WWE Raw Results: Dean Ambrose Relies Too Much on Roman Reigns and Top TakeawaysNovember 20, 2018
WWE Raw Results: Dean Ambrose Relies Too Much on Roman Reigns and Top Takeaways
Coming off a dominant showing at Survivor Series, WWE Raw was in celebratory mode Monday night.
However, from the opening segment featuring Stephanie McMahon and Baron Corbin onward, this supposed party turned sour as tempers boiled over. This led to a night of brutality as babyfaces were left bruised and sometimes even broken.
Seth Rollins spent the night chasing Dean Ambrose only to get laid out and mocked once more. Braun Strowman got everything he wanted from Stephanie but still ended up in hospital by the end of the night, facing overwhelming odds on the road to his Tables, Ladders & Chairs clash with Corbin. Physically and mentally bruised, Ronda Rousey also barely made it through the night.
Despite all these rough moments, the ultimate takeaways for the night were clear. Raw is taking some chances in the final weeks of the year.
Wrestlers are moving in new directions, and it may take until the Road to WrestleMania truly starts for anyone to be sure which of these stick.
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose Must Move Past Relying on Roman Reigns
Seth Rollins called out Dean Ambrose again, but his former Shield brother flipped the script. He said he would make The Architect pay for all the bad the team did, starting Monday night, and he goaded Rollins into chasing him down backstage.
After frustrating Rollins into leaving, The Lunatic Fringe headed to the ring to talk to the fans. The Kingslayer returned only to take a low blow and Dirty Deeds, once more getting laid out by his former best friend.
Ambrose seems to be changing his story with each week. He is talking in circles about divine retribution and a need to destroy everything rather than focusing on the points he made last week about being stronger on his own.
At first, this came off as a cohesive and powerful rivalry fueled by the real-life diagnosis of Roman Reigns, but the continued use of the former WWE universal champion to fuel this fight is lazy rather than authentic storytelling.
Even if The Big Dog is allowing Ambrose to use his name to add heat to this feud, it's been hard to get excited about this rivalry when the story is constantly changing. There's a lot of talent here, setting up many great promos, but fans will lose interest without a clear story soon.
If Ambrose wants to be an angel of retribution, punishing the WWE intercontinental champion for his sins, it would be a unique character for him to play. He will have to commit more than he has so far, though, as he still seems like the same guy he's always been, just more serious.
Braun Strowman Will Be Made Human Before He Becomes Universal Champion
Braun Strowman demanded his match with Baron Corbin and title rematch against Brock Lesnar, and he was granted both by Stephanie McMahon. He also got a potential early shot at the acting general manager in a six-man elimination tag match with his partners Finn Balor and Elias cheaply eliminated.
Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley then forgot the match and assaulted The Monster Among Men, brutalizing him until Corbin smashed the arm of Strowman between steel steps. WWE.com later noted that Strowman's elbow had been shattered in the assault.
While this took far too long, almost taking up the entire first hour of Raw, the point of the segment was clear. The Monster is being humanized to appeal to the audience more. It is an odd move to make with a star who was over precisely because he's a highlight reel of inhuman strength.
Strowman should come back from this injury more popular than ever, but it may not have fans truly invested in a long TLC match between him and The Lone Wolf. The feud has merit outside the ring, but it is not even close to being worthy of Raw's top spot at TLC come Dec. 16.
The red brand is spinning its wheels in many ways, perhaps in no way more than this rivalry, especially when there is a ready-made main event match between Strowman and Drew McIntyre that the company is ignoring.
The Lucha House Party Have Legalized Cheating
The Lucha House Party fought The Revival this week and all three members of the team were allowed to compete at the same time. This made the tag team match impossible for The Revival with Lince Dorado hitting a shooting star press to win for his team.
There's no good excuse for WWE pretending lucha rules are equivalent to every Lucha House Party bout being a handicap match. While there are unique lucha rules for a tag team match, they do not involve three men being allowed to compete as two.
Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder have inconsistently been sold as one of Raw's best tag teams, but they were completely overwhelmed here in a way that was apparently technically legal. It ruined a feud that had so much potential from the outset.
It all just feels like a contrived way of making Kalisto, Dorado and Gran Metalik stand out when they did not need it. These are three of the most exciting performers in WWE, and they have proved on 205 Live that their speed and athleticism alone can get them over.
Ronda Rousey Is Losing Fan Support Quickly
Bruised and beaten after Survivor Series, Ronda Rousey demanded that she defend her Raw Women's Championship. Baron Corbin was eventually convinced and brought out Mickie James, who could not take advantage of the champion's injuries and tapped to the armbar.
A few months ago, The Baddest Woman on the Planet was arguably the most popular woman in the company, but Becky Lynch's surge in fandom has seemingly led to a balancing act with fans turning against the UFC Hall of Famer.
The boos on Sunday were followed by a lukewarm reception on Raw, and it's easy to see the writing on the wall. Charlotte Flair's turn only added another star for fans to cheer over Rousey, creating a one-dimensional dynamic where fans have chosen their side.
By the time WWE gets to The Four Horsewomen of WWE clashing with The Four Horsewomen of MMA, it won't take much to convince everyone to root for the wrestling crew. Rousey will just need a little push to the dark side.
It should be interesting to see how WWE reacts to this growing disconnect. It would not be the first or the last time that the company has chosen a top star that fans boo.