09/30/19 - WWE last night launched the Season Premier to its long standing Monday Show Monday Night Raw. With the new season came a few changes, many of which were positive. So what did Titus think of the all "new' Monday Night Raw? That is the topic of today's Titus' Thoughts. Keep in mind this is NOT intended to be a full Review of the entire show, but more of Titus' highlights of Raw. For a more in-depth review check out YouTube star Brian Zane's review here.
One the most anticipated returns was that of PYRO. The WWE in a cost cutting measure stopped using the famous Pyro Opening a couple of years ago. A move that did not impress long time fans who found the lack of the "traditional" Raw opening to be a lackluster start to what they and many think has been a lackluster program. Pyro itself doesn't automatically make the show better but it sure does help get you in the right mood.
The show kicks off with an all new Forever Signature and theme song by the band Skillet. The show now has an all new announce team. Out is Michael Cole, who has been the voice of Raw since about 2008. The new team is made up of Vic Joseph, former offensive tackle Dio Madden and WWE Hall of Fame Superstar Jerry "The King" Lawler. While listening to Vic Joesph I could not help to think how much he sounds like Michael Cole to me, Dio didn't not really make much of a splash and King is King, for good and bad. I could not help but to think Jerry seemed like a man out of time here. I get needing a veteran member of the team but The King just isn't the guy in my opinion. I would have used someone more recent maybe a guy like Edge or Jeff Jarrett, both recent Hall of Fame stars who can talk, just spitballing ideas. As a color commentator of a live weekly wrestling TV show I can tell you it can take a little time for a commentary team to jell. I will hold off on any criticism on the overall commentary for down the road once they have had time to become a team.
The first segment of the new season opens with Rey Mysterio walking to the ring to discuss his Universal Title match later tonight while also giving love and credit to his son Domonic. Rey stated it was Dom who encouraged him to not retire and this match was to be dedicated to him. That is when , in my opinion, the same old Raw returned in the music and entrance of Brockets Lesner and Paul Heyman. Now do not get me wrong, Brock was booked properly in this segment but in my opinion the storyline was the typical Bropkck story.
Brock came to the ring took the Mic for Paul who said two words before Ray took it back. Thus causing Brock to F-5 him not once but twice. Then Brock looked towards Domonic seemly as if he was next (no pun intended). And in fact he was next. Brock threw him over the rail, rammed him into the ring post (seemed like it was supposed to be an F-5 but Dominic might have messed it up). Brock took several back and forth shots at the father and son duo as Jerry Lawler kept saying he (Dominic) was a teenager. Sorry Jerry he is 22. The segment ended with Heyman telling Brock to stop and the pair heads to the back.
Pros: The Pyro was a welcome return, you do not realize how much you want it until it was gone.
Cons: The segment was really nothing new. Brock comes out, destroys all he sees, walks out with a check. That sounds harsh but how is this opening segment different from anything we have seen the past few years?
Typical Tag Team Booking
This will be more of a rant then review. The WWE continues to prove it either knows nothing about Tag Team Wrestling or simply does not care. You see once again a "non" tag team holding the Championship battling an established tag Team. For transparency Otis came up through Rocky Mountain Pro (where I work) and we are friends. That being said I am still very angry WWE Creative doesn't support tag teams like they used to (1980s). I really felt Heavy Machinery should have taken the titles and shown the "WWE Universe" that this new season, new look, new feel, meant new direction, but it didn't.
Pros: None, other than seeing my friend getting a good spot on the show
Cons: Same ole WWE doing nothing with the tag team division, per usual.
Miz TV goes Hall of Fame
In what should be the biggest Miz TV evert Wass shaker for me. Yes seeing The Nature Boy and the Immortal One together, talking some trash to each other (kayfabe), and pooping the crowd was great and that 13 year me marked out when Real American came on; however I sat there after wondering if this was a well thought out storyline or one thrown together only to help a bad upcoming PPV. During the segment it was announced there would be a Team Hogan vs Team Flair 5 man tag match on Oct 31st at the Crown Jewel PPV event from Saudi Arabia. No politic aside, these Saudi shows have been a disaster for the most part. It seems the royal family tells WWE what they want to see and Vince, who has a billion reasons, puts on what they want. All that makes me feel like this is yet another soon to be failed attempt to boost the PPV viewership and not actually to create a great story with the two biggest wrestling attractions ever, only time will confirm that. The segment had Seth Rollins and Randy Orton announced as the Captains for the respective teams and an impromptu match started but was whipped out my Baron Corbin and Rusev. It all wrapped up with a "Hulk Must Pose" (thank yo Bruce Prichard) with Seth and Rusev.
Pros: Hogan and Flair
Cons: Seemingly lack of depth in the storyline but I am willing to wait and see the build up
First Main Event
I'm not a "give the show a grade" kind of guy; however this show, in my opinion, was average. Sure they had legends and pyro but for me that was really all I found interesting, beside Bray I guess. WWE lost me a few years ago after a 30 year relationship and still has not gotten me even slightly interested in a full time viewership again. I will continue to keep a random eye on Raw and I will check out Smackdown but for me I am more excited for AEW and even NWA at this point. Hopefully WWE will figure it out and hopefully they do it soon. Until that time,. I will continue to see what lays over the wrestling hill and check out if the grass is really greener.