Monday Night Raw Recap 1/26/15: Paying Customers Be Damned
Well WWE, not only has #CancelWWENetwork been trending in the last two days, but you also managed to anger God to the point of creating a blizzard to stop Monday Night Raw. I'm merely being facetious but it is a hilarious coincidence that the first time weather has caused a postponed Raw is right after what might be the biggest "screw you" to the fans in a long time at the Rumble (check out our thoughts on that here).
The WWE couldn't catch a break in the last 48 hours, and in my mind they continued to rub it in paying fan's noses by airing the Triple Threat Match and the full Royal Rumble match for free on Raw this evening. But hey, if you don't own the Network for only $9.99, then you should be pissed as hell that you paid $60 only to have to aired for free the next evening. It doesn't do much to restore faith in the WWE and how they view the fans, but I digress, let's get on what was new on Raw.
Roman Reigns Interview
The winner of the 2015 Rumble, Roman Reigns, gets interviewed by Byron Saxton along with Cena-esque responses. They break kayfabe somewhat by asking Reigns what he thinks about people believing him to have been "handpicked by management" to be the next big guy. I found it uncomfortable and a little stilted as Reigns is being fed lines by the writers to try and defend himself to the fans. It isn't helping his case in my mind.
Seth Rollins Interview
Seth Rollins was pinned by Brock Lesnar in the Triple Threat Match at the Rumble, and he does a great job of conveying his anger in the interview. He is a natural on the mic, more so than Reigns but not as much as Ambrose, and his smarminess comes through with every mannerism and response. I'm curious to see what happens with Rollins moving forward because as of right now he doesn't have as storyline set out for him going into Mania.
Brock Lesnar Interview
I love anytime Lesnar and Heyman are on-screen together; Heyman is just a slimy guy and Lesnar is a legitimate beast. They're the perfect heel duo and this interview is just another in a long line of awesome opportunities for Heyman to shine on the mic. While Lesnar isn't the most confidence on the mic, he is actually not that bad here, but his real talents obviously aren't on the microphone.
Daniel Bryan Interview
How management at WWE doesn't see Bryan as worth investing in is beyond me; even in this interview he is likable and you feel for him. He is not disappointed only with himself, but with the fact that Reigns won, because it wasn't him. This interview just made me want a Lesnar/Bryan match even more as like he says in the interview, it would be the "ultimate David vs. Goliath match". Instead, they have no storyline for him going into Mania yet, just like Seth Rollins, who they should totally book to have a match together. A real missed opportunity in my book.
Lesnar and Reigns Face-Off
I have to give WWE credit for attempting to stop the hemorrhaging from the Rumble fiasco with this stare down. Unfortunately, I'm still not sold because Reigns and Lesnar in my mind are still somewhat evenly matched size wise, not ability wise obviously, but the story doesn't write itself; it's forced. The E has a tendency to force things on the Universe and this is no different in my mind, even if they've tried to make it interesting. Time will only tell if they can salvage the Main Event of Mania.
Cena and Rusev Announced For Fastlane
Oh boy, I can't wait to see this match. I can't wait to see a double count-out finish that sets up their match at Mania where Cena inevitably squashes Rusev because, ya know, 'Murica. I really hope they choose to have Cena put Rusev over clean at Mania but don't expect a clean finish at Fastlane, let only possibly even a match. Also, this match was setup in the Rumble Fallout show which to me is a strange place to setup an angle featuring the face of the company.
Triple H and Sting Confrontation at Fastlane
It has looked like for a time that Sting versus Undertaker would have to wait until next year, and now it has been all but confirmed. Of anything coming out of Raw this is the one angle that has me the most excited. Sting and Triple H should be a good match and hopefully there will be a stipulation involving the total disbandment of the Authority to right the wrong of having them come back so quickly. The Fastlane PPV should be called Pit Stop as that is all it is shaping up to be: a pit stop on the way to Mania.
Monday Night Raw was strange this week as there was no new wrestling, just the matches from the Rumble being aired for free. They did their best to keep the viewers entertained with some interesting interviews but ultimately this was the strangest Raw in the history of Raw. The E will have to work real hard to regain the support of their fans, both Network subscribers and PPV buyers, as airing paid content for free the next night is unacceptable in my mind.
Raw Rating: Two Tickets To A Canceled Raw