I hope everybody had an awesome long weekend, I know I did. Going into tonight’s show felt odd, because it felt more like Sunday than Monday, although Raw didn’t feel like a PPV.
I’m not sure if it’s because we haven’t seen Rollins since last Monday, but he had me hooked for most of this promo. A lot of his substance was repeat material, but I think he’s gotten the hang of keeping the attention of the audience. Then again, it was probably just me since the live crowd wasn’t having it. Instead of coming across as a weasel, did anybody else think he just came across as extremely confident? It’s refreshing to see him care about wrestling and defending his title, as opposed to running away from everything. The segment should have ended after Sting’s appearance on the tron, because Sheamus didn’t add much to the promo. His Ronald McDonald joke was brutal, and clearly didn’t go over.
I personally loved the backstage segment after the in ring promo. It was truly the first time Seth’s character accepted the challenges of being champion. I’m not sure if they’ve ever done this type of angle with former heel champions, but it’s working well for Rollins.
Paige vs Sasha Banks
The internet can now sleep right knowing Sasha wasn’t jobbed out in one minute. I liked the placement of this women’s match because having it take place after a big promo made it feel important. It also helped that the match was well worked. Paige’s selling was on point for the first half of the contest, it made her small comeback entertaining. For a match that was pretty solid, the finish was very odd and sloppy. First of all, they could have used a more simple distraction, Naomi and Tamina looked lost when they entered the ring. Secondly, the pin Banks was using had her shoulders also on the mat.
Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs The Ascension
This appearance from the Ascension should have been a bigger deal. The two have just joined Stardust, and it was only mentioned once in passing. Instead of acting as jobbers, they should have stayed out or with Stardust. I’m all for Roman and Dean winning a squash match, but I just thought they could have used different opponents.
Ryback vs Seth Rollins
I never thought Ryback was terrible on the mic, but his backstage interview with Rene was brutal. The only reason that segment was saved was because of Kevin Owens. I’m actually really excited to see how that feud plays out.
This match took a very long time to get under way. I thought the two men would make their way out after Ryback’s interview, but I was quite far off. Those bits of filler did ruin the anticipation of the match for me. This being said, the in ring action was quite good. It was slow, but both men found a way to incorporate their styles. Ryback needs to assess his vertical suplex, because it’s not visually appealing. It seems he has trouble balancing his opponent, and it comes across as awkward. The spot of the match was Ryback’s reversal of the kick into a powerbomb; the execution was extremely fluid. It’s definitely fair to say this match picked up a ton of steam after the commercial break. Both men worked the same pace yet picked up the intensity.
Honestly, I absolutely loved the finish. It kept Seth looking strong, because he had Ryback beat. At the same time Ryback’s stock rises because he, the IC Champ, beat the WWE champ. It also managed to further the Rollins-Sting feud.
The New Day/Seth Rollins/Edge & Christian/Dudley Boyz Backstage Promo
This was hands down the best backstage segment I’ve seen in quite some time. I found it incredible how the kept this segment hilarious but with a serious undertone. This was definitely the highlight of the night.
Rusev/Summer Rae Promo
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited to see how this would turn out. I’ve been dying to hear Rusev’’s response, and he truly delivered. In a kayfabe sense, Ziggler didn’t explain what happened between him and Lana, and because of that I thought he was the weakest character here.
Randy Orton vs Sheamus
Why? Why did they need this match on this show? I genuinely enjoy both performers, but it’s tough to see them work a stale feud. It’s unfortunate because these two are always capable of working a good match with each other every time they wrestle. For me, I just zoned out for most of it. The highlight of this match was the appearance by the Wyatts, because we now know Orton will finally be in a new feud.
Dudley Boyz vs Los Matadores
I can’t get over how much I enjoy the pyro in the Dudleys entrance. It always just wakes me up and gets me pumped for the match. This was a match that needed to be a squash match. It got the crowd excited and gave the Dudleys a nice boost.
Cesaro vs The Miz
I thought this was a smart way to showcase Cesaro. They were able to maximize his pop by putting him against the Miz. I just hope this match was a one time thing only, because a feud wouldn’t do anything for either of them. I actually think Cesaro-Show would make for a much better feud. It’s just wise for them to leave the Miz out of it.
Nikki Bella Promo
While her promo substance was no different from last Monday or Thursday , I feel Nikki knows exactly what to say when trolling her detractors. I’m in favor for the way they’re moving this angle. After all that complaining, fans can finally rejoice in a significant divas match.
John Cena & the Primetime Players vs Seth Rollins & The New Day
I love watching both Rollins and Cena, but I knew the New Day would steal the spotlight. In fact, the highlights in this match were all based on well Xavier Woods was playing the trombone. At moments it was perfectly played with certain maneuvers. The tag champs were vocal enough for me to completely forget that Rollins was even on their team. The spot of the match was Darren Young’s apron back drop on to Rollins, because of how they transitioned into the move. Other than a few bits from the New Day, this man event felt quite lackluster. Maybe because Rollins was an afterthought in the match, and it didn’t progress his story with Cena. It might have been more effective to have Rollins eat the pin, then have him watch the destruction of his statue. Then the commentators could properly sell this as the worst night of his life.
At one point, this show just hit slow motion. It was clearly the effect of 3 hours not being well done by creative. The show started off strong, but it felt like a chore after 10 PM. The low point of the show was Sheamus vs Orton while the high point was the New Day backstage promo. Overall, this show deserves a 5.5/10.