WWE Raw and Smackdown Thoughts – November 21st & 22nd, 2016
Coming off the poorly booked Survivor Series (thank the heavens all that is over with), Raw and Smackdown were hitting the reset button to head into their next two PPVs to end the year. Let’s breakdown the interesting bits of the shows.
I suppose the big news on Raw was Goldberg announcing he was entering the Royal Rumble. That makes his squash win at Survivor Series more acceptable because odds are he’ll be in a showdown with Lesnar in Rumble match which will then boil over into a match at Wrestlemania. I was very surprised with the reception Goldberg got at Survivor Series and on Raw as I thought the Canadian crowd wouldn’t embrace him. Colour me wrong.
One thing I’ll say about both shows is this: there was such a huge emphasis on winning at Survivor Series for both show from their GMs and the McMahons. The Undertaker showed up last week and said there would be hell to pay if they didn’t win. Stephanie said Team Raw’s jobs would depend on them winning. With such threats, how come Stephanie didn’t address Team Raw’s loss on Raw? Where was Taker to congratulate Team Smackdown? There was absolutely no ramifications (except for Sami Zayn) or celebrations. It’s almost like the event didn’t happen! I understand wanting to hit the “reset” button on the shows, but c’mon…end the month of the horrible lead up to Survivor Series by following through!
Speaking of Sami Zayn, he didn’t win the IC belt so he got “punished” by being in a match? Odd. Strowman attacked Zayn before their match and decimated him and Foley had to stop the match. I see a feud between these two culminating at the next Raw PPV in less than four weeks.
Sasha Banks and Charlotte are set up for another championship bout next week on Raw and hopefully this will be the last encounter between these two for a while. I think Nia Jax will cost Banks the match to set up a program between them while Charlotte will feud with Bayley.
I can’t stand The New Day anymore and I think it’s insulting that these guys will break Demolition’s record. Why? Because I think one or both of them is involved in the class action lawsuit against WWE for royalties so Vince will stick it to their legacy this way. The New Day used heel tactics again to win and the announcers really didn’t play into it. Now Gallows and Anderson will face them next week for the belts, but I’m sure the same thing will happen – New Day retains by cheating.
WWE Creative really needs to work on the Cruiserweight division as they need to tell STORIES and give the crowd backgrounds on these excellent performers to get them to care and invest their energy into them. I don’t understand why this is so hard to do. They could have used the time they gave Enzo Amore walking around naked and the Rusev/Amore squash match to do something more with the division!
Finally, Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins was a pretty damn good match. Jericho was told he was banned from ringside but still interfered, so we will see if there are any ramifications next week. It’s odd that Foley or Stephanie will come out at some points of the show to put a stop to or restart things, but here neither one couldn’t be bothered after Jericho defied orders? This is the illogical stuff I can’t stand. We’ll see where the feud involving these men (and the heavily booed Roman Reigns) goes next week.
Smackdown has a PPV coming up in two weeks: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs. While most of the groundwork for what the PPV will showcase had been intertwined into the Survivor Series build (or lack thereof), this episode seemed more to focus on James Ellsworth and his quest to get a contract.
While it’s fine that Smackdown wants to focus some time on this guy, it is now getting ridiculous. You know he’ll be nothing more than a mid to low card comedy act once the AJ Styles/Dean Ambrose program is finished. As well, having Styles lose to him (although it’s all due to Dean Ambrose) is also getting old. There is no way Styles should be made to look this stupid or weak as a champ. Hopefully we have one more week of the Styles/Ambrose program and it’s blown off at TLC (where I absolutely don’t see the title changing hands).
The rest of the show seemed a bit unfocused to me. It was great to see American Alpha win the tag team skirmish match (or whatever the hell they called it), but I was left confused at the end with Bray Wyatt saying that they were coming to get American Alpha next week. Does that mean they’re having a match? Does that mean the tag team skirmish really isn’t done and the winner of next week’s match faces Heath Slater and Rhyno at TLC?
Kalisto and Baron Corbin are still at each other’s throats. I’m glad it gives them both something to do, a spot on the next PPV in a Chairs match, and time on TV, but I want to see Corbin against someone more established.
It also looks like we’ll be seeing Ziggler and The Miz once again (and now supposedly for the final time) in a Ladder match at TLC. I have no problem with this as it is, once again, a fresh match for these two where you know they could possibly steal the show. I just hope that this is the end of their match ups for a long time and the loser goes on to go for the WWE Championship – as either man could do a great program with AJ Styles (with Ambrose possibly aiming for the IC belt if he can’t get the WWE Championship – hell Ziggler just did the flip-flop).
That’s what stuck in my head after watching the shows this week, so until next week…Stay smooth!