Tuesday, February 14, 2023

The Raw Report - Building Up Sami


I have to give it to Raw sometimes. Lately it has not felt like a three hour show stretched to four or five hours. Time has passed relatively quickly; although some superstars and personalities can be a bit grating. Chad Gable is a great wrestler. Otis has his strengths in the ring as a legit shooter. However, this grouping they are in is absolute death. A perfect example of this is their feud from a few months back where they had trivia contests against Randy Orton and Matt Riddle. Even in the new HHH era they still seem to be stuck behind bad gimmicks and stupidity. Their ring music is death. Chad Gable’ facial expressions when he “shooshes” someone makes me cringe in the worst way. When Alpha Academy isn’t getting fed to other tag teams they’re used as either background filler in comedy sketches or someone is making fun of Otis and his eating habits. Now the current administration is putting them in a comedy angle with the Maximum Male Models, a group we all thought died when L.A. Knight renounced his new name and gimmick and left his “sister” Maxine holding the bag. I really hope this ends quickly. We all know it will not. 

Becky Lynch looks strong. I guess they have nothing else better for her to do, so they pitted her against Bayley, even after having a supposed deciding match in the steel cage. It all makes for great television, though, as these two are pros and I can watch them over and over again until cows come home. Putting them in a triple threat match against Bianca, though? Excellent. The premise of tonight’s main event was that if Becky or Bayley got a victory in the triple threat, they would be in the Elimination Chamber match on Saturday. Neither woman got the victory, thanks to shenanigans. I don’t know where these two are going next. Usually, Sasha would be there as a go-between, but she’s busy doing other things at the moment. Charlotte is feuding with Rhea… who wants her lick back from WrestleMania two years ago, even though Rhea hasn’t been in a women's division feud since I don’t know when. Twitter is saying Becky and Bayley should compete in a six person tag match at WrestleMania, with Damage CTRL going up against Becky, Lita and Trish Stratus. No. Lita helping Becky was just a one-off, as the match was supposed to take place at Raw XXX and Lita was supposed to be an old school legend coming out to help out someone from the current crop. If they do decide to go this way, though, it will be something they pull out of thin air, as it wasn’t pushed forward this week except for a very brief mention by Becky, and some hemming and hawing by Bayley. There was an era where a steel cage match decided a feud. Where can they possibly take it from here.

 Bobby and Brock is an ongoing bit of one upmanship that the two superstars have been engaged in for some time. Before tonight it seemed that Brock could just waltz into a building and make Bobby his B word. Bobby eliminated Brock at the Rumble, but then Brock just came back on Raw and F5’d him not just once, but twice for good measure and the adulation of the fans. Tonight, though, Bobby played his mind games as he had a table and chair set up on the stage, insisting he won’t sign Brock’s contract, while surrounded by bodies. Bobby got the best of Brock as Brock came down to force him to sign the contract. While I enjoy seeing Bobby and Brock I often don’t like the idea that Brock has been able to walk all over Bobby up until this point. The Brooklyn crowd was pro Brock, but the crowd last week cheered for both men. Who is the face and who is the heel? Also, how is this going to play out? Are they setting up for Bobby to retire Brock? 

The feud between The Judgement Day and Edge and company doesn’t seem to be pushing forward. The Street Profits seem to be getting involved, although we’ve gotten zero verbal input from either man regarding the situation. Unless Rey gets involved soon, or Street Profits decide to speak up instead of just running down to help out, this is going nowhere. I know the ultimate goal is to have Rey finally drop Dominic at WrestleMania, but so far we’ve just gotten a lot of going through the motions. I agree that it was a good idea to separate the two, but now we’ve gone stale with the situation. Can we get this ball rolling please?

As far as Edge and Beth Phoenix goes, Beth comes back, wrecks Rhea… Then gets wrecked by Rhea the following week. They did this pattern initially when they first brought Beth back to go up against Rhea. Using Beth as fodder in the I Quit match was a great idea, but now she’s returned and they seem to be sticking to the script regarding her. Also, I know they won’t break up the Street Profits, but Montez Ford getting a crack at singles gold at the Elimination Chamber is a huge leap forward for his career. 

I don’t know what WWE is planning for Sami Zayn for WrestleMania. He damn sure isn’t winning the undisputed title at Elimination Chamber. While he is a hot babyface, maybe a little hotter than Cody Rhodes, he isn’t main event level, and I’m not sure if he’ll ever be one. People instantly make comparisons between Sami and Daniel Bryan. Sami is skilled on the mic and in the ring. Both men have a natural homegrown push from the fans. They don’t need to go campaigning on the Lex Express to urge people to get behind them. The difference was that Daniel Bryan already had a cache of being a main eventer elsewhere, and years of experience being heralded as one of the best wrestlers in the business. Plus, he had already been a WWE champion (momentarily). Sami is a great wrestler, but he spent so long being the mute, masked luchador who went nowhere that people just don’t see him as “the guy.” He had a go as NXT Champion once he reached WWE, feuding with Kevin Owens. It always seemed that outside of Owens Zayn hasn't done a whole lot in WWE. Then the whole thing with The Bloodline began and only then did his career begin to gain some traction. He's on his own again, but still involved with The Bloodline in this feud. Also, Sami telling Jey Uso "I acknowledge you" could be signs of things to come in that regard.

The two storylines, Cody’s and Sami’s, are running side by side, so it was elementary that the two should meet up in the same ring at some point. Their summit was excellent, and it really gave people hope that Sami Zayn can win at the pay-per-view. Stuff like this sells tickets, puts butts in seats, and drives numbers. I don’t think everyone believes that Sami can win. But, I’m sure everyone believes what I believe, that there is a storm brewing. While Sami won’t win at Elimination Chamber, something of note will happen. It all makes for great must see television. As far as Cody goes, he will either win the title or WWE is going to swerve us all again by keeping the belt on the Tribal Chief. All of this is building to a case of “just watch the damn match.”


  • Mia Yim looks good out there. I'm just sad they aren't doing anything with her except taking pins in matches. They brought her in to be the answer to "The Rhea Problem" with The Club, but since AJ Styles became injured The Good Brothers and Yim have all gone by the wayside.
  • Asuka looks strong and will most likely be the winner of the women’s chamber match. Possible dark horse is Raquel Rodriguez. 
  • Seth Rollins and those MSCHF boots. Oh, Seth. 
  • I don’t like where this Candice and Nikki Cross thing is going. The more we see of Nikki with the Garganos the less likely it is we’ll see Indi Hartwell rejoining The Way.  
  • Seeing Nikki Cross run out with a sort of remix to the old Sanity music makes me wonder. Now that Eric Young is back with WWE will we see a return of Sanity with Nikki Cross? Not sure what the other two guys are doing, but Baron Corbin doesn’t have anything to do right now. He should definitely be a member in a revamped Sanity.

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