RAW Thoughts 2-27-17

Joshua Waddles
Staff Writer

I’ve seen some Bailey haters online, mostly not liking her character, and those haters are wrong. A lot of fans take WWE very seriously and I’m one of them, but there’s nothing wrong with wrestlers being light and having fun with it. I’m also a huge fan of The New Day, which also has a lot of haters.

Last week, Bailey had a scene where it looked like she was thinking about giving up her title. The expression on her face conveyed pure heartbreak. There are not many wrestlers who can really act out emotion like that, especially with just a facial expression.

I’m undecided about her mic skills. There are sort of pros and cons. When she’s on the mic, she always seems a tad bit overwhelmed to be talking in front of full arenas. But then again, that fits her character very well. They’re making a big thing about how she’s realizing her lifelong dream. Plus she probably talks that way when she’s not in the ring.

She’s certainly better on the mic than Charlotte. Now Charlotte Flair is amazing in the ring and she’s the main reason why I finally got interested in the women’s division, but when she talks on the mic, it’s clearly put on. She almost sounds like she’s reading off a cue card (which I know she isn’t, that’s just what she sounds like.)

I know what Charlotte is going for. Ric Flair was very over the top when he had the mic, but that seemed authentic to him. Ric Flair was the classic extravagant heel; they used to wear feather boas and come out acting all vain and worrying about their hair. He seemed very comfortable in that, yelling everything he said. Even though the “Woo!” was sometimes a little redundant, it was still a very Ric Flair way to act.

But with Charlotte, you can just tell that isn’t her personality. But if she moves away from that, she’s going to be a lot more interesting in her monologues. The expression of hate on her face when she stared at Bailey last night was just terrifying! I definitely see her as more of a vicious, sadistic sort of heel instead of an arrogant heel and I hope she falls into a more angry sort of character.

Samoa Joe vs Cesaro

Samoa Joe is a vicious sort of character, though not in quite the same way I’d expect Charlotte to be.

One thing I liked about Samoa Joe right away is that he’s as creative as he is physical. During the match, they had a fake (probably fake?) moment where Cesaro hurt his knee. So Joe picked him up over his shoulder, held onto his calf and dropped straight down. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve seen it, but that move looked like it put a lot of pressure on that knee even though it probably didn’t hurt Cesaro at all. It was just a really good idea.

Cesaro is one of those who has a lot of support from fans and wrestling commentators, but hasn’t really spent a lot of time performing in main events. And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, he’s recently held one of the tag titles.

Cesaro vs Samoa Joe reminded me of 80s wrestling again (or maybe I just had that on my brain for some reason.) Neither of these guys is very gimmicky the way some of the others are and it reminded me of some of the simplicity of some of the older matches. No light shows and no smoke and mirrors. They’re just a couple of big bad bald dudes and they can wrestle.

Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman contract signing

With these two, it was more of a brawl. And that’s probably the way it should be with these two. Both are physical but don’t impress me very much with their wrestling skill.

Now when Braun Strowman said he wanted a contract signing, we all knew where that was going. I can think of only one time where a wrestling contract signing didn’t end in a fight, and that was about 18 years ago in WCW.

Now I hated how Strowman and Stephanie McMahon talked to Mick Foley. It’s one of those things I just couldn’t stand even though I knew it was part of the show. Foley basically destroyed his body putting on those hard core matches back in the day and it just really bothered me how they were using that against him, calling him a shell of his former self. But Foley did have a good moment because of that by yelling at Strowman.

Then Roman Reigns came out to a chorus of boos. When they were out in the crowd duking it out, I started to think, “You know? This is kind of good to watch.”

Then Reigns hit with the Superman Punch and Spear combo, two of the only four moves he knows and I just kind of shrugged my shoulders and went back to blogging about Charlotte Flair on Facebook.

But it really was a better show than what Reigns usually puts on. And as I’ve said before, Reigns vs Strowman is a really good pairing. There was a moment when Reigns was in the ring, the crowd was chanting “Roman! Roman!” and he looked up like “Me? Really?”

As long as they don’t put him in a Universal Title match again any time soon, Reigns is well on his way to winning the fans back.

Seth Rollins

I have to end by expressing my heartbreak over Seth Rollins probably not being healthy in time for Wrestlemania.

When I saw him limping to the ring on his crutch, I was 100 percent sure I knew what was going to happen. Because I’ve seen it so many times before: the wrestler returns from an injury acting like he’s still hurt, then hits the heel with his crutch and reveals that he’s healthy again. It looked for all the world that they were setting up for that, but apparently Seth is still hurt for real or HHH at least would have punched him.

I could tell that the fans thought the same thing I did. They never would have started chanting “boring” if they knew Rollins was expressing his real heartbreak about missing Wrestlemania. Plus the fans were already chanting “Welcome back!” as he sat down.

But he’ll be off that crutch before long. And hopefully he’ll be right back in the main event spotlight. I just hope he can avoid that dreaded “injury prone status that has kept other wrestlers bumped down to the mid card.

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