REWIND-A-RAW 3/19/18: The Ultimate Deletion, Roman vs. US Marshals, WWE 24

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John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE RAW 3/19/18:

The Ultimate Deletion is here as Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy battle on the Hardy Compound, Ronda Rousey discusses what WrestleMania means for her post-UFC career, Roman Reigns is handcuffed by the US Marshals and ambushed by Brock Lesnar, and John Cena continues to call for The Undertaker.

Plus, we recap WWE 24: Empowered documenting the first women’s Royal Rumble match, Mark Henry is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, Moolah fallout, Saudi Arabia, Café feedback to WWE Raw from the POST Wrestling Forum and more in this lengthy 2 hour review.

Rewind-A-Raw Theme by Colby John

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Probably not give her Dana Brooke…she botches running.

Lifted her leg to early for Ronda, but that block was cringe.

Why doesn’t she just do judo throws…it’s not that different than doing hip tosses and headlock takeovers. It’s second nature for Ronda and its a simple bump to take if you dont fight it. She should probably get more experience before doing an rasslin moves imo.

Thoughts on Raw based on highlights:

Regarding Roman/Brock:
Poor segment both from a storytelling perspective and in terms of making Roman a face and Brock a heel. Brock returned to the beatdown so many times it made people think of him like Braun and cheer him.
Roman being the ‘face’ who just doesn’t care and wants to stall the show by sitting in the ring and doing nothing. Who wants to cheer that?
This could have worked better as a concept but execution was poor.

Regarding Alexa:
Mickie James continues to be there for no good reason but I’m happy to accept it…she’s been fun in her lackey status. Alexa continues to deliver a strong heel promo in that you WANT to cheer for Nia Jax here. When’s the last time WWE has TRULY made you care about the outcome of a match?
Bliss is such a good heel and this is such a basic yet effective story that I can’t help but want to see Nia get her comeuppance. Excellent feud and is easily one of my top 5 WM matches right now.
The Alexa vs Bliss match was completely unnecessary and I disagree with having it to begin with…could have just had Nia run in during the interview segment.

Regarding Braun Promo and Match:
I’m disappointed by the announcement of giving him a tag partner. This just weakens the concept and gives you a lazy out when you’re ready to push Braun past the tag team thing.
The match made me want to see Cesaro get a singles push and do a serious feud with Braun. Braun did as well as he could in a ‘standard’ match which is not saying a whole lot. This didn’t damage or expose him but I continue to prefer Braun out of ring than I do in Ring.

Regarding Mark Henry Hall of Fame:
Mark Henry has a good story in the business in pretty much the ultimate rags to riches story. His career is a fascinating one and ends on such a strong note that I can’t really deny him belonging in a Hall of Fame.

Regard Bayley/Sasha Segment:
This has been a really well told story during wrestling matches but I have to admit that when it comes time to their promos I lose a lot of interest. They aren’t terrible by any stretch of imagination…this isn’t Bray Wyatt levels of tuning out but it its not up there with Bliss/Nia in terms of investment either. I think its a HUGE shame these two aren’t getting a singles match at WM. I would give up Cena/Taker in a heartbeat to give 20+ minutes to these two in order to blow people away in ring.

Regarding Cena:
WWE has given soo much time to this and I just want no part of it. Cena is performing his role well…the man is clearly entertaining on the mic but like everyone else I’m not buying into the storyline and its just eating up far too much tv time. If they somehow deliver an epic match then consider this all forgiven but I have no faith in Taker’s in ring ability at this point. Cena’s been passed his prime for a while now as well and both men look weak going into this feud.

Regarding Miz/Balor:
I’m not feeling this match or build. It was thrown together for Mania and you can really feel it. I think Miz adds to the title and knowing that he’s going to drop it at Mania to this nothing feud saddens me. Miz deserves better but I can’t deny that Balor or Seth will give us FAR superior matches as champion.

Regarding the Rousey segment:
Brilliant. WWE hits it out of the park yet again with her.
It baffles me that they can put together these packages consistently and yet we get soo many bullshit stories shown on tv. Imagine how much better Nakamura/Styles build would be right now if we saw packages of both of these people rather than the awkward and ultra basic Nakamura promos followed by adequate at best AJ styles promo’s.

Regarding Ultimate Deletion:
(Note: I watched this match in FULL and I also watched House of Horrors match in full prior to this comment rather than just going by highlights.)
This was a terrible match that comes with a few positives.

  1. WWE trying something new and breaking formula. I’m completely behind this and support the experimentation. This is FAR more important than my opinion on the match.
  2. Ending this match on a cliffhanger was the only truly compelling part for me. As one of the many who are completely sick of Bray this brings hope to the future and gives the Ultimate Deletion some potential long term importance.

As for the negatives there’s a lot. To put it simply I lost interest during this match and found my mind wandering. The same thing happened on my re-watch of House of Horrors. This match was as effective as House of Horrors to me save for the ending that was a cliffhanger rather than just a pin and victory. If this was supposed to sell me on Woken Matt it completely and utterly failed. Matt is still a TERRIBLE in ring performer who can’t make me care. A lot of the stuff showcased continues to feel lawls random which is admittedly NOT my kind of comedy. This is also the kind of wrestling that makes me feel embarassed to be a fan of wrestling.

Ultimate Deletion was better than House of Horrors but only in the way that 2* match is better than a 1.5* match. WWE could never do this again and I’d be fine with it. They could bring it back rarely like your typical gimmick match and I could live with that as well. So glad that this wasn’t on Wrestlemania.

As an ROH fan, I’d be so mad if The Miz showed up at an ROH show. Not because it’s The Miz but because of the idea of a WWE talent showing up at an ROH Show and it not being an integral figure in the history of ROH.

I just imagine seeing wrestling news headlines saying “WWE Superstars shows up at ROH unexpected” and people assuming it’s going to be Owens or Zayn or Joe Or Rollins or even Cesaro and instead it’s The Miz.

It’s just so illogical that it makes me unreasonably angry. Daniel Bryan hasn’t been in an ROH Ring in a decade but you’re telling me we can get The Miz to show up to Final Battle?

Nigel McGuinness would make way more sense. He’d make so much more sense if he showed up.

Just give us Kyle O’Reilly back.We don’t want The Miz. Why would we want The Miz?

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To elicit the exact reaction you just described.

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Ultimate Deletion has to have a payoff with regards to Bray or it will feel like an unimportant overproduced polarizing final segment of Raw.
This was my friend’s first time seeing this kind of Broken Universe video and he was way out. I was luke warm having watched Final Deletion before Raw started. I’d like more of the videos with the universe like TNA did so Matt can get across this persona and it’s not just a gimmick match.

Also, the Miz showing up at ROH is as u likely as Punk showing up at Mania - which is to say, never say never. I think the reaction would be anarchy, and depending on the crowd it could get pretty interactive. Good god does this make me wish for a wells scripted and well thought out invasion angle.

I think the fact Bray lost means he’ll come back with a new “broken” character teaming with Matt, much like how Jeff became Brother Nero after losing the Final Deletion, which would be a welcomed change for the character,

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I don’t understand the mentality of WWE fans as demonstrated in the feedback you read on air. Why criticize Michael Cole for burying the Ultimate Deletion thing before it happened? That’s not Cole, that’s Cole voicing what Vince wants. It always is. Cole does some banter on his own & will call the action as he feels he should but any opinions or talking to the viewers is just saying what Vince is telling him to say.

It’s very much like when I read WWE fans talking about how Vince hates this, Vince hates that, Vince doesn’t wanna push so and so… then something cool will happen on Smackdown and the same fans will rush to say it was someone else’s idea other than crediting Vince. This is Vince’s company. Both shows get his final approval. He may not come up with all the ideas but nothing gets done without his okay. He clearly got talked into giving Ultimate Deletion a chance. Most likely we’ll find out he nixed a lot of things they wanted to do. They presented the final product with his changes and in typical Vince fashion since it wasn’t a WWE concept he hated it so he buried it (via Michael Cole) before it aired. This is nothing new.

As for the 24/7 show - I’m probably in the minority but I feel these shows are just awful in terms of creating stars & I feel most wrestlers would be served well to avoid them if at all possible. I understand they are probably obligated to do them so that’s not possible but the entire idea of being a star is you are a larger than life personality, unless you are the rarest of rare exceptions like Daniel Bryan. To see these people acting like I (a fan) would standing backstage gawking at other wrestlers, going crazy for matches & just being real human beings might make the viewer feel they are just regular people but is that really what wrestlers are supposed to be? Not in my opinion.

I didn’t see the show nor have any intention but just listening and imagining the visual of all the women crowded around a monitor to watch the finish of a match you’d think they should have been clued in on since they were part of it… it’s all just so cringeworthy.

These 24/7 shows really exemplify current WWE. It’s all to make the company looks like the be all, end all. The performers are secondary and interchangable. If anything all these things do is point out even more how powerful and larger than life (cough) Paul & Steph are since they are always the one giving the big speeches & ordering people around.

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