Recalling The Action: WWE Raw

Joel Harvey

Want to feel old? It’s been five years since The Shield debuted at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view. And here they are again, on the TLC 2017 go-home show of Monday Night Raw; back in their flak jackets and doing the walk of justice (or whatever they call it) as their entrance. Nostalgia’s great, eh?

Well, it is and it isn’t. We’re happy in a way to see the old gang back together, but no matter how great it is to relive the past, it still feels a tad regressive. More so for Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins than Roman Reigns, as you can’t help feel that turning the clock back on their characters is a step backwards for them. Ambrose himself feels too serious already on the mic, as if wearing the security guard get-up again has cut off his sense of humour.

The Shield certainly shouldn’t lose their distinct personalities as part of this re-formation because, let’s face it, they won’t be together again forever. It’s only a matter of time before the WWE pull the trigger on Reigns’ heel turn and have him go full Rollins on the rest of his brothers. Well, that’s how we would like to see this particular story end up. It probably won’t happen though. The WWE seem to have far too much fun trolling everyone with the “Big Dog” in his yard.

Last night, though, we were still very much in the present/past. We saw two recent PPV matches revisited in the form of Rollins and Ambrose taking on The Bar, and Reigns facing off against Braun Strowman. As you’d expect, both were entertaining contests and also as you’d expect, both were nothing more than lead-ins for the TLC main event on Sunday.

Rollins and Ambrose retained the belts, and Strowman defeated Reigns in a steel cage to ensure he kept his spot in the TLC match. But how did he win? Thanks to Kane. Oh yes, Kane is back and 20 years after his debut, he was also playing the nostalgia card – rising up from the ring to tombstone Reigns. Kane will now join Strowman, The Bar and The Miz in a 5-on-3 TLC match on Sunday against The Shield. Then he’ll go back to Knox County and continue his run for Mayor; who says American politics was becoming more and more like pro-wrestling these days?

Another match we’re looking forward to at TLC is Finn Bálor against Bray Wyatt. A week ago on Raw, the reveal of Sister Abigail – Bray in mascara and a dress –  blew our collective minds. But last night we were treated to more shenanigans, this time on Finn’s part. The editing team rolled out the cheap screen-wipes again to reveal Bálor’s Halloween-themed “Demon King”.

It’s basically the Pumpkin Spice Latte look of wrestling. And with Wyatt likely to be in drag, this means we are on course for what will be a Halloween costume match on Sunday. Which is going to be silly and ridiculous, but it should also be stupid amounts of fun. And hey, that’s what wrestling should be all about. Stop taking things so seriously, Dean.

Notes

  • The Shield have their own dog-tag merch. Did they always have their own dog-tag merch? We’re not sure. But if they didn’t, then they do now and it’s proof that the WWE are squeezing the udders of this flak jacketed cash-cow until it’s dry.
  • Elias and The Good Brothers are our new favourite band. We’d pay to see Luke Gallows’ vocal warm-up alone.
  • Curtis Axel getting his own chant – it’s only a matter of time before Axelmania is running wild again.
  • The Miz asks the crowd if they’ve all looked in the mirror after they chant “you look stupid” at Sheamus, and one guy responds by doing the Madonna vogue pose. This is possibly the greatest retort from a crowd-member we’ve ever seen.
  • Did Alicia Fox really shout “You don’t look like my dad!” to the referee? Yes. Yes she did.
  • Kalisto said he’d be the new Cruiserweight champion at TLC. The title’s changed hands so many times recently, even Kalisto has forgotten that he was the current champion.

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