After the brutal episode we were given last week, I was under the impression that the WWE would be motivated to deliver a better show. I was wrong.
Considering how nothing was announced for this week’s episode, I was quite surprised that the New Day opened the show. Insulting local teams has always been a staple in heel tactics, but Big E took it to a new level by using the terrible towel to clean himself. I didn’t understand why the New Day was there to introduce Sheamus. Why would the New Day care to be part of this celebration? The Celtic Warrior knows how to cut a promo, but his substance here was pointless. He had nothing different to say from last week’s opening segment. That’s not really his fault though, he’s just given lines from someone that can’t create substance. The only person that was used properly here was Roman Reigns.
Tyler Breeze vs Dolph Ziggler
Chances are these two will meet each other at TLC, did they really need to wrestle on Raw? If I was there in Pittsburgh to watch this match live, I’m sure it would have been better. Since I’m a TV viewer and have seen this a few times, I couldn’t help but zone out. The finish was the most insulting, because it looks like they’re trying to hinder Breeze’s development on the main roster. Why give him a big win at TLC and take it back a week later?
Miz TV – Rusev
Did Rusev call Miz “Michael’? I hope I wasn’t the only one that noticed. After seeing Lana, I’m extremely glad that the WWE has decided to put her and Rusev back together. Other than reintroducing Lana as Rusev’s manager, nothing of importance happened here. I think the next step is to reestablish Lana as the powerful woman she once was. As a fan, I don’t care to see her as the damsel in distress any longer.
Rusev vs Ryback
I find it ironic how I was hoping for them to reestablish Lana, yet they decided to use this match to show how she is a damsel in distress.
Wyatt Family vs Dudley Boyz (Promo and Match)
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from this promo. In fact, I was ready to zone out, but then the Dudley’s exposed the tables they brought. I thought that was a cool way for them to further this feud. I was also happy to hear Bray cut a short promo, instead of a lengthy one. His willingness to talk less and fight more allows the audience to see how badly he wants to hurt the Dudleys. Tommy Dreamer’s appearance turned out to be a lot of fun, because they were able to get the nostalgia pop. Even the six man match was well booked, as it was more about creating chaos. The table spot with Bubba and Bray was a smart way to give this feud a change of pace. It wouldn’t make much sense to have the Wyatts stand tall, again.
Goldust vs Alberto Del Rio
Since last week, Goldust has looked great, but there was no way he could hang with Del Rio (kayfabe). Even though he was jobbed out in about two minutes, he got enough offense to look somewhat credible next to Alberto.
As much as I’ve disliked Swagger’s involvement in this feud, I was shocked that he received a huge pop. It goes to show how different opinions can be in pro wrestling.
The Usos vs The Lucha Dragons
When the Lucha Dragons were called up the Usos were sidelined, so this was a very fresh match. I knew the two teams were capable of putting on a good match, and they did just that. Of course neither team could lose clean, so I loved they booked the finish. This is a great way to open up a three way feud.
Sasha Banks vs Brie Bella
Team BAD hasn’t been a focal point of the division, but Sasha was great at making the most of her time. The match wasn’t anything special, but she found a way to showcase her character. The only thing I didn’t understand was why Brie was being positioned as a babyface, but I won’t get into that.
Roman Reigns vs Sheamus
I was expecting this to be the main event. The fact that it was being held at the start of the third hour pretty much assured fans that a title change would not occur. Even though I knew the title would not switch hands, I was still hooked for the entire match. I kept thinking how they could possibly book a reasonable finish. I don’t know how I didn’t think about DQ through interference, but I guess it made sense. I’m actually a fan of this League of Nations. It probably won’t lead to anything of significance, but it’s a good way to keep Rusev and Barrett relevant.
Charlotte vs Becky Lynch
I actually didn’t mind that this match was just booked as a friendly match between two friends. The two wrestled a fun match, with a brilliant finish. In kayfabe, that was Charlotte’s way of having some fun, and this will lead Becky to turn heel in the near future.
Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, & The Usos vs League of Nations & The New Day
Instead of giving us the predictable six man tag, the WWE shook things up by giving us a seven on four match. With so many wrestlers in one match for a half hour main event, this match felt lackluster. It would be unfortunate if Jimmy Uso is actually injured, because his brother just came back. After the Reigns-Sheamus feud, I actually thought the three way tag program was the most intriguing. It wasn’t until Ambrose received the hot tag that I started to wonder where Kevin Owens was. Overall, this match was a complete bust, and it was felt like filler because they didn’t know what to do.
This episode of Raw wasn’t as bad as last week’s, but it still fell flat. Prior to the week before Survivor Series, they were producing some good episodes, and I don’t know why they can’t keep it up anymore. Maybe it’s time to switch up the formula, or find a way to shake up the feuds. The low point of the show was the main event while the high point was Sasha vs Brie. Overall, I give this Raw a 4.5/10.