It upsets me that the WWE couldn’t properly follow up a good PPV. This episode in particular felt like it was written on the fly.
The mark in me was cheering for Seth at Summerslam, but I was still looking forward Finn Balor’s reign as champion. There was so much hype around his call up, and it’s a shame that he couldn’t ride that momentum. Fans know how hard Finn has worked to get to the top, and I’m sure most of us feel bad for him.
After Balor relinquished the title, I really wish they just handed it to Seth. The show is starting to feel bland with no real champion, and I’ve gotten sick of this tournament style chase. Within a span of 10 months, we’ve already seen three different tournaments for the top title.
Seth Rollins vs Sami Zayn
Could they not have given Seth another opponent? I know him and Zayn have amazing chemistry together, but we’ve seen this match several times within the past few months.
This contest became a lot more interesting when Zayn appeared to have rolled his ankle. It was difficult to tell if he actually hurt himself or if he was just selling, however I’ll lean towards the idea of it being a work. That moment alone gave this match some much needed drama, and it completely worked. It allowed for Sami to look like the underdog, which he’s excellent at playing. I’m sure most of us knew Seth would win, but they did a good job at distracting us from that with the injury angle.
Kevin Owens vs Neville
In terms of work rate, this match was awesome. These two have met several times in the past, and they never fail to disappoint. It’s like watching the ultimate good guy vs the biggest jerk in the locker room.
Initially I wasn’t a fan of Jericho being ring side, because it showed how KO couldn’t win on his own. That mind set changed as I realized they didn’t want Neville to lose clean. To me, that’s a sign that they still want him to look strong moving forward.
Was it so hard for them to announce the fatal four way for next week in the opening segment. That way we’d know there were only going to be four qualifying matches, instead of being confused for a full hour into Raw. Something’s telling me they may have just thought of that half way through Neville vs Owens.
The New Day/The Club Promo
I can’t say I cared for the New Day’s celebration, and for some reason the segment felt quite stale. That’s not something I normally say about the trio, but this segment didn’t click.
One thing I enjoyed about this promo was how the Club came out and took their opponents more seriously. It only made sense for them to be upset, because they were screwed over the night before.
Karl Anderson vs Big E
Wow, they couldn’t think of a better way to kill them momentum of the Club’s promo. What exactly was the point of Anderson losing clean to Big E? It didn’t accomplish anything, other than making the challengers to the tag team titles look like a joke. I was optimistic about this feud on Sunday night, but this match killed a lot of that. In no way does the Club look like a threat to the New Day.
Titus O’Neil Promo
Did Titus not practice his promo, because it didn’t sound like he did. This segment died a horrible death, as it just fell flat and the fans in attendance let Titus know that. Also, he went for a way too long. Whoever decided to have this promo on the show should be fired. Something like this would have been better saved as a backstage interview.
Brock Lesnar/Randy Orton Video Package
This video package was great, and I believe it delivered the message they wanted it to. After seeing Lesanr F5 Shane, it’s clear they want his character to be the unhinged monster heel. That’s something I can get behind, because it reignites the excitement of Brock.
What I absolutely hated about this segment as a whole, was the interview segment that followed it. What was the purpose of interviewing Stephanie if all she was going to say was “there will be repercussions”.
Big Cass vs Rusev
Big Cass and Enzo lost last night, so why would Cass deserve a shot at qualifying for that fatal four way? Him being in this match, completely took me out of it. In fact, the only highlight was Rusev delivering a kick to Enzo. That was funny because of how random it was.
If you were to tell me that Big Cass would be one match away from becoming the Universal Champion by the end of Raw, I’d assume you were telling me about some absurd fantasy booking.
Charlotte Promo/Bayley Debut
Up to this point of the show, Charlotte was the saving grace. Her promo was excellent, as it proved that she knows how to be one of the top heels in the company. This promo in particular was a lot smoother and I’d go as far as saying it was her best one yet.
Regardless of how predictable Bayley’s debut was, I still marked out, because it meant she’s finally on the main roster. I was also taken back by how fluid she sounded on the mic. We know that’s not her strength, but it didn’t look like her weakness.
Side Note: If you can, watch this segment again, and pay attention to Dana Brooke. She didn’t speak at all, yet her mannerisms were amazing.
Bayley vs Dana Brooke
Luckily for Bayley, this entire crowd knew of her from NXT. It helped, because it allowed for her to feel like a big deal to all the casual fans.
For those of you that don’t know, Bayley is essentially the underdog in all of her matches, and they showcased that very well throughout this match. Along with that, it allowed for Dana to look strong, which isn’t something we’ve seen a lot of.
I can thoroughly say I enjoyed Bayley’s first match on Raw. She did such a brilliant job at giving the audience a glimpse of her character, while putting forth a good match.
Johnny Knockout vs Braun Strowman
I don’t know what to say about Knockout’s pre-match comments. Was that supposed to be funny? Braun Strowman’s matches have been a highlight of Raw within the past few weeks, but I can’t say that for this episode. His odd opponent completely ruined it.
The Dudleys Say Goodbye
I had to watch this segment from start to finish just to make sure if it was real or a work. Well, once it was over, I still didn’t know. So many outside interferences occurred, and it was tough to tell. Regardless of what it was, I thought it turned out to be a strong segment. The Dudleys were able to receive one last pop from beating down the Shining Stars, and the Club was able to gain some of their heat back by ruining everything.
Chris Jericho vs Roman Reigns
Considering how terrible this show was, I need to give this crowd credit, because they still managed to stay alive for this contest. Even though they did spend the entire match booing Reigns, at least they cared to do that much.
Match wise, everything about this was pretty fluid. Jericho especially made it entertaining through his facial reactions and trash talking. I actually considered this to be unpredictable. Yes, you could say Roman winning was obvious, but you had to take outside interference into consideration. His story with Rusev wasn’t properly concluded and Owens was going to help out Y2J. I genuinely thought Jericho had a chance.
I like to think I’m a very optimistic fan, and I hardly ever view the product in such a negative way. Well, I’m not holding back any punches, because this show was garbage. This could have been the worst episode of Raw I’ve seen in quite some time. Everything was a low point, except Bayley’s debut/Charlotte’s promo, which was the high point. Overall, I give this show 3/10 (I’d give it a 0/10 if it weren’t for the women’s segment).