WWE Raw and Smackdown Thoughts – January 9th & 10th, 2017
This week’s programs didn’t do much for me. I know WWE had this week and two more weeks until the Royal Rumble where I’m sure things will really pick up heading to WrestleMania, but there were a few interesting developments.
Before I start with the shows, I want to know why in the hell WWE was filming the expressions and reactions from little kids during both shows this week. I don’t care how 6-10 year olds are responding to their programming.
Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho winning their match against Roman Reigns, with Jericho getting the pin on Reigns to become the new US Champion, was a great way to end the night and an awesome reward for Jericho for his performance in 2016. The only thing that sucks now is this may foreshadow Reigns winning the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. If Reigns isn’t in the Rumble match, I’m sure Vince wants his poster boy in some kind of main event at the show and being the champ going into Wrestlemania will solidify that. As well, I suppose we COULD see a feud between Jericho and Owens for the US Championship at Wrestlemania if and when their friendship implodes and that would be fine by me.
The Undertaker’s return was decent and I’m glad he kind of put Stephanie McMahon in her place (as you’ll read about my thoughts on Stephanie on this show below). The announcement that he’s entering the Royal Rumble is fantastic and adds to the list of strong contenders entering. As of right now, even with the Rumble not even half full, I have no clue who is going to win – and I like that.
The segment featuring HBK, Enzo and Cass, Rusev, Lana, and Jinder Mahal was an abomination. The crowed seemed dead most of the show (except with the Undertaker), but it seems like the crowd didn’t care that HBK was in the ring except when they started chanting “one more match.” This was a letdown and poor use of a Legend appearance.
I’m getting sick of the Stephanie McMahon power tripping on the show. I don’t care about her doing a performance review on Foley and I hate that she puts down and demeans the wrestlers as no one can give her the comeuppances she deserves. For example, she’s telling Sasha that’s she’s not the “Boss.” Well, that’s Sasha’s gimmick – why is she trying to diminish that? Unless Stephanie steps in the ring again with the female talent, or HHH isn’t around to get his ass kicked by the men due to Stephanie berating them, she should not be running her mouth like that on TV.
I have to say that I was actually entertained by the Seth Rollins/Braun Strowman match. Rollins carried Strowman well, got some good offense in, and Strowman sold when needed. The double count out was the right finish to protect both men and I’m curious to see if we’ll have a rematch on Raw next Monday.
Nothing on this show really stood out for me at all, which is surprising because Smackdown is usually the better show.
I’m surprised that Cena went clean over Corbin in their match with no interference by AJ Styles. I thought they may protect Corbin more here, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Corbin interfere in the championship match at the Rumble if tensions keep mounting.
I liked Ziggler’s quiet demeanor when he was interviewed about his sudden change in attitude as it looked like anger was brewing inside of him. Giving him the loss against Kalisto was a bit of a shock but I think it works toward building a very angry and frustrated character. Unfortunately for WWE Creative, the crowd was behind this angry Dolph Ziggler yelling “one more time,” when he was hitting Kalisto and Apollo Crews with a chair.
I’m curious to see where things go with the Wyatt family. Harper caused Orton to be pinned by Chad Gable allowing American Alpha to retain the Smackdown tag team championship. Harper then inadvertently kicked Bray Wyatt while Orton and Harper were about to get physical. Bray just ended up leaving the ring on his own, which was very odd. I think the constant losing and reshuffling of the Wyatt Family has left them as damaged goods. I think by Wrestlemania, Bray should just go on his own and have WWE Creative try and rebuild what they’ve tarnished with such an excellent talent.
I know more happened on this show and on Raw, but these were the only things that struck any chord with me. I’m looking forward to Alexa Bliss vs. Becky Lynch in a steel cage for the Smackdown Women’s championship next week on Smackdown and Paul Heyman deliver a scathing promo on behalf of Brock Lesnar when they’re on Raw.