With two more weeks left until the Royal Rumble, the WWE clearly had no urgency on getting fans excited. Being this close to the Rumble, they should at least be able to make two of the three hours watchable.
They could have gone without bringing the entire roster on to the stage, I don’t believe it brought any special affect to the promo. However, the Wyatt Family interruption made me slightly mark out. Somehow, they didn’t build anything from it, as Vince hardly reacted. What made matters worse was that Roman stood in the ring right after Sheamus ambushed Ambrose on the stage. Why didn’t Roman react to this? It’s fair to say this segment wasn’t written with much thought. This was a terrible way to set up the show.
Sheamus vs Dean Ambrose
Based on how the opening segment ended, I was not excited to see this match. With the lack of proper build and context to this match, I thought the two competitors did a swell job at making this entertaining. Of course, they’re supposed to hate each other and it translated pretty well on screen. It started off strong, but momentum died after a lengthy commercial break. Due to the length of the match, I lost quite a bit of interest. Since Ambrose is higher on the card, I thought he could have used a clean win.
Stardust vs Titus O’Neil
This same match occurred last week, I don’t remember who won. For me, that was a good enough reason for them to not rehash this. Instead of wrestling a match, it might have been better if Stardust just beat down Titus before the bell rang.
I know many fans weren’t pleased with the Jericho-New Day segment last week, but I was looking forward to their second interaction. This promo didn’t forward anything long term, but it was extremely entertaining. It was simply funny, and it wasn’t meant to be anything else but that. The Usos have noticeably become better on the mic since their return, and it was great to see that they weren’t the odd ones out in this promo.
The Usos vs The New Day
I know Jericho wasn’t in his ring gear, but they could have very well set this match up for later in the show, so he could compete. If that wasn’t an option, why not have him come out in his gear, he’s done it before. Since we’ve seen the New Day vs the Usos many times within the past two months, a six man would have been refreshing. The match was good, but just not enticing enough. Along with this, the match went too long. However, Jericho breaking the trombone was quite humorous, as Xavier Woods sold it extremely well.
The Wyatt Family vs The Social Outcasts
I didn’t expect for this to be a match on the card, but I was pleasantly surprised with how entertaining it was. Instead of making the Outcasts the new Job Squad, they’re being pushed somewhat seriously. Why did Ryback interfere? It’s not like the Social Outcasts were outnumbered.
Alberto Del Rio vs Kalisto
I absolutely loved Del Rio’s pre-match. It was generic, yet it was done with a lot of passion. Usually I can’t stand watching rematches from Smackdown, but I didn’t mind this one. If they’re plan is to push this as a rivalry, then I’m all on board. Simply based on their in ring chemistry, the in ring action was still entertaining. Also, the announcers did a solid job at building the credibility of Kalisto. There was no way I could have predicted Del Rio losing the title on last night’s show, and I was completely shocked. I figured they’d at least wait until the Rumble to make that change. Either way, it was a mark out moment, and I hope they give Kalisto a decent run with the title.
Brie Bella vs Charlotte
Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to these two wrestling, so I was thrilled to see Becky Lynch ambush Charlotte. Even though it was a short segment, it was effective for furthering this feud. Also, I very much enjoyed her backstage promo because it felt real.
Roman Reigns vs Every heel on the roster
I can’t say I was a fan of the idea when it was announced, because I thought they could have scheduled something more meaningful. This should have been a handicap match, as opposed to a gauntlet. It would have made the stipulation more horrifying for Roman. After a while, this just became Owens vs Reigns, which had me wondering why they didn’t just book that instead. With a handicap match, at least the heels could tag in and out to keep it fresh. I disliked the entire match, but very much enjoyed the finish. In a sense, Lesnar interfering and taking out all of the heels was predictable, but I didn’t expect him to attack Reigns afterwards. That was pleasant surprise to say the least.
Needless to say, this episode of Raw was far from good. Most of the show absolutely dragged, and it didn’t pick up until the last hour, that’s where they placed the story progression. With next week being the go home show, I hope they have much more planned out. The low point of the show was the opening segment, while the high point was Lesnar’s appearance at the end. Overall, this show deserves a 5/10.