SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Rollins vs. Strowman: A week episode of Raw did get off to a strong start with this match between Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman. It was a good follow up to Strowman’s match last week against Dean Ambrose. Rollins got it plenty of offense so he didn’t lose anything in the loss to Strowman and Strowman got another clean win over a top Raw wrestler. It was a good match. What happened afterwards with Strowman turning around to go punish Rollins more only to have Ambrose come to Rollins’ rescue worked well. Strowman is a heel and needs to keep doing these types of actions to keep him a heel since he is popular. Then you got the beat down on the helpless Tag Team Champions by Sheamus & Cesaro to add more heat to their feud.
Reigns vs. Miz: After that opening match, there was a long stretch where nothing good happened. It wasn’t all bad. There were some decent parts like Hardy & Jordan vs. Gallows & Anderson which weren’t Misses, but weren’t good enough to be Hits either. Close to the end of the second hour, they finally had another good moment with the Intercontinental Championship. Roman Reigns and The Miz had a good IC Title match that lasted 12 minutes. It was booked well to have Reigns attack the Miz-tourage before hand to take them out of the match. That was a smart plan by Reigns. The match itself was fun to watch with Miz getting in a good amount of offense while Reigns eventually built to what appeared to be a Title victory before The Bar got involved. I wasn’t a big fan of that ending. It did give Reigns a victory without putting the IC Title on him, but I’m tired of Miz as the Champion. Also, it didn’t make a lot of sense to me why Sheamus & Cesaro would attack Reigns. Were they really upset about what he said about them earlier in the show? It wasn’t that bad. And why would they give him something to get revenge for? Reigns was clearly not going to be helping his former Shield mates in their feud against The Bar. So why attack him and get him involved? And the announcers were so over the top and ridiculous saying that there was no chance in hell that The Shield would reunite after what they saw that you knew they were going to. It was poorly scripted announcing. It was still a good match, but the aftermath wasn’t well done.
Old Mickie James: I was on vacation last week, so I didn’t have a chance to cover Raw but if I had, I would have given the start of the Mickie James vs. Alexa Bliss angle a Miss for being based solely on the fact that James is old. She is my age. She is my wife’s age. I don’t think I’m old. I don’t think my wife is old. We are both honestly in the best physical shape we’ve been in in years (thanks DDP Yoga!). WWE would not do this for any male wrestler who is 38. 48? Maybe. The double standard is upsetting enough, but the real issue is that I don’t know if fans are thinking about James being old without having Bliss point it out. Why point it out in the first place? This week continued the angle getting Emma and Alicia Fox involved in laughing at James. I don’t get why they are still having Nia Jax hanging out with Bliss. The announcers tried to cover for it, but I wasn’t buying whatever they were selling. I like the idea of someone new getting into the Title picture, but James has been a loser on Raw including losing recently to Emma who never wins herself. So, WWE should have built her up some with wins before moving her into the Title picture. So, my problems with this are beyond the age issue. James vs. Jax was good, but in a bad context. Plus, it hurt Jax who despite being the “most dominant woman in WWE” never wins big matches.
Sister Abigail Lives: I know there are probably a lot of WWE fans who were excited when Bray Wyatt told Finn Balor that Sister Abigail is still alive. After all, for years there have been questions from fans about having Abigail on tv even though Wyatt had always said that she was dead (I remember a popular theory that the A in AJ Lee stood for Abigail). So maybe there is some excitement and curiosity about this, but not from me. I don’t care. Why would Wyatt freak out when Randy Orton burned down the barn where she was buried if she wasn’t really dead? And why would Balor even care? Wyatt’s act is stale, so maybe adding something to it will be good, but I don’t have any faith in WWE pulling it off well. I’m tired of this feud. Balor has won both of their matches, so why are they still feuding? And the theatrics after with the lights and ghoulish music was so cheesy. This did nothing for me.
Banks & Bayley vs. Emma & Fox: The announcers acted like it was some big mystery as to who Emma’s partner was going to be even though they had shown her hanging out with Fox in the back earlier in the show. I don’t mind seeing Fox getting some tv time, but this felt forced. It made Sasha Banks and Bayley look bad for taking so long to defeat Emma and Fox when they were only being able to do so after Emma walked out on Fox. This was a team that lasted less than one match. I guess it played into Emma’s character and will set up a match between her and Fox, but I don’t think anyone will really care.
Cruiserweight Segment: Once again, WWE put Enzo Amore and the Cruiserweights in the final segment of Raw and I’m not sure why. I’m guessing that they realize that fewer people watch the final hour of Raw every week so they are just giving up on that segment. They aren’t trying to put a big main event together in order to keep more of the audience. Getting to the specifics of this closing segment, I saw Enzo come out and start to talk and then I fell asleep. When I woke up, the ring was surrounded by the other cruiserweights and Kalisto was in the ring beating up Enzo. Enzo literally put me to sleep and I’m an insomniac (I am not joking about either of those facts). I honestly can’t recall the last time I fell asleep watching tv. I’m glad that WWE has turned Enzo heel. But I’d rather just see him go away. The idea of banning the rest of the roster from getting a Cruiserweight Title shot in order to introduce a new Cruiserweight to the roster is not a bad one. However, Kalisto isn’t the answer. I went back and watched what I slept through and it didn’t sound like Kalisto got any type of pop when he was introduced by Kurt Angle. This fell flat because once again, WWE wants the fans to pop for a wrestler who hasn’t been built up first. He has been defined down. Now, I’m a fan of Kalisto’s work. He is talented. But, that doesn’t matter much when he hasn’t been better utilized in months on WWE tv.
Shield Reunion: I don’t understand having the Shield reunion tacked on at the end of the show after that terrible Cruiserweight mess of a segment. Who was still watching at that point? I don’t usually pay too much attention to the ratings breakdowns, but I’m really curious to know how much of a drop off happened this week. How many fewer fans didn’t see that scene with Reigns being joined by Ambrose and Rollins? This felt very anti-climactic to me, even if it had fallowed a stronger main event. It wasn’t believable at that point that the director of a live show would randomly decide to end the show by going to a shot of Reigns sitting in his dressing room if he didn’t know for sure that Ambrose and Rollins would come in at that point. I want WWE to book the show as if it were unscripted. This was way too scripted for my tastes and it took me out of the moment. And coming after such a stupid segment didn’t help. What could have been a huge moment, felt totally underwhelming to me.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: WWE RAW HITS & MISSES 9/25: Enzo, Reigns, The Miz, the announcers, Curt Hawkins, Finn Balor
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
What shield reunion at the end? Yes, I ran out when Enzo showed up after 11:45. Jon, you’re 38… man that’s old shouldn’t you be in a home. lol So we got 2 ladies matches which is good, and some backstage stuff which well bad at least got the ladies some face time. actually I hold Trish responsible for their Nia problem. Trish may have been the first mini woman wrestler and obviously went over so now Raw gets Baley, Fox and the 4 dwarves and there’s only so many ways a 5ft wrestler can legit fight Nia. Nia needs to go to Smackdown where the girls are a little bigger.
What are you talking about mini wrestlers? Nia Jax is the Nia Jax problem. 300 lb women wrestlers are not really popular with most people.
38 is old? I laughed at that. When you get out of your mom’s basement you won’t think that way.
How do you know he is in his mom’s basement?
Officially, you have to be under 4′ 10″ to be considered a little person. Just saying.
To your point, however- Nia is special because of her physical stature. She’s going to look far more menacing standing in the ring with a handful of smaller women than she would if you booked her against Tamina. That’s why they’re on separate brands, I’m sure.
Also, Smackdown only has two women over 5′ 6″ tall- Charlotte Flair and Tamina. Unless you want to throw Lana into the mix, at 5′ 7″ tall. RAW has one- Alicia Fox. So there’s not a huge disparity there.
Lastly, there’s tons of ways a smaller person can legitimately fight a larger foe. Shawn Michaels did it for years. Bret Hart did it. Rey Mysterio did it. Size doesn’t always matter.
The introduction of Kalisto as the new contender was funny. He has been a borderline jobber for how long?