JC’s Top Rope Report: My In Person ROH/WWE RAW Thoughts

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Being the long time wrestling fan that I am, I like to go to as many wrestling shows as possible. It is one of the few things I spend money on. Sometimes, I wonder why I still do it when I see the product. But I enjoy going to shows and try to make them fun whether they are good or bad.

So this weekend I had the opportunity to attend a Ring of Honor house show on Saturday, and followed it up with RAW on Monday. To say that the two shows were quite different would be an understatement.

ROH 9.26.15

Ring of Honor was held in a very small arena/center about 40 minutes away from me. Honestly I was expecting a little bit better of an arena, but I know it is all about saving money. But the arena didn’t take away from my experience of the show. With the venue being small, it made everything more interactive. Wrestlers actually interacted with the fans. I know WWE wrestlers do that at their house shows as well, but the ROH guys did it way more.

The crowd itself was your typical “this is what non-wrestling fans think all wrestling fans look like” crowd. A few smarks in the crowd were kind of annoying the entire show. You’re the reason us wrestling fans get a bad rap.

Here are my thoughts on the show. Again I know very little about ROH so for a lot of these guys it was my first experience seeing anything they had done.

-Veda Scott beat Sumie Sakai- I’ve never really heard to much about women’s wrestling in ROH but Scott wasn’t that good to me. She seemed off in a few spots and a lot of her offense didn’t look convincing. Although I did think she almost broke Sakai’s neck with a German off the top.

-Rhett Titus and Kenny King beat Donovan Dijak and J Diesel (w/Truth Martini)- Basic tag match here. I’ve seen people here complain about the Truth Martini but the group didn’t do much here so I couldn’t make an opinion one way or the other.

-Caprice Coleman beat Pepper Parks by submission- Parks is from Buffalo so he had the crowd support. Nothing much else.

-Roderick Strong pinned Watanabe- This was the Match of the Night for me. The main event had all the big spots, but these two put on a great wrestling match. I’ve heard of Strong before and seen some of his other work, but Watanabe was no slouch either. Just solid wrestling throughout.

-Matt Jackson pinned Matt Taven (w/Adam Cole) via super kick- Was disappointed I only got to see one Young Buck, but Nic was home with his pregnant wife so I wasn’t going to hold that against him. Matt Tavern did not impress me in the slightest. He looked like Bon Jovi with his headband and long curly hair. For a guy that is a tag team Champ I thought he was awful.

-Cheeseburger and Will Ferrara beat Brutal Bob and his new protege- Comedy match and most of the crowd loved Cheeseburger.

-Hanson (w/Raymond Rowe) beat Christopher Daniels (w/Frankie Kazarian) by DQ after a Daniels low blow- I’m a Daniels/Kazarian mark so I was excited to see them. It was originally suppose to be the Addiction vs the Briscoes but it was changed. Hanson impressed me for a guy his size, especially doing a Swanton dive to the outside onto Addiction/security after the match.

-ROH Champion Jay Lethal (w/Truth Martini, Taeler Hendrix) pinned Stevie Richards- Richards looked great for being around as long as he has. I think it was tough for the crowd to get into the match because they knew Richards wasn’t going to win, but it was still fun action. Jay Lethal is still Jay Lethal. He’s just as good as he’s ever been.

-ACH beat Moose, Adam Cole, and Michael Elgin in a four-way- It took me 30 seconds to become a fan of Moose. Guy is pretty much a copy of Apollo Crews. I’ve seen Elgin get crap from people but I didn’t think he was terrible. I was told before the show that Adam Cole is the next big Indy darling that will make the jump to the WWE. But the problem was, Cole didn’t get a lot of offense in so I wasn’t able to see how good people said he is.

I’d like to go to another ROH show if they ever came to the area, or maybe even go to one during Wrestlemania week. I also may try to start watching more ROH on TV. With what the WWE product is right now (I’ll get into that next), I’m looking for whatever alternatives there are when it comes to wrestling.

RAW 9/28

Now it is time to get into RAW from this past Monday. I’ve been to over probably 30 wrestling shows in my life. This may have been the most boring show that I’ve ever gone too. It is definitely in my Top 3 when it comes to that stat. I’ve also been to Great American Bash 2005 as well as a RAW main evented by a John Cena/Alex Riley cage match in the build up to Wrestlemania 27. Those are probably my Top 3 most boring shows.

First let me say that not having Sasha Banks or Dean Ambrose appear in front of the crowd sucked. They were two of the three acts I was most looking forward to seeing. At least I got to see the New Day.

I’ve read a lot of reports that said the crowd was dead from watching it on TV. While the crowd may have not been as loud as usual, it was louder than what came across on TV. That’s the case with any wrestling show that I’ve been too. There’s nothing that can be done about that. Plus, anyone who watched the show knows just how bad it actually was. There wasn’t a lot to cheer for during the show. Almost everything that happens on RAW nowadays seems so inconsequential and unimportant. It’s just a repeat after repeat of the same thing over and over again. It’s rematches of what happened on Smackdown. Or take for example the Rusev vs Kevin Owens match from RAW. It was not mentioned at all to the live crowd during the show. Then the match goes all of two minutes, if that, before a DQ happens. What was the freaking point???

Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt really tanked as the main event. Bray Wyatt has pretty much become an afterthought to me as far as a character goes. His character, after two years of being on the main roster, STILL HAS NO DIRECTION WHATSOEVER. How people can still get behind him baffles me. Sure, part of it may have to do with the booking of him. But Bray also hasn’t improved much in the ring. The match with Reigns didn’t pick up until the last minute. At one point it felt that Bray had Reigns in a headlock for ten minutes. These two should be having a blood feud at this point, but instead they are still having the same boring matches with very little action.

The Seth Rollins/Kane angle still leaves me with something to be desires. Yes, I did back this match a few months ago. But that was when this angle still had some heat do it. The split personality thing can have its moments, but I just wish there was someone else doing it besides Kane. It’s the “Kane/Big Show” effect. You just don’t want to see these guys in any main event program at this stage in their carers. No one thinks Big Show can beat Brock. It’s been painful the last couple weeks watching the WWE try to build Big Show up as a threat. And with Kane, his current get up just looks awful. If this was built as a Title vs Career match like I wanted it to be a few months ago, maybe I would care more. But it is currently just kind of there for me.

At least there is more of an angle to the Divas Revolution now rather than just the “My Team Is Better Than Your Team” crap. The Bellas acting during their promo though was awful. Especially when Brie ended with whatever she said. I just remember thinking to myself how bad it sounded, and she didn’t even attempt to try to hide the fact that it was a transition to Paige coming out. Really, the WWE needs to have two separate angles going eventually with their women.

The main problem with the WWE is the three hour RAW format. I saw a lot of bored/tired faces in the crowd during the third hour. I was one of them. When there is nothing of importance going on during the show, it is tough to stay invested in it during three hours. Three hour shows helped lead to the downfall of Nitro. It over exposes the product and makes things seem repetitive. With Smackdown going to USA Network in Januray, it makes sense for the WWE to cut RAW to two hours. It can make Smackdown seem more important and give fans a reason to tune in to that show. I would ALMOST consider bringing back a brand split if you went back down to two hours on RAW, but that might be stretching it a bit.

I know that this is normally the down period for the WWE, but this may be the worst it has been in awhile. The WWE is in need of a serious reboot/shake-up to get things going again. They need people talking about the product more than just during Wrestlemania season. They need RAW to drop the third hour. All they need to do is look at the ratings, see the pretty much constant decline in the third hour of the show, and go from there.

Things are looking down for the WWE. And when a fan of 25 years like me was as bored as I was this past Monday on RAW (even with a good amount of beer in me), then you know there is a problem with your current product.

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka