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The Lowedown: WWE RAW (03/14/16) Preview


The Lowedown

For those waiting on a review of WWE Roadblock, I apologize, life kind of got in the way this weekend, and it won’t be coming, at least in long form. The long and short of it is I thought Roadblock was a 4/10 for these reasons:

+ Really loved seeing Enzo AmoreBig Cass, and Carmella getting the reaction they did, along with a great match

+ The main event was good, even with a predictable outcome

– Bray Wyatt vs Brock Lesnar…and it featured no in-ring moments between Bray and Brock?

– The other matches were so-so or worse

– Chris Jericho vs Jack Swagger, really?

– Sami Zayn in Canada and it wasn’t against Kevin Owens?

– WWE Roadblock did nothing to help the WrestleMania picture

 

The event was a glorified house show, as I had feared, and while there were a few good matches, I felt like the event was a waste of time and effort, in terms of helping to do a single thing for ‘Mania. All it really seemed to do was delay the interaction between Roman Reigns and Triple H, and let us know that Dean Ambrose isn’t weaseling his way into the main event, despite any of our wishes. Basically, my theory of the announced matches going exactly as planned, was confirmed at the conclusion of Roadblock. As for RAW tonight?

Ambrose will likely kick things off or interrupt Triple H cutting a promo on being the true Champion, and that Triple H’s whole, “I’ll be Champion for as long as I want” statement will continue to ring true. Ambrose will probably ask for a rematch, Triple H will laugh, tell Ambrose to get to the back of the line, but while Ambrose is back there, he might as well have a match against Rusev.

I think my biggest question when it comes to the main event of ‘Mania is wondering whether or not Reigns will show up between now and the main event itself. I could see WWE continuing to keep Reigns on the sidelines, considering all the RAW’s are being held in the smarkiest of smark towns, and if WWE wants the fans to cheer loudly for Reigns, it won’t be in those buildings; but, is it smart to keep your main eventer off TV for a month while he deals with nasal surgery? The optics on that aren’t great, it makes Reigns almost look weak –despite that being a serious issue, you know, needing to breathe properly while competing and all that,– and it doesn’t convince hardcore fans to cheer for a guy they seem dead set on rooting against. If it were me, I’d have Reigns wait to show up until the go-home edition of RAW, staying off screen until the closing moments of the show, where Reigns would save Ambrose from a beating at the hands of Triple H, and bloody up the Champion like we haven’t seen since the Attitude Era. If Reigns holds off for that long, coming back right before ‘Mania, and doing what Reigns does best (i.e. destroying people and things), Reigns will go into the big event on a high note. For now, keep him off, let fans cool off, keep Triple H doing things that make him easy to hate, and when it comes time for Reigns to return, fans will be more willing to cheer.

New Day handily defeated League of Nations members Sheamus and King Barrett at Roadblock, unsurprisingly with the help of Xavier Woods, but LON wasn’t at full strength this weekend, missing half of their forces. That’s going to change over the next few weeks, and we’ll see the build towards their unfortunate ‘Mania match. I can’t express enough how much I want this match to end up not happening, and how much I’ve got my fingers crossed that WWE will come to their senses and at least put a third team in the mix. I expect to see different combinations of LON against different combinations of New Day on RAW and Smackdown over the next three weeks, if only so LON can determine the ideal matchup for New Day at ‘Mania. What’s scary and concerning is feeling like New Day will keep finding ways to keep the Titles around their waists from now until ‘Mania, only to lose them to LON on the biggest stage. It’ll set up a team of heels that fans will loathe, which makes the win by a duo (or trio) of faces that much more meaningful once they defeat LON, but getting there won’t be the most enjoyable of trips. Tonight, I’m guessing we’ll see a rematch of Roadblock, where Sheamus and Barrett will face Kofi Kingston and Big E again.

Charlotte faced Natalya at Roadblock, putting the Title on the line, and only managing to win when Charlotte put her feet on the ropes for a leverage pin. It’s easy to assume that Nattie will demand a rematch, and get it, but when Charlotte makes Nattie tap on RAW tonight, it’ll make Charlotte look like a million bucks. I’d be hard-pressed to say that neither Sasha Banks nor Becky Lynch will get involved during or after the match, but I would say it’s a safe bet Charlotte will stand tall for the second straight week.

The Dudley Boyz and The Usos have seen their feud die off as of late, getting less and less screen time, and less and less of a reaction from the fans. Did they start this angle too soon or have they just not done enough? If it’s just the Dudleys and Usos in a Tables match at ‘Mania, that’s cool, but it’s also a Smackdown-level match, rather than a PPV, and especially not a ‘Mania one. Throwing more teams in the mix would help, but lessens the feud between the two teams. The Usos need to make a statement tonight, one that’s felt by the Dudleys and everyone in the WWE Universe, because anything less than that is more of the same boring stuff we’ve been subjected to thus far. The Dudleys claim the tables are done, they tease them being back, the Usos find that they can’t fight back against the veterans, and then the same picture plays a few nights or a week later. It’s grown tired, and it needs a new element. What would I suggest? Form it into a TLC match, and throw a third team into the mix. It may not have the same impact of a heated feud, but at least it would spark some interest into what’s going on, give the Dudleys another target to heel up on, and give us a bigger ‘Mania match.

We saw the return of Sami Zayn to the WWE Roster last week, going straight after Kevin Owens and the Intercontinental Championship. Sadly, there’s not going to be the vaunted Zayn vs Owens singles match at ‘Mania, but at least we’ll get a multi-man match that should be fun, and we’ll get an interaction between the two long-time frenemies at WrestleMania, something I don’t think any wrestling fan could have possibly predicted even two years ago. These two have spent the better part of 14+ years going at it on the independent scene, and now they have the opportunity to help steal the show in a match that will also feature indie standout Neville, WWE fan-favorite Dolph ZigglerThe Miz, and the Prince of Dark Matter, Stardust. WWE has opted to go for a David vs Goliath tale between Ryback and Kalisto instead of what could have been the standout show-stealer that could have been Zayn vs Owens, which is unfortunate, but who knows, maybe we’ll get a better match out of both than if it would have been Zayn/Owens and a Ladder match with Kalisto, Ryback, Stardust, Miz, Ziggler, and Neville –although, let me point out we could have had a Ladder match with both Kalisto and Neville…yeah, that almost happened.– Tonight, Zayn won’t face Owens, nor would I hope we’d see a Roadblock rematch between Zayn and Stardust, so I’m thinking Zayn gets paired with another ‘Mania opponent, facing Miz as Zayn did on Smackdown or with Ziggler wanting to see what Zayn is all about. Owens needs to face Neville or Stardust tonight, helping to solidify them as competitors in the ‘Mania match.

We learned last week that Jericho is envious of AJ Styles, and we’ll end up getting a match between the two at ‘Mania. AJ needs to call out Jericho tonight for Jericho’s actions last week, and it needs to be convincing. AJ got laid out with multiple Code Breaker‘s, and had a shirt stuffed down AJ’s throat last week on RAW. This week, AJ needs to either attack Jericho backstage, or challenge Jericho to get in the ring with The Phenomenal One so they can settle this once and for all. If AJ opts for the latter, I see Jericho saying AJ is going to have to wait, making the fans boo Jericho, and AJ looks like the good guy who wants to end things, but the heel won’t let him. If I could somehow make it happen, I’d love to see AJ say if he’s  not getting Jericho, he wants a match tonight anyhow, against someone like Xavier Woods.

Then there’s Bray Wyatt and The Wyatt Family, who are completely on the outside of this whole WrestleMania experience thus far. We need to see Bray find his place at this year’s WrestleMania, and it has to be something higher than a mere entry in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. I highly doubt we’ll see anything big happen, but Finn Bálor debuting to face Bray would be huge, and give us a meaningful outing for Bray, as well as a big time first match for Bálor.

There hasn’t been much of a development on the Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker Hell In A Cell match, but I believe that ends tonight. There has been plenty of rumors trying to say that there will be a big time guest referee in the main event, but how about getting a guest referee in this HIAC match? And who better than someone along the lines of Mick Foley? Mick was rumored to have a role of some sort at the Show of Shows, but there hasn’t been any hints as to what it would be or if it’d even actually happen, but this would be perfect, to me. Sure, there might be some doubt on Vince McMahon‘s part in thinking Mick might not do exactly what Vince wants, but perhaps that’s the point, maybe Vince won’t be the one to put him there, perhaps Shane O-Mac will implement a fail-safe in the form a “fair” referee. If you’re going to make a HIAC match involving Taker an event bigger affair, you put the next biggest name associated with the match-type, and that’s Mick. Sadly, there’s no chance for another big Mick off the cage type moment, what with Mick not being medically cleared, but him being in the ring with Taker at this point in their careers, will be a sight to behold.

 

That’s The Lowedown on what I think happens on RAW tonight, let me know what you think will happen in the comments, and through social media. Thanks for reading, and remember to watch more wrestling!

 

Have any questions for me or any of the other writers on the site? Feel free to submit them here:http://sportsgrumble.com/mailbag

 

The future is bright and full of suplexes!

 

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Shaun Lowe
The Lowedown

Shaun Lowe

Managing Editor at Sports Grumble
Site administrator and sports/entertainment fanatic, Shaun is a proud, stubborn and opinionated Ohioan. A life-long wrestling fan, Jaguars devotee and basketball enthusiast, but ultimately Shaun is a writer and creator at heart.
Shaun Lowe
The Lowedown

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