Hell in a Cell left the fans asking many questions on what was next for the superstars in the WWE, and they were answered last night. It wasn’t just the feuds that were built, but the wrestlers came to steal the show as the in ring action was superb.
After the events of HIAC, I was extremely amped for the opening to this show. I do believe they could have held the recaps until the segment was over, because it took away from the excitement. Before Seth could even talk, his emotions had me chuckling. Whenever that man is happy, it’s tough for me to not smile. My question going into this show was who would be lined up next for Rollins, and I’m glad they addressed that in this promo. Having a load of matches to set up a number one contender was a great call by the booking staff, as it left me interested in seeing how the show would turn out. Reigns is a heavy favorite, and I was surprised they would tease any sort of matchup after this promo.
Roman Reigns vs Kofi Kingston
They should have left the camera off Roman, because it was obvious how badly he wanted to laugh during the New Day promo. He even turned his back to the camera at one point. Facial expressions aside, this was a solid match to open the show. These two have great in ring chemistry, and it’s been proven in the past. Besides a few out of ring rest spots, neither man held back. Alongside of this, I thought the drama was well inserted. A sign that Roman is vastly improving is that he sold his match from the night prior. It had only made sense for Kofi to have the upper hand for most of the contest. The spot of the match was Roman’s spear, because Kingston sold well and the crowd let off a massive pop.
Cesaro vs Kevin Owens
If you’re waiting for a Cesaro push, you might have to wait longer. The second this match was announced I knew it would work in the favor of Owens, because it would make no sense for him to lose. I know the two both men have proven to work great matches together, but I found this one to be decent. I wish there was an explanation on how Cesaro can dominate a match with a diverse move set, yet lose clean. He looked great in this match, but he somehow ends up looking like an idiot when it’s all said and done.
PCB vs Team Bella
I wasn’t amped to see this match, again, but after Nikki’s performance last night, I didn’t mind. The heightened excitement made this contest much more enjoyable. Their use of double team moves was spectacular, because it’s not something we’ve seen these teams do well. The spot of the match was the Becky Lynch hot tag, as she hasn’t gotten many chances to shine. While I wanted to see Becky get a pin I was completely fine with their planned finish. After HIAC, Nikki deserved a win. To be honest, was expecting Becky to turn heel, so oddly enough I was surprised with Paige’s turn. Hopefully they can finally get things moving with this feud, because I for one am excited to see how it plays out.
Alberto Del Rio vs Neville
For a man that was considered stale well into his previous WWE run, I’m glad he’s being received well now. I always found Del Rio worked awesome with high flyers, and it was evident in this match. While he’s being booked as heel, I’m glad he came across as a competitive heel. In terms of in ring work, I thought this match was very strong, and Del Rio’s return made the whole thing exciting. The great thing about Alberto is that we finally get to see his enzigiri return to the WWE. The one he landed on Neville looked devastating, and it was easily spot of the match.
The Dudley Boyz & Ryback vs Sheamus, Barrett, & Rusev
In no way was I excited to see this match. I’m just glad they started off in a brawl, or else I might have lost all interest. It also didn’t help that JBL and Cole referred to these men as losers from HIAC, because that is not a smart way to sell this match to the audience. The only pro that came from this was Barrett picking up the win.
Bray Wyatt Promo
Even though Taker lost at HIAC, Bray made him look strong. Also, I found it awesome that he mentioned his match with Roman as opposed to just brushing it off like it was nothing. This was an extremely captivating promo from the eater of world and it was a great way to kick off round two between him and the deadman. I didn’t expect Kane to make an appearance, but that everything feel grand.
Dolph Ziggler vs Big E
I was expecting Breeze to appear at the end of the match, but I enjoyed how the brought him out. Him having his own VIP seating was also a great touch. Since prince pretty was sitting at ringside, the outcome of this contest was rather predictable. Regardless, the match still delivered. Kofi did a brilliant job at being a ringside presence, because normally that’s Xavier’s forte. Like the other qualifying matches, this one delivered. I was getting ready for Dolph to get screwed over by Breeze and I was surprised they went through with the clean finish.
Roman Reigns vs Dolph Ziggler vs Kevin Owens vs Alberto Del Rio
Once everything began, I was completely clueless on who could win. Reigns seemed too obvious, yet the others didn’t seem over enough to put in the main feud. Either way, I kept my money on Roman. Fatal four ways have become a lot less common in today’s WWE, so the match format was quite refreshing. Along with this, there weren’t many rest spots. Rollins was great with announce team because he actually had some funny insight. Not only was he funny, but he knew how to convey his concern and fear for his next possible opponent. These four absolutely stole the show, as they made this the most intense match I’ve seen on Raw this year. This wasn’t just a near fall fest, but the competitors delivered with quality spots. The spot of the match and the show was Reigns counter of the pop up powerbomb into a superman punch. The stare down at the end was a perfect way to end this perfect match.
This episode of Raw didn’t feel like it was three hours, in fact it flew by. That’s just a testament to how well this show was paced and booked. Most of the superstars that were showcased wrestled on this show as if it were a PPV. I can’t recall a Raw where the quality of wrestling was great throughout the entire show. The low point was the six man tag match, while the high point was the main event. Overall, this show deserves a solid 9/10.