Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Raw Notebook: Another Lost Oppurtunity To Entertain


Another week and another Raw that was not worth a damn would pretty much be my reaction to last night. An opening segment that again was just awful from the start as Chris Jericho hosted a "Highlight Reel," that just never seemed to end. Not just that but it at the end of the day made very little sense with Triple H threatening to call off John Cena and Brock Lesnar’s re-match. Cena countering with the fact he would sue and a bunch of other guys making their claims to be the champion. All of this took close to 18 minutes as well when it probably should have taken more like 8-10.

The amount of cheesy and uncreative plugs for the network within this segment I could do with out as well. Not to mention the Canadian version of the network is 11.99 and as of yet not offered in my area and if it was the Canadian version blows with next to no archived footage at all. In the end these 9.99 jokes and constant references have gone back to being annoying. This marks the week that initial subscribers would be renewing had they signed up on the original week the network launched. Raw offered little for them to be optimistic about the product in the next 6 months.

I will say all of the marketing we see now for the WWE Network is much closer to what I had thought we would have seen from the launch. Maybe had it been at the time I would be less critical of it as annoying as it might be it made sense for a new product. It really feels like the WWE launched this thing and fell asleep for 6 months thinking this network was going to sell itself with little needed on their behalf. Which is so unlike the WWE that over promotes everything yet they under promoted perhaps the most important product they have created in the last 20 years makes no sense at all.

Once again, we seem to have a great divide on the whole Nikki Bella and Brie Bella storyline. I again thought on a show that lacked anything good Nikki Bella was the exception to the rule. Were the Growing up Bella segments just nonsense in general? Sure they were, but Nikki never the less sold them like a champ. It all had a very 90210 feel to it and I could easily see the Bella’s as characters on that show.

It would lead to an in-ring segment in which Nikki would be named the number one contender to the Diva’s Title which makes sense seeing as she helped Steph win. It would lead to the Bella’s yelling at each other, than A.J Lee came out, and this segment rather changed focus for me. A.J pointed out to Stephanie that she was due a re-match thanks to her contract and much like John Cena claimed earlier about his title match. Which is really lacking creativity on part of WWE, but never the less A.J claimed to be the rightful number one contender. Paige would come out into this mess as well and honestly add little to things. Nikki would demand her sister quit the WWE and she refused instead pushing Nikki into Paige and taking off. Leaving A.J to pick up the Diva's Title and skips around right into Stephanie and they have a stare down and Stephanie demand’s A.J give her the belt, which she did. Therefore, it appears the WWE is slowly giving up on the women and combining these stories for one match at Night of Champions. Perhaps the most interesting thing was the teasing of an A.J and Stephanie feud and this has not been the first time. Briefly, the two got involved in A.J’s time as General Manager of Raw that lead to nothing. Maybe the dream match is alive for Wrestlemania with A.J Lee vs. Stephanie and this is the start? I need something to be optimistic about after this terrible show.

Speaking of terrible shows we had a match filled with people on Total Diva’s that was a total train wreck so we have those to look forward to as season three of Total Diva’s debuts on E this coming Sunday. I honestly use to follow the show, but I really am not sure if I will bother this season. Rosa Mendez has been added to the cast and I could care less.

There was for the second week in a row not a match on this show that mattered in the slightest. In that, finding mix between being entertaining and actual wrestling they have went far too heavy on the entertainment side and this is even by the WWE’s standards that slant that way. This was the last Raw prior to Monday Night Football returning next week and maybe that has something to do with promoting they have invited the first openly gay NFL player to Raw next week in Michael Sam. Stephanie  has even written a public letter to Sam inviting him to attend.  I would suggest the WWE try promoting their first openly gay wrestler Darren Young instead that might be an idea. Maybe that is where this bizarre angle is supposed to go. If I am Sam’s agent, I tell him to stay miles and miles from this, if you ever want a chance to play in the NFL in your life. I do not think the league would be happy about a player that is used as a sideshow to make the league look bad on WWE programming. Call it a hunch on my part.

The Miz and his train wreck Hollywood gimmick gets more ridiculous by the week. Rusev and Mark Henry feud is back on track. While Swagger gets Zeb back and appears to be going down the ladder in a feud with Bo Dallas. We are supposed to care in a feud with USO’s and Stardust and Goldust as heels, but I really do not. Adam Rose and Zack Ryder both with matches on the card and there was not two moon’s in the sky. In the Rose match, the Bunny of all people taking out Heath Slater at ringside causing the distraction to have Titus O’Neil be pinned highlighted it. The main event of the show was a drawn out long and quite dull 6-man tag match. All of the folks from the opening segment with Jericho, Reigns and Cena facing the Authority team of Orton Rollins and Kane. It was to long and ultimately boring and to boot made no sense to the storyline they were telling. John Cena was trying to save his title opportunity by proving to Triple H that he is ready for Lesnar tags in Roman Reigns to finish the match. I say, bravo, to yet another awful conclusion to the second week of horrible Raw programming in a row.

I blame myself as much as I do the WWE for expecting them to have a compelling program on a night that they expect numbers to be down because of the Labour Day Weekend holiday. Still, Raw is on quite the pathetic roll when it should be trying to peak with all the concerns with the network. Raw was once again awful.

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