Up late on a Monday night with Bates Motel and Swamp People on DVR while suffering through a OKC Thunder home loss in the NBA Playoffs. Here are some Monday Night Raw thoughts....
First of all, condolences to Daniel Bryan and his family on the loss of Bryan's father who passed away unexpectedly while Bryan was on his honeymoon.
No one can ever prepare for the sudden loss of a loved one especially one's father. I can recall vividly the night the Road Warriors returned to WWE at the Manhattan Center because that was the night my phone rang and I was told that my Dad, J.D. Ross, age 64, had suffered a heart attack. I got another call approximately 30 minutes later telling me that Dad didn't make it. The date was February 24, 1997.
RAW had some strong pieces of business from Baltimore which, when well positioned, makes the marathon-like, three hour broadcast pass somewhat faster. However, watching any three hour TV program that has commercials isn't easy no matter the genre.
The Bryan-Kane segment was a memorable start to the program and plants a vivid seed for their match at Extreme Rules. I expect this match to outperform many fan's expectations.
Wondering if we will ever see any physicality down the road from Brie and Stephanie. Seems like it's there if WWE wants to go that route at some point.
Enjoyed the physicality of the Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett match and felt that the Englishman was due. When Barrett learns to occasionally retreat and to perfect the William Regal-like pro wrestling villian nuances he's going to be money.
Of course, developing subtle, heel nuances is something that most playing that role in the biz could stand to work on sooner than later.
Hornswoggle has many tattoos.
Nice confrontation featuring the Shield and Evolution. Funny how many on Twitter (@JRsBBQ) want Ric Flair back in HHH"s entity. I don't see it happening. Great opportuntiy for this six man tag to steal the show at Extreme Rules.
Considering that the PG world of WWE is a blood free zone, smart move by the way, I'm wondering if "Extreme Rules" is still a viable title for a major event formerally known as a pay per view?
Looks as if the duo of Cody Rhodes and brother Goldust are unraveling. Too bad...I liked the team.
Usos are doing well and it was timely to hear Ryback and Axel get some mic time. Funny how that works...no talkie...no star perception.
Somewhat of a convoluted conclusion for the Cesaro vs. RVD match which seemed a half a step off and I'm a major fan of both talents. Fun interaction between Heyman and Zeb.
Seems like Cesaro is becoming more of a fan favorite even if he is with established villain @HeymanHustle or perhaps there's merely lots of gray being utilized creatively. Time will tell.
Heyman's annoying, incessant promos regarding Brock Lesnar ending Taker's Streak are working.
It will take some time and patience but I like the potential of Rusev and am a fan of Lana's work even though both talents are still very green and are still learning their craft. Hopefully, by this time next year they will be a much more refined duo.
American wrestling fans, unfortunately in real life much too often, don't like people who aren't from the USA and/or who don't sound 'American.' Not a flattering trait but nationalism storylines will generally work if executed smartly. Hell, some Americans dont' liek folks with Southern accents and what in the hell is up with that? (Shout out to Hurricane Gregory Helms)
Unusual position to put the face of WWE, John Cena, in with the fan vote and the fans voted the absolute worse case scenario and that was for Cena to face all three members of the Wyatt Family. The 3 vs. 1 vote/mismatch did equate to some compelling TV and back in the TV14 days would have likely seen Cena bloody. I am not endorsing the blood but simply stating a matter of fact as it relates to the "old days."
I'm not clear as to why featured villian Bray Wyatt has the audience singing along with him, especially a hymn, but I also don't know the creative plan for the talented, third generation performer. Nonetheless, I'm interested in where the Wyatts are traveling.
Perhaps that in itself is the point.
I will be even more interested in the Wyatts if Bray beats Cena at Extreme Rules.
Only a handful, as in 16-18, of the VIP Meet and Greet tickets remain for my Toronto show at the Danforth Music Hall on Friday May 9 with a 9 pm starting time. One night only...one show only and tickets are available at ticketmaster.ca.
Could TO be in line for a surprise or two come show time on May 9? Hmm....
The @TheJimCornette appearance on the Ross Report Podcast will be live soon at podcastone.com and via iTunes. Later tonight I will be talking to @ShawnMichaels for a future Ross Report Podcast which should be terrific. The Cornette episode is a classic. Guaranteed!