WWE Raw Thoughts: May 16, 2016
For a show just before the Extreme Rules PPV, I’m surprised that Raw entertained for more than half the show! Let’s break down this week’s episode!The show started off with AJ Styles and Roman Reigns in a heated promo on who was going to win the title on Sunday. It built up decently well and it created more of a buzz for the tag match later in the show and the championship match at the PPV. Still have no reason why they keep having Reigns get the best of Styles when the crowd was again showing their disdain for Reigns, but maybe we’ll be in a for a surprise on Sunday.
WWE had set up Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro for the next match based on their Smackdown rumblings, but it quickly turned into Zayn and Owens vs. The Miz and Cesaro. I like how they had Shane and Stephanie McMahon come out to announce how the match would be changed and creating the odd pairings (especially Zayn and Cesaro). I loved Kevin Owen’s mannerisms from the time he was on commentary until him and Zayn won the match – laying out Zayn and yelling at the ref to raise his hand because he won as well.
Owens and The Miz have been my favourite heels as of late and this whole match/segment cemented that this four-way match for the IC title will be one to watch on Sunday. Hell, as I write this recap, I don’t even know who I’m gonna pick to win this when I do my predictions later today or tomorrow!
The debut of The Shining Stars was up next. Primo and Epico (who were formally dying with the horrible Los Matadors gimmick) came out praising Puerto Rico, and that seems to be their gimmick now. They took care of some jobbers in less than two minutes and then got back on the mic to talk about Puerto Rico. I can see this getting tiring really quick as I’m already bored of these two. The crowd didn’t seem to care one way or another. How about introducing a team of monster heels talking about being in WWE for the belts and wanting to destroy all the other teams? I know these two don’t fit that mold, but the Tag Team division is boring to me again.
Next was another talk segment and featured Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho. I love Chris Jericho ripping people apart, so he’s always great to watch, but I thought this exchange dragged just a bit until it was announced that their match would be an “Asylum” match. I’m still unclear as to what that is, but it looks like it’s a cage match with different weapons and items that can be used, with a winner only being declared by pin-fall or submission. It kind of reminds me of the old match TNA wrestling used to have called the Lethal Lockdown. Suffice to say, I think these two will pull it off, but WWE has to let these guys bleed if they want to sell the danger and damage this match seems to be promising. Dean’s delivery here was one of the best in a long time as I find his character is best with a maniacal twist to him, like Brian Pillman.
Poor Becky Lynch. I know you have to get newer female wrestlers over, so why not job someone else besides Becky? I suppose they needed a strong face/good girl to contrast the arrogance and heelish attitude of Dana Brooke, but they still could have done this Raw debut of Dana without sacrificing Becky in a match that lasted less than four minutes. I thought this was a “new era!”
I’ll pass on this life coach crap with Bob Backlund and Darren Young. I’m not giving it any more attention in this column than that.
So I miss Smackdown (like usual – I just don’t watch) and I see that Goldust and R-Truth are now officially teaming as The Golden Truth and still tied up with Tyler Breeze and Fandango. Please just put this shit to rest, WWE creative. Put all these guys in something more meaningful. You’ve wasted enough people’s time with it and didn’t pull the trigger on putting both of these guys together when it could have meant something. Yeah, some of the crowd were chanting “Golden Truth,” but I don’t think it’ll last.
Holy SHIT! Another talking segment!!!! The New Day were out talking about silly shit again and this whole time machine promo was a waste of time and shows just how out of touch WWE is with their viewers sometimes. The stupid “special effects” they were using just made me ashamed to be watching this programming. I was actually glad to see the Vaudevillains, who I’m not a fan of, end the goofy shit.
The Usos (with Reigns in their corner) vs. Anderson and Gallows (with AJ Styles) followed next. Can you please f’n explain to me the point in having Anderson and Gallows lose and not look strong? This makes no sense. WWE, you are trying to build new stars, a new era, new matches, new possibilities and more. How are these two supposed to grow after this whole program if the audience doesn’t know them enough except that they’re always being taken out by Reigns and the Usos? I hope we’re surprised on Sunday and we finally see Anderson and Gallows take off like they should by doing something big.
The aftermath of the match was where more of the build-up towards Sunday’s main event. We finally got to see some chair-action with Reigns attacking Styles with a chair first and Styles getting some retribution in the end. I’m actually curious to see how the match will go, who will get involved, and if we’re gonna get another clean finish.
As soon as you heard that Shane and Stephanie where going to choose which one of The Dudley Boyz were gonna fight Big Cass, you knew Devon would be picked just to lose. And look at that: it happened and he lost quickly.
Kalisto vs. Alberto Del Rio again? Holy fuck…how WWE can’t find anyone else (or should I say use anyone else) to incorporate into matches on Raw and story lines boggles my mind. Let Kalisto fight almost anyone else to make them relevant and have Rusev destroy them both after the match concludes. Fans get to see a match, fans get to see new opponents, and then fans can see Rusev come across as a monster and a viable opponent at the PPV in the end. Instead, we’ll probably see that the third hour Raw ratings plummeted again as people let their PVRs take over (like I did) or they just turned the channel.
I’m really surprised that the contract signing ended the show. Once again, remotes were probably in in many people’s hands if they were still watching, but the ladies did their best. Oh look! The McMahons had to get involved in the end segment again. This rivalry was already convoluted with Ric Flair always getting involved and now the McMahons have to be involved with Flair? This ending didn’t build up the match between the two ladies. This ending wasn’t about Nattie and her quest to be champ again. This ending was just more McMahons and a Flair that didn’t need to be in the picture. Let the ladies fight to be the best and for a belt.
All in all, this show wasn’t that bad, but the last hour and the whole notion of Anderson and Gallows losing to the Usos made for some head scratching moments. My Extreme Rules predictions should be up on the site by Wednesday night.