WWE Raw and Smackdown Thoughts – January 2nd & 3rd, 2017

Raw-and-Smackdown-1

Hey, everyone! It’s 2017!!!! I’m back after taking a week off. I figured too much wouldn’t happen during Raw and Smackdown last week, but I was surprised with new Tag champs on Smackdown. I’ll get to that below, but, as always, I’m starting off with Raw.

Raw

The “flagship” show, that has been a three hour marathon grind for the longest time, had some ups and downs although it needed to be a big bang that got people hooked for the Royal Rumble and start the new year off right.The beginning of the show show was horrid, although Owens and Jericho are still a pleasure to watch. Foley was awful and Stephanie McMahon’s presence just irritates me now.

One thing I didn’t understand when Stephanie announced that if Rollins won his match against Owens, Jericho would be banned at ringside for Reigns’ match later on in the show. Why would Stephanie do Rollins or Reigns any favours after the verbal abuse they  have given her and HHH?  What also still makes no sense is why Rollins or Reigns would want anything to do with each other – especially during and after Reigns suspension. They LOATHED each other. Oh well.

The Owens/Rollins match was decent, but the ending where Owens blatantly got himself disqualified didn’t make sense if he wanted to have Jericho in his corner – then we didn’t see Rollins again in the show.

The match between Anderson and Cesaro was AWESOME. I thought it was a solid wrestling match and although the ending was full of the usual interference booking, I’m already interested to see this feud continue. The Club look like they are serious force now and I actually like seeing and hearing Sheamus and Cesaso on the same page.

I also liked the Last Man Standing match. Sami Zayn and Braun Strowman beat the hell out of each other – I commend both men.  The end of the match had Strowman continue to beat down Zayn when he was attempting to get up until he finally couldn’t do it anymore. If Strowman has the power to do so, why wouldn’t he just unleash that fury instead of letting Zayn get up throughout the match?

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again – it’s hard to get invested in a match when they take commercial breaks during them. Most times, I can talk or not pay close attention until after the commercial break in the middle of the match. You know they’re going to commercial when someone is thrown to the outside of the ring.  The commercial break took away the first half of the match for me because I knew no one would win until the break.

The Reigns and Jericho match was full of mistiming and some botches. The only thing I dug about it was the Eddie Gurrerro inspired ref trickery.  Jericho threw the belt and Reigns and dropped to his back to make it look like Reigns hit him. The ref, though, believed Reigns and didn’t DQ Reigns. When has that EVER happened before? I hated it.

To end my thoughts on Raw, I thought the “Kevin Owens” show was a hoot at the beginning. If they actually had a half an hour show with Owens and Jericho interviewing people on the WWE Network, I’d watch that every week.

Jericho announced he was in the Rumble and that gave way the Goldberg coming out. I’m not a Goldberg fan and I thought his lines were horrid and how he was just screaming for no reason. What I did like was how Jericho and Owens actually showed some backbone in this segment.

I liked Paul Heyman coming out to advocate, like usual, for Lesnar, but you knew he wasn’t in the building.  Reigns coming out afterward did nothing for me and Vince and WWE Creative should actually take a note here that the crowd did not really react to it the showdown look between Reigns and Goldberg. I wouldn’t want to see them square off.

Lastly, it was cool to see Strowman come out to the ring, especially after the match he had that night, to say he was in the Rumble and was going after the top guys.  The spearing of him by Goldberg and Reigns was a blah moment to end the blown out segment.

Smackdown

I’m so happy with the Dolph Ziggler heel-turn here, but I don’t know if WWE expected the audience to like the turn on Kalisto as much as they did. When they panned out to fit the audience in the shot on a downed Kalisto and frustrated Ziggler, they were all doing the “YES!” chants. I guess it looks like Ziggler will be feuding with Apollo Crews and Kalisto next.  At least there’s another decent heel on the show now.

I like how they kept the La Luchadora doppelganger a mystery for another week. As soon as one of them went under the ring, you knew there was another. The BIGGEST question here is, who made three of those costumes? Can any woman just order one?

Can I say at I actually like the pairing of Carmella and James Ellsworth? He’ll be on TV in small doses and will help Carmella’s time on TV. It was nice to see fellow Canadian and current NXT competitor, Aliyah, on the show.

Poor damn Breezango. Poor bastards.

I’m glad (and shocked) to have seen American Alpha win the tag team championships on last week’s show, but I have no idea WHY.  To have the Wyatts lose this soon makes me question a) why they were pushed as the strong faction winning the Survivor Series match for the team and b) why they won the belts in the first place if it was only going to be a short stint.  Yes, there seems to be some tension between Orton and Harper (as seen in this week’s vignette), but I have no clue where they’re going with it – perhaps some kind of implosion heading to Wrestlemania?

The contract signing between AJ Styles and Cena was great with some good lines from both men, although we have heard the same crap from Cena before. Baron Corbin coming into the ring to announce he’s entering the Royal Rumble was a nice touch as it now gives Corbin and Cena something to do until the Rumble matches.

I’m a little shocked that Dean Ambrose won the Intercontinental championship from The Miz on the show (but I’m  OK with it). You know the program is headed to the Royal Rumble, but I don’t think it’ll be any typical rematch, as there will probably be some gimmick.  I think Dean’s win is a reward for his losses and excellent program with AJ Styles – as well as the horrible program and match with Brock Lesnar. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Ambrose go all the way to Wrestlemania with the IC championship.
On a side note, I don’t think Rene Young needed to be brought into this feud at all. Yes, it gave the fans more to get behind Ambrose for redemption, but it wasn’t needed to be said on TV that Young and Ambrose are sleeping together in real life.
Smackdown was great again this week while Raw held its own.  The Undertaker and HBK will be on Raw next week while Smackdown is already promoting a tag team championship rematch AND John Cena in action against Baron Corbin for the first time ever. Sounds like can’t miss TV to me!
Advertisements