Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 11/23/15: Hee Haw

WWE RawBy Nicholas Jason Lopez


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.






(Aired 11/23/15)

Hee Haw

– The opening video highlighted the newsworthy Survivor Series finish, when WWE World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase on Roman Reigns, who’d just beaten Dean Ambrose in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Finals and more specifically, Speared Triple H seemingly for no reason when the guy came out to congratulate him and offer his hand. Either way, Red Rooster’s the new Champion and Reigns was laid out and left in a heap of confetti-stricken grief.

– The first in-ring segment with Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Sheamus, Reigns and Rusev was a fair opening, all in all. One of the problems here was that Triple H wasn’t wrong in his “heel” reasoning – that he was hit with a cheap shot all for being the first guy to congratulate a new Champion. For a guy who’s built on honor and pride, they could at least give us some explanation of why Reigns Speared the boss, no? At least Trips accomplished his mission of explaining why Sheamus was the “new man,” but we can’t help but feel like they’re shoving Sheamus into the role of “New Seth Rollins” and it doesn’t work. You get the feeling his heel character isn’t ready for this thing. They were going for real heat and it garnered more of the “go-away” type. Reigns looked logical for wanting an immediate rematch and it got a big reaction, but since he was asking the guy he Speared the night before, was he expecting to get a yes? From the heel’s perspective though, it did look like he granted Reigns his wish for TLC in a TLC match, just on his own terms. Rusev attacking Reigns was definitely a surprise, as nobody expected him to emerge like that, all to set up the main event as per Steph, who again showed off her emasculating side when Reigns questioned her husband’s masculinity.

– After getting their asses (and souls?) handed to them by The Undertaker and Kane the night before, it made sense for The Wyatt Family to start getting back on the win column fast. In the moment Luke Harper/Bray Wyatt’s opponents were announced to be the Dudley Boyz, one thing was clear: Bubba and D-Von couldn’t be any less irrelevant right now. That’s sad, considering how red-hot they were upon returning. They’ve since become just another team, which is never the thing to do when Bubba’s on your main roster. However, at least the Dudleys weren’t portrayed as pushovers, as commentary pushed that they were fearless and would fight anybody. The action was okay, ultimately culminating with a Discus Clothesline by Harper to finish Bubba off when he gained momentum following a hot tag. Also liked how Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman joined the post-match assault to lay them both out. It’s hard to decipher if a feud is on the horizon, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing known to man.

– A Sasha Banks-Becky Lynch match on any card brings back good NXT memories, but this paled in comparison to those epic encounters. Four minutes doesn’t allow you to tell much of an in-ring story, but they tried their best. Natural chemistry won here and was a welcome change, especially when we saw Lynch wear new attire, giving us hope that her character is beginning to develop from Charlotte’s sidekick. The story here was easy: Banks winning with true heel class, her Team BAD partners Tamina and Naomi physically helping out. From the way commentary talked about Banks possibly being in the running for a WWE Divas Championship shot, that could be the case.

– Cue angry Paige backstage promo, souring on Michael Cole’s banter. This basically hyped her rematch with WWE Divas Champion Charlotte later on by having her bring up that the night before was “flawed” since she showed instant replay that showed Charlotte was under the ropes when she applied the Figure Eight. She was at least more of a heel here, outright insulting both the fans and Charlotte, also targeting Ric Flair particularly.

– From the moment the words, “The New Day’s First Anniversary Country Music Jamboree And WWE Tag Team Championship Open Challenge” appeared on the screen, we were struck with both laughter and confusion from what we’d be in store for in front of a Nashville crowd. The image looked comedically promising, right down to the pink unicorns, cowboy hats and bandanas. The material was a bit tame, but got better on the actual “singing” of how they interpreted country music. No way you couldn’t laugh at that. What soured it for us though? The need for Kofi Kingston to say, “This is me saying this, not my character.” New Day is supposed to be goofy and funny, not kayfabe-breaking. What were they going for exactly? That said, the “open challenge” portion of the segment was self-explanatory – multiple teams (The Usos and The Lucha Dragons) answer, the heels cowardly back out, the faces attack the heels, building anticipation for a big multi-tag match of some sort at TLC. If that’s the road, it all makes sense. Maybe it’ll be a ladder match? Maybe The Dudley Boyz even get in? The challengers came off pretty well on the mic, particularly Kalisto. So glad he gets to talk now.

– At the least, Charlotte sounded confident in her backstage response promo to Paige. It was hard to take her “Oh, Paige is just politicking” comment seriously, but it still hyped the match.

– Neville “upsetting” Mark Henry would’ve come off better had Henry not already been portrayed as a jobber the last few months. Since Henry was first to come out, it still felt like he was out there to lose. The thing was though, that you’re never sure whether Henry will do the squashing or be squashed. Commentary talked about Henry being much appreciative of the “future” and guys like Neville, which meant that Neville would overcome supposedly by the slimmest of margins. It didn’t have the desired effect, but it was an encouraging sign for good things for Neville, especially that shots of The Miz watching backstage hinted at a possible new feud.

– The show was going off the rails towards “Hee Haw” territory when Titus O’Neil “interupted” Stardust’s promo amongst the stars. Sort of funny, but it was also eh. That said, it did lead to the next match.

-The six-man tag match between Stardust/The Ascension and Goldust/The Prime Time Players was an even-handed match meant for filler purposes that saw Titus shine right into the finish. The return of Darren Young felt highly unspectacular though and there are times where we think Creative should let O’Neil free. He could be a bigger player down the road if given the proper push.

– The in-ring segment between WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio, Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger obviously accomplished its mission of continuing the Del Rio-Swagger feud, but the storyline is a silly one at best.  We still don’t really get this “Mex-America” thing. The concept makes zero sense. It’s a fake country comprised of two citizens for the purpose of America and Mexico working together. These segments don’t work for heat in America. Perhaps in Canada this would work, but it’s just foolishness otherwise and a complete waste of Del Rio’s character, despite the fact he’s a much better heel than babyface. On the plus side, at least this is the best way to start using Swagger again.

– The WWE Divas championship match between Paige and Charlotte had a lot more time to tell a story and was easy to invest in, since Paige was the clear heel, but it still felt as if something was missing. Their chemistry has gotten better, but it was by no means a great match. The lame double countout finish probably sets up a Paige-Charlotte-Banks triple threat for TLC. We can agree with that move, if that’s what they plan.

– Not even an hour after New Day did an entire skit insulting country music, the “One Man Band” Heath Slater came out with a guitar and did the exact same thing, all for Ryback to interrupt and obliterate him. We’re not sure what the purpose of this was other than time filler, but it was a waste. It didn’t help the show’s downhill spiral.

– The Dean Ambrose/Dolph Ziggler-WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens/Tyler Breeze tag match seemed to be more of a continuation of both the Ambrose-Owens and Ziggler-Breeze feuds and it was a good bout, but it felt odd that Ambrose was radio silent a night after coming so close yet again to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and had no opinions on what Reigns was doing against The Authority. Maybe it’ll be followed up on Smackdown, but they had a golden opportunity to do something on this show and came up empty.  On that note, it was good to see Ambrose score the pin.

– Given that the low ratings and the main event was Reigns-Rusev, it’s telling to exactly how bland the main event picture has gotten. The match itself was okay and got better as it went on, but it was too melodramatic and pretty bland, considering we’re bound to get more of the same for this floundering Sheamus-Reigns program. After months of terrible comedy/romance storylines, it’s hard to buy Rusev as a monster again all of a sudden. He has his own rebuilding to do, but aligning with Sheamus and The Authority is a step in the right direction. We definitely knew Rusev wasn’t winning this and were waiting for the inevitable Reigns pinfall, but that luckily got disrupted when King Barrett attacked Reigns. The reunited foreign trio of Reigns/Sheamus/Rusev shows promise, but it’s questionable whether to place it at the forefront.






Quick Results

  • Luke Harper/Bray Wyatt (w/Erick Rowan, Braun Strowman) def. The Dudley Boyz via pinfall
  • Sasha Banks (w/Naomi, Tamina) def. Becky Lynch via pinfall
  • Neville def. Mark Henry via pinfall
  • Six-Man Tag – Goldust/The Prime Time Players def. Stardust/The Ascension via pinfall
  • WWE Divas Championship – Charlotte (Champion) and Paige to a double countout; Charlotte retains
  • Dean Ambrose/Dolph Ziggler def. Kevin Owens/Tyler Breeze (w/Summer Rae) via pinfall
  • Roman Reigns def. Rusev (w/Sheamus) via DQ

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on November 26, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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