Mike Tedesco’s RAW Thoughts
January 27, 2015
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
Last night we saw one of the most unique episodes of RAW I can remember in some time. Due to the Blizzard of 2015 (which really wasn’t much in my area; they predicted about two feet for us, and we wound up with four inches), RAW was broadcast for the first time from WWE World Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. The show featured two matches from the Royal Rumble (the fantastic WWE World Heavyweight Championship match and the Royal Rumble itself) as well as numerous sit down interviews from the major players in WWE.
Royal Rumble replays probably upset some customers
I understand they were in a bind and had to fill up three hours someway, so they went with the replays of the two main matches from the PPV. I was at the show live so it was pretty cool to see it from a different perspective and hear how the crowd came across on television. The title match was fantastic live and even better watching it back. The Royal Rumble is something I’ll never forget. I’ve been to more wrestling events than I care to mention, but I’ve never been in a crowd as angry as that one. After Daniel Bryan got eliminated, the crowd, which I thought was red hot all night, had all the energy taken out of it. When Roman Reigns came out, the boos were deafening. I don’t understand the move to take Bryan out so early. I projected that Reigns and Bryan were the only two favorites in this one, so to remove Bryan early ruined all the suspense at the end. I don’t think the boos were directed at Reigns himself but the booking that got him there. The booking for him had been atrocious to that point.
I don’t know how some of the PPV providers are going to take to WWE airing these two matches the night after when they’re probably trying to sell replays of the PPV for the week. Since the WWE Network, WWE hasn’t really cared for them and have been undercutting them at every turn. Still, the people who bought it on PPV (who were made fun of by the company itself for doing so) couldn’t be happy about it either.
A very good series of sit-down interviews
The first sit-down interview with Seth Rollins was very good. Michael Cole’s line of questioning was a little bizarre, but Rollins came out of it looking and sounding good. Rollins put himself over well as well as his performance at the Royal Rumble. I’m not sure what they’re going to do with him in the coming weeks. Hopefully they don’t job him out to Roman Reigns or John Cena a bunch of times. I’d like to see the program with Dean Ambrose resume because they still have unfinished business in my view. Their feud ended in dispute because of Bray Wyatt’s interference.
I loved the interview with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman that they did right after. The interaction with Seth Rollins was fun and did a good job of playing up tension there. I’d love to see Rollins and Lesnar one-on-one. Heyman put over all of Lesnar’s accomplishments in 2014 and early-2015. Lesnar played his part really well. He’s not a tremendous talker, but I love how he put out there that he respects no one and hopes that Roman Reigns is up for the challenge. They also left a good cliffhanger for later in the show when Heyman asked when Cole would be speaking with Roman Reigns. Lesnar said he was looking forward to meeting him.
Roman Reigns had an interview after they replayed the entire Royal Rumble match. I didn’t care for this one at all. I liked what Reigns did in his sit-down with Brock Lesnar, but here I just didn’t like it. First, there were some big audio issues going on here, with a very loud buzz throughout. Secondly, the content they gave him, as usual, was terrible. Apparently he had a terrible childhood. The only way he learned to swim is because his dad nearly drowned him by throwing him in the deep end and letting him sink. Then they gave him the old John Cena line about how you can boo or cheer if you paid for a ticket. They’ve been trying to make him John Cena way too much, which I think is why he got the reception he got on Sunday. Roman Reigns actually has personality. For the love of god, let him use it. The Roman Reigns era shouldn’t be a carbon copy of the Cena era for however long Reigns is on top. Call me crazy, but I want my top guy to be cheered by the entire crowd, not a portion of them. Granted, some people will never be happy with anything, but I want my top guy to not be hated by an entire percentage of the viewing audience. WWE needs to wake up on this aspect of Reigns.
They interviewed Daniel Bryan in an attempt to have him quiet the haters and endorse Reigns as the next guy. Bryan was pretty good here. He talked a lot about facing Brock Lesnar and putting that match-up over big. He also talked about how he never actually lost the title, so I don’t know what that means. On my two-hour drive home from Philadelphia, I was trying to piece out the WrestleMania card, and I have no clue what they could possibly do with Daniel Bryan. You’ve got Reigns-Lesnar, Triple H-Sting, Cena-Rusev (possibly), and Undertaker-Wyatt (possibly). Where does Bryan fit in? I look forward to seeing what they do with him in the coming weeks.
The final segment with Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, and Paul Heyman was excellent, mainly because Heyman took control of the segment. Heyman was awesome putting over Reigns’ family before turning it into how his family is afraid of Brock Lesnar. The tension and the build was better than anything WWE had done with Reigns up to that point. Then Reigns turned to Lesnar and fed him a decent line about being up for the challenge at WrestleMania. When they stood up, you could really feel the tension. I loved the line where Lesnar said that he didn’t respect Reigns, and Reigns told him that he would.
WWE took a bad situation and did the best they could with it. There were certainly some technical issues, but that was to be expected, as they had to throw this thing together. The sit-down interviews are something that they should consider doing more of for RAW and Smackdown and not just for the top guys, either. Too often we know nothing about any of these people. I’d love to see a sit-down interview with Dolph Ziggler air on RAW because I have no idea why I should care about him sometimes. The in-ring promos they do sometimes just don’t cut it.
I’m curious to see how that final segment would have turned out had they done it in front of the live crowd. I think the benefit of being able to be in a studio certainly helped it. It probably made it better than it would have been. In the end, I think WWE got lucky with this blizzard. Who knows how the crowd would have been? Thursday will be a big test for them and the Roman Reigns experiment. I’m really looking forward to seeing that show.
This is what I take coming out of this show: do more sit-down interviews!
Check out my recap of this week’s RAW here. Be sure to check out my Smackdown recap this Thursday!
Also check out my predictions for Royal Rumble, which will be up this Sunday!
Thanks for reading!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE RAW and Smackdown for Wrestleview.com.