While I didn’t review last week’s episode of Raw, I did get a chance to watch it later, and I thought it was pretty bad. After watching this show, it seems like the writers were keen on rebounding from it.
At one point in time, Charlotte’s alliance with Dana didn’t feel the most natural, but the back and forth between them in this segment was quite entertaining. As a fan, it allowed for me to sympathize with Brooke, and dislike Charlotte. The whole segment was paced out perfectly, because once the others made their way out, we forgot Dana was there. Once Charlotte turned her attention back to her apprentice, the slap from Dana caught me off guard. I’d actually categorize it as an “OH SH*T!” moment.
In terms of facial expressions and attitude, Bayley worked this promo perfectly. We all know her character is a combination of energetic and shy, which I thought was conveyed well here.
Dana Brooke vs Sasha Banks vs Bayley
This match was a lot more than just finding a number one contender, it was representation of how Charlotte does not have anymore friends left in the locker room. That’s actually why it was a greta idea to keep Charlotte on commentary. With Dana’s addition into this match, it allowed for her to look more credible and threatening. It also made the contest more unpredictable, as she was considered a strong wild card.
The overall action was exciting. There wasn’t really a moment where the work rate and pace felt bland. The three did a brilliant job at working some hard hitting spots, and I applaud how intense they made the last few minutes. Based on the type of pin Sasha got on Bayley, I’m surprised it wasn’t counted as a double cover. Regardless of that, I very much prefer how the WWE chose this route instead giving Sasha a rematch, or squashing Dana for the 11th time.
Bo Dallas vs Local Competitor
Since I didn’t write a review on Raw last week, I’ll take this time to mention how this is a great use of Bo Dallas. It’s also a good use of someone that wasn’t doing anything on a three hour show. Now that he’s working squash matches, I’d love to see this lead to him being squashed by Braun Strowman.
Highlight Reel w/Sami Zayn
The highlight of this show was Jericho’s introduction of Sami Zayn. Y2J announcing Sami’s name while he was laying on the floor was a great display of his hatred towards his guest. The first half of this segment was mediocre at best, but it lead into a strong promo from Zayn and a crafty ambush from Jericho. Also, I don’t think we’ve ever seen someone use their cell phone as a weapon.
Cesaro vs Sheamus
With Cesaro picking up a win in London, I’m 100% certain this go to match seven. After not caring about the series, I’ve become sightly intrigued. At this point, I’m very interested in knowing if they’ll go through with Cesaro winning with a reverse sweep (winning four matches straight). It would do wonders for his status, but it would send Sheamus even further down the card. The bookers have truly put both of these men in a fascinating situation.
Nia Jax vs Alicia Fox
It was smart of them to finally utilize Alicia on Raw, especially against Nia. Both of them have been in need of something significant, and I believe this sufficed. It also gave us a great spot, which was Jax spearing Fox straight through the barricade. I don’t care how many times we’ve seen that, it’s always a great visual when done right.
New Day Promo
I’m glad the New Day took the time to address how terrible last week’s “Old Day” promo was. That doesn’t mean this segment was any better, and that may tribute to how stale the New Day’s schtick has become. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy them, but maybe it’s time for them to change something.
New Day vs The Club
Why was this match even on the show? We’re getting the same thing at Clash of Champions in two weeks. I would have preferred if this was just a beat down, or singles match. This was just impossible to get into, and I’m convinced this feud needs to end immediately. It also didn’t help that this contest went on longer than it should have.
Jinder Mahal vs Jack Swagger
As someone that comes from an Indian background, I found Jinder’s promo to be incredibly lame. Initially I was convinced this would be nothing more than a filler match, where the American wrestler would save the fans from the wrestler speaking another language, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, I was impressed they booked Jinder to win, as it gave this spot some meaning.
Enzo Amore vs Epico
I’m surprised they would place this match immediately after Swagger vs Mahal. While they did build context out of both matches, I feel as if they shouldn’t have been put back to back considering how both of them are lower card feuds. Apart from that, I truly agreed with the finish as it gives the Shining Stars to look good once again.
Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns
I can’t recall if these two have faced each other in a singles match on television, but every time they’ve interacted in other types of matches (tag teams, triple threats, fatal four ways, etc.) their chemistry has been magnificent. Right from the start, they proved that to be true, because this was an action packed match all throughout. These two are at their best when they work a brawling style, and that’s exactly what they did.
I usually find that television main events usually lose momentum after a commercial break, but that wasn’t the case for this one. These two had such a strong back and forth, that everything they did was seamless. The interference from Rollins caught me off guard, because it made his character seem slightly stupid. He didn’t know that Foley would restart the match, so why would he want to ruin his chances for the title?
Once they reset the match, Roman and Owens started from where they left off. The fisherman’s suplex from the top rope was easily the top highlight, as it was executed with absolute ease. Rusev’s been out of the picture for a few weeks now, so choosing this moment for him to return was smart. I’m sure I can’t be the only one that didn’t predict him interfering. At no point were they going to allow this to end cleanly, so I thought they did a great job at presenting what they did.
After the gong show we saw last week, the WWE could have easily continued to spin out of control with Raw, but they didn’t. In fact, most of the show delivered quality story telling, and it was quite enjoyable. The low point was the New Day vs the Club, while the high point was the main event. Overall, I give this episode an 8/10.