How do I sum up RAW?
I laughed. I cried. I jumped. I sat.
I don’t sum up RAW. Then this column would be over.
The League of Nations, while corny, campy, and has a terrible name, similar to Lex Luthor and his Legion of Doom… Oh… wait a minute… Anyway, while the concept of a foreign heel stable seems odd, it does have the feeling of a throwback to the eighties and early-nineties. Now, will the fans catch on? Probably not, because the gimmick does not resonate with a younger audience and most older fans, not by age, but by duration of watching, feel this is some sort of gimmick to carry Sheamus as WWE Champion for the next few months. Sheamus, I feel can carry the title, and I prefer him as a heel than face, but something feels missing. The addition of him leading a stable is good, but you have Rusev, a guy who has been overall useless, Wade Barrett who has won one match in the past three months, and Alberto del Rio, who got beat up at a WWC show over the weekend. So, at least there are two champions between them.
In any event, they kick off the show, talking about being the most dominate stable in WWE. Suddenly, lights go out, and The Wyatt Family is in the ring. Crowd loses it. Wyatts turning face? Seemed possible as Bray seemed to instigate a potential fight, until The Dudley Boys and Tommy Dreamer hit the stage. I cannot begin to explain how I jumped when Dreamer came back last week. They went from three to four, as Rhyno joins the ECW stable. Some websites joked about how younger fans thought Rhyno was an NXT guy who got called up. Good grief. Even Kayfabe News made a joke about it, but some believed it. Before Team ECW hit the ring, Team Roman Empire, consisting of The Usos, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns come from the crowd, and we get a fatal-four way elimination between the four stables. Shockingly, the Wyatts are eliminated first following Dreamer DDT, but then Team ECW goes next after Bubba eats a Brogue Kick. Tease spot with Reigns and Rhyno staring down. Spear vs. Gore. Cute. Never happened. Sheamus attempts to take out Reigns, but eats a spear and is pinned. Reigns has the upper hand, except backstage, Sheamus promises an altercation before the show is over.
During the match Cole botched, calling Rhyno as Ryback. Sigh…
This whole opening segment lasted nearly 40 minutes and kept my attention. Kudos.
The Weirdly Awesome Segment – Stardust cutting one of his goofball promos, directed at Jack Swagger since they have a match tonight. Titus O’Neil shows up again and flusters the Cosmic Commando. These guys are really funny together.
In the ring, Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens kill it in the ring, putting on a damn clinic while Tyler Breeze sits at ringside. Awesome match, both trading superkicks at one point. Owens gets the win with the Pop-Up Powerbomb. Fantastic match. During the match, Dean Ambrose was shown eating popcorn backstage. JBL referred to Owens as a “Prize Fighter” no less than six times, and shouted “BALLGAME!!!” after hitting the powerbomb. Post match, Ambrose walks to the ring munching the whole way. Owens shouts for his music while Ambrose nonchalantly offers him popcorn. Ambrose is awesome at everything. He is awesome at eating popcorn. Owens gets angry, and Ambrose tosses his popcorn and drink in his face, then just walks off.
Naomi and Sasha Banks get a win after a doofy pre-match taped promo singing something about unity. Brie and Alicia Fox are the victims of constant double-teams and underhanded tactics. Post match turns into the greatest segment of 2015, when the New Day gallop to the ring, wearing unicorn headbands, with an actual horn. They give Team BAD their own, and all six dance and gyrate together.
The insanity continues with the most absurdly entertaining promo involving theatre and awkward dancing and Kofi Kingston acting like a cat. I have no words other than this is the greatest thing EVER. EVER. The Usos are at commentary while Lucha Dragons come out for their match. The Dragons steal the win after the Usos beat up Xavier Woods on the outside. Woods is hysterical, during the match his facial expressions and comments are pure comedy gold. I just worry Big E. might break a hip with the amount of gyrating he does. The New Day have a great thing going right now. The level of insanity is amazingly awesome. They easily get the loudest pops.
The show starts its decline as MizTV kicks off. Crowd is dead silent as Miz makes his intro. Earlier in the show, Miz approached Neville. WHY? Why do this? Why ruin Neville? The “Donny” character from the USA Network show arrives and plugs the show after RAW and also manages to disrespect Miz. Sigh. The segment involves Charlotte and Ric Flair. Holy Primus, Ric does not look slick anymore, his face appeared to be sagging like melted rubber. My wife, a speech therapist had a difficult time translating for me. I feel horrible. Charlotte is improving on the mic, but she needs some help. Another issue is WWE having a heel always as Divas champion. Paige is too over, much like CM Punk, regardless of face or heel. The segment turns into a fight as Paige and Charlotte brawl.
I get they want to question Charlotte’s actions, but if you are going to force her to become a heel, just have her hit dad with a shovel and move on.
Ryback vs. Rusev. Yeah. So one spot saw Ryback fly over the top rope onto Rusev. Otherwise, the match was a predictable dud. Match went to a double-count out after Lana feigned injury and Rusev blah blah blah.
Titus O’Neil is on commentary as we return from commercial to see Stardust and Jack Swagger mid-match. Alberto del Rio comes out with Zeb Colter to distract Swagger but fails. Swagger catches Stardust mid-Disaster Kick, forcing him to tap out to the Patriot Lock. Del Rio goes nuts and clobbers Swagger with a chair, and apparently Titus directs Del Rio to hit Stardust also. On commentary, Titus explains he wants to bring Cody Rhodes back. Could be funny. Swagger comes back with a chair, and the United States Champion trips over Zeb’s scooter. Crowd laughs. Or fell asleep. Swagger yells at Colter. Backstage, Alberto yells at Colter. Poor guy. Guess this was Del Rio officially dropping Colter. See, they should have went the other direction, and used Zeb Colter as the mouthpiece for the League of Nations.
Various commercials air hyping SmackDown’s move from SyFy to USA. One shows Roman Reigns being unable to assemble a cardboard box. Staged or real?
In the match before the final segment of the show, Tommy Dreamer with Team ECW goes one-on-one against Braun Strowman with the Wyatt Family. You can imagine how this ends, and it is not in fire. Poor Dreamer.
End of the show gives us a boring as all hell segment with Roman Reigns with a ladder in the ring, calling out Sheamus. Reigns sounds like a broken record trying to bait the WWE Champion into the ring, until referring to something about potatoes and tater tots. In a shock, “Tater Tots” suddenly becomes a thing, and “You look stupid” just became yesterday’s news. How. How? This segment goes way past the 11pm mark and is just dragging. Eventually they brawl all over the place, ending with Reigns spearing Sheamus through tables.