Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 3/7/16: R.I.P. Y2AJ
Posted by 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.
– The opening video chronicled Vince McMahon’s promo last week on Raw where he’d confidently recognize Shane McMahon as someone who’d lose everything if he lost to The Undertaker at Hell In The Cell at WrestleMania. Taker made it clear Shane’s blood would be on Vince’s hands, with nice archival footage of Taker wreaking HIAC havoc. Not sure why they dragged out a short segment for a three-minute video because it didn’t have the emotional impact for it but either way, it’s Raw from Chicago, so let’s get to it.
– The opening in-ring segment with Vince and Shane McMahon was a fine next step for their feud, with Shane getting the crowd’s love and spilling his two cents that what his father said made him lose a lot of respect, but that he was the answer to a lot of what WWE was doing wrong, then essentially saying Internet insider’s thoughts – “Vince is out of touch with the business and fanbase,” “The Authority crap will finally end if I win,” etc. The thing is that people do want to see this creative change, as it’ll freshen up the product. Vince brought the money in terms of getting heat, as he played Undertaker’s gong before coming out to big boos. Since it was Chicago, he should’ve expected “Asshole” and “CM Punk” chants, but we played off the moment like he was sure they wouldn’t last and luckily enough, he proved to be right. The stuff with Vince throwing down an old picture of him bringing Shane to his first wrestling event in Worcester, Massachusetts and throwing him some shade with bold insults was fine for the emotional impact, but we would’ve held off on Shane getting physical with anybody until Mania, albeit with four lousy security guards. The crowd at least popped big for the moment, as it seems they wanted people to see that Shane could defend himself.
– You look at a guy like Neville on the main roster and you see so much wasted potential. This guy was a gem in NXT and it’s a shame his best match in 2016 was on NXT thus far. Why isn’t he in the running for a mid-card or upper card Championship? At least they paired him with WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens here, as we’ve seen them battle it out in many Raw classics, so that was at least cool. Liked the overall story going in expressed by commentary of Owens looking for a Mania opponent and how his match would be “better than Savage-Steamboat.” This bout was quite good, as they reached their “happy place” in the ring. Neville turned his offense up a notch with a shooting star press from the top rope among other impressive aerials, while Owens stuck to his aggressive nature. They exchanged great near-falls until Owens stuck out a school boy pin where he pulled on the tights to win. The talking point of this was the post-match angle involving Sami Zayn returning to save Neville from getting apron powerbombed. Perfect town to do this angle in since they were hot for it from the get-go. Zayn/Neville clearing Owens from the ring probably leans towards a multi-man match for the IC Title at Mania, but Zayn-Owens would be awesome if it stayed that way. However, with the storyline that Owens is seeking competition, it makes sense to pair him with many guys to get them on the card.
– The Dolph Ziggler-Stephanie McMahon (Zack Ryder was in it for about three seconds) backstage segment was classic Authority stuff, with Twitter being the subject, as she thanked him for deleting a Tweet and he brought vengeance upon himself when he mentioned Shane being right and Survivor Series 2014. In the biggest shocker, she booked him in a tag team elimination against Rusev, Sheamus and King Barrett from the stupid League Of Nations with no partners for him.
– How odd is this Lana-Brie Bella feud? Does anybody even want to see this match? At least Summer Rae got another win out of it over Bella, since Lana distracted her on the stage. For that matter, Lana’s post-match attack of doing Bella’s faceplant was okay, but Lana, why are you bringing the denim look back? Bury it.
– The Dean Ambrose-WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H in-ring segment to hype their Roadblock Title was probably their best interaction of the bunch. Ambrose showing no regards for WrestleMania plans because he might be Champion was well-covered, though the cutesy lines were a bit much, considering he’s in the company’s biggest program against a super-serious heel authoritarian Champion. Hunter’s lines didn’t stray too far from truth, referring to Ambrose as a “speed bump” than a “Roadblock” and his actions were expected, as he chose to fight on his own terms, but booking Ambrose against Bray Wyatt as the main event. Put him in the ring against a big guy who talks game but never backs it up? Oh, that’ll show him.
– The three-on-one elimination tag with Ziggler and Sheamus/Rusev/Barrett was average filler, as Ziggler eliminated Barrett and had Sheamus down only to get kicked by Rusev from outside and turned into a Brogue Kick to end it all. Basic stuff.
– The Sasha Banks-Becky Lynch backstage segment hyped their upcoming tag match against Naomi/Tamina, as Banks was confident she would’ve been the true contender, while Lynch tried to get them into the zone for their match.
– The Naomi/Tamina-Banks/Lynch match was too short to develop into anything memorable, but the good part of it came from WWE Divas Champion Charlotte and Ric Flair sitting outside and getting to action once Banks made Naomi tap out to the Bank Statement, the Champ attacking Banks/Lynch. A lot of the build has revolved around Charlotte looking strong, but hopefully in the coming weeks, Banks/Lynch get their moments over her and each other.
– To analyze the latest “Golden Truth” backstage segment, R-Truth thought Chicago pizza would make things up for Goldust, Goldust turned it down because of his lactose intolerance and Mark Henry ate the whole box because he’s fat or something. We’re so over this.
– The best part of the show (and Raw) in recent memory was the WWE World Tag Team Championship match between Champions Big E/Kofi Kingston and Y2AJ, and it wasn’t even close. New Day got a pop from the crowd upon coming out and they mentioned their 197-day reign before predicting Y2AJ wouldn’t last (oh, the irony) before Y2AJ came out donning “Y2AJ” t-shirts fresh from WWE.com. From bell to bell, this match had everything you could possibly want – close near-falls, several momentum shifts, etc. AJ Styles’ athleticism nearly stole the show, as the crowd loved everything he did. This was perhaps the first time we felt New Day’s reign was actually in serious jeopardy and that’s what made the near-falls even better. This wasn’t any more evident than when Chris Jericho had Kingston in the Walls Of Jericho. Big E ending the bout cleanly with a Big Ending on Jericho was okay, but given the post-match turn where Jericho delivered three sudden Codebreakers to Styles to growing heat, it might’ve been more effective to have Jericho turn on Styles during the actual match, but this was still well-done. Okay, maybe not on the level of the “Highlight Reel” turn in 2008, but this kind of made us miss Y2AJ before it could even be a thing, but that was probably by design. People probably didn’t expect the match to be so good. Also loved the way Jericho stuffed the “Y2AJ” shirt into Styles’ mouth while he was laid out.
– Jericho’s backstage promo gave us a tease of the logic behind the turn, as he mentioned how he was fed up with the chants for Styles and wouldn’t have it anymore. They hyped a further explanation on SmackDown, so that was something to look forward to.
– If the WWE United States Champion Kalisto-Tyler Breeze match took place on NXT instead of Raw, Breeze wouldn’t had been a joke and it would’ve been more even and 10 minutes longer. However on Raw, Breeze is a joke and Kalisto made quick work of him. Gosh, at least put the belt on the line or something.
– The Kalisto-Ryback backstage segment gave Kalisto some necessary mic time where he drew inspiration from Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero until Ryback came up to him with his tweener self and said he respected Kalisto, but called him a “small guy” compared to himself and tried to convince him to ditch Sin Cara and do for himself, what he’s doing basically. Um, okay.
– Oh god, it’s The Social Outcasts. Their in-ring promo had Bo Dallas talk about the benefits of being a tag team wrestler and Curtis Axel called Ryback’s win over Adam Rose “this week” a fluke. They then did some weird circle chant thing. It was terrible. Again, the problem remains that we’re not sure where Ryback is on the heel-face spectrum and if they’re trying to get him over as a self-obsessed heel, it’s not working because he’s working with a group of pesky heels. The crowd wasn’t feeling it and we’re back to thinking, “What the hell are they doing with Ryback?” and a Shellshocked on Axel ended our misery.
– The biggest thing out of the Steph-Vince backstage segment was the fact that Steph feared the seemingly impossible (Shane beating Taker) while Vince told her he had it covered and she kept questioning “What if…?”
– The Wyatt-Brock Lesnar Roadblock match continues to sound like any other match thanks to poor booking. Wyatt’s pre-match fog promo was pretty generic to push the match, but that was it. As for the Wyatt-Ambrose main event, it was physical throughout, staying true to their past encounters, but this was a situation where either guy could afford to lose, so the DQ finish involving The Wyatt Family suddenly appearing and laying Ambrose out was logical. The cool thing coming out of it was the unexpected Wyatt-Hunter staredown, as Wyatt tapped the Championship and smiled before leaving the ring. As for Ambrose’s little moment of redemption with the Dirty Deeds on Triple H, it was a nice change of pace, but more could’ve been done.
- Kevin Owens def. Neville via pinfall
- Summer Rae def. Brie Bella via pinfall
- Three-On-Elimination Match – Rusev/Sheamus/King Barrett def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
- Sasha Banks/Becky Lynch def. Naomi/Tamina via submission
- WWE World Tag Team Championships – Big E/Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) (Champions) def. Y2AJ via pinfall to retain
- Kalisto def. Tyler Breeze via pinfall
- Ryback def. Curtis Axel (w/Bo Dallas, Heath Slater, Adam Rose) via pinfall
- Dean Ambrose def. Bray Wyatt via DQ
About Nicholas Jason LopezJust 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, BrooklynFans.com and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.
Posted on March 12, 2016, in WWE and tagged Adam Rose, AJ Styles, Becky Lynch, Big E, Bo Dallas, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Brie Bella, Byron Saxton, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Curtis Axel, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Goldust, Heath Slater, JBL, Jojo, Kalisto, Kevin Owens, King Barrett, Kofi Kingston, Lana, Luke Harper, Mark Henry, Michael Cole, Naomi, Neville, R-Truth, Ric Flair, Roadblock, Rusev, Ryback, Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks, Shane McMahon, Sheamus, Sin Cara, Stephanie McMahon, Summer Rae, Tamina, The New Day, The Social Outcasts, Triple H, Tyler Breeze, Vince McMahon, WrestleMania, Xavier Woods, Y2AJ, Zack Ryder. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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