WWE RAW Revisited: Ronda Rousey And Nikki Bella Steal The Show, Apollo Crews' Push, Shield Fatigue

On this week's edition of the Wrestling Inc. Podcast, which airs live every Monday after RAW, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman, Wrestling Inc. President Raj Giri and Glenn Rubenstein reviewed last night's RAW and discussed the end to The Shield & Strowman, Ziggler & McIntyre feud, whether they're looking forward to the Nikki Bella & Ronda Rousey match at WWE Evolution and the booking of Apollo Crews. Below are a few of the highlights from the podcast:

The Shield vs. Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre feud:

Glenn: "This storyline: I am stoked if these factions are breaking up or splitting up and just not fighting anymore. I am sick of this being the bookended storyline of Raw. Raj, what say you?"

Raj: "I agree. The sooner the way they can get away from this and focus on the titles---whether that means Dean Ambrose turning heel from Seth Rollins that becomes your Intercontinental title feud. The sooner they can get away from The Shield/Braun Strowman feud the better. Hopefully tonight that was it. It looked like that was a babyface turn for Drew McIntyre.:

Nick: "I don't like this. I don't like anything about this. I don't think any of these people should be paired up together. I think all of The Shield should be individuals right now. I get why they did it but I don't know, this feud right here, these six men fighting it encapsulates to me the brass balls to just say, hey, this is what I want and I don't care what you want I am just going to do it and that's it. It is what it is. There are far more compelling storylines in WWE than this. This is an amalgamation of men that have some star power and they wanted to mess around with and see what they can do. I don't dig it. I don't dig any part of it and I don't like anybody in any of this involved with this storyline. I think they are far better off as individuals. Maybe Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre as a duo, but everyone else should be doing different things, which you can get far more out of them. I don't like any part of this."

Nikki Bella & Ronda Rousey feud:

Nick: "There is a real bug in the water now that are doing stories that cross the line, which is what they are doing here. Austin Aries & Johnny Impact it worked to a degree for Bound for Glory, which we will see if it worked out long term. Then you look at UFC, like a Conor McGregor will say anything. They don't care. Dana White doesn't care. He'll tell them to call them the 'N' word, who cares, they'll bleep it out on TMZ anyway. It's not like I am putting it on UFC.com. He doesn't care. There is no restraint there. There is a bit of a bubble here, so it is tough to get that same type of reaction. This was about as close as they can get to crossing the line to get mainstream publicity talking about this feud, but unfortunately I just don't think Nikki Bella is compelling competition to Ronda Rousey even as far as they can push the envelope though."

Raj: "She does have character though. She does look like a superstar and I thought that this segment started off a little rough, but by the end I was really into this and thought that this was the best segment on the show. Ronda Rousey had some good lines and Nikki was doing well with her facials looking like she was really getting pissed. I thought this was really good."

Nick: "I'm not going to knock it there. I thought the emotion was there, but at the end of the day when you are trying to put together a fight and wanting to see these two fight like a Conor McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov, either one of these guys can knock the other out, but I was left at the end of this thinking that Ronda Rousey is going to 'murder' Nikki Bella."

Raj: "It doesn't necessarily want to make you see the match, but it was an entertaining segment."

Nick: "Right, that is what I am saying though. I am not going to say you are wrong to say that I wasn't into the segment. I was just wondering where they are going with this? We are looking at Evolution, and just like I said, this card is a little thin to be putting on a Battle Royal, maybe get a little more stuff that you have in the books. You know where you are going so get some more out of it. It was good - very good, but something just didn't click with me."

Booking of Apollo Crews:

Raj: "This read to me - you know how they will start pushing someone for a few weeks and then you don't see them on television for a while, like a Mojo Rawley kind of thing. That is what it kind of felt like to me. I hope I am wrong. Apollo is a super talented guy, but his promos aren't that great."

Nick: "I agree with you. I was thinking of the test. You always hear about that in exit promos, or exit interviews from talents who used to work for WWE. They were given a chance - a test, and it didn't work out and then they gave up on them, right? I feel like this was a test tonight. Go out there, show us some fire, show us that you can stand out as an individual performer. Some performers get one chance and they are done, and some performers get tested over a period throughout their careers. I thought that this was a test for Apollo. I thought he stood out but it was just a bad night for him to be tested."

Glenn: "I like Apollo. I think something like a US Title run, a mid-level title would be great. He would be a great champion for the kids. People that want their wrestling. Something simple and old-school. A smiling champ with a lot of personality. Great athleticism, which is Apollo in a nutshell."

You can watch the full podcast in the video above, or listen to it in the audio player below. The Wrestling Inc. Podcast airs every Monday immediately following RAW, Wednesdays at noon ET and post-WWE PPV Sundays immediately after the event with Matt Morgan, Glenn Rubenstein and Raj Giri. You can subscribe to the Wrestling Inc. Podcast on iTunes and on YouTube. Please rate us and leave a comment.


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