Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 12/14/15: A Whole New Reigns

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 12/14/15)

A Whole New Reigns

– Coming off TLC’s well-done closing angle where Roman Reigns snapped Brock Lesnar style and injured his boss Triple H after getting screwed over again by The League Of Nations helping WWE World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus retain in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match, we were eager to see how The Authority would go about likely firing Reigns even though we knew that’d never actually happen. As for the video, it sold Reigns’ snap perfectly with the close-ups and chair shot sound effects.

– The opening segment with Stephanie McMahon and Reigns was the perfect start to the show that gave us a proper follow-up to the TLC angle and something to look forward to later on. The key to its success was the “new” Reigns getting the chance to come off more as a badass a la CM Punk circa 2011 by souring on the entire McMahon family name once he responded to Steph’s initial promo that looked at the emotional aspect of the attack on her husband. Of course, Steph’s only response are her seven slaps, but she dropped the night’s biggest line saying that while Triple H instructed her not to fire Reigns, her father would be coming down to talk. It’s always big news when Mr. McMahon shows up these days. Anything to pop a rating, but it actually worked.

– The streak of main roster logical booking continued with the match between WWE Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler, which was designed to be fun that was to be ruined by the former IC Champ Kevin Owens before a winner could be decided, with the idea that Owens was hellbent on getting his gold back. Ziggler trying to mount a comeback against Owens but coming up short tells us that perhaps he gets thrown into this IC Title mix too, which in all honesty, isn’t a bad idea. Owens’ backstage promo was the perfect follow-up since he got to explain his side and we all know he can knock any routine promo out of the park. He came off as someone actually inspired to drive Ambrose into an institution. Awesome.

– The streak furthered on with the backstage promo from The Dudley Boyz/Tommy Dreamer/Rhyno that did its job of being different than usual, using the ECW-inspired Philly environment with highlights of their respective careers back then to draw bigger pops for their challenge to the Wyatt Family for an Extreme Rules match. It was essentially a battle cry, but we dug it since it strayed from the norm.

– On paper, a match between R-Truth and Bo Dallas looked like a dead-end road, since neither guy were being pushed. We were more shocked that there were crowd members who actually knew the words to R-Truth’s freestyle rap theme. We won’t judge the match, since it was an easy way to have McMahon come out and put an immediate stop to things, ensuring that the current match didn’t matter. We were wondering which McMahon had arrived – the one who was against Trips/Steph’s authoritarian ways or was aligned with them and out to make Reigns pay for what happened to his son-in-law. It was the latter and we couldn’t had been happier. After all, McMahon makes the best villain if you happen to live under a rock. Reigns held his own, still acting like a badass, using another corny testicle joke, but it worked oddly here. Sheamus also had his place in the segment trying to suck up to the big boss and playing the overconfident heel who was sure he could beat Reigns even with the Title on the line, which prompted Reigns to insult McMahon to get it to happen out of anger. Obviously, this made the main event something huge with the ultimate stipulation for Reigns – win the Title or lose your job. The good thing was that it appeared either one would play out, so we were promised a guaranteed result with no overbooked foolishness. Others have complained about the kick to the nuts, but we thought it worked in the context of the segment in referencing Reigns’ insult and gestured how McMahon had the momentum now.

– The WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio/Rusev-Ryback/Jack Swagger seemed like an easy way to squeeze two feuds in one match and get the League Of Nations over while keeping the consistencies of Lana getting one over Ryback again for the finish. Our only gripe is that this is the fourth consecutive time where it has happened and Ryback continues to look dumb. Seeing this match, we were somewhat happy that Swagger has at least progressed from jobber status though, so there’s that.

– The “Rosebush” segment was the best of the recent bunch, but that doesn’t say much. His focus was on WWE Divas Champion Charlotte becoming her father and Dreamer with chocolate syrup and a bad tan. We suppose this role is better than “Party Pooper” Adam Rose, but couldn’t he abandon this whole thing and become Leo Kruger already? This guy has wasted potential.

– It’s good to see guys like Tyler Breeze finally get their call-up from NXT… to serve as a jobber for a match that focused more on the guy outside the ring than the two competitors. We suppose it’s not the worst storyline for Neville since it’s a step-up from dead-end feuds with Stardust/The Ascension, but we’re not sure he’s the guy for the “Damien Mizdow” rehash. That said, it was a bit entertaining to see Miz “directing” the match from the outside while Neville was getting annoyed, but not deterred from winning, which Miz took credit for. The backstage segment with Miz-Neville that followed was goofy since they revealed that Miz needed help landing a role that required a British accent. We’re all for a Miz-Neville feud with slight theatrics, but we really hope things don’t get too campy, or it could harm both Miz/Neville long-term and Neville needs what he can get.

– The Wyatt Family’s fog promo promising to bury Team ECW in the same city they were born went how you’d envision it to. Good stuff, spooky as usual. It was an appropriate predecessor to the Eight-Man Extreme Rules match with both the Dudley Boyz/Dreamer/Rhyno and Wyatt teams. The action was amped to 10 with a little bit of everything – tables, kendo sticks and even a nice barricade spot. This actually felt like an appropriate throwback to old-school ECW, but we wish the broadcast team didn’t spend the whole time raving over how “extreme” it was. If you’re a fan of the hardcore style, seek this one out, because it was better than it had any business being. Even better, The Wyatts got to beat the ECW guys at their own game in their backyard. We’re curious what the future holds for the Wyatts in 2016, but this gives us hope.

– TLC 2015 was most likely known for the Triple-Threat Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championships, with some insane and fun spots, with reason. We get what they were trying to accomplish with the segment with the Champions, The New Day, The Usos and The Lucha Dragons, but it fell short. The idea was supposed to be tricking the fans into thinking the jokesters “turned a new leaf” and showed their opponents true respect for a memorable match while their competitors would point out their underhanded tactics like Xavier Woods throwing a trombone at another opponent during the match that’d make them skeptical of an attitude change. At this point, New Day would get over that they’re serious and after a show of respect in the ring and their opponents leave and head up the ramp, they go into celebration mode bragging about how those two other teams would never be as a good as them and never get Title shots again. The problem is, everything except the bragging/insulting of the other teams happened, so when the faces went to get revenge and attack New Day, it didn’t come off the way it was supposed to, because the heels didn’t do enough to make the fans want to see them get beat down, thus drawing boos. The idea was there, but the execution was flawed in a segment that wasted time more than anything else.

– So the latest twist in the Charlotte/Becky Lynch saga is that they teamed up beating Brie Bella/Alicia Fox while Team BAD flashed tickets in the first row for some odd reason and Lynch made Fox tap out to the Disarmer, not knowing that Ric Flair tripped Fox from outside the ring to put her in that position. Why would Lynch put her guard down so quickly for her best friend she was beginning to doubt? This felt inconsistent with the storyline, but perhaps they follow it up on Smackdown more logically.

– The Prime Time Players selling merchandise isn’t as much fun as New Day doing it.

– Now for the big main event: the moment overrode the match, but it was a highlight that truly brought the year around full circle for Reigns to win the Title to a great reaction in the same arena that nearly booed him out of the arena back in January upon winning the Royal Rumble. The match started slow, but naturally, the story picked up as we saw Reigns backed into the corner, forced to deliver in his eleventh hour and it played out entertainingly. As we expected, Rusev and Del Rio came down to stop Reigns which didn’t work. Even McMahon himself pulled the referee out of the ring before he could count to three, which later warranted a Superman Punch, which has us curious what’ll be done to punish Reigns for that. There was also a well-done near-fall with Sheamus almost winning with the Brogue Kick right after that. We knew how it’d likely play out, but it played out brilliantly with little moments where they made us briefly doubt it. Reigns as new Champion brings instant freshness and it’ll be interesting to see how the Authority comes back. We know that Sheamus gets a rematch clause, so will it be at the Royal Rumble?






Quick Results

  • Dean Ambrose def. Dean Ambrose via DQ
  • R-Truth and Bo Dallas to a no-contest
  • Alberto Del Rio/Rusev (w/Lana) def. Ryback/Jack Swagger via pinfall
  • Neville def. Tyler Breeze (w/Summer Rae) via pinfall
  • Eight-Man Extreme Rules Tag Match – The Wyatt Family def. The Dudley Boyz/Tommy Dreamer/Rhyno via pinfall
  • Charlotte (w/Ric Flair)/Becky Lynch def. Brie Bella/Alicia Fox via submission
  • If Roman Reigns Loses, He Is Fired – WWE World Heavyweight Championship – Roman Reigns def. Sheamus (Champion) via pinfall

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 December 19, 2015, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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