Honestly, this could be a much longer piece but I'd rather just give it to you without any frills and just let you guys and gals discuss it among yourselves.
A few brief "Betta" moments:
- Open with Steph yes, but don't unleash Nikki and a scripted promo and Brie to open THAT show after Sunday night. Once Steph is out of the way with this angle, I hope they don't think we're still going to care. You do that against Johnny Football vs RG3 on MNF. I feel like that was a mistake.
- You use Kane in the main (which was the best RAW match since Punk/Cena and maybe better than that) to set Dean/Kane up for some TV work when he returns, which I understand. However, no reason for comically crumbling cinder blocks. Actually, why are there cinder blocks next to the announce table in the first place? I can't complain though as that twenty minutes was glorious.
- Cesaro scares me right now. Dolph got this kind of treatment from creative after his concussions, but there's a major difference. He was a babyface who was and always stayed WAY over. Cesaro isn't over anymore because of how he's been booked. That's a major issue. Had they not turned him into a near-jobber with Paul and left him with Heyman, he could be Brock's next match with advocate as the back story. Punk all over again, but with Cesaro's natural strength and ability, those two could have engaged in something special. But you can't do it with the way he's been booked.
- Oh, and Paul Effin Heyman. There's no way to make that segment any better except to leave Paul out there for an hour. Good gracious. One of the best promos/speeches of his career, which makes it one of the best of anyone's career.
Three Champions worked on RAW last night in Las Vegas.
Three Champions lost on RAW last night in Las Vegas.
Two of those three just won their titles the night before and had both been largely mishandled for months.
WWE loves Even Steven booking, especially with Champions coming off Pay Per Views. Paige beat AJ Lee in Los Angeles on Sunday night and a distraction finish led to a pinfall loss to Natalya. In WWE's defense, it had been seven days since the last distraction finish.
Dolph Ziggler finally got himself some hardware as he became Intercontinental Champion in a good opener on Sunday. On Monday, he's counted out and the Miz gets his heat back. That's the idea at least. I'm not sure Miz lost his heat. He could have talked and not worked last night and been just as effective. Plus we would have been spared the Figure Four.
The Usos didn't work SummerSlam in the ring, serving just as lumberjacks, but were beaten by the Dust Brothers out of nowhere. That one isn't Even Steven, that's just booking a possible Tag Title match for Night of Champions. I still believe the Wyatt's should have won the 2 out of 3 Falls match at Battleground, but that's in the past.
If you want to make RAW last night better, the first thing you do is just have Paige win the match and then have AJ interrupt her celebration. She needs wins. I don't care how many promos and poems she cuts and how much she skips, Paige needs to win matches with a large audience watching. She was booked so weak for so long. Why was it necessary to do the extra-curricular stuff during the match? Just have Paige hit the DDT and win the match, then have AJ pop up at ringside.
Dolph Ziggler and Miz could have fought to a double countout if they wanted to go that way, but it just destroys your Champ's momentum to have it end the way it did. I'd probably have held the Miz rematch either for the PPV or for a few weeks from now after Dolph has gone through maybe a Kofi Kingston or a Luke Harper or whomever it might be. Just give the guy some wins as Champion.
In the end, it's about momentum for your midcard guys. Losing non-title matches all the time or losing for weeks only to win at the PPV might work for a heel here and there, but WWE books that way almost as a bodily function. It's frustrating and it complicates finding ways to get your talent over.