Last week, the WWE laid the ground for some new and exciting storylines. Well, all stories are exciting when they first start. This episode of Raw was the test to see how interesting they remained.
Let’s just pretend that Shane never wrestled the Undertaker at Mania. I know it’s a massive plot hole, but I’m willing to overlook it at this point. Aside from this mess up, I found Shane’s promo to be very refreshing. It’s been quite sometime since we’ve seen an impartial authority figure in the WWE. By simply announcing the card for the show, I was hooked. I do feel like he could have gone without having an altercation with Kevin Owens. That put him on the side of a babyface authority figure, and believe he should remain strictly neutral.
Kevin Owens vs Cesaro
Was anybody else 100% convinced that Zack Ryder would get another chance against the Miz? Well, that just shows the fans that Ryder winning at Mania was done for the sake of a swerving everyone.
I very much liked how Cesaro was presented on this show. Shane made him look like a big deal, and so did Owens by his reaction on facing him. Even throughout the match, Cesaro looked like a beast. He came in with a bad shoulder, but he still looked strong. I personally enjoyed how he was never made out to be an underdog. The match itself was a solid opener, as there was enough to keep this crowd hot. Normally a match like this could main event Raw, but it was used well on this show. The spot of the match was Cesaro’s use of his finisher. He realized there wasn’t much time to make it flashy, so he simply executed it to pick up the win.
Dr. Phil/Charlotte Segment
Okay, I got a few laughs out this backstage skit. I thought it was best way to use a celebrity such as Dr.Phil.
The New Day Promo
There was more to this promo other than the New Day being funny. While they did run down the tag division, it also came across as a bigger deal. When was the last time there was any sort of importance put on that division? I thought this was a much better way to create a new number one contender, rather than just having someone interrupt/ambush the New Day.
The Lucha Dragons vs Dudley Boyz
I found this to be quite unpredictable. With that being said, the Dudleys won pretty convincingly. I’m not sure if Kalisto suffered a legitimate injury, because if it was just an angle, I thought it was very well executed.
Enzo & Cass cut another good promo after the match was done. However, this time the Dudleys were able to come back at them, and I thought they were also exceptional.
Roman Reigns/Leauge of Nations/Wyatts Promo
Roman was pretty good, but he could have gone without calling Rusev the “ass of the WWE”. That was a weak joke to say the least. I could have never pictured the Wyatts as babyfaces, but I like it, a lot. It’s completely different, and refreshing. Bray Wyatt teaming up with Roman was out of left field, although it made matters more interesting. Also, it gives people a reason to continue watching.
Charlotte vs Natalya
These two have undeniable chemistry, and I was surprised they booked this match for an episode of Raw. Within the past few weeks, they’ve wrestled quite a few times, so I wasn’t too excited. Somehow though, the WWE found a way to still make this match interesting. I can’t say that’s the case for most matches that are often repeated. The in ring work was decent at best. The match was perfect for making Charlotte a bigger heel though. The last few minutes were intense, mainly because the title was on the line. Honestly, I loved that Dusty finish. At least Natalya has a win over Charlotte, which makes their inevitable rematch much more intriguing.
The Usos vs The Social Outcasts
On any other show, this would just be a throwaway match, which would only make the Usos look strong. The tag tournament changed that, at least for one night.The outcome was still predictable, although it made everything more meaningful.
Wow. I knew that Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson were backstage at Raw, but I didn’t anticipate them debuting on this show. I don’t think anybody saw that coming. The Usos were probably the perfect victims of their first attack.
AJ Styles vs Sami Zayn
For any of those that have followed the careers of these two, this match was a huge deal. I don’t believe the two have ever wrestled a one on one match. This should have been booked as the main event though. It had the highest stakes on the entire show, and Roman could have made an appearance after it was over. The match started off slow, but that wasn’t an issue, as the two were building a pace. AJ’s dropkick was a thing of beauty. It was stiff, which was probably the reason it looked so realistic. As much as I love Styles, it was difficult to not cheer for Sami. He does such a great job at playing the underdog, so it’s only fair that the crowd gets behind him. In fact, those series of near falls in favour of Zayn had my heart racing. Styles was the man that went over, but that didn’t mean Zayn looked weak. By losing this match, he’s never looked stronger on the main roster. I’m glad we this match didn’t end with some sort of Owens interference.
The Highlight Reel/Ambrose Asylum
I got a good chuckle out of Jericho being his own guest. That line caught me off guard. He actually went on to interview himself, which was amazing. Jericho is still in touch with the audience, as he truly knows how to generate real heat. Dean Ambrose was perfect for comic relief, however Y2J was much needed to keep the tone somewhat serious. I can’t wait until this becomes more intense, as the two still haven’t exchanged their best shots over the mic.
Apollo Crews vs Adam Rose
After everything that had happened on this show, this match was needed as a buffer. It was the only part of Raw that didn’t carry any significance, which was fine by me.
Bray Wyatt & Roman Reigns vs The League of Nations
Honestly, the only interest I had in this match was watching Wyatt and Roman team up. In no way did I care about the League of Nations. The Social Outcasts could have been in their position, and I would have cared the same amount. Bray’s giving his character a new look was refreshing. The dreads suit him well, and make him look threatening. Bray’s hot tag was the spot of the match. He executed it so well and with a lot of intensity. The actual match wasn’t so bad, I was just drained from the rest of the show.
I didn’t think they could do it, but the WWE managed to keep the action going. Actually, this show might have carried more significance than last week’s. Just about every segment had purpose. To my surprise, they also used Dr.Phil properly on this episode. While this was a jack packed show, it’s another indication to me on how exhausting three hours can be. When the action is non stop, the viewers at home can easily become burnt out. The low point of the show was the main event, while the high point was Zayn vs Styles. Overall, I give this episode an 8/10.