Pro Wrestling

10 Questions We Found Ourselves Asking During Raw

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/dean-ambrose-vs.-bray-wyatt-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=28 Source: pl.wwe.com

After the chaotic mess that was last week’s Raw, this week’s episode had a lot of problems to deal with, and not a lot of time to do it, with WrestleMania only a few weeks away and a heavily hyped Network Special coming up within a few days. And thanks to a hot Chicago crowd and a few well-timed good decisions, including a long-awaited return, WWE actually managed to pull off a pretty good show. As decent as it was, though, we occasionally found ourselves loudly asking questions about what we were watching. And if we have questions, it’s likely that you did as well, so we’ve written down all the queries we shouted at our TV during Raw, and done our best to work out some answers.

10. What’s A Photograph?

Actually, we know the answer to that one, we were just assuming the role of the majority of WWE’s younger fan base. As symbolic as Vince’s destruction of a family photo was, we’re pretty sure there was at least one person in the audience asking “What’s the big deal? He’s probably got it backed up on the Cloud, right?” But in all seriousness, it was good of WWE to create a highlight package of Shane’s wrestling career for fans who are too young to remember the Attitude Era, which we should remind you took place nearly two decades ago at this point, because we didn’t want to be the only ones who felt old. The only problem is that it aired later in the show, when fans already had the image of Shane McMahon throwing the worst punches in recorded history to take out four security guards. There’s a reason why many wrestlers throw forearms instead of punches, and it’s because fake punches are actually hard to do. Someone should probably let Shane know that before they force The Undertaker to sell for his flurry of childlike fists at WrestleMania.

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/shane-mcmahon-falls-victim-to-a-diabolical-deception-photos;jsessionid=D35D40B4B55DE04DFDC17C74D4306735?r30_r1_r1:page=16 Source: pl.wwe.com

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/shane-mcmahon-falls-victim-to-a-diabolical-deception-photos;jsessionid=D35D40B4B55DE04DFDC17C74D4306735?r30_r1_r1:page=16 Source: pl.wwe.com

9. What Took So Long?

Fans who haven’t followed his independent career probably won’t know this, but it will likely become clear in the future: every time Kevin Owens thinks he’s on top of the world, Sami Zayn shows up to fight him. They are literally the wrestling version of Batman and The Joker, if Batman were a really cheerful red-headed Canadian. They are inextricably tied together forever, and the good news for fans is that it means we’ll be getting a string of awesome matches as a result. Zayn’s full promotion to the main roster took far longer than it should have, even factoring in the shoulder injury he suffered last year, but the good news is, he’s here now, and he can get back to fighting off his eternal nemesis and being just so gosh-darned likable. The only problem now is, Owens and Neville had such a great match going before Zayn appeared, we kind of want to see him fight Owens again, and the rumor is that this is all probably leading to a multi-man match at WrestleMania. As much as Owens-Zayn deserves to be a one-on-one match at WrestleMania, there will be plenty of time for that in the future. After all, as history has shown, it’s not like they’re going to ever stop being mortal enemies.

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/neville-vs.-kevin-owens-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=25 Source: pl.wwe.com

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/neville-vs.-kevin-owens-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=25 Source: pl.wwe.com

8. Why Are These Two Even Fighting?

So, Lana hates Brie Bella and wants to fight her, for reasons that are unclear. Lana has never wrestled a match that anyone has actually seen, and Brie Bella is a bad wrestler, so our instant reaction has to be “Why are they doing this to us?” After all, Summer Rae, who actually can wrestle, is right there, and at least had a longstanding beef with Lana, even if remembering that feud gives us something resembling PTSD flashbacks. Presumably, this will lead to a match that gets the (far less important) remainder of the Divas division on WrestleMania, but we’re immediately curious which match will get bumped to the pre-show or will have five minutes knocked off so Lana can roll around the ring barefoot in a denim skirt left over from when she was pretending to care about Dolph Ziggler (seriously, she’s going to acquire actual wrestling gear before the match, right?) while Brie bumbles her way through the simplest wrestling moves and only gets a crowd reaction by stealing her husband’s moveset. On the bright side, the fact that WWE cares enough to have two women’s matches on WrestleMania in order to get them all on the card without ruining the title match containing the actual good wrestlers, is a step forward, if nothing else.

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/brie-bella-vs.-summer-rae-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=11 Source: pl.wwe.com

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/brie-bella-vs.-summer-rae-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=11 Source: pl.wwe.com

7. What Did That Prove?

Apparently Dolph Ziggler said some nasty things about The Authority on Twitter and got punished with a match against the League of Nations (because saying mean things about WWE on the Internet is for the fans to do), which probably plays off the real-life situation where Dolph Ziggler spent the last couple of years saying nasty things about WWE on Twitter because they were horribly misusing him and got punished by continuing to be horribly misused. The real joke, of course, is that the match against the League is only 3-on-1 because one of them is, of course, injured and unable to compete. You could literally start a betting pool on which League member will be missing in action on any particular week. This time, it’s Alberto Del Rio, and because the League is almost hilariously incompetent, Ziggler actually manages to pin Wade Barrett before falling to the combination of Rusev and Sheamus seconds later. So, Dolph Ziggler was unable to overcome ridiculously overwhelming odds because of course he couldn’t, he’s neither John Cena nor Roman Reigns. And the League of Nation won easily, but still looked weak because Wade Barrett can’t last five full minutes without getting pinned in a match where his side has every advantage, and in fact, wins immediately after he’s eliminated, showing that Barrett adds absolutely nothing to the group. And there isn’t even a WrestleMania feud here, because the League is likely facing the League of Nations, and Ziggler actually has nothing better to do yet! What was the point of this even happening, exactly?

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/dolph-ziggler-vs.-sheamus-rusev--king-barrett---elimination-tag-team-match-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=20 Source: pl.wwe.com

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/dolph-ziggler-vs.-sheamus-rusev–king-barrett—elimination-tag-team-match-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=20 Source: pl.wwe.com

6. Were Sasha And Becky Singing Along With Their Entrance Music?

Upon review, the answer to that is “Yes, and it’s so adorable that we find ourselves unable to deal with it like a mature and rational person”. But we just wanted to take another moment to reflect on how far the Divas division in WWE has come in a year, to the point that the Divas title match at WrestleMania is one of the best-booked feuds on the card, and will hopefully pay off with a spectacular match that actually gets time to breathe on a four-hour show. Even better, everyone involved has well-developed characters and motivations for their actions. Nobody’s fighting over a guy, or random jealousy, or catty remarks about physical appearance. They’re all fighting each other because they want to be the best in the world, whatever it takes. The fact that all three women are spectacular wrestlers is almost secondary to the fact that they’ve been booked incredibly well, and light years ahead of how the division has been booked for years. Don’t get us wrong, we’re thrilled that the match will probably be great, but after taking so many shots at how poorly WWE Creative handles so many wrestlers, we have to give them a little credit when they do something right. Now, if only the symbol of their accomplishments wasn’t a sparkly purple butterfly…

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/becky-lynch--sasha-banks-vs.-naomi--tamina-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=17 Source: pl.wwe.com

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/becky-lynch–sasha-banks-vs.-naomi–tamina-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=17 Source: pl.wwe.com

5. Where Is This Going?

Despite no longer being all that funny and actually dipping into some pretty dark places if you think about it, this whole thing with Goldust and R-Truth is still going on! Only now, the roles have reversed and Truth is willing to be partners with Goldust, who is now psychologically damaged by all the rejection and doesn’t like Truth anymore. It’s like they literally did all the set-up, formed a team, and broke up, without ever actually teaming up or wrestling a match together! When this started out the assumption was that at some point, they would find common cause and team up, but now that’s it has dragged on past the point of absurdity, they’ve actually written things into a place where it doesn’t actually make any sense for them to become a team! We’re not saying that will stop WWE, but this ceased being amusing a few weeks back and has crossed the line into something we kind of wish they’d just stop doing and never mention again. Also, we felt really awkward watching this week’s segment spiral into a trainwreck involving lactose intolerance and exploding buttholes. You would think it would be impossible to make an unfunny flatulence joke, but darn it, WWE found a way!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj8fdlvn2WM Source: YouTube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj8fdlvn2WM Source: YouTube.com

4. Did Anyone Actually Buy The T-Shirt?

And so ends the short-lived team of Y2AJ, which is good, because that is a terrible name. But at least in their brief existence, they decided to have a spectacular match with The New Day, featuring AJ Styles hitting both a springboard moonsault into a reverse DDT, and a springboard 450 splash, because as we’ve said, AJ Styles is an incredibly good professional wrestler. For those of you who actually did buy the Y2AJ shirts, you really should have seen this coming. There was no reason to shackle Styles into a tag team with a part-timer, they weren’t going to win the titles, The New Day is actually feuding with someone else entirely, and also, given the opportunity, Chris Jericho will always turn heel. Sure, it’s the fourth time we’ll see this match since Styles debuted, but Chris Jericho as a heel almost guarantees this final match will have nuclear heat, and Styles has looked more and more comfortable in the larger WWE ring on a weekly basis, so he should be at full strength in time for WrestleMania. We may be over-hyping this match, but we really don’t think that we are, and after WrestleMania, Styles could be one of the biggest fan favorites in the company. Assuming he isn’t already, that is.

http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe-raw/2016/3/8/11181002/aj-styles-springboard-moonsault-reverse-ddt-asai-gif-multiple-angles Source: cagesideseats.com

http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe-raw/2016/3/8/11181002/aj-styles-springboard-moonsault-reverse-ddt-asai-gif-multiple-angles Source: cagesideseats.com

http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe-raw/2016/3/8/11181002/aj-styles-springboard-moonsault-reverse-ddt-asai-gif-multiple-angles Source: cagesideseats.com

http://www.cagesideseats.com/wwe-raw/2016/3/8/11181002/aj-styles-springboard-moonsault-reverse-ddt-asai-gif-multiple-angles Source: cagesideseats.com

https://twitter.com/DeathToAllMarks/status/707107751294595072

3. Why Ryback?

It might be hard to believe, but Ryback’s push is even more inexplicable than Roman Reigns. At least Reigns has a good look, better-than-average wrestling skills, and the occasional ability to string together a coherent thought. Ryback, meanwhile, has displayed almost none of those things, and all his flaws were on display again last night. After suggesting that Kalisto should drop Sin Cara because his tag team partner is a dead weight (which put us in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with Ryback), The Big Guy went off on a tangent about superheroes and masks and Ryan Reynolds, and about fifteen other topics that might have made sense when he originally thought about them in his head, but which came across as the mad ramblings of a diseased mind. Which might be fine, if that was actually his character and not an example of his inability to communicate in the English language. The point of his speech was apparently to insert himself into the US Title picture, because why would we want to see Kalisto in good matches against wrestlers who can keep up with him? Remember earlier when we talked about how bad it is that someone like Neville doesn’t have anything to do most weeks? This is the second half of that complaint, because while Neville wastes away, someone like Ryback is on his fifth or sixth push because, as JBL relentlessly kept harping on during his match, he’s much bigger than other people.

http://www.wwe.fr/videos/2016/03/08/stephanie-mcmahon-warns-her-father-about-shane-raw-march-7-2016 Source: WWE.fr

http://www.wwe.fr/videos/2016/03/08/stephanie-mcmahon-warns-her-father-about-shane-raw-march-7-2016 Source: WWE.fr

2. Who Cares About Bray Wyatt Anymore?

It’s really telling that it took us a bit to notice that The Wyatt Family didn’t accompany their leader to ringside, and even worse when we shrugged because it wouldn’t really matter if they were there anyway. We’re pretty sure that if we took the time to look at statistics, we’d discover that the Social Outcasts have more wins in 2016 than Bray and his clan. But Bray is fighting Brock Lesnar at the Roadblock Network special this weekend, so WWE has Bray Wyatt go out and look strong against Dean Ambrose, despite booking them as borderline incompetents right up to that point. It would be one thing if Bray had been shown to be on a level with Ambrose lately, but the only people the Family has beaten convincingly in the past twelve months is Tommy Dreamer. Ambrose, who is being set up for a pair of high profile losses to Triple H and Brock Lesnar in the coming weeks, is still beyond dealing with Bray Wyatt at this point. The ridiculous part is, it doesn’t matter how WWE had booked Bray Wyatt, the audience still knows that Lesnar is going to turn him and his Family into a fine paste at Roadblock. They might as well at least had Ambrose pin Wyatt and get a victory over someone who used to always get the upper hand on him. But since the whole Ambrose storyline is almost certainly being set up to have Roman Reigns save his little buddy from destruction, there’s no actual need for WWE to make Ambrose look strong. Actually, that raises one final question…

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/dean-ambrose-vs.-bray-wyatt-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=9 Source: pl.wwe.com

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/dean-ambrose-vs.-bray-wyatt-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=9 Source: pl.wwe.com

1. Where Is Roman Reigns?

This grows inexplicable at this point. Not only was Roman Reigns not at Raw, he was barely mentioned in anything beyond a few offhand remarks. However we feel about Reigns and his unstoppable path towards WrestleMania and the WWE World Heavyweight Title, we have to say that this is the first time we can remember WWE deliberately keeping one of the competitors in the main event of WrestleMania off television for multiple weeks leading up to the show. In addition, we have to admit that we have never seen someone who WWE allegedly fully believes in and is reportedly planning to make the top star of the company for years to come booked as poorly and ineffectively as Roman Reigns. The company line behind Reigns’ absence is that they’re building to the Roadblock special, which just begs another question: why isn’t Roman Reigns, #1 contender to the WWE World Heavyweight title, a major part of this big Network event taking place weeks before WrestleMania? Roman Reigns is supposed to have the biggest moment of his career in just under four weeks, and not only was he completely absent from television for the second straight week, his presence wasn’t even really remarked on, and you’ll find many fans saying he wasn’t missed. For yet another week, we remain baffled that Dean Ambrose, who almost certainly will not be winning at Roadblock (or WrestleMania), is being booked like a top star, while Roman Reigns continues to be booked incredibly poorly, but is all but guaranteed to walk away from WrestleMania as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/dean-ambrose-vs.-bray-wyatt-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=28 Source: pl.wwe.com

http://pl.wwe.com/photos/2016/03/08/dean-ambrose-vs.-bray-wyatt-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=28 Source: pl.wwe.com

X