WWE RAW – Review, Highlights & Analysis From 04/01/2016

After the 2015 holiday season break the WWE Comment Section is back with the first no holds barred RAW review of 2016!

Roman/Stephanie

It’s a new year but it’s yet another show opened by a lengthy segment, featuring Roman Reigns in a dispute with a member of the McMahon family.

Some are getting annoyed with the champ’s growing arrogance and his ultimate power to defeat the entire Authority on his own. However, I can’t fault Reigns the slightest.

There is no realistic scenario, in which a single face withstands the Authority on his own. The only way is to be god-like OP type of character and Roman is just that. It’s an overused style of booking that is part of wrestling and there’s nothing surprising or outrageous in it.

Kevin Owens def. Neville

The Slammys are generally a useless filler but this time around they, at least, brought us a classic Neville vs. Owens match and that is a victory in itself.  And to add the cherry on the top, Ambrose was on commentary.

The outcome wasn’t surprising. Neville lost clean because Owens needs the momentum to stay in the feud. Ambrose took the upper hand after the match to counter balance last week and everything fell into place.

The segment ended with Ambrose, screaming violently, squeezing the life out of Owens, having flown through a table with a deranged facial expression. This out-of-control version of the Lunatic Fringe is what the fans expect to see. The IC Title feud is by far the most exciting title rivalry in the company at the moment.

Titus def. Stardust

With Darren Young out injured again, dealing with Stardust is the right direction of Titus. The two of them showed great chemistry in their backstage segments. However, they’d be much more entertaining as a team, rather than enemies because no real development is happening in their rivalry.

Becky Lynch def. Charlotte

Becky’s finally decided to smarten up. As Charlotte attempted to gain another victory with the help of her daddy, the Lass Kicker pulled a cheat out of her bag and won the match. It was a necessary character development. Cheeky Becky is much better than naïve Becky.

The attack after the match was the last nail in the coffin of this friendship. Charlotte and Becky had been lying to each other that they were still friends for far too long. Finalizing the break up was the best move.

Big Show vs. Ryback

As Big Show tossed Ryback over the ropes early on, it seemed like the match was another case of the Giant showboating before the Royal Rumble. But, in the end of the day, it was the Wyatt Family that capitalized on the opportunity to assert dominance before the PPV.

Note that the Big Show didn’t go over the top rope. It seems like the WWE is saving Show vs. Braun Strowman for the Rumble.

Otherwise, Bray Wyatt definitely should be considered a favorite. He has four servants to protect him and that’s a huge advantage. Also, knowing that Reigns will be defending his title in the match and considering the lengthy Reigns vs. Bray feud from 2015, it becomes much more likely that Wyatt will go to the end.

The League of Nations def. The Usos

The League of Nations is a perplexing stable. They have some big names and great wrestlers. They are associated with the authority in power and they keep winning matches. They even have their own stable theme. And yet, the League of Nations fails to appear as a threat. The individual members still feel like midcarders, ready to turn jobbers any day. Something is off in the booking of their image.

Heath Slater def. Dolph Ziggler

This match here, however, brought to life what could be one of the funniest, most bizarre stables to be created in the WWE in the last few years. Dolph lost to Slater, due to a couple of distractions from Heath’s new buddies – Axel, Rose and Bo Dallas.

The new group’s promo after the match was as odd as the entire mix of personalities on it. Even Heath Slater didn’t know what Adam Rose was talking about, Axel was off in another world of drama, Bo was simply Bo and it all felt so right.

Most probably this is all these guys’ last chance of 15 minutes of fame but it’s all thanks to the fans. Without social media, this would not have happened. Who knows, maybe this group will have the same unexpected success as the New Day. It’s unlikely but it’s still a possibility.

I’m only concerned that there is an obvious difference between the IWC and the live audience. Online everyone hates Reigns and loves Slater. In real life, the crowd chants for Roman and is dead when Heath wrestles. If I were the boss, I’d rather listen to my paying audience than to the smarks too.

Y2J Returns

The New Day were enjoying being 12 once again on RAW when their countdown was hijacked by Y2J. Jericho made a surprise return and announced his participation in the 2016 Royal Rumble.

It’s a shame that these surprise comebacks don’t mean anything anymore. As much as I like Jericho, he has “returned” so many times in the last couple of years that no one buys it any more. He has become a novelty act, just like the Rock. Y2J is not going to be saving anybody ever again.

The New Day def. The Dudley Boyz & Kalisto

Despite coming off low from the exchange with Jericho, the New Day regrouped and won their match. It was standard tag team action. Nothing exceptional. All we learned was that the New Day are still as strong as they were last year.

Roman Reigns def. Sheamus

As expected, special ref Vince used every unfair move he possibly could. He ignored Sheamus using the steps and the table. He pulled of all the dirty count shenanigans he could think off. Reigns raged and went through Vince, Stephanie and ref Armstrong, who this time was even physically involved in the match. It was an all-around screw job, which Roman overcame with his power of superface. And that was the right choice.

As I said earlier, the only way to ever feud with the McMahons as a wrestler, employed by them, you have to be that superman type of a guy. Blame the predicament, not the guy. Reigns is just playing the game and he’s doing it well.

The Royal Rumble match, becoming a title match, was a cool choice. Vince couldn’t have come up with a bigger screw job plan and it fits the writing. Speaking about Vince, it’s unbelievable how at his age, he still thinks it’s a good idea to show off his biceps.

What are your impressions from Monday night RAW? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twtter!

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