Monday Night RAW 3/7/16: Shane Takes Over Chicago

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Our Monday Night RAW recaps have been retooled slightly. Partly for you, partly for us. We’re breaking down the show’s best and worst in bite sized bits and looking to what comes next. With Wrestlemania getting very, very close, a lot is going to start going down on these shows. These are the best RAW episodes of each year so let’s jump into this.

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What Worked: 

Opening Promo: Shane McMahon is the Bernie Sanders of the WWE. He is here to save us from the tyrannical rule of his family members and we should be grateful for it. Shane has always been charismatic and willing to go there. However, Vince gets so into what he’s doing as a villain that it becomes kind of scary. The Undertaker and Shane match might be a weird thing to go with but this fight between the McMahon family is exceedingly entertaining.

Kevin Owens vs. Neville: This was an amazing match with lots of big aerial moments from Neville. This was a quality showing by both men and I do wish Neville was finding more success on the main roster. The personality is a bit lacking but he makes up for it by what he can do in the ring. The big thing here was the run in at the end by Sami Zayn as Kevin Owens was about to pulverize Neville. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens at Wrestlemania is MONEY and I cannot wait to see these two longtime foes reignite their rivalry.

New Day vs. Y2AJ: This was for the tag team championship and I’m putting in the good side of things because this was a very good match. The opening promo by New Day was hilarious as always and they’ve yet to even get close to stale. They are killing it right now. I love the weird “cool dad” jokes about Team Y2AJ but I need and want AJ Styles to be a successful solo star in the WWE. Heel Chris Jericho has been coming for a while but I’ve grown cold on him overall.

HHH and Dean Ambrose: So this here is a weird one because it both worked and didn’t. Dean Ambrose is a star and he should be treated as such. Putting him in a sort of pointless match at a sort of pointless live event doesn’t do that. However, he and HHH going back and forth is great and Ambrose is fantastic on the microphone. In a way, it sort of makes me resent Roman Reigns being “the guy” and I didn’t feel that way before. I want Reigns to succeed but when you’re basically giving us what life would be like if Dean was the #1 guy, it’s easy to feel differently.

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What Didn’t Work:

Brie Bella vs. Summer Rae: This match was boring until Lana came out. Reports say Lana has backstage heat on her and that’s been a part of why she hasn’t been on TV as much but regardless, I think she’s under used….as a manager. Lana can talk and she’s got charisma but I don’t buy for a minute that she’s a very good wrestler. I’m not in any way invested in what any of these wrestlers are doing

Dolph Ziggler vs. League Of Nations: Remember when Ziggler was over and people couldn’t get enough of him? That feels like forever ago and now he’s doing pointless thing after pointless thing and I feel bad for him.

Tyler Breeze vs. Kalisto: I love Tyler Breeze and I really believe he could be a great heel but they obviously aren’t high on him anymore. It’s not so much that this match wasn’t technically good but I just didn’t find myself that invested. There’s no story here and it was just a bridge to Kalisto breaking up with Sin Cara and/or fighting Ryback. Both of these things aren’t that compelling.

Curtis Axel vs. Ryback: I’ll be blunt – I don’t care about Ryback. I honestly never have and while I like the Social Outcasts, they’re starting to not feel so high on them anymore. They need to feud with New Day or do something meaningful.

Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch vs. Tamina & Naomi: It’s not so much that this was a bad match but it wasn’t thrilling. I don’t know how you fix the Divas division but Sasha Banks should be at the forefront of fixing it. Storylines need to be built better. There needs to be something personal between the characters and with the Divas, that doesn’t really exist right now. I do think this triple threat match will be fantastic but there definitely needs to be something more to the storytelling in the division.

Bray Wyatt vs. Dean Ambrose: The Ambrose/HHH feud works for me despite it being unimportant in the grand scheme of things. They are entertaining but the way the Wyatts are being used is not. I don’t think the WWE cares about the Wyatts anymore and it’s showing. Dean Ambrose getting the upper hand tonight was awesome to see but again, I don’t think he even gets involved in the main event at Wrestlemania. I think all this leads to him and Roman feuding but I can’t imagine Dean going full heel for that.

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