I watched RAW this morning. A little too late to read the spoiler that Roman Reigns is the new WWE World Champion. First, surprise. While watching the show, I realized this was way too obvious.
The real travesty, was no sign of Wade Barrett.
Kicking off we saw Stephanie McMahon, irate over Reigns “injuring” Triple H. The wrath of Steph is never good. This begins to put Reigns in the same position Daniel Bryan was in a couple years ago when he was the target of The Authority. Difference here, is Reigns is the one who began the attack, first a couple weeks ago on RAW, and then last night going loony with chair shots for everyone.
Reigns got the chance to impress the crowd on the mic, and I will admit he sounded a bit better, but I feel as though he is forcing clichés and catchphrases in order to rile the crowd. Last week it worked, the whole “Tater Tots” thing on Sheamus. I feel as though Reigns has to just be himself on the mic, and stop trying too hard to be a character cliché.
We find out Vince McMahon is on the way. Hoo boy. This ALWAYS gets interesting.
Our next segment sees a solid gold match between Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler. Damn, why can’t WWE see that face vs. face matches do work, and work amazingly well. Insert King Heel, Kevin Owens to disrupt the match and completely destroy them both. Love how Owens legit looks pissed. JBL couldn’t muster it up to call him a “Prize Fighter” tonight. Please give us a Triple Threat in the near future, please!
The match between Bo Dallas and R-Truth concludes the way it should have. When someone kicks them both out of the ring, that person being VINCE MCMAHON. For once he did something we were all thinking. Vince looks peeved, leaving us to wonder who will be the focus of his rage.
Roman Reigns comes out first, and it seems The Boss did not approve of Reigns destroying everyone last night. Vince brings back his trademark growl, as Sheamus interrupts, yet offering Reigns a title match. This is where the title change becomes even more of a sure thing. Vince initially denies the request, but once Reigns takes the childish way out by insulting Vince’s manhood, Reigns gets his title rematch, and a swift kick in the nuts.
So let’s see, Reigns, in order to get over, has to constantly make testicle jokes, and then gets hit in them. R-Truth and Bo Dallas have been officially buried. I feel little bad.
This now looks more like the go-to for WWE. When the top guy they want over, isn’t over, send in Vince to make him… look… oh Primus I can’t believe I’m saying it… Strong.
The next hour of the show slows it all down, and nearly puts the crowd to sleep. Jack Swagger and Rusev eat a loss to Alberto del Rio and Rusev. They just can’t be in the ring together unless it was supposed to be a slop-fest.
Tyler Breeze vs. Neville started good, but interference from The Miz just derailed it, and not in the way it was supposed to. I love the gimmick, Miz being so unbelievably full of himself, but it just did not work here. Thanks to lousy commentary, Breeze was completely ignored and victim to a Red Arrow. This will inevitably lead to Neville and Miz having a match, because pairing them will not work at all.
The next match was extreme. Team ECW vs. The Wyatt Family one more time. Helps to be in front of a hometown crowd. It was wild and crazy, something Mick Foley, Terry Funk, and a slew of other ECW guys would have paid to be a part of. The tragedy, is watching Erick Rowan crushing Rhyno through a table, which was a bit unexpected, but naturally made sense since The Wyatts made short work of the ECW originals at TLC. It is a shame, because The Dudley Boys, since returning have had some notable feuds, but have not amounted to anything. Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno might stick around until the Royal Rumble, but again, instead of a bang bang we got fizzled out. Still, highlight of the night.
Thanks to my friend Marty, who reminded me to include the most awesome accidental toss and catch ever.
— Muffnman (@muffnman) December 15, 2015
The next segment left me confused, but still entertained, and that might have been the point. The New Day came out, no prancing, no joking, no unicorns. They came to the ring, invited their opponents from TLC out for a sincere chat. The Lucha Dragons and Usos came out, and the New Day talked honestly and dare I say, possibly off the script, as they thanked and shook hands with their opponents. Lots of applause from the crowd. Sort of reminds me when Damien Sandow thanked the crowd for supporting him after enduring terrible gimmicks. But this is no terrible gimmick. This is gold. Once the Dragons and Usos left the ring, the New Day did some happy dancing, which prompted BOTH Dragons and Usos to hit the ring and attack the New Day. Like the crowd, I booed. Boo! I just hope WWE isn’t saying “UH! They’re more over than we want them to be, time to kill it!”
In match where the crowd chanted for someone not even involved, Sasha Banks defeated EVERYONE simply by sitting in a chair. Okay, Charlotte and Becky Lynch defeated Brie Bella and Alicia Fox after Ric Flair tripped up Fox, allowing Lynch to force the tap out, but the commentary team made ABSOLUTLEY SURE by REPEATING themselves OVER AND OVER tat Becky Lynch DID NOT SEE anything happen. Sometimes I hate commentary. Divas Division = Back to Crap.
Even I had to smile. I felt that tickle of excitement. Yeah, I did. Watching Roman Reigns maul Sheamus with a very nicely executed Spear to pin and win the WWE Championship after loads of interference, the classic Angry Vince which was beloved during the Attitude Era, the numerous pinfalls, the ref being pulled out of the ring. It was what Roman Reigns needed to finally be accepted by the wider WWE fanbase to be WWE Champion. A lot can happen in a year. Last year, they booed him out of the building at Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
However, I will play the Devil’s Advocate. We now have “Stone Cold” Roman Bryan Cena Reigns. Say that three times fast. We got the elements from the Attitude Era, we have Super-Cena-overcome-all-odds, and the Daniel Bryan fairy tale story come true, all in one large Samoan-related-to-The Rock package.
Good thing or bad thing? Reigns and Ryback share something similar. Not 100% loved by all fans, but they have something, some “thing” in which live crowds enjoy watching. We love to see Ryback hit the Meathook, we love seeing the Superman Punch. Something about them resonates with fans, it is just a matter of the ring storyline to give them the push they need.
Now that Reigns is finally WWE Champion, what, or who, is next?