This week was all about the Royal Rumble, for both shows, as both Monday Night RAW and SmackDown LIVE had several superstars throw their hat into the ring for an opportunity at a title shot and to main event Wrestlemania. But who did it better?
Here’s my two cents …
Monday Night RAW
Opener: I liked the fact that we went from Mick Foley’s “performance review” to utter chaos backstage with Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman, to the U.S. title match (which ended up with a re-do), to a match between Rollins and Strowman. It was crazy, fast-paced, and for one moment – I wasn’t sure what would happen next. It was a nice change to the typical opening with a match or promo, or even opening with a promo that introduces a match.
Sasha Banks Versus Stephanie Teaser: Everything the women did on Monday Night was pretty cool. Honorable mentions on this wins’ list go to the backstage segment where Charlotte and Nia Jax decimated Bayley and Sasha Banks. I thought Jax shoving Charlotte at the end was brilliant. Their tag match was pretty good as well. But a little tease of tension between Sasha Banks and Stephanie when The Boss and Hugger were asking the real Boss (lady) for a match against Charlotte and Nia was awesome. Stephanie is selling her heel status when it comes to the women of the division and I am digging it.
The Undertaker: The Phenom has nowhere else to go, but the wins’ list. When those bells toll, I get goosebumps. I don’t care that his entrance takes an eternity, I like to soak it all in. The Undertaker showed up on Monday to let the world know he is officially in the Royal Rumble. Why he decided to announce this on RAW considering he’s on Team Blue makes zero sense … but it’s The Undertaker! He doesn’t need to make sense and he’s still cool. Honorable mention on this wins list and ‘LOL’ moment for me? When Stephanie asked Foley if he had gotten a hold of Taker (prior to him coming out) and Mick replies something along the lines of ‘Well The Undertaker isn’t really someone you can reach by text or Tweet’. Touché Mick, touché …
It’s The U.S. Title, Drink It In, Man: Chris Jericho winning the U.S. title, where he enters a select WWE club superstars that are grand slam champions. I love the way he won, I liked the match, I liked the outcome; love that both he and Owens hold gold now. Hope this arc lasts well beyond Royal Rumble, now that both BFFs have titles. It just had to make my wins’ list.
Shawn Michaels: Now, let me explain. Michael’s segment with Big Cass & Enzo (plus all the heels) was okay and doesn’t deserve to land in the fails list. It wasn’t awesome, it was okay – so it really shouldn’t land in the wins either. The fail for me was promoting Micheals to show up on RAW, right before the Rumble and Mania, and it turns out he’s promoting a movie. Nothing wrong with hyping up a flick, I get tis, and the movie looks good. Still, we are on the cusp of Wrestlemania season and the way WWE promoted him I thought he was going to be involved somehow in the big event. Maybe it was me jumping to conclusions, but it felt like the way they promoted him was misleading. That’s the fail in my books. They oversold Michaels in my opinion.
New Day and Titus: This is not working for me on so many levels. No chemistry and it does feel right with three against one. I know Titus is heel, but still. On top of that, the storyline doesn’t feel like it is benefiting anyone. It’s not entertaining, so no wins for the audience; New Day is already over, so no need for them to embarrass O’Neil the way they have; and well, Titus continues to look like a bumbling fool, which we all know he is not. Powers that be, please make this stop. #NewDayDoesn’tAlwayRock.
Heel Nattie: Natalya is doing an incredible job selling her heel character as of late. The attacks (both physical and verbal) are incredible. She is so much more aggressive, mean, and witchy from the last time (before she tried to become a joker heel, with all that 80s/90s music jargon). I like this Bella/Neidhart feud, both Nikki and Nattie are working hard to get the audience invested in their program – and I sure I am.
Silence Is Golden: Dolph may have just cut one of the better promos he has in a while, and he didn’t say one darn thing. Such a refreshing break from, “I know I may lose, but I’m gunna give it my all” verbiage we’ve heard from him as of late.
Bliss And Becks In A Steel Cage: Who else is excited about the steel cage match next week? SmackDown LIVE is certainly bringing it up a notch with the ladies and the best part is, the steel cage makes sense with the storyline. Too much interference? Lock the ladies up! Can’t wait for next SD LIVE!
Dissention In The Wyatts: Will it be Orton to leave or Luke Harper? There is definitely a clash and difference of opinion between the Wyatt Family right now, specifically Luke and Randy. If you ask me, Harper seems a little jealous of Orton and how he’s easily integrated into the Family. Something is going to go down between these two in the next few weeks and their conflict on SD LIVE is a huge win. You could (literally) hear the live crowd’s collective gasp when Luke Harper accidently kicked Bray instead of Orton. Who will leave the fold in the end? Honestly, my guess is Luke.
John Cena: Great backstage promo with Renee, great match too. It’s so good to have John Cena back on television weekly.
American Alpha Promo: These guys are awesome in the ring, but I’m not feeling their mic work or characters outside the squared circle. Their backstage promo before their big tag match was a bit of joke to me. You can’t compare anyone to Bray Wyatt when it comes to segments, so it could have been the fact that AA cut their promo and it then switched to the Wyatt Family. Still, I feel in general their mic work is weak and understanding who their characters really are (other than just a bunch of cool dudes) needs fine tuning.
Dolph Loses … Again: Why turn him heel if he still continues to lose? I really hope this leads up to something bigger for Ziggler. Him losing all the time is lame.
Carmella Vs. Jobber: Nothing more to say than a terrible match. I’m also not too into this Carmella/Ellsworth thing going that is going on.
Honestly, I felt like both shows were ‘okay’, but if I had to pick a winner, I’m going with RAW. The Undertaker segment and anticipation around whether or not the Deadman would show up (I mean, we all knew he would) makes Monday Night RAW the winner this week in my books.
WNZ fans! Who did it better in your opinion? Leave your comments below!