The WWE was looking for a way to boost their ratings, even if it was slightly. Going into this show, I was expecting them to give it their all, in terms of booking. I can’t say they exactly did this, but they did hit a home run with two segments.
With the ratings taking a massive dip within the past 3 weeks, I was curious to see how they’d respond. The US open challenge was probably the most brilliant way to start the show, because it nevers fails to hook the fans. For some crazy reason, I was thinking Ambrose, Harper, or Cesaro, but the New Day was a complete swerve. What I liked mot about this promo was that the mic work from both parties was affective. Cena with his use of little words, showed us why he takes this title seriously, and the New Day, well they were just being themselves.
Xavier Woods vs John Cena/ The New Day vs John Cena & The Dudley Boyz
We all knew the end result of this match, but it was just great to Xavier in this kind of match. There was no way Woods’ could take on Cena equally, so I was glad to see that got crafty, meaning he looked for holes in John’s offense. Even though Xavier hasn’t been wrestling consistently on TV, I believed both him and Cena looked great together. For the most part, this wasn’t as good as Cena’s previous open challenges, but it was a fun way to open the show.
In no way was I a fan of how they transitioned this into a 6 man tag match. With the New Day wrestling the Dudleys this Saturday at the MSG special, did they really need to have a match on this show? Booking like this easily dilutes a feud. Even though I loved Big E’s spear to Cena, I had a tough time caring for this match.
Big Show vs Mark Henry
I’m not sure if anybody else noticed, but there must have been at least 15 minutes between the 6 man tag match and this one. In that 15 minutes there were 2 backstage segments and a heap of commercials. That amount of time just stuck out like a sore thumb.
I guess it’s better to feed Henry to Show rather than Cesaro. There wasn’t anything special about this match, but it wasn’t terrible either. I just wish Show cut a promo to hype up his match on Saturday.
The last time the divas were on Miz TV, they completely bombed, so the bar wasn’t set too high. I’ll admit though, the mic skills were much sharper in this segment. This goes to show how much of a difference a month makes. I absolutely loved everything about the back and forth, because it had meaningful substance. What I didn’t like was how they temporarily realigned Team PCB. After everything Paige said, are just supposed to believe everything is okay?
Team PCB vs Team Bella
I don’t understand why they couldn’t just book a normal tag match. The Bella Twins vs Charlotte & Becky would have made much more sense. That way Paige can run in and cost her former team. This match just made Paige’s rant on Raw and Smackdown feel pointless. Along with this, it looked like Paige had a remembered half way through that she dislikes her former team. There was no sense of continuity. Also, there was no way Natty could help, because the second she starts wrestling, Team PCB is disqualified.
The Primetime Players vs The Wyatt Family
I can’t I was excited for this match when it started, but then Sportsnet informed me there were technical difficulties, so I was able to see the right part of the finish. I thought it was good way of enhancing Strowman’s character, and it was clearly set to accomplish that.
Stardust vs Neville
People have been complaining about Ziggler and Rusev, but in my opinion, this feud has been just as stale. At first they gave these two a comic book based feud, but now there’s nothing. Well, all of this changed tonight as the WWE swerved us with the return of Wade Barrett. It also looks like he’s keeping the king gimmick, which I felt could have been dropped. Either way, his surprise return was quite exciting.
So did Seth put that video package together for the HR rep? Probably not, but the idea of him editing a few clips before he comes to the arena makes me laugh. What was even funnier was Seth reciting his get together with the Pope. The more promos these two deliver, the more I love this angle. Paranoid Seth Rollins makes for great TV, and he meshes well with split personality Kane. Even though Kane is guilty of attacking Seth, I had real sympathy for his character.
The highpoint of this segment was Kane’s transformation into the demon. When this type of angle is done right, it looks great, as it did here. It’s been a while since we’ve seen this side of Kane, so I find the feud to be rather refreshing.
Bo Dallas vs Randy Orton
Normally I don’t care much for squash matches, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen Orton lay a beating on someone. Plus, I enjoy watching Dallas take on top stars. I thought this was a good and easy way to excite the crowd.
Kevin Owens vs Rusev
Even though Dolph made his way into the match, I actually enjoyed the short amount of time Rusev and Owens wrestled. What made me burst into laughter was how quickly the two opponents became friends in order to attack Ryback at the announce desk. I believe this was a very effective segment for Owens and Ryback.
Paul Heyman/Big Show Promo
I felt as if they pushed Beast in the East as a bigger event, or maybe it felt special because I woke up 4 AM to watch it. It wasn’t until this show that I realized the MSG show is happening this Sunday, it’s like it crept up on me. I liked how Show was able to have the last word, because it worked much better than having him job out Mark Henry. It also allowed for Heyman to get upset, thus creating a real tension between both sides.
Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt
I didn’t think Roman could convince Wyatt to send his cronies to the back, and I immediately expected this to turn into a full out group brawl. Luckily I was wrong, because that would be slightly insulting to the audience. I was glad to see that the two men were able to wrestle a proper singles match. Oddly enough, it’s not usual for Raw to have a singles main event the show for two consecutive weeks. I find this formula works much better from an entertainment perspective. In all honesty, I thought this match was better than the main event from last week. They both know how to make every move look impactful. Ending the match by count out told me that these two just wanted to beat each other down, and it was very effective. The spot of the match and if not the past few weeks was Roman’s spear onto Wyatt through the table. That moment had me marking out like a kid.
Normally the WWE puts a lot of effort into the first half, while the show drops off in the second half, but this wasn’t the case for this show. Starting from the Rollins/Kane promo, this show became significantly better. The low point of the show was the divas match, while the high point was the main event. I feel the last hour of the show made up for the slow start. Overall I give this show a 7/10.