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Ring Posts: Bray Wyatt thrives on the ridiculous during RAW

Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt stare each other down at the WWE SummerSlam 2015 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on August 23, 2015 in New York City.

RAW on Monday night explored the supernatural side of wrestling, and walked the tighrtope between entertainment and ridiculousness quite well.

The line between fun, outlandish gimmick and utter disaster has always been razor thin in wrestling. Let's face it, The Undertaker is, on paper, a completely ridiculous gimmick. He's an undead zombie who can be controlled by an urn (that later contained Paul Bearer's ashes), who has died multiple times and resurrected. Oh, and later he became a biker. Inherently ridiculous. Yet, The Undertaker is revered as one of the greatest characters in the history of wrestling. Why is that?

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The key is commitment. If at any point we feel that a wrestler doesn't believe what he's doing, then we can't take him (or her) even mildly seriously, and it fails. However, no matter how absurd a gimmick might get, if the wrestler goes all-in with it, if he doesn't hold back, or worry how it might come off, then we can buy in as fans. And that is something we found in Bray Wyatt yesterday.

Wyatt had dabbled in the supernatural before. We've seen him magically teleport, we've even seen him brainwash a kid. But for the most part, despite his rantings and ravings, he had stayed relatively grounded. That all changed on Monday night. He said that after carrying off The Undertaker and Kane, he absorbed their powers. Well, actually, he said he consumed their souls, but it's more or less the same thing. Then, in case anyone was doubting him, he showed off his new powers, which included summoning lightning and fire.

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So yes, we as viewers are supposed to assume that Bray Wyatt now has the powers of The Undertaker and Kane. This is inherently ridiculous. Yet ... the segment was undoubtedly entertaining. While there was some laughter, it was followed by wondering what's coming next, instead of rejection. There was commitment there. Yes, we knew what we were seeing was absurd, but we're in on the joke, rather than pointing at it. And that's the difference between success and failure in the WWE.

Will it continue? Only time will tell. But for one night, we saw that maybe what Wyatt was saying in WrestleMania could be true, and he could be the successor to The Undertaker.

The Rest of RAW:

--The Usos made their return! And it looks like they'll be going right after the New Day. The main event of the night was a 5-on-5 Survivor Series style match, with Team Reigns vs. Team Rollins. The Usos were the first group to come out after Reigns, and got a bit of fanfare there. I'll say this. While many people don't like the Usos, and see them as bland, they always get pops at arenas, and they generally put on good matches. They quickly eliminated Xavier from the Survivor Series match, so it seems like they'll use that to start the feud. I have very little problem with that, and seeing what face paint The New Day will wear to mock the Usos will certainly be entertaining.

--I did like what Rollins did with the Survivor Series match, even if he ended up losing by DQ. He and Owens looked great, and I love him bribing Owens with the promise of a future title shot. That's what he should be doing, smart and confident in himself, not cowardly and turning to The Authority at every turn. I would've liked it if he had ended up standing tall at the end, but it's a minor thing in the grand picture.

--To nobody's surprise, Paige ended up wining a fatal fourway match to become No. 1 contender for the Divas title. The match was actually fairly strong. All four divas (Paige, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and yes, even Brie Bella) worked well together, and the match flowed well. I would've liked Becky to get a little bit more shine, but all four looked good, and some of the prematch promos made the match feel like it mattered. It's taken a bit, but as the teams start to dissolve, the divas division slowly is starting to feel like it's on the right track. It's not there yet, but it's getting there.

--The Lucha Dragons seem like they're about to get a push. Before their match against Sheamus and Barrett, they aired a package highlighting the team, and then they worked very well against the Euros (which I think is Sheamus/Barrett's name. Barrett yelled it at one point during the match). Seems like a weird time to be starting to push them just when the Usos return, but I like another team getting the spotlight.

--I legitimately don't get what's going on with Alberto Del Rio and Zeb Colter. It seemed last week like they were pushing him as a face, but now it seems like they are heels. They talk about uniting United States and Mexico, which kind of seems like a face move, but they also insult everyone else in the process, including Colter's former buddy Jack Swagger. It seems like an odd move if you're trying to promote Del Rio (who beat R-Truth this week) as the big Mexican star to push him as a heel, but who knows. I also hate the corner move he's using has a finisher now. His opponent has to lift themselves up with the ropes to set it up, and it looks completely unnatural.

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--Cesaro continues to look good. He's been getting more of a WWE-style moveset lately. He's reduced the number of moves he uses, and he's really highlighting the trademark moves in his offense. If this is an office-directed move, it can only be a good sign for him.

--Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler had a good match, which Owens won after Ziggler was distracted by Tyler Breeze. Breeze got into the rign to taunt Ziggler after. Ziggler did catch him with a right hand, but Breeze hit the Beauty Shot to leave Ziggler lying.

Thoughts? Questions? Leave them in the comment section, email me or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also find my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/jobbing-out/id998790026?mt=2


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