By Will Pruett
Full disclosure: To retain his sanity, Will Pruett watches the 90 minute edit of Raw on Hulu. He has no regrets.
Apparently this is still a thing I do. Who knew?
I made my return to watching wrestling after just over a month of not doing so. The month off was a nice time to attempt to ignore what’s happening the wrestling world. It was a kind of palette cleanser. Here, in no particular order or priority, are my thoughts upon watching Raw!
– The entire concept of Survivor Series this year disappoints me. With the return of separate brands, we’re getting a hybrid of Survivor Series and Bragging Rights. Neither of these things are compelling. I don’t tune into wrestling to watch people fight for the pride of their show. Raw doesn’t mean a thing to me. Smackdown doesn’t mean a thing to me. I want to watch real life superheroes and villains do superhero and villain things.
To make matters worse, the top match at Survivor Series is between Brock Lesnar (who is rapidly becoming less compelling) and Goldberg, who is a nostalgia act from 1998. I’m not about Survivor Series at all.
– Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho can be funny together, but I am not excited about a Canadian heel group telling jokes around the Universal Championship. I was surprised by how unimportant the Universal Championship seemed to be. I know WWE isn’t building towards a title match at Survivor Series, but it still disappointed me. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens are WWE trying to make the best of a bad situation (Bálor’s injury), but they don’t get a pass.
– Mick Foley seems to yell a lot these days. I saw highlights of a yelling Mick Foley promo prior to the main event of Hell in a Cell. I saw Mick Foley yell on this show. Mick Foley is not an effective character at this moment. Promos like this do more harm than good. The passion in them feels forced.
– Goldberg is a thing! Whoa! Goldberg moved awkwardly in the ring in his first physical encounter, but the crowd was still into him. I don’t think Survivor Series will be very good and I’m not all about Goldberg returning. This bit of nostalgia, while it is from my peak time as a young fan, is not for me.
– I’ve written about Goldberg, Mick Foley, and Chris Jericho thus far. It could be 1998.
– Seth Rollins feels flat as a hero, but he actually felt like a hero on this show. The beatdown of Roman Reigns by Jericho and Owens was engineered specifically to garner a big reaction for Rollins and it did alright. Rollins has an electricity to his movements in certain moments. Look back at some of The Shield’s late matches and his SummerSlam 2015 match with John Cena. Rollins needs that kind of electricity in his big comeback moments like this.
– Rollins and Reigns staring each other down after Rollins made the save was compelling.
– One night after main eventing at Hell in a Cell, Charlotte continued to perform well. I am kind of amazed at Charlotte’s growth into a good performer/character over the last month. She seems more confident right now. It’s delightful to watch.
– The interaction between Bayley and Charlotte was decent, but I’m not a major fan of the “This isn’t NXT anymore” story. NXT wasn’t some magical land where everyone got along. It’s supposed to make us like Bayley more, but it just doesn’t click. WWE hasn’t transitioned Bayley onto the main roster in an effective way. They are trying to split the difference between restarting her story and continuing it. It’s not effective.
– Nia Jax’s theme music is my jam. Nia Jax is pretty alright.
– Brian Kendrick and TJ Perkins both fell flat to me. Perkins was the wrong choice to kick of the Cruiserweight Division as champion. Kendrick kind of confuses me as well, but he has a real character. Hopefully these two can both move on to better feuds.
– We’re still doing the whole Purple Cruiserweights thing, huh?
– I’m pretty okay with Braun Strowman crushing people. I am super not okay with Sami Zayn being a random guy in a battle royal. Sami can and should mean so much more.
Raw doesn’t seem to be building to anything I’m excited about. Eventually, I believe Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins will hug, which should be fun, but that’s about as excited as I can get right now.
Got thoughts on this show or my review of it? Hit me up with them! Check the Twitter @wilpruett, leave a comment, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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