Best Match of the night:
The main event. For the first RAW in a while, the main event was, I think, the best match of the evening. Good action, good chemistry, a returning Cesaro and everyone was a new face, or a fresh face, to the championship picture (while Jericho has been there, it’s been a while). So it was a recipe for success, as it was clear we’d get a number one contender that either hadn’t ever been a number one before, or hadn’t been one in a while. And I think that, above all, was what so many fans had been begging for-a new face in the mix that wasn’t being force-pushed.
Worst match of the night:
Dudleys versus Usos did absolutely nothing for me. Sad to say, but true.
Crowd Chants of the Night?:
I am putting a caveat here. The crowd is hot, which is great, but there have already been a few chants which, for whatever reason, I could not make out. If you caught one that I either missed, or did not call out, please shout it out in the comments.
New Day Rocks
How you doin’
Bray’s gonna kill you
Thank you Wyatts
We are idiots
Let him run it
woo woo woo you deserve it
Star of the Night
I will give a small shout out to all the debuts on the main roster tonight-and there were a lot of them. But, tonight, this star goes to the new number one contender, AJ Styles. Talk about a rocket to the top. Not sure if WWE would get the belt off of Reigns so soon (though, not in under 6 minutes like last year), but that would be a bold and appealing move, wouldn’t it?
Spot of the Night:
Cesaro powebombing the other three participants. At one time.
Owens putting Zayn through the table in the back.
Jobber of the Night:
Summer Rae. I know, I could not believe I got to put a woman in this spot, but with the retirement of the Diva nomenclature, why not let this be ANY Superstar, not just men. And, in a really short match, a motivated Sasha Banks made quick work of Summer.
Tyler Breeze could get a nod too, as he barely got in any offense against the debuting Apollo Crews.
Upset of the Night:
Just 24 hours after winning the championship, Ryder loses it, to Miz. I am sorry, but if you wanted it on Mike, just let him win the ladder match. As for Miz as champ? I can think of about 8 guys on the roster more deserving of that title. Or any title. But, we got to see Maryse again…
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
League of Nations identifies the rumored-to-be-departing Wade Barrett as their weak link, and Sheamus boots him, literally with the Brogue Kick. At which point, the Wyatts descend to the ring, and destroy the remaining three LoN members.
Maryse returns and aids her hubby in claiming the IC title.
Owens looking like a man who wants another title, as he destroyed former best friend Sami Zayn in the locker area, ahead of their main event match.
And while Owens took out Zayn, he opened up a spot. For the Swiss Superman.
Botch of the night:
Did not see much of that, but it looked like Sheamus and his cronies just couldn’t get Barrett out of the ring.
LOL Moment of the night:
Some of Enzo’s comments were quite good.
Cesaro with tear-away suit. Seriously, did WWE get a deal on tear away clothes? Rock last night, Cesaro tonight.
Shane, limping as he was, was on RAW a day after leaping off the cell. And Vince decided to put Shane in charge of RAW.
League of Nations is down to three men, after Sheamus booted Barrett. And apparently, the Wyatts might become faces, as they then attacked the League.
Apollo Crews is making his not-previously-announced RAW debut.
Roman Reigns, yet again, getting booed mercilessly. Man this is so bad. But he issued an open challenge…and out comes…Jericho. And Styles. And Owens. And Zayn. And they brawl, and we get all four in the main event tonight-winner is the #1 contender.
Nice RAW debut for Baron Corbin. Not spectacular, but I think he acquitted himself nicely.
Wow, the NXT callups are plentiful, as the Vaudevillains will be on Smackdown this week.
Out with Los Matadores. Welcome back Primo and Epico.
And..yet ANOTHER NXT call up, or two. This duo was waiting a bit, but Enzo and Big Cass are on RAW and made their presence known, loudly, by going out and giving a verbal tirade to the Dudleys.
Not much to complain about here. I was a bit bummed that Ryder became a former champion so soon, and was dethroned by someone so…unwanted…but I suppose we shall see how it plays out.
As usual, the RAW after ‘Mania is just off the hook. I do wonder if maybe they didn’t bring too many new faces into the mix on one night, but I doubt the fans would think so. We had a slew of new faces, a couple of returns, and a whole lot of happy fans for it. It will be interesting to see how things fit together moving forward.
And, when you think of all the call-ups, keep in mind there are a couple Bullet Club fixtures waiting in the wings, set to debut any day now. And the rumored imminent main roster debut of Samoa Joe. So things are fixing to get interesting in a major way.
After the final bell:
What’s not to like about this RAW? My one concern, if you choose to see it as one, is that there are a lot of new faces all starting at once. It’s kind of like a kid at Christmas, getting a ton of new presents. Sometimes, one or two shiny new toys gets overlooked or forgotten, but shouldn’t. So, in that respect, I hope none of these new additions to the main roster are wasted, though if we can make presumptions based on one night, I think things should be fine. Apollo looked fine, though it was ironic he squashed another relatively recent NXT callup in Breeze. Corbin will be interesting to watch, but did fine in a double-count-out with Ziggler. And I am really looking forward to Enzo and Big Cass, as it seemed most of the Dallas crowd was too. They were chanting for that duo since the early stages of RAW, and were eventually rewarded. Add in that The Vaudvillains are debuting on Smackdown, and suddenly NXT has some openings-thought they are sure to fill fast. And had we gotten Bayley during Charlotte’s ceremony, as the fans were shouting for? The roof may have come off.
And, lets not forget the return of Maryse (for how long and in what capacity?) and of Cesaro, who I bet many figured would win the main event.
And, oh yeah, in an interesting twist, Vince McMahon allowed Shane to “run” this RAW, even though he lost at ‘Mania. So I gather this storyline lives to see another day. Shane will say “look how good it was” and it will be extended somehow. My guess would be string it along till SummerSlam, except that that seems like too far off. But, I say that, because no stage between now and then feels like a big enough forum for a match with stakes presumably as high as control of the company, or it’s flagship show. So that will be interesting.
All in all? Another strong post-‘Mania RAW. Best part about this one, versus years past, is the sheer number of new faces.