SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
None: This was a terrible show. Yes, I could probably find a few Hit worthy moments to list. Y2AJ vs. The New Day could have been a Hit on a better show. I could have given a Hit to Triple H’s beating of Dean Ambrose at the end, as I appreciate the fact that Triple H wasn’t playing to the fans like a babyface like he did last week in his beating of Roman Reigns. But, I am in a rotten mood after such a horrible show. It was Leap Day, and I think the writers took a leap and didn’t put any effort into Raw. So, I’m going to take a leap from giving any Hits this week.
Opening Segment: This wasn’t terrible. Some of the exchange between Triple H and Ambrose was good. But, it went on too long. Some of Ambrose’s questioning of Triple H was a bit meandering. It put too much focus on The Authority and the McMahon family which was a theme for the show. After all this talking from Triple H, a member of the McMahon family, we were left with a promise of more Triple H to come. Then as the show went to commercial and they were teasing what was to come for the rest of Raw, two of their big selling points were finding out what Vince McMahon thought of Shane McMahon’s return, and the acceptance speech from Stephanie McMahon after winning the Vincent J. McMahon award last week and being interrupted by Shane. That is way too many mentions of the McMahons before the first commercial break. And one of the big hooks for the main event set up by Triple H was that The League of Nations would all be ringside for Alberto Del Rio’s match against Ambrose. And they played that up throughout all of Raw. But, so what? They were at ringside for the previous week’s main event, so this isn’t new. And they were kicked out of that match, so their presence didn’t make a difference. Did the writers even watch last week’s show?
End of Banks vs. Lynch: I was assuming that I would be giving the #1 contender’s match for the Divas Title a Hit while it lasted. Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch performed well and they were having a good match until that stupid ending. Apparently the Raw writers don’t watch NXT, otherwise they would have seen the same ending for Samoa Joe vs. Samy Zayn in their recent #1 contenders match. I don’t like the idea of the double pin and the execution was poor. Banks had all of her momentum going forward, and wasn’t that hurt. So, why did she suddenly lay back going against her forward momentum as if she was knocked out? It looked bad. I didn’t see any reason why her shoulders would end up on the mat in that situation.
Miz vs. Ziggler: I just don’t see what a one-minute match with a surprise roll-up does for anyone. I guess it shows that an early pin attempt can be successful, but I’m not sure that really makes up for the damage done to Dolph Ziggler. I’m not sure Ziggler is in a strong enough position in the first place for a win over him like this will do anything for The Miz.
Stephanie McMahon: Here we have another long talking segment with a member of the McMahon family. Stephanie’s performance might be good, but who cares? She isn’t a wrestler. She was talking about a match that I don’t care about which involves a non-wrestler and a part-time wrestler who should have probably retired a few years ago (after his second match against Triple H at WrestleMania). It is a vanity project. After the bad first hour of Raw which featured little wrestling and too much of the McMahons (in the long opening with Triple H and a very long recap of Shane’s involvement last week which closed the first hour), the second hour starts with this. And, the more I think about it, the more I want to delete my line that Stephanie’s performance might be good. It wasn’t. It was screechy and made me want to change the channel. And if she is a heel and her brother his a babyface, why is she pointing out that it is unfair to give him and his sons power just because they are male and take away power from her and her daughters just because they are female? That should be a babyface sentiment.
Lucha Dragons vs. The League of Nations: This was a squash match. The League of Nations dominated the entire match other than a brief flurry of offense from Kalisto after getting the hot tag from Sin Cara. But, after a bit of distraction from the rest of the team, Rusev kicked Kalisto once and knocked him out for the win. I don’t mind a tag team squash in general. But, the team getting squashed should not include the United States Champion. And when Alberto Del Rio puts you in the tree of woe position, just let your head hang down. Let gravity do its job. If you don’t try to pull yourself up to put your back parallel to the mat, then he can’t jump off and squish your chest. That has to be my least favorite finishing move in wrestling right now.
Natalya’s Subway Commercial: I just don’t have words for this crap. At least Natalya got onto Raw. I can’t say the same for Paige. Three Raws ago, I said that Paige’s upset loss to Summer Rae was a bad idea and that the best outcome was to forget about it. It hasn’t been mentioned on the next two Raws, nor on the Smackdowns in between. That is good, but it is still disappointing to see someone like Paige not getting any type of air time any more.
Vince and Undertaker: I was really excited when the third hour started off with yet another McMahon coming out to the ring to talk for a long time. Wow. I wonder how much Undertaker got paid for that appearance. They were hyping that he would have a very special appearance later on Raw, and all he does is some out and say that Shane’s blood will be on Vince’s hands. Some people were hoping he would refuse to be in the match, to set up something different, but that didn’t happen. We are still left with a match that I don’t want to see (I know some people do, but they aren’t me), where WWE is going to be splitting the fans forcing them to choose between Undertaker and Shane when they want to cheer for both. After Taker left, then we got the long promo from Vince about taking Shane out of his will and disowning him and calling him names. I’m sorry, but I do NOT care about this family and their squabbles. Who gives a crap if Vince takes his son out of his will?
Jimmy Uso: I see potential in a feud between The Usos and The Dudley Boyz. I like the heel turn from The Dudleys and their vow not to use tables any more. I want that to be a real vow, so I’m disappointed that they have sort of used tables recently, but at least they aren’t putting someone through a table. My real issue here is that Devon had the table out and Jimmy Uso knew that and he still stupidly jumped into the air towards the table. He wasn’t jumping at Devon, he was jumping at the table. And so of course Devon threw the table into Jimmy in the air and hit him. What other possible outcome was there to that situation when Jimmy chose to jump in the air? There was no other possible outcome. Jimmy looked so stupid. Plus, outside interference and distraction was featured too often on Raw.
Owens vs. Big Show: The Big Show has been too much of a joke and waffled between babyface and heel way too often over the past few years for him to mean anything at this point. Losing to Big Show, even in a count out, does too much damage to Kevin Owens for any possible positive gain that might come from it. On the current roster of full time wrestlers, Owens should be the top heel in the company. But, he isn’t.
Replays: I know that Raw always features a number of replays, and maybe it is just my perception because of the terrible nature of this show. However, this particular Raw seemed to feature way more replay videos than normal. The show opened with a recap of Triple H’s beat down of Reigns. Then they had a very long replay of the Shane McMahon segment from last week. After Natalya’s Subway commercial, we got a replay of the opening segment. After Ryback’s match, we had a replay of Brock Lesnar’s destruction of Ambrose last week. Before Y2AJ vs. New Day, they showed a replay from Smackdown of A.J. Styles forcing Xavier Woods to tap out in the six-man tag. Before the main event, we got a replay of the terrible promo from Vince about disowning Shane. As I said, the idea that this show had more replays than usual may be perception and not reality. It may be due in part to some of them being longer so we got more replay time instead of more replay videos. And it may be that I’m not a fan of the product right now so it isn’t just seeing replays, but replays of crappy segments. Some replays are good and needed, but not to this degree.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at email@example.com.
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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.