Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 11/9/15: Regurgitated Souls
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– For what it was worth relating to the story of Roman Reigns coming close to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship numerous times this year and coming up short and the timing of former Champion Seth Rollins’ reign-finishing injury, the opening in-ring segment with Reigns and WWE Chief Operating Officer Triple H was strong. It was important to note that we were in London, England aka “land of the smartest wrestling fans” that bring the real fun to WrestleMania and post-WrestleMania Raws. As you could imagine, they weren’t too warm towards Reigns, but headed into this show, we expected Reigns to get some kind of tourney bye to decide a new Champion since he’d already earned the #1 Contender spot. This was essentially Triple H tempting Reigns with everything he worked so hard to get, but would only get it in an underhanded way, which was a problem for Reigns, who turned it down rather rudely. Liked the stuff about Triple H saying he strongly considered Reigns to be “the man,” but lacked one specific attribute that has cost him even to this day – the willingness to do anything. What was confusing about this though was that afterwards, commentary sold it like Triple H was offering Reigns the Championship when during the segment, it seemed like Triple H was tempting Reigns to keep his #1 Contender spot by joining The Authority. The intention was clear in this segment – Reigns wanted to earn things on his own, but it could’ve easily been misinterpreted another way. Oh yeah, WWE – way to follow this up with a dud of a First Round match between Reigns and The Big Show.
– The WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament First-Round match between Reigns and Show was mostly boring and anticlimactic as you could see by the crowd’s dead reaction. Nobody doubted Reigns would win and sure enough, he did. This made sense storyline-wise, but this could’ve been used later in the show.
– The brackets revealed Roman advancing, with Cesaro-Sheamus, WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio-Stardust, Kalisto-Ryback, Titus O’Neil-WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens, Neville-King Barrett, Dolph Ziggler-Miz and Dean Ambrose-Tyler Breeze as other First-Round matches. Some of these choices are odd, especially why Sheamus is in there when he has a Championship match all set to go when he chooses since he’s Mr. Money In The Bank.
– With guys like John Cena, Randy Orton and now Rollins out from injury, other talent can have the floor to shine and it seems like that’s the goal now with Owens. He actually received promo time before his WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament First-Round match with Titus O’Neil to mock the English fans for their self-proclaimed “smart mark” status and worshipping the Queen of England and the Royal Family, good way to get boos over there. For Owens, he had an opportunity to become a double Champion and that was played up here logically. While a placement of a tag team division fixture like O’Neil in the tourney lacked necessary explanation, he actually made the perfect opponent for a guy like Owens to bounce off of, since they met size-wise and in bold intensity. The crowd wasn’t deterred from cheering for KO though and that was the case through the whole match. A Pop-Up Powerbomb later, Owens was advancing. We’ll expect Owens to make it far in this if not the finals.
– Paige’s backstage promo hyped her upcoming match with Becky Lynch as well as her Survivor Series showdown with Divas Champion Charlotte. Paige was a hometown girl here, but you wouldn’t had known that, as she didn’t play to the crowd once, even though the last time we were in England, she had one of the loudest reactions. Paige managed to insult Renee Young’s journalistic abilities in a sarcastic manner, call Lynch a rat and imply that Charlotte was the “C” of Team PCB that didn’t stand for “Charlotte” in the matter of a minute. Heel game on fleek.
– The England shows give us the unique chance to see foreign heels flip the switch and be babyfaces for a night, but WWE played it safe and kept the character alignments the same, which didn’t benefit the match. It’s clear nobody rooted for Lynch here, but the action was decent, and Charlotte watching backstage reminded us of Survivor Series. Did Paige really need to lose here though? To be fair, the post-match events of Paige playing mind games by applying the Paige Tap Out on Lynch on the announce table and escaping before Charlotte could touch her upon making the save, we almost forgot Lynch won. The spotlight was on Paige getting the advantage. We also liked that it kept both Champion and challenger from getting physical.
– Dolph Ziggler is also another underutilized talent that could be a player with this tourney and it was encouraging that his First-Round match was against The Miz, who we all know had no chance of winning, even despite his serious mannerisms throughout. Since the two have always meshed well in the ring, this was probably designed to make Ziggler look gutsy with a win and that’s how it went down. The only thing we could’ve done without was him celebrating with the vacant Title. It made the tourney appear less important. On another note, we did like how the Superkick seems to be his new finisher.
– Mex-America…. what is this crap? You bring back Alberto Del Rio and make him United States Champion for this? Granted, this promo segment with him and Zeb Colter was about pushing Del Rio’s tourney appearance on Smackdown against Stardust and getting heat with the England crowd which was pretty easy to do, but this sort of fell flat since it went nowhere. Not even a mention of Jack Swagger, who got physical the last time Del Rio was on our TVs. We can at least applaud the idea that WWE pushed a Smackdown match on Raw for the first time in years seemingly.
– Besides the Divas Championship, the other Divas storyline involves Natalya stepping into the Bella’s old role of trying to split up Team BAD by challenging the group’s “leader.” She beat Tamina last time, so it made sense for her to fight Naomi this time. As we expected, the crowd chanted for Sasha Banks and she repaid them by shoving Natalya into the ring post behind the Referee’s back. Besides that, the match just over two minutes, which left no time for it to be memorable besides the finish that saw Natalya outsmart the heels to pull off another win, likely setting Banks to want to save the day, which is where Naomi might intervene and plant a feud. On that note, Team BAD got their heat back with the post-match attack.
– Match of the night: First-Round match between Sheamus and Cesaro. We expected Cesaro to get an overwhelming reaction, so it seemed to make no sense to try to combat that by bringing out England’s own King Barrett to accompany Sheamus to the ring, but it actually played into the finish since Sheamus/Barrett constantly targeted and threatened Manchester United’s Captain, Wayne Rooney. The fans had no problem booing Barrett in that case. The match started out nice and only got better with time, since this actually felt like a bout where both competitors were actually fighting for something. Cesaro might’ve had another career highlight with this crowd and moment, as they were out of their seats for the pinfall finish, shortly after Rooney slapped Barrett on the outside. Don’t get too excited for Cesaro though, because his next opponent in the tourney is Reigns. Did they think that one through, because the crowd is going to heavily favor Cesaro over Reigns.
– In essence, it was baffling to see Breeze’s debut match be in the tournament against a heavily favored Ambrose, though the catch that the winner would take on Ziggler in the Second-Round gave us some hope. At least, Breeze/Summer Rae were able to get some mic time, as they posed self-obsessedly, insulted Ambrose’s fashion choices and talked up a non-realistic future of a Breeze World Title reign.
– The First-Round match between Ambrose and Breeze gave us something unique and entertaining, but we expect Ambrose to also go far in the tourney and those plans weren’t going to be derailed for the recent NXT call-up. The finish was sort of odd though, since the win came on a surprise roll-up pin. It’s a match that would be fine for a throwaway show with lesser stakes but it didn’t settle well with us for both guys long-term.
– The Six-Man Tag between The New Day and Neville/The Usos came off like basic tag filler after the always entertaining New Day promo that focused on them being left out as tournament contenders and hurled basic insults on Europe having “bad magic” and dedicating the bout to their “fallen unicorn” Rollins. You had a good share of aerial maneuvers though, even despite how dumb Neville looked for taking out his own partners on both of his dives. We did like the finish though, since it showed The New Day taking the momentum back to steal the win, keeping them strong for Survivor Series when we assume The Usos will challenge them.
– The final in-ring “Bray Wyatt Eulogy” segment received tremendous hype through the night by showing both Undertaker and Kane’s career highlights in pairs from their debuts up until Wyatt ate their souls like juicy double bacon cheeseburgers. As with all his promos, Wyatt delivered it well, but talked about the same thing – having power. This was until Undertaker/Kane showed up on the Titantron, the black hole from last week going in reverse, leading to their actual appearance in person, shocking Wyatt as he looked frantic and called upon his Family members. Taker/Kane easily took care of Luke Harper/Erick Rowan twice before taking out Braun Strwoman with the help of the announce table. It was here where we would’ve held off on complete payback. Why on Earth would you let Wyatt get double Chokeslammed here and not hold it off until Survivor Series? They basically got their revenge in one night and we have no reason to see them pursue Wyatt now. Ideally, Wyatt should’ve ran off and that would’ve given us something more to look forward to. Don’t get us wrong: the crowd made the moment come off well, but at the end of things, now the Wyatt Family has to work to get all that heat and momentum back they just had before Taker/Kane stopped it. Even just having Taker/Kane come down to stare down The Wyatt Family would’ve sufficed. They went too far here with the storyline, especially so close to Survivor Series.
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament – First Round – Roman Reigns def. The Big Show via pinfall to advance
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament – First Round – Kevin Owens def. Titus O’Neil via pinfall to advance
- Becky Lynch def. Paige via pinfall
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament – First Round – Dolph Ziggler def. The Miz via pinfall to advance
- Natalya def. Naomi (w/Tamina, Sasha Banks) via pinfall
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament – First Round – Cesaro def. Sheamus (w/King Barrett) via pinfall to advance
- WWE World Heavyweight Championship – First Round – Dean Ambrose def. Tyler Breeze (w/Summer Rae) via pinfall to advance
- Six-Man Tag – The New Day def. Neville/The Usos via pinfall
Posted on November 14, 2015, in WWE and tagged Alberto Del Rio, Becky Lynch, Byron Saxton, Cesaro, Charlotte, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, JBL, Kane, Kevin Owens, King Barrett, Michael Cole, Naomi, Natalya, Neville, Paige, Renee Young, Roman Reigns, Sasha Banks, Sheamus, Summer Rae, Survivor Series, Tamina, The Big Show, The Miz, The New Day, The Undertaker, The Usos, The Wyatt Family, Titus O'Neil, Triple H, Tyler Breeze, WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament, Zeb Colter. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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