This wasn’t a bad Raw, but it wasn’t a great Raw. At most, I’d say it was mediocre. That’s mainly because this episode wasn’t well balanced.
There’s no hiding that Dean Ambrose is a great fit for hosting a talk show segment. The Ambrose Asylum was the perfect segment to open this show, and it happened to have the perfect guests. Based on the crowd, the WWE knew exactly who to present. Every superstar got the proper reaction, and it was a ton of fun to watch on television. Jericho and Owens were the standouts, as their promos were easily the strongest. I believe the segment ended very well, because we received some comic relief, along with some in ring action.
Sami Zayn vs Chris Jericho
The set up for this match was done perfectly. Both men were involved in the previous segment, which gave this match some context. These two have complete opposite personalities, and I think that could translate into an awesome singles feud one day. Y2J truly knew how to work this smarky crowd. Sami Zayn was the fan favourite, so Jericho took full advantage of that to generate jeers. We don’t see many eyes pokes these days, so I loved that Jericho used it to win the match. While the opening moved slow, the two found a way to make the finish intense. Overall, I believe this was a solid opener.
Enzo & Big Cass vs The Dudley Boyz
I’m shocked that they couldn’t hold this match off until Payback. The build up has been terrific, and I don’t think they needed to meet this soon. At the same time, I know the WWE likes to make their London shows feel special. Enzo isn’t the best worker on the main roster, but that was evident when he was wrestling Bubba or D-Von. Once again, Bubba was tremendous with his in ring trash talk. The spot of the match was D-Von giving Enzo a scoop slam and proceeding to tell the crowd that “you can’t teach that”. The in ring action wasn’t stellar, but the outcome was right. At the same time, I just feel Enzo and Cass are being pushed too fast.
Roman Reigns/AJ Styles Promo
I really wish Roman would keep his new slogan to a minimum. It sounds great, but it sounds rather lame when he uses it too often. However, he did handle to boos well. I thought AJ Styles was well spoken, as he kept his promo simple. Their interaction ended in an awkward way, because I don’t think Styles dropped any kind of significant line. The attack from Gallows and Anderson caught me off guard, and it was my mark out moment for the night. What made matters more interesting was that AJ wasn’t pleased with the attack.
Baron Corbin vs Fandango
I feel like I haven’t reviewed a Fandango match in quite some time. Some of my friends were watching Raw with me, and they expected this match to last around 5-10 minutes. I had to assure them it wouldn’t last longer than two. This match was perfect for furthering the Corbin-Ziggler feud. I actually can’t wait for their next singles contest.
Miz TV w/Cesaro
There’s no better way to garner heat than having a heel couple make out in the ring. What made this promo even better was Miz trying to recite the lines from Taken. In my opinion, Miz carried most of the promo. However, Cesaro made up for his weak mic skills by tearing off his suit and showing the crowd who his tag partners were going to be. The New Day’s entrance made me turn up the volume on my TV, simply because the crowd was excited to see them.
The New Day & Cesaro vs The Miz & The League of Nations
The New Day stole the show during this match. The crowd loved them, and it reflected in their performance. Other than Rusev, nobody from the League of Nations seemed relevant. In fact, their presence brought down the excitement of the match. This match went on too long. This was a contest where only the opening and finish were worth watching.
Natalya, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, & Paige vs Naomi, Charlotte, Tamina, & Summer Rae
We didn’t need to see two eight person tag matches in a row. That’s complete overkill. However, this match was properly used to further the Flair-Natty feud, something that the other eight man tag match didn’t accomplish. There seemed to be more tension between the competitors. The finish came at an appropriate time, and I was pleased with the finish. Watching Natty make Charlotte tap out makes their match at Payback more unpredictable.
The Usos vs The Vaudevillians
Again, there was too many tag matches in a row. I felt like they should have booked a singles match in between. This match ended a lot sooner than I had expected. I was convinced that the Usos would come out on top, but it’s great to see the WWE pushing their new call ups. I just don’t know what they’ll do with Enzo & Cass vs the Vaudevillians.
Apollo Crews vs Heath Slater
At least there was some context to this match. I expected this to end within seconds, but the two actually put on a solid show. While the outcome was predictable, I highly enjoyed the action the two these put on.
Kevin Owens vs Dean Ambrose
In past few months these two have had some memorable battles. From start to finish, these two lived up to their old feud. These men knew how important it was to be in the main event, so they made sure they didn’t disappoint. The announce team was also quite impressive during this match. I don’t normally compliment Cole and JBL, but sometimes they know what they’re saying. The spot of this match was Owens’ frog splash, which was executed outside of the ring. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that move executed in that way. The near falls towards the end were quite intense. I’ll admit, they had me marking out. Part of me expected this match to end in a no contest, but I’m glad there was a clean finish. There’s no better way to establish Dean as a strong character.
This show mainly focused on the upper midcarders of the WWE, which is something I don’t mind. However, the last hour of Raw was dragged out. The placement of these tag matches were poorly done. This show was too front heavy .The low point of the show was the Miz & the League Nations vs Cesaro & the New Day, while the high point was the opening segment. Overall, I give this show a 6/10.