I am back with this weeks RAW review, and the RAW after the ROYAL RUMBLE certainly had some surprises and interesting moments, let us take a look.
The Gift Of Jericho
Alright so this segment wasn’t so much about Jericho, but he is a gift. Kevin Owens came out to brag about his victory at the ROYAL RUMBLE against Roman Reigns and he thanked Chris Jericho for his support. Owens was on fire on the mic, and it was excellent. He would be interrupted by the real reason he won the match, the monster Braun Strowman. Strowman wasn’t caring about a thank you for Owens, he wants a WWE Universal Title shot and he wants it tonight! He plays a clip showing Owens promising a title shot, and the excuses from Owens and Jericho were pretty hysterical. Mick Foley comes out in an extraordinary suit and he confirms the match, Owens isn’t happy after the battle he just had. It was funny hearing the crowd thank Strowman, which would be due to his interferance and Roman Reigns not being champion. A pretty decent opening, and an intriguing match for later in the show.
Chris Jericho vs. Sami Zayn
Our opening match pitted two of the stand out competitors from the ROYAL RUMBLE against each other. Both men lasted quite a while, with Jericho breaking the record of the most time spent in RUMBLE matches. Zayn lasted over 40 minutes from entering at number 8, and they both had some good spots. The match itself was a pretty good opener, lots of back and forth action, and they definitely tried hard even though you could tell the night before had taken its toll. It is a testament to their work ethic, and they really did deliver. Zayn picks up a clean victory with the Helluva Kick, no Owens at ringside either. Maybe a short term feud as we build up to Jericho vs. Owens? Not complaining here!
Backstage we had Cesaro and Sheamus arguing about the RUMBLE, Bayley puts a stop to it. Then Charlotte and The Club show up with their gold. There will be a Mixed Tag Match later tonight, not a bad idea. Kevin Owens also confronts Stephanie and wants her to reverse Mick Foley’s decision about the title match tonight. She is preoccupied with the Seth Rollins situation.
Tony Nese vs. Mustafa Ali
This was an okay match, the crowd were not into it at all even though these two tried hard. At least we had some interesting and entertaining commentary from Austin Aries, which definitely helped. Tony Nese looks very impressive, and those wash board abs are nothing to laugh at. Mustafa Ali got in some offense but he was ultimately defeated, we had a weird post match interview with Aries and Nese. I don’t mind where this is going actually.
Stephanie Confronts Seth Rollins
This was a great segment, Stephanie and Seth Rollins have always had great chemistry. It worked as part of The Authority and it still works even as enemies now. A lot of harsh words were exchanged, with Rollins taking some personal digs, but Stephanie was not having any of that. She gives as good as she gets, and their words were explosive. I liked how this played out, with Stephanie extremely fired up over what Rollins had to say. He said he has nothing left to lose, and she said that Triple H would be there tonight to confront him.
Cesaro/Sheamus/Bayley vs. The Club/Charlotte
This wasn’t a bad match, I liked how Cesaro wore Bayley’s wrist bands that was a nice touch. Lots of action in the ring, with some back and forth between the teams and the women. The feuds are definitely set to continue, and that is a smart move in my opinion. They don’t need to lead to WRESTLEMANIA but to FASTLANE at least. This didn’t feel like a long match, but Bayley got some redemption by getting the pin on Charlotte and picking up the win for her team. A nice celebration follows, as the Champions do not look happy.
Neville – King Of The Cruiserweights
Neville comes out to celebrate his victory and becoming the new Cruiserweight Champion, I really am liking this new persona and the heel character. He is absolutely nailing every aspect of it and his mic work has never been better. It was the right time for him to become Champion, and as I had hoped the program with Rich Swan is continuing. Swan did interupt the segment and it wasn’t fun and games at all, the pair fought with Swan getting the upper hand. A short segment but it was effective, it is a shame the live crowd wasn’t into it as much as they should have been. I look forward to the rematch between these two, as their match the night before was very well done.
Backstage we had Kevin Owens stressing about his match, and Bayley trying to talk Sasha Banks out of her rematch with Nia Jax.
WWE Universal Championship Match Kevin Owens (c) vs. Braun Strowman
Before the match even starts, Braun Strowman puts Chris Jericho through the announce table taking out the distraction. The match itself was a good showcase for Strowman being a monster and a powerhouse, but Kevin Owens did get some pretty good offense in. It did feel like an impossible situation for Owens who really sold Strowman as a big threat. Which is the right way to book him, but Owens didn’t look like a weak Champion, he got in some moves and despite being banged up he fought. The match would come to an end when Roman Reigns shows up and does what Strowman did the night before and cost him the match. Reigns may have got in some moves but Strowman still stood tall. A feud between the two is now in the cards and Reigns is out of the title picture.
Brock Lesner and Paul Heyman Have Words For Goldberg
We see a car pull up backstage but it isn’t Triple H, it is Brock Lesner and Paul Heyman. As usual Paul Heyman delivers the goods and provides us with a fantastic promo, while Lesner stays silent. He admits the faults and what has happened, but the fight isn’t over. Heyman makes a lot of references and even brings up this years big Hall Of Fame inductee Kurt Angle. The way Paul Heyman can talk and keep talking is a promo clinic, the man can do no wrong. This leads to the challenge, Brock Lesner to face Goldberg one last time at WRESTLEMANIA. This is a match we knew was coming, hopefully it wont be a quick one and these guys can really go at it.
Nia Jax vs. Sasha Banks
Was this an actual match? Nia Jax just destroyed Sasha Banks, even worse than at the RUMBLE preshow. While Jax had Banks in a submission the bell rang, was that a mistake or did they end the match? Not sure, it seemed like it wasn’t meant to happen or wires got crossed. After the bell rang Jax inflicts even more pain on an already hurt Banks, and she is enjoying it. Bayley comes out, she doesn’t attack Jax, but Jax steps away.
Tornado Tag Team Match: Rusev/Jinder Mahal vs. Enzo & Cass
This was just an all out fight of a match, it wasn’t easy to keep tabs on what was going on. The prematch banter was actually pretty good, and I absolutely love the Cuppa Haters tshirt that Enzo was wearing. This feud has been okay, they certainly have tried doing something different but I feel like it has run its course. There is a lot of potential for keeping Mahal and Rusev as a team but I am not sure where they all go from here. It wasn’t easy to keep interested in the match, and Enzo gets the pin to get the win. What happens next is anyone’s guess.
Backstage Triple H is shown arriving in a limo.
Triple H Confronts Seth Rollins …
Triple H cut an excellent promo on Seth Rollins, about his rise and fall and how Triple H is responsible for his success. He really sold this well, and like Heyman the way he delivers a promo is a clinic. But this is Triple H here, was he really going to show up to confront an angry Rollins without a plan? Oh he had a plan, and once Seth Rollins showed up and made his way to the ring … it happened. Oh yes folks it happened …
SAMOA JOE IS HERE! A big surprise attack from the monster of NXT, and what an attack it was. Samoa Joe completely destroyed Seth Rollins as Triple H just quietly made his way out of the ring. He isn’t fighting Rollins this time, and he has Samoa Joe to do all the work. While we were all hoping for Joe to debut at the ROYAL RUMBLE, this more than made up for his absence. Making a huge impact on RAW, and destroying one of their top guys was a sight to behold. This is how you close out RAW and get people talking, and now we have to wait a week to see what happens next! I assume we will be getting Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins at FASTLANE and I cannot wait!
RAW was mostly very decent, the match order though was a little confusing. The WWE Universal Title Match should have been later in the show, but they did save the best for last. We will definitely get Triple H vs. Seth Rollins at WRESTLEMANIA, but having Joe in the picture gives us a lot to look forward to.
What! a debut by Samoa Joe, really a nice way to introduce him in Main roster.