WWE Raw & Smackdown Thoughts – February 13th & 14th, 2017
Wow…there were some crazy surprises from this week’s Raw and Smackdown so there is a lot going on to talk about!
The first big thing that happened was the implosion of Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho’s friendship. Jericho pulled out all the stops for the “Festival of Friendship” for his “then” best friend. As each gift and tribute was revealed, Kevin Owens appeared more disgusted and angry until he finally presented a gift of his own to Jericho: the list of Owens with Jericho’s name written on it. When Jericho finally said out loud on the mic his name was on the new list, Owens preceded to attack him and beat him down and Jericho was taken to a “medical facility.”
Sure, Kevin Owens was disgruntled and angry last week when Jericho volunteered him for a match against Goldberg for the Fastlane PPV and I don’ t blame him. I’m just surprised that the friendship came to an end on this show because I was expecting it to happen after Owen’s probable loss to Goldberg at Fastlane. It’ll be interesting to see next week if the talk with Triple H in the back had anything to do with Owen’s actions.
The second big piece of news is Bayley winning the Raw Women’s Championship. I’m still shocked. I don’t think there was enough build. I don’t think Bayley deserves it yet and the payoff wasn’t as huge as it should have been. I don’t understand why WWE is playing “hot-potato” with the Women’s championship so much. Perhaps it’s so the Queen of PPV can win it back at Fastlane and keep her PPV streak? If that’s the case, the title change is for nothing. I have a funny feeling Sasha Bank’s involvement is going to turn the Wrestlemania Raw Women’s Championship match into another three or four person bout (like I’m better Smackdown’s will be).
The interview piece between Samoa Joe and Michael Cole was gold. Joe never lost his cool and explained all his reasoning about what he’s done over the last two weeks perfectly. The line about him taking 18 years to get to Raw because people were afraid of what he’d do to the roster was great. Joe even answered the question about aligning with Triple H well by stating that he did what was best for business but he doesn’t need Triple H guiding him like the other past wrestlers who were aligned with him did. People on the Raw roster should be taking notes. I applaud Cole in this segment, too, as he came across as someone asking the hard questions and wanting answers without being pushy.
Speaking of Samoa Joe, it looks like we’ll be getting a match between Sami Zayn and Joe at Fastlane based on the attack after the match by Joe. NXT fans know that these two will tear down the house at Fastlane and now I’m more excited for the event.
What in the hell is WWE Creative thinking (or not thinking) with the Emmalina thing? For months we’ve see the “debuting soon” vignettes. “Emmalina” finally showed up and told the crowd, “here I am,” followed up by announcing that she’ll be transforming back to Emma and abruptly left. I guess that got some people talking but it was disappointing to say the least.
Why would The Club come out to be involved with Roman Reigns for no reason? WWE Creative should be focusing on them defending their titles and building them up instead of trying to beat down Reigns only for Reigns to come back and overcome the odds at their expense. They could have used any other wrestlers to do this, so why would they use the tag champs and make them look stupid and not being able to keep ONE wrestler down?
WWE continues to try and make Reigns and Braun Strowman look both strong and vulnerable leading up to their match at Fastlane. I’m unsure at this point who will get the win because they’ll both need it. Strowman needs something for Wrestlemania and a loss may hurt his momentum. Reigns is still rumoured to be facing The Undertaker, so he’ll need to look strong, too. I’ll say it now (and later on when I do my prediction piece for Fastlane), but I think The Undertaker will appear and cost Reigns his match as revenge for the Royal Rumble elimination.
Holy crap in a hat! Even more developments regarding Wrestlemania came out of Smackdown! It looks like Randy Orton’s Royal Rumble match win was for nothing. He stated that he refuses to face Wyatt at Wrestlemania for the title so Daniel Bryan announced on Talking Smack that a battle royal will be taking place on next week’s show to determine who will be facing Bray at Wrestlemania…and that’s even IF Wyatt makes it to Wrestlemania with the title!
While next week will be exciting and “can’t miss” TV, this announcement saddens me that the Royal Rumble win now means nothing – unless someone wins the title from Wyatt so Orton can invoke his opportunity. As well, a battle royal doesn’t seem like the most logical decision to find a number one contender. Why not have one-on-one matches featuring those who were in the Elimination Chamber match: Baron Corbin, The Miz, Dean Ambrose, John Cena, and AJ Styles. Hell, throw in Luke Harper as well!
Just before Randy Orton announced all of this, the three way match for the WWE Championship between Bray Wyatt, AJ Styles and John Cena featured Cena being pinned again by Wyatt (make sure you see that match if you didn’t. It was actually really good). If Styles wasn’t pinned by Wyatt, wouldn’t that make Styles a viable #1 contender? Wouldn’t one last match between Cena and Styles also be more appropriate to determine who faces Wyatt? I wonder if Styles will come out on top in the battle royal, seeing how he was protected in the 3-way match by not getting pinned.
If Styles does win, I’m up for Wyatt verses Styles at Wrestlemania. There also could be a championship match between the two before Wrestlemania where Luke Harper causes Wyatt to lose setting up a match between those two while Orton tries to win it back for the family against Styles at Wrestlemania. These are way better options in my mind than what I’m reading online with some people predicting Orton vs. Wyatt vs. Harper for the belt at Wrestlemania. That just doesn’t seem like a main event to me.
Mickie James played her heel persona up more by faking an injury and nailing Lynch with the Mick Kick to score a victory on the show. This match was better than their match at the Elimination Chamber show and this is what SHOULD have happened on the PPV.
We’re continuing to see the build towards the Dean Ambrose/Baron Corbin Intercontinental Championship match. I really don’t think WWE is going to wait until Wrestlemania for it to happen, so I expect we’ll see it in two weeks. I wonder if someone got fired for the poor timing with the pyrotechnics when Corbin slammed Ambrose into a table near the ramp. Why something would explode is beyond me, but it made the whole spot look silly – especially with something blowing up while Ambrose was still in the air.
I almost pissed myself laughing watching Daniel Bryan getting so angry about Nikki Bella and Natalya brawling backstage again and yelling “JESUS!” really loud after announcing that next week they would be facing each other in a falls counts anywhere match. I wonder if this is where Maryse will interfere and send Nikki on a new path towards Wrestlemania. That also begs the question: where does Natalya go from here?
Every week, I like Alexa Bliss more and more on the mic. She plays the part of the heel so well. I’m wondering how bad the injury Naomi really is or if it’s just a “TV” injury. Will we see next week if a match happens and Naomi possibly loses to Alexa Bliss in a rematch or if she has to vacate the title. Wow…next week WILL be can’t miss TV with so much going on.
This has been one of the craziest “roads to Wrestlemania” so far in a long time and every week seems to have more twists and turns. I am loving it because there is more good happening on these shows lately than bad.