WWE RAW – Review, Highlights & Analysis From 25/01/2016

The Authority

Triple H in his suit with the title in his hands didn’t look like a champion. It felt like the boss was there to present the championship to the latest winner. COO Triple H will never have a reign that comes anywhere close to what we remember from the Game’s career. His character won’t permit it. Then again, his promo was amazing. It’s just on another level, compared to what some of the new generation guys are doing.

What the Authority said was that Reigns had to earn his shot at the title. However, this completely overlooks his rematch clause. He shouldn’t have to do anything to get a title match. It’s in his contract. The WWE tends to conveniently forget its own rules when the storyline calls for it.

Kevin Owens def. Dolph Ziggler

Just like the Royal Rumble PPV, the RAW after kicked off with the most exciting match. Owens and Ziggler delivered in the ring. The crowd was still hot from the PPV and the Fight Owens Fight chants were deafening.

The performance in the ring was impressive form both sides. Sadly, neither one of them has a chance of getting a shot at any title right now. However, the product would definitely benefit from having Owens and Ziggler in solid feuds and on TV every week.

The Social Outcasts/ Flo Rida

That was yet another cringe-worthy segment featuring a WWE superstar being embarrassed by a guest pop star. Those are supposed to be good fun but I find them ridiculous in a bad way. At least there was no fighting involved because if a single rapper had been able to take out four professional fighters on his own, I might not have been able to take it.

What amazed me was that “Bo Rida” wasn’t far behind Flo Rida in their rap battle. In fact, Bo sounded much better. I expected the professional signer to pull something rather impressive out of the bag but it ended up sounding below Bo’s level. Either FloRida’s really bad or Bo’s just that good…

The Dudley Boyz def. The Social Outcasts

More realistically, it was the Dudley Boyz who got to squash the Social Outcasts. Bo’s new gear is terrible. I miss his old tiny white trunks, even though his growing belly was hanging out of them.

All hopes of seeing the Social Outcasts succeed are gone now. It’s become quite obvious that they won’t be anything but jobbers. It’s a shame. They could have been quite fun if they had been given a chance.

AJ Styles def. Y2J

So that’s what they were saving Y2J for! Ever since he returned, Jericho hadn’t had a singles match. He awarded that privilege to AJ Styles.

Jericho’s slower than before. He might be carrying a bit of weight and a bit of ring rust. Nonetheless, the match wasn’t bad. It gave Y2J his moments of dominance but also allowed AJ Styles to pick up his debut victory. It was disappointing that we didn’t get to see AJ’s finisher, though.

The hand pull and the staring contest in the end were supposed to look badass and intimidating but it all ended up looking as if AJ & Y2J were about to make out, which made the entire thing way too awkward.

Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks

Becky and Sasha were having a good match until Charlotte interrupted it and decimated both of them. For once, the champ really looked dominant or as she’d like to call it – genetically superior. And she did it all by herself. Not having daddy at ringside was a much needed boost for Charlotte’s credibility.

What’s a bit sad is that although at the moment it seems like a triple threat situation, Becky will most likely fade into the background. Her push was very short-lived.

Truth/Goldust

I don’t always discuss backstage segments but this one looked too promising to miss. A partnership between Truth and Goldust could be loads of fun. R-Truth’s naturally funny and I’d much rather watch this comic duo than a “funny” guest star segment.

The Rock on RAW

The Rock arrived and he was all over the place within minutes, offending people and making sexual innuendos. By the time he got to make his entrance, the crowd was already hyped to the max.

The New Day are again, for some reason, getting involved with a part timer. As if the Jericho story wasn’t enough. The tag team titles will never get over if the New Day don’t feud with anyone over them. It’s all fun and games now but the championships are paying the prize.

Also, when the Rock brings the Attitude Era back for a segment and “lama penises” becomes a chant, I realise that PG isn’t that bad after all. This sounds humorous only to 10 year olds.

Natalya & Paige def. Alicia Fox & Brie Bella

It’s strange to see Paige in this position – at the bottom, in an irrelevant tag team. Natalya, however, must be happy. She wasn’t even on the radar a week ago. Natty looks better than ever after her time off.  She’s lost weight and she seems to be enjoying every second in the ring.

Team Bella seem to be so lost without Nikki. They were on top of the division, despite the Divas Revolution and despite losing the title. Nikki got taken out and it all fell apart. Apparently, she is the better Bella.

Kalisto def. The Miz

As I always say in the rare occasions that it happens, at least Miz had a match. The A-Lister went from main eventing WrestleMania to almost never wrestling. The odd thing is that he never changed his character, just the WWE don’t write him into any storylines.

Kalisto is a champion. It still feels surreal. I want his run to be given some spotlight. He deserves to cut promos and have interesting rivals.  The WWE’s got something good there but I’m not sure if they realize it yet.

Ambrose & Reigns def. Rusev & Sheamus

2/3 of the Shield destroyed the entire League of Nations. The double power bomb on the announce table looked brutal. Rusev went down from quite the height.

A triple threat match between Ambrose, Reigns and Lesnar sounds better than Ambrose vs. Reigns or Reigns vs. Lesnar again. A triple threat can open more interesting spots. However, I don’t think Ambrose’s style will improve the match too much. He’s a brawler but a brawler Ambrose’s side, facing Brock Lesnar has zero chances of success. This is type of situation where you miss Seth Rollins and his insane flying skills. At Fastlane, it will probably be Reigns and Ambrose, trying to take the Beast down unsuccessfully until in the end Reigns picks up the victory.

It’s only a shame that we won’t see the IC championship defended at Fastlane. It was all going so well with the IC Title getting loads of attention thanks to the amazing Owens vs. Ambrose feud. Now Ambrose is again dragged down by his friendship with Reigns and his title is suffering from it.

 

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

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