Monday Night Raw Reactions for 1/19/15

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Raw Reactions (Episode from January 19th, 2015)
Mike Maillaro and I are going to be doing a weekly wrestling column called Cheap Pops starting this Wednesday. I wanted to get out ahead of it and offer some brief commentary about this week's Raw. Hope to "see" you all later in the week.

Raw hasn't been particularly entertaining the past few months. Wrestlemania season is off and running, though, do things have picked up a bit, The Legends Reunion each January is always a lot of fun. Let's take a quick look hour by hour.

Hour One
Pretty typical opening mess of a segment. Fifteen minutes of talking with HHH, Lesnar, Rollins, Cena, etc. Only real thing coming out of it was Cena wrestling again tonight to try and bring back Ziggler, Ryback, and Rowan. Do we really need idiotic melodrama like this? Cena failed last week, of course he's going to win this one.

The hour was saved by a compelling match between Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt. So many times Bryan looked legit injured. Fabulous stuff with both guys looking strong, and Wyatt getting the win because of interference by Kane. That leads to another stipulation match on Thursday between Bryan and Kane. Has Kane won a match in the last five years? Cripes, stop with these useless stips.

We also were treated to a meeting between The Kliq. Always good to see Michaels, Nash, Hall, HHH, and X-Pac together. Even better, before the real X-Pac showed, we were treated to Mizdow's stunt double version. Really enjoyable segment.

Hour Two
A Legends Panel with Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Shawn Michaels led off the second hour. With the right material, these guys are still dripping charisma. This was a good time that shockingly wasn't ruined by Big Show and Roman Reigns bringing their boring feud into the ring. Flair taking the fight to Show and getting knocked out was pretty hilarious.

The rest of the hour featured some wrestling matches, GASP! Dean Ambrose beating Wade Barrett was decent stuff. The thing that bothers me is that Barrett is essentially used as enhancement talent, always losing non-title matches. Ziggler had brought the IC title some luster, and Barrett should be given the same opportunity. The other match saw New Day quickly best Cesaro & Tyson Kidd. This could have been a fun match, if they cut the Legends Panel a few minutes and let the wrestlers work.

Hour Three
Nash, Hall, and X-Pac started hour three with a segment that started off like the Hulk Hogan buy the Network spots we've seen to often. Now, I want to see new stars made on Raw, but the Ascension surely aren't them. The segment got good as they interrupted the NWO but were then joined ny the New Age Outlaws and the APA. The Outlaws and Bradshaw hit their moves and cleaned the ring with the charisma-less non-workers. Hoping that's the last we see of the Decesension. They suck!

Before the main event, we got some forgettable wrestling with a Divas tag, a squash match for Rusev over R-Truth, and Jey Usos beating Miz. There wasn't anything here worth giving a moment of your time. It was quick filler. No wonder the third hour gets bad ratings.

The show closed with Cena in a handicap match against Big Show, Kane, and Rollins. Just went Cena looked beaten, out comes "the vigilante" Sting to mess up the Authority's day. Sting's appearance could be counted in seconds, but he looks to be in excellent shape, and it was another memorable moment. Brock Lesnar then comes out to stand tall after beating on Show, Kane, and Rollins. Pseudo face turn for Brock? Maybe it's a swerve or perhaps he's going against Rusev or someone interesting at 'Mania.

All told, Raw was pretty good tonight with a few outstanding segments. Still, it's watched best on a enough of a delay so you can fast forward through the commercials, Rusev, the Divas, and any other time waster spots.

3.5 / 5.0