You know it’s a good Wrestlemania weekend if everything goes by fast. Let’s not forget that Raw is also part of the festivities, and this three hour show didn’t feel like three hours. I’d say a lot of that had to do with it giving fans something different for once.
I don’t think Roman has ever been booed this much. Along with that, this crowd had a lot more for Reigns than boos.
In Roman’s defence, he knew exactly how to take it in. Seeing him play along with the crowd was amazing, and it was like nothing I’ve seen before. After all that time, the words he uttered were perfect. There was no better way to book the opening segment.
It’s fair to say that the WWE knew exactly what they were doing here.
Gallows & Anderson vs The Hardys
Take this in, the Hardys have wrestling two versions of the Bullet Club, in two different promotions, all within 48 hours.
Like most fans, the only thing I could think of during this match was if Matt was “Broken”. He worked a lot of the mannerisms, but then at times he would revert back to normal Matt. Luckily for us, this question was answered on Raw Talk.
The pacing of this match was incredible, because it gave the fans everything they wanted. Having Matt start off allowed for them to chant “delete!”, and giving Jeff the hot tag allowed for them to give him a big babyface pop.
The match itself may not have been the greatest, but it was a great choice for opening the show.
Neville vs Mustafa Ali
In my opinion, this was a terrible follow up to Neville’s Mania match. Was this a good match? Of course it was, but it didn’t do anything terms of furthering a story.
Vince McMahon Promo
It doesn’t matter how long Vince is gone for, he always finds a way to make an impact. Sometimes it’s just great to see him out of storyline and having fun the the crowd.
Going in to this, I had completely forgotten that Stephanie would be working an injury announcement, which lead to Vince’s announcement being a surprise. I know the idea of Kurt Angle playing an authority figure has been thrown around on the internet, but it never felt like something that would come into fruition.
Hopefully this means Angle gets to run Raw on his own for a bit, because that automatically make the show’s dynamic fresher.
The New Day vs the Revival
I’ve always been skeptical of the Revival’s transition to the main roster, but the second they made their entrance, that skepticism went away. Off the bat, the former NXT tag champs knew exactly how to make an impression and feel like a big deal.
Like Michael Cole stated, the Revival worked their special style in this match. For those that don’t know, it’s about isolating opponents, and utilizing a plethora of double team moves. Yes, we do see this from a lot of teams, but nobody does it like the Revival.
It was only right that the Revival beat the New Day clean in this match. If the WWE expects them to replicate their NXT success, it’s crucial that the two look credible.
Bayley, Dana Brooke, & Sasha Banks vs Charlotte, Nia Jax, & Emaa
How badass was Emma’s entrance? She completely owned it, and looked like someone that belonged in the division. I thought it was perfect how she started off the match, because it was a reminder of how talented she is in the ring. Also, I guess we can assume she won’t be realigning herself with Dana Brooke anytime soon.
Aside from Emma’s opening bit, the match was rather boring. It wasn’t a whole lot different from what we’ve seen in the past few weeks. However, the post match attack from Nia was interesting. All along, I expected for Jax to go after Sasha or Bayley, but going after Flair was a swerve.
Side note: Did anybody else think it was weird how Dana was cool with the other babyfaces? Sasha and Bayley hardly showed any hesitation when working with Brooke during the match. If details like that could be addressed more often, it would do wonders for overall story telling.
Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman Promo
Heyman was incredible in this promo. The advocate is always at his best when he brags about his client’s accomplishments and victories. I also thought he did a good job at transitioning Brock’s focus on to the next opponent. It was fairly obvious that Heyman was using Roman to troll the fans, and it fit the promo.
While everybody was waiting for Reigns, Braun Strowman interrupting was a pleasant surprise. It was a fresh idea, which had the fans hooked. I for one, would like to see if this goes anywhere.
Sheamus & Cesaro vs Enzo Amore & Big Cass
The staleness of this matchup really put me off. The ladder match at Mania was great, but we’ve seen these two teams compete in many normal tag matches within the past few weeks. At least this live crowd was able to have fun with this.
I may have disliked the action, but the finish was very well executed. Cesaro & Sheamus were being too heavily cheered to lose.
Sami Zayn vs Jinder Mahal
For the first time in a while, Jinder Mahal didn’t look like a complete chump. In fact, it was weird to see him in a dominant position.
I’m not sure if this was a sign of a Jinder push, but it certainly worked for Sami Zayn. Simply based on the flow, it was able to give Sami maximum babyface cheers.
Seth Rollins & Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe & Kevin Owens
Finn making his return was obvious, but it was still a mark out moment.
I’m glad Cole pushed Balor’s history with Rollins, more than feuds Rollins had with Owens and Joe. It was fresh take on what could’ve been seen as a somewhat stale match.
From start to finish, these four did a great job at making this match worth watching. Finn and Seth especially found ways to keep this crowd amped, as they worked some awesome babyface spots. Along wit that, Joe and KO knew exactly how to work with that pacing.
Overall, this main event was the perfect way to cap off the Raw after Mania. The fans leaving this show happy is all that matters.
There really wasn’t a whole lot of this show that disappointed. In my opinion, it accomplished everything a Raw after Mania should, and that’s presenting fresh story lines. I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to next week’s show (not just because of the superstar shake up).
The low point was Neville vs Ali, while the high points consisted of the opening segment and the main event. Overall, this episode of Raw deserves an 8/10.