Written by: Carl Bennett
Monday Night Raw 09/05/2016
•Lack of follow up
I went in to this week’s show expecting a follow up on last week’s cliffhanger but what I forgot about (I’m British) is the Labor Day holiday. WWE has a horrible track record of producing shows that fall on holidays, I’m guessing I don’t need to remind anyone of how horrible the Christmas week shows are!?!
The rational that the powers that be will use is why waste a pay-off angle on a smaller holiday audience, save it for when NFL starts and ratings will not suffer. I can see the reasoning but at the same time WWE will go head to head against The Steelers @ The Redskins and The Rams @ 49ERS on Monday night, surely by producing a red hot ending for the end of this week’s Raw and giving the feeling that anything can happen would prevent a large group of viewers feeling they can catch Raw later on DVR. Raw dropped from 3.413 million viewers last week to 3.069 million viewers this week, obviously the drop off is down the Labor Day holiday but I hope the brain trust in charge don’t point the finger at Kevin Owens.
•Kevin Owens Vs. Sami Zayn
I always love seeing these two go head to head but they need a break from one another. Why not pit Owens against Big Cas or Enzo? They already have the feud fresh in people’s minds from two weeks ago. WWE also have Big Show and Mark Henry on the Raw roster positioned as babyfaces, Surely if Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon don’t believe Kevin Owens is deserving why not pit him against two veterans who wont lose anything by losing decisively to Owens?
Sami Zayn losing due to storyline injury again is depressing, he is a hell of salesman but if they keep booking him like this he will lose all credibility with the casual fan. I’m hoping a US Title feud could be in Zayn’s future either against Rusev or heel Roman Reigns (I know that will never happen).
•Sasha Banks misdirection
I’m not a fan of this as the real life retirement of Daniel Bryan is so fresh in the memory of most fans that this just seems to be extremely exploitative. Most fans would have seen online that Sasha has nagging injury issues and also see how horrific the botched moves were in her Summerslam match with Charlotte were, everyone could have easily bought in to her having to retire or at least needing an extended break. I just think that if they continue playing on this type of issue fans will no longer take serious injuries or retirement speeches seriously and give a respectful ovation.
Excluding the exploitative nature of the content I was very impressed with Sasha’s delivery and body language, this was definitely her best mic work of her main roster run.
•WWE continuing to glorify The Fabulous Moolah
OK this one sort of ties in to the above but I am sick of WWE painting this picture of Moolah being a role model and a great champion. For anyone not aware Moolah’s legacy has been forever tainted by allegations of pimping her trainees out to local promoters to be used as sex objects and be abused by the male locker room, getting trainees addicted to drugs making them easier to control, taking the majority of the pay off’s intended for her booked talent and also monopolising the women’s wrestling scene for over 40 years. For anyone looking for further info on much of a deplorable human Moolah was check out this article http://www.free-times.com/archives/baby-of-sweet-georgia-brown
A final note on Moolah, the only part she played in the women’s wrestling revolution is making sure it didn’t happen 30 years earlier!
I love old school squash matches and In a way I enjoy what WWE has been doing with Braun Strowman and Nia Jaxx. The only problem is that they are doing it as a mirror image of one another, right from the opening promo to this week with both transitioning in to feuds with main roster talent. I think both feuds are logical and make sense but with Braun going against Sin Cara, I’m worried we may see him crushing cruiser-weights in the near future. For the cruiser-weights to be successful they need to be kept away from any situation like this. On the Nia side I like pairing her off against Alicia Fox and how good was Foxxy forgetting she was live and breaking character for a split second in her backstage confrontation with Nia! Oh and please give me more of Ann Esposito.
•A.J. Styles Vs. Dean Ambrose
I like how they are building this match it seems like a simple build of one one-upmanship but it has worked for me and that is mainly down to A.J.’s tremendous heel work. I’d like to see a more serious Styles talking about how much the title would mean to him but we may get that in the build up on Sunday.
I don’t know what to think of Ambrose, his character at the moment doesn’t feel championship level, it did when he was the unpredictable lunatic but now he is just the guy who steals drinks and sniffs hairspray. An Ambrose heel turn against John Cena could be a great WrestleMania match up and hopefully WWE can turn the screw on Ambrose and get him hot again.
•Uso Heel Turn
About god damn time, fans have been steadily losing interest in these two for a while now, teaming with Reigns seems to have been the final straw. Turning the Usos heel opens up a lot of matches most significantly a match with American Alpha in chase mode. Hopefully the Smackdown writing team can give The Usos a bit of character development they desperately need to make them interesting heels not just a team who the fans lost interest in and boo them by proxy.
•Women’s Title Picture
I wish this was a simple one on one match to crown the first Smackdown Women’s Champion maybe even having two women pulling double duty. Becky seems the logical choice to walk out of Backlash as champion but I fear we may see some shenanigans and see a Carmella victory with Nikki Bella chasing the title.
For Becky to lose again would be a travesty she has been bulletproof in everything she has been through since debuting on the main roster. Losing again could potentially see the casual viewer see Becky as nothing more than the lovable loser, She deserves much better than that.
•The Miz Vs. Dolph Ziggler
I have to be honest I’m not feeling this one, The Miz was white hot two weeks ago after his verbal joust with Daniel Bryan and to have him go up against Dolph in a match we have seen god knows how many times is disappointing. The way I saw the Miz/Bryan situation going was Bryan bringing up Samoa Joe up to face Miz as his chosen opponent. The timing makes sense in regard to NXT taping’s but it wasn’t to be.
The only way for this to get interesting is if Dolph turns heel somehow but I don’t know how they would go about that against The Miz. Adding Apollo Crews to the match and screwing him out of the title maybe?
I love what they are doing the Slater and having his family in the front row was great but why oh why was only one of them dressed as a red neck and the others dressed in their Sunday best? I can’t envisage this finishing in a Rhyno/Slater tag title win so a think the free agent skits may continue.
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