With only 6 days left until Payback this was the WWE’s second last chance to get their ducks in a row before Sunday. They had to ensure the fans left happy in this edition of Raw to make sure people would tune in. I believe they got most feuds sorted out last night, and they did this in the most simple of ways.
For the first time in a long time Triple H felt like a neutral party in this main event picture. I honestly enjoyed his “daddy” analogy for the current dispute between Kane and Rollins. Hunter’s demeanor was excellent for this segment and he really made me think he’d fix this sticky situation. Normally when Rollins begins to make excuses it comes off as comedic but I felt he was able to create a more serious tone while making his plea to Triple H. The moment between the Game and Kane became very intense once that stipulation was put out on the table. I personally liked this stipulation because it’s a fresh way to continue the mini feud between Kane and Seth. This was an incredible opening segment because it furthered the main event program along with setting a proper tone for the show.
Dean Ambrose vs J&J Security
I thought they could have put Ambrose in a better match than this, considering he was performing in his home town. The contest was nothing more than a moment to make fans laugh. In all fairness, it was still entertaining to watch Ambrose take out the two stooges. I’m glad that J&J got a chance to get in some offense because it made this match more fun to watch. Noble’s sell on the dirty deeds was well done and it showed that he still had it. Overall it was a decent way to start the show and get the crowd excited by allowing the home town boy to win.
Bad News Barrett vs Dolph Ziggler
I always feel great pride in getting predictions right, and I’m happy this was one of them. Barrett was an absolute comedian on the mic, I couldn’t stop laughing at his punchline. Dolph was on fire with his variety of early kicks. If anybody was paying attention they announced the Ziggler-Sheamus rematch on commentary which felt rather lackluster. I thought the spot of this match was Dolph’s counter on Barrett’s bull hammer. The timing was perfect and the impact looked painful for the King. I enjoyed the post match antics between Sheamus and Ziggler mainly because of the Celtic Warrior’s trash talk .Overall, this wasn’t the best match, but it was a great way of furthering a feud for the PPV.
Luke Harper & Eric Rowan vs Fandango
I really wanted Fandango to get some revenge for being embarrassed last week, but it was obvious they want to push the team of Harper & Rowan. Unfortunately the match didn’t last over 30 seconds. I truly feel this team will find success in the coming weeks.
John Cena vs Neville
Like his promos in the previous weeks, Cena delivered in his pre match segment. While most of his content sounds the same but he finds a way to make it sound fresh with his passion. I for one felt the disappointment in my heart when I thought Cena wasn’t going to hold the open challenge, but I felt the relief when he changed his mind. I loved the slow build and stare down between the two because it built tons of tension before they began wrestling. It seemed to me that every move they landed was perfectly executed. There was nothing short of awesome chemistry between Cena and Neville. I was impressed with Cena’s ability to properly sell for Neville, it was a testament to how he could keep up with such speed. The first spot of this match was oddly Cena’s clothesline, just because of how the former NXT champ sold it. The emotion was high and it was visible in Cena’s frustration. The second spot of this match and most impressive was the showcase of Neville’s strength as he delivered powerbomb to John. I was convinced Barrett would be the one to interfere, and Rusev would follow, but just Rusev also made sense. The post match beat down was not impressive and I thought they could have done more. Other than the interference, this was a great match and I look forward to their future encounters.
Kane vs Roman Reigns
I was fine with the two not wrestling a match. These out of ring brawls are something Roman thrives in and same can be said for Kane. This entire brawl was probably more exciting than the match the two would have put on. I was glad to see Kane get the upper hand at moments, but it was important that Reigns was left standing tall. Overall I really had a blast watching these two beat the life out of one another.
Brie Bella vs Tamina
They finally let Brie enter the ring with her custom theme, which was surprisingly pleasant to hear after so long. This match was terrible in terms of execution. Everything the two did just felt sloppy. Brie’s missile drop kick didn’t looked so bad, but other than that I was hoping the two end this match early. Tamina was a wise choice as winner because she needs the push more than Brie.
Curtis Axel vs Macho Mandow
This was all the proof I needed to know Sandow was permanently placed on the lower card. JBL didn’t help with his continuous burying of the two. I thought the Ascension would have beat down Axel and Sandow, which I thought would have been better. I’m a little shocked that the WWE is booking a Mega Powers angle.
Daniel Bryan Promo
I couldn’t review this promo as it was not meant to be reviewed. It was rather emotional and the heartbreak could be seen the eyes of Daniel Bryan. It’s unfortunate that he was taken out again by an injury, but as fans all we can do is hope he’ll get well.
Cesaro vs Big E
I have become such a big New Day supporter and I don’t believe they can do anything wrong at this point. These two competitors have always worked well together and they proved that once again. Cesaro continue’s to impress me with his strength because not everybody can throw Big E around like he can. Xavier Woods continue’s to play a role outside the ring, and he had his funniest moment during this match as he told Booker what to say. There was no doubt that the spot of this match was Cesaro’s spinning springboard uppercut, it looked very graceful. The Swiss superman executed a very fluid roll up pin on Big E, and I thought it was a good way to end the match.
Bray Wyatt Promo
This segment was superb and I really liked how they timed it. Bray sounded awesome as usual along with adding some new material in his promo. They had no choice but having Ryback interrupt him at the end; he needed to get some sort of upper hand on Wyatt after all these weeks. After watching this segment I’m officially excited for their encounter at Payback.
Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins
Believe it or not, these two men have only wrestled 2 times (excluding this match) within the past 2 and half months. That is probably why this match didn’t feel stale. There wasn’t anything special about this match in the early stages, but it felt fresh to not see J&J security at ringside. The superplex looked brilliant and I’m glad it wasn’t countered. The contest continued its streak of high impact moves as Orton beautifully executed a top rope powerslam and t-bone suplex. The cameraman had perfect angle of Rollins’ kick to Orton’s face as it looked like it broke his jaw. I was impressed with how crisp each move was. Obviously J&J security had to make an appearance and it was probably the only option. I really liked how the babyfaces eventually laid out Rollins with their respective finishers, and then proceeded to attack each other. Ambrose was a perfect choice as the last man standing because it left the crowd happy.
This Raw wasn’t as well paced as last week’s but I still think they put on an awesome show. There was only two bad matches/segments and other than that the superstars delivered. John Cena and Neville were definitely the highlight of last night. Overall I give this show a 7.8/10.