From the NAI Archive - April 7, 2015 - The Chief's Briefs - RAW Response Edition

Took a little bit of a break there, but welcome back to a weekday edition of The Chief’s Briefs.  After believing that the Comcast cable gods were conspiring against me, keeping me from Monday Night RAW, I had a pleasant surprise to return home from work this afternoon and find it waiting for me on my DVR.  Thus, today’s episode is a RAW-recap spectacular!

The Genius of New Day

By far, without question, unequivocally my favorite part of RAW featured New Day.  The match was good (especially that cheating Kofi kick!), but the promo was the highlight of RAW, bar none.

This has been the plan from the beginning, I’m sure of it. You can’t honestly look at how New Day was booked and tell me this was supposed to work.  You just can’t.  Even Vince / Dunn logic doesn’t go that far.  This was all a well orchestrated means of explaining a heel turn.  These guys were super positive, trying to inspire the crowd and be great role models, and with each week, their frustration grows.

Each member of New Day had their own moment in the sun.  Xavier seemed the most serious, although his reaction to the clapping was priceless.  Kofi had a nice turn from happy to mean with the “Clap or Snap” line.  And what can you say about Big E?  He’s found his niche with the Baptist Minister cadence.

These guys are going to be a major heel force, even though they’ll get cheered the second it happens.  I can’t wait to see what happens with New Day throughout the rest of 2015.

PTP goes Prime Time

I wasn’t watching WWE during the Prime Time Players’ initial run, so I know next to nothing about them.  Their promo was not nearly as good as New Day’s, but I was entertained.  Keeping things legitimately light hearted and tongue-in-cheek works for Darren and Titus.

I want to applaud WWE for giving both of these teams promo time on RAW.  You wouldn’t expect such “low card” guys to get interview time, and they ran with it.  If they get a prolonged feud, I’ll be super psyched.

Losses don’t matter. . .

Two of the first matches last night proved that with proper booking, a loss can mean as much as a win.

To begin, we saw Neville challenge Seth Rollins.  Neville, an NXT staple, is only in his “official” second week on RAW, and wrestled the World Champ.  Not only did he wrestle, he stood toe-to-toe with “The Architect”, coming close to victory on a couple of occasions.  Seth won, as we all expected him to, but that really didn’t matter.  What mattered is that this “rookie” gave the champ a run for his money.

This is what made the Ruthless Aggression Era so great.  You could have a guy like Shelton Benjamin ALMOST pin Triple H, or some nobody named John Cena make Kurt Angle nervous.  You never knew which guys were going to step up and become rock stars in a single night.

I had very low hopes for Neville’s WWE prospects, but after last night, I’m beginning to believe in the Purple Wonder.

That’s a copyrighted name, don’t even try it.

Speaking of John Cena, the US champion is growing on me. . . Like a fungus. . . I didn’t watch the promo, you can believe that, but I do like this Open Challenge thing, especially when its answered by Stardust, of all people, and then they go on to have an excellent match.

In fact, at just over 13 minutes, Cena / Stardust was the longest match of the card last night.

What’s odd is that in on RAW, Seth Rollins and John Cena did what we had been hoping Brock Lesnar would do for his entire WHC run - help build other stars.  Neville could be slipped into the Intercontinental title picture now without much fuss after his performance vs. Rollins, and Stardust, be his face painted or not, just held his own against 15 time world champion John Cena.  These are all good things.

. . . But Sometimes they do

Bray Wyatt, albeit in a promo, made his return to RAW last night, and if my cryptic cryptographer is working properly, it looks like the New Face of Fear is setting his sights on Roman Reigns next.

I’m all for that - it’s a logical step for Bray and a chance for Roman to continue to grow as a performer.  This is dangerous ground though.

You can’t lose too often and with too much frequency.

Not if you want to be a main eventer, anyway.  Reigns and Bray are both coming off of losses at Wrestlemania, and while both “Looked Strong”, as it were, those were still losses.  I blogged last week about what I thought Bray’s next steps should be, and Roman also deserves a bit of a winning streak if we’re ever going to take him seriously as a World Title contender.  Having the two of them face each other means, inevitably, that one of them is going to lose.  Now we’re talking a “slump”, which in wrestling is rarely a good thing.

Based on WWE logic, I imagine Bray loses and then moves on to the next guy, just like he did with Jericho. . .And Cena. . .And Ambrose. . .And Undertaker. . It’s kind of his schtick now, sadly.

The more compelling story would be for Bray to actually win this feud, and its more compelling for Roman than it is for Wyatt.  Reigns was riding this super hot streak when he got hit by the freight train known as Brock Lesnar, then screwed out of contention by Rollins.  A loss to Bray and Mr. Reigns is in a bit of a slump.

Remember, I said that slumps are RARELY a good thing. . . Not NEVER.

Losing multiple matches in a row leads to frustration, and frustration leads to anger.  An angry Reigns. . . Not a “I’m gonna punch you in the face and then hit you in the tummy!” kind of anger, but a TRUE anger. . . Is much more interesting.

Congratulations, you just got a sneak peek of “Kid Reigns”, coming to you the next time I get onto NAIpod.


What do YOU think?  Highlights of RAW?  Be Heard.
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