9/7 RAW: 52 weeks of opening promos

WWE RAW Review
September 8, 2015
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com

For the second straight week, WWE aired an episode of RAW to a subpar crowd. What’s weird about the crowds is these are cities where WWE typically does well in. Tampa is a pretty decent venue and Baltimore just recently had a pretty good show in WWE Payback. To me, that says the crowds aren’t too amped up about the direction the storylines are heading into the fall. In my opinion, most of the storylines are ok. They’re way better than last year. Maybe they’re just thinking of how exciting things were a few weeks back heading into SummerSlam and anything after is just a little disappointing. I don’t know. They could just be anomalies and things will get back to normal next week, but it’s a little concerning that two shows in a row had dead crowds that didn’t pop for anything.

It’s been a year since RAW opened up with a wrestling match

It finally happened. It’s been a full calendar year since Monday Night RAW opened up with a wrestling match. On September 8, 2014, the “season premiere” of RAW opened up with a very good Cage Match between Chris Jericho and Bray Wyatt. Since then, every single episode has opened up with a long (averaging in the twenty minute territory) mostly boring promo. The show usually opens with a promo that could have all it’s key points touched upon in five minutes and be completely done in ten with everyone the person is talking about coming out to give a rebuttal. This is the problem with the three-hour show. There’s nothing that makes me want to change the channel more than hearing Seth Rollins’ music hit at the start of the show and know that he’s going to come out and ramble for the next fifteen or twenty minutes. It’s not his fault. No one could succeed in that position. Well, maybe Paul Heyman could, but even he’d suffer doing it every week. If anything, Rollins should be commended for doing it week in and week out and trying to make it work, but it doesn’t. The opening promo does have a place and should be done often to set the tone for the show, but you need to break up the monotony and shake things up every now and then by opening the show with a marquee match. How lazy and formulaic can this show get? Would it kill them to give a little variety?

Last night was one of the more brutal examples of it not working. Rollins’ music hit, and the crowd almost immediately went silent knowing what was in store for them. Sorry Baltimore, you’re going to get what every crowd for the last year has gotten. Rollins then started rambling on in detail about why it’s important for his legacy to beat John Cena and Sting in the same night. It’s an important note, but not important enough to sit through ten minutes of it being talked about endlessly. Then Baltimore dusted off the old “Boring” chant, which I haven’t heard in a while and frankly am surprised that most crowds don’t go to it more often. It was not a hot start.

Sting’s music hit, and the crowd perked up a bit before they realized he was on the titantron and wasn’t going to make an appearance. Sting was screwing around with Rollins’ statue and taunting him to come and get it. Then Sheamus’ music hit and the never-ending segment went on some more. Sheamus basically reminded him that he could cash in his Money in the Bank after Rollins works twice at Night Of Champions. This could have been accomplished in a backstage segment. Basically, this was twenty minutes I’ll never get back.

That brings up the question of what they’re going to do with Sheamus. I love that he’s a heel, but he hasn’t been booked as a main event level heel. He’s been bogged down in a feud with Randy Orton that’s going nowhere, and I don’t know what they’ll do with him after that. I actually think that business would suffer greatly if he was given the championship. He just doesn’t have that main event appeal and would sink pretty quickly with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Rollins is boring in his promos, but his in-ring work is on another level of great. They’re in an interesting conundrum of what to do with Sheamus and that Money in the Bank briefcase.

Enough of that… let’s talk about some positive stuff.

The New Day blows away anything on WWE Television at the moment

Holy crap. If you told me back in January that The New Day would be one of the most over acts on WWE Television by mid-year, I’d tell you to get your head checked. I know I’ve used that line before, but I don’t know how else to really put into words this incredible run of entertainment The New Day has been on. To me, these ideas mostly have to be coming from them. There’s no way WWE creative can be scripting what they do. It’s too organic and entertaining. Xavier Woods with that damn trombone absolutely slays anything on this program. I can’t cut Big E and Kofi Kingston short because they’re incredible as well. Big E trying to eat Christian’s kazoo was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in some time.

However, there performance in the main event of RAW completely stole the show. In a match that involved the WWE World Heavyweight Champion competing in his second match and John Cena, The New Day were the true stars. Woods doing the big slides on the trombone as The New Day was on offense was incredible. I think he even played “Charge” at one point. It doesn’t get any better. Woods was so obnoxious and hilarious throughout. I never, ever would have expected him to be this good. They’re so good that the cynic in me says creative is going to tinker with them and kill the magic, but I’ll hold out for hope on this one. I shudder to think how this show would have turned out without them. They made this one of the most entertaining RAW main events of the year.

Quick Thoughts

Paige and Sasha Banks had a match that was given time, but it was far from good in my opinion. First of all, the commentators laid out the story that Paige was looking for revenge over the Beat The Clock Challenge last week, but they never showed a replay or anything. Even just for the live crowd to see what’s going on because those Beat The Clock matches totaled six minutes of action last week… for three matches… combined. It was a sloppy affair with not a care to be had. You can give them all the time in the world, but if they don’t have a real story, who cares?

Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose squashed The Ascension in short order. You just have to watch this match to see how unimportant selling is in WWE anymore. The fact that Viktor was on his feet moments after being hit with a Doomsday Device is so stupid. Sure, Ambrose maybe picked him up, but if you’re only using the Doomsday Device, one of the best tag team maneuvers ever, as your finisher’s set up, why do it at all?

Seth Rollins is one of the best wrestlers around, but even he can’t do anything in a long match with Ryback. They expose Ryback so badly in these long matches. He just can’t go in them. Ryback pinned Rollins after Sting distracted him from the titantron. That makes Ryback the new number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This win will be quickly forgotten.

I know I already touched on it, but I loved that backstage segment with Edge and Christian, The Dudley Boyz, and The New Day.

Can Lana and Rusev just get back together already? Has Dolph Ziggler been any less exciting?

Randy Orton and Sheamus had another match. It was good, but the crowd wasn’t really into it. They’ve been fighting all summer, but I’m still not sure why or why I should care. The matches have been good, but like Paige/Sasha Banks earlier tonight, if there’s no story, who cares? The Wyatt Family attacked Orton after the match, so I have to assume he’ll be the third partner of Reigns and Ambrose. I guess the Baron Corbin tease wasn’t real. That’s fine by me.

So I guess Los Matadores are heels now? I really hope El Torito doesn’t become The Dudley Boyz’ mascot.

Big Show caused The Miz vs. Cesaro to end in a double count-out. Big Show chased Miz away before giving Cesaro a Knockout Punch back into curtain jerker purgatory. I guess that push is dead and buried… again. It’s such a shame how they waste Cesaro’s talent.

Nikki Bella and Charlotte “verbally sparred” in one of the most cringe-worthy in-ring segments in a while… including Seth Rollins’ performance at the start of the show. Charlotte is void of any personality, as is Nikki Bella. They both can go in the ring, but that’s about it. This Diva’s Revolution is toast. Even if Charlotte beats her for the Divas Championship next week, what’s really going to change? How are things “better”?

I got a kick out of Sting pushing the statue into the garbage truck. Sting seemed to be having fun in those backstage skits. It’s better than him putting Triple H over at every turn.

Final impression

This was just a show. Other than The New Day, there was nothing special on this show. Next week is the “season premiere” of Monday Night RAW, so maybe they’ll break the 52 week dry spell of no match to kick off the show. That’s how they did it last year. Nothing would make me happier.

Bump of the Night: The Dudley’s powerbombing Diego through a table!
Match of the Night: New Day and Rollins vs. Prime Time Players and Cena ** 1/4

Final Rating: **

Well those are my thoughts. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know by commenting or using one of the other two options to get in contact with me.

E-Mail – MikeyT817@gmail.com
Twitter – @MikeTedescoWV

Check out my recap of this week’s RAW here. Please check out my live recap of RAW every Monday at 8 PM EST.

Thanks for reading!

Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Monday Night RAW for Wrestleview.com.