Notes In Observance – WWE Raw 5/30/16: A Day To Remember
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.
A Day To Remember
– It seemed like Creative went into the first segment with no idea what to do, so they threw out Shane, Stephanie McMahon and WWE World Tag Team Champions The New Day to kill time and address SmackDown’s move to Tuesdays on Jul. 19 when it’ll go live via a “brand extension.” The thing about this was that it merely glossed over what many fans already knew when the show started. We got hints of Shane’s desire to run things himself and Stephanie’s attempts to steal the spotlight. New Day was over with the crowd, but even their material didn’t gather life here. They’re the World Tag Team Champions, why would they get split up if they’re active Champions? Was it also a good idea to establish that Shane/Steph hadn’t “made decisions” that regarded the brands yet? No worries, because a silly dance contest would fill up the rest of the time, because a Shane twerk was definitely on our bucket list. Luckily, The Vaudevillains came out before Steph could bust her move and it was back to business. What a dud that was.
– The VV-Kofi Kingston/Big E match was short, yet uneventful action-wise. Perfectly fine ending though, as Karl Anderson/Luke Gallows blatantly attacked Xavier Woods on the outside, a clear message that they were gunning for the Tag Titles. A sinister beatdown by two muscular juggernauts, as commentary smartly brought up that this must had been their plan now that they were without AJ Styles. At the same time, VV were protected as they didn’t have to lose.
– Anderson/Gallows’ backstage promo was a logical follow-up that furthered our suspicions that it was a direct shot to the Tag Champs and got over that they were just as dangerous without Styles. Also liked Anderson’s “We’re just getting started” line, as it ended up serving as a cliffhanger of sorts.
– On the surface, a Sheamus-Apollo Crews feud in a “New Era Meets Status Quo” storyline has potential. However, it felt like things took a step back with the Big Show-Crews backstage segment. Sure, Show had some credibility as he’d battled Sheamus in the past, but why would he be concerned about Crews at all? It felt like he was Crews’ second-rate life coach. The only thing we could guess would be that Show turns heel for the 56,899th time and joins Sheamus in a “Status Quo” faction or team.
– At least one thing came out of this godawful Golden Truth-Breezango storyline and that was a Tyler Breeze/Fandango tag team. All this pointless build felt anticlimactic thus far, but at least the heels had a winning steak going (and a pre-taped promo all about it) which led to this show. GT provided commentary while Breezango took on The Usos. Surely, you’d keep the heels on top and give them another win to have them appear dangerous to the struggling GT, right? Nope. In fact, The Usos decisively and cleanly won this. One could argue that it took a Breezango loss for the post-match brawl angle to make sense, but the initial momentum of Breezango’s beatdown was undone when GT laid them out. Should’ve kept Breezango victorious.
– The in-ring segment with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins succeeded at wasting time and continuing this odd story of – “The Guy” (aka the babyface Champion who gets booed and calls himself “not a good guy”) vs. “The Man” (aka the returning heel challenger who turned on the fans’ open-armed welcomes) as it’s all strange. Reigns and Rollins certainly can carry a promo segment, but this wouldn’t count as one, since all that was done here was have Rollins troll Reigns with numerous promo/attack teases before an eventual retreat backstage for his own entertainment. So yes, it was technically an interaction, but accomplished nothing.
– Creative has been consistent with the latest push of WWE United States Champion Rusev as a dominant force at least. His latest match was against Zack Ryder, which we automatically assumed was another squash. They gave Ryder a little rally-cry promo as he referenced challenging John Cena for the United States Championship last year on Memorial Day and how we wanted to make a statement this year. All his renewed confidence feels a little too late, guys. A decent, yet short match where the Accolade was the finish. Not as pretty as the one on Kalisto, but it’ll do. The post-match interaction between Rusev and Titus O’Neil all but confirmed the next challenger for Rusev. O’Neil’s promo was limited in words, but he looked good in standing up to the brute and got to shove him to the canvas.
– The Shining Stars cut another green-screen promo about how the WWE Universe “buzzed” about them and how Puerto Rico was so great. Right…
– The pre-taped segment where Stephanie emasculated WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte for her unceremonious dumping of her father Ric Flair would’ve been fine on its own had she not slapped the man two weeks ago for being a pompous jerk. They’re succeeding in targeting sympathy on Ric, but haven’t backed why he’s suddenly liked again after helping his daughter cheat over and over. Could be worse we suppose.
– It was a big night for Enzo Amore/Big Cass on the mic and in the ring. They woke up the crowd at the right time. Enzo’s wacky metaphors clicked on this night and even Cass was able to hold his own. They can be hit-or-miss on the main roster, but when it’s a hit, it’s a grand slam. Their match with The Dudley Boyz (hyped from the previous week) was physical, yet didn’t overstay its welcome. Enzo/Cass going over was the right choice and it came off as quite the hard-fought win.
– Subtle tensions were shown between the babyfaces of the Money In The Bank match, mainly between Sami Zayn and Dean Ambrose. Their backstage segment also included Cesaro to hype the six-man tag main event as they’d take on Kevin Owens/Chris Jericho/Alberto Del Rio. As you’d expect, Zayn urged that Owens couldn’t be trusted. Ambrose denounced all Canadians and didn’t realize that Zayn himself was Canadian. Funny.
– Easy to say that the most memorable part of the show was the in-ring segment with Styles, Cena, Anderson and Gallows. Cena had his big return promo and connected with a passionate speech that connected patriotism with the notion that even with the “New Era” around, he wouldn’t roll over. This drew in Styles, which woke the crowd from murmurs to loud dueling chants that spanned nearly three minutes. It felt magical before even a word was uttered between them. Styles fit in here since Cena always represents the “big stage” and he had his chance to talk to him up close. Anderson/Gallows stormed the stage and accused Styles of sucking up to Cena, which played into their claim earlier that they were out for destruction. What appeared to be Styles and Cena teaming together to battle Anderson/Gallows swiftly turned into a master plan to ambush the veteran. All in one shot, we learned that Styles/Gallows/Anderson were in cahoots to throw everyone off, Styles turned heel and seemingly started a feud with Cena. It’s funny how most of WWE’s best moments involve a beatdown on Cena at some point (Nexus’ debut, CM Punk’s “Pipe Bomb promo,” Mark Henry’s Fake Retirement, etc.) and we had one more added to the list. Styles seamlessly transitioned from humble babyface to madman heel in minutes and the crowd ate it all up, the same crowd that was on their feet in duel chants just before this. Simply well-done.
– The Natalya-Dana Brooke match barely lasted two minutes, but with a noteworthy finish where Charlotte provided a distraction on the apron enough for Brooke to catch her finisher to win. Post-match saw the heels deliver a beatdown before Becky Lynch made the save. We smell a tag coming.
– Some cute teases by Creative to portray Dolph Ziggler in an amateur-esque light as he referenced Jericho’s “1004 holds” WCW promo and failed to intriguingly tie it to his feud with Baron Corbin. That said, the “technical wrestling” match turned out to be a ploy for Ziggler to deliver a revenge low-blow on Corbin and humiliate him. Cool to see a face get that kind of logical revenge, but that means more matches with these two and we’re just not ready for that.
– The WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz/Maryse hype video gave us an update that Miz was eager to do “The Marine 5” and cut a hearty promo from his penthouse and would keep everyone informed. Is he essentially taking the belt hostage? Nice.
– The Owens/Del Rio/Jericho backstage segment was entertaining like you’d think – Owens was upfront and sarcastic, while Del Rio bragged about his past MITB win as Jericho pointed out he invented the match to begin with and told them to focus on the night before calling them idiots as they walked away.
– The six-man tag between Jericho/Del Rio/Owens and Cesaro/Zayn/Ambrose was a great main event in that it filled time and established further tensions between the two teams as the faces won. It was neither here nor there in terms of whether you needed to watch it, but it was still fun to witness.
- Big E/Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) def. The Vaudevillains via DQ
- The Usos def. Breezango via pinfall
- Rusev (w/Lana) def. Zack Ryder via submission
- Enzo Amore/Big Cass def. The Dudley Boyz via pinfall
- Dana Brooke def. Becky Lynch via pinfall
- Technical Wrestling Match – Baron Corbin def. Dolph Ziggler via DQ
- Six-Man Tag – Cesaro/Sami Zayn/Dean Ambrose def. Kevin Owens/Alberto Del Rio/Chris Jericho via pinfall
Posted on June 17, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alberto Del Rio, Apollo Crews, Big Cass, Big E, Breezango, Byron Saxton, Cesaro, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Dana Brooke, Dean Ambrose, Enzo Amore, Golden Truth, JBL, John Cena, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Kofi Kingston, Lana, Luke Gallows, Maryse, Michael Cole, Money In The Bank, Natalya, Roman Reigns, Rusev, Sami Zayn, Seth Rollins, Shane McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, The Big Show, The Club, The Dudley Boyz, The Miz, The New Day, The Usos, The Vaudevillains, Titus O'Neil, Xavier Woods, Zack Ryder. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.