#1 ~ Nice opening segment that clearly addressed what it needed to without Seth Rollins rambling too much. Roman Reigns getting a pop for just LOOKING at the microphone definitely brings forth the idea of the “IT Factor”. Regins has it and he looks like he’s only going to get better. The backstage attack was a nice and logical way to round out that segment. When was the last time I was able to say that.
#2 ~ That was a wicked freaking surfboard by Alicia Fox & what the hell was with that freakout?! That seemed way over the top & not something that was too scripted. That said, I’m glad we got a decent video package for Paige before the match & I liked that Fox basically set up a feud between Paige and the entire Divas locker room. Nice to see the Paige Turner on Raw again. Oh, did I mention that Paige is this week’s Wallpaper of the Week AND we have a brand new Paige shirt available?
#3 ~ What the hell just happened…? One minute we’re having fun and Raw’s moving along normally & the next Daniel Bryan is saying he needs neck surgery and might not be able to wrestle ever again. I am absolutely dumbfounded. I think we all knew that Bryan’s style was going to catch up with his body sooner or later but this just seems completely out of left field. There’s so many questions and seemingly no answers. I was in the arena when Edge made a surprise appearance on Raw and announced that the doctor’s wouldn’t clear him to wrestle anymore and he had to retire. This speech didn’t seem that… final but it definitely as if something was very wrong. At least he is getting his neck repaired before it got so bad there was no fixing it or his quality of life would be lowered. Selfishly I am hoping this is a lot less serious than it seems to be.
#4 ~ Natalya’s paintings were truly awful. Like art-school dropout bad. That said, I’m surprised they’re trying to turn this into the on-screen angle of the season. Are they trying to kickstart a heel turn for Nattie as an overly sensitive crybaby? At least it’s a gimmick for her & not just the fact that she’s related to the Hart Family.
#5 ~ Two strong young stars in Fandango & Dolph Ziggler put forth a good showing, especially since they didn’t have much history going into the match. I don’t know what it is but this over-the-top, lovestruck is ridiculously great. Him saying all he does in his awesome Fandango voice just makes it that much annoyingly better.
#6 ~ John Cena versus Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing match at Payback. I know purists like to think of the cage match as being the blow-off match of any feud but I actually prefer the last man standing stipulation. Combine that with the mind games and STORY that Cena and Wyatt are telling & it should add up for an intriguing match.
#7 ~ Damn well that was f’n letdown. I was actually really looking forward to seeing what type of chemistry Batista and Roman Reigns had in the ring since it was “big man” versus “big man” & it lasted all of 7 minutes. I get it, you don’t want to give away too much action if they’re just going to wrestle on the PPV. But hell, give us something. If Batista didn’t want to work (according to rumors), then why not throw Randy Orton in there against Seth Rollins? I’m sure they would have some great back and forth exchanges. The WWE had a lot to make up for after the Daniel Bryan announcement and it feels like they could have done more to make this a more memorable Raw.