RAW, 5/8/17

 

Segment Consider This Alternative
Backstage with Dean Ambrose on the phone w/ Kurt Angle; Ambrose to the ring; The Miz & Maryse to the ring; Braun Strowman to the ring; Kalisto on the ramp Really long set-up that took forever.  I don’t understand the concept of substitute GM’s.  Like why don’t they just have a remote segment with Kurt Angle announcing the card for the show?

 

Anyways, we get the co-acting GM premise with Ambrose and The Miz running things this evening.  I wouldn’t bring out Braun here – I think saving him for a surprise clash with Roman at the very end of RAW would have heightened the overall feel of the program.  And the bit with Kalisto, that isn’t helping his profile either.

 

The start of the show would have benefited greatly by getting into the initial match – Ambrose & The Miz make matches for one another, and then we’re off to the races.

The Miz w/ Maryse vs. Finn Balor; The Miz, as acting GM, DQ’s Balor; Ambrose, as acting GM, restarts the match and bans Maryse from ringside; Balor wins via pinfall One thing I do like is that with Lesnar’s television absence, the WWE is at least attempting to elevate the significance of the IC Title.  The exchange of DQ and pinfall losses between Balor and Miz is actually a good way to protect both of their characters.

 

Perhaps though, the segment could have simply ended with the DQ and foregone the match restart.  Maybe interjecting Finn into the IC Title picture is the right move for him at this time?  Although I would love to see him rise to the top to challenge Brock for the Universal Title, he seems to be in line behind Strowman, Reigns and even Rollins.

 

The Miz will likely take the belt off of Ambrose soon, so why not build some conflict between The Demon and The A-Lister and then have them feud over the mid-card belt for the next few PPV’s?

Backstage with Alexa Bliss & Nia Jax; Alexa Bliss w/ Nia Jax vs. Mickie James w/ Bayley; Bliss wins via pinfall; Nia Jax assaults James after the match Aligning Alexa and Nia is great if it leads to a fallout and then a match between the two.

 

What I didn’t like about this was Bayley chasing off Alexa following the match.  I think a joint beatdown featuring Bliss and Jax working together to take out team Hug Life would have been more entertaining and further cement this new power duo in the RAW Women’s Dvision.

Samoa Joe backstage interview w/ Charly; assaulted by Seth Rollins; brawl broken up by backstage officials; Braun Strowman vs. Kalisto; no finish as Roman Reigns comes to the ring; Strowman and Reigns brawl with Strowman fleeing through the crowd and Reigns standing tall in the ring; backstage with The Golden Truth The interview was fine.  I’m not sure it required an interruption given the match they were already scheduled for.  What could have been cooler is if no match took place at all, and instead they brawled from the backstage area to the ring.  Joe and Rollins could use every object in sight – chairs, a ladder, the ring bell, a kendo stick, garbage can, etc.  The two men could end up in a heap after going out into the crowd and falling through a table simultaneously.  This would set up a can’t miss Extreme Rules match at the next PPV – something we could still get – it’s just that the more singles matches we get between now and then, the more watered down the climax will ultimately be.

 

Braun and Roman was a great segment that should have closed the show.  Keeping Reigns off of TV for a couple of weeks was fantastic.  Say what you like, but these two superstars have the best thing going right now on either brand.  Having this bit in the middle of the program caused a letdown for the remainder of the show, despite some decent matches taking place.  That shouldn’t happen – right now, these two are the main event.

 

The Golden Truth amps up for tag team turmoil – upon their formation, I was entertained.  But now?  This act has gone stale for me.

Tag Team Turmoil #1 Contenders Match; Big Cass & Enzo vs. Cesarro & Sheamus; Cesaro submits Enzo; Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. Sheamus & Cesaro; Sheamus pins Slater; Anderson & Gallows vs. Sheamus & Cesaro; Sheamus pins Gallows; The Golden Truth vs. Sheamus & Cesaro; Cesaro pins R-Truth; Cesaro & Sheamus assault Golden Truth after the match; The Hardy Boyz run in and stand tall The only thing worthwhile that we have yet to see in the tag division are a few match-ups between The Hardy Boyz and Enzo & Big Cass.  And unfortunately, since both teams are positioned as faces, it doesn’t look like we’re going to get it.

 

My thought was that a match-up between those two could lead towards Enzo & Cass winning the belts, dissention between Jeff & Matt, and Matt becoming “Broken”.  That would be my perfect booking scenario.  It would also likely provide enough time for The Revival to heal from injury and then insert themselves into the championship picture, keeping the tag division feeling fresh for the next few months.  Instead, we end up with what we’ve been getting – more Hardyz vs. Sheamus & Cesaro.

 

Even if The Golden Truth had pulled out the win, it at least would have been different.  If only for one championship showdown – I would prefer that as a little breather before jumping back into this same old story.

Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe; Rollins wins via DQ; Samoa Joe stands tall I think these two character’s story could have been better told with a non-match.  Let them fight all over the arena to an ultimate standstill.  If they had done something like this, it could have been equally as memorable as Strowman turning over the ambulance.  It’s England, right?  So maybe have the end clip be them fighting all the way to an English pub, breaking beer bottles and throwing plates of bangers n’ mash – that’s a little silly but it continues their story effectively without wasting an in-ring match.  The two do great work together, don’t get me wrong – I just think it should feel fresh when it matters most.
Neville joins on commentary for TJ Perkins vs. Jack Gallagher; Perkins wins via pinfall and attacks Gallagher after the bell; Austin Aries runs in and clears the ring Before the match, we get a video segment between Neville and Perkins from earlier that day with Neville essentially saying he would give TJP a title shot provided he took Jack Gallagher out of the equation.

 

This could have been a missed opportunity to allow Perkins to gain some real heat by allowing him to go HAM on Gentleman Jack on his own without any kind of save-the-day moment from Aries.  After all, Double-A was taken out last week, so much like Reigns, he can be off of television for at least one episode.

 

I think with a DQ win going to Gallagher despite the beatdown from TJP, it still doesn’t lock Neville into a title defense and can advance their discrepancies further.

Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox; Banks wins via pinfall I guess this was filler just to remind everyone that Sasha Banks still indeed is an active wrestler.  To me, this match-up is beneath her at this point.

 

What not advance the storyline between Emma and Dana Brooke instead?  Have Sasha and Emma put on a good match with Sasha going over due to a Dana Brooke interference.  Anything would be more constructive than this one-of.

The Miz & Maryse on commentary; Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose; Wyatt wins via pinfall after interference from The Miz; The Miz stands tall On the positive, it was refreshing to see Bray Wyatt in a match against someone other than Randy Orton.  Plus he looked really good – the suplex outside of the ring ropes was cool, and the missed senton off the turnbuckle was impressive.

 

I think the only thing I question here was Bray’s involvement at all.  This segment was really about featuring Dean and The Miz and building anticipation for their title match on next week’s RAW.  A match that I’m assuming The Miz will win, followed by another Miz win at Extreme Rules, and then allowing both men to finally separate.

 

What if they didn’t have a match to close the show, but instead went with Miz TV?  Perhaps Bray could have been the guest.  After Bray speaks a bunch of crazy and destroys the set on his own, Finn Balor could interject himself into the mix, angry at Bray’s interference the week before.  Balor could be in his Demon get-up and we get a scathing staredown to end the show.

 

I don’t necessarily think that would have been a better alternative – I think the best move would have been to close with a Roman Reigns return.  But at the very least I am happy to see an end in sight to this Intercontinental war.  Fresh storylines are on the horizon.

 

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