Wrasslin’ State of Mined: Ushering in a New Era of Monday Night RAW (May 9, 2016)

One More Time for the Cheap Seats

Hey! Did you guys know it’s a New Era for WWE? No, seriously. This isn’t your daddy’s wrasslin’. No, this is a new time, filled with endless possibilities, and personal disputes being settled in the ring. Yup, totally new. Okay, I may be laying it on a little thick, for what has actually be a solid stretch of Monday Night RAW these past few weeks, but they’re hell-bent on making sure we know that things done changed. I guess it helps that they’ve been for the better, so far.

What’s been taking place is a nice melding of old, with new, but emphasizing the fresh faces. Having Big Cass interrupt Old Man Jericho at the top of the show is one way to mix the stew. The mouth piece of Enzo Amore may be out due to his concussion, but WWE has done a great job of keeping the team relevant by throwing the big man into the fray with some of the hotter stars on the roster. So he got to stand in the ring with Y2J and hold his own in promo. No, he’s not as polished on the mic as his partner, but he knows what beats to hit and when. It’s his size and attitude that carried him through, and the crowd loved it. Jericho took umbrage with the rookie stealing his shine, and took his issues to the higher ups, who then saw fit to book the vet in a main event match that very night. Even though the match didn’t technically take place, it was enough of a rub to make Cass look good. Lacking one of the top good guys in the company (Dean Ambrose) for a night, allowed WWE to shake things up just enough.

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WWE is smartly stretching this program out a bit. I don’t know if I like the dueling talk show aspect of it, but Ambrose poking at Jericho’s earnestness is hilarious to me. Nothing better than making fun of a guy that takes himself too seriously. It also helps that both these guys can take the comedic elements to a dark and brutal place pretty easily. Yes, me make joke about the loss of Mitch, but it was still a potted plant being exploded all over a guy’s head. That plant was only like $5 at Frank’s Nursery and Crafts, but Ambrose hacked up a $15,000 (not really THAT expensive, but higher than you may think) jacket. Not exactly even.

For the Fam

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Tree shaking notwithstanding, Reigns is still champ, and his beef with AJ Styles is far from resolved. More so than what was setup at Payback, I like how this is developing. Styles has once again chosen to go about things the “right” way, but to almost no avail. His play at plausible deniability keeps him a top face but doesn’t take away from the fact that his boys in “The Club” continue to act as his goons. Oh, and they’re going with calling them “The Club”. So there’s that. And by “that”, I mean here’s some steak on a trash can lid, enjoy.

In any event, the 6-man, elimination tag match was solid. They avoided the obvious outcome of having Roman go 3 on 1 against the entire Club. Instead, it was a hard fought battle that saw the Uso’s be way more useful than usual. The twins put on decent matches, but there’s no connection to them, and their alignment with their cousin, who is getting booed out of every arena does more harm than good for them. See, The Club gets middling boo’s because they’re still seen as outsiders, but with every chair shot to Reigns, they gain favor. The only reason they get actual heat is for going against Styles’ wishes to do things legit. It all makes for interesting stuff.

Out of the Woodworks

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The Steph/Shane dynamic took a bit of a back seat, with the actual Superstars talking up the New Era in their stead. This whole thing still doesn’t quite do it for me. Shane hasn’t really hit his stride on the mic as a babyface, and with their conflict on hold in the interest of PPV surprises (Extreme Rules will be the 2nd event in one month), there isn’t really a grab here.

What’s really making this all click is that the performers are all making their claims at various titles. Zayn took this opportunity to crowd please, and work his way back into the IC title picture, even though he technically doesn’t “deserve” it. This is why wrasslin’ can be good drama. No, from a wins/losses point of view, Zayn shouldn’t be within sniffing distance of that title, but WWE, from a character standpoint, is all about pleasing the people.

We even got an NXT call up with Dana Brooks making her debut to help Emma give Becky Lynch hell…in the form of head pats

Dastardly.
Dastardly.

I’m all for multiple feuds in the Women’s Division. With three hours to fill on RAW and two on Smackdown, there’s no need to focus on only title. We need a reason to get behind or hate specific performers. That way, when someone makes their way up the ranks *cough* Sasha *cough*, it won’t feel like she took a stroll through the park.

Why Aren’t You Watching Lucha Underground?

I don’t have much to say about that title. I’ll just put this here…

Anywhoo. RAW was good, wrasslin’ is fun, and I have no real complaints at the moment. You feel l left something important out, scream at me on Twittah. Till Then

Deuces Kiddos.

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