By Will Pruett
Will Pruett watches the 90 minute Hulu edit of Raw because it’s better. This is an all random thoughts edition of the Pause.
– The most striking element of this show for me was the total lack of clean finishes. Aside from Roman Reigns defeating Jinder Mahal, there wasn’t a single clean finish on the 90 minute version of Raw. Sasha Banks and Dana Brooke had a disputed roll up. Bayley and Nia Jax featured a disqualification, as did Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho and Sami Zayn. While I understand shying away from clean finishes in WrestleMania season to produce more conflict, what is the point of the wrestling matches? I’d argue this show would have benefitted from more squashes and fewer disputed finishes. This is especially true with Mick Foley having to “fire” a competitor at the end of the show.
– Speaking of Mick Foley being forced to fire someone, this felt like a play straight out of the Vince Russo playbook. I hate angles like this. It’s not often that I watch the NFL playoffs wondering about someone’s job security, why should WrestleMania season WWE be any different? This show was built around Mick Foley’s personal anguish and not around the actual wrestlers who will be doing the wrestling things at WrestleMania in three weeks.
– Triple H and Mick Foley yelling at each other? Man, WrestleMania 2000 is going to be lit.
– The Triple H and Seth Rollins moment that came out of the “firing” and WrestleMania 2000 promo was terrific. Seth Rollins proving he was ready for WrestleMania and Triple H still getting the upper hand were both perfect. This was the highlight of the show. Triple H vs. Seth Rollins seemed like a pretty cold match, even going into the Royal Rumble. Now, even with Seth’s injury and rehab, this match feels red hot.
– Roman Reigns’ confrontation with Shawn Michaels was pretty well done. Shawn Michaels stepped into his serious shoes for the night and did a nice job. Reigns continued to come off as Undertaker’s antagonist. This is WWE’s top heel against their top babyface. This match could be something special, especially if Roman keeps his word and retires Undertaker.
– Paul Heyman confidently talked. Brock Lesnar confidently bounced. The heavy lifting is done for Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg. Hopefully the match doesn’t disappoint.
– The setup for the tag title shot going to both teams was a little too obvious. WWE should be careful when they put this many cheap finishes on one show.
– Sami Zayn feels like an odd man out heading into WrestleMania and it brings me sadness. Zayn has been a great foil for Strowman and Jericho over the last few months. WWE has used him to get wrestlers over and ready for big moments. I hope Sami finds a solid role in post-WrestleMania Raw. He’s one of the guys being hurt the most by the deluge of part-time nostalgia acts.
– Dana Brooke finally snapping and attacking Charlotte is a curious development. Much like Jericho and Owens, this feels like a turn WWE could have waited on. Brooke on her own as a babyface will be sort of weird. She’s a natural heel and often plays her character better than most heels in WWE. I don’t see her fitting in when it’s time to tag with Bayley. This will be an odd story to watch develop.
– With Emma returning, why not find a way to pivot Brooke into her original pairing with the fantastic Evil Emma. Evil Emma is great.
– If Seth Rollins is truly the Kingslayer, he’ll have a gold hand at WrestleMania and be unable to sword fight.
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.