We’ve finally hit the go home show for Raw. It’s been bumpy ride, and it showed on this episode. All I can say is that Summerslam 2016 should be amazing.
There was no way better way to open the show. Taker’s gong is always guaranteed to get the crowd excited, and it’s an indication that something important will happen. He was extremely over with Brooklyn. Shane McMahon also came out to a good pop, just not as big as the deadman’s. Is there a babyface or heel in this program? The crowd was spilt on both competitors. They’re definitely pushing Shane as the favorite to win on Sunday. After that awesome table spot, Taker looks more like an underdog.
Zack Ryder vs Chris Jericho
Should Jericho have been disqualified after hitting Ryder with JBL’s cowboy hat? Nonetheless, I liked how this match was booked. It made Ryder look credible in front of his hometown, while heavily pushing Jericho-Styles for Mania. Y2J was incredible at selling his anger with AJ and insulting his career.
Charlotte vs Becky Lynch
Considering Sasha’s noted success in the Barclay’s Center, maybe it would have been better for her to wrestle Charlotte on Raw instead of Smackdown. The commercial break was terribly placed in the match. It definitely took me out of the show because it was so long. It seems to me they used the commercial to rebuild the announce table. I agreed with the finish, as it made Becky the more sympathetic character in the feud. However, nothing was advanced from this contest. Which made me scratch my head.
Kane & Big Show vs The Social Outcasts
Honestly, there wasn’t a moment where I was invested in this match/brawl. I understand why it’s done, but it just doesn’t feel important. Where was Bray Wyatt?
Triple H Promo
Hunter was well spoken in his promo. Oddly enough, his motive to get back in the ring was rather babyface-esque. Of course, he still sprinkled it with enough heel words. Who told Stephanie it would be a good idea to talk down about the rest of the Mania card? She completely no-sold most of the event. Reigns’ run in was flat. Coming out to a chorus of boos didn’t make Roman look good at all.
Alberto Del Rio vs Kofi Kingston
Compared to their last few Raw promos, the New Day held back on this one. With that being said, these two teams have been in so many singles matches, that I wouldn’t have minded a promo battle.
The highlight of this match was Xavier Woods. His taunting is what got me through most of this contest. I thought the wrestling aspect didn’t quite pick up until the end. The appearance from Johnathan Coachman was a pleasant surprise. While he was only there to plug Sportscenter, his timing with the New Day was perfect.
Roman Reigns/Triple H/Dudley Boyz Backstage Segment
Bubba was perfect in this promo. I really hope the WWE continues to let him speak. The only thing I took from this was how simple minded Reigns came across. Bubba was standing a few feet away from him, and asked him to come closer. Of course this was a trap! Why didn’t the Dudleys and Triple H just ambush him from behind?
Kalisto vs Viktor
This was no more than a squash match. It was great to see Kalisto on his own. I think a physical altercation between Ryback and Kalisto was needed. There hasn’t been much build up, so a mini brawl would have worked well.
Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar Promo
Based on how well this feud has been booked, I expected something more from Paul Heyman. He’s great on the mic, however his promos have begun to sound the same. I also expected more from Ambrose, other than just collecting weapons. Out of the three main feuds, this one was booked the worst on this show.
Emma vs Paige
These two have had great battles back in NXT, so it was awesome to see them compete on a larger stage. This wasn’t as strong as their previous encounters, but I was happy with Emma picking up the win. I didn’t foresee Eva Marie coming out to help the “Total Divas”. In fact, I don’t think anybody did. Why bring her in as babyface? That decision made no sense whatsoever. Let’s just hope this call up is temporary.
Stardust, Kevin Owens, & The Miz vs Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, & Sin Cara
After the last few matches and segments, I was completely drained from this show. With many internet favorites participating in this six man tag, I thought it would reignite this Brooklyn crowd. Turns out it did, but in the worst possible way. Based on how the match went, the WWE even had trouble booking something this simple. It became obvious that the crowd was getting tired of this contest, as it was too long. They had every right to chant random things .I was completely shocked that this match had two different commercial breaks. Even though Owens wrestled the least, he was the stand out. He stayed true to his character by avoiding any kind of tag in, and it was hilarious. Also, he was the only one that received any kind of positive reaction.
For a closing segment to a go home show, this was a complete mess. It was way too crowded for its own good. Why were the other superstars pulling them apart here, but never in their other brawls? The extra roster members made it their worst brawl ever.
I went into this show highly excited, and it did nothing but suck the energy out of me. Did they book the show earlier in the day? They were lucky to have a great crowd, and then they couldn’t create anything intriguing. Of course I’ll be watching Mania, but this didn’t help at all in terms of generating excitement. The low point was the Heyman-Ambrose promo, while the high point was Shane’s leap of faith onto the Undertaker. Overall, I give this show a 3.9/10.