After seeing Smackdown put on such a strong PPV, I don’t foresee Raw doing the same thing next week. Simply based on this episode, it doesn’t appear that any of the programs on Raw are ready for a PPV.
What was Seth’s direction with this promo? It felt too centred around Kevin Owens and Triple H, and not enough on Y2J. With Roadblock being two weeks away, the feuds aren’t properly fleshed out.
If one were to watch this promo without watching last week’s episode, I’m sure that person would assume KO and Rollins were the main feud heading into the PPV. I thought Seth was made to look like a complete idiot here, as he’s in no position to be demanding a title match. At this point, it’s safe to say that these two should be kept apart for the next little while. While Owens did bring up Roman’s name, it didn’t seem like they had any sort of program going on.
Big Show vs Seth Rollins
You know what? I actually popped for Big Show when his music hit. It’s been sometime since he’s been in the ring, so his presence was refreshing. Along with that, I thought him and Rollins put forth a solid match.
Based on the opening segment, I guess the finish made sense. However, wouldn’t it have made more sense if Jericho somehow got involved?
Jack Gallgher vs Ariya Daivari
It was quite refreshing to see them air the small vignette of Gallgher. Albeit, he was the most talked about performer coming out of the CWC, but that video package worked perfectly to get the crowd excited.
This match worked as an excellent showcase for Jack. For those that aren’t familiar with him, he was able to execute all of his signature moves and show the crowd a bit of his personality. Along with that, the post match beat down gave Daivai some much needed character. I’m fully convinced that this was easily the best cruiserweight match that we’ve seen since the debut of the division.
Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn
As usual, they these two put on a clinic. It’s been a while since they last locked horns, so at no point did this feel stale. My only gripe with this match was that the production team decided to show a replay of Rollins vs Show during the middle of the action. I understand it was used to build context, but would it have been so hard to show it before the match? It’s a small detail, but it just made me irrationally angry.
The beauty of this contest was that it had a strong back and forth. Both men were presented as equals, which is appropriate considering their history. Eventually it felt so close that it was difficult to imagine either of them losing clean. However, after losing last week, KO very much needed this win. At the end of the day, the champ needs to look strong before the PPV, and Zayn can afford a loss.
Rich Swann vs TJ Perkins
The video package that aired for Swann was magnificent. He’s already done more than most cruiserweight wrestlers to develop a character, and that package just gave him another dimension.
It’s quite interesting to see how Perkins has been handled on the main roster. He fizzled out so quick, I truly wonder why they even booked him to win the CWC. At the same time, the creative team for Raw did absolutely nothing to make him a relatable babyface.
The match itself didn’t feel very special. It was fluid in terms of work rate, but it was just a reason to give Swann a win on Raw.
Alicia Fox vs Bayley
At this point, it’s great to see anybody from the women’s division that isn’t Charlotte or Sasha Banks. However, it’s not like there’s been much done to make the others interesting.
Mark Henry vs Titus O’Neil
Roman Reigns vs Chris Jerichio
By this point in the show, I mentally checked out. The only entertaining aspect was the interaction between Jericho and Owens. In fact, it was the only thing worth caring for.
The fans in attendance were right about this match being awesome. These two have brilliant chemistry, and it was at display during the match.
I thought the best way to turn the tide of this show would’ve been by having Jericho win (with the help of Owens of course). It’s not like Roman needs the US title. From the very start of the match, the outcome was too predictable and I’m sure most fans knew it wouldn’t advance any kind of major story. Yes, Jericho and KO got into an argument, but that wasn’t much different from the other two arguments they had earlier in the show.
Big Cass vs Rusev/Hotel Brawl
I wanted to reserve judgement on everything the occurred earlier in this show. It was looking too similar to the Ziggler/Rusev angle from summer of 2015, and there’s no way they’d be dumb enough to tell that story again.
Everything about the hotel segment was done perfectly. Enzo redeemed his likeable character by having second thoughts, and Lana didn’t look like a terrible wife. Along with that, the ass kicking Rusev delivered to Enzo was a thing of beauty. I can’t recall the last time we saw a hotel brawl, so this felt special.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs Cesaro & Sheamus
Gallows & Anderson were not able to afford another loss, but I’m starting to wonder if the WWE has that same mentality. Also, it wouldn’t make a ton of sense to have Cesaro & Sheamus lose, because that would’ve felt like a complete waste. With that being said, I agreed with the finish 100%. This way there’s three teams that are on top of the division, which is a step in the right direction.
I sat through three hours of this show, and I must have seen the Charlotte-Ric Flair clip from May more than three times. That’s why I just groaned when it was played again during this promo.
Nitpicking aside, Charlotte cut a phenomenal promo. It felt genuine for the most part, and it showed us another layer to her character. We’re so used to seeing her as the cocky heel, that it was great to see her as someone else on the mic, even if it was an act.
I was just waiting for her to flip the switch and go back into heel mode, and when it happened, it was done beautifully. The second the tone in her voice changed, she sounded more deranged than ever. Also, it was smart to let her beat down Sasha as well. That was the right way to top off a promo like this.
The majority of this show was an absolute mess. Most stories weren’t told properly, and there’s little to no reason to care about the main feuds heading into Roadblock. I’m assuming they won’t accomplish much on the go home show, but if they do, a lot needs to happen next week. The low point was the opening segment while the high point was the closing segment. Overall, I give this show a 3.5/10.