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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

3401 - Easter Monday Means Two-Thirds Of RAW For Me

Yeah, this is a shot from Smackdown. But it's a WWE crowd; it's all the same shit anyway.

So, first off, hope everyone has had a wonderful Easter weekend or Passover weekend or just plain ol' long weekend if you have any of those.

Since I had (well, have) a long weekend off, that meant I was home to watch Raw for the first time in what seemed like forever. While I originally had other plans, said plans were cancelled at the last minute and I found myself with plenty of spare time to spare. So I started tuning in to RAW about an hour in, which meant I missed the opening segment with Cold Ronda, the Queen of Ear Rape, Jason Jordan's Dad, and Gonad the Barbarian... and when I say missed, I really meant "dodged a bullet."

Fortunately, the rest of the show fared better... which isn't really saying much. In any event, here are about five-ish notable points about my Raw viewing experience in no particular order.



Point 1: They missed the boat on Brain Strowman.
The first segment I saw was Raw Tag-Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro taunting big guy Braun Strowman for his lack of a partner. Braun Strowman goes to the back and out comes his partner... Brain Strowman, who looks like Braun in a white shirt and glasses. You know, you could've kept this going a bit further and treat Braun and Brain like two different people. Sure, it's be ripping off the Abyss/Joseph Park thing in TNA, but considering that Abyss is basically an amalgamated rip off of both Kane and Mankind, I'd say the receipt is long overdue.

That said, I'm actually curious to see where they go with this Strowman thing. Chances are they'll do the predictable thing like bring in Elias as a partner - and I wouldn't mind it, to be honest - but perhaps this needs to be more of a surprise than anything. Maybe bring back someone who hasn't been seen in a while... like a Samoa Joe or even a Big Show. That's something.

Point 2: The closing promo between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar made this match interesting.
Beginning with another Paul Heyman promo where he masterfully says the same thing over and over and over again while a bunch of mid-card guys are standing on the ramp, for dramatic effect. I've seen this sort of scenario play out a decade ago with Steve Austin in place of Roman Reigns, but it's still a cool little moment where Roman actually gets a few licks on Brock before eating F5. And suddenly, that one little segment sold me on that match better than weeks of promos featuring Vince's Boy Roman accusing Brock of also being a Vince's Boy.

Point 3: John Cena is a whiny bitch.
So another week goes by where John Cena is begging for a match with Undertaker or else he'll have to attend Wrestlemania as a fan and enjoy the show like everyone else... yeah, fuck off, John. I still remember the time when you were "fired" and still showed up on TV every week. I remember when you had the "worst year of your career" and still headlined PPVs. No matter how hard you try, I'm never going to buy you as a "down on your luck" franchise player. It's not working for me, bro.

Seriously, if John Cena can't get a match at Wrestlemania - not even a spot in the fucking Battle Royal or as Braun Strowman's unwilling partner - does that say more about Undertaker who'd rather live out his remaining days in peace or does it say more about John who's this entitled, whiny bitch who'll take his toys and go home because he didn't get what he want for his birthday or something?

Or perhaps does it say something about WWE, who might not hold in John Cena in that much regard to book him in a match against anyone worth a damn? On that note...

Point 4: I have no interest in John Cena vs. Undertaker
So how many times are we going to see Undertaker tease a retirement by setting his jacket and coat in the ring and walking off into the sunset. He's done this with Shane McMahon at 32 - and I needed to remind myself of that fact by doing research - and he's done this with Roman Reigns at 33 where there was a bit more finality. If he's doing this bullshit again, then why the fuck should I care?

Yes, John Cena vs. Undertaker is a dream match... but Undertaker is also old and can't go as well as he could. No matter how hard they try to sell him as this mythical being, all I see is an older fellow who's on the verge of falling apart at a moments notice. Whenever he does something high risk, I cringe. Not because it's amazing or anything, but because I'm wondering if he broke something and when that feeling dominates more than any emotion the match is trying to convey,

The match with Roman is a more than adequate way of closing out the story of the Undertaker; let's not ruin the moment with a needless match...

On the other hand, though, if this means a return to the American Badass gimmick, that probably means he'll be riding a motorcycle, which means he'll get to the ring faster and the runtime for the show is cut by three hours. Mind you, it's still looking to be a ten-hour show even without the elongated entrance, but still, baby steps.

Point 5: I'm not buying the Nia Jax/Alexa Bliss angle.
The little person bullies the obese person... in a business filled with obese-looking folks who are presented as the most intimidating force on the planet. Apparently, all it takes to break down the monstrous aura of Nia Jax (if you want to call it that) is to call her fat and that's supposed to make me care about her as a thick-meat babyface. And it's not.

Look, being a bit on the husky side is not always a pleasant experience - I know that firsthand. And I get that they're using a relatable angle of sorts to turn Nia Jax into a sympathetic figure. The problem is that there's no way I can buy into Nia Jax as a sympathetic or even a relatable person because:

a) She's a REALLY big person.
b) She's a REALLY big person who can beat people up and has done so on numerous occasions.
c) She gets to make Alexa pay for her bullying ways at Mania... by being an even bigger bully.

You know, maybe WWE should lay off trying to do these forced touchy-feely stories with their ladies. They're just not that good at it. Especially when you have this big person who has similar body types to OTHER BIG PEOPLE and she gets all touchy-feely because someone called her fat. In a business where we had one heavy-set Samoan dude whose signature move was giving people the stinkface with his FAT ASS. Now imagine if someone had called this fellow fat and maybe he wouldn't have done it for the Rock... oh wait. Never mind.

As a formerly heavy-set person, this offends me greatly. Especially since I was never big enough to kill people.

Point 6: Braun Strowman tossing Curt Hawkins through a wall is the Highlight of the Night.
No, seriously... more than anything, the best part of the show was Strowman tossing Curt Hawkins through a wall. That made my night.

And that's all I got out of RAW. All in all, not an entirely bad showing. Not something I'd go back to watching anytime soon and missing that first hour helped immensely, but this wasn't as miserable as I thought it was going to be. I'm fairly certain that once Wrestlemania season has come and gone, we'll be back to the mundane.

Anyway, I'll see if I can catch tonight's Smackdown and post a follow-up showing or something.

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