Like most Raws, all of the main programs were featured, but nothing was done to push the midcard feuds. In fact, anything that didn’t include a top star felt like filler.
Lately Roman has done an excellent job at working the live crowd with his promos, so I was excited for this to say the least. With that being said, this promo in particular started off a bit bland. It didn’t appear the writers wanted Reigns to screw with the crowd.
Initially I was going to criticize them for showcasing a beat down/brawl for the second week in a row, but this turned out to be incredible. These two have such great chemistry, that whenever they lock horns, it’s never boring. Along with that, Roman being thrown into the ambulance was a great spot.
Cesaro, Sheamus, & Elias Samson vs The Hardys, & Finn Balor
Every week we’re given some sort of six man tag match, and they’re always the same. Thankfully this week the WWE decided to have some fun by having the heel team open with a song for LA.
While the opening was great, there wasn’t anything special about the match. We’ve seen the Hardys clash with tag champs several times over the past few weeks, and the Balor vs Samson feud has yet to hit any sort of stride. Instead of having Finn and Elias wrestle in a tag match, why not find a way to give their feud more depth? Why do these two dislike each other so much?
The only interesting thing about this match was watching Finn wrestle Sheamus and Cesaro for the first time on TV.
R-Truth vs Goldust
After all the well done vignettes, I’m glad the actual match wasn’t given away on an episode of Raw. Overall, it was a great way to further their current feud.
Miz TV w/ The Ball Family
Good on the WWE for capitalizing on the hype around the Ball family. Something like this is a great way to get non fans to tune in.
I didn’t know what to expect from this segment, but I ended up loving it. Lavar Ball was the perfect celebrity guest to appear in the Miz and Ambrose feud. This didn’t last too long, but it was the perfect length for a special guest appearance.
Miztourage vs Dean Ambrose, Heath Slater, & Rhyno
The first six man tag match on this show was enough. To me, this match just shouted lazy booking. Also, it was too damn long.
It’s worth mentioning that I had a tough time telling Dallas and Rhyno apart at times.
Enzo Amore/Big Cass Promo
I found it pretty funny that both Cass and Enzo still came out to the same theme. It’s a minor detail, but it stood out quite a bit.
Last week’s segment was extremely emotional, so these two had a lot to live up to. I believe Enzo did a terrific job at speaking at an emotional level, and without the use of his typical animations. He actually came across as a person that was heart broken.
To be honest, I shed a tear when these two decided to get back together. It felt 100% genuine. In fact, it felt so real, that Cass’ clothesline actually caught me off guard. For the first time in a while, I despised the heel for his actions.
Seth Rollins vs Curt Hawkins
Enhancement matches is something Raw needs more of. Not only does it keep the top stars looking strong, it keeps the show fresh. This match was also a prime example that a squash match doesn’t have to be a few seconds long as Rollins was still able to showcase his offense and agility.
I’m a big fan of both Seth and Bray, but what exactly is going on with this feud? What the hell is it about? Why does Bray want to “save” Seth? If I have to ask that many questions, something isn’t working.
Brock Lesnar/ Samoa Joe Brawl
It seems as if the WWE is doing everything to make this the biggest feud of the year. Every promo used to build this feud has been filled with intensity. For a Brock program, this has been quite refreshing, because he’s finally met someone that can compete at his level (Goldberg doesn’t count). The brawl we witnessed here was great at giving Joe credibility.
Lince Dorado vs Neville
Truth be told, I completely forgot that cruiserweights were apart of this show.
This match wasn’t about the wrestling, but it was about growing the tension between Neville and Tozawa. I for one think they did a great job at that. There was nothing over the top, and we know why Tozawa was at ringside watching the match.
Titus’ part in the post match confrontation was great. It shows that the Titus Brand is a legitimate brand that can actually help superstars move up on the card.
There’s a lot of aspects of Raw that need to be improved, but I can confidently say the Raw’s women’s division is the biggest mess on the show. They’ve done a ton of damage to these competitors, which made it difficult to stay invested.
While having Nia wrestle longer than any of the other women doesn’t ensure strong work rate, it told a decent story. In my opinion, it keeps her character consistent, as she’s always dominating in multi-woman matches. It’s a shame that Bayley lost the way she did, but it doesn’t appear the WWE cares, so why should we?
I do feel as if they could’ve done a better job at pacing out Nia’s first four pins. Saving all that time just for Sasha vs Jax wasn’t exactly the best choice. It made the match feel incredibly long, which took me out of the action. They could’ve also easily worked the same finish with five less minutes.
The post match stuff also felt a bit strange. Angle coming out to celebrate with Sasha was out of place.
One thing I took away from this Raw was that the important stuff is only at the top and bottom of each hour. Anything in between was pointless. This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed that formula, but it was incredibly noticeable on this particular episode of Raw. It could also be because I haven’t reviewed an episode of Raw in weeks.
The low point of this show was both six man tag matches, while the high points were the Reigns/Strowman brawl and the Joe/Lesnar brawl. Overall, I give this show a 5.5/10.