-match brawl. That was disappointing, but the post-match brawl was very well done. That tackle through the barrier was memorable and a way to tease Wyatt getting the better of Reigns in the brawl. The end with Reigns recovering and spear tackling Wyatt through the announce table was good. But, I'm not that interested in seeing more of this feud.
3 Hours: The problems with 3 hour Raws are numerous. In looking at this week's show, the problem that stood out is that they have too much time to fill, which means that they have to put so much content in each episode, that they can't find a way to promote anything for Smackdown or the following week's Raw. I'll give you two examples. The first was when the rest of New Day attacked Cena as he appeared to be on the verge of defeating Woods. As they were beating up Cena, The Dudley Boyz came out to make the save. With so much time to fill, they had to have more of Cena, so they went to a triple threat match right away. If they didn't have that much time to fill, they could have announced that based on what had happened earlier in the show, the triple threat match would be next week on Raw. Then you can have a brief interview in the back with Cena and the Dudleys talking about getting their hands on New Day next week to build anticipation for that show. Instead, everyone gets overexposed on this show. As much as I enjoy Woods' act, I don't need to see him in three segments of a show. Later during Miz TV, a fight breaks out between Team Bella and the former Team PCB. That six women match could have then been promoted for Smackdown. But, it happened right away. There are plenty of other problems with the three hour formant, but I can save those for another week.
Kane's Split Personality: This was the worst part of the crap that I had to binge watch late last week while sick. I had hoped it was a fever induced hallucination on my part, but I am healthy now and clear headed and I can see that I wasn't hallucinating. Kane's performances are good, like when he was first introduced to the HR rep, but the context of those performances is so poor. I don't care how well he can act, I don't have any interest in seeing Kane either in the back as corporate Kane or in the ring as Demon Kane. The HR storyline made no sense. The scene with Kane magically changing in the ambulance was horribly cheesy. This is a terrible use of the WWE World Championship to have Seth Rollins involved with this cartoonish storyline.
Byron Saxton: The announcing in general on Raw is bad, but I have to point out Byron Saxton this week in terms of how little he adds to the broadcast. The individual moment that stands out on this week's show was when the announcers introduced the history video about Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar and mentioned how they had once broken the ring on Smackdown and Saxton says "I remember that!" It was like my 12 year old niece talking about something that happened to her when she was like 5. Good for you Byron. Good for you.
Divas Revolution: The Divas Revolution is a failure. Charlotte despite her talent has not seemed comfortable on the mic since her call up to the main roster. Everyone loves how the women wrestlers are used on NXT and how talented they appear to be, but then they get to Raw and Smackdown and it isn't the same. Part of the reason is that on NXT Charlotte was one of four talented women wrestlers who worked primarily with just each other (or sometimes with another talented main roster wrestler like Natalya). Now, three of those four are on the main roster along with Paige, but they aren't only working with the same caliber of opponents. All three members of Team Bella are decent, but none of them are the workers that Paige, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks or Bayley are. Naomi can work, but Tamina isn't good. The talent is stretched out and intermixed with lesser talent which wasn't the case a few months ago on NXT. Throw in very poor writing like what we saw this week on MizTV and of course the product will stink. And I don't want to hear the Divas talk about the Divas Revolution. Divas Revolution should have been a behind-the-scenes term for what WWE was trying to do by rejuvenating the Divas division with new talent and a new focus. It should have never been used on camera. And Paige should not be trying to do CM Punk pipe bomb promos with insider talk and exposing things like the fact that Nikki Bella is dating someone important in WWE, without saying who it is in a horribly wink-wink situation. And then you have the opposite of what a Divas Revolution should be with JBL presenting the typical WWE/Vince McMahon position on women that they all really hate each other. Why are you promoting teams when you turn around and say that the Divas all hate each other? And why is the most talented of the three new call ups, Sasha Banks, the one getting the least amount of tv time?
Wyatt Family vs. The Prime Time Players: WWE is trying to keep The Prime Time Players in the Tag Team Championship picture. They want The Dudleys to remember them after their upcoming Championship match against New Day. And yet on Raw they lose in what was mostly a squash match to the new Wyatt Family, Braun Strowman and Luke Harper. If you want to give Strowman & Harper a strong win like this, why do it at the expense of The Prime Time Players. And I'm not even a fan of The Prime Time Players. But, you have teams way lower on the card like Los Matadores who could fill that spot, or just bring in a couple of local jobbers.
Return of the King: I am a fan of Wade Barrett. Despite some injuries that he's had, he could have been used so much better and gotten a much bigger push over the last few years. I liked some of what he did with the Bad News gimmick, but I hate the King gimmick that he has been saddled with. I was happy to see him return after a brief hiatus following SummerSlam, but was disappointed to see him return to get right back involved with Stardust and Neville. I was relieved when he came out and wasn't wearing the royal outfit, but was disappointed when he said "all hail the returning king." This brief absence was a chance to drop the king bit and have a return of the bare knuckle badass Barrett. But, apparently that isn't the plan.
Owens, Rusev, Ryback and Ziggler: So I guess WWE's position is that the recent triple threat program involving Ryback and the Intercontinental Championship was so great, that they are going to go back to something similar, only expanding it to a fatal four-way situation. I guess that I don't know that they are going in that direction, but this short match between Rusev and Kevin Owens, followed by the brawl involving Ryback and Dolph Ziggler certainly points to that being the case. Unfortunately, I don't have any interest in that direction.
Heyman and Big Show: After such a bad show, I was thrilled to see Paul Heyman with a tease for a promo after a commercial break. Unfortunately, this was not one of Heyman's better promos. He was put in a bad situation, having to hastily hype a match between Brock Lesnar and The Big Show at a house show which should not be happening as it is taking away from where Heyman's focus should be, which is Lesnar vs. The Undertaker at Hell in a Cell. The video package they showed earlier in the show was ok, but it served to remind fans how long Show has been around for. It was also a bit of revisionist history when they showed Heyman's shocked face as if he was shocked that Show had defeated Lesnar in that Survivor Series match. In reality, he was shocked when Lesnar had been able to F5 Big Show which Heyman had previously predicted could not happen. Heyman turned on Lesnar at that point and helped Show win the match. But, lets ignore all that. Getting back to his promo, Heyman was trying his best to make Show seem like a bid deal and an actual threat to Lesnar, but it fell totally flat. It didn't work. It was weak. Big Show wasn't good either. And then it had this fizzle of an end to the segment with Heyman acting more like a heel manager slinking out of the ring after Big Show acting more like a babyface put him and his client in their place. It just wasn't good.
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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