Welcome to the second episode of Raw Reversal with me, George, where I take two or three matches or segments from Monday Night Raw each week, briefly review it and then tell you how I would have changed the booking to fit at least my own personal interests.
All in all, this week’s episode of Raw was compelling, with some great action, particularly some of the matches in the World Championship tournament. However, a poorly developed tag team title story, a missed alliance and a lack of midcard championship defense at Survivor Series make up this week’s episode.
The New Day vs the Usos and Ryback
This was an example of lazy booking on the part of the creative team. Throwing the tag team championship story into a meaningless 6 man tag match has never worked and still doesn’t. The Usos haven’t even done anything to earn a title spot since being back, and the way they were so casual after the match even though Ryback got them disqualified was just poor planning. This whole segment was a let-down.
And how would I then make it better?
So, with the Usos making their return a few weeks ago and teaming with Roman Reigns to go against a team involving the New Day, they are the next logical contenders. However, they also have to earn it surely? It seems like they have just returned and walked straight into a title match. Now, originally, I would have been looking towards the idea of a tournament to determine the new challengers. However, as the World Title is now being decided in a tournament format, it wouldn’t be great to have another one running at exactly the same time. Instead, the Usos should have gone against the last contenders for the titles.
Sure, the Dudley Boys never won the titles at any point, and defeat against the Usos would probably hurt the Dudleyz quite badly, but the Usos have to earn a position against the title holders instead of walking straight into a feud with them. The Usos vs the Dudleyz would have been a great match, it would have established a legitimate number one contender, and it would have allowed the New Day to be as entertaining as ever at ringside. The Usos would have gone over the Dudleyz of course, and set up the New Day vs the Usos for Survivor Series which is probably going to happen anyway. It would have also prevented a beat down of the three tag team champions by one man, which is just a poor way to book champions anyway.
Alberto Del Rio vs Kalisto
Alberto Del Rio and Kalisto played out the worst quarter final match of the night. It wasn’t dreadful but it wasn’t anywhere near the level of the other matches. The mask incident was horrible however. This now means neither the United States or Intercontinental championships will be defended at Survivor Series.
So what would I have booked here?
This match is where I would have had two changes to the near future landscape in the WWE. So Alberto Del Rio and Kalisto slug it out for over ten minutes. Both are talented and they have the ability to put on a good match. After this time, Del Rio sets up Kalisto for the double-foot corner stamp finisher move that he now uses. Just as he is about to jump, Jack Swagger comes out. He slowly walks to the ring, and Del Rio jumps off the top and stares down Swagger instead of finishing off Kalisto. While distracted, Kalisto momentarily regains some momentum and hits Del Rio from behind with the Salida Del Sol. He attempts a pin cover but Del Rio kicks out. Swagger then enters the ring and attacks Kalisto. He hits him with a few strikes and the ref calls for the bell.
With this move, Swagger has cost Del Rio the match and means Del Rio is now free to defend his United States Championship against Swagger at Survivor Series (Swagger is by far an ideal opponent but he has been lurking so we may as well end this feud as soon as possible, and the card needs a midcard title bout, and Owens deserves his place in the tournament more than ADR).
However, it doesn’t end there. Given their Mexican connections, and Kalisto is a face so he doesn’t want to cheat to win, he retaliates and helps ADR take out Swagger, before shaking ADR’s hand. In all honesty, ADR is yet to really establish himself as a heel, so Kalisto joining him as a team, and bringing along Sin Cara into the stable too, wouldn’t be out of the ordinary just yet. Plus, the MexAmerica gimmick is struggling, but having the Lucha Dragons join could revitalise it for a little bit longer. Besides, it’s not like the Dragons are occupied with anything else at the moment.
Did you watch Raw? How would you have booked the World Title Tournament? Would you have changed the contract signing between Charlotte and Paige? Let me know by commenting below or contacting me on twitter @carlo_george