HITS & MISSES – 4/18 Raw: Reigns-Styles Doc & Karl Week 2, Enzo & Cass, Wyatts disappear

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch Hits & Misses specialist

AJ Styles Royal Rumble
A.J. Styles (photo credit Ben Tucker © PWTorch)

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4/18 RAW HITS

Jericho vs. Zayn: I got the feeling watching this match that this was just a small sample of what Chris Jericho and Sami Zayn could do in a more important match down the line. I think their main event match on Smackdown was better than this, but it is close. They both were good and certainly Hit worthy. Any time you get wrestlers of this ability and give them 13 minutes it is almost guaranteed that you are going to get a good match which is what we got. I do want to complain a little about the ending where Jericho poked Zayn in the eyes behind the referee’s back to hit the Codebreaker for the win. When was the last time a wrestler got disqualified for poking his opponent in the eye? Yes, it is illegal. But, so is hair pulling, choking and attacking your opponent in the ropes. Yet these things happen all the time with just a warning or a 5 count from the referee. If you actually set up an eye poke as a move that receives an automatic DQ over time, then this finish would actually make sense.

Reigns – Styles – Anderson & Gallows: I didn’t love everything that WWE did with Roman Reigns, A.J. Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows. I don’t understand ignoring that Gallows was in WWE already. But, I did like how they acknowledged their past with Styles in Japan. Their reunion was solid. I don’t like Reigns’s new catch phrase, but he was okay. I liked some of his heelish tendencies like the way he said that he guesses Styles’s past accomplishments make him phenomenal. I liked what Styles said when he came out to interrupt. His delivery was fine, but the script was quite good with him talking about being a champion every where he had been which is why WWE called him. He put over Reigns which got him boos, but you always should put over your opponent, especially the WWE World Champion. And I loved his line about how he will need to have the match of his life to beat Reigns, but having the match of his life is what he does. What a great line! The attack by Gallows & Anderson worked well to give Styles plausible deniability that he didn’t know they were going to do that. The scene in the back afterwards was pretty good with him telling Reigns that he didn’t know anything about it, with Reigns tying it into the attack on The Usos last week. And I liked Styles’s comeback that he doesn’t need his friends to beat Reigns. This has me thinking that Anderson & Gallows are actually working for Reigns and will join his Roman Empire at Payback. We shall see.

Miz & Maryse: I am continuing to enjoy the dynamic of Maryse and The Miz now that she has been brought back to WWE. I laughed out loud when she made the poor kid in the back put his jacket down to cover the spilled drink in the hallway that they could have easily walked around. It is cheesy how she is doing the “action” and “Take 2” type stuff with him, but I still like it. Some cheesy things are good. Miz TV with Cesaro was okay. It wasn’t great, but solid enough, particularly because of the work that Miz and Maryse are doing right now.

Cesaro & New Day vs. Miz & League of Nations: This was far from a great match, but it was a fun if not random eight-man tag match. Cesaro is so fun to watch in the ring. Those running uppercuts are awesome. I also liked seeing him participate in the Unicorn Stampede. There is no heat on The League of Nations so it makes sense to have Cesaro get the win over one of their members, in this case Sheamus. That helps to build up Cesaro as the #1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship while protecting the Champion Miz.

Natalya – Charlotte: I like the program that they have going with Natalya and Charlotte for the Women’s Title. The short interview with Charlotte and Ric Flair being interrupted by Natalya was a good simple and short segment that was very effective. All three played their parts well. We got the announcement that they will have a rematch for the Women’s Title at Payback and that Bret Hart will be in Natalya’s corner. The two Flairs had great reactions to that to end the scene.

Ambrose vs. Owens: We’ve seen these guys wrestle too many times for this to feel special or important in any way. However, I always still enjoy the work that Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens do against each other in the ring. It might be a stale match, but it at least is a good match. In other words, I’m not tired of it yet. This was a good main event. I was surprised that it had a clean finish with Ambrose hitting Dirty Deeds in the middle of the ring for the 1-2-3. The highlight of the match to me was Owens hitting that sick frog splash onto Ambrose on the outside of the ring. Moves like that which weren’t part of their previous matches is what helps make a stale match up still fun to watch.

4/18 RAW MISSES

Opening Segment: I want more of an explanation as to why after everything that Vince McMahon said about Shane McMahon before WrestleMania, he would allow Shane to run Raw despite losing to Undertaker. This segment went on too long and was awkward at times. I like having a babyface authority figure, but don’t care to see these long talking segments involving any authority figure. I want the William Regal NXT model. I don’t understand the “You still got it” chant towards Shane. What does he still have? Some of the mic work was good, particularly from Owens and Chris Jericho who became my favorite tag team in WWE history when they teamed up a few weeks ago on Smackdown (yes that’s an exaggeration, but I loved what they did as a team). Unfortunately, this is only a slight variation on the stale Raw formula.

Enzo & Cass vs. The Dudley Boyz: I know this might be blasphemy, but I do not like Enzo Amore and Colin Cassidy a/k/a Enzo & Big Cass. I give you that they are charismatic and have mic skills (especially Enzo). But I find them to be the two most annoying people ever created. I don’t understand their gimmick. I never liked them in NXT. I hear “how you doin’?” and I think of Joey from “Friends” which went off the air 12 years ago. The fans love them and love to sing-along with them although I would argue that a lot of wrestling fans are parrots and love to sing along with anything that any wrestler says over and over again. However, I do enjoy watching them wrestle. They have good chemistry in the ring together. I have enjoyed some of their matches, but only after I mute their annoying intro. But, their unique style wasn’t really on display in this match. I didn’t like how this match was booked. I don’t appreciate this type of booking in general where the loser saves face by dominating the match. Bubba Ray was great here. His facial reactions to Enzo were awesome. Devon was good too. But, compare the type of exiting action and double team moves that Enzo & Cass did against The Revival at Roadblock to this where they were dominated for the entire match. I love when Cass uses Enzo as a weapon by throwing him around. However, the only time they did that here was in the rocket launcher finisher which I don’t like. Nothing that Cass does helps to add any impact to what is just a regular top rope splash from Enzo. Nothing. Nothing at all. He isn’t throwing Enzo. He is sort of standing there and gesturing as if he is doing something. So while I enjoy a lot of their double team moves taking advantage of their size difference, the only one I don’t like is their finisher which is the only one they did here.

Eight-Woman Tag: WWE does a disservice to the women’s division when they throw eight women like this together in a match like this. I appreciate the fact that five or six years ago, an eight-Divas tag match would last three minutes at the most whereas this one lasted over ten. But, Paige, Team Bad, Sasha Banks, and Summer Rae don’t have much in terms of a program going right now, so why do we care about what they are doing? They have a strong program going with Natalya vs. Charlotte. I also like the start of the Becky Lynch vs. Emma feud, but Emma wasn’t in this match. We’ve also seen Natalya force Charlotte to tap out, so this didn’t add anything to what they’ve already done.

Usos vs. Vaudevillians: This did nothing for me. I’m not a fan of The Vaudevillians. The gimmick is super lame. They don’t explain why they act like old members of a traveling Vaudeville troupe. The Whirling Dervish is a very weak finishing move for a tag team. This match lasted only three minutes. If this was designed as a squash match to introduce a new team, then that length makes sense, but not in the context of a tag team tournament against one of the top teams in the company. The shoulder injury out was lame. I would have rather seen The Revival, American Alpha, or even Blake & Murphy get a call up over the Vaudevillians.

Where are the Wyatts: I understand that an injury to a key player like Bray Wyatt can leave the Creative team scrambling to make some changes in their plans. However, ignoring the Wyatt Family all together after they were such an integral part of last week’s Raw including Bray being in the main event teaming with his long time nemesis Roman Reigns is a mistake. Not all the fans know that he was hurt. So this leaves a lot of viewers scratching their heads, wondering what happened to him. I’m not saying they have to acknowledge the actual injury, but they should have come up with some way to address their absence from this 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 jmezz_torch@yahoo.com.

Act now and become my 56th Twitter follower @JonMezzera (pretty clever handle right?). Just be aware that I don’t live tweet Raw, I don’t tweet much about wrestling, and I don’t tweet much at all. I finally hit 50 followers, but why stop there?

For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell’s views to mine by visiting prowrestling.NET’s “Hitlist” section here.

2 Comments on HITS & MISSES – 4/18 Raw: Reigns-Styles Doc & Karl Week 2, Enzo & Cass, Wyatts disappear

  1. Dude I completely disagree with you about Enzo and Cass. They are the only new tag team that I like and if WWE has any balls they will give those two the belts. The ones who are extremely annoying are the Usos with that stupid entry we have been stuck watching for years. I could care less about the Vaudevillians.

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