Monday Night RAW and SmackDown LIVE were all about Wrestlemania 33: building up matches, booking matches, and all around hype. Who did it better this week? Come take a walk with me … or should I say, read?
Monday Night RAW
Opener: The best way to kick off RAW, any RAW, is with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. The music, the roar of the live crowd, and Heyman’s mic work. I’m not at all excited about Brock versus Goldberg at WM 33, but every time Heyman speaks, I listen, and am entertained.
Dana Brooke: FINALLY! We get to see a program that pits The Queen versus her former lap dog. This can only help Brook’s lagging main roster career.
#1 Contender’s Match: I liked this match between Sheamus/Cesaro and Enzo/Cass. I also like the fact that The Club is finally becoming the aggressors they were meant to be. Bonus? All three tag teams have spots on the Wrestlemania card. #WinWinSituation
One Gong: One “Undertaker” gong is all it takes to distract anyone from a match, and The Phenom is infamous for playing these mind games. Loved the gong during the Mahal/Reigns match that shook Roman up a bit. Taz mentioned on his blog that Mahal should’ve done a roll up pin on Reigns; would’ve created a bigger upset and not hurt Roman in the least. I kind of agree. Even if the idea is for Roman to win at WM 33, the bigger build up here (in my opinion) is to shake up Reigns and then have him defeat The Deadman. Still, loved the tease of The Undertaker. Great way to build up a match without having him there (and yes, I know Creative has done this before).
Roman Reigns Turn: I don’t know … I think it’s bound to happen. How can it not with him facing The Undertaker? Still, the tease of a heel Roman during his segment with Shawn Michaels might keep fans guessing.
Austin Aries Debut: Nice match, welcome to the main roster, Aries!
The Closing: Wow, I did not see anything remotely close to what I thought was coming … and that was awesome! For the first time in a long time, my eyes weren’t glued to the clock during the last moments of RAW, they were glued to the screen. Most thought Mick Foley was going to quit or be fired. Then, HHH came out and began bullying him, made references to Dewey and Noelle, Mr. Socko made an appearance, and then Seth Rollins? Win! Win! Win! Win! What an incredible performance from all involved: Foley played the disgruntle employee to a ‘T’, HHH and Steph once again together and massive heels, and hero boy Rollins in for the save. But, did he really save anything? There is a massive plot twist with Hunter causing further injury to that leg, which leaves an even bigger question mark on whether or not Rollins will make it to the Grandest Stage of Them All this year. If he has not been cleared and won’t make it to WM 33 due to injury, what a great explanation (storyline-wise) as to why this came to be.
New Day Time Waster: I get the WWE has an opportunity to promote new DVDs coming out during television programs, but the backstage promo with The New Day and Big Show was just a time waster that was not even remotely entertaining.
AJ’s Opener: SD LIVE was all about AJ and Shane, and Styles’ promo at the beginning helped to lay it all out. From his fight to get to the main event at WM 33, to all the setbacks, to not officially getting his title rematch; Styles spoke to the WWE Universe and relayed just why he was so frustrated. Wonderful promo.
Miz TV: I’m enjoying this program between Cena/Bella/Miz/Maryse. Minus the kissy face going on between Cena and Bella (just too over the top, we get it, you guys are crazy for each other!). Regardless, the match is booked for WM 33 and I expect there will be more banter between Miz and Cena and more cat claws between Maryse and Bella.
AJ’s Attack: Love the fact that a millionaire has zero security on him and a retired Finlay came in for the save. But yes, the backstage beat down of Shane at the hands of AJ was awesome and opened the door for the Styles versus McMahon match to finally be booked for Wrestlemania.
Bray’s Baptism: Wow, just wow. He speaks with cryptic messages, but I am always so captivated by Wyatt whenever he has a mic in his hands. He is all alone now and almost seems even more dangerous than when he had a stable of men behind him.
Commentary: We can only blame Mother Nature for this and Tuesday’s snow storm, but Tom Phillips and JBL commentating was awful and awkward. The crowd also didn’t help. Something seemed lackluster last night and I can’t put my finger on it. Was it the crowd? Was it Phillips and JBL? Not sure, but I sure missed Mauro Ranallo and his verbiage last night.
Tag Match Main Event: It’s been a long while since we’ve seen SD LIVE’s tag team champs (or the Usos for that matter). This in itself is a fail, but having the match foreshadowed by Shane backstage walking to the ramp was a fail. I get it, they wanted the announcement to be dramatic and they only had one minute for him to say what he had to say, but it didn’t have to be flipped three or four times (maybe more, maybe less – it just seemed to dominate it) during their match. It was distracting and not in a good way. And, overall, SD LIVE Creative, give American Alpha a solid program. They are champions, make those titles mean something!
I’m giving this week to Monday Night RAW. Overall, both programs were good, but the crowd and commentary on SD LIVE last night really changed the mood on Tuesday night. I also wasn’t a big fan of the SD LIVE’s ending. I love the fact that Shane versus Styles was booked for WM 33, but hated the way they distracted the tag match to do so. Meanwhile, RAW knocked it out of the park in terms of closing.
Well, WNZ fans, these are my thoughts … I’d love to hear yours!