Back at it again with the WWE Raw review! Here, I break down my best and worst parts of WWE’s flagship show. Yes, it’s the flagship show that SmackDown Live is beating week after week. Here we go!
The Best of WWE Raw
The Prizefighter is Back
I will not pretend that I’m not a huge KO mark. His cold open in the ring was beautiful. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind about Kevin Owens deserving that Universal Title. Sitting in a chair with just a spotlight, a microphone, and his belt, his intense promo covered why he will beat Goldberg at Fastlane. Goldberg can’t go the distance. All KO has to do is draw out the match, and it will be in his favour.
As far as Chris Jericho goes…
I Hate that I Love Roman’s Midair Spear
Roman Reigns hit Karl Anderson with a spear in midair, as Machine Gun leapt off the turnbuckle. Yes, that’s the same move that nearly murdered Shane McMahon not too long ago. That one spot was almost enough to redeem another lame match.
It was the Russians!
While I thought it was odd to have Handsome Rusev, Hardbody Mahal, and the Ravishing Russian stand around in the ring while The New Day talked about ice cream machine blueprints, I loved this fun bit. Lana hacked the digital copy of their blueprints, which was basically a JPEG on an iPad. Yay Russian hacker jokes! The match was okay, but the highlight was Xavier Woods catching Lana’s iPad after she tossed in the air and then smashing it on the TWO TON STEEL STEPS.
The King vs the Gentleman
The Cruiserweight Division is still going through some unfortunate growing pains. Though I liked The Brian Kendrick taking out Akira Tozawa earlier, a real highlight was the Cruiserweight Title contract signing for Fastlane. Heel Neville is a great champion so far and is helping the whole division get over. He marched into the ring, signed the contract, and promptly went for the exit. Gentleman Jack called him back into the ring for tea and biscuits (cue the chant), and we got an amazing segment. It was absolutely intense, and we need more of this quality!
The Women’s Evolution
Stephanie McMahon tried to talk Bayley into relinquishing her title because Sasha involved herself in the championship match last week. This segment with Stephanie, Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte Flair kept my high opinion of the Women’s Division in place. The subsequent match between Charlotte and Sasha was great as well, despite the WWE Raw Women’s Championship not being up for grabs. I’m just waiting for the Sasha Banks heel turn.
An Angry Samoan’s Rampage Continues
We need to see Samoa Joe the Destroyer pummel everyone every single week until Wrestlemania. I mean that. He is playing the part so well. Joe attacked Sami Zayn on his way down the ramp before his match with Owens. Sami the underdog was annihilated, tossed in the ring, and put away by the Universal Champ in short order. This is great booking for all 3 of these top-level superstars.
Time to Reinforce the Ring
I LOL’d when the crew was frantically reinforcing the ring in anticipation of the Big Show and Braun Strowman match. Nevertheless, it was actually an entertaining matchup, and I put aside my cynicism fairly quickly. Big Show did the J-O-B, and the Monster Among Men’s domination continues. A few really athletic spots stood out, and the pace of the match was much better than I had expected. Braun dropkicked a vengeful Roman Reigns right in the face after the match, which was just icing.
The Worst of WWE Raw
Babyface vs Babyface
The dynamic of two fan favourites going at it works sometimes. In the case of Sheamus and Cesaro vs Enzo and Cass, it simply does not. The two tag teams competed in a number one contenders’ match for the Raw Tag Titles, and even though Sheamus is still technically a heel, this just doesn’t work for me. Cesaro was absolutely mythical in the ring, performing aerial maneuvers like a cruiserweight. Nevertheless, I’m glad Enzo and Cass are number one contenders now, so hopefully, we don’t have to watch this again.
Another Handicap Match?
I wasn’t a fan of the handicap match with Gallows and Anderson vs Roman Reigns last week, so I was horrified that we had to live through it all over again this week. Just because we keep seeing the same mediocre matchup, again and again, does not mean we will eventually like it. The Club needs to be running through the tag team division, not losing to Super Roman. The DQ when Reigns took a chair to his opponents might mean we can look forward to a third match next week. Great.
Dana Runs Slowly
I thought that since Dana Brooke is super fit and a successful bodybuilder, she would have better cardio. Nope, she jogged down the ramp like a retired offensive lineman, allowing Sasha Banks to easily take her out. Sad.
Another Awkward Michael Cole Interview
Does anyone actually like these interviews? Am I wrong here? Cole interviewed Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman “backstage”. It turned into Heyman using his legendary mic skills while Brock glared into the camera in one of the most uncomfortable close-ups I’ve ever seen. Nevertheless, this stuff belongs on WWE.com, not Raw. Is this why we have a 3 HOUR SHOW?
This was another average episode of WWE Raw with some good spots. If the cruiserweights can come back week after week with this kind of performance, they will be able to turn the division around. If Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens are allowed to keep doing what they do best, we will have one hell of a road to WrestleMania. Keep it locked to Don’t Hate the Geek for more wrestling news, and let us know what you thought of Raw in the comments below!