Give WWE credit, they’re trying really hard to make you like Roman Reigns. It’s not going to work, but man, are they persistent.
Last night’s closing segment to Monday Night Raw was actually quite strong. Paul Heyman made the WWE Universal Title feel prestigious and meaningful, and he made Brock Lesnar feel like a star.
Roman Reigns, in his rebuttal, gave sound reasoning for why the fans should dislike Brock Lesnar. He doesn’t respect them, he said. He doesn’t care about pro wrestling, he said.
It feels like all of those things are true. In fact, I don’t think Brock particularly likes wrestling, but this is a means for him to make a lot of money, so he does it.
If he really loved it, he’d be working house shows and traveling every weekend, just as Roman Reigns points about.
The problem is that sound reasoning, even from Reigns, isn’t going to work at this point. The Reigns hate has been boiling for too long from that older, and loud, segment of their audience. It’s not going to go away. Brock Lesnar not caring is what makes him cool, as ridiculous as that sounds. Brock Lesnar being an butt-kicking badass is what makes him cool.
Despite his good, sound evidence, people aren’t going to stop viewing Roman Reigns as the hand-picked choice of the McMahons. On top of that, WWE has programmed its fanbase to revolt against the McMahon family for more than 20 years. It’s amazing that they didn’t know this was going to be an issue.
Asuka defeated Nia Jax
Alright match. WWE is doing their best to build up Asuka, and it feels like it’s working. She’s not Brock Lesnar, but she’s moving in the right direction.
The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) beat The Revival (Dash & Dawson) to retain the Raw Tag Team Titles
The Bar continues to raise the bar, pardon the pun. There was some talk that the Revival would be the opponents for The Bar at WrestleMania, but I can’t see them doing that now. Not when they give away a free match like that on television and then do a clean finish. Seth Rollins is now in the Intercontinental Title match, so scratch him pairing up with a new partner off the list. There isn’t really any other viable contenders, unless they move someone from SmackDown or bring up a team from NXT.
John Cena defeated Goldust
This match was only here to hype Fastlane, which ironically is a SmackDown event scheduled for Sunday. I didn’t like it. The brand split works when they keep everyone separate, and having someone like Cena float back and forth in “search of a WrestleMania match” is tired.
Bayley defeated Mandy Rose
After this match, Sasha Banks ran in and cleared out the heels from assaulting Bayley. The angle was more interesting than the match itself, as Banks went in for a hug and Bayley stopped her, leaving the ring by herself.
At this point, it feels like they’re teasing heel turns with both Bayley and Banks; a heel turn for Banks would work better. Either way, they’re building up friction and conflict between the two, which is a little strange for two babyfaces. But maybe this gets Raw another women’s match on the card, on top of the title match.
Braun Strowman defeated Elias in a Falls Count Anywhere, Symphony of Destruction match
See that match name? Yeah, this was basically a No DQ, Falls Count Anywhere match with a much of musical instruments around the ringside area.
There was a spot with a baby grand piano. What’s funny to me is WWE cut pyro in a cost-cuting measure, but they’re fine destroying several instruments that probably cost into the thousands of dollars.
Take all the rah-rah away, and we still don’t know what the heck Braun Strowman is going at WrestleMania. That’s bad.
Bray Wyatt defeated Rhyno
They’re finally doing the Final Deletion on steroids! Is it inappropriate to make a steroids joke? Sorry, Roman Reigns.
But this match resulted in an angle where it was revealed the Wyatt-Hardy feud is finally heading to the Hardy Compound for a match! Yahoo!
Seth Rollins & Finn Balor defeated The Miz, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel
And we have our Triple Threat for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania. Honestly, I’m fine with it. Rollins and Balor are both really, really good and Miz is improved and probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves as a heel.