Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Raw Talking Points Returns


It has been awhile since a Raw has warranted conversation to any degree. Last night’s Raw in Montreal was easily the best of 2015 and the best in a long time in general. You had a crowd in Montreal that is always ready to be a part of the show good or bad. We had a massive debut, a couple great in-ring matches and a return of a forgotten Diva. A Raw show that actually managed to entertain throughout the three hours.

A whole lot of New Day
: It seems the WWE has a brand new shinny toy in the NEW DAY. While their transition to full out heels has been enjoyable, there is something to worry about still. I fear the WWE could over expose them and eventually burn out what is a pretty organic and fan invented concept. WWE is famous for these kind of things. Want proof we are talking about the New Day and not the Bray Wyatt promo he cut on Ryback. Wyatt was pumped out there weekly cutting promos and now what was special has become played out. New Day was on more segments than almost everyone short of Kane and Seth Rollins. I am in the spirit of New Day going to try to stay positive, but I see a problem with them being used as much as they have been. Less is more at this point now that fans get the gimmick and are on board with it.

John Cena vs. Montreal: The moments we give John Cena credit in Condo on the Moon have been few and far between. Maybe I am getting soft with all of these open challenges but I really thought Cena did a great job with his promo faced with a hostile Montreal crowd that hated him. He allowed the crowd to have their voice but patiently stuck to his plan and points and even used the audience to drive home that point. I actually thought Cena did a great job at getting the crowd to calm down only to explode later when his opponent would be announced. A serious John Cena is better than an attempting to be funny one. This program with Rusev has seen for the most part that serious John Cena. The telling jokes and not taking things serious John Cena is why crowds of people love to chant he sucks. Well it is one of the reasons they do anyway. I admit that Cena with this U.S challenge has tapped into something where I am not wishing him not be on my television screen. He has also been a very giving performer in matches allowing his opposition to get the full benefit of being in the ring with him. I am not running to Shop WWE to buy my John Cena T-shirt but I do respect what he has done on T.V since Wrestlemania. 

Sami Zayn Gets a Hero’s Debut: In retrospect, it seemed logical but it really was genuine surprise to see Sami Zayn be the one to answer the Cena challenge for the U.S title. Not just John Cena, but also having Bret Hart introduce him gave him the rub. It made for an instant Canadian hero that we have been missing for a long time. Sami was able to get in an almost all of his spots and kicked out of a Cena attitude adjustment. It was a debut that was handled excellently and even better than the recent debut of Neville. I would imagine the shoulder injury that seemed to be “worked,” will see if it factors into the Owens vs. Zayn match coming up on the NXT special. Once that is done I think that will be the end of Sami on the NXT roster and he will move full time to the main roster. He clearly did everything right to earn a spot on the roster tonight. He also is a guy that can fill the role that is lacking with Daniel Bryan out for who knows how long. Sami like Bryan is that rare underdog baby face that in 2015 people are willing to get behind. It was a great debut for Zayn that has been long overdue but given the circumstances was worth the wait.

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins Never Gets Old:
some match-ups never get old, you can go back to them repeatedly, and they produce. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose is one of those combinations for the WWE. We often complain how feuds drag on in WWE with the most recent example of that being Cena and Rusev. When Seth and Dean were paired together, they had a feud of similar length and it never got stale or boring. Having a solid break and bringing this rivalry back from out of the blue was welcomed. These two guys had perhaps the best T.V match of the year on this show. I could watch these two guys go any night of the week because they find a way to make every match unique and enjoyable. In Ring of Honor, I have said the same about the tag team feud between ReDragon and the Young Bucks. Certain guys just have magic when they hook-up in a ring and Dean and Seth are two of those guys.

Divas Family Feud
: The Bellas got jumped from behind as the strange attempt to make the Bella’s baby faces. Naomi came out with a returning Tamina took out the Bellas. Naomi is related to Tamina by marriage, which is the reason for two coming together. Tamina was last paired with A.J Lee and suffered an ACL tear and has been on the shelf for about a year or a little more. I am not sure what I think of this new pairing but Naomi has really embraced this heel turn and inside of three weeks has really re-invented her character and she deserves a lot of credit for that. Making the Bella’s faces is the real issue with all of this. I just can’t buy Nikki or Brie as babyfaces.

There was actually more than five points to talk about from this show. When is the last time we could say that? Cesaro gets an honorable mention for his in-ring work in a match with The Ascension who came out of the mothballs in Montreal. He was on fire landing European uppercut after European uppercut from corner to corner. It was one of the more unique spots we have seen in the WWE in-ring on a longtime.

It was an exciting night that reminded us all why we watch this stuff. I would love to say this is turning a corner but I suspect it will be back to the usual program that bores us to tears most weeks. I would love to be wrong but tonight was one of those perfect storms where you had a great crowd and WWE booked a show that would thrive in that environment.   

I am sure a few weeks from now will have forgotten this show and be back to wondering why Dean Ambrose was even given a shot at the title. Where did that Sami Zayn guy go on Raw? How many times as Neville lost now? Why on earth did they break-up Lana and Rusev? On this night, we got a great show and should be thankful for that, I guess. The key is stringing a few of these shows together and building some momentum. This is what has been lacking in the WWE for a long time. They have failed to put together a solid week-to-week product or stringing together a few special events in a row.

One last thing am I the only one that finds Ryback's promos strange and just don't make me like him at all?