WWE RAW 8.8.16: Five Thoughts w/Justin C


1. These Braun Strowman Matches Are Working So Far

-A couple weeks ago I talked about loving the return of squash matches to RAW. And they are working. Braun Strowman’s matches have been a highlight of the show for me so far. They are effectively doing two things. The first thing they are doing is allowing Strowman to get over as a monster. The second thing is they are giving some local talent a chance to get their name out there. And honestly, all of the jobbers have been great in their role so far.

The key will be what happens when Strowman either loses or is put into a real feud. If these squash matches get Strowman over enough, the crowd should want to see Strowman’s opponent beat him. It should be against someone the fans want to get behind. But so far, so good with the Braun Strowman singles experiment.

2. The Randy Orton vs Brock Lesnar Feud Has Been Great

-I was not too excited about this match when it was first announced. Lesnar didn’t have that great of a match at Wrestlemania with Dean Ambrose. Orton, meanwhile, had been on the shelf since last fall. The ingredients didn’t seem to be there for a good match.

But the build so far for this match is changing my tone. Randy Orton looks to be a completely different person in this build. He seems fresh and motivated for the first time in years. He looks to be putting 100% effort into this feud. Heyman had Lesnar deliver his promo last week, but Lesnar is great during these sit down interview promos. This has the makings for a great match.

3. Enzo and Cass vs Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens Is A Great Use Of All 4 Men

-When it became evident that Gallows and Anderson were fighting New Day for the Tag Titles at SummerSlam, I was worried what would happen with Enzo and Cass. I thought there was no way that they’d be left off of the show. But I didn’t know who they would fight.

Thankfully, there were two heels on the roster that also needed a program for SummerSlam. Enter Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens, two guys that are equally as good on the mic. As seen on RAW, these four should work quite well together. I really hope we get another promo segment this coming Monday on RAW to sell their match even more. I also suspect a Kevin Owens/Chris Jericho feud to develop off of this. And that makes this that much greater.

4. RAW Is Too Many Promos

-I really felt bad for the people in attendance at tonight’s show. The amount of promo work they had to sit through tonight must have been unbearable. When you go to a wrestling show, you would expect to see some wrestling. But they barely received any of that. I had high hopes for the Rusev/Lana segment, but it fell flat. Seth Rollins promo was good but the crowd wasn’t into it. The video packages for Orton/Lesnar and Finn Balor were great. But again, it took time up on the show. Imagine not being able to see Finn Balor live in person? RAW needed a little bit more wrestling this week.

5. Putting People In Different Segments Is Smart If Done Right

-Last week, RAW opened with Sasha Banks and Charlotte, followed by Enzo and Chris Jericho. This week we saw the continuation of Enzo and Jericho, with Big Cass and Kevin Owens added to the mix. Rusev and Lana were given the 10 pm time slot. And then the main event saw Rusev and Cesaro going one-on-one. Switching guys up like that is fine if it is done right. But the main event segment with Rusev and Cesaro was just weird. What was the point of Daniel Bryan being there? It was just a weird set up for the final segment on the show when it could have been done a lot better.

OVERALL:  Definitely the weakest of the brand split RAWs so far. The show had way too many promos on it that more than likely killed the live crowd. While the video package promos were good, the show is about wrestling. Cesaro got some time to shine in his match with Sheamus and again in his match with Rusev. But most of the show was just there.

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka