Before I get into Raw, I’d like to send my thoughts and prayers to Bret Hart. He’s gone through a lot of adversity in life, so let’s hope he can overcome this hurdle.
For a three hour show, this particular episode moved by pretty fast. I think most Raws would move that fast if they were structured as well as this one. Not much progressed in terms of storylines, but they left it open, which should bring the fans back next week.
Could there have been a better way to start this show? Definitely not. While making the fans wait for Lesnar is a good way to keep them tuned in, having Lesnar open the show inspires hope that it will be an eventful episode. I was very much expecting Reigns to make an appearance, but they made a better choice in having Ambrose interrupt. Dean cut an excellent promo, and it gave his character a chance to get acquainted with Brock. At least we know he’ll be a focal point of the three way feud, instead of being a side note.
Rusev vs Kalisto
It was great to see Lana come out with Rusev. I don’t know why they’re kept apart, but they’re better together.
Initially I doubted Del Rio’s addition to the announce team, because he isn’t exactly known for his ability to announce. However, Alberto proved me wrong, as his comments were quite entertaining. For some reason, I was also wiling to write off this match, because I didn’t think it would amount to much. Instead, I was proven wrong one again. The two had amazing chemistry and they were able to wrestle a match without any interference. Of course neither of them were going to win clean, so the finish was justified.
Backstage Segments: Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose & Charlotte
Roman and Dean didn’t need to be in Stephanie’s office for as long as they were. I understand they’re trying to create tension between friends, but it could have been done in a shorter length. Same goes for their match announcement.
Charlotte was amazing her segment with Brie. As a heel, she continues to impress me.
The Usos vs The Social Outcasts
Apparently the Usos have won a Grammy Award, I just don’t know for what category. I was even more surprised with how Cole and JBL continuously mentioned this mistake.
The Social Outcasts are a fresh addition to the tag division. I don’t anticipate they’ll win any significant matches any time soon, but their presence helps fill up the roster. In my opinion, Rose was the stand out in this contest. He doesn’t normally receive the credit, but he knows his way around the ring. This turned out to be a much needed win for the Usos, as it keeps them looking strong after their losses to the New Day.
Miz TV/w AJ Styles
The Miz was “phenomenal” in this promo. Obviously fans wanted hear from Styles, and the Miz found a way to gain heat from this. I almost choked on my water from laughter when the Miz referred to himself as the father of the YES movement.
Some can argue that this may have not been the best use of AJ, however he did get a great crowd reaction after he attacked the Miz.
Brie Bella vs Charlotte
I’m glad they gave this match some context earlier in the show. Had they just thrown them out there, I wouldn’t care to watch it. I’d be lying if I said my jaw didn’t drop after that finish. I’m not a fan of champions losing on Raw, but this finish worked. This is actually a great way to create tension between Charlotte and Ric, because we know they can’t stick together forever.
Big Show vs Eric Rowan
There was nothing appealing about this match. What made matters worse was how Big Show won clean. Why couldn’t the Wyatt Family run in before this happened? It just makes them look weak when competing one on one. Even the post match beat down felt lackluster.
Titus O’Neil vs Tyler Breeze
Before this match could start, I knew the outcome. Regardless, I’d really like to see the WWE do something with Titus. He’s won many matches within the past few weeks, but does it mean anything unless they have plans for him?
Kevin Owens vs Dolph Ziggler
There’s no denying that these two are capable of putting on a great match. They’ve proved this countless times in the past. With that being said, the two competitors have wrestled each other too many times within the past two months. I couldn’t help but laugh when Cole referred to this as a “rivalry”. In my eyes, it’s been more of a mild dispute. The two put on a great match on this show, although I had a hard time buying into it, until the finish. Owens has taken every match between the two, so I was expecting the same result in this match. If the WWE is smart, they’ll book the rematch at Fastlane, and keep the two apart from each other.
Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks
Sasha cut a pretty solid promo, and I’m glad the WWE has confidence in her to be in the ring on her own.
This matchup is starting to make Owens vs Ziggler look fresh. The unfortunate part about this, is that they needed to Becky in order to execute the angle in the finish. Maybe they were teasing a Team BAE reunion .I must admit, the beat down from Tamina and Naomi was rather lame. At least they’ve separated Sasha from them.
Goldust/R-Truth Backstage Segment
These men are comedic gold. I’m begging that the WWE keeps these segments going.
The New Day vs Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose
The New Day proved that they belong in the main event, especially after the promo they cut before the match. I figured the comedy aspect of the night was over after the Goldust-Truth segment, but the New Day had to top it.
I really enjoyed how Reigns and Ambrose wrestled in the opening of the match. The two competed with determination and efficiency. At the same time, they didn’t make the New Day look weak. In fact, this match perfectly showcased how the New Day always gets the best of their opponents. Brock’s appearance was easily foreseen, however it was still exciting to see him in action. Overall, this was a great way to end a great show. I’m looking forward to how they create tension between Roman and Dean.
Going into this show, I didn’t know what to expect, and I honestly thought it would be a downgrade from last week. Instead, the show ended up being slightly better. Even though only one feud was progressed, this show was well structured, and contained many entertaining promos/matches. The low point was Big Show vs Rowan, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this episode of Raw a well earned 8.5/10.