Another year, another Six Hour Pre-Show to The Raw After Wrestlemania is in the books. I was pretty much wrong on most of my predictions, and even more wrong on how certain people would be used. But was it a good show? Here’s how it scored:
New Day Entrance: When this gimmick started, I was scared that these guys would eventually get released as the clapping, way too happy babyfaces that just couldn’t get over. Then, they went heel, and became clapping, way too happy heels that started doing Black Twitter and Black Nerd jokes, that everyone except the announcers understood. Last night, they came out of a giant box of Booty-O’s Cereal wearing Saiyan cosplay armor.
THE BEST! Their attention to detail is insane. Just look at this shit:
Then, I was immediately reminded of the best thing entrance from LAST YEAR’S Wrestlemania with Rusev on a Tank, and just how far he’s literally fallen…
— Lobster Tent (@Brelston) April 4, 2016
The match itself? Meh. The post match with the Legends? Fun, yet damaging. Rusev and Woods took the best two Stunners since Santino and Scott Hall.
Women’s Title Triple Threat: The match of the night on a card with a lot of surprisingly underwhelming matches. I’m glad that they’re finally getting rid of the terribly contradictory “Divas” branding, along with the title belt that looks like a gigantic
vagina butterfly. These three women had a great match, my favorite match of the show. The presentation was great from start to finish. Sasha’s entrance with Snoop, and Charlotte wearing Ric Flair’s robe from his final Wrestlemania match in her first Wrestlemania match were great touches to add to the prestige. The action was crisp, they were motivated, and they achieved. Charlotte winning was not what I thought would happen, but you couldn’t go wrong with any of them winning. If this leads to Bayley getting called up, I’m good either way.
IC Title Ladder Match: A very fun, safe-ish ladder match. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were big hits in both of their first Wrestlemania appearances. Zayn in particular was amazing. He’s one of the top workers in the company, and he showed everyone why in this match. Zack Ryder winning was probably the last thing that anyone would have predicted, considering that he wasn’t even supposed to be in the match. He’s finally able to erase his previous Wrestlemania Moment where he was kicked in the nads by Eve Torres. As a Ryder fan, I’m happy. As a wrestling fan, I’m confused.
AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho: Barely a hit. This was a sloppy-ish match that got better later on. These two guys just don’t jive very well, no matter how hard they try. Sometimes, it be’s like that. The booking was weird. Jericho didn’t need to beat AJ just as much as he didn’t need to lose to Fandango that one time. They’re tied in their series. I smell a fifth and (hopefully) final match at the next PPV.
Battle Royal: A harmless bathroom break match, that had yet another fun Shaq/Big Show interaction. One day, they’ll do that simultaneous choke slam spot that they keep teasing, and I’ll love wrestling into eternity. DDP showing up was cool. Random Tatanka was Random. I would have given Mark Henry the win in his final Wrestlemania (in his home state, no less), but if Baron Corbin winning means that they’re actually going to add some prestige to this match, then it’s fine. I hope that Baron Corbin continues his gimmick of hating the Internet and squashes Ryder, Ziggler, Kalisto, and the like.
Shane McMahon vs Undertaker: I hated the build up and I hated idea of the match. I tried to turn my brain off and accept this for what this was, but once Shane put Taker in that “triangle choke,” I was completely over this. It didn’t help that the match itself was slow, plodding, and horribly booked. It looked like two 50-year olds fighting over a ham sammich. My suspense of disbelief was never able to kick in, simply because I was just waiting until Shane jumped off of something. He jumped off of two things, and they were spectacular, if not dumb. However, two insane bumps won’t erase a horrible match that went THIRTY MINUTES! Additionally, this was a match where the fans can’t win. If Shane won, the product supposedly would get better under his rule, but The Undertaker would be gone. Undertaker won, so we’re subjected to this status-quo heel authority figurehead bullshit that’s been weighing the product down for going on twenty years now.
Dean Ambrose vs Brock Lesnar: It was a twelve minute squash match. Dean Ambrose had a GREAT match with HHH a month ago, and his reward was to get suplexed to death by Brock. His moments of shine were no-sold to the point of hilarity. I’m not saying that Dean should have won, but he didn’t even look good in defeat. And for this being a hardcore match, it was very tame. They teased a chainsaw. They teased a barbed-wire baseball bat (and I was immediately reminded that I was missing The Walking Dead season finale). They didn’t deliver on their promoted gore, and it was just another Brock Lesnar match. He’s impressive, but it’s starting to get repetitive.
Roman Reigns vs HHH: To begin, having Stephanie yell at us that we ain’t shit and that they own us felt like the biggest shoot since The Montreal Screwjob. It just felt like Vince was spraying shit from his ass and making us eat it because he knows that we will. It didn’t even make me want to hate them, especially after realizing that Shane McMahon failed at saving us from these shitty Authority shows. It did make me want to support other wrestling products more, because I’m simply over being told that my customer satisfaction doesn’t matter. That Stephanie promo was as if Ronald McDonald got on TV and pissed in all of the phony hamburger meat, molded them into Big Macs, and laughed as he watched us eat it.
HHH’s Wrestlemania entrances always balance the line between awesome and cheesy, and this one was just drenched in cheddar. The match itself was meh. They wrestled a slow pace, which would have been fine on any other show, but this show had ladders, guys jumping 30 feet, chainsaws, giant cereal boxes, and flamethrowers. They just had a regular ass wrestling match. Not to mention that this has been a SIX HOUR SHOW. That’s just way too long for an okay match. There was an intensity that was lacking, and outside of the Stephanie spear, nothing happened that was really memorable.
The Rock Segment: This entire segment went eight thousand years too long, and it was basically just The Rock announcing a fake attendance number (it was more in the 95K range). Then, The Rock got to bury The Wyatts, and then John Damn Cena comes out to help him finish the job from two years ago. I love The Rock, but him coming back only to shit on guys that don’t have comebacks to him doesn’t do anyone any good.
Part Timers Outclassing Full Timers: Shaq, HBK, Mick Foley, Stone Cold, The Rock, Brock Lesnar, HHH, Undertaker, and Shane McMahon all have something in common; They don’t wrestle everyday. Some not at all. Yet it was clear that there was a huge divide between them and the rest of the roster. Maybe New Day got a close enough reaction, but everyone on the roster that does this every day looked like geeks compared to the golden stars of the Attitude Era. It’s a big problem that WWE needs to fix. There’s no one to root for when the part timers aren’t there, mainly because everyone is booked to be equal to everyone else. No one stands out, and the few that actually do get beaten like drums by the part timers. It doesn’t give anyone “the rub” when they’re selling for guys twice their age and not able to actually do anything to equate themselves to them. Yay! Xavier Woods and Rusev took great Stunner Bumps… but they still had to TAKE Stunner Bumps.
Weird Booking: Many of the matches were very entertaining. The ladder match was fun, but what can Zack Ryder possibly do with the IC Title now? Jericho did the job to FANDANGO three years ago, but not to AJ Styles? The story on their website all week was Sasha’s passion, and they didn’t follow through with her crowning moment? New Day HAD to lose to the League of Losers? Just odd choices throughout the night. Not to mention, despite Shane being involved, his losing means that literally nothing has changed. HHH is still in power, they’re still bad guys, and Raw is still three hours.
Commentary: They suck, they’re emotionless, and they suck.
This was a six hour long episode of Raw. The matches were good. We got some surprises, but overall, this won’t be a very memorable Wrestlemania. There isn’t anything on this show that made me want to go back and watch it again, unlike for instance, Nakamura vs Zayn at Takeover. The defining memory of this one won’t necessarily be matches, but moments, which is what the company is obsessed with. Instead of creating compelling television and characters with substance, it was a paint-by-the-numbers show. WWE was able to create a bunch of gifs to retweet, but they didn’t create any stars, or any tangible reason for anyone to come back and watch their shows. It was wrestling’s version of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it merely existed.
You just know that they’re going to load up Raw tonight and it’ll blow this Wrestlemania out of the water, tho. After that, we’ll be right back to square one.
Rating: 2/5. It was a show.
- 2 Fingaz