Raw

Raw Rollup – “Abominable Strowman” Edition (Oct.19)

Credit: WWE.com
Credit: WWE.com

Ever since last week’s episode of Raw, fans have been looking forward to this one because of Goldberg’s return. Based on how everything played out, it also appears the WWE only cared about the return, as not much else mattered.

Opening Segment

For some reason, it feels like Raw doesn’t open the show with pyro that often. I believe that adds to the experience, whether you’re watching it in person or at home. It allows for the show to feel grand, even though it’s on once a week.

Chris Jericho is starting to outshine Kevin Owens, and it’s becoming extremely obvious. KO is still cuts solid promos, but he’s starting to sound repetitive. His promo from last week was identical to the one on this show. Y2J is still using many of the same lines, however they tend to resonate with the fans. The tease of the two having issues was executed flawlessly, and I’m sure they worked most of the audience like silly putty. It was amazing how they were able to quickly turn it around and showcase the strength of their friendship.

Seth Rollins was absolutely terrible in this segment. His presence was pointless, and his promo came across as highly scripted. Sparkle crotch? Seriously? That was easily the worst insult he’s ever spit out at an opponent. Funny enough, Seth did manage to get this over with the live crowd, so it just goes to show how subjective pro wrestling can be.

Chris Jericho vs Seth Rollins

So last week’s main event becomes this week’s opener? The chemistry between the two is strong, but seeing this match two weeks in a row somewhat ruins it.With that being said, I found myself pulling for Chris Jericho, because his character was intent on accomplishing something without cheating. Since they are teasing a break up between him and Owens, this worked in babyfacing him for the audience.

The finish was highly predictable, but it worked better for the Jericho-Owens angle than it did for the title feud. Similar to the opening segment, Rollins was the third wheel. Hell in a Cell is only two weeks away, and it’s important that they make the main title feud feel more relevant.

Charlotte/Lita Interview

Could these questions have been more one sided? It was blatantly obvious Lita had to twist the actual narrative to make Charlotte look like a cheater. I don’t understand how she even questioned Charlotte’s win at Summerslam, it was 100% clean. Based on Flair’s personality, she doesn’t need anything else to make her seem more evil.

Golden Truth & Mark Henry vs The Shining Stars & Titus O’Neil

For this week, I thought this six man tag worked well as a filler match. Obviously nothing important was going to come out of it, but it was still somewhat entertaining. Along with that, it was given an appropriate amount of time.

Big E vs Sheamus 

Sheamus and Cesaro are now the lovable odd couple, which has allowed for the New Day to gain an edge in their personality. Their pre-match promo sounded more obnoxious than normal, and that was refreshing.

To my surprise, this turned out to be a solid match. Have the two ever wrestled in the past? Their styles blended well, and the pace was faster than I expected. Xavier and his trombone also deserve credit for making this match entertaining. My only gripe with this contest was Sheamus overreacting to Cesaro’s antics outside of the ring. At one point he went out of his way to confront his partner, which was unnecessary. Kayfabe wise, wouldn’t Sheamus expect Cesaro to do something like that?

Bo Dallas vs Neville

It would’ve made more sense for Axel to wrestle Neville. This way, Neville could’ve won, which would trigger Dallas into attacking his friend afterwards. I guess that would just make too much sense. The match that was presented didn’t do anything for Neville, but it made Bo Dallas look stronger than ever. There’s nothing wrong with boosting the status of Bo, but why bring down Neville in that process?

Dana Brooke vs Bayley

For the most part, the two put on a decent match but Corey Graves was the highlight. Him saying “maybe I don’t understand Bayley because I’m not an eight year old girl” had me laughing violently. The finish was somewhat odd, and it was probably a botch, although the overall decision for Dana to win was smart. It officially gives Dana more credibility before they have another match at Hell in a Cell.

Braun Strowman vs The Mile High Trio

The entire match was a typical Strowman squash match, which was a lot of fun to watch. In terms of the highlight, that didn’t come until Strowman demanded better competition. Once Zayn answered his challenge, this live crowd marked out, and so did I. Who knows how this feud will turn out, but it’s always fun to see the start of a fresh program.

Rusev/Lana Promo

This segment was as boring as going to someone’s house and looking through their old photo albums. Initially it was great to hear Roman’s music, but his promo didn’t help. However, it was funny to hear Rusev say “Hey! You can disrespect my family, but you can’t disrespect me”.

Karl Anderson vs Big Cass

The WWE seems to be confused on how they feel about Anderson & Gallows. One week they’ll come across as monsters, and the next week they’ll be booked as a joke. There’s nothing wrong with Cass winning, but why did Anderson need to be squashed?

Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, & Brian Kendrick vs TJ Perkins, Cedric Alexander, & Rich Swann

So far NXT has done a better job with Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander. This makes me wonder why they’re even on the Raw roster. At least on NXT both of them have been given a purpose.

Nothing about this six man tag made the title feud feel important, and it mainly felt like a filler match. There’s nothing wrong with filler matches, but they just shouldn’t include wrestlers from a top end feud. Also, with the other men not being involved in any programs they just look like extra bodies.

Goldberg Returns

If I’m being honest, I didn’t care to see Goldberg at first, but once his music hit I marked out. It was great to hear the crowd chant his name, and he loved every bit of it. Oddly enough, for a man who’s been promoting the latest video game, I didn’t think he’d mix up the name of it. Jokes aside, his promo was quite solid because it felt extremely natural. He actually came across as a likeable person. Never did I think he’d come out and show the fans as much love as he did. Seeing him tear up reminded me that the wrestlers still appreciate us just as much as the fans appreciate them. Overall, I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better return.

When it comes to him facing Lesnar, I believe the build will be strong. A lot of fans online were skeptical, but after seeing the reaction Goldberg received, I don’t think that’ll be the case. As fans, we should soak this up for now instead of worrying about the end result.

Conclusion

All I can say about this show is that it lacked consistency, and put forth subpar storytelling. Apart from Goldberg’s return and three other moments, there wasn’t a lot to this show. Considering how Hell in a Cell is only two weeks away, there doesn’t seem to be any urgency on the WWE’s part. In fact, I’m sure fans are already looking past that PPV and thinking strictly about Survivor Series. The low point of the show was the Rusev-Roman promo, while the high point was Goldberg’s return. Overall, this episode receives a 4.5/10.

 

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