This being the month of branded pay per views has given us a glimpse into the direction of each show. The inappropriately abbreviated CoC being Raw’s attempt to beat a very good Smackdown event.
5. Raw has great wrestling with no heat
One of the biggest complaints with Smackdown’s roster was that Raw got all the workrate guys and Team Blue was left with the scraps. While that is kind of true, Smackdown showed that coherent writing could make the crowd invested in even a Heath Slater/Rhyno vs. Usos match. Raw on the other hand had 4 great matches and the rest (other than Nia… more later) were decent at worst. The issue is, we’ve been so trained to think that the finishes don’t matter that the matches have no heat behind them and the crowd is apathetic unless someone almost kills themself.
4. Fuck finishes get no one over
The Best of 7 series between Sheamus and Cesaro is the biggest waste of time “we have no idea what to do with these guys” booking I’ve ever seen in my life but has resulted in some great matches. Today was no difference in the rubber match where both (yes even Sheamus) guys worked super hard and put on a fantastic match. It was to the point where I was thinknig, “even if Sheamus loses, he’ll still get over based on his work” which was better than what he’s done the past year. But no, instead of giving us a coherent finish of the good guy triumphing over evil, we get a fuck finish double stoppage where now both guys are just floundering. And it’s all just to extend this feud to Hell in a Cell where we get yet another rematch… We really don’t need MORE REMATCHES on an already boring show. And don’t get me started on New Day vs. The Club which… are they really trying to break Demolition’s record? It’s just asinine at this point. The Club really should have won at Summer Slam and then maybe they’d be over, but instead we get a screwy finish which just diminishes everyone involved.
3. The Reigns Train is still going…
In yet another of instance of “we need to get Roman over because Vince says so,” Reigns beats Rusev for the U.S. title. Instead of launching into another profanity ridden tiradelike I do every Monday on F4W’s BOARD~!, I’ll just say that it seems that his new gimmick is that of a smark heel. When he won, he seemed to almost be taunting the crowd and that is something slightly more interesting than his current “1 vs. All Diet-Cena” gimmick. That being said, he’s still boring as hell and his match against Rusev clearly showed that in ll his great matches, he was carried. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since the ability to be carried and take direction is a skill in itself, but not for a guy who is supposed to be the #1 babyface.
2. This main event feud is going no where and no one cares
Revolving the Owens/Rollins feud around Stephanie and Triple H is doing no one any favors. In fact, it’s really just promoting the fact that Triple H is really the top guy on Raw. Everyone know he’s not really retired and this all feels like just filler until he comes back and fights… someone. The visual pin that Rollins had on Owens just diminishes Owens even more and the fact that the crowd counted to ten shows that they’re aware of it. Raw literally has no hook and the most compelling thing is seeing the to what lengths they go to trying to get Reigns over.
1. Jericho is the last true heel
Other than Triple H (and arguably Bayley, but I’d argue against that her reputation is over, not her), Owens is the last truly legitimate threat. It’s why I wasn’t mad that he went over Zayn tonight. Jericho is still one of the best promos on either brand, he rarely has a bad match and knows how to get legitimate heel heat. I’m not a proponent of another title run for Jericho, but he’s really one of the few guys who still fells like a “top guy.” And while it’s a testament to him as a worker, it’s also a bad sign on the side of creative. They literally pumped so much energy and resources into Reigns that they neglected to creat anyone else. The fucked up Rollins by not having him turn face on his return in front of a crowd that desperately wanted to cheer him, they fucked up everyone in the League of Nations (all of which could’ve been top guys), fucked up Sheamus’ title run by having him as the set up guy for Reigns, and Owens is heavily embroiled in the above mentioned feud where he’s not even a main player.
And where is Lesnar? What’s the point? He just shows up and then leaves and they never mention him again. It’s like they want the fans to forget he exists. Just bizarre booking.
Clash was a show that had great wrestling, but at best bizarre booking and at worst, sabotaging finishes. It’s another example of creative trying to extend feuds due to pillaged rosters and the thought that 50/50 booking keeps everyone strong when in reality, it prevents anyone from going over.