Once HIAC was over, this episode of Raw was surrounded by optimism. Most of the top feuds were over, and that gave every wrestler a chance to explore something new. Well, thankfully this show was able to follow through and it gave the fans a lot to talk about.
There was no better way to open this show than by having Goldberg cut a promo. That shows the viewers that the writing staff is eager to start building towards Survivor Series immediately. His promo wasn’t anything special, but Paul Heyman truly made this segment feel eventful. He heavily teased that Brock was in the arena, and it was done perfectly. Just like the fans in attendance, I was convinced we were going to see a Lesnar-Goldberg brawl.
This segment continued to get better as Rusev made his way out and acted as the perfect heel to annoy Goldberg. The Bulgarian Brute is one of the few heels on the current roster that works well in situations like this. Everything he said only made the jackhammer and spear from Goldberg more satisfying.
Luke Gallows vs Enzo Amore
Like I said in my review of Impact last week, I’m a sucker for Halloween specials. It was awesome how most of the wrestlers decided to dress up as something. Also, I don’t care what people say, trick or street fights are a ton of fun.
Initially I thought they could’ve used this match stipulation for another feud, but these two made the most of it.I didn’t care about seeing a technical masterpiece, I wanted to see these two go crazy with weapons and Halloween decorations, which they did. Just about everything was executed smoothly, until Cass tried to put the pumpkin on Gallows’ head. Apart from that, this was an excellent way to start off the wrestling component of the show.
TJ Perkins vs Brian Kendrick
Brian Kendrick cut an amazing promo before this match started. The more we see of him on mic, the more I’ve began to appreciate his work. His promo was filled with substance, and him mentioning “a plan” showed us this wasn’t going to be a serious rematch.
In true heel fashion, Kendrick had the right plan for getting himself out of this match and keeping his title. In that sense, he was a man of his word. I truly wouldn’t mind seeing him do this another two or three times before Survivor Series.
Mick Foley/Chris Jericho/Kevin Owens/Roman Reigns Promo
What is it to Foley is Jericho interfered in the Owens vs Rollins cell match? Him stating that he had a bad taste in his mouth made out to look like an idiot. The first half of this promo would’ve flown smoother if Mick cut straight to the point about the Survivor Series match. While this segment was about so much more, Jericho absolutely stole the spotlight with the “key of Jericho” line and his argument with Roman about costumes.
Survivor Series Battle Royal
With Strowman being the main focus heading into this match, it made everything more interesting. It was also well placed in this particular episode of Raw. Sometimes watching multiple singles matches can get a tad bit boring.
The very last spot between Zayn and Strowman was executed extremely well, and it very well may have been the most intense part of the show. Hearing the crowd pop for Zayn when he was close to eliminating Braun shows that he deserves more screen time.
Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado, & Rich Swann vs Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, & Ariya Daivari
After an a fun backstage segment with the New Day, I knew this would be the one part of the show where I’d zone out. Didn’t this match just occur on the pre show of HIAC? Did anybody care for it then? No part of me had any desire to see this contest.
Sometimes Charlotte receives criticism on speaking too loud in her promos, but she proved that she is much more than that in this segment. Her slow and quiet tone made this to be an affective promo, considering what she just did. With that being said, the back and forth between her and Bayley was rather weak. It went on for too long and that made some of their lines sound forced.
Bayley vs Nia Jax
The last time these two wrestled was in NXT, where Nia came out victorious. Before that was at Takeover:London, where Bayley won. In my mind, this was the long awaited match to break that tie on who’s better. Jokes aside, it was great to see Nia back in action. She’s been absent, but her presence on this show was a breath of fresh air. Say what you want about her work rate, but Jax is needed now more than ever in this shallow division.
For the most part, this turned out to be a smooth contest, and it told a good story. Not only was it about Nia’s dominance, it was also about Bayley being set up to lose by Charlotte. I’m not sure if Bayley will make the Survivor Series team, but this worked by getting her sympathy from the fans.
Shining Stars vs Cesaro & Sheamus
It was necessary the Sheamus and Cesaro were present on this show as a tag team, however this match was pretty boring. While it wasn’t very eventful, the finish looked badass, and it kept the odd couple tag team looking strong.
Roman Reigns vs Chris Jericho
I’m not sure how many people thought Jericho actually had a chance against Roman, but after the interaction they had earlier in the show, I was all on board. Plus, they’ve proven in the past that they could put forth a solid match, so there was no reason to be negative towards this main event.
The back and forth was strong enough to keep me hooked for most of the match. Due to how even the pace was, there were moments that made this feel more unpredictable than it actually was. Kevin Owens was also well used because he stayed out of the action for the most of the match. Obviously he had to get involved, but it just kept the viewer wondering how and when he’d get involved.
I can’t say I really cared to see Rollins run out, but that did lead to a great moment between him and Roman. The two have had some time apart, and now that they’re both babyfaces, the stare down they had felt intense. Hopefully next week we’ll see if anything comes out of this. Maybe this is the start of a new association.
After a chain of terrible Raws, the WWE finally gave the fans a reason to care about their flagship show. I can honestly say that most of this episode progressed story lines, and it now feels like most of this roster has some sort of direction. The low point was the cruiserweight six man tag, while the high point was the Foley/Jericho/Owens/Roman promo. Overall, I give this show a 7/10.