SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Opening Segment: The post-SummerSlam Raw got off to a good start with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar coming out to brag about still being the Universal Champion. Heyman was great in talking up the amazing feat that Lesnar was able to fight against the odds and overcome a conspiracy with the WWE officials trying to keep him out of the match after he was injured by Braun Strowman. Strowman’s interruption worked well to show that he might have Lesnar’s number in the way that he was able to physically dominate him once again. It was a good tease for their Universal Title match at the next PPV.
Rollins & Ambrose vs. The Hardys: The pre-match promo from Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins which was interrupted by The Hardy Boyz was ok. But, the match that resulted was very good. I thoroughly enjoyed this tag match. It went a good length of time and was well booked given the babyface vs. babyface dynamic. It was well executed and fun to watch from start to finish. The Hardys need some wins and WWE needs to cut down on talking about how long they have been around which paints them as being old. They are still delivering in the ring. With the very good Tag Team Championship matches at SummerSlam, and now this match, we got to see some good tag team wrestling the last few days.
Balor vs. Jordan: It seems that WWE is doing a losing streak angle for Jason Jordan which will likely lead to a heel turn for him down the line. But, the fans are not into his character at all right now and having him lose isn’t going to help. Even with a star who is over like Finn Balor as his opponent, the fans in Brooklyn were not engaged in this match at all. They were very disrespectful with the beach balls and other antics like doing the wave at times during the show including in this match. I don’t blame them for getting restless at times, but the disrespect towards the wrestlers upsets me. Jordan and Balor worked hard. They put on a good match. I am giving it a Hit for their effort, but the crowd’s reaction took away from my enjoyment of the match.
Enzo Amore: This Miss is partially retroactive to SummerSlam for the lame Big Cass vs. Big Show with Enzo Amore in a shark tank match. That was terrible and didn’t belong on the second biggest PPV of the year when you only have Rusev vs. Orton go 10 seconds and you have The Usos vs. The New Day for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles on the pre-show and not the main show itself. Now we get the ridiculous statement in Amore’s opening remarks that his worst day on the mic is better than Cass’ best day in the ring. Who cares? You are there to wrestle and you are a joke. You suck at your job. You shouldn’t have a job. He is my least favorite character in WWE. I feel bad for Cass with the knee injury. I was curious to see what he could do once he got away from Enzo, but WWE hadn’t shown any signs of going away from him any time soon.
Cena / Reigns / Miz / Joe: I hated this segment. It was too long. It was too packed with too much talking from John Cena, Roman Reigns, The Miz and Samoa Joe. I don’t agree with going right to Cena vs. Reigns on Cena’s first night back on Raw. It was not wise in front of that crowd to have the two least popular babyfaces in the ring together. Cena was way over the top and goofy and cartoonish during this entire segment. This is the type of performance that got so many fans chanting “Cena Sucks!” in the first place. He was terrible. The Miz gave a passionate promo about not ever getting a moment and Reigns and Cena hogging the spotlight, but that rang too true coming from a heel. He tried to turn it around to blame the fans, but it didn’t work. Joe felt out of place. Joe vs. Cena feels like a big time match down the line, so I would have saved any type of encounter between them for when it would have meant more. This led to the main event when we’d get Cena and Joe in the ring together for the first time which was a mistake.
Cruiserweight Fatal Four Way: There was a ton of talent in the ring during this fatal four way, but I was never a fan of WCW doing these types of multi man matches back in the day with their original Cruiserweight Division on Nitro. Nobody can stand out. Nobody can look really good. There were some cool spots. The wrestlers worked hard given the circumstances. But, this type of presentation doesn’t do any of the wrestlers a favor to make any of them look good. It doesn’t make me want to tune into 205 Live.
Joe & Miz vs. Cena & Reigns: I could not take this main event seriously at all. The fans rejected it with more disrespect. I can’t blame them for rejecting the match, but I still feel there are better ways to go than doing the wave and playing with beachballs like they are at an LA Dodgers game (after arriving in the 4th inning, before leaving in the 7th). I have no problem with the “You Both Suck!” chants. Cena brought on some of this himself by playing to the crowd and following along with the wave, paying more attention to the crowd than to his opponents. It was very annoying, even worse than his terrible performance on the mic earlier in the show. It made him look like a stupid rookie in allowing himself to get jumped from behind by Miz. The wrestling action was ok. It wasn’t bad, but given the talent involved and the star level of the four in this main event, the match itself should have been much better than this. And then don’t encourage the disrespectful behavior by the fans by both Cena’s antics and showing the beachballs and fans doing the wave and having the announcers talk about it. Don’t give the fans who are trying to get attention the attention that they desire. Baseball teams don’t show idiots who run out on the field to interrupt a game so that they don’t get their 5 minutes of fame that they are seeking. WWE should be more careful about these reactions, because they encourage them by showing that it is all part of the fun. They want to act like the fans are reacting the ways that they want them to in order to control the story, even though they aren’t reacting the way WWE wants them to.
And as a final point on this crowd, I feel that many of the fans come wanting to do the wave and play with beach balls and will find a time to do them as opposed to a natural reaction / rejection of what the crowed is seeing.
For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell’s views to mine by visiting ProWrestling.net’s “Hitlist” section HERE.
Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw and Smackdown each week. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Act now and become my 68th 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.