It’s here again. Almost at the same time as the ratings for Monday Night Raw begin to plummet, an alternative to their questionable booking has arrived. Episode four of the weekly blog ‘Raw Reversal’ is here, and if you don’t know what it is yet, feel free to drop back to the previous 3 episodes and catch up. In the meantime, I have picked the opening segment and two poorly booked matches to change this week.
The opening segment w/ the New Day and Sheamus
The New Day entered the arena after confetti had fell and announced it was part of a celebration for the new world champion, Sheamus. Apparently we were meant to forget that the New Day walked out on Sheamus when they teamed together at Survivor Series, and if you managed that, you saw a reasonably entertaining opening to Raw.
So what would I have changed?
Right now, the New Day are arguably the more popular act on WWE TV every single week. In spite of a childish, silly gimmick, they are managing to entertain crowds every week and have got themselves well and truly over with the WWE universe. Now is the time for WWE to pounce on that popularity and excel them. There was no hiding that the New Day had formed a warm relationship with Seth Rollins, even if Rollins had tried his best to not enjoy him time with them. So, instead of embracing Sheamus as the new champion, it would have been brilliant to see the New Day walk out on Sheamus again, and say they don’t welcome him as their new champion and they still see Rollins as the champion. Now sure, Rollins is off TV right now, so mentioning him when he isn’t going to be involved seems a weak move, but the New Day had really hit the ground running with that friendship, and just accepting another man, a man they left not long ago, into his position doesn’t seem right. Having the New Day turn their back on Sheamus wouldn’t mean they have to turn face, but it would show them as a dominant stable that can stand on their own. Realistically, the New Day do not need to be involved in the protection of Sheamus, and giving them a platform to work on their own would benefit them much more than being stooges for the authority. By siding with Seth Rollins, the New Day would somehow increase their already immense popularity, and given how well they have worked their gimmick, they deserve such a position, even if they are meant to be a wacky heel tag team. It would also create an interesting dimension in which the New Day are essentially in the main event scene as well as being the tag team champions, something that would immediately raise the standard of the belts.
Dolph Ziggler vs Tyler Breeze
Oh Vincent. Another NXT talent has fallen into your hands and another NXT talent has already been made to look a joke. A clean defeat on Raw to a man he beat just over a week ago on the back of a pinfall defeat in the triple threat match on Smackdown has seriously hurt Breeze. His momentum has stalled and now he faces the treatment that has taken other wrestlers including Adam Rose and Fandango. What a waste.
So how would I have kept Breeze looking good without damaging Ziggler as well?
Having a rematch from a PPV on an episode of Raw is never something I agree with, so these two facing off annoyed me from the start. However, to save Tyler Breeze here, there should have been an interference that leads to an intriguing outcome. So Breeze and Ziggler go at it for a solid 8/10 minutes, because they can. Ziggler hits some of his bigger moves (not his finishers) but he can’t put Breeze away, and Ziggler begins to get frustrated. Ziggler then hits a Superkick to Breeze, who rolls into the corner holding his face. The ref holds Ziggler back, and tends to Breeze. Ziggler is livid that he isn’t allowed to make the pin. He retreats back and stands in the opposite corner to Breeze, but he is struck by the selfie stick that Summer Rae has. Breeze pounces and rolls Ziggler up for the win. After the match, Breeze continues to attack Ziggler until he is stopped. By Neville. Neville chases Breeze out of the ring, but when he goes to help Ziggler, Ziggler shoves Neville away and walks out of the ring. An interesting story is then set up for three men who desperately need something good to remain relevant. Breeze doesn’t lose so he continues his momentum, Neville gets involved in an actual story instead of meaningless, albeit brilliant, matches, and Ziggler is allowed to show a side to his character that we haven’t seen in so long that will stop him becoming boring, which he is currently risking. It would then lead to a triple threat between them at TLC, potentially in a ladder match where the winner gets a shot at maybe Alberto Del Rio’s United States Championship. It would give 3 extremely talented superstars a bit of meaning and relevance, something creative are keeping them away from at the moment.
Ryback vs Rusev
Rusev realigned with Lana, but Ryback indirectly injured Lana by shoving Rusev into the stairs that hit her and Rusev tended to her leading to a count-out victory for The Big Guy. Weak. Very very weak.
How would I do this then?
It is simple. Book Rusev back to the monster that went unbeaten for a year. If not wanting to squash Ryback, WWE could have sent out a jobber in the likes of Heath Slater to get destroyed by Rusev. Whoever the opponent, Rusev should have disposed of quickly and easily, and had the re-uniting of Lana and Rusev to be one that sends shivers down the locker room again. They were fantastic together the first time round, and, when Rusev was booked as an animal, he produced the best work of his career to date. Obviously, the problem here is that Rusev and Lana reportedly have backstage heat over their announcement of engagement in real life whilst being booked in a story that saw them hate each other. But realistically, that feud was horrific anyway, and Vince just needs to look past the whole thing and allow the Bulgarian Brute to become a force again. At a time where a true leading heel in the company is somewhat missing, Rusev, accompanied as always with Lana, could excel in being just that. Dominant wins is the way to go for that to happen.
Are you still tuning into Monday Night Raw every week? Or have you begun to tune off in hope that change is imminent? If so, why are you still watching, or what will bring you back to watching again? Comment below to let me know your thoughts or contact me on twitter @carlo_george