This particular episode of Raw was stuck in a weird spot, as it occurred the night after Bound For Glory and WWE’s main focus will be on Smackdown/No Mercy this week. There were a few moments that stood out, but they could have definitely done more.
I had been so caught up with TNA and Smackdown, I had completely forgotten about Roman winning the US title. The long match he had last week also didn’t help, as it made both him and Rusev quite forgettable. Once him and Lana started arguing, I realized how this simply didn’t work as an opening segment. Nothing Lana said made this feud more interesting, and Rusev ambushing Roman didn’t further anything either. Overall, this is not a feud that should be concluded in a hell in a cell, because the intensity isn’t there.
Brian Kendrick vs TJ Perkins
I’m not sure about anybody else, but I had a difficult time investing myself back into this show. The opening segment just killed the mood, so it was up to Perkins and Kendrick to bring this episode back to life.
Very much like their last match, these two did an excellent job at putting on a show. In terms of in ring chemistry, their back and forth was extremely strong. It wasn’t until the end that I had realized this was a non title contest, because I actually thought we witnessed a switch on this show. While the match was strong, after it was over, it was pretty obvious that it didn’t need to be booked it. Kendrick could have very well won a number one contender’s match (against another opponent), and that way the champ wouldn’t have to tap.
Seth Rollins Interview
Ever since he’s become a babyface, we haven’t seen much from Seth in terms of character development. There wasn’t much to him other than him wanting to take the Universal title, but this interview made his intentions clearer. Every title feud should include at least one of these interviews, just to give it more depth.
Braun Strowman vs Chase Silver
When was the last time Braun Strowman made an appearance on Raw? It’s been quite some time, but he was used well on this show as we finally heard him speak about his current run. The beauty of his post match promo is that it now gives the fans a reason to be excited for next week.
JeriKO/New Day Promo
The promo from Owens was a bit lame at first, but only a mic worker such as himself and Jericho could quickly turn it around the way they did. The tease of Jericho asking for a title shot wasn’t done for long, but it felt more intense than anything else on this show. It only got better once the New Day came out. As of late, the tag champs have felt stale, but this promo seemed to have invigorate their image, at least for this show.
Sami Zayn vs Titus O’Neil
Could they have put together a less interesting match on this show? It was great to see Zayn get the win, but I couldn’t care less about the in ring action.
The Club vs Golden Truth
So Anderson & Gallows weren’t given an entrance, but the Golden Truth had one? Where’s the logic in that? It wasn’t consistent with the video package they aired before hand, which was based on how strong these two are. I know it’s a small detail, but sometimes details like that can make a difference. At the same time, having them destroy Golden Truth after they won was a great way to keep them looking strong and menacing.
JeriKO vs New Day
Why on earth did they put Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson on commentary? Kutcher was decent, but I could barely hear Masterson. If anything, it would have made more sense for them to be sitting at ringside, with Jericho talking smack to them every now and then.
With Rollins now being injured, I think this match acted as a great mini program for Owens. It accomplished something that Raw has been struggling with, and that’s intertwining different stories. Even when Rollins got involved, I still felt like I was watching a match with more depth in terms of content. While the match went longer than it should have, this turned out to be quite entertaining.
Tony Nese vs Rich Swann
If I’m being brutally honest, I really don’t care about the cruiserweight division right now. I’m not saying it’s a complete failure, because it’s too early to tell, but Raw’s booking committee just isn’t doing enough for the division to feel important. By now, I’d like to see some sort of rivalries formed, because having these filler matches isn’t doing anything. There weren’t too many stories during the CWC, but at least they were all working towards something.
Cesaro & Sheamus vs Local Talent
While their story is still young, I’m enjoying the combination of Cesaro & Sheamus. This odd couple pairing is truly working for both men, and we can only hope their program continues to grow. This reminds me of when Angle and Benoit teamed up with each other back in late 2002.
Charlotte vs Sasha Banks
There was a lot of bad stuff on this episode, but the video package prior to this match couldn’t be categorized as under that stuff. From the very start of this show the producers did an excellent job at pushing this as the main event. When it finally came around, it felt like a big deal.
My main gripe with this contest was the amount of commercial breaks. We saw one when Sasha came out, then right when the match started they cut to another one. I’m aware they have a certain amount of breaks they need to fill, but the timing of these almost took me out of it. These two are lucky their chemistry is strong enough to easily grab the attention of any viewer. Also, their ability to showcase their hatred towards one another is strong, so they match never became dull.
While Charlotte didn’t get all of it, her corkscrew moonsault was definitely the spot of the match. It made this crowd more hot than they already were, plus everything about it looked smooth. The mark in me very much wanted her to retain, especially after that spot, but this title switch needed to happen. Charlotte hasn’t been a bad champion, although they needed to do something big on Raw this week. After doing next to nothing for weeks, the fans needed to see something that was meaningful.
I’d definitely consider this episode to be an improvement over last week’s, but not by that much. We were given a few angles with substance, but this show still has to many filler moments. They have enough wrestlers to fill the three hours with story lines, however I don’t know why they can’t do that. The low point of the show was Zayn vs Titus, while the high point was the JeriKO/New Day promo. Overall, I give this episode a 5.5/10.