Money in the Bank is right around the corner, and because of this I was excited for tonight’s edition of Raw. Not just because it was the go home show, but it was most likely the last Raw that would showcase these particular feuds, meaning next week we’ll be given something new. I thought the stars put on a decent show, except for one part of the show that got me upset.
While I thought they would open the show with the Rollins-Ambrose feud, having Cena open was also a good idea. Cena’s opening comments about opportunity and the MITB briefcase was a good way to compare Owens making the most of his opportunities. I also loved the rest of his promo, as usual, but I had a tough time paying attention with that big mark on his nose. I didn’t think Cena should have advocated himself for Owens’ open challenge, because it made no sense. The spin on the open challenge was a fun way to get the crowd into this segment, and having Neville make the choice was an easy way to make it intense. Neville wasn’t the greatest on the mic but him accepting Owens made me mark out.
Neville vs Kevin Owens
These two have only competed on NXT once, and it was a good match, meaning we were in for a solid opening contest. I thought it would have been better if Neville had gotten some early momentum as opposed to selling. An early spot of the match was Owens’ patented canon ball, because it was sold beautifully by Neville. The man that defied gravity eventually found a way to make his beating look like a feat of strength. It made the me think as if he could take everything from Owens but still find ways to get in some shots. The only botched part of this match was the moonsault that Neville landed. It was terrible coordination from both men. The slowly executed german suplex showcased why he was once the NXT champion. I thought the finish to this match was absolutely brilliant. It had the right amount excitement to make the opening of the show great.
Summer Rae vs Nikki Bella
To be honest, I thought it was refreshing to see Summer in a match. Lately we’ve only seen a shuffle of Nikki, Brie, Paige, and Naomi, so this was a great way to change things up. I assume they’ve dropped the heel character for Summer, because as I recall, she was in that position with the Miz. There was nothing special about this contest, but I was glad Nikki won clean. This makes her look better heading into Sunday.
I was glad Roman kept his promo and his intentions simple, because it was a good segue into Kane’s interruption. Dolph Ziggler’s appearance was nice surprise, and he came in hot with some comedy. Also, I can’t recall Dolph ever interacting with Reigns, so that made everything feel new. When R-Truth made his way out, I explained to my sister (who was watching with me) he wasn’t in the match but then I started second guessing myself. I even checked the WWE website right away. I know I said Ziggler was funny, but Truth stole the segment with his confusion. Even Kane’s frustration with him was hilarious. The constant interruptions were all comedic. Overall, I found this a neat way to get all the competitors to interact with each other before Sunday.
Randy Orton vs Sheamus
I would have preferred if they had a multiple man tag match between the competitors in the MITB ladder match, because their previous match fell flat. They started off pretty intense, and worked a decently paced match. Fortunately for this match, it didn’t fall victim to a long commercial break half way through, although it still had a commercial break. It also helped that the crowd was into this match, unlike last week. I personally enjoyed the back and forth between both men. For the most part this contest followed a similar formula to their last match, but his one became more interesting towards the end. Sheamus for the most part has been booked well going into Sunday but it was about time they do the same for Randy. Orton’s beat down on the Celtic Warrior got me pumped up for the rest of the show and the ladder match.
Dolph Ziggler vs Kane
This match stared rather abruptly, as there weren’t even entrances. I don’t understand why Lana had to stand on the ramp, why couldn’t she watch at ring side? For the most part, I found this match very boring, it didn’t truly deliver. It was fun watching Ziggler sell a lot Kane’s moves. The spot, or sell, of the match was easily Kane’s big boot. This was a match that didn’t really need a commercial break. In fact the most entertaining part of this match was watching Rusev go after Lana.
Miz TV w/ Big Show & Ryback
The Miz has found an “awesome” role lately, because he’s really been making these segments work for him and his guests. After watching Miz interact with the Ryback, I started to think I’d rather see these two in a feud rather than Big Show and Ryback. Show still had decent mic chemistry with the other two, but after a while it became too clustered. Ryback giving Big Show the shell shock was a great way to get the crowd energized. Overall this was a solid filler segment.
Luke Harper & Eric Rowan vs Los Matadores
This was a simple and extended squash match, but none the less a smart was to get Harper & Rowan on the card. Their post match promo felt cryptic, and I hope there’s more behind their message heading into the future.
Big E vs Titus O’Neil
This was the only prediction I got right, but one is better than none. The spot of the match was Big E slapping Titus to the beat of “New Day rocks”. I thought the two men worked well with one another and knew how to land power type moves. The finish was done right and the right man went over. When Roman made his way out, I initially thought he was coming out to bury the entire New Day.
Kofi Kingston vs Roman Reigns
I don’t know the action started so slow, I just liked I was watching the two moves around the ring. The way Kofi gained the advantage was neat, its the right way make his New Day partners effective. The spot of this match was Roman’s apron drop kick as the camera was perfectly angled. I really thought he rattled Kofi’s brain with it. I’m glad the rest of the match never turned into Kofi getting destroyed by Roman, it helps him look strong heading into Sunday and as a performer overall. Overall, I thought they worked a hard fought match and I enjoyed it.
Seth Rollins vs J&J Security
Watching Ambrose sit in the front row had me thinking why Rollins just didn’t ambush him from behind and take his title back. Also, why did Ambrose buy a ticket to Raw? He works for the WWE, it should be mandatory for him to be in the building .For some reason it felt like this match took forever to start. Rollins dominating the match was the right move in terms of booking. It would be ridiculous for him to be out wrestled by his security team. Noble definitely showed us that he does in fact still have it. His hot tag was very exciting to watch. The ending of this match was absolute garbage. It was the worst ending to Raw I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s understandable to see Rollins pinned by Ambrose, or Reigns, but J&J Security? If Rollins hasn’t resonated as a real champion to some fans, you can blame it on horrendous booking like this. Doesn’t matter how much of a cowardly heel the current champion is, he shouldn’t be getting pinned by wrestlers that aren’t top names.
For the most part I really enjoyed this show, but of course the ending counts for a lot. Heading into the next PPV, the finish to a show should be strong, not weak. Other than that, I felt most of the show delivered in terms of work rate and promos. Obviously the low point of the show was the ending while the high point was the opening. Overall, I give this show 7/10