After the challenging edition of WWE Raw that aired last week, Sara Hirsch chimes in on the slanted objectives of the show moving forward.
Everyone has had something to say about last Monday’s Raw, which was poorly received from fans to former talent. It looks as everyone is on the same page when it comes to their dissatisfaction. However this catastrophe of a Raw was a long time coming.
I had written a column on the Chairshot several months ago talking about the downward spiral that is Monday Night Raw. And while there are major changes with Roman Reigns battling Leukemia in addition to Braun Strowman’s elbow injury, there is still so much ground to cover to make Raw what it once was. There is no excuse as to why Raw is suffering like it is. The company touts Raw as its “A” show, but in reality it is anything but.
There are glimmers of hope woven in to the mess Raw is in. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Finn Balor are more than capable to fill the main event duties. Others are coming around slowly but surely. And while time management is still an issue, perhaps another issue that could be brought to attention is what the show lacks.
Raw certainly doesn’t lack the talent, but one standout point to what it does lack is moment makers. Star making moments such as what Becky Lynch did several weeks ago. Moments like that is something that us older fans crave.
This is what NXT flourishes in, creating the massive hype behind their talent en route to the main roster. But we know all too well what happens with most NXT alumni once they make the transition to the main roster. That is another story for another day. Meanwhile, look no further than Authors of Pain. Terrible booking decisions completely kill their momentum – as the young guns had dominated the NXT Tag Team Division with Paul Ellering on their side. Drake Maverick, not so much.
Back to the subject of moment makers, one particular moment that stands out for me is the Raw before WrestleMania this year. I took my nephew to the show, which we had a good time until Cena came out and called The Undertaker. As fans know, Taker did not show up to challenge Cena until WrestleMania. There was nothing added to the hype of the showdown prior to the squash in New Orleans.
Perhaps it was a missed opportunity more than anything, but in that moment when Cena walked behind the curtain, the disappointment was real. While The Undertaker only makes occasional appearances, the fact that Cena hyped the crowd up only to let them down was abysmal. The realization of no satisfaction and payoff has been swirling in my mind since that night.
The frustration of not seeing a payoff on Raw is even bigger when segments like that happen. The satisfaction aspect of storylines are absent from the program. Too many times there were missed opportunities when all components were there. It’s like the answer to reviving Raw is right there, but WWE is drowning in dollars to see it.
I believe Raw is going in the right direction when it comes to the Riott Squad and Elias. Monday night, Elias would be the one to interrupt General Manager Baron Corbin, followed with taking a sick reverse Alabama Slam on the steps. That was a standout moment for me, even though there was room for improvement.
The Riott Squad has been the MVPs of the Raw Women’s Division, as they have been dominating for almost a year now. There has been more input to get heat on the group, which isn’t unnoticed. It goes back to the payoff factor – now with Natalya at the cornerstone of the Riott Squad’s target zone there are plenty of chances to make good on an awesome moment to come full circle with the former Smackdown Women’s Champion.
WWE has also capitalized on the controversial mishap between Nia Jax and Lynch. Fans are invested in this, which Jax’s actions resulted in a real injury. Jax is now the most hated woman on the main roster, and true wrestling fans wouldn’t want that any other way. The mishap has been a hot topic in the Women’s Division, and it only makes Jax and Lynch even bigger.
So much negative points overlook Raw’s high points. Raw desperately needs all it can to stand behind its “A” show claims. There is no way someone can say it’s the “A” show with one hundred percent confidence. The ratings and reactions to the show say otherwise. Forget the so-called “clean sweep” at Survivor Series – if anything else it was something to try to make things better on the Red brand. It didn’t work, didn’t make any progress, and it certainly didn’t help matters for anyone.
Raw needs revitalization, and has needed that for a long time. What is it going to take to get Raw back to where it belongs?
Cook’s Top 5: Miz Moments
Cook brings the most must see Top 5 of the week! Is it obvious or a MIZtery?
This week is all about our new WWE Champion, The Miz!
Let’s be honest, Miz might not hold the Championship for too long. He’s got a big match with Bobby Lashley next week. We wish him luck, and maybe something unlikely will happen resulting in Miz holding on to the title longer than anybody expects. Still, I feel the need to get this particular edition of the Top 5 out there as soon as possible.
Here are the Top 5 Miz Moments!
5. Main Eventing WrestleMania
The match itself…not so great. Miz was obviously the third most important person in the match. He also suffered a concussion. But the guy still main evented WrestleMania and beat John Cena, which is something that not too many other people can say. This will remain Miz’s biggest WrestleMania match unless they get Bad Bunny to wrestle him this year.
4. A Ladder Match with Dolph Ziggler
Miz & Ziggler have quite a bit in common. Both hail from the Cleveland area. Both prefer to think of themselves as being from Hollywood. They’re both egotistical characters that make up for what they might lack in size with ego. They’ve been in WWE forever with limited changes to their character, pretty much on the same level of the card. Naturally, they get along pretty well & have good chemistry.
2016 saw the best incarnation of their on-screen issues, with Miz & Ziggler trading the Intercontinental Championship back & forth. The Ladder Match ending the feud at TLC is considered by most to be Miz’s best match. I don’t have a ton of other options off the top of my head, so we’ll go with that.
3. The First MITB Cash-In
You always remember your first. At this point in time, much like here in 2021, Miz wasn’t seen as the most believable choice to be WWE Champion. However, the man had a briefcase, and, importantly, this was back before the briefcase gimmick was completely run into the ground. So when Miz ran down at the end of Raw to cash in on Randy Orton, it got a tremendous reaction.
People were either really happy or really angry. I was on the angry side of the spectrum, especially since I had a cold and was writing a news column during all of this. Man, I remember when the week or so a year I would a cold was the only time I really felt like crap.
What can I say, Miz has grown on me over the years.
2. Feuding with The King
A lot of old school wrestling fans found it hard to believe that The Miz had become WWE Champion when more deserving wrestlers from their childhood never had been. Heck, Jerry Lawler, a God of Memphis rasslin who piledrove Andy Kaufman into oblivion, had never even gotten a shot at that title, even though he’d worked for WWE for nearly twenty years. Seemed wrong to a lot of people, but nobody expected that wrong to be addressed.
Lawler was celebrating his sixty-first birthday the week after Miz defeated Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. One thing led to another, and Lawler got his very first WWE Championsgip opportunity. In a TLC match! They got the fans believing that Lawler could win the title…until that pesky Michael Cole kept Lawler from climbing further up the ladder.
It was nice to see the King get another important run on WWE television long after we thought it was possible. A large part of the reason it was possible? The Miz. He portrayed himself as just beatable enough that the title change could happen. Also held up his end of the bargin in the promos, which was never easy for Lawler’s opponents.
I know everybody likes a title change, but this was the best work Miz did during his first WWE Championship reign by a wide margin.
Honorable Mention: Marrying Maryse
You knew I had to mention this, right?
1. Talking Smack to Daniel Bryan
I’ve always been a Daniel Bryan guy. Back when he was Miz’s “rookie” on NXT, I thought the idea that Miz would have something to teach him was a bit outrageous. It was an interesting pairing though, and the Miz/Bryan relationship/rivalry has provided plenty of compelling moments over the years.
None moreso than the night where Miz did something that a lot of people didn’t think was possible: make himself seem right & Daniel Bryan seem wrong. The way Miz defended himself in this tirade was pretty much impossible to argue with. Maybe Miz doesn’t wrestle the way that hardcore wrestling fans would like, but he is pretty much the prototypical WWE Superstar of his era. He always works hard, is never hurt, and you don’t have to worry about him embarrassing himself or the company.
This promo raised Miz’s character to another level at the time, and definitely added some fuel to the fire for Bryan’s eventual return. If you want to see one Miz promo that sums up who he is & was, this would be it.
Bodeen’s Top 5 Moments: WWE Elimination Chamber 2021
Bodeen Green is back with your look at his Top 5 Moments from WWE Elimination Chamber!
Bodeen Green is back with your look at his Top 5 Moments from WWE Elimination Chamber!
Due to the short build between the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber, there was a general lack of excitement from fans heading into the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View, especially with the lack of established matches on the card. Despite this, the Elimination Chamber was still a solid show to watch, mainly due to both chamber matches being fun to watch, with the last chamber match, having a shocking but awesome twist. So as we leave the Elimination Chamber and take yet another step forward on the Road to WrestleMania, let us look at the top 5 moments that stood out on this short but solid show.
5. Riddle becomes United States Champion
Heading into this match, it seemed highly unlikely that Riddle would beat the United States Champion, Bobby Lashley. Even though the match was a triple threat match and Riddle did not have to pin Lashley to win the title, fans had seen Riddle lose to Bobby time and time again, making it seem the only real threat to Lashley’s title reign in the match was Keith Lee. However after Lee was taken out and John Morrison won a match on the pre-show earlier in the night, things seemed somewhat possible for Riddle.
All three men looked good in this match, as Lashley dominated the start of the match, helping fans get their breath back from the opening Elimination Chamber. This would force Riddle and John Morrison to team up on Lashley, despite being teamed up on Lashley would fight back and seemed to have things won as he put the hurt lock on John Morrison, only for Riddle to attack Lashley with the crutch belonging to MVP and pin John Morrison to become United States Champion
Yet again, special credit has to be given to MVP as a manager, he serves a purpose and actually looks like he’s being effective in helping Lashley. An example of this was MVP encouraging Lashley to stay outside the ring to recover as Riddle and Morrison treaded blows inside the ring.
4. The Tribal Chief reigns supreme for now
Instead of defending the Universal Championship inside the Elimination Chamber, Roman Reigns would use his power to face the winner of the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match, straight after the match. This was yet another great heel move from Roman as it once again showed how much power he has backstage due to his bloodline and role as a main-event player.
After Daniel Bryan survived a brutal chamber match, Roman Reigns would come out straight after the match, giving Daniel Bryan little time to recover. Roman would go to spear Daniel, only for Daniel to reverse it into the Yes Lock, making the impossible seem possible, only for Roman to counter and punish Daniel, locking in the guillotine for the win.
After holding the Universal Title, Roman would be hit with a spear by Edge, who seemed to copy Roman from earlier on SmackDown as he whispered in Roman’s ear, before pointing to the WrestleMania sign, giving fans his answer on who he’s gonna face at WrestleMania.
3. An Awesome finish
After The Miz won the Money In The Bank briefcase at Hell In A Cell against Otis, it seemed like every Pay-Per-View he would give Drew McIntyre a threat, stating he was going to cash in, however as time went on, it seemed more unlikely he would ever successfully cash in the Money In The Bank briefcase and win the WWE Championship from Drew McIntyre.
Each after he pulled out of the Elimination Chamber match, it still seemed unlikely Miz would cash in successfully, especially with it being so close to WrestleMania. However, after we saw backstage footage of The Miz talking to MVP backstage before the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship, things started to become interesting.
After McIntyre had won the Elimination Chamber match to retain his WWE Championship, Bobby Lashley would come out and dominate Drew, leaving The Miz to cash in on Drew, allowing Miz to win the WWE Championship, putting a massive twist on the Road to WrestleMania.
2. McIntyre survives the Elimination Chamber
The Elimination Chamber match was filled with heaps of sub feuds, especially with the WWE Champion, Drew Mcintyre who had old rivals in Randy Orton and AJ Styles, as well as a new feud with his former best friend Sheamus, despite this, Drew would keep a level head and dominate everyone in the match, before eventually hitting a claymore on AJ Styles to win the match and retain his title before The Miz would cash in.
Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton would start the match before Drew would come in and dominate both men. Kofi Kingston would come in next and hit Orton with a roll-up to score a shock elimination. Orton would RKO both Hardy and Kofi, allowing Styles to have an advantage as Omos helped destroy his pod, so Styles could enter early in the match. Kofi would be eliminated by Sheamus, as well as Hardy who was eliminated by Drew.
AJ, Sheamus and Drew would trade blows, with Sheamus hitting Drew with a Brogue kick, only for Styles to hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Sheamus to eliminate him. With Drew now battered and broken Styles would attempt a Phenomenal Forearm on Drew, only for Drew to hit a Claymore Kick in mid-air to survive and win a great Elimination Chamber match.
1. Daniel Bryan goes the distance
Despite the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship being a great match I personally found the opening chamber match earlier in the night much more enjoyable. It felt much more smooth and natural than the later chamber match with all 6 men involved looking strong with Daniel Bryan, being the clear MVP of the match as he entered the chamber first with fellow dark horse Cesaro and went on to win his third Elimination Chamber match.
Cesaro and Daniel would start things off slow as they entered the match first. King Corbin would then come out, followed by an irate Sami Zayn who could not believe we entered forth. Corbin would be the first eliminated after Cesaro put him the Sharpshooter. Kevin Owens and Jey Uso would then come out with Owens eliminating Sami. As Sami exited the ring Jey would trap Kevin’s arm in the Chamber door, superkicking him then eliminating him.
Cesaro would then mount a comeback only for Jey to ruin his momentum as he superkicked Cesaro and hit a splash to eliminate him. Jey would then attempt a splash of a wounded Bryan, only for Bryan to get his knees up and hit Jey with the running knee to win the Elimination Chamber match.
These were my top 5 moments from the Elimination Chamber. What were your top 5 moments and what did you think of both Elimination Chamber matches? Let us know in the comments below.
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