WWE RAW – Review, Highlights & Analysis From 19/12/2016

The heels brought life back to RAW with Neville and Braun Strowman, making an impact. The cruiserweight division made some progress too with an attempt to create compelling storylines. What happened last night? Let’s talk RAW!

Owens/Jericho/Foley

The Chris and Kevin bromance is strong again and I can’t say I’m complaining about it.

When Jericho got suspended in that cage I was asking myself what on earth I was watching. Can you imagine how ridiculous it will actually look when Jericho will have to hang there for the entire duration of a PPV main event? Ridiculous.

KO & Jericho vs. Rollins & Reigns isn’t something I want to keep seeing. This is just a way to fill in time without anything actually happening. Those tag team matches don’t help the Universal Title and most certainly not the US Title.

Rusev def. Big Cass /via DQ/

Again, Rusev was listed as the winner, although he got demolished by Big Cass. The point of this storyline seems to be to make Rusev look weak. It’s succeeding and I don’t like it.

This storyline is stupid. The WWE needs to wrap it up quickly before any permanent damage is done.

Sasha Banks/Nia Jax

Why would Nia attack Sasha? She literally has nothing to gain from that. Attacking Charlotte to make a statement – yes; but attacking the injured Sasha, who’s not a champ… The only thing Nia gains is looking evil. Well, reminding us she’s a villain is better than staying forgotten.

Since later on Charlotte gets busy with Bayley, it seems like Jax will be feuding with the Boss. It’s actually good for a change. At least, it’s not going to be Sasha vs. Charlotte again.

Cedirc Alexander def. Noam Dar

This match was too short for my liking but we had enough time to get a glimpse of Cedric’s greatness in the ring. For more wrestling, we have to wait for 205 Live.

Then again, we got to see Noam Dar as a terribly creepy, stalker-ish type of a guy, and that was disturbing and funny at the same time.

I’m not over the moon about a love triangle storyline but it’s better than nothing. At least we know what these guys are fighting for. Interesting angles are what the division needs so this is a start.

Sheamus, Cesaro & New Day def. Gallows, Anderson & The Shining Stars

The interaction between the old and the new champions was odd. The New Day are acting in a rather dignified way, taking the loss like champs. I didn’t expect such maturity from them.

As for Cesaro and Sheamus, since they are keeping the face & heel team roles, it gives them the unique opportunity to feud with both faces and heels. Depending on who’s the challenger, a different member of the team will want to fight them/cut a promo on them.

The match itself was nothing but a filler. Even before it started, it was clear that the new champs would pin the the Shining Stars. It’s simple hierarchy.

I’m curious to see if the division will step up their game with the new champs. There’s no way they are coming even near to the New Day’s record, so whoever takes them down, needs to at least be worthy.

By the way, the new championships give me mixed feelings. They do look better. However, with this red design, all titles on RAW look the same. I know it’s all about branding, but still –it’s a bit too much, don’t you think?

Neville/Swann/Kendrick/TJP

I love Neville’s new persona! He’s never looked that strong and that intimidating. Who knew that the all-around nice guy Neville would end up being such a good heel?! With that facial hair he reminds me of a smaller version of Wade Barrett.

Kendrick made me laugh. This guy is the true definition of an opportunist. He saw a chance to get a strong ally to hide behind and he took it. Love the guy! The cruiserweight heels are so good!

TJP and Swann got destroyed. Not only that, but Neville pretty much did it single-handedly. Suddenly, he looks so strong that I don’t know if anyone can stand up to him.

Sensitivity Training

Enzo’s misfortunate backstage segments continue. He was made to participate in an anonymous jobbers meeting, ahm, I mean, a sensitivity training.

Throughout these segments, Enzo clearly was on edge with Jinder Mahal. I was wondering where this was going until it was unveiled that Jinder and Rusev are partners now.

I do not like this at all. Associating himself with a loser like Mahal is not good for Rusev. I’m worried that this storyline will drag him too deep into the mud. Then again, the Bulgarian Brute survived the RuRu angle, I think he should make it out of this too.

Titus O’Neil vs. Sin Cara

Titus and Sin Cara didn’t get the chance to fight because they were manhandled by an enraged Braun Strowman.

The fact that Sami wasn’t there is making me wonder if this is going to be about him at all. All this angle is doing is making Strowman look like the monster he’s meant to be.

I think this is going to lead Braun to far bigger things than Zayn but where that leaves Sami is yet to be seen. Hopefully, the answer is SmackDown.

Bayley def. Charlotte

Here we go again with the four horsewomen angle. Whether it’s Becky, Sasha or Bayley, the WWE always feel the need to go back to it when Charlotte starts a feud.

And that wasn’t the only thing that was a copy/paste moment. The double pin with both shoulders on the mat was done recently and with Bayley, as well.

This feud should have been great but it’s taken too long to get to it. For the moment, it just seems boring and repetitive.

Rollins & Reigns vs. Owens & Jericho

This match didn’t have much of Reigns and Rollins working together. In fact, it was more a case of Reigns vs KO & Jericho in the first 2/3 of the fight and then Rollins in the same position at the end.

Then again, both Rollins and Reigns won from this setup. Under Seth’s cheerleading, Roman got to be cheered, which is something that rarely happens to him; and Seth got his chance to show off his fast face in-ring work as the hot tag.

I had forgotten about Braun Strowman altogether. However, the entrance he made was quite a memorable one. I’m telling you, this will take Braun far further than whatever this lame feud with Sami Zayn offers him.

 

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

WWE SmackDown – Review, Highlights & Analysis From 13/12/12016

After James Ellsworth showed up sick to work and was prevented from facing AJ Styles, courtesy of the flu, the show took a much more interesting direction. Some new faces got a shot at the top and it was a much needed change of scenery. What happened last night? Let’s talk SmackDown!

Miz TV

When Miz told AJ Styles that he was above his level, it made me go “Oh, WOW!” Leave it to the A-lister to deliver a punch line like that. I love Miz’s confidence and the way his hard work has been paying off lately. He deserves to be where he is –  in the spotlight.

It was a pleasant surprise to see Luke Harper enter the picture. Some attention after his return is good. I was expecting him to go after the IC title, not the World title but for now, that works as well.

The one person who can’t get that shot on the last SDLive of 2016 is Ambrose. We’ve had too much of AJ vs. Ambrose. We need a break from this feud.

Carmella def. Natalya

Carmella is getting better and better in the ring, I must say. With the way she plays her character, she has become one of the brightest stars in the SmackDown Women’s Division.

Natty is denying these allegations too rigorously and Nikki is too unwilling to believe it was Natalya, so in the end, the attacker might end up being Natty after all. I was starting to suspect an underlying twist but the way things are going, the storyline will be straightforward.

Nikki, for all her years in the WWE, is still terrible at acting. How could she possibly be that fake in every exchange?!

Tag Team #1 Contender’s Battle Royal

This was one of my favourite segments of the night. The big names in the division didn’t get as much time in the ring as the lower card guys and that was yet another brilliant way of giving talent a chance to stand out. Well done, Team Blue!

Rhyno’s elimination, apart from furthering the break up of the Beauty and the Manbeast, allowed Slater to shine. I’ve never seen Heath that impressive. He stood his ground like a champ for a long time.

Fandango might have gone before Tyler Breeze but Dango had the most realistic-looking elimination. Tyler Breeze, on the other hand, delivered the most beautiful elimination when he kicked Jason Jordan out of the way in the most spectacular fashion.

Prince Pretty played smart and lasted a long time. It took three consecutive elimination attempts to get rid of him and when Konnor finally pushed him out, the crowd booed. Breezango could be big, if given the chance.

The Hype Bros were the obvious winners when you look at the final three because they were the only face team left and the champs are heel. However, The Ascension vs. The Wyatt Family sounded like a much better feud. What if they are both heel, they’d try to outheel each other and it would be great!

Becky Lynch def. Alexa Bliss

Bliss tried to run away and the faked out an injury to get out of the actual fight. I know she’s heel but antics ala The Miz usually get quite tiresome very quickly. I expected something different from Alexa’s reign. I thought Bliss would be more of a fighting fury.

I’m not feeling the Bliss vs. Lynch feud. Something’s missing. Their matches are good but the rivalry feels weak.

Dolph Ziggler def. Dean Ambrose, The Miz & Luke Harper

The main event was great! No man was left behind. Everyone looked outstanding.

The way Ambrose eliminated the Miz was perfection. It was a case of what goes around, comes around and it felt god to see the A-lister taste his own medicine.

It made me laugh when Ambrose was trying to pull off some fancy spins on the apron and Luke Harper just floored him. Harper took the opportunity that was given to him and ran with it. I was rooting for him to win all along. Harper vs. Styles would be a dream match. However, realistically, you can’t expect to have the disciple in the main event while the master is a tag team champ.

What Miz was trying to do in the end is beyond me. I know what happened but Miz’s actual intentions  – I don’t know. His interference made no sense. He doesn’t like both guys, why help either of them? Plot convenience – that’s why!

Ziggler will make a good opponent for AJ Styles. It will be a beautiful match and Ziggler will lose it in a spectacular way. It’s predictable but it will be a nice piece of wrestling to watch.

 

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

WWE RAW – Review, Highlights and Analysis From 12/12/2016

Just before Roadblock the New Day did not one, but two title defenses in Triple Threat matches. The thought of Eva Marie in exchange for Sami Zayn was entertained. What else? Let’s talk RAW!

New Day def. Gallows & Anderson and Sheamus & Cesaro

It was a good match with a beautifully executed ending sequence. The outcome was definitely expected. The New Day didn’t hold on to the titles for this long, only to fail miserably at breaking Demolition’s record.

Sheamus and Cesaro were great together. Accordign to the standard WWE logic, the New Day can lose the championships now and I’d give them exactly to Sheamus and Cesaro.

However, it’s also possible that the New Day could hold on to the belts till Mania. That would be great for them and it would give their lengthy reign a memorable finish. However, it could kill any remaining credibility the rest of the division has.

Braun Strowman def. Curtis Axel

Strowman squashed yet another guy and that’s nothing we haven’t seen. However, his promo was good. I like his confidence. He has more potential than it seemed in the beginning.

Lince Dorado vs. Ariya Daivari

The feud between Daivari and Gallagher is brilliant! It’s the first time I hear the RAW crowd pop like that for a cruiserweight. Gallagher is just one of a kind. Finally, the Cruiserweight Division is starting to pick up steam!

My only disappointment from this segment was the fact that we didn’t see that much of Lince Dorado. The guy is great in the ring and the short few minutes we saw were a treat. Jack could have waited a little longer to intervene.

The Rollins Report

Rollins/Reigns and Jericho/Owens are two teams that won’t last. It’s not the right time for the Shield and Rollins/Reigns are after the same title.  As for Chris and Kevin, I cannot wait for this feud!

Brian Kendrick def. TJ Perkins

TJP lost clean. That I didn’t expect, especially before a title match this Sunday. Either TJ is turning into a jobber, or he’s turning heel. I think he’d make a great heel, Miz-style.

Bayley def. Alicia Fox

This is one stupid storyline. Alicia is jealous over a hug and keeps losing to Bayley. Unless we see segments, involving actual talking from Cedric, this is utterly useless. It doesn’t match his personality at all. And yes, I am more concerned about Cedric Alexander than the women involved.

Rusev/Lana/Big Cass

Rusev and Lana produced a great promo together. They were equal in the delivery and seemed to thoroughly enjoy their time on stage.

We saw the entire arena chant eagerly for Lana/Rusev porn. The WWE Universe makes me lose faith in humanity sometimes.

Rusev retreated supposedly but he was doing quite well against Big Cass. I’d actually love to see Rusev win this feud. In my eyes, he’s been the face all along.

Sami Zayn def. Jinder Mahal

Jinder was still there? I had forgotten. Anyway, Sami won and it was a well-deserved victory.

Haahhaha Eva Marie for Sami Zayn? I’m sure Daniel Bryan would sign that right away! But it must have hurt Eva to be used like that. I can already see her whine about it on Total Divas.

It turns out Foley actually believed in Sami and it’s great but I’m still not convinced it’s better than simply giving Sami to SmackDown where he could shine.

The 10 minutes match is a simple idea. The time elapses, nobody wins. Sami looks good for surviving and Braun looks good because he’s a monster – easy enough.

New Day def. Rollins & Reigns and KO & Jericho

This match was amazing. The crowd loved every single bit of it. As great as that is, it’s concerning that the Triple Threat, involving actual tag teams didn’t get half the reaction. The Tag Team Division needs some help.

Owens/Jericho finally fell out for good. I want to see this feud and if Chris gets to be the Universal Champ and get one more reign, why not?

Xavier Woods was a trooper! The New Day seemingly carried a double duty but in reality, Woods carried the entire second title defence on his shoulders. Great work!

Reigns looked great with the two titles. It would be a great picture to post. However, I’m not convinced it would work with the fans in real life.

 

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

WWE SmackDown – Review, Highlights & Analysis From 06/12/2016

You were promised to see two championship defences on SmackDown and you got them; just not the ones you expected. How did the Blue Brand deal with the aftermath of TLC? Here’s what happened and my review on it! Let’s talk SDLive!

AJ Styles/ James Ellsworth/ Dean Ambrose

Despite my creeping annoyance with the James Ellsworth angle, I couldn’t help but laugh at the dramatic video package, depicting the Ambrose/Styles/Ellsworth feud. The situation is so ridiculous at the moment that it’s hard to take it seriously. That might be what the WWE are aiming for.

Ambrose did the most natural thing – took Ellsworth out. This way AJ Styles didn’t have to compete that night, which gave the champ some time to get his ankle injury fixed. It was a genuinely good way to work around the problem.

The Wyatt Family def. Rhyno & Heath Slater

That was total domination on the part of the Wyatt Family. Orton and Wyatt manhandled their opponents in such unquestionable manner that it’s difficult to imagine how the rest of the division will have any chance of success whatsoever.

It’s a shame that Rhyno and Heath won’t stay a team after that. On Talking Smack, Rhyno walked out on his partner. I struggle to see either one of them with a good solo career after that. Rhyno is too old for a push and Heath is, well, Heath. The WWE’s always used him as a jobber.

Carmella/Natalya

Carmella blamed Natalya and Natalya denied being behind the attack. I thought it was Natty all along but the way this angle is starting to play out, I won’t be shocked if it turns out to be someone completely unrelated like Eva Marie, for example.

Nikki and Natty’s acting backstage was so cringe-worthy. The exchange couldn’t have looked more fake if they tried.

The Hype Bros def. The Ascension

New face paint, new promos and then another loss. Why do I even bother hoping for the Ascension? Even the brand split didn’t help these two.

I can see the Hype Bros getting a mini push, in order to feed them to the Wyatt Family after that. I definitely don’t see Ryder & Mojo champs though.

Miz TV

Miz played the devil’s advocate here but he had a point. Realistically, Ambrose did use Ellsworth for his own goals.

The participation award cracked me up. I think they tried to make it as cheap-looking as possible, I see no other explanation because normally the Miz would have it look all sleek and glamorous.

Booking Ambrose vs. Miz for the IC title? It was a good way to give the fans a title match as promised, even though AJ Styles couldn’t wrestle that night.

Baron Corbin def. Kalisto

Oh, wow. Baron Corbin just destroyed Kalisto. At some point before TLC, I was beginning to think that this was all about making Kalisto stand out but I was wrong. The Lone Wolf is the only winner in this feud.

Why invest in Corbin so much though? Could he be in the mix for the WWE World Championship? I wouldn’t mind seeing that after the Ellsworth angle is over.

Chad Gable def. Tyler Breeze

Gable owned Tyler Breeze. It was an interesting match because we hadn’t seen it before but the outcome was predictable.

I was hoping that Breezango would get something out of this gimmick change but apparently not, unless you count jobbing in slightly longer matches as an improvement.

After this match I’d expect to see Fandnago vs. the Cable jokes flood the internet. If they don’t it would only show how little popularity Dango has.

Alexa Bliss/ Becky Lynch

Ha! That actually was a good exchange. It wasn’t long but it was emotionally charged. My problem is that Becky isn’t very believable. She talks a lot but she has been booked to lose so many times that her words lost value.

Alexa will be a good heel champion. She’ll bring to the title what Miz brought to his.

The Miz def. Dean Ambrose

The main event wasn’t great. I don’t think the Miz and Dean Ambrose complement each other in the ring. The effect was that Ambrose oversold Miz’s offence and it killed any suspense.

Ambrose is too big of a star to be beaten by the Maryse factor. However, it was Ellsworth again who cost him the match. I can’t say I didn’t see that coming. It just had to happen.

Ellsworth was fun in the begging but the plot is getting thinner and thinner every week. It has to end before the fans lose all interest in the story.

 

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

WWE RAW – Review, Highlights & Analysis From 05/12/2016

Second week in a row RAW is hitting us hard with backstage segments and the fans love it! Storytelling has been going up in the last few episodes. RAW is simply getting better. Let’s see what went down last night! Let’s talk RAW!

Seth Rollins/Kevin Owens

The opening segment brought the focus to where it always had to be – Seth Rollins vs. Triple H. This is the big clash everyone’s been waiting for. I only hope that after this Seth won’t be using the Pedigree anymore. This never was a good finisher for him.

Reigns vs. Owens is setting us up for Reigns ruling RAW. I won’t be surprised if he replicates Seth’s double champion accomplishment. Jericho will play a part in this too, undoubtedly. Then it will go to Jericho vs. Owens. The sad part is that Y2J deserves to get a reign out of this but he won’t.

Big Show vs. Seth Rollins

Damn, Big Show looks good! I haven’t seen Show look that fit in years. He won’t be a main player anymore, he’s too old for this. Yet, if he wants to keep in shape and be a face – why not? It gives him the same role Kane has on SmackDown at the moment.

Jack Gallagher def. Ariya Daivari

This was a little replay of the 205 Live debut of Jack Gallagher. Sadly, the RAW crowd didn’t appreciate it as much.

I don’t know why the audience’s response is so different on the different shows. It seems implausible that the majority of the people who watch the main product are too snobbish to see that a guy they don’t know delivers in the ring and deserves a reaction.

Kevin Owens def. Sami Zayn

This match was sad. It was a great show, don’t get me wrong. Sami Zayn and KO leave it all in the ring and it’s always a pleasure to watch them wrestle. However, this kind of amazing wrestling demonstrates how underused Zayn is.

Had this been the start of a championship feud with Sami, getting the gold in the end, it would have been fine but it wasn’t. This is just Sami, being destroyed by KO again, just after having been decimated by Strowman. This is not a good look and Sami deserves better.

Sasha Banks

Sash is great in the ring but she sucks at doing promos, especially as a face. Being a heel came more naturally to her. This mic work here was so obviously pre-written that it looked disappointingly fake.

Another Iron Woman match sounds awesome but they’ve dragged Ric Flair into this again, haven’t they?

Rich Swann def. TJ Perkins

This was a rollercoaster of a match. The action was lightning quick and it was a spectacle to watch. Too bad the crowd was dead silent. Again, why?

The cruiserweights are not getting over as they should be. Maybe it’s a better idea to give them 205 Live and keep them there. Develop the show as its own brand and make cruiserweight only PPVs. There would be people watching this.

Bayley def. Alicia Fox

Bayley did such a quick work of Alicia that the fans barely had the time to warm up and start chanting properly before it was all over.

Where did this feud even come from? Bayley was involved with Charlotte, Sasha and Dana until now. Foxy was swooning over Apollo Crews. Suddenly, the commentators make it sound as if Bayley and Alicia had been in a rivalry all along. Did I miss something?

Mark Henry def. Titus O’Neil

Then again, Alicia was booked to look amazing compared to Titus O’Neil. Mark Henry came in, slammed him and that was it. What kind of a never-ending punishment is this Titus Brand?

Reigns def. Jericho

This was the best match of the night. The fans were into it and the atmosphere was great. The LET’S GO ROMAN/Y2J chants were deafening.

I had some desperate hopes that Jericho was somehow going to win this, freeing Roman from the US title and allowing him to run freely after the Universal Championship. It would have been better for the US title, which is only a decoration at the moment. Yet, Reigns prevailed again.

The WWE opted for KO vs. Jericho. This feud is coming, that’s for sure but Jericho could have gotten a run with the gold from the whole story, at least.

Rusev/Lana/Enzo

Throughout the show, Enzo and Lana had been flirting furiously and at some point I was thinking that it was going to be yet another stupid love triangle with the brute Rusev and the slutty Lana. Thank God it wasn’t!

It all culminated in a backstage segment where Lana seduced Enzo, only to serve him to Rusev on a silver platter. The beating in the hotel room looked realistic. The WWE did so well this time!

Rusev kept yelling “I’m going to wreck you!” and “This is for my wife” while Lana kept screaming “More! MORE!” in Russian. When you think about it, Rusev is the face here. Too bad we won’t see that angle on a WWE show.

Backstage segments like this one and the one with Sheamus and Cesaro last week are exactly what the fans want to see. RAW’s onto something good here!

Gallows & Anderson vs. Cesaro & Sheamus

Sheamus and Cesaro were impressive last night. Individually, they pulled off such impeccable offense that their team looked incredibly strong in the end.

The New Day are going to drop the belts next week. I suppose it will be the same thing that happened to Nikki Bella. The record will be broken and within seconds the title will be lost.

I cannot wait for the Sheamus/ Cesaro pairing as champs. This will be one awesome reign!

Charlotte/Ric Flair

Man, Charlotte has become such a brilliant heel! She can use her dad in storylines without breaking character and getting emotional about it. She played her role to perfection.

What worries me about this angle is that Ric’s involvement might not stop here. He might start interfering with matches again and that would be a mistake. Charlotte finally escaped his presence. He needs to stay away from the Women’s Division.

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