Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Worldwide Wrasslin’ Focus: Extreme Rules and Raw

Best WWF broadcast team ever!

Warning: Spoilers follow for Extreme Rules and the May 23 edition of Raw.

While Extreme Rules didn’t really feature any surprising results or title changes, it was a solid show of good wrestling with an awesome post-main event angle, thanks to the return of Seth Rollins. It came after yet another cluster-eff match between Reigns and Styles, with interruptions from the Usos and “For Legal Reasons Definitely Not The Bullet Club.”

Speaking of, it’s amusing to me how horrible the reaction still is for Reigns. The WWE seems intent on going down the John Cena path with him though, since they had chances to turn him heel during the Styles feud, and by the promo that Rollins gave. However, Rollins basically did his absolute best to be the heel, even as the crowd booed Reigns out of the building. (For the record – I’m of the mindset that Reigns is an OK wrestler, but he’s not sympathetic or an underdog in the slightest, and I have no idea why the WWE is so insistent on keeping him face.)

By the way, Kevin Owens is a great, big bright shinin’ star. He would be my pick for the Money in the Bank ladder match. I always think the briefcase works better when a heel or tweener has it, and he’s probably the best one on the WWE roster right now. While his matches and confrontations with Zayn have been really good, I think it’s time for the WWE to move on from that.

Regarding the rest of the MitB field, in order from least likely to most likely in my mind…

5) Cesaro just feels like filler, assuming that they don’t remove him from the match for a feud with The Miz. I’d give him zero chance to win the briefcase, since he’s mostly been winning and losing in equal doses with his current James Bond Stripper gimmick.

4) Chris Jericho has a non-zero chance of winning, because he’s an experienced veteran in the ring. And hey, he’s also my favorite wrestler! But it’s hard to see how him with the briefcase would make a lot of sense, since he’s mostly a part-time wrestler now.

3) Sami Zayn. While he’s had some incredible matches, especially with Kevin Owens, I just don’t feel like the WWE has enough faith in him to win the briefcase. He hasn’t even been a serious contender for the IC belt, as he’s mostly been used in multi-man matches for that with Owens.

2) Dean Ambrose really needs a proper push, and this could be a way to do it. Unfortunately though, they already mentioned the most obvious angle for him to win on Raw – that he could use the briefcase to setup a Shield triple threat for the belt. Since they mentioned it on TV, I don’t think it’ll happen. Still though, I think it’s more likely that he wins than the other guys on the list.

1) Kevin Owens. He’s the best heel on the roster, and he’s been kept pretty strong, as he hasn’t been beat cleanly all that often. He would be the strong favorite to me, as long as someone with a stronger C.V. isn’t in the match (Lesnar, Cena, Orton).

The only other significant thing to happen on Raw was Charlotte kicking Ric Flair to the curb, which I honestly thought should have been done much earlier. Still, the angle had a decent amount of punch to it, plus it managed to shut up the Baltimore crowd from chanting “What?” for a little bit. I’m intrigued to see what happens next in the division, since Sasha Banks has been off TV, nursing an injury, if I recall correctly.

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