After an atrocious bunch of episodes, Raw finally rebounded. This wasn’t the strongest show, but it gave the fans a reason to look forward to next week.
Like I said two weeks ago, the chemistry between Foley, Owens, and Jericho is extremely strong. These three did a wonderful job at making this opening segment entertaining. While Owens and Foley were great, Jericho was easily the stand out. It’s amazing how Y2J continues to steal the show in 2017.
I didn’t think Stephanie McMahon needed to make an appearance in this promo. Her presence wasn’t strong, and felt slightly forced. Everything she said could’ve been addressed by Foley.
Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens
Similar to Owens vs Reigns, this has become a stale matchup. The only saving grace was the fact that there was a stipulation, and that was the only reason to care about this. In fact, it wasn’t until this match I realized how important small stipulations can be, as it’s a simple way to push the plot.
The actual match was entertaining, but the finish was absolutely terrible, as it made KO look like an idiot. The character development/motivation on Raw is still a long way from being logical.
Cesaro vs Karl Anderson
Honestly, I was surprised how these two were given the right amount of time to wrestle. When this contest was first announced, I assumed it would’ve ended in a DQ within two minutes. Their in ring styles meshed quite well and that was evident throughout the match.
While this match gave Cesaro a ton of shine, it showed the fans that Anderson can certainly hold his own. Since the Club’s debut in WWE, Karl hasn’t gotten a chance to showcase his work rate, which is why he was so successful in Japan. Even though Cesaro holds one half of the tag titles, it was crucial for Anderson to pick up the win. The Club’s booking has been brutal, and they need any win they can get.
Braun Strowman vs Sami Zayn
This may have been the first match in a while that was promoted in advance. Since the brand split, we’ve barely seen this with Raw, which explains why it’s been so terrible. Either way, this match was the main reason I was looking forward to this show.
Very much like their match at Roadblock, this was strong in terms of storytelling. However, this was a lot better than what they delivered at the last PPV. These two utilized all aspects to make this last man standing match effective. I thought it was amazing how Strowman and Zayn weren’t in the ring for the second half, because it showcased the hatred these two had for one another.
As a mark, I was hoping Zayn would win, but logically it made sense for Storwman to leave as the victor. This match was crucial for their feud, and it made both of the look strong.
Xavier Woods vs Titus O’Neil
This was a strong promo on both sides. After Titus had such a weak 2016, it was great to see him doing well with the New Day.
The match itself was rather dull. There was no reason to care about it, and it made the New Day look like a side act.
Cedric Alexander vs Drew Gulak
While I haven’t been watching a lot of 205 Live, this match gave me a reason to care. The match didn’t go very long, but it did a lot for Cedric.
Chris Jericho vs Roman Reigns
This match has happened often, but it has not been spammed. I loved how it wasn’t the main event, but a strong match in the middle of the show.
I thought this match was a good reminder of strong Roman’s work rate was. His selling and offense was brilliant. Also, he didn’t spend the whole match selling, which is a great change of pace for his character. Unfortunately, this theme didn’t stand for the finish.
While the match was solid, I can’t say the teases for Jericho winning were good. What’s the point of Y2J faking the belt shot if he isn’t going to win? The follow up even made his finisher look weak. This match would’ve been better off with a clean win from Roman that didn’t include any extra shenanigans. In fact, it’s finishes like this that make fans cheer against Reigns.
Side Note: what was the point of Owens vs Rollins if neither of them interfered?
TJ Perkins vs Brian Kendrick
Once again, it was great how the cruiserweight match felt important. I’m glad it didn’t go on for long, because it didn’t need to. Assuming this leads to Neville vs Perkins, we should be excited.
Rusev & Jinder Mahal vs Big Cass
Well Enzo looked like an terrible friend for not teaming with Big Cass. He was fine last week, so why was he out of action this week?
Nia Jax vs Bayley
I wasn’t a fan of this match in NXT, but I very much enjoyed how it worked out on this episode. It didn’t have to end clean, and that’s the beauty of it.
Sasha’s interference worked perfectly, as it still allowed Nia to look strong. At the same time, it showed fans how the Bayley-to-belly suplex can be one of the strongest finishers.
The Kevin Owens Show w/Goldberg
The highlight of this segment was easily the person standing in the ring with the sign on his face.
This segment was simply amazing. It started off simple, but it became more exciting as it progressed. The stare down between Roman and Goldberg was pretty cool. Considering how Goldberg has only been tied to Lesnar, it was refreshing to see him interact with other stars on the roster.
Compared to the last few episodes of Raw, this was pretty fun to watch. While there were some matches we’ve seen before, the stipulations made them worth while. The low point was Cass vs Rusev & Mahal, while the high point was the closing segment. Overall, I give this show a 6.5/10.