KELLER INTERVIEWS ROB VAN DAM FOR FIRST TIME...
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The Miz: The Miz has continued to prove his worth as the Intercontinental Champion, and I feel his passion when he talks to other competitors. I particularly liked his line about how “the guy” is the one holding a championship. During the opening segment, I felt that he had more of a personality than Roman. More on that later.
Finn Balor: For two nights in a row, I felt that Finn was treated as one of the biggest babyfaces on the roster, and it paid off in fan perception. He is being presented as a guy who is going to fight and work hard to get the Universal Championship, which was nice to see him reference in his promo. I’d like to see him given a gradual push to the top, as I think he is one that the fans can truly get behind.
Curt Hawkins: I am digging the Curt Hawkins “streak.” He has a humorous personality, and it’s something fun for him to do. It will be interesting to see if they continue to play this out where the fans can get into it every week or so. Here’s hoping that the WWE doesn’t drop the ball on when the streak will eventually come to an end.
Braun Strowman: Leading up to No Mercy, I was curious to see if Strowman would become the new champion. Since obviously that didn’t happen, I was then curious to see where Braun would go from there. Thankfully, it looks like he is not going to drop down, as I felt he looked strong against both Hawkins & Ambrose. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here based on Rollins challenging him next week.
Bliss vs. James: It is nice to see a potential Women’s Championship feud on Raw that doesn’t feature Bayley, Banks, or Nia Jax. Nothing against any of those women, but it seems like they play musical chairs with the #1 contendership, which leads to repetitive matches and repeat stories. In addition, it seemed like Mickie had her best promo since her return to Smackdown last year, and seemed to get a positive response.
Roman Reigns: Raw kicked off with Reigns, and after a minute, I already heard Cena’s voice in my head about not staying strong/motivated after a feud with him. It seemed that whatever passion he had the last few weeks was gone, and it was back to memorizing lines. I know that the WWE is going to continue pushing him, but 24 hours after one of the biggest wins of his career should have come with a more fired up Reigns. This was the same one that we’ve seen in the past. His repeated use of the word “idiot” towards the Miztourage was uninspired as well.
Announcers: If I was an occasional fan just tuning into Raw, I would be completely confused by who I was supposed to cheer or boo. First, you have Michael Cole, the voice of reason, cheering on Elias, who talks poorly about the town he’s in. Next, you have Corey Graves, who is the cool announcer, but goes back and forth between faces & heels. Then there’s Booker T, who can be all over the place. It pays to have consistency, and this is just something that I find very frustrating.
Closing Segment: First, I don’t mind the company turning Enzo heel, if that is the intention. But just like the announcer issue, it’s very confusing to even the hardcore fan. For the past year, Enzo has done a lot of heelish moves, yet still been treated like a face. Therefore, it’s hard to understand where the storyline is going. Secondly, if this is a double turn so to speak, there’s not been much to cheer Neville for, considering that he was still running down the fans recently, and intentionally avoided the Red Arrow at No Mercy. Finally, the segment wasn’t overly entertaining since the Cruiserweights have been presented as an afterthought, with hardly any of them having characters/personality. It ran a bit too long, and the crowd did not seem invested.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: WWE RAW HITS & MISSES 9/18: Bobby Heenan tributes, Reigns Promo, Miz-Jordan, Jax-Bliss
For another view from the original Hitlist author, compare Jason Powell’s views to mine by visiting ProWrestling.net’s “Hitlist” section HERE.
Jeff has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was knee high to a grasshopper (little kid), after coming across the Wrestling Challenge episode after WrestleMania 7, and has not looked back. His passion has led him to winning wrestling trivia contests in his city, and even won him his Senior Talent Show by dancing to Shawn Michaels theme song. When not annoying others with wrestling talk, he loves spending time with his family and friends, and focuses on his other passion: movies. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @the_Indel or send me an email at email@example.com.