For the most part, WWE gave us a solid post Extreme Rules show. Last night they played most feuds well, and were able to setup for Payback. Also the King of the Ring tournament definitely added to the excitement of this episode.
With Orton’s timing, this segment looked like the same opening promo we’ve seen these past few weeks. Thankfully they brought up the fact that Rollins illegally used a RKO at Extreme Rules, but I feel they could have made a bigger deal out of it, instead of dismissing it. If you read my predictions, I’m sure you know Roman’s entrance into this segment took me by surprise. After hearing everything all of them had to say, I believe they could have done this in half the time. It was a slow opening to Raw, but at last we figured out they would be announcing the Payback main event later in the show.
King of the Ring Match: Dolph Ziggler vs Bad News Barrett
My entire prediction post fell flat when the WWE announced a King of the Ring tournament on Monday. It was too bad that the spot of this match was shown on the WWE app, but that just means whoever doesn’t have the app should download it. I enjoyed every moment, even the commentators were well spoken. There was one particular tornado DDT that Ziggler hit, and it looked brilliant. The moment Sheamus came out, it was obvious Barrett would go on to pick up the victory. This also meant we’d be seeing an extended program for Ziggler and Sheamus.
Tyson Kidd vs Big E
I smiled when this stable made it way to the ring, because I’m glad they’ve found a way to make this gimmick work. I thought the spot of the match happened right at the start, and it was Kidd’s springboard missile drop kick, he caught a lot of air while making it look easy. I thought the contest would have gone much longer because their styles were fitting well. Big E was a great choice for the winner, and it’s only going to make the crowd get behind Kidd & Cesaro even more.
Bo Dallas vs Ryback
I didn’t think much of this match, because it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere for either competitor. Even when Dallas put up a better fight last night as opposed to Extreme Rules, we knew he wasn’t a threat to the big guy. I found Wyatt’s post match appearance quite timely, because one can say he came to avenge his real life brother. Jokes aside, I’m glad they did this tonight, because they need to get a program for both men going.
John Cena/Heath Slater/Rusev Promo
I loved Cena’s joke about “Rusev’s pimp hand” because it was reminiscent of 2004 Cena. How did I not see Heath Slater answering John’s open challenge? He did make his interest in the title clear last week before he got laid out in catering. Before Rusev ambushed Slater, I was extremely excited for that possible match. I really think this segment could have been pulled off on Smackdown, because having this promo right after their 3rd PPV match makes it feel stale.
King of the Ring Match: Stardust vs R-Truth
There were quite a few interesting and fun matches on this show, this wasn’t one of them. It didn’t capture my attention because we haven’t seen these two in anything meaningful, so it was tough to root for either of them. It didn’t matter who advanced, I’m most of us knew neither of them would make it by the semi finals .The actual in ring work wasn’t bad, it just failed to excitedme.
Fandango vs Adam Rose
This feud has dated back to February, but wasn’t mentioned until tonight. I don’t know where the Fandango-Rosa angle is going, but it’s been working for Fandango. Rosa’s small promo wasn’t the greatest, but it let us know they plan on moving this program forward.
Brie Bella vs Naomi / Backstage Promo
Brie was obviously put in a spot to be a babyface in this segment, and her promo was meant to be non-kayfabe, but for some reason it felt like she was still trying to act. After the horrible backstage segment, I didn’t want to see the two on my TV screen, but they managed to pull out a decent match. Naomi looked much better than she did last night, in terms of her selling and moves executed. Most of the match was done well, except Naomi’s inside cradle, because she seemed to have given up on it and it wasn’t a believable end. In a kayfabe sense, it looked like Brie could have easily kicked out of that pin.
King of the Ring Match: Dean Ambrose vs Sheamus
I appreciated the many Game of Thrones references made on this show. My favorite one was when JBL compared Ambrose to Aaerys Targaryen, the Mad King. Ambrose and Sheamus had some solid chemistry in the ring together, and I think their personalities would make for a good feud one day. The two paced every aspect of this contest. Right when it became slow, they found a way to make it fast. I personally enjoy watching Sheamus execute the Texas cloverleaf on smaller wrestlers, because it looks much more painful than it would on a larger wrestler. This solid match came to a confusing end, because Ziggler out right attacked Sheamus, meaning he would advance to the next round of the tournament. I’m not entirely sure what heir angle is on this, but they should have one, because I felt Ambrose should have advanced.
Damien Sandow Promo
I enjoyed Sandow’s lighthearted promo, and found his words rather touching. Axel interrupted Sandow, only to be mocked, a similar way he would copy Miz when he was his stunt double. While I found this promo funny, I hope this isn’t his character moving forward. I would hope he would embrace his older character, but his new theme song indicated otherwise.
King of te Ring Match: Neville vs Luke Harper
The two styles in this match went very well together, and that’s because Harper is agile for a large wrestler. It also went well because Neville is small and flexible enough to sell Harper’s powerhouse moves. The spot of this match was definitely the powerbomb delivered by Harper, he looked like he murdered Neville with it. Usually the commentators can make or break the momentum of a new comer, but tonight they did an amazing job at selling Neville as a real threat. This was a huge win for Neville, because it means he will be advancing in the tournament and it means that WWE has confidence in him as an entertainer.
Roman Reigns & Randy Orton vs Kane & Seth Rollins
I can’t remember the last time Rollins took such a beating to start of a tag team match, but he sold it very well. The babyfaces looked very strong during this match, and I don’t think they could have had it any other way. I started to lose concentration in this match once JBL began to rant about the WWE fan poll and extending his ran onto the WWE app. Half way through this match, Orton executed a beautiful T-bone suplex, and it was great to see how Rollins was launched across the ring. I’ve found that in the past Reigns and Rollins don’t have the best chemistry, but they looked very much in sync tonight. Once Randy made his way in for the hot tag, he looked great, especially when he countered Rollins springboard attack into a powerslam, this might have been the spot of the match. After all was said and done, this was a good tag contest, but it would have been great if Reigns and Orton did their finishing sequence on Kane. Rollins doesn’t need to consistently eat pins from babyfaces, it’s just bad booking.
This Raw evidently fell victim to it’s 3 hour format. After going through my review, I realized how the first hour was solid, the second hour fell off, but the action picked up in the third. I had fun watching last night’s Raw, and I think they had a great post PPV show. Overall I give this edition of Raw a 7.6/10.