What were the biggest questions Raw left behind after the first show of 2017?
WWE kicked off 2017 with a Raw that was every bit like every other Raw of 2016. There would be brief moments where the show excelled. But overall, it would remain as a lengthy affair with a few bright spots. For one we knew Goldberg would be returning to Raw. That would remain as the best part of the night.
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Fans would witness the same kind of matches they had seen over and over. Rollins and Owens fought each other once more. So did Reigns and Chris Jericho. The Rusev – Cass rivalry limped on along with Jinder Mahal still in it. The Cruiserweight division would fail to find traction in 2017 as well. Finally, the women’s division and the women’s revolution would get featured for the sake of it. Creative failed to play off better characters except for Sasha and Charlotte. Bayley is still cold and Nia Jax is still a character in development.
What would be the biggest question the show left behind? After a show with very little progression for most of the time, it would not an easy job to come up with three intriguing questions. However, as always, no Raw is without questionable events and this week was no different. Join us for this week’s questions.
Sami Zayn and Braun Strowman would look to settle their business in a Last Man Standing match on Raw. Predictably, Strowman won, but not without Zayn putting in a fight. Sami took such a horrendous beating that at the end of the match he would be carried away on a stretcher. However, Strowman was still not done with him and continued to attack a battered Zayn.
It is not very often that we see stretchers being brought out these days. Even then, it is not very often that someone would get attacked while being on a stretcher. That would essentially seem like a buildup for a stretcher match. Stretcher matches aren’t something we have seen plenty of in recent times.
Moreover, the Sami Zayn and Strowman rivalry is yet to reach its climax. Zayn lasted 10 minutes against Strowman. Strowman beat the hell out of Zayn this week. Somewhere along, there is a tale of a final epic match yet to be told. One cannot help but wish that be the match that catapults Zayn to either the main event picture or to SmackDown. A stretcher match would be a nice way to progress towards the climax of this rivalry.
It is strange to see the New Day without the tag titles. For the first time in over a year, the New Day are neither champion nor challengers. The trio stood the test of time and would often carry the tag division on their own. Perhaps now is their time to move towards bigger things.
The first hint at the members looking for individual glory came when the faction announced their entrance in this year’s Royal Rumble. That one move alone could play up multiple scenarios during the Rumble. It would also help to raise intrigue towards what would happen between them. Would the trio stick together and dominate the Rumble? Would they turn on each other in hopes of headlining Wrestlemania?
Moreover, Titus O’Neil’s comments at Xavier Woods added insult to injury. Though Woods would get the win over his larger foe, the seeds would already get planted. In an ideal world, Big E could move on towards individual glory whereas Woods and Kingston stick together as a tag team. However, the scenarios and the questions are plenty when one looks ahead to the New Day’s future. Mondy night Raw gave more hints towards that direction.
1. What is Creative Doing with the Cruiserweight Division?
The Cruiserweight division is often being treated much like the Women’s division. Despite having 205 Live on Tuesdays, the division has failed to gain traction among the Raw viewers. There have been less character development and more often that not, the division features the same bunch of competitors week after week. Neville’s addition could perhaps be the cure for this.
However, the biggest problem with how the Cruiserweights have been booked is the frequent title changes. Neville could very well be the fourth champion and the division has not been around for too long. At least now, creative would have to plan for a lengthy title reign to ensure some level of credibility for the title and the division.
This week featured two cruiserweight matches that lasted roughly the same amount of time a Women’s division match would last before the revolution. The first match did little to advance the story or character. At least in the second match, TJ Perkins got in more offense. However, nobody else in the division seems poised to stand a chance against Neville. Perhaps that would give creative a reason to crown him and then have the high flyer rule the division with a strong and length reign.