WWE RAW Review
October 25, 2016
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
Coming off a really epic segment with the return of Bill Goldberg to WWE, there was some hype surrounding this show with the return of Brock Lesnar to address his comments. There was also a promoted triple threat with Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and Chris Jericho, as well as a tag match between Cesaro/Sheamus and The New Day. Only one of these promoted events were actually entertaining and successful. The rest… not so much.
Let’s talk about this RAW.
The List of Jericho is a storyline/Pacing problems hurt show
I don’t know what this says about the state of WWE when “The List of Jericho” is one of the most over things on RAW. It probably doesn’t say many great things about real interest in RAW, but it is a huge positive for Chris Jericho, who continues to be innovative after a 26 year career. Jericho came out to start the show and was apoplectic over someone stealing “The List.” Jericho threatened to hijack the show until he got the list back. Kevin Owens and Stephanie McMahon tried to talk some sense into him until finally Seth Rollins came out. Rollins was clearly holding “The List.” Jericho had really set this up nicely by talking about how his deepest, darkest secrets are contained on “The List.” This would have been the perfect time for Rollins, who in my view is struggling as a face, to read off some cleverly written, completely embarrassing stuff about Jericho. Jericho is a great comedic foil and would have done well with this. Instead, this writing staff, which has severely struggled to get anyone over as a face for quite some time, came up with some lame stuff about Owens and Stephanie before Rollins just went on with his Hell in a Cell pitch. It was a huge missed opportunity.
After that, Rollins left with “The List,” and Jericho was left to look for it in some pretty good comedic segments. Jericho finally got it back from Braun Strowman and hilariously put him on it.
Then it was time for the main event. For whatever reason on a three-hour+ show every week, they have a ton of trouble pacing it out so we can see a good main event. It happens more often than not, and I just do not get it whatsoever. Was that crumby Golden Truth vs. Shining Stars segment really needed that badly? Couldn’t something have been cut so the triple threat that they advertised all week and all night could be given some time? No, apparently The Golden Truth needs TV time and Rich Swann and Brian Kendrick NEEDED to go through a commercial break. By that point, we’re past three hours and the crowd was dead. They rushed through a ton of stuff and it ended when Rollins pinned both Jericho and Owens at the same time. Rollins and Owens then had a few pull-apart brawls before Owens powerbombed him on the apron to the only pop of the segment. Just not good.
A rare disaster of a segment for Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman
It doesn’t happen often, but Paul Heyman sometimes shows that even he is human and cannot save a segment no matter how hard he tries. This happened last night. I’m not sure who thought it would be a good idea to have Goldberg come back as a face and then send out Brock Lesnar, who is supposed to be a heel, the next week on RAW in Lesnar’s hometown of Minneapolis and think he’s going to get booed. Well, someone did think this would be a good idea, and Vince McMahon in his infinite wisdom signed off on it, as he does for every segment, something equally concerning when you look at the quality of this show week in and week out.
Heyman tried and tried, but it was never going to be. Deep down, I have to believe that, once again, it has to do with what I said in last week’s review: scripted promos no longer have a place in WWE. Heyman is one of the all time great promo guys in wrestling (in this author’s opinion, at least) and should be given that leeway to change tactics if a crowd isn’t reacting the way he was hoping they would. Now everything is written to the letter, even for Heyman, and no one is allowed to go off script. Last night would have been the perfect time for Heyman to go off script, and he’s so good at it. Heyman was already working with his back against the wall being it was Lesnar’s hometown, and he was fishing for “Goldberg” chants. Rather than pretend they were there when they blatantly weren’t, Heyman should have quelled those “Suplex City” chants right off the bat and bragged about how Lesnar moved out of Minneapolis because he hates the people or whatever heels usually do to turn a hometown crowd. Instead, he just stuck to the script and the promo went to hell. It was so bad that Lesnar was even resisting the urge to laugh at how ridiculous it was. This disaster isn’t just Heyman’s fault. WWE’s propensity for micromanaging is directly to blame for this.
Mick Foley tries in vain to build up the Women’s Title Hell in a Cell
Charlotte and Sasha Banks had a contract signing mediated by Mick Foley last night. I’m sorry, this is not meant to be sexist or anything, but Charlotte and Sasha Banks have no business being in a Hell in a Cell match. The feud simply doesn’t warrant this type of match. There’s no reason for them to be in it other than people in creative have a hard on for “making history” and are very busy patting themselves on the back for being fifteen years late to the table on women athletes. Charlotte and Sasha are great workers, but this feels so forced, so ham-fisted that it hurts the match. The crowd wasn’t buying into it either because they were peppering them with “Boring” chants throughout. It didn’t help that neither of them felt convincing in their promos either.
The only one that was close to authentic was Mick Foley, who has been doing a really great job in his role as General Manager of the show. Foley, who started off shaky in the promo because he has a penchant for thinking the more he screams, the better the promo is, settled in nicely when he got emotional and started talking about family. Too often they’ve booked Charlotte and Sasha as having an almost cavalier attitude about being in the Cell. Yes, the Cell has been severely watered down for years since the addition of this PPV and the lack of any real violence, but it’s still something that should be promoted as special. For the first time in this feud, Foley was able to bring this for the women. I’m sure they’ll have a fine match, but it won’t be any different than if they were in a regular match. They’re not going to do anything to risk either of them being busted open. My only fear is Sasha is finally going to spike herself on her head doing one of her awful hurricanranas or suicide dives. Foley saved this segment, but not the build for the match.
* So Karl Anderson gets killed last week, loses to Enzo this week, and we’re supposed to be taking Anderson and Gallows seriously? Who books this? One positive: the crowd interaction with Enzo was absolutely incredible.
* Is it just me or did Rusev cut a face promo on Reigns for the Hell in a Cell match? That’s the promo Reigns should have cut. They just continue to strike out with Reigns.
* The New Day vs. Cesaro and Sheamus was easily the best thing on this show. What a great match. Does it make any sense that they’re facing their PPV opponents in a non-title match and beating them? Absolutely not, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this was a great match. Hopefully it’s just as good on Sunday.
* As many predicted, Bayley made her much anticipated debut on RAW and a little over a month later is losing to Dana Brooke and involved in a segment that has the fans chanting “This is stupid” and “Boring.” Yikes.
* Curtis Axel did a nice job getting over in his hometown before losing to Bo Dallas. I still don’t care one iota about Dallas, but at least this had some fan interaction.
* Unbelievably, Roman Reigns was the one that cut the heel promo heading into Hell in a Cell. Seriously – it’s been over two years since they put the rocket on his back, and they still haven’t figured out how to book him. Reigns is beyond damaged.
* The Golden Truth and Shining Stars just HAD to have a match last night.
* So Brian Kendrick loses to Rich Swann and then asks T.J. Perkins to lay down for him on Sunday. Yes, this is a great strategy to create interest in a match. Will Perkins lay down?? Give me a break.
* Poor Sami Zayn. Just a few months ago, he defeated Kevin Owens in one of the best WWE matches of the year and now he’s food for Braun Strowman.
This just wasn’t a good show. It probably would have been better if it had been two-hours and a little more condensed, but that’s an issue that’s been being said for years now. It’s also only part of the issue. This creative staff and Vince McMahon have failed time and time again to create any real, viable babyfaces for years, and it continued tonight. Mistakes continue to be made with Roman Reigns and now Seth Rollins. A fake list is the most over thing on the show. This is a three-hour creative black hole that sucks the life out of anyone that watches. I cannot wait until they redo their TV contract and hopefully just go back to two-hours. Oh, and I also can’t wait for Vince McMahon to just simply step down. The guy is embarrassingly out of touch at this point.
Bump of the Night: Cesaro countering a plancha with a vicious uppercut!
Match of the Night: The New Day vs. Cesaro/Sheamus ** 1/4
Final Rating: * 3/4
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.
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.