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!

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