Hey, whadoyaknow, Raw went Old School last night in an attempt to compete with the NCAA BCS Championship. Was it entertaining? Sure. Compelling? Unfortunately not. Worth watching over the fantastic game between Auburn and Florida State? Not in the slightest. But hey, that’s what DVRs are for… and if you actually tuned in to RAW live, at least it was over in time for FSU’s fantastic come back in the last 20 minutes (suck it, SEC!).
The opening segment saw the return of Ric Flair to WWE, which was awesome. Randy Orton also did a good job of selling the moment by placing himself as greater than The Nature Boy. Unfortunately, John Cena added very very little to the whole ordeal… Somebody who has history with both men, like Triple H, would’ve added a much more intriguing dynamic. So things fell a little flat here.
Interesting to see a Daniel Bryan already dissenting from The Wyatts. It doesn’t mean things are over for the group, or for Bryan’s spot with them, but it does make his turn quite a bit more interesting. Note to fans: this DOESN’T mean WWE is changing course just because everybody put up a fuss. An over babyface like Daniel Bryan could conceivably handle a heel/face flop for the sake of his feud with Bray Wyatt. This might’ve been WWE’s plan from the start – it actually makes a lot of sense.
I’m not a huge Ryback fan. Still, seeing him feud with Big E Langston in a mid-card filler feud could be fun. Or it could suck. Looks like we’re going to find out soon.
Anybody else notice that Batista is basically being advertised as a face again? This seems like a giant miscalculation on the creative team’s part. Batista came into success as a face, but really found his niche as a “Hollywood Heel.” It’s possible that Marvel/whoever didn’t want their superstar coming back as somebody the fans hate. Still, we already have the ‘big man-genetic freak-good guy’ role sewed up with Cena, so let Batista do something a little more unique.
Hey, New Sin Cara and Alberto Del Rio are feuding… or something? Nobody cares. So I guess I don’t either.
And a special shout-out to Goldust’s amazing top-rope hurricanrana on Cesaro. That’s why he was our unanimous Between the Ropes Legend Comeback of the year!
We got to see a number of legends return last night – New Age Outlaws, Too Cool, Rikishi, Sargent Slaughter, Ron Simmons, The Godfather, Jake “the Snake” Roberts, yada yada yada… I enjoyed it, and events like this are fun, but we’ve seen a number of these guys in the last few months already. Plus, we’re probably going to see even MORE of them come WWE Network time. Basically, it’s still not enough to right the ship.
Hot promo for Brock Lesnar by Paul Heyman. Still, a Lesnar-Big Show feud? Ugh. At least Mark Henry was something fresh (and somebody explain to me why WWE is burying him now?).
The main event between CM Punk and Roman Reigns was solid. Romain Reigns was given enough rope to shine as a main-event star, and Punk was there to give the match that cohesive feel that only a veteran can deliver. For people reading into Reigns pinning Punk, keep in mind that it was NOT a clean victory – the distraction by Ambrose let Reigns win, and we’ve seen plenty of other main-event guys lose without their victors seeing any real bump in credibility (Lord Tensai over John Cena circa 2012, anyone?). Still, Roman Reigns is one impressive dude with a bright future. Jake “The Snake’s” appearance was unnecessary, but for the segment as a whole, I’ll take it.
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