Nine Hasty rewrites:
- If I’m ever embroiled in a major political sexual scandal (again), I’d like the WWE creative team to draft my press statements. As damage control goes, this was pretty good. If anything it was just a relief to see the Rumble crowd acknowledged, and Triple H’s opening line was both very funny and perfectly judged.
- For my money there was a definite dig at the fans within Stephanie’s description of Bryan as “myopic”. Maybe creative think the crowd’s refusal to let Bryan go is short-sighted. But then, they get to write three hours (at least) of wrestling TV every week. If the fans don’t feel the way you want them to, you’re doing it wrong.
- I’ve read elsewhere that this crowd was quiet and compliant. I didn’t think that. Of course it was toned down from the Rumble, but they still chanted for Daniel Bryan when they weren’t supposed to, and still booed Batista: The world’s most booable man.
- Are the Real Americans faces yet? The xenophobic zealots who we find so misguided and goofy that we play along with them out of pity and mild amusement. Only wrestling can do this kind of thing, you know.
- Dolph vs Miz felt like a lonely hearts club for the guys creative just don’t know what to do with. Evidenced by them having to fight each other in front of their home town, when this was a perfect opportunity to launch something constructive for one of them.
- I guess Rybaxel are jobbers now. I remain convinced there’s an absolutely hilarious badass tweener waiting to be unleashed inside Ryback. I hope his current position on the card is due to the fact that you can only have so many people in the main event at a time, rather than company disapproval. If the WWE’s corporate image is such that it can’t find a place for this wisecracking human action figure, well then that’s what’s wrong with your company right there.
- I’m warming to the New Age Outlaws as sneaky old guy heels. The bits of this match where Dogg acknowledged Cody’s speed and debated tactics with his partner is exactly how older guys should be booked in wrestling. In fact, I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever seen that before. It’s a great idea. Let’s stop pretending everybody’s a superhero and start playing veterans exactly as they are – guys who compensate for age with wily experience. Also this feud with the Rhodes’ somehow has some real needle.
- I liked the Shield’s entirely justified outrage at the main event. Nothing like laughing at legitimately wronged heels.
- As a viewer I think I need to know a bit more about Roman Reigns before I can get behind him. I also dispute this received wisdom that he’s got “a great spear”. He hasn’t, and the spear is a stupid move anyway.
Overall, not a bad Raw at all. In all honesty, the fans (largely in spite of the creative team) have made this an exciting time to watch WWE.