Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Raw: Talking Points April 7th

Well 8 days removed from Wrestlemania and it feels like weeks removed after last night’s Raw. Heck half the roster was missing for WWE Day in Austin. Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose were among many fan favorites that did not show up in Austin. WWE does have a European tour ahead this week that might explain why so many were missing. Those who did show up put on a show in Austin. It featured confirmation that the main event for Extreme Rules will be Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins first title defense as Champion.

So here are some of talking points coming out of Raw in Austin.

1. Miz vs. Mizdow….Really?
: Why on earth was this match happening in Austin as the match right before the main event? It turned out to be more of a story development with The Miz getting the win and now likely leaves Mizdow to chase a re-match. This however makes little sense, as this was a match that should be on a special event not something thrown into Raw. WWE did a great job of building this feud and now like the Seahawks seem to have screwed up on the goal line with an easy touchdown there for the taking. I was fine with not having Mizdow win the battle royal but this is just pure insanity. I suppose the Mizdow win is still the big pay off but it really has had a lot of the air come out of the balloon in my view.

2. NXT Call-Ups Remain Strong
: There was good follow-up for both Neville and the Lucha Dragons in week two on the main roster. Neville gets a match with the New WWE Champion Seth Rollins. He had a heck of a match with Seth and it really did a lot for his stock despite taking the loss on the night. The Lucha’s were able to pick up a win in tag team action, remained over with the crowd, and perhaps most importantly botch free in victory. Seems there has been at least a short-term plan for both of these call-ups. Neville heading back to the U.K next week is a huge chance to cement him as a new star. It will be interesting to see what they with this opportunity.

3. John Cena Open Challenge Continues
: His interview with Chris Jericho after Raw sucked. This new angle of having an open challenge for his newly won U.S Title doesn’t. I like the idea of Cena working with almost anyone potentially on the roster. If the pay off is done right and we get a new star capturing the U.S Belt (Sorry Vince Title) it will be great for that guy and for this title. Down the line, a Sami Zayn or a Finn Balor winning over Cena would be a huge launching pad on to the main roster. This likely doesn’t happen for a while though. Unfortunately, for Rusev this makes his gaining back his U.S title unlikely. I will never like John Cena but this is the most effective use of him and he deserves credit for taking this spot lower on the card to highlight others through this gimmick of the open challenge. Many have pointed out how it mimics Cena’s debut answering Kurt Angle’s challenge. A full circle moment for John Cena that makes him comes off in a positive light.

4. Cole remains off T.V
: Rumors had Michael Cole returning with Booker T and JBL thankfully this didn’t happen. Byron Saxton was terrible yet again and I still maintain Cole being out is WWE trying to convince fans by his absence he is good at his job. Regardless of if that is correct or not Cole being off T.V had to happen, given that Brock Lesnar destroyed him a week earlier. Devaluing Lesnar is the last thing you want to do if you’re the WWE at this point.

5. Jericho is no Austin
: The debut of Chris Jericho doing a live podcast was what I have come to expect from Jericho. I can’t stand his company butt kissing interviews and his attitude. Steve Austin gave the feeling of representing the average fan. Jericho represents himself and the WWE. His interview with John Cena might have been entertaining if you are a Cena fan. If you were someone looking for something of substance this was not for you. Jericho as much as he pretends to be a rebel is nothing more than a WWE puppet. Austin isn’t that and never will be that which is why fans respect him. Jericho has become a joke and his last run with the company on television in my opinion was by far his worst. I no longer consider myself a Jericholic. Chris isn’t the same guy or he is showing us who he always was through his podcast and to me he has just become a douchbag WWE apologist. We already have lots of those no need to have another. This is a blow for the WWE Network that had a cool draw with the Austin Podcast. Jericho’s version does nothing to make me want to buy the network let alone seek out these cotton candy interviews moving forward. If I am guessing, his next guest will likely be Stephanie and butt kissing will be just awful.

Oh, by the way Randy Orton is facing Seth at Extreme Rules, which we already knew before Raw. This show was a total placeholder and largely a waste of most of your 3 hours.