Mike Tedesco’s RAW Review
June 23, 2015
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
I’ve been sitting here for a while just thinking about how to properly get this review started and describe this show in a nutshell. It was desperately boring and lame. With the rash of three special events in five weeks, two of which called for storylines to culminate in two short weeks, it seems like the writing staff may have forgotten how to properly pace out a storyline arch that culminates in four weeks. These are quick, mindless storylines that have already peaked or have bottomed out from just being plain bad. The main event storyline is ok, but after this week and last, there’s really not much left to do other than go through the motions for the next two weeks. Let’s break down the show and see what was done right and what was done wrong.
The mediocre booking of Brock Lesnar for the evening
The way they’ve handled Brock Lesnar pretty much since facing CM Punk at SummerSlam 2013 has been absolutely fantastic. Probably a lot of that has to do with Paul Heyman having a big hand in how he’s handled, but regardless it’s been great. Last night was not one of those nights where he was handled well. In fact, it was pretty rotten. The opening segment saw Brock Lesnar, the hands down, red-hot top babyface of WWE, have to apologize for attacking the announcers on the RAW the night after WrestleMania 31 as a condition for being unsuspended. Lesnar has absolutely no business apologizing to the commentators. What’s wrong with being unsuspended because The Authority wants to challenge Seth Rollins? Lesnar apologizing to JBL and Michael Cole was just completely out of character and lame. Then to cap it all off, WWE released a YouTube video last week with Michael Cole saying that his lawyers reached a settlement with Lesnar, which insinuates that money changed hands for Cole to drop the suit. Why does Lesnar have to apologize when Cole already dropped the suit and got money? It’s just stupid and definitely hurt Lesnar. He got a monster pop at the start of the show. By the end of that first segment, the crowd was over it.
The final segment was much better, but it still didn’t wash away the stink of that lame apology. It also doesn’t help that the segment was built around Rollins apologizing to his Authority cohorts. They walked off on him, but of course reunited to try to fend off Lesnar. Even though they made him look like a monster the majority of the time (he was so revved up he accidentally broke three of Jamie Noble’s ribs), Lesnar was still beat down and left laying at the end of the show so it was just a weak night overall for him. It won’t hurt him, but they can’t let it go on like that.
John Cena/Kevin Owens segment usually reserved for go home shows
I’ll preface this by saying this was a great segment with John Cena and Kevin Owens. They had some good stuff, including a really impressive moment when Cena countered Owens speaking French by speaking French and Chinese. Cena was very good in talking about how he has to put his United States Championship on the line otherwise he’s not a good champion. Cena tried to put over the idea that he’s the underdog coming in and might not win, which would be convincing if he had yet to defeat Owens, but that’s neither here nor there. I also liked how Owens talked about how many people said he wouldn’t make it, which to me seemed like a shot at Jim Cornette. I couldn’t help making a Cornette face when I typed his name.
My issue with this is this felt like a segment that put the final hype on it before the PPV. The problem is we have two more shows to go through before they fight next. This was a segment that should have been on the go home show. What are they going to do from here on out? Are they going to try to one up each other in a series of open challenges? Is Cena going to cost him the NXT Championship in Tokyo? There’s really nothing left to do except wait for the match to happen and go through the motions. It was a great segment, but in my opinion it was two weeks too soon.
I’m officially over the Roman Reigns/Bray Wyatt mess
This thing already got off to a very rocky start last week when Reigns completely no sold the fact that Wyatt was holding a picture of Reigns and his daughter. This week, it completely fell off the tracks. In the middle of a very long (and good) match between Reigns and Sheamus, Wyatt appeared on the titantron sitting at a table with a child’s tea set, insinuating that he had kidnapped Reigns’ daughter. Reigns, with absolutely zero emotion, made his way to the back. No announcement for the match result was made, so that was a complete waste of time. Reigns then looked backstage with little panic until hearing Wyatt’s voice. Reigns enters the room and all over the walls are pictures of him with his eyes and mouth cut out with the message scrawled on the wall “Anyone but you.” Someone on the writing staff has watched too many horror movies. Easily one of the worst angles of the year two weeks in. Reigns’ acting is an absolute zero. I’m sorry, but it’s inexcusable that he can’t even fake emotion concerning his daughter. It’s crap like this that’ll prevent this guy from ever getting over. He can’t make the connection with the crowd on any real emotional level. What is his plight? Why should I care about Reigns? After all this time, I still don’t know anything about him or have a reason to really care. I don’t care how many terrible Terminator trailers they try to shoehorn him in with child like quality.
Dean Ambrose and Kane were in the opening contest. They tried hard, but Kane’s limitations are what they are and the match wasn’t that great. Rollins caused the distraction to help Kane pick up the win, so I guess that feud is still alive and well.
The Prime Time Players had a decent enough enhancement match against The Ascension. Nothing memorable about it. It happened and we moved on.
I like the way they’ve been putting Neville over these past few week. Neville looked good once again against Kofi Kingston in a quick match highlighted with a Prime Time Players/New Day altercation. I don’t know if they have any plans for Neville at the PPV. My guess would be a Kickoff Match.
King Barrett picked up a win against Zack Ryder, but his gimmick (and career) are still in very rough shape. Feuding with R-Truth certainly isn’t helping matters.
The Divas division is officially the worst thing in the company at the moment. The Bellas were inexplicably turned face a few weeks ago, inexplicably turned back heel, and are now back to being faces as of last night? Are you kidding me? Even if this winds up with Paige bringing in NXT reinforcements, the process of getting them there was hideous.
Ryback vs. Mark Henry was what it was. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but it wasn’t meant to be. Big Show and Ryback then had a lame backstage fight. I can’t wait for that feud to be over already.
What was that deal with Adam Rose and Rosa Mendes? It’s a shame because I really feel for the guy after that ESPN special, but it seems like his days are numbered. Dolph Ziggler had his second poor RAW match in a row, which is unusual for him. I liked Rusev flipping out over Ziggler kissing Lana backstage and falling over. Summer Rae then came over to hand him his crutch, so that’s an interesting move there.
A painfully boring RAW after a more than decent show last week. The main storyline segments were just passable, but it seemed like they were written as a go home show. There’s nothing left for these main storylines to do except culminate. They’ll be heading into the verge of overkill before they get to the PPV. The rest of the show just dragged on and on and on… and on and on and on. All in all, while I absolutely love recapping, I envied the people who could just pick up their remote and change the damn channel.
Bump of the Night: Brock Lesnar crushing Jamie Noble’s ribs!
Match of the Night: Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus * 3/4
Final Rating: * 1/2
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.
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.