After the way last week’s episode ended, there was a lot curiosity as to what would happen on this show. The WWE had some questions to answer, and it’s fair to say they delivered.
Even in a suit, Joe looked like the most dangerous person on the entire roster. Everything he did in this promo was flawless for the character he was portraying. From the mean look, to the passionate promo, Joe found a way to draw some legitimate heat. However, once Roman came out, I had no idea who this crowd was booing.
Jokes aside, I believe Roman vs Joe has always been a dream match for a lot of fans. Their stare down created an incredible energy, and it felt natural. With that being said, I was shocked that a match between them was booked so soon.
Nia Jax vs Bayley
There’s plenty of reasons to criticize how the Raw women’s division has been booked, but lately it’s been rather entertaining. I especially love how Bayley is now involved in two different feuds. That gives the fans a sense of everything being linked together instead of it being separate. Smackdown has perfected this type of plot device, and it’s great to see it being used on Raw.
The actual match was a shorter version of what these two have done in the past. It wasn’t good, nor was it bad, but it still had some entertaining moments. I thought finish made sense, as it allowed for both of Bayley’s programs to be furthered.
Braun Strowman vs 4 Local Talent
Since Reigns was side tracked by Samoa Joe, this was smart way to keep Braun relevant on this show. With the way Strowman’s been booked, these types of squash matches still work for him. That way he’s able showcase his abilities, and remain strong. Along with that, his outburst afterwards allowed for his match with Roman at Fastlane to be scheduled.
Drew Gulak vs Akira Tozawa
In terms of being a showcase for Tozawa, this very much worked. I loved how it wasn’t just a simple squash match, because it gave him the chance to execute more of his move set. In my opinion, that’s a much better way to get a new wrestler over.
This singles matches may have been one of the few Cruiserweight bouts that have gotten a crowd reaction on Raw. I’m sure much of this had to do with Akira’s explosive offense.
Chris Jericho/Kevin Owens/Goldberg
With Roman vs Joe main eventing this show, it completely made sense for Goldberg’s announcement to happen somewhere in the middle. It also made sense to insert him into a segment with KO and Jericho, as they were able to carry the flow.
Quite honestly, I was surprised with how much chemistry Goldberg had with the two best friends. Initially I was concerned that this Goldberg/Owens feud would be created unnaturally, but that wasn’t the case. While the end result is extremely predictable, it appears we may see an entertaining feud.
Sheamus & Cesaro vs Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Was it explained that Enzo & Cass were entering the tag title picture? Their presence at ring side was out of nowhere, and I feel like it should’ve been mentioned beforehand through a backstage promo.
The match itself was a pretty fun to watch because it moved at a fast pace. It made the contest feel intense. While a lot of us knew the titles wouldn’t change hands, this actually helped further the overall feud. Even though Enzo & Cass being at ring side was random, at least it added to the story by giving it a new element.
New Day vs Shining Stars
For something that was nothing more than filler, this wasn’t so bad. The New Day weren’t on last week’s show, so it was great to see them in action here. With that being said, one has to wonder how long these three will go without a solid feud. I agreed that they need a break from the titles, but that doesn’t mean they should be wandering around aimlessly.
Chris Jericho vs Sami Zayn
I was up in arms about this last week, but thankfully this matchup was booked again. Obviously everything was all set up like this, it just wasn’t well built.
Apart from the booking and build up, these two know how to put forth a strong match. Within two weeks, they found a way to deliver and have the crowd on the edge of their seats. For Sami Zayn, I’d consider this to be a great spot on the card. Giving him the ability to keep up with a main eventer like Jericho is a sign of his kayfabe ranking.
As for Jericho’s story, it was perfectly told. He picked up a cheap win with the help of his best friend, which proves that they’re still close (despite what happened earlier). If this continues, it’ll make the eventual break up much bigger.
Neville, Tony Nese, & Noam Dar vs Cedric Alexander, Jack Gallagher, & TJ Perkins / Promo
Once again, Austin Aries found a way to be the stand out of the Cruiserweight division, and he’s not even wrestling. His many complaints about the interruptions were absolutely hilarious. Aside from that, the brawl between the six being interviewed was pretty exciting.
One thing that’s been lacking from this division and its addition to Raw has been effective promos, hence why this worked. Had the six man tag been booked without the promo, it would’ve been boring. However, these six had a reason to be in the match, which gave me a reason to care.
The match itself was also well executed. At no point did it drag, and it also furthered Neville’s character. All in all, this gives Fans a reason to tune in for 205 Live.
Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe attacking Roman before the match was better than anything I could think of. It was fitting for Joe’s character and it was a great way to set the tone for this main event.
For Joe’s first main roster match, this was everything it needed to be. From start to finish, he showcased how dominant he can be. I thought this was a great way familiarize him to the fans that haven’t seen his previous work. Best of all, he controlled the tempo.
Everything about the finish worked for all parties involved. Obviously Joe wasn’t going to beat Roman clean, it wouldn’t make sense. However, Joe did still pick up the non clean pin, so he left this show victorious. I thought this was a great debut night.
As for Roman and Braun, their feud just became a lot more intense. The post match beat down from Strowman looked brutal, yet smooth. One can only hope their match at Fastlane will be a no DQ.
After some thought, there really wasn’t anything wrong with this show. It did feel like there were more commercials than usual, but every segment/match fit the episode. There may have been some filler spots, but even that was entertaining.
I can’t say there was a low point, but the high points consisted of the opening promo, and Jericho vs Zayn. Overall, I give this episode of Raw an 8.5/10.