Stunned not stunned, that on the Road to Wrestlemania there is no thread as of Tuesday night for this show. I think the biggest takeaway is Raw has zero faces after we get past Reigns. The women's division still running with only four women is just stupid. Yet, a ton of tag teams roam the wilds. Goldberg challenging Owens thanks to Jericho starts the sad story of the JeriKO break up and hot potatoing the title to a part timer who is willing to work to a part timer who doesn't seem to give a shit anymore.
Joe had a strong first match, despite the Strowman run-in for the cheap distraction win. I am really OK with making that variation of the Bossman Slam into a finisher instead of the Muscle Buster. It is still astounding to see that guy in a WWE ring, much less a RAW main event. The possibilities for his angles are many. Rusev is a must.
Nia Jax looked like Vader out there against Bayley. She needs something to do.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Very much appreciated Joe cutting a genuine heel promo - no attempts to be cool - and getting genuine heat for it. That's good stuff. And just overall pleased to finally see Samoa Joe on Real WWE TV, looking like a total, motivated badass. Seeing Joe in a suit but presented as a destroyer coming out on Raw felt, in a strange way, like a 17 year delayed payoff of TAZ showing up on Raw - like, real deal, ECW Taz, only also a Full-Sized Adult Taz. There are very few people who can carry themselves that way, as genuine, destructive forces of nature who instantly make a segment interesting just by being there, and Samoa Joe is one of them.
Meanwhile, at a booking meeting: "We got Joe on the main roster now, who do we run him against?" "Hm, let's go with Roman."
"OK. And we have Braun, he's really hot now. Who do we run him against?" "I'm thinking Roman."
"Right. And finally, we need a program for Undertaker-" "Tell ya what, pal, let's pencil Roman in for that one.
Want to recognize Tozawa, too. The cruiserweight division post-tournament has been largely a pretty big flop, with variations on the same matches happening to diminishing returns, but Tozawa came out and refused to let the crowd fade out. That was clearly a case of a guy given nothing to do but "go wrestle the guy everybody wrestles" and deciding "No, I'm actually interesting, and I will let everyone know."
So far, Neville, Gallagher and Tozawa have done the best at pushing back at crowd apathy through sheer force of will and charisma while everyone else either floats or drowns. They're clearly on the wrong show, and having them primarily fight each other in the same matches and same combinations is killing them. Let them work with the whole roster but still have the belt unifying them.
(There's also something to be said for what a terrible, shortsighted idea it was to launch the cruiser division, title and show so suddenly without having any one of Neville, Gallagher, Tozawa or Metalik in place and ready to go at the outset. What were they thinking?)
Boy, the tag scenes on both shows went back to being voids very quickly, didn't they?
Raw (or SD for that matter) is so thin in their main event level guys that the new guy has to go against Reigns right away. Sigh.. At least Joe looked like a destroyer.
One thing that really annoyed me is that even after tonight's show I wonder if WWE can/will pull an amazing Wrestlemania out of their asses. OR if they stick their head in. Friend of mine said "Lesnar screws Goldberg, KO keeps the title" and I hadn't even thought of that option. I don't expect it but what if.... They have announced so few real matches that maybe just maybe they're messing with us.
Anyways, Tozawa looked good. Neville looks good. Joe looks good and I am looking forward to the Festival of Friendship. Owens and Jericho continue to rule the show. From the moment when tey walked out and Owens points out a part of the ramp to Jericho to Owens constantly calling Goldberg BILL. Great stuff.
Oh and that one guy running like crazy from the Strowman match. Good.
Originally posted by andy1278I've really enjoyed the Braun experiment. I kinda dig the guy now, which is not how things started.
It stared to creep up on me a while ago and solidified itself when he took Jericho out on his way to the ring to Fight Owens (Fight). Such a brilliant move made my a complete badass. He's never going to be the best worker but god damn, I dig Braun Strowman.
S'moa Joe looked great and fills that role better than anyone they have or have had for a long time. Doc was right in the "Full-Sized Adult Taz) comparison and it's especially glorious for a guy who loved Travel-Sized Taz. Not a fan of how it ended, or really the story it told; Joe, who is this cold blooded violence machine who shelved Rollins, jumps Reigns before the bell, but still needs a distraction from an even bigger cold blooded violence machine to beat Reigns, doesn't fill me with lots of hope or inspiration. Same old copy and paste bullshit. Roman looks to have the biggest odds ever to overcome in a very short period of time.
HA! The other thing HA! that stood HA! out to me was HA! Tozawa. That dude oozes charisma and the crowd recognized it. That was my first time seeing him, and it took all of 30 seconds to make me a fan.
Maybe it's imagination, but I notice an extra level of smirk from Jericho when he steps toward Bill because he fully knows he could take him in a real fight. I know they have to break up but that doesn't mean that I have to like it.
On a less serious note... When did Smackdown turn into OZ?! Seriously, I'm sitting there watching the pre-match skit between Billy and Chuck and Maven and Al Snow, and I'm wondering when Adebisi'll come out and shank EVERYBODY.