By Will Pruett
Full disclosure: To retain his sanity, Will Pruett watches the 90 minute edit of Raw on Hulu. He has no regrets. This is a random thoughts edition of the Pause, because Will has a slight headache.
– The story of A.J. Styles and Roman Reigns continues to intrigue me. We saw Styles finally use the chair to assault Reigns this week, thus giving us a taste of what these two will do on Sunday. I enjoyed the Reigns and Styles interactions quite a bit.
– On the other side of the Reigns vs. Styles program are Jimmy and Jey Uso and Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. They seem destined to trade tag team wins or random assaults on each other, never mattering more than when they interfere in the bigger match they’re building. I don’t hate this. All four guys are better sidekicks than “THE guys” in stories. I also don’t love this immediate presentation of Gallows and Anderson. Will it hurt whatever group they end up forming at the end of this?
– A.J. Styles has grown more confident and competent in his promos.
– The main event of this show would have been all about the WWE Women’s Championship and probably would have garnered a ton of praise from this progressive wrestling fan, if it weren’t for Ric Flair. Drunk Uncle Ric Flair is becoming more of a burden around the WWE Women’s Championship picture than a means of enhancing Charlotte’s act. This depresses me. Would it be too hard to let the women stand alone?
– For the first time, possibly in history, I didn’t dislike a Natalya promo. Neat.
– Shane and Stephanie McMahon’s agreeable bits are interesting. I’ll give WWE that.
– Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens being forced to team up against Cesaro and Miz was quite delightful. This Intercontinental Championship scene is continuing to produce entertaining segments. It’s also continuing the Zayn and Owens feud without burning out matches between those two. Miz and Cesaro seem well slotted here. This is a fun division to watch with talented performers speaking and in the ring.
– How awkward was the debut of Primo and Epico: The Shining Stars? They’re supposed to be hatable, but I don’t really hate them. I nothing them. The crowd in the arena felt the same way. I would guess this is the last time I will see them on Hulu Raw.
– Speaking of seeing things on Hulu Raw, I had to sit through The Shining Stars, an awkward time machine segment, and the droll Jericho and Ambrose promo, but I didn’t get to see Dana Brooke. What is this madness? How does anyone let this happen?
– Lucky for me, WWE’s YouTube channel offers truncated versions of everything on Raw, so I saw enough Dana Brooke vs. Becky Lynch. This was a fun debut for Brooke. I would have rather seen Dana against a lesser star in the division, but with all of the injuries currently plaguing WWE women, that’s a tough task.
– What was the weird music playing when “The Asylum” lowered to the ring? Dean Ambrose seemed unimpressed with what he was doing. Chris Jericho was just kind of there. I am not emotionally connecting to this program in any way and the music/Lethal Lockdown cage helped nothing.
– Kofi Kingston’s 2009 time machine bit made me laugh. The rest of it was just sort of there. I get what The New Day and The Vaudevillains were going for, but it wasn’t for me.
– Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio didn’t do much for either man. It also didn’t do much for Sin Cara or Rusev. It was a weird way to spend 11 minutes of my life.
– Quote of the night: “Sami Zayn? He’s the worst one!” – Kevin Owens
This wasn’t the most compelling episode of Raw and may have been one of the worst since WrestleMania. It still feels fairly fresh, but the freshness wasn’t enough to carry a lacking episode. Hopefully Extreme Rules adds some twists into stories as we venture into Summer.
Got thoughts on this show or my review of it? If they aren’t super annoying thoughts (and please don’t ignore this and post super annoying thoughts), hit me up with them! Check the Twitter @itswilltime, leave a comment, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.