Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Raw Talking Points Featuring The Debut Of Kevin Owens On Raw

It was just over a year ago I met Kevin Steen and now he is of course Kevin Owens and he showed up on Monday Night Raw! This alone was reason to love this episode on Monday Night Raw but there was lots more reasons to love Raw as it turned out. For the second time in a month, Raw really hit a home run in my opinion. I was not as fond of Payback the event the night before but after this Raw, any thoughts of Payback were a distant memory. So let’s dive in and give you five talking points that made this Raw one of the best of the year. This was headlined by one of the best WWE debuts in perhaps the last 10 years.

Kevin Owens meets John Cena: This was as if some ROH fans dream come to life in the WWE. A year ago that is wear Kevin Steen was facing guys like Adam Cole and Shinsuke Nakamura. Last night he was in the ring face to face with as John Cena calls himself the man that runs the place that is WWE. Kevin Owens got the better of John Cena on the microphone and instead of answering the U.S Challenge like Neville and Zayn before him; he simply laid out John Cena. He stated that he would fight Cena on his own terms.  Holding his NXT title high and stepping on the United States title.

As a Canadian the stepping on the U.S belt was a sign of the fact that Kevin is Canadian and he really has a chance now to be Canada’s big star in WWE like guys like Edge, Chris Jericho and Bret Hart and others have been in the past. Later in the night, Kevin announced that as he promised earlier he would fight John Cena but not on this night instead at the Elimination Chamber event in two weeks. For my money, this was one of the best WWE debuts in a long time. It easily was short of The Shield the best NXT debut we have seen. Kevin Owens is a guy who can deliver. WWE to this point has booked him as the massive star he truly was on the independent scene in North America and in ROH. This is something that never happened for the likes of Daniel Bryan, C.M Punk and others. Kevin is the right man at the right time to make a massive impact on the WWE. People talk about Finn Balor, Sami Zayn as big stars for WWE in the future. To me Owens is the safest bet they have to make a major impact and he showed that tonight.

Stephanie Returns To Raw: People may hate her but let’s be honest Raw is a lot more fun with Stephanie than without her. I just enjoy the hell out of her character and she was involved in to angles throughout the night. She ultimately ended up being forced into booking Dean Ambrose in a WWE World Title match with Seth Rollins. She also continues her feud with Brie Bella and now Nikki Bella by forcing Nikki to go out and defend her title alone. Suggesting that Brie might need some therapy with all she has gone through with her husband Daniel Bryan’s medical issues. No one pulls of fake sincerity like Steph. There are a million little things that Steph does that are truly great.

Lana and Rusev Soap Opera: It has been teased and rumored for a while that the break-up of Lana and Rusev was coming. A legit couple in real life saw their on screen partnership break apart. The final blow was Lana actually being the one to quit on behalf of Rusev at Payback. Rusev would come out with no Lana and eventually she would come out against his wishes. She stated that Rusev quit in his native tongue of Bulgarian. Rusev denied it, called her weak, and sent her to stepping. Later in the night, Lana would return and get in a lip lock with Dolph Ziggler, which would lead to Rusev coming out and getting involved with Dolph. Both will be participants in the Elimination Chamber match for the vacant I-C title. A nice sub-plot to the larger match that will also see Sheamus, Ryback, R-Truth and King Barrett take part in. I would assume Ziggler will Americanize Lana and work a program with Rusev coming out of Elimination Chamber regardless of if either wins. Rumors have been that Sheamus will ultimately win this match. This is based on him being billed as the reigning I-C champion for an upcoming event.

New Day: Continues to Suck Impressively: The New Day got a controversial win as Kofi and Xavier Woods performed “Twin Magic” to win the final fall of their match with Cesaro and Kidd at Payback. They would be forced to defend the titles again with Woods banned from ringside on Raw. It would merely be the set up to the first ever Tag-Team Elimination Chamber Match. Other teams involved beyond the two mentioned include a cast of jobber teams. Los Matadors, The Ascension, The Prime Time Players and Lucha Dragons will all be in this match. Expect New Day to find a way to beat the odds and retain. These there guys have really embraced this role as over the top baby faces that are in reality massive heels. One of the biggest turnarounds of a bad gimmick in wrestling that I can personally recall. New Day Rocks at Sucking and the fans love to hate them.

No Reigns, No Orton, and No Problem: Payback saw both Roman Reigns and Randy Orton in the main event but nowhere to be found on Raw the next night. This left the stage open for Dean Ambrose to swoop in and get his title shot with Seth. Reigns was promoted as returning on Smackdown and there was no mention of Orton at all who took the pin in the fatal-four way match. The show didn’t miss either as it worked out very well without them allowing the Owens’ debut and Ambrose title opportunity to get their shine. What Roman and Randy are doing for Elimination Chamber may not be decided yet or it can get its own stage on Smackdown to announce that. It was the right call to give both the night off.

This was one of those Raw shows that suck you back in as a disgruntled fan. Kevin Owens had one of the best debuts in a long time probably since The Shield arrived and Dean Ambrose got a chance to return to the main event scene. It really seemed like a show that was designed for the hardcore fan base there was a ton of promotion for the NXT Unstoppable card this Wednesday on the Network. It was mentioned a ton in and based around the Owens appearance. No one loved this Raw more though than Owen Steen the son of Kevin who was surprised to find out his dad was fighting John Cena. When Kevin first signed in NXT and had to move his family to Orlando Owen’s question for his dad was when was he going to get to fight John Cena? The answer is May 31st at Elimination Chamber.

Check out his reaction via Kevin’s wife’s instagram if you have not seen this already. Cool stuff!