The Spotlight On Raw- 11/16/2015

Last Night WWE Raw emanated live from Greenville, SC and it was quite the newsworthy show to say the least.  Most people will probably remember this Raw for the final segment involving Paige and Charlotte as it was probably the most controversial segment in WWE, I’d say, since CM Punk faked the heart attack to mock Jerry Lawler back in 2013.  We’re going to get into that and a whole lot more in the highlights section below so let’s get right into it.

Highlights:

Divas Get The Spotlight: So I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I was a fan of Reid Flair’s death being brought into the storylines because I’m never a fan of that stuff, it’s pretty tasteless.  What happened to Reid was a real tragedy and I don’t think any one needs to be reminded of something like that while watching an episode of Raw.  That said, I’m sure that WWE got the blessing from both Charlotte and Ric to go ahead with the storyline and I’d think that Ric is old school in the belief that nothing is off limits in wrestling (much like comedy).  The main part of this that I do want to focus on, because we try to bring you the positive, is that WWE made a concerted effort to focus on the Divas last night.  They showed highlights of the Paige and Charlotte feud throughout the night and really made their contract signing at the end of the night feel like a big deal.  As for the contract signing itself, it was great to see the Divas get the final segment on Raw for the first time in over a year (I believe Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella got that segment in August of 2014).  I also liked the fire and intensity of the brawl that the two had around the ring.  If nothing else, you really believed that Charlotte wanted to kill Paige at the end of the show and I’m more excited for their match now then I was prior to Raw.

Tournament Matches Deliver:  Usually I give you that one match to go out of your way to watch but this week I had a hard time doing that because I really enjoyed each one of the tournament matches.  Each one of the matches went over 10 minutes and were split up into two segments.  I liked that it seemed like each superstar in the matches was giving it their all as it made the World Title really feel like “the richest prize in the sport”.  Roman Reigns and Cesaro had an unbelievable match that saw so many reversals and nearfalls and while you figured Roman was probably going to win, they had to have made you feel that at least for a second that Cesaro had him.   Right behind that I thought that Kevin Owens and Neville tore the house down and I’ll tell you this, say what you will about Kevin Owens’ weight but he hung in their with Neville move for move and never looked even a step behind.  I also really enjoyed the Ambrose-Ziggler match and thought it was great to see Ambrose get to cut a promo after the match about what he would do if he won the title (he remains my choice to take the whole thing).  Lastly, while it was never in doubt that Del Rio was going to win, I liked that they gave Kalisto a couple of near falls.  Every tournament needs a fun cinderella underdog to get behind (Crash Holly in 2000!) and Kalisto played that role real well. It was interesting to see that Sin Cara was nowhere to be found tonight and left me wondering if perhaps, they’re going to give Kalisto a shot as single.

The Druids Rise:  I don’t have too much to say about the actual angle between the Wyatts and Brothers of Destruction but I loved the way that Raw kicked off with that classic Undertaker entrance with the druids and both Kane and Undertaker coming to the ring to kick off Raw. It was cool to see Undertaker giving a classic promo and I’m not too sure how many more times we’re going to get to see that entrance, so I’m enjoying it while I can.

Class:  I usually limit this piece to three highlights but I have to give WWE a bit of a kudos for paying respect to the horrible tragedy that happened in Paris this past week.  WWE always handles these things with the utmost class and it was nice to see all of the superstars and divas on entrance ramp to start Raw and paying their respects to the victims of these heinous attacks.

Well that is going to do it for me right now but I will be back a whole lot more wrestling content throughout the week as we continue to countdown to the Survivor Series on Sunday.  I’ll be taking a look at each one of the different Undertaker Specials that are currently on the WWE Network as a part of Undertaker week as well as also continuing to go through my Survivor Series Retrospective, looking at each one of the different Survivor Series events of the past year.  Stay tuned for all of that and be sure to give us a follow over on our twitter @daily_spotlight.

The Spotlight On The Week Ahead For WWE: 11/16-11/22

Before I start the list of what to look forward to in WWE this week, I’d like to send my condolences to the family of WWE Hall of Famer Nick Bockwinkel who passed away over the weekend at the age of 80.  WWE released a couple of breaking news bits on the WWE Network looking at Bockwinkel’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, as well as some of the many great moments in his career. Bockwinkel was unquestionably one of the all time greats. I expect that there will be a tribute to Bockwinkel tomorrow night on Raw, at least in some capacity.  With no great way to transition, let’s get into the week ahead for WWE.

Monday: Later tonight WWE Monday Night Raw emanates live from Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC, returning to the States after a few weeks in the UK.  I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s Raw as the quarter finals in the WWE World Heavyweight Title Tournament takes place.  The tournament is stacked with four matches that could be really great.  They are as follows:  Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro, Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto, Kevin Owens vs Neville and Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler.  On top of that this will be the final Raw before the 2015 Survivor Series and the Undertaker is advertised locally as being there live.  It’ll be interesting to see how this all unfolds tomorrow night.

Undertaker Week: Tomorrow night immediately following Raw, on the WWE Network, Undertaker Week will begin with the first of a two part “Legends” interview with JBL hosting a sit down interview with Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin.  The four legends will discuss their thoughts on their many battles with the Undertaker and this 2 part interview wraps up on Thursday on the Network.  Aside from that, the WWE Network will also feature two additional features on the Undertaker looking at his greatest moments on Tuesday and the most dangerous matches in his career on Wednesday.  I also expect that there will be some sort of on demand section added to Undertaker Week similar to what they did with Black Histroy month.  I say this because WWE has quietly added three episodes of Smackdown from 2007-2009 all prominently featuring the Undertaker.  I’ve enjoyed all of the theme weeks on the Network and I’m sure that this will be no exception.

2015 Survivor Series- This of course all culminates on Sunday night when WWE presents the 29th annual Survivor Series event live on the WWE Network from Atlanta, Georgia.  It appears that the event will feature both the semi finals and the finals of the WWE Heavyweight Title Tournament, a women’s championship match between Charlotte and Paige and a tag team match between The Brothers of Destruction and The Wyatt Family as WWE celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Undeetaker.  Interesting to note that their are not any Traditional Survivor Series Matches announced for Sunday as of this writing.  Things could certainly change this week at TV, however, and I’m sure all of you know that I’ll be rooting for a traditional survivor series match or two to be added.  There is a one hour long pre show being advertised on Sunday so, worst comes to worse, WWE could certainly put one of those matches on the pre show.

Closing Thoughts: 

Obviously with the conclusion of the World Title Tournament, The Survivor Series and Undertaker Week on the Network all coming up this week, it’s going to be a pretty important week for WWE. I should also mention that on November 17th, WWE Studios’ latest film, Santa’s Little Helper, will be released on DVD and Blu Ray starring WWE Studios mainstay, the Miz, and Paige.  This is a release that I plan on checking out here sometime before the holidays, it looks like it’ll be fun.

Ok well that’s going to do it for me but what are you looking forward to most this week in WWE?  What are some of your favorite Undertaker moments?  Let me know in the comments section below or on own brand new official twitter @Daily_Spotlight.