WWE Raw and Smackdown Thoughts – March 6th & 7th, 2017
Coming off a lackluster PPV, Raw had to start pushing their Wrestlemania agenda on this show and they got off to it quickly with Jericho and Owens in a verbal spat.
Jericho is back in total babyface mode. Hell, you could tell as he walked out with the way he was presenting himself and with what he wore. Jericho seemed happy at first but then put on the sad face wondering why Owens betrayed him. Owens came out and basically said he used Jericho because he needed someone gullible and Jericho basically outlasted his usefulness.
Thank goodness Owens mentioned that he could have his rematch at any time but his priority was to destroy Jericho and take the US Championship from him. It works wonders when story lines make sense and have purpose, right?
Colour me surprised with the reaction Goldberg got. The loud boos about him being the champ may be what the hardcore fans may be doing at Wrestlemania. I’m curious to see if Goldberg’s promo was supposed to be longer because he started with saying that he never revealed something before and was about to go into it when the crowd started a loud “CM Punk” chant to which Goldberg replied, “I hear that!” when Paul Heyman suddenly came out. I figure Vince sent him out earlier than anticipated because the crowd was hijacking the show and Goldberg probably wouldn’t have been able to steer it back in the right direction.
Heyman and Lesnar ended up in the ring and placed the emphasis on the match having to have a winner and a loser and when Lesnar eventually beat’s Goldberg, he’d be known as “Brock’s bitch.” Goldberg turned his head in anger towards Heyman and it allowed Lesnar to scoop up Goldberg and deliver an F5. As Lesnar and Heyman left the ring, Goldberg sold trying to get up while sweating profusely. I thought Lesnar sweated more than anyone I see in the ring, but Goldberg looked like he had an invisible shower facet over his head. I’m sure Lesnar and Goldberg will need a special water absorbing canvas in the ring for their match.
I think the whole women’s division on Raw is a mess now. First, we have Bayley who now is trying to sell that she’s not happy with how things went down over the last two weeks although the night before on Talking Raw, both Sasha and Bayley seemed to have no issue with how Bayley won the last two times.
When Charlotte came down and said how she was robbed of her title twice and robbed of PPV streak at the hands of Sasha Banks, she was telling the truth although she’s the heel on the show. I was hoping when Stephanie came down to the ring (and was berated with “CM Punk” chants), she would have righted the wrong. Nope. Nothing. Charlotte’s big PPV streak is officially dead and meant f-all.
Stephanie is awful on TV and I can’t wait until she vanishes for a long time again. She berates everyone and there are no comeuppances for her actions. She plays the heel role and hates her authority being undermined, so why in the hell would she give Sasha Banks an opportunity to get into the Wrestlemania match? She did and for some stupid reason, Charlotte ended up aiding Banks to make the Raw Women’s championship match now a 3-way.
This is all a mess. To get to a 3-way match for Wrestlemania, they could have let Bayley keep chasing the title, still question Sasha Bank’s overall loyalty to her friend, keep the belt on Charlotte, keep Charlotte’s PPV streak alive and then have the big payout for Bayley at Wrestlemania and have Banks turn on her after celebrating. Everything that has been done in the women’s division leading us to this point and where they want to go for Wrestlemania had no other effect except damage all the wrestlers involved (including Nia Jax, who was absent from the show).
To end the show, Strowman called Reigns out to the ring, but instead The Undertaker showed up. Strowman backed out of the ring, although it seemed like the fans were really excited to see them go at it. I actually got excited too and was thinking, “could this be the direction they’re going? They’ve built up Strowman well enough that I’d actually watch this match.” Unfortunately, Strowman backed away in what seems like a show of respect.
Reigns came out to the loudest boos I’ve ever heard him get. I wonder if Vince is still convinced he’s the golden boy (probably because he’ll blame it on the pro-CM Punk Chicago crowd). Reigns told The Undertaker that he wasn’t the one called out and the ring was his yard now. The crowed then gave the loudest “Roman Sucks!” chant I’ve ever heard on TV to this point. The Undertaker choke-slammed Reigns onto the mat to end the show while the crowd went nuts. I wonder who the fans will be cheering for in four weeks?
Once again, we knew this was the direction WWE was going, so why at Fastlane did Strowman have to lose clean in the ring? Why couldn’t this have happened the night before? I shake my head.
As for the matches, we got another Owens vs. Zayn match (remember when we were told last year we wouldn’t be getting any more?) Owens was aggressive here and got an easy win over Zayn. I feel bad for Sami as he’s making people look good in the ring but seems to be in limbo, just like Cesaro.
Neville vs. Rich Swann was one of the best Cruiserweight matches we’ve had on Raw and I couldn’t believe they let it go as long as they did. I applaud the decision. After this match, I actually appreciate Rich Swann more. They just have to build on his character.
Austin Aries came in the ring to interview Neville after his win over Swann and Neville reiterated that there was no one in the division that could take the title from him. The crowd was hot for Aries and Aries pointed out that the Chicago crowd may disagree with Neville. Neville was spouting off on Aries to get back to the commentating desk when Aries finally clocked him with the mic, sending Neville rolling out of the ring. WWE just went from having no interest in this match up to having serious eyes on this thing. Let’s hope these two don’t interact physically for the next couple weeks until Wrestlemania so their first match-up means even more.
I’ll be the first one to stand up and say the finish to the main event between AJ Styles and Randy Orton was horseshit. Look, I’m an AJ Styles fan and loathe Randy Orton so I obviously have bias here, but can someone tell me WHY Orton had to win the Rumble and WHY Orton has to be in the Smackdown main event at Wrestlemania? He’s been off the radar for so long but comes back to all of this? Styles is so damn right – he’s worked his ass off, he carried the title for half the year, he’s won almost every match they’ve thrown at him – and he doesn’t deserve the main event slot? Can Vince or WWE Creative explain this rationally?
Speaking of Orton, you’re telling me that after what he did to Bray Wyatt’s compound the week before, Bray Wyatt wouldn’t show up on the program to get ANY revenge? Perhaps interfere in the match so Orton WOULDN’T have a shot at the title? There was absolutely NO explanation as to why he wasn’t around and it makes no sense.
Orton isn’t the “good guy” in all of this and the fans will show it by booing the hell out of him at Wrestlemania. I swear to God, if Orton wins against Wyatt for another useless title run, I won’t be watching Smackdown until the title is off of him. He is boring. BORING!
On Talking Smack, they showed the backstage footage of Styles getting into it with Shane McMahon. I guess WWE Creative IS going with a Shane McMahon/Styles match at Wrestlemania. What a waste. \I don’t f’n understand why they are wasting Styles’ talent in a match with a McMahon. They wasted The Undertaker last year in a useless match and story and now the same will happen here unless they add some sort of stipulation. Examples could be if Styles wins, he can have a shot at the championship whenever he wants or can be granted a move to Raw.
So Alexa Bliss has to defend her belt against all the eligible women on the Smackdown roster at Wrestlemania? I’m not a fan of the “everyone gets their spotlight at Wrestlemania” matches. I want something to build through stories to have some kind of ending at the event. I guess this leaves the door open for some surprise returns or one-offs.
I could sit and listen to The Miz talk his smack for the whole episode of Smackdown. He’s improved so much over the last few years and I hope when he’s done with his in-ring career, they offer him a spot at the announcer’s table. Yeah, I said it. His arguments against Cena on Smackdown and Talking Smack are so close to home that it’s hard to tell what he actually feels and what’s a work. I love it. I wonder what the reaction will be towards The Miz from the Wrestlemania crowd this year. If you missed this week’s Talking Smack, you need to hear more from The Miz and his thoughts on John Cena.
No tag team stuff again this week on the program, huh? That’s brutal.
To end, I’ll be positive. I like how aggressive the Baron Corbin/Dean Ambrose feud is getting. They are letting these two build to where when they finally meet in a few weeks, it’ll mean something. I like how WWE Creative is actually handling this feud.