2/23 RAW: Good follow-up show to Fastlane

WWE RAW Review
February 24, 2015
By: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com

I’ll be stepping in for Mike Tedesco the next two weeks covering RAW and providing reviews. Mike works hard every week recapping both RAW and Smackdown for us and we appreciate his efforts weekly to provide the best recaps and analysis online today.

Coming off a really fun Fastlane PPV and with just five weeks until WrestleMania 31, it’s fair to say that RAW had the potential to be a pretty fun show. While filler is unavoidable with a three hour television show, what we got was another fun show and the promise of what could end up being a pretty solid card for WrestleMania.

Randy Orton avoids predictability

Everyone was waiting for Randy Orton to attack Seth Rollins in the main event. It didn’t happen and it was refreshing. “Predictable” is a pretty commonly used review tool in the comments here on Wrestleview and elsewhere in the internet wrestling community when it comes to WWE programming and this felt like the direct opposite. It’s not unreasonable to think WWE should have kept cruising with the fan reactions Orton was getting back in November, but this is February and time has passed. A showdown with Rollins at WrestleMania still seems likely, but for now this works in a week-to-week world of critics.

Bad News Barrett keeps on losing

I’m not really sure what to think of Barrett since his return to WWE. Prior to his injury, he was a fun midcard act trolling talent with his giant rising scaffold and cackling. Now he’s a guy that keeps losing and losing. We got the hint of a possible triple threat at WrestleMania for the Intercontinental Championship involving Dolph Ziggler and R-Truth. Either way, some direction with the Barrett character would be welcoming.

The Ascension is no longer undefeated

Sorry, I’ve tried to give this act a chance and it just comes off really odd. My first thought when seeing vignettes was that it was going to be a team almost mocking the cliche 1980s pro wrestling face paint/over the top gear presentation. It really feels like WWE wants us to take these guys seriously and I’m not sure why. It’s goofy, even for wrestling standards. It’s good to see The Prime Time Players back together. Was always a fun act.

Roman Reigns just isn’t convincing

WWE had fun building sympathy for Roman Reigns by putting his title shot up for grabs at Fastlane. Now that he sealed his ticket to WrestleMania to face Brock Lesnar, we have to accept this decision by WWE and get ready for March 29th. Reigns is trying hard. It just isn’t working. His facial expressions, his tone of voice and overall delivery isn’t convincing. This is going to be a really rough five week build as WWE heads into hostile territory.

Cesaro and Tyson Kidd remain champions

Cesaro and Tyson Kidd have become a really fun act for WWE right now. Toss in The Usos and you have the makings of some fun tag team wrestling. Where they head next is up to creative, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more with The Usos even with the rematch clause out the window now. The addition of Natalya and Naomi at ringside was also fun on Monday night and added another dynamic. Great job to all involved.

USA vs. Russia showdown looming

It’s no secret that I’ve been a huge supporter of the Rusev and Lana characters in WWE since the introduction to television last year. This slow build of Rusev has been executed perfectly and the eventual showdown with John Cena was on the horizon. What better way to tap current political undertones by pitting Rusev against Cena in a Russia vs. USA sceneario just in time for WrestleMania. It’s easy booking and it works.

Quick thoughts

The two Bray Wyatt promos about The Undertaker knocked it out of the park.

Stardust vs. Goldust has legs and Stardust hating the “CODY” chants is great.

The look back at Sting’s career was very well put together, even 15 years too late.

A Divas tag ended in a few seconds. #GiveDivasAChance trended. Yawn.

Axelmania? At least it gives Axel something to do on television and I’m fine with it.

Ryback needs to keep delivering terrible one-liners weekly.

Overall impression

WWE presented a good follow-up show to Fastlane. Now the real test is keeping our interest the next four weeks and further shaping the card for WrestleMania 31. Creative is capable. My only fear is that by loading up this show – and it is the biggest show of the year so why not – where do we go from here after WrestleMania? It isn’t looking promising.

Agree? Disagree? You’re in luck. We now have a new comments area down below where you can share your thoughts about RAW.

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