Honestly, if you haven’t watched Raw yet, don’t bother with the full three hours. This episode was built around two segments and nothing else.
Other than being at the show, Goldberg’s accomplished nothing here. His words didn’t have any weight, and it would’ve been no different from him talking via satellite. I don’t understand why the writers couldn’t give him some more meaningful material. Owens on the other hand was remarkable in this segment. KO did a great job at working the live crowd, and giving reasons why he’s better than his Fastlane challenger.
New Day vs Rusev & Jinder Mahal
Some fans may criticize the usage of pop culture references, but the New Day pulled off the Oscars mix up pretty well. I for one got a good laugh out of it. Apart from that, there wasn’t anything note worthy about the match. It went far too long, and it was just another reminder that neither of the teams have anything heading into the next PPV.
Stephanie McMahon/Mick Foley Backstage Segment
I thought this was an extremely interesting and well done promo. We’ve known for months that the tension would grow between Stephanie and Mick, but this was an excellent way of showcasing it. I for one am intrigued and excited for where this goes.
Akira Tozawa vs Noam Dar
Did anybody else notice the long amount of time between this match and the last? I didn’t mind it though, because it allowed for this match to feel like something fresh on the show.
Akira Tozawa is getting over well with the fans so it’s smart to showcase him this way. Along with that, the post match attack from Kendrick allowed for his feud to be furthered. From start to finish, this match was well utilized.
Charlotte & Nia Jax vs Bayley & Sasha Banks
Usually Charlotte’s promos are top notch, but that wasn’t the case before this match started. It wasn’t at all necessary, and it started to sound quite boring. Also, it didn’t help that Sasha and Bayley needed to add something as well.
To be honest, I can’t say I was looking forward to this, but the addition of Nia Jax changed that. I wasn’t overly excited for Nia in particular, but it made this match less predictable and formulaic. Also, the in ring action was fairly entertaining as these competitors were each on point. With that being said, the finish was slightly lackluster. Nothing about got me excited for Bayley vs Charlotte, and that’s the whole point of go home shows.
Luke Gallows vs Big Cass
For a big man match, this wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It wasn’t anything special, but the two competitors still gave the fans a reason to keep watching.
This was certainly one feud that could’ve used some type of promo. They only had one week to build towards the match at Fastlane, and sometime of promo would’ve created some depth.
Sheamus vs Titus O’Neil
Once again, we were given a filler match, but it didn’t disappoint. The attack from O’Neil was a great way to hook the viewer, but the quick finish was the right way to cap it off. This was a simple way and fun.
Seth Rollins Promo
The WWE video editing department strikes again, as we were given a killer video package of Seth’s history with Triple H.
Like most people, I assumed this was going to be a quick interview with an injury update. Considering how this promo unfolded, I was pleasantly surprised. Triple H’s appearance was a slight swerve, but his promo was excellent. He simply knows how to tell a story when he’s on the mic. Along with that, Seth’s acting was perfect, and it made it easier to sympathize him.
Big Show vs Shining Stars
Other than keeping up with continuity, this match was pointless.
Tony Nese & Neville vs TJ Perkins & Jack Gallagher
Thankfully this didn’t go on for long. It was also a slow way to prep the Neville-Gallagher feud before Fastlane.
Samoa Joe vs Cesaro
Obviously the in ring action was strong, but it didn’t need to be the last contest because there was barely an context. The interaction between Joe and Cesaro was decent, but it didn’t create enough intensity for them to be given the last match slot.
Criticism aside, this was a good spot for Cesaro. Even though he lost, he looked fairly strong against the newest monster heel of the Raw locker room.
As out of context the match may have been, the Joe-Zayn brawl after the match worked in terms of furthering their feud.
Roman Reigns/Braun Strowman Contract Signing
Initially I was skeptical about this closing the show, but these two proved me wrong. They kept it simple, as they gave the fans an intense brawl. There were some great spots, and they truly added to the feud. This program probably received the best push heading into Fastlane.
For a go home show, this episode of Raw fell flat. There wasn’t a whole lot that pushed the urgency of the PPV, and there’s no reason for fans to be overly excited. Apart from the Seth-Triple H promo and the Roman-Storwman brawl, most of the show was nothing more than filler. Sure, some of the filler was entertaining, but it didn’t add to most of the narratives. Overall, this episode deserves a 4/10.