So due to Foxtel getting installed at my new place today, my online app wasn’t working so I missed the first few minutes of Raw. I understand the show kicked off with a Blackjack Mulligan tribute.
Here Comes The Money
Shane O Mac is running Raw yet again, so his match with The Undertaker was pointless? I don’t get it, but having Shane back as an on air character is a good thing. He’s entertaining and we all love him. The live audience was very much into having Shane back and running the show. He made some announcements for the night, and gets interrupted by Kevin Owens. Shane isn’t happy about Kevin Owens attacking Sami Zayn last week. Kevin Owens isn’t happy about his recent loses, so Shane announces that Sami Zayn will take on A.J. Styles tonight and if Sami wins he gets added to the Title Match. Kevin Owens however gets to face Cesaro and the winner becomes Number 1 Contender for the IC Title. Absolutely no complaints from me with this booking, it does feel like someone new is running the show.
Number 1 Contender’s Match For The IC Title: Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro
Now this is how you kick off Raw in style, I am loving the new thing Cesaro has going on. The James Bond type of entrance and the ripping off of his clothes (reow), it’s pretty awesome. The new Cesaro Section shirt is awesome, and he is extremely over with the crowd. These two have had some great clashes in the past and this was no different, it was pretty fast paced and Cesaro was selling his shoulder injury. That was where he had surgery so it makes sense that is where Owens would target. There was a point in the match where JBL’s hat got thrown and Owens picked it up and apologised. So random but I appreciate those little moments, and the little character moments that Owens does. The match ended when Cesaro managed to reverse the pop up power bomb and hit The Neutralizer. He celebrated with the crowd, and it was awesome.
Backstage Owens threatens Sami, and Shane O Mac is having none of that so he says he’s banned from the rest of the show.
More backstage action as Ric Flair and Charlotte are not happy that she is defending her title against Natalya later in the show. Dr Phil shows up and lays into Charlotte about her father always getting involved. It ended with Flair and Dr Phil having a mini woo off. That was actually pretty decent and good use of Dr Phil I gotta say.
The New Day come out to announce a Tag Team Tournament to determine the number one contenders for their titles. The graphic for the tourney brackets is pretty funny, Booty O’s need to be a real cereal guys.
Round 1 Match: The Lucha Dragons vs. The Dudley Boys
This match started in the commercial break (I think) and it appeared that Kalisto was legit injured. By the looks of it, his collar bone. The match didn’t last long as the Dudleys just beat up Sin Cara for a bit and pinned him. No attack on Kalisto after the match and he was being tended to, which does lead me to believe it was legit.
After the match is over, Enzo and Cass come out to a big pop. This feud is going to be amazing, the back and forth between the guys was great. But the highlight was D’Von saying they wouldn’t exist without the Dudleys and Enzo’s come back “Hey Devon, I exist because my Mom and Dad got it on, how you doin’?” Brilliant! If Enzo and Cass defeat The Ascension on Smackdown, they face the Dudleys next btw.
Roman Reigns Promo
Roman comes out to some pretty heated boo’s, and he gets in and gives the same ‘I am the guy’ promo. Seriously, Rollins needs to come on one of these promos and say that he IS THE MAN. Anyway League Of Nations come out and complain they weren’t included in the contenders Fatal Four Way Match last week. Reigns struggles to be any kind of face, and the crowd would be fine with a 3 on 1 attack against him. As the Legion are ready to attack, the lights go out and The Wyatts come to the rescue. Yes, The Wyatts are definitely being tested in the face role, and even with helping Reigns it was working. They are extremely over, even with the stupid promo and match from WM. Shane then books Reigns and Bray Wyatt vs. League Of Nations. Now that folks is interesting booking, and upon hearing that announcement, I was intrigued to say the least.
In this episode we got I think two Primo and Epico promos, I then wonder how long this new gimmick will last. It’ll work so much better if they hired Carlito and added him in. Not to take away from Primo and Epico who are both talented, I think having a third would be good. Imagine the feud they could have with The New Day?!
Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte (c) vs. Natalya
Dr Phil comes out to watch the match from the announce position, Nattie looks amazing and Charlotte ignoring the advice comes out with her father. This was a really good match with the time they were given, we have seen time and again how well these two gel in the ring and even with a smaller amount of time they can have a good match. There was a lot of back and forth action, with Charlotte pulling out some heel moves. Hitting Nattie with her exposed knee and using her own submission against her. The match ends with Nattie then getting Charlotte in the sharpshooter, Ric Flair then pulls the ref out of the ring and once the ref can’t see Charlotte taps. The bell rings, but Charlotte gets DQed because of Flair’s interference so Nattie wins the match not the title. I have no issue with a DQ ending, both women still look strong and the feud continues. But the DQ ending that way was silly, when we have seen it happen so many times without a DQ. Some consistency will go along way.
Round 1 Match: The Usos vs. Curtis Axel and Heath Slater
Seriously I could not care about the Usos anymore until they get a change or something, they feel beyond stale right now. I was honestly going for the Social Outcasts, because UsoBoring right now. Not a long match or terribly interesting, the finish comes out of nowhere. But then it happened, the very thing we have all been waiting for and wanting to happen. DOC GALLOWS AND KARL ANDERSON SHOWED UP! THE BULLET CLUB IS HERE IN THE WWE!
The crowd sure as hell knew who they were and a Bullet Club chant did break out. Anyway the pair attacked the Usos probably because their gimmick is so old and stale. I actually called it earlier in the show about them attacking the Usos. Anyway they beat up the Usos to cheers, they felt like faces even though technically the Usos are. The crowd gave them a hell of a welcoming, it was a very cool moment. They came from the crowd and left through the crowd (very Outsiders eh?), wore normal clothes, it was cool! The announcers used their names but not the Bullet Club. Word is their official name will be The Bulletproof Club so we shall see if that happens. THIS MADE ME SO HAPPY!
Backstage Maryse does a great job of acting like her and The Miz are the most important people on Earth. It is amazing how much better The Miz seems with her with him, that’s because she is a goddess. The segment was funny, especially when The Miz went to drink the local water, ha! Cesaro showed up and this should be a pretty good feud.
A.J. Styles vs. Sami Zayn – If Sami Zayn wins he gets added to the World Heavyweight Title Match
WHAT A MATCH! Last week we had Cesaro and A.J. in the same match and then as tag partners on Smackdown and this week we get a taste of Styles vs. Zayn and the greatness that exists there. The match took the time to build up, both of these guys know how to tell a story in the ring, and that they did. The crowd was very much into the match and they really fed into that, knowing exactly what would and wouldn’t work. The pace picked up with some good reversals and near falls, Sami’s Blue Thunder Bomb on A.J. was a thing of beauty. A.J. kicking out was a big moment, and the end came when A.J. hit the diving forearm. It looked quite brutal as Sami knows how to sell a big move. I like that A.J. is getting wins with different moves, and Sami looked like a million bucks, and a loss really does nothing to harm him at all. No Owens interference, it was a straight up match that we could all take in and enjoy. One of the best matches we have seen on Raw this year, without a doubt.
Backstage A.J. and Sami are having a talk, Shane comes in and praises their match. At the end the two show some mutual respect and shake hands, classy. I hope we see more matches with them because its magic.
I saw this coming, Chris Jericho hypes up an amazing guest and it was himself. He proceeds to give himself an interview, and as James put it, he was giving a promo masterclass. Yes folks, there is a lot to be learned from Chris Jericho, and just how amazing he can be as a heel and when he is given mic time. I think we all expected someone in particular to show up, and show up he did. Yes Dean Ambrose interrupted bringing his own pot plant and sign. He tells Chris it is his show and says he has a memo, at first he pulls out a California speeding ticket – LOL moment for sure. Chris reads the memo, angry as heck as Dean does some rearranging and makes the show The Ambrose Asylum. Can we get this show like twice a week from now on? Chris eats a dirty deeds and I can’t wait to see more of this feud!
I can’t remember at which point this segment took place, but we get R-Truth and Goldust backstage. R-Truth says the surprise is they are teaming up for the Contenders Tourney. Dr Phil shows up but apparently this situation is too messy even for him. Ha!
Apollo Crews vs. Adam Rose
The crowd were really silent through Crews’ entrance and through most of the match. Let’s face it, this was a squash match to showcase Crews. I really like Crews but if he is going to just beat random guys every week it will get boring. The crowd aren’t interested so do something to win them over.
Roman Reigns/Bray Wyatt vs. Sheamus/Alberto Del Rio
This was a really good and enjoyable match, with Bray being the clear favourite. It was pretty amazing to see the face transition work so smoothly and naturally, I do like where this could lead. The crowd were really into Bray, and they were not happy when Roman was in the ring. The team work was as expected very tense and that worked well, let us not forget they feuded for months last year, which was brought up. Sheamus and Del Rio worked well as a unit, I think Del Rio shares more chemistry with Rusev, but it worked all the same. They really to build these guys up a lot more, make them matter. The crowd were still chanting ‘Si Si Si Si’ at Del Rio and that made me smile. Towards the end of the match after Rusev did some interfering, the lights went out and Strowman and Rowan showed up and took care of him. Bray managed to hit Sister Abigail on Del Rio and Reigns (to some boos) speared Sheamus to ensure the pin fall went through. The crowd erupted over Bray getting the pin, and the face off between the two at the end was an interesting way to end the show.
I feel like finally I am seeing some great booking with Bray and the Wyatts, just a shame it is only coming now and not months ago. This face turn is amazing and they really need to run with it, I am sure they will face off against the League at the PPV but after that maybe Bray gets into the title picture? Overall this was a fantastic Raw, I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed what was on offer. For the most part it really felt like there was fresh booking, so I do hope we get more Shane O Mac. I am actually really looking forward to Payback.