Ever since the WWE had lost Seth Rollins, I’ve actually gained more interest in the product. I went into this episode with high hopes, because I know the company is desperate to build their next stars. While they have done a decent job, I didn’t feel the urgency last night. For a go home show, I didn’t feel sold.
I apologize in advance if my review seems off today, the Sens were also playing and I was trying to watch two different screens. Plus by the time Raw had started, they were already down 2-0.
For a go home show, I couldn’t think of any better way to kick it off than having the Undertaker and Kane open the show. After last week’s polarizing main event segment, I was extremely curious to see how the Wyatts would retaliate. I liked how Taker stated that the Wyatt Family wasn’t strong enough to destroy their souls, it gives last week’s attack more context. Bray Wyatt taking control over the druids was a brilliant touch. It showed us that Bray did indeed absorb some type of power. While the Brothers of Destruction came out on top last week, I felt the Family looked craftier in this segment.
Kevin Owens vs Neville
These two have a history of stealing the show. Not only have they performed well on NXT, but they’ve had great matches on the main roster. Right from the start, neither man slowed down; I thought it was the perfect match to have right after that fun opener. I’m aware that many fans in the wrestling community are opposed to how predictable this tournament looks from the outside, but it hasn’t bothered me. Predictability isn’t the worst thing, as long as the story is well done. With a match such as this, I knew the two would put on a great match, so the outcome would be favorable for fans either way. The spot of the match was Owens pop up powerbomb to end the match. After a hard fought match, Neville sold it well, and it shows the fans how devastating the move can be.
Tyler Breeze vs R-Truth
I love the amount of attention they’re giving Tyler. I can’t say I was overly excited to see this match at first, but it turned out to be quite the fun match. Both men have such eccentric characters, that it was tough to not enjoy. After Tyler’s loss last week, I’m glad he got the W last night.
Dolph Ziggler vs Dean Ambrose
I thought this match up in general was rather refreshing. The two haven’t locked horns in the past, which makes their encounter here more intense. I was expecting a more fast paced style from both of them, but I shocked when they kept it slow for most of the match. In fact I had lost interest until it came back from commercial. Both men showcase a “no quit” attitude and they found a way to include that here. The only thing I didn’t agree with was the finish. I didn’t mind Ziggler being pinned clean after a competitive match, but considering he’s feuding with Breeze, he should have lost via distraction. On a go home show, all programs need to be displayed.
The New Day vs The Usos & Ryback
As most of you know, I’ve been a proud supporter of the New Day since day one, but I can’t say this was their best promo. Usually their mic work has more meaning, but they felt directionless. While I was hoping for this match to be a setup for the Usos vs New Day feud, I much enjoyed the addition of Ryback. My favorite part of this match was listening to JBL compare Big E to Patrick Swayze from Dirty Dancing. With that being said, Big E was the sole stand out from this six man tag. Based on the finish, it seems to me these six may have a rematch at Survivor Series, and I don’t mind. If anything, that rematch can lead to a tag title feud .The finish was awesome, as it left Ryback looking strong once again. He needed a moment like that more than anything else.
Roman Reigns vs Cesaro
Reigns promo was decent, nothing too great. I just wish they kept his promos slightly shorter.
This was probably the most talked about match amongst fans this past week. Without even seeing the match, many die hard Cesaro fans were ready to riot over a potential Cesaro loss. Regardless of the outcome, these two put on an awesome match. I know I normally complain about Cesaro looking good before he gets pinned foolishly, but it seemed different in this match. This contest told the story of a veteran wrestler, Cesaro, outsmarting a younger wrestler in Roman. I’m also glad it wasn’t Roman getting beat up until turning it around at the end. The spot of the match was undoubtedly the sharpshooter/crossface spot. Reigns did a great job at intensifying the moment, and his counter looked amazing. By the time this match was over, I had probably marked out over three times. The only thing I don’t understand is how this wasn’t the main event of the show.
The Dudley Boyz vs The Ascension
Well, this quite the underwhelming match up, especially after the last contest. Since the Ascension is low on the card, and the Dudley Boyz haven’t been relevant for a few weeks, this match was clearly a rest spot for the fans.
Alberto Del Rio vs Kalisto
Within a span of four days, the WWE has gotten the WWE universe to care about Kalisto more than ever. By continuously referring to his run in the tournament as a “Cinderella” story makes him a lot more likable. Even though I had my money on Del Rio from the start, a small part of me was wondering if Kalisto could continue this story. As I stated in last week’s Black and Blue, these two men were set to deliver a solid match. Alberto works great with high flyers and he continued that here. My heart broke when Del Rio got the double stomp on Kalisto, because at that moment, all true underdogs were eliminated.
Charlotte/Paige Contract Signing
Had this been any other episode of Raw, I would be all for this segment ending the show. Since it’s the go home show, and there are more important stories in the mix, I didn’t agree with the placement. Based on the ratings slump, it seems to me the WWE is willing to try something else. I thought Paige was dynamite on the mic, but Charlotte sounded too heavily scripted. Flair, similar to Roman Reigns, is better off delivering simple promos. When she started to cry, she sounded like an emotional robot. I did not expect Paige to make that remark about Charlotte’s brother, which was a good transition into a great brawl. Overall, this segment was decent at best, but it did not need to happen this late on the card.
I very much enjoyed this episode of Raw, but it wasn’t worthy of being a go home show. Other than the Taker-Wyatt program, and the tournament, I didn’t leave this show caring about anything else. Also the placement of a few things really threw me off. The low point of the show was Charlotte’s promo while the high point was Cesaro vs Reigns. Overall, I give this edition of Raw a 6.5/10.