REWIND-A-RAW 1/15/18: Braun Strowman Fired? Finn Balor vs Seth Rollins, Paige Appears

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John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE RAW 1/15/18 featuring:

Braun Strowman gets FIRED and responds by wreaking havoc backstage, Finn Balor takes on Seth Rollins, Asuka vs Nia Jax, Paige makes an appearance, and more.

We discuss the news of the past week including Paige’s career-threatening neck injury, Chris Jericho being among the names returning for next week’s RAW 25, and the recent NXT signings of War Machine, Ricochet and Candice LeRae.

We announce the inaugural POST Wrestling Royal Rumble Pool as well as the debut episode of The British Wrestling Experience this Thursday.

Plus, Café feedback to WWE Raw from the POST Wrestling Forum.



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Just to mention that this was not Asuka and Nia’s first match. They had a really nice bout at NXT Takeover : The End in 2016.

Should this post be in the fact checking thread ?

Regarding Asuka:
I think WWE has completely failed in presenting her character on Raw. I don’t watch NXT and while I get she was undefeated over there I only understand her character based one what we’ve seen.

What has WWE shown us?

  • Someone whose sometimes feared and sometimes just a regular wrestler (unfocused)
  • Someone whose a submission machine and can end a match at any time (great job here)
  • Someone who enters the ring half dancing and full of smiles (What does that have to do with her persona in any way? This is like Braun Strowmen doing Sami Zayne’s entrance in how laughably out of character it is).
  • She is portrayed as someone mysterious person in vignettes and with the masks but then that aspect of her character goes away during backstage segments and within her matches.

It feels like Asuka is just a melting pot of ideas with no cohesion beyond the fact that she’s undefeated.

Perhaps this is just cultural ignorance on my part and her character actually makes perfect sense but if I’m confused by her then its probably safe to assume that other tv viewers would be as well.

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I really think we are going to get a Finn and Miz IC match at Mania and it’s very appealing to me. Those two guys fighting for the IC belt definitely feels like a more elevated match for that slot than past years at the big show, and it does lend to a 3 on 3 between BC and Miztourage.

Points about Raw itself:

  • Vastly exceeded expectations considering the big 25 anniversary and Rumble just around the corner
  • I agree that big time womans matches like Asuke vs Nia need proper builds. Even with this finish in mind this deserved to be a big 4 PPV encounter rather than just a throwaway raw match that wasn’t even the main event.
  • Braun is admittedly fun to watch and suitable for the kind of audience Raw produces for…however, I can’t shake the feeling that this is BAD for the industry as a whole. You both touched on it here and I struggle to see Braun at the top of the card with people playing things straight. The way Braun is presented makes it seem like he should squash Brock like Goldberg did at Summerslam and hold the title for 5 years. No one is even remotely at his level.
  • Finn is super over and WWE knows it. I know there was a lot of backlash over Finn not getting to lose to Brock on Rumble but this alternate story with Finn is 10x better. At least this is telling a story whose outcome is not clearly set in stone.
  • It’s amazing how one move can change a character. Seth Rollins to me has been like Dean Ambrose pre-shield for most. He was just sort of there and I found it hard to care. Give this man the foot stomp and suddenly I’m interested again. That’s silly but true. I never fully appreciated just how important a good looking finisher was to my enjoyment of a performer until tonight.

It was their first meeting on the main roster though; no? I think that’s what was being implied.

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If this was in the 80’s, Braun’s antics would have gotten him super over, that the PPV buy rate for a PPV match against a hot Hogan would have blown the roof.

This is pretty much how she was presented in NXT.