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By Mike Johnson on 2021-11-23 13:53:00

Some thoughts on last night's Raw taping:


Seth Rollins handled last night's attack perfectly.

1 - He obviously didn't see the guy coming, because who would?

2 - He got tackled but grabbed the guy in a front facelock and controlled him.

3 - He could have gone for the choke but didn't, since THAT would have been endless legal issues and likely people calling for Seth's head for being too rough with the fan.

4 - He let up the second Eddie Orengo, the referee, got there to hold the fan down and then completely removed himself once the other WWE refs and security arrived.

5 - Rollins composed himself to go right back into character for the cameras.

To anyone who criticized Rollins, did you criticize Bret Hart for getting tackled? No, so stop. Had Seth stomped the guy, you KNOW there would have been a lawsuit. Instead, he neutralized him and let everyone else handle it.  We don't live in a world where unruly fans can be taken in a back room and beaten senselessly (even if they deserve it) without ramifications anymore.   So, what else could Rollins do?  Nothing.  He handled the situation correctly.

Now, Barclays security is a different matter. They failed. Period. This is the second time a fan attacked a WWE personality there because they were able to easily slip past Barclays' in-house security.  Someone needs to call Atlas Security. I've never seen ONE FAN get past them. EVER. EVER. EVER.


They booked a mystery for Vince McMahon's missing egg and then the egg just is returned with no real twist and then Austin Theory is gifted a WWE title bout, which he then loses.  What a waste of time for all involved.  Other than a big payday for the company from Netflix, they wasted Vince McMahon's return on a few backstage vignettes that went nowhere and got no one over?  REALLY?

Liv Morgan, 24 hours after being beaten clean at Survivor Series, is suddenly supposed to be seen as the next great challenger to Becky Lynch.  While Lynch's mic work was excellent and Morgan was tremendous in the backstage segment, it was like the company either forgot or didn't care that they did zero to protect Morgan the night before.

Apollo Crews is booked to come out and accept Damian Priest's open challenge and then decide not to fight after wasting everyone's time with mic work.  This was completely pointless and a waste of everyone involved.  What did any of this do to get over Crews or Priest except to kill time before Sami Zayn came out - a Zayn that was just ripped apart verbally by Vince McMahon, who was now supposed to be taken seriously?

The Street Profits would rather get themselves disqualified by shooting a fire extinguisher at Omos as opposed to trying to, you know, be babyfaces and fight the good fight?  Unless WWE is doing a double switch here, which I doubt they are, why was this even booked in the first place?  Why take a team that the audience geniunely likes and that has a fun energy and put them in a position to look so goofy?  If the company wanted to get Omo over as a monster, why not just have him chokeslamming one or more of dozens of talents who were there from the two brands and smash them into oblivion?  If Street Profits are just going to be cast as comedy characters, fine, but WWE literally did an entire opening match based around Riddle being a comedy character imitating Randy Orton.  It was like WWE forgot they already did some ga-ga earlier in the show.

Why exactly did all the Smackdown talents have to spend another day on the road for last night's Raw, anyway?    It was a waste of everyone from Drew McIntyre to Jeff Hardy to have them there, not have them involved in cameos on the broadcast and then march them out for a dark match that will never be seen or cared about again once the show is over.

Plus, can someone please explain, for the love of all that's great about pro wrestling, how someone as gifted as Cedric Alexander is so lost in the fringes of the company?  How Alexander has gone from fans clamoring for Triple H to sign him to having a fleeting 30 second moment of WWE 24/7 Championship glory is pretty much the definition of depressing.  I have zero issue with Dana Brooke winning the title, but Alexander has the potential for so much more, but like so many before him, his youth and his talent are wasting away in exchange for a paycheck - and it's sad to see.  

There was a lot of the usual haphazardness of Raw, making one wonder how often the show was re-written and how late they were in putting it all together, because logically, you could have marched Godzilla through some of the holes on the show.  There was a distinct lack of energy, in NYC of all places, for a big part of the show and there was a reason for that - they weren't given a reason to care about what they were watching.


All that said, there were several talents who did a great job on the taping:

Becky Lynch's promo, rightfully calling out the fans for ignoring the women's Survivor Series match the night before, was a great way to slide her back to the heel side of the storylines by telling the truth and giving Lynch a reason to show the chip on her shoulder as she heads into her program with Liv Morgan.  Lynch was on another level.

The Seth Rollins-Finn Balor brawl and Rollins' beating of Balor was easily the highlight of Raw, waking the crowd up as they fought around ringside with a segment that was presented as if there was something legitimately aggressive with an aura of danger live taking place.  The Rollins attack, while deplorable, was a sign that they tapped into something tangible and real, which the company doesn't often consistently do in 2021.

WWE Champion Big E and Austin Theory had a solid main event, despite the fact that no one live believed for a second that Theory had a chance to win the title.  Big E's energy as the champion is undeniable.  The audience that was there was with him, but WWE didn't place him in a grander situation.  But, bell to bell, that was a good match.  E's splash on the apron is truly a frightening looking spot live.

Bianca Belair has that intanglible it.  From the second she came out, the audience was involved.  She got a nice spotlight win and they set up a future storyline.  This was wrestling 101 and hey, it worked!


Dolph Ziggler and Riddle worked super hard in the opener and brought the house down with the near falls and with Riddle doing all the Randy Orton spots.  Whether you find Riddle to be insufferable or funny doesn't matter - the match was fun, despite how cold Ziggler and Robert Roode are as characters due to poor creative.

Zelina and Carmella winning the Women's Tag Team titles was a nice surprise, especially since the Rhea Ripley/Nikki A.S.H. thing seemed to have already run its course.  WWE can easily use Zelina and Carmella to cultivate some heat while shifting Rhea into a bigger singles feud.  Nikki is perfect as a likable babyface who can represent the company as a kid's character and do community outreach, as long as the company finds her something to do.  Vega never should have lost at Survivor Series and should be presented stronger coming off her new gimmick as the Queen, so hopefully, this is all something being so she and Carmella are more relevant.

As someone who always enjoyed Viper in ICW, a heel Doudrop sounds great to me.  

WWE has done a good job building up Bobby Lashley as a bad-ass monster heel.  I don't know he needed a win over the Mysterios to continue to cement that, but if this was to set a potential Mysterios split, this would be a great step in that direction.

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