After a couple of weeks sabbatical (Apologies… damn Christmas break and examinations), Raw Reversal returns for its 8th appearance. With a bundle of options this week from Raw as it really was quite poor, I have chosen a throwaway tag match, an exposed tag match and a random match that is meant to be part of a feud for the booking changes this week.
Wyatt Family vs The Social Outcasts
The Wyatts were cutting a promo when they were interrupted by the Social Outcasts, a stable made up of Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Adam Rose and Heath Slater. A match begun but ended almost immediately, as Ryback headed to the ring and, with the Outcasts, cleared the ring of the Wyatt Family. That’s correct. A stable of jobbers cleared the ring of a Family that only a few months ago were feuding with the Undertaker and Kane. No more needs to be said.
So how would I have changed this whole shambles?
Well, firstly, I might just give them a slight ounce of credit. They made the Outcasts look like more than jobbers, which is only fair. At the exposal of the Wyatt Family, it was absolutely ridiculous. Strowman is being built as an absolute monster yet struggled against each man involved. It is fairly simple what I would have done. The Outcasts would have interrupted as they did, and the match would have started. From there, the Wyatt Family go on an absolute mission. Strowman annihilates every man on the team, Bray Wyatt hits a Sister Abigail on every superstar in sight. Then, the Family do what they used to do: they pile the four bodies on top of each other and Bray falls to his knees next to them. It is a symbol that Bray used to do but hasn’t done in some time. It’s a clear sign of absolute dominance. Then, as he is over the bodies, Ryback and The Big Show appear. The two men that the Wyatt Family laid out last week. Ryback and Show stop outside the ring, and the Wyatt Family dispose of the bodies to the outside. However, as Ryback and Show step into the ring, Bray tells h is men to stand down, and they leave. Big Show then hits a KO punch on Ryback and dumps him out the ring. By booking this segment, the Wyatts don’t get steamrolled by a bunch of jobbers but also don’t bury absolutely everyone at the same time. Ryback and Big Show are portrayed as the monsters as WWE want us to see them as by having the Wyatts walk away, and the Big Show turns heel for the two hundredth time. Maybe the Big Show owning the spotlight isn’t a fantastic decision, but hey, it creates that monster feel about him that we are meant to believe in and build his as a legitimate threat in the Rumble.
New Day vs the Usos
Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel (including the New Day but not a T-Shirt for Chris even though he has a blazer and a scarf… one can only assume he lost an episode of Impractical Jokers) turned into the Usos vs the New Day. It was a decent tag team match with hardly any faults, but the fact they clashed (which they’ve done so many times before) takes away any appeal when they inevitably meet for the titles at the Royal Rumble. Having the Highlight Reel with the New Day was a cheap attempt at getting two good acts to work in the same segment again as well as giving Y2J something to do.
So how could this have been changed?
Instead of introducing the New Day as the guests on the show, they should have had the New Day crash the show instead. Sure, people would have guessed it as soon as the Highlight Reel was announced, but Jericho crashed a segment with the New Day last week, so it would have made sense for the New Day to do the same to Jericho the next week. They crash the show and surround Jericho only for the Usos to crash it. They then talk about who the better team is which leads to SINGLES bouts, not a tag team match or a six man tag. This would keep the inevitable title match fresh at least and not already have been done. Firstly, Jey takes on Kofi Kingston (or Jimmy… there’s really no difference). Kofi nails Trouble in Paradise, not a roll up, to pick up a win. The other Uso then squares off against Xavier Woods and manages to beat him with a Splash. The two teams have traded a win each. The two teams come back into the ring and square off again, and it becomes clear that it will now be Jericho vs Big E. I have a feeling these two could probably put on a decent match. Kofi and Xavier would probably get a good match out of Jericho too, but their styles mash with the Usos more. As the match goes on for a solid 7/8 minutes, Jericho locks in the Walls of Jericho. Instead of Big E tapping, Kofi and Xavier rush the ring and tackle Jericho, causing the DQ. The Usos of course storm the ring, and they clear the ring of the New Day. By booking the story like this, we get three singles matches that could all be fairly decent, and we don’t overexpose the tag team bout between them. We get an extra match out of Jericho which would be brilliant. The two teams also trade a win between them so no team looks too weak, and the third match is decided by outside inference by the heels, which of course makes sense. And the screwy finish won’t be too much of an issue, as we have just had two clean finishes. It also creates an opportunity for a six man tag match in the future which would feel like a progression in the story rather than a repeat.
Stardust vs Titus O’Neil
Yeah… This feud… Titus won… and Stardust attacked Titus after the match… just after Titus tried to dance with a child and scared the John Cena support right out of his heart… so now Titus has two squash wins, and yet the feud is going on… I don’t even know.
So how could I book this better?
Firstly, give us fans a reason as to why they are having a match. I am a believer in every match happening for a reason, and there just wasn’t one. Instead of this just happening, Stardust could have easily been complaining backstage about his original loss and saying he wants another attempt at Titus. Incredibly, that is a really weak build to a match and yet is still more than creative came up with. From there, something needs to happen in the match for Stardust to attack Titus. Titus has to cheat somehow or do something Stardust isn’t happy with. Stardust lost clean for the second time and attacked. Unless we were building towards a complete spiral in the Stardust character that led to a return to the much better Cody Rhodes, Stardust should have lost in a different way. Instead, I think Stardust should have had Titus well beaten, but instead of pinning him, he continued to attack him, just like he did after the match. It is a much better way of showing his frustration rather than him look like a child for losing clean. Speaking of children, we would also be avoiding the embarrassing moment a child just refused to dance with Titus. Poor Titus. The child no sold like a pro. Like he had an ego in the attitude era and wouldn’t put over talent.
As an endnote this week, I do want to express my delight at two things from Raw. Firstly, a beautiful moment as Kalisto captured the US title. A completely unexpected victory and a great one at that, as the high flyer picked up his first ever singles title in WWE. More build would have been nice but it was still amazing. Also, I want to say how happy I am that Becky Lynch showed some true character development. Her time to shine is now, and I really expect big things for her considering how brilliant she is in the ring.
What did you make of Raw? And who do you think will be leaving the Rumble as World Champion? Let me know by commenting below or on twitter @carlo_george