WWE Raw Thoughts: April 18, 2016
Another Monday, another WWE Raw, and another article with my thoughts on the show. Let’s take a look at how the show went!Seeing how WWE and their writers still haven’t cleared up the Shane running Raw situation, why not just start the show with him on Dean Ambrose’s new talk segment, The Ambrose Asylum? The Wrestlemania 32 loose ends still aren’t being dealt with, so they’re just moving on for those who don’t question the product.
I really don’t think Ambrose needs this talk show host shtick or to be a comedy act. He should be a Brian Pillman loose canon, or even a Stone Cold type of character, looking only to kick ass and get what he wants. He’s good for a line here and there but he doesn’t need his own talk show.
Going back to Shane, it was uncomfortable watching him stumble over his lines with and without Kevin Owens in his face. Sami Zayn and Chris Jericho joined the talk segment only to have Shane announce that we’d be seeing Owens vs. Zayn and Jericho vs. Ambrose at WWE Payback in two weeks. I thought Shane was going to announce an impromptu tag match, but after the brief brawl, the villains retreated to the back and we went to commercial
When we came back, it was announced that Shane created the Zayn vs. Jericho match and posted it on Facebook. That quickly and through social media when there’s a live crowd right there to go and address? Ugh. Piss poor delivery as click-bait.
The Zayn/Jericho match was OK with some good spots, but I disagree with the booking of Jericho going over as it does nothing for Zayn. Perhaps the loss portrays him as an underdog for the match with Owens to build more engagement for the match. For someone doing the job and trying to get over Fandango over a year ago, Y2J is sure winning a lot of matches recently…at the expense of new talent WWE should be getting over.
After the first match, we got to see AJ Styles reconnect with his buds Anderson and Gallows (fellow Bullet Club members from NJPW). I like how they talked about how they had goals coming to WWE and were hell bent on becoming THE main players. It also showed the audience that didn’t know them there is a past relationship with all these guys.
Next up was the semi-final in the tag tournament with the winners facing The New Day at Payback in two weeks. Enzo and Cass went against the Dudley Boyz in, what I thought, was a brief match. I’m surprised that Enzo and Cass went over the Dudleys that quickly with no retribution from them after they won. If I was a betting man, I bet that we haven’t seen the last of these two feuding. I think the Dudleys will interfere at Payback because there’s no way Enzo and Cass are not winning this tournament.
The Roman Reigns segment was great just to hear the deafening boos of the audience at Reigns. AJ got a pretty good reaction, but I found the overall segment dragged as Reigns just doesn’t come off as having any energy or passion. It’s almost like there’s a small lull when Reigns decides to respond or react to what someone is saying to him and he comes across as slow. That’s not something you want in a champion. At least Gallows and Anderson showed up to attack Reigns blindly as it gives an unknown to the story line. Is Styles planning on reforming their old stable to get the gold through any means necessary, or did he really not know about the attack and will distance himself and feud with his former friends? These questions make more more interested in the feud leading up to the PPV AND the match itself.
I’m boggled that the Vaudevillians beat the Usos. I know they want to build new talent, but again, casual WWE fans have no idea who these guys are. There have been no vignettes, no story, no nothing! In many people’s eyes, they’re a tag team that showed on Smackdown and now they’re wrestling on the next Raw. Is this team heels or faces on the main roster? The Usos at least have a solid fan base and people behind them. I’m not a fan of the Vaudevillians gimmick and I don’t like the characters or their presentation, so if they’re on TV, I’m tuned out, just like when they were on NXT.
Apollo Crews is still suffering from the “who is he and why is he here?” syndrome that I mentioned last week. Why bring people up to the main roster when you don’t have anything for the audience to connect to? A program with the Social Outcasts won’t help either.
The main event was a decent match as well, but we’ve seen these two at it before. I dig both Ambrose and Owens, so whoever wins doesn’t bother me. It’s not surprising they had Ambrose go over as he is going against Jericho at the PPV, who also won earlier in the night.
Overall, Raw was an OK show. Usually when they are overseas and doing a taped show, it’s not as eventful. The crowd was quiet most of the night and only popped loud a few times, so it didn’t help the pre-taped feel. The show set up matches for the next PPV, got a bit farther along in the tag team tournament, and announced Bret Hart being at the PPV in Nattie’s corner for her match against Charlotte. I’d rate this show as average with few infuriating moments.