As I predicted, this Raw definitely did further many of the feuds that needed to progress, but it came at a weird price. Last night seemed to have lost some production value, maybe the workers went on strike, or something backstage wasn’t properly synched with everything else. Either way, the WWE delivered creatively for the most part.
Are they cutting back on pyro? I think this was the first time in 2015 where Raw didn’t open the show with music and pyro. Anyways, This was the moment I thought Orton would finally flip, and build the show from his turn. Rollins was hilarious on the mic as usual. Once it was Orton’s turn to make some comments I thought it was open mic night at the comedy club, because his comments were pure gold. I liked what Orton had to say because it built on why he decided to align with the Authority once again. This was nothing more than a tease, and I think we’ll find out later this is how Orton truly feels about his Authority family.
Bad News Barrett vs Daniel Bryan
I didn’t want this match to happen, because I knew Barrett would job once again. The only good thing this match had to offer was R-Truth back in commentary. My favorite spot from this match was definitely when Barrett got Bryan with the boot, it was sold beautifully by Bryan. I felt the match was technically sound, but it felt boring after the commercial break. It was a typical Bryan match, but nothing felt fun about it. At least Barrett got the last laugh on Bryan to remain a serious competitor in this feud.
Dean Ambrose vs Stardust
This match was refreshing, probably because we haven’t seen these two lock horns since the Shield feuded with the Rhodes Brothers. Considering how both of these men are supposed to be “unstable”, their in ring chemistry and psychology as great together. R-Truth managed to top himself in this match, which I didn’t think was possible. While the mark in me was rooting for Stardust, I’m happy we were given two clean matches in a row.
Paul Heyman Promo
After a long commercial, I was happy to see Heyman in the ring, I knew we were in store for something special. The video package was effective for building this underdog character for Reigns but at the same time it made me feel as if they needed an old video to promote the challenger. Think Heyman did a great job at boosting Roman and his family. He showed that Roman might be the toughest to come out of that group. This promo wasn’t meant for Roman Reigns though, it was to remind us that Brock is in fact the scariest man on the planet. It was also meant to address the crazy rumors that have been surrounding Brock about his WWE status.
Rowan & Ryback vs The Big Show & Kane
After so many commercials and with a promo in between, I felt mentally tuned out of Raw. Since we’ve seen so many variations of this match, I couldn’t find myself to get interested. Even the commentators were disinterested. I was happy to see Rowan pick up the pin, it was a feel good moment, especially since he’s been jobbing for quite a while. The drama between Show and Kane was unnecessary, and I felt Steph’s promo was there just so she could make an appearance.
Miz/Wiz Khalifa Promo/Wiz Khalifa Performance
Just like last week’s segment, this was great in terms of furthering the comedic feud. I didn’t think they could find a good spot for Wiz Khalifa on this show, but this was the perfect segment for him. I thought Pittsburgh would be more excited to see Wiz Khalifa, considering he’s from there and is rather popular in the music world. Maybe this goes to show that live music doesn’t have a place in the world of wrestling.
AJ vs Summer Rae
To be honest, I thought this was going to be a squash match just because it was AJ’s return match on Raw. Summer and AJ had some awesome chemistry in the early part of this match. While it wasn’t a squash match, it didn’t last very long. I thought the Bellas could have been involved to some extent, especially since they announced their Mania match earlier today.
Sting Video Package
This video was just insulting. We had yet to hear from Sting, and they decided to have his first words in a video package. What’s even more insulting was that this video package actually had substance and meaning, so why would they leave it to a video?
Rusev vs Curtis Axel
This was a predictable squash match, that’s all I could say. Just as how I predicted from my post yesterday, Cena would find a way to embarrass Rusev, and that’s just what he did. Surprisingly, Lana accepted on Rusev’s behalf, and her response garnered quite the reaction. This crowd was much different from the New Jersey one, because they loved Cena.
Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs The New Day
I hope someone else noticed that the New Day’s titantron video was still playing during Cesaro & Kidd’s entrance, it looked out of place but it was hilarious. I knew we were in store for a decent tag match, but I didn’t see New Day picking up a win over the champions. This can only mean they’re getting ready for a multiple tag team match for Mania. The match itself was fine, the outcome is what had me going crazy.
Naomi vs Natalya
This match is evidence that WWE is beginning to change their philosophy on the women’s division. There were two divas matches on this show, and I was impressed. I always enjoy these two competitors in the ring, and I wasn’t disappointed in their performance tonight .With Natty suffering her second consecutive loss to Naomi, it has me wondering if they’ll continue their mini feud heading into Mania.
Los Matadores vs The Usos
Los Matadores made their entrance directly after the divas match, and I thought they were coming in to attack the tag champs. It felt odd, but I didn’t mind it, I’ve seen this happen in New Japan Pro Wrestling. I enjoyed this match a lot more than the New Day-Cesaro & Kidd match. This bout had some better spots and the crowd seemed more into it. The Matadores are clearly set to be in this new tag program, because on any other day they would never beat the Usos.
Bray Wyatt Promo
I couldn’t be more taken back, this was an awesome promo from Bray Wyatt. The WWE had to do something significant with this feud, and they came through with some amazing theatrics. Taker is all about theatrics and show, the same thing applies with Bray Wyatt, but by adding their two styles together created something magical. This could be the match I’m most excited for going into Mania. The addition of Wyatt’s rocking chair was good touch to this segment, because they needed some sort of object that had meaning to Wyatt.
Seth Rollins & Randy Orton vs Roman Reigns
There wasn’t much substance to this match in terms of in ring work. The show was beginning to seem longer than it normally does, I think a certain segment or match went passed its allotted time. Everything here was building up to Orton turn, and it finally came. I was shocked Orton flipped his finger, but it was clearly improved as the camera cut out for a second to adjust. If anybody thought the Reigns-Bryan brawl was amazing, this Orton beat down was something out of this world. Having Rollins on the receiving end of a beat down was perfect because of his ability to sell. When it looked like it was about to end at the steps, Orton turned it up by throwing him all over the place. It’s been some time since we’ve seen a god beat down, and this made me excited for next week.
I can’t be the only person that felt this Raw was oddly produced. The commercials went too long, and the matches were shorter than normal. One thing I can say with confidence is that many feuds were progressed with meaning. This show was well synced, and it was rather obvious. Overall I give the show a 7/10 or a B-.