Within the past few weeks, many fans have been vocal about the low quality episodes of Raw, and how they haven’t been able to keep up with Smackdown. Well, this week Raw finally stepped up and delivered a good episode.
The back and forth between Seth and Kevin was absolutely brilliant; these two have excellent chemistry. The two actually carried the segment, and it was only smart to allow them to do that. I’m shocked we haven’t seen them interact with each other more often.
With all the funny one liners that were being thrown around by the two heels, the funniest line was from Big Cass, where he eluded to Seth’s nude picture that was leaked onto the internet a year ago. Along with that, Reigns was more effective as someone that didn’t talk but instead as someone that initiated the action.
Neville vs Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho’s pre-match promo was truly the highlight of this match. He brought that same intensity to this contest. Even though he’s in the twilight of his career, he knows how to make the most of everything. Actually his fear of wrestling Neville at times made the high flyer look much more threatening.
Both Neville and Jericho have proven to have chemistry, and they showcased that once again during this match. It had a great flow which was complimented with an entertaining story. I thought Y2J would to have cheat to win, so I was pleasantly surprised that he won clean.
Nia Jax vs Local Competitor
It’s been two weeks since we last saw Nia on Raw, so her squash match was quite refreshing.
Sami Zayn vs Jinder Mahal
Sami doesn’t have anything going on right now, but I like how he still has his own story line with his injured ankle. Even though he’s not involved in a feud, a small plot line such as this makes his character look stronger. The actual match wasn’t anything special, but it was a smart way to at least get Zayn on the show.
The Club & Dana Brooke vs The New Day & Bayley
Both Dana and Bayley were natural fits for their respective teams. I thought Dana especially looked great with the Club, and I think she’d actually make a great valet/manager for them.
The in ring action between the two teams was perfect. Instead of focusing on the wrestling aspect, they focused on the drama. We’re going to be seeing a similar match at Clash of Champions, so I can’t say work rate was something they need to focus on for furthering this feud.
Also, Corey Graves gave us the line of the night during this match which was “she’s also a registered nurse.” The tone of his voice and the delivery was excellent, and it had me laughing for a few minutes.
Sheamus vs Cesaro (Best of Seven Series)
Honestly, I couldn’t care less about this match or the feud. It doesn’t feel important, and the two just don’t have enough chemistry to keep it entertaining. The work rate between them was strong, but that goes to show how important story telling is.
Americo vs Braun Strowman
Out of all the squash matches we’ve seen from Strowman, this was easily the best on, in terms of intensity. Braun looked faster and more comfortable than he did in the past.
Stephanie McMahon/Paul Heyman Promo
Paul Heyman was absolutely terrific in this promo, and I’m glad Stephanie didn’t spend this time trying to talk over him. However, this promo went on for too long, and they missed a chance to create more substance for this upcoming Shane vs Brock feud.
Titus O’Neil vs Darren Young
I thought this had potential to be an entertaining lower card feud, but the WWE has completely mishandled it. Neither of the characters don’t seem to have clear intentions, and the match itself was incredibly boring. Based on the tempo of the action, there was no sense in Darren winning. I know they explored a “fluke” gimmick for him when he first returned, but he hasn’t used it since he won that battle royal back in July.
Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns vs Big Cass
If showed the entrances to someone that’s never watched wrestling, based on the crowd reactions they’d probably think Roman was a mega heel facing off against three babyfaces.
Going into this match, I’d say Cass was pretty much an afterthought. He’s nowhere near the status of the other three, but throughout this show and the match, he worked hard to make sure he was noticed. The New York native received prominent moments with the other three, and that allowed for him to look like a real threat.
I thought the first three minutes were quite slow, but after that, the intensity never died down. The fast pace style that was worked gave the audience an idea of how important the Universal title is to these men. That type of pace is also a specialty for Reigns, Rollins, and Owens, so I shouldn’t have expected anything less from them. Those three had me pulling on my hair for the last 10 minutes. Just about everything they did was done seamlessly, and at no point did it feel predictable.
Out of everything thing that could have happened, Triple H showing up to cost Rollins and Reigns the match was the last thing I would predict. I thought it was an amazing way to end the show. This accomplishes a few things, some of which include:
- Turning Seth into a babyface
- Taking a chance with someone new, Kevin Owens
- Gives the fans a chance to mark out to a returning Triple H and KO winning.
Compared to last week, this episode of Raw was a major improvement. In all fairness, they did a have a full week to rewrite the main event scene, and I applaud them for doing such a good job with it. Did anybody notice how this show felt shorter? It was still a three hour show, I just felt like they didn’t have as much as they normally do. The low point of the show was Titus vs Young, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this show an 8/10.