Building the Foundation.
Nia Jax attacked Asuka while the latter was doing an in-ring promo this week, and the segment served its purposes: Getting Nia Jax across as a bad-ass female monster, and giving everyone the impression that Asuka’s streak was legitimately threatened. We did not get really excited about the in-ring aspect of their clash this Sunday, however. Nia Jax’s leg drop still looked like a fish slipping on her own oil and flopped down on a hapless Japanese woman’s face. That was what you get for eating too much sashimi, Asuka.
The Bar’s Kryptonite?
There seemed to be some sort of storyline being written here with the recurring surprise victories of Titus Worldwide over The Bar. If we remember it correctly, this was the third time Titus Worldwide defeated The Bar clean. Well, we would not mind if Titus O’Neil and Apollo (yes, this is his new ring name now) became tag team champions. Titus is above-average on the mic, and not too terrible in the ring; Apollo is so agile and has such a wide smile that he could be forgiven for his sub-par promo skills; and Dana is a nice touch to the team. But she has to get rid of the red polka-dot tie.
The men got a great gauntlet match going, whereas the women got a lame 6-woman tag team match. Talk about equality. Okay okay, calm down you sensitive snowflakes. It is just a joke!
Even without any regard for sex, the show-ending match had more negatives than positives. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville’s parts of the pre-match video-taped promo was dry and looked like the females read them straight out of a teleprompter. The match got really confusing in the middle part but the confusion was not consequential in any way, so it messed up the audience’s brain for no reason.
But there were a few interesting developments in storylines. Bayley and Sasha Banks showed no sign of their potential cracks in the past couple of weeks, and Alexa Bliss and Mickie James seemed to be enjoying their alliance, at least for the time being. They even did a Jumping DDT together! Kudos to the screenwriters for incorporating meaningful interactions between wrestlers. That was the saving grace of an otherwise throw-away tag team match that ended WWE RAW on a low note.
The first two hours or so (especially the first one) of WWE RAW was extremely satisfying, as we saw all seven participants of the men’s Elimination Chamber match this Sunday in action, and they did not seem to hold back and gave a good collective effort to start off the show strong. However, it went down from there, and finished poorly with the 452nd 6-woman match in the past month. The men definitely built anticipation towards their match at Elimination Chamber better than did the women, but it could be argued that it was through no fault of the ladies’ own.
Here is to hoping that Elimination Chamber will be a strong step towards WrestleMania.
Oh, and there were Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt on the red show…