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 will be an all random thoughts edition of the Pause.
– Randy Orton ran through a crowd of people without pants on. This weirds me out.
– The Raw opening segment has long been the place main event wrestlers go to ramble. WWE shook up the formula in an interesting way this week by having Sasha Banks and Charlotte be the first two wrestlers introduced. This does a lot of good for them. They now seem like established main event stars. Between last week’s great match (with a major moment), the draft position of Charlotte, and this, it seems like WWE is understanding how to position these women.
– The opening segment was not fun to watch. Sasha Banks celebrating was delightful, but her interaction with Charlotte left a lot to be desired. Adding in Chris Jericho, who I haven’t enjoyed in quite a while, didn’t help things. Enzo is quite fun, but this was not using Enzo at his best. Basically, WWE took three very good talents and they didn’t use them to their fullest potential in this awkward verbal exchange.
– I did like the Enzo and Sasha vs. Jericho and Charlotte match more than I anticipated. Kevin Owens on commentary was slightly distracting, but not horrible.
– The effort to make Cesaro’s draft position make sense due to his shoulder injury was nice. WWE should have mentioned this right away instead of waiting. Cesaro vs. Sheamus is always a fun match to watch and this was no exception. I’m still waiting for Cesaro’s personality and act to connect. There is still something missing with him.
– Seth Rollins and Finn Bálor had an interesting chat on this show. Rollins definitely shows more polish on the mic than Bálor, which worries me a little. Finn needs to step up his game and WWE needs to step up their presentation. This coming week would be a wonderful time to roll some documentary footage on Bálor like they did while building up Bálor’s NXT title win in Japan.
– Rollins vs. Sami Zayn was less effective than Seth Rollins beating a jobber would have been.
– Speaking of Sami Zayn, what is WWE’s plan for him now that he has beat Kevin Owens?
– The effort to rebuild Rusev continued with Mark Henry. We also found out how WWE is planning to slot Roman Reigns into SummerSlam. I really like the idea of Rusev vs. Reigns. It’s a low-pressure situation for Reigns and it gives Rusev a credible foe. A rivalry like this is one of the things Reigns was missing in his initial ascent to the top in late 2014.
– Paul Heyman’s promos are super hit or miss for me. I either love them, like his “the rematch too big for WrestleMania” speech from over a year ago, or find them insufferable, like most of what he has done since. Heyman is good, but he isn’t mind-blowing. His Raw promo felt like more of the same. This could also be me tiring of the format of “Brock bounces while Paul yells” WWE has relied on for about three years.
– I don’t love the idea of crossing the brand line in week two of the brand split, even if I understand why WWE chose to do it. Why do Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton have to touch at all prior to their match?
– The New Day danced after getting beat down by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Maybe this is an effective strategy. The New Day went on to defeat Gallows and Anderson quickly without Xavier Woods at ringside. Perhaps most of my problems should be dealt with by dancing.
– More than anything else, this felt like a hangover from last week’s excellent episode of Raw. It was not a terrible show, but WWE didn’t (and couldn’t) produce the magic of last week again.
Got thoughts on this show or my review of it? Hit me up with them! Check the Twitter @itswilltime, leave a comment, or email me at email@example.com.