RAW 1/1/18 – Finn goes all heel while Brock and Braun crush, and Kane crashes and burns – Josh’s thoughts

Now then, that was a slight disappointment. Seen as I didn’t watch the show live I’ll keep this brief and snappy.

the show began with Alexa attempting to get out of yet another match but Kurt suggests we’ll have it anyway because he wants a ‘WrestleMania’ worthy match… he should’ve stopped the match when he was asked if you ask me… it was, as Robbo said, a disappointment. If you want a full match review read that, it’s not one I’m going to spend much time on.

Kurt tells the WWE universe the rules of the first ever women’s Royal Rumble match, stating that there will be 30 entrants and the same rules as the men’s rumble will apply across the board.

Enter one of the best tag teams in WWE today: Sheamus and Cesaro. Their argument being that they want their titles back as Kurt’s son didn’t deserve a shot at the titles in the first place… and they have a point, he’s done nothing but lose but managed to say in the picture, nepotism at its finest ladies and gentlemen. Their main gripe is with Kurt’s celebrations, seen as he’s supposed to be impartial, as he celebrated with his son after he and Seth Rollins felled the bar.

Enter the snooze button himself: Jason Jordan

He comes down with one of the belts, but his tag partner nowhere to be seen. He begins a war of words with The Bar, and Kurt sanctions a match between him and Cesaro, when finally out comes Seth. He says that Jason needs to be more of a team player now, and he’s only there to see him lose. Understandable after he attacked Seth just a few weeks ago for a shot at Samoa Joe, something that now seems to have been pushed far under the rug. However, Jason comes out on top and seems to be earning Seth’s respect… looks like we’re all going to have to struggle through Mr Boring for a while yet.

Now we get to see Nia Jax, as Alexa attempts to get the help of one of the most physically imposing female wrestlers on the roster in taking Asuka’s 0. However, she is leaving the arena to go and see Enzo Amore, in an angle that is good for Enzo and can build him well as this suits his character, however it could be image destruction for Nia if WWE is not careful.

Titus Worldwide. A stable that sees to be for the boring guys on the roster to all bunch together and try to build some chemistry.

Hey, maybe there’s a spot there for Jason Jordan once WWE realises no one likes this angle they’re trying to push.

They come out together with Apollo Crews set for a Match with Brey Wyatt. The match goes as you’d expect. Some innovative offence from Apollo, but a bit of a squash with Brey the victor.

Bye, bye Titus Worldwide, back in your box until next week. See if you can find Tozawa as well, he was cool.

The moment I was waiting for… ruined.

No new song, no appearance from him, and no Reby on piano. Woken Matt Hardy. a 30 second after effects job introduces him on the titontron yet again, and he babbles off gibberish. a multiplied screen effect and no loud bite later and it’s over. I can’t believe WWE has managed to make me bored of what they are doing with woken Matt, I thought that was impossible, but hey, there it is. He needs to be in the arena to get the universe around him, and to get the most out of what he is saying. I get making us wait, but now it’s making me bored. I want more from this next week.

Asuka taps the champ.

Do I have to say any more? I mean we knew this was coming since Kurt said it was non-title. Askuka keeps the 0, shows off her moves and how devastating the armbar is and sets up a match further down the line. Nothing here that wasn’t expected. Just slightly disappointing.

BRAUUUUUUUUN!!

Enter the Moster Among Men. He comes out to take on Rhyno, and it goes down as you would expect. Rhyno mounts a little offence early on to make him look strong as he and Heath have a name to uphold with them being the inaugural Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions. Then, Braun does his thing and puts a beatdown on Rhyno, then gets a mic and tells Heath to stay in the corner or the same will happen to him. The match becomes an impromptu two on one handicap match, with them getting the better of Braun in a bit of a beatdown… as you’d expect this doesn’t last long, and Braun ends the match with a few running power slams spread out between the two of them.

Braun looks strong again this week, and it got even better for him when this happened:

Enter who I think is one of the best wrestlers in the world right now, rivalled only by AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura and Kenny Omega: Finn Balor.

Finn in this segment with Kurt enters himself into the Royal Rumble, as he states he wants his rematch for the Universal titles and this seems the only way he’ll get it. Something I think is ridiculous, as he is entitled to a rematch for the belt he never lost, and a match between him and Brock could be as good as Brock’s match against AJ, personally my favourite match of the year.

Finn is then asked who will be with him in his 6 man tag match against Elias, another superstar who deserves a push with his brilliant heel work recently, and the Miztourage. When in walks Gallows and Anderson, The Club. Two wrestlers who are currently heel, and Finn, who is supposed to be face. Interesting for Finn’s character to say the least, although we know how good a heel he can be from his time in the Bullet Club in NJPW. Could this be the start of the Balor Club? I do hope so.

Now the IC Title match, one of my favourite looking belts in WWE, and a belt that seems to crave for the miz more and more every time I see it, who just so happens to be coming back next week. Now there’s something I’m looking forward to.

The match itself was a good one, in my opinion, nothing too fancy or outlandish but the right guy won in reigns, and there was a lot of storyline stuff and a good heel/face dynamic shown to the audience with Joe attempting to provoke Roman into getting himself disqualified, as the stipulation states if he is DQ’d, he loses the belt.

there is a collision with the ref that almost gets Joe his wish but Roman talks him out of it, a quick spear and three count later, and the big dog prevails, with fewer and fewer boos following him week by week.

Too Sweet looms large on night one.

For the first time in WWE, we see Bullet Club, and how good they can be when they are put together, but this does have implications for Finn and his character. The reason for this being that the people he is now aligned with are heel through and through and while Finn can be face, it seems they cant, and so if this is to be a stable its’s infancy, it gives us an idea of where creative are going with this angle, and with Finn since they cancelled his Rumble match with Brock for the universal title.

The Magic Killer into the coup de grâce could be a move that goes down in history though. The two look as though they were made for one another, and this could be the start of the stable to challenge The Shield, once Dean comes back, which gives us a long time to build them up.

… Or it was a one-time thing, in which case the match was awesome, and seeing them together in a WWE ring was brilliant, but I do want to see more of them in the coming weeks.

Enter the Beast… and the guy we’re all here to see, Paul Heyman.

Paul Heyman again spouts off some of the best dialogue the WWE has to offer. His mic work is on another level. He talks again about the fact the match rules means that Brock doesn’t have to be pinned to lose, something we’ve heard before but Paul works it so well I almost forgot regardless of how little time ago it was. He goes on to say how it doesn’t matter, and how Brock will prevail regardless, and I believe him.

Kane.

His music hits and down the ramp he walks, and into the ring. At this point, there isn’t a positive outcome, either Brock looks weak or Kane looks weak.

Kane hits an immediate chokeslam on Brock and down he goes, flat out in the middle of the ring with the Universal title sitting on him. My thoughts at this point were that Brock was buried, and that was the one outcome I didn’t want. However, Brock then not only buried Kane, but also his finisher in one swift swoop. He did Kane and the Undertaker’s sit up. Laughing to himself. So the chokeslam now looks weak, and so does Kane, as this is supposed to be his finishing move.

Begin the brawl. Brock sends Kane over the top rope, and the locker room comes out to split the two up. Kane ends up atop the ramp looking down in bewilderment. Not the best of outcomes for the devils favourite demon… or whatever it is he’s calling himself this time.

The show itself was okay…

That’s all there is to say really.

Not a bad show, not a good show, but an okay show.

Question – Do you think Finn is over? Do you think he should stay the same and continue on? Or turn heel, and join in with the club?

 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/RAWrestling

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