WWE Raw and Smackdown Thoughts – March 20th & 21st, 2017
I know, I know…I didn’t do my Raw/Smackdown thoughts last week. I didn’t do too much as I was getting over a really bad cold/flu. I was also not that impressed with both shows because they both focused way too much on the McMahons.
Raw was one long episode that climaxed with Foley being berated, the appearance of HHH, the appearance of Seth Rollins, and then his subsequent beat down at the hands of HHH.
Smackdown focused on Styles’ anger towards Shane McMahon, the beat-down of Shane, the firing of Styles by Daniel Bryan, then super-McMahon defying all logic by not going to the hospital and walking to the stage to announce he’ll fight Styles at Wrestlemania (all while making the American Alpha/Uso match basically worthless, leading to the match we got this week).
This week’s Raw didn’t do too much to hype Wrestlemania for me. It was all, once again, the Stephanie McMahon and Triple H show. Foley finally got fired after being taken down more pegs by Stephanie and Sami Zayn also was made fun of.
Why does the Raw Women’s match have to be a fatal four-way now? Nia Jax is still greener than green and she does NOT need to be in a Wrestlemania match OR a title match for that matter. I think Dana Brooke is more talented than Jax currently, and that’s saying something.
How many vignettes about Brock Lesnar and Goldberg do we need to see? If anyone has watched the product in the past month, they KNOW what’s going on and the history there. It’s just wasting airtime. It’s not like they’re not going to show all of this AGAIN next week, during the WM preshow, AND before their match.
Why did HHH cut the promo Seth Rollins should have? Rollins should have been pissed about the beat-down last week and challenge HHH (either in the ring or via an off-site interview) to some kind of No-Holds-Barred unsanctioned fight. Why HHH was trying to rile the audience into wanting to see that fight is so confusing. I think they approached this half-assed backwards.
So it took WWE Creative a few weeks to actually do the finish to the Roman Reigns/Braun Strowman match that they SHOULD have done at Fastlane a few weeks ago? Why now? Doing it at Fastlane would have protected Strowman AND allowed us to have more of a story between The Undertaker and Roman Reigns. Technically, do we technically even KNOW why these two are feuding? We don’t.
The highlight of the show for me was the Highlight Reel with Chris Jericho and the attack from Kevin Owens. Here, you saw the babyface have the crowd loudly behind them and a heel getting legit heat. Having Kevin Owens blindside Jericho, beat him down, and then rip up “the list” was great and the crowd booed the hell out of Owens for it. Great work! Now, let’s focus on the importance of the US Title next week!
The other highlight was the Sami Zayn/Samoa Joe match. Both looked strong in the match and with only a week and a half away from Wrestlemania, there is still nothing for these two on the card. I wonder if there may be another match between them with some kind of stipulation added due to Sami Zayn getting in Stephanie McMahon’s face.
I’m still shaking my head in disbelief that this whole AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon thing is actually happening. With how the end of the show was being set up, I was hoping that Styles would have been attacked by someone else – almost anyone else – to set up a different match for Wrestlemania. Instead, we got Shane throwing his shitty punches at Styles and Styles trying to sell them. Shane ended up getting the better of Styles outside the ring (because he’s a McMahon), laying Styles on the cleared announcer’s table and jumping off the top rope to land an elbow on him, breaking the table as a result.
The crowd was chanting “holy shit,” but whatever. Shane just blew one of his only daredevil spots even before the Wrestlemania match. What else besides his awful punching is he going to do in the actual match? I’m sure we’ll see Styles down long enough for Shane to perform one of those jump kicks off of the turnbuckle across the ring to the other like we’ve seen before.
Daniel Bryan playing up how much of a threat Shane McMahon will be to Styles also didn’t work for me. You’re telling me Daniel Bryan would be afraid to face Shane? Unlikely. WWE Creative should do the right thing in this match and have Styles destroy McMahon – then again, McMahon lasted a long time with The Undertaker last year (remember that boring match?) so that won’t be happening.
The Usos are now the new Smackdown Tag Team champions. I’m OK with that because American Alpha, while phenomenal athletes, haven’t been booked well. They won the belts without any build-up or chase and the fans haven’t gotten to know them or have any real hook. Perhaps chasing the titles will do wonders for them but the Usos need to remain in full heel mode to accomplish it. For some reason, every time they’re on Talking Smack, they revert back to their regular/good-guy personalities. I know Talking Smack blurs the lines between what’s real and what’s fake in the world of wrestling, but heels need to stay in heel-mode.
Holy shit. Poor Fandango and Tyler Breeze. If I was either of them, I’d probably ask for my release after last night.
I loved the fake Total Bellas vignettes from The Miz and Maryse. I thought the parody was great (with the first one being better than the second) and it continues to set up their showdown at Wrestlemania. This match I’m actually excited to watch because they’ve built to it well.
Finally, seeing how I didn’t comment on Smackdown last week, I have to say all this hocus-pocus nonsense between Wyatt and Orton is absolutely ridiculous. All of the sheep people/minion showing up backstage while the camera knews exactly how to shake and pan around made me want to shut the TV off. Orton yelling, “come on out, Bray! I know it’s you!” almost made me spit my drink out in laughter because it was so damn bad. They haven’t even made the WWE Championship the focus of their match at all! At least if AJ Styles would have been in the main event, it would have been about the title, not burning some imaginary ghost and this BS. I’m not excited for this match in the least.
WWE better step it the hell up on both shows next week because this is the least excited I’ve ever been for Wrestlemania. I’ll also have my predictions piece up next week after both shows have aired.