I didn’t start to write this until now (what is short after midnight) because I couldn’t come to terms if to make this very short – because of my level of disappointment with RAW (to say it very politely!) – or very extended – because of the same reason. I’ll probably meet myself in the middle.
First of all I’ll give you a quote:
“After Monday’s WWE RAW in Denver went off the air, it came down to Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, John Cena, Cesaro and Dean Ambrose in the ring. Cesaro spun Ambrose around 30 times with a Cesaro Swing. Ambrose finally got up and ate a Brogue kick from Sheamus. Both Sheamus and Cesaro left after their moves. Ambrose got back up with just Cena and Bryan in the ring. Cena nailed an Attitude Adjustment and left the ring with fans chanting “yes!” for Bryan. Bryan hit a running knee on Ambrose before celebrating and slapping hands with fans at ringside to end the show.”
And I’m very, very… very divided about it. First of all: we, the stupid wrestling fans here in Europe, couldn’t watch it because… well… it was placed after RAW went off air – as you may have already read above. That’s nothing knew. WWE does it for decades now. And I don’t have a problem with it when the crowd in very arenas get a bit more for their money than fans at home only watching the shows on TV. But there are mainly two points on I don’t get this argument any more:
1) I didn’t have the chance to watch a wrestling show live in an arena so far but can only imagine that it must be great without these commercials that always interrupt every second match – some of them even twice -, with these partly stupid commentary and you can actually cheer for your favourites for them noticing it for real. So, live audiences already get almost one hour of live wrestling more than the telly fandom. I really get it when dark matches are just Cena vs Orton Groundhog Day-like repetitions. I don’t need to see that over and over again. But when RAW basically was a huge disappointment and the last seconds were boiling up towards something great (and new!) and then I’m cut off because -surprise! – telly time is over: I am getting real mad especially when it’s just after 5 o’clock in the morning (in my time zone)!
2) Only too often I read that I should buy a ticket and see the house shows or RAW or Smackdown right in the arenas if I’m tired about watching commercials or missing certain dark matches. Well, it wouldn’t be only for the fifteen dollars for a ticket but also my flights over the big pond (and back) plus hotel stays and probably something to eat. Add around two thousand dollars and I would be able to see some common house show. And that would be just ONE show. Dark match would be probably Cena vs Orton so my disappointment would be huge once again. And just show me the fan who goes to every live event all over the U.S.!
Right. Got it: you want to reward the fans for actually having bought a ticket. But you shouldn’t punish fans outside of the U.S. for not even able to buy one.
That’s my general opinion about these dark matches. Now for the very recent one: Dean Ambrose being a part of it. I really don’t know. Because it’s either positive and negative. During the show The Shield was even more Roman Reigns and the two other guys: first the promo with Reigns making fun of DA’s match versus Mark Henry and his announcement that he will definitely do better. At that point I hoped for DA and Seth Rollins on commentary but after Reigns won it in just under three minutes I understood why it wasn’t needed. The impression was clear: Reigns doesn’t need the help from his Shield colleagues and he can win matches easily – even against huge opponents like Mark Henry. But at least I liked the frustration boiling up in DA when he didn’t join in the celebrations after the match but instead kicked Mark Henry out off the ring. It now becomes quite clear that this will end up in a showdown between Reigns and DA with probably a feud between them after their break-up. Question is where Seth Rollins will fit into that. Hopefully not just as some cheerleader on ringside, who is torn between them.
Now the last seconds of RAW were interesting because the so-called Main Event between Randy Orton and Sheamus was boring and not really good. Around one hour from the finish Super Cena and Cesaro had one decent match of slightly over twenty minutes (obviously with His Holiness winning it). Minutes ticked on after that when I expected this Main Event about to start because I was really looking forward to it. But instead we were getting four other segments thrown at us – one worse than the other. The worst of all was this backstage promo with Triple H and Randy Orton. I liked Orton for being nasty against Triple H but his recent ass-kissing behaviour towards him is very hard to watch. Adding to that was Batista emerging telling Randy Orton that:
“You are not the face of the WWE. You are the ass.”
Wow, how creative! Even more creative that Orton just walked away instead of stating:
“And your face looks like an ass.”
Or something like that. Then Alberto Del Rio emerged with a ruff around his neck but was beaten up anyway. Then another match was announced for the Elimination Chamber PPV namely the former tag team partners Titus O’Neill vs Darren Young and O’Neill promoted it. The next segment was the match Los Matadores & Sin Cara vs The Wyatts and the most disappointed part of it was that The Shield didn’t came out after the Wyatts have won it. In retrospective that was because they still had to have their physical confrontation but at that point it was hugely disappointing that the Wyatts could celebrate their win without distraction from The Shield. After that it was Billy Gunn of the NAO vs. Jay Uso, who won the match. And after another promo by Sheamus the main event finally kicked off. By the start of the match it was already ten minutes from the full hour but we got five minutes more when The Shield attacked Sheamus out off the blue. So Sheamus won by disqualification and one after one all Chamber main eventers plus The Wyatts entered the ring and the brawl broke free. For just a couple of seconds until we were cut off.
So, Dean Ambrose obviously is a great heel plus he sells perfectly and the concept of the WWE Dark matches seems to be to hit the heels as hard as possible for “sending the fans home happy”. I wouldn’t be that happy when I had to watch DA beaten up that much. But maybe that was his lesson for kicking Mark Henry earlier in the show. But who knows what logic really was behind this. Maybe – like I stated in the title for this piece – it was meant as an honour to get a 30-round Cesaro swing, a Brogue Kick, an AA and a kick in the face by DB all at once. Like it was an honour to get snaked by Jake “The Snake” Roberts. But I’m just fed up with DA always being beaten up with only a few times he can really show what he is capable of. So recently he is mostly reduced to his promos, great facial expressions and perfect body language. The WWE can try to built Reings as their next huge superstar as much as they like but the truth is: Roman Reigns is only great because of Seth Rollins and DA. Like Super Cena matches are only great with certain opponents like Cesaro today.
As for the Elimination Chamber match between The Shield and The Wyatts I think The Shield will win because Reigns need to show up as the big hero once again. We definitely will get some more tensions between Reigns and DA and hopefully a creepy mad DA. Don’t think that this will consequently cause the break-up because Seth Rollins once again will act as the glue between the two of them. No surprises then at Elimination Chamber.