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RAW In A Nutshell: Payback Or Bust

It’s the last show before Payback. We are live in Hartford, CT. And the show opens up with Shane discussing running RAW, with his dear sister Stephanie reminding him-and all of us-that she’s still around. So, no sense in waiting, let’s get things going!

Best Match of the night:

I will say this one could go to Usos versus Anderson and Gallows, perhaps by default. There were a couple other solid matches, but this one was what I got excited for the most on the show tonight.

Worst match of the night:

Corbin versus Sandow, because this one never happened. Ziggler jumped Corbin at the top of the ramp, thus ending the match. Poor Sandow.

In terms of one that did happen? Reigns/Del Rio. Had nothing, at least in one on one portion, that particularly sucked me in and kept me watching. The best part of this match was once Anderson, Gallows and Styles got involved.

Crowd Chants of the Night:




AJ Styles

Bullet Club


We want Lana

We can’t hear you

How you doin’

New Day rocks

Pretty sure I heard a Roman sucks chant too.

Let’s go Roman/Roman sucks

Star of the Night

I really didn’t know where I was going to go with this one, but I will give it to the debuting Anderson and Gallows. First for having their in ring debut, and then for keeping involved in the Reigns/Styles storyline. Sunday will be very interesting.

Spot of the Night:

AJ’s attempted moonsault off the apron. Even when missing, it looked pretty nice.

Zayn avoiding being flung into the barrier by leaping onto it and nailing his own moonsault.

Cesaro with a colossal European uppercut-and his glasses…never came off. Damn.

Jobber of the Night:

I am nominating the faux security guards from the opening segment. You just knew that something was going to be going down, since Steph kept saying “don’t touch me” and the goofiest looking one insisted on touching her. So he got slapped around a wee bit.

Upset of the Night:

Not really an upset, per se, but Rusev sure looked to have Zayn beat, but Sami was able to avoid the Accolade and roll up Rusev for the win.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

They actually acknowledged Chyna’s passing, and in a notable way. Instead of opening things up with a 10 bell salute (or maybe they did and I missed it?), we got an extended video package toward the middle of the last hour of RAW, complete with  number of Tweets and, more important, a number of significant clips. It was surreal hearing JR calling action again, just as it was seeing Chyna and Eddie Guerrero on screen. Even it just was a highlight from that great run. RIP Chyna.

Botch of the night:

Sheamus, in taking the top rope sunset flip, may have had an issue with his landing. Generally, you are trained to not bump on your ass, which is generally not how to take a bump. I suppose some blame could land on AJ too, in case he didn’t execute the flip the right way. But it looked to be more on Sheamus

Commentary of the night:

He’s an equal opportunity welt-giver

JBL, on Crews’ standing moonsault: “The first time I did that, that’s when Ron said damn”

LOL Moment of the night:

Dean Ambrose, delivering his apology which Chris Jericho had insisted on. From apologizing about Chris spending too much on his boots, to his hair cut…the lines were good times.

Noteworthy Moment:

I must have missed it, but I was so sure the tag team #1 contenders match was supposed to be on RAW tonight. Instead, we got the teams confronting one another, but the match is on Sunday, and we wait for that winner so we can see who challenges New Day.

Gallows and Anderson made their in ring debut, and looked pretty good in doing so-both in ring, and what they wore. I liked their ring attire, including the jackets.

Stephanie revealed during the opening segment of the show that her father would be at Payback, and that we’d find out during the show just who he’d want running RAW.

Overall lowlights:

Can’t stand Miz, and adding Maryse has not helped. I get it, they are heels, they are here to annoy..so I guess in that case perhaps they are OK…but the less I see the better.

Some decent matches, but I felt something was lacking.

I really wanted to see-expected to see-the number one contenders match. Didn’t get it. The confrontation between all the teams was at least pretty cool, so I guess there is that.

Overall highlights:

Seriously, how good is Enzo on the mic? That’s something that puts him ahead of a lot of NXT call-ups, like…ever. Sure, a lot of them can wrestle, but it’s harder to teach guys how to speak to and interact with the crowd. And yet, week in and week out, he continues to be among the best on the mic, in my humble opinion.

After the final bell:

Not the best go-home RAW, but not the worst either. We got the debut in ring, of Anderson and Gallows. How they interact with AJ is interesting to watch, especially knowing what is at stake on Sunday.

Nice package for Chyna. Could have been better,but this was a lot more than I expected.

Nice to see WWE acknowledge the NXT title change. Of course they were aiming to pull viewers in, but the package was good too.

Speaking of NXT, I liked the piece on Owens and Zayn. Don’t see those kinds of backstories told nearly enough.

All told, I am looking forward to Payback. Mostly for the McMahon decision and for the AJ/Roman match (because of AJ). Sunday can’t get here soon enough.

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  • ‘Drowen Hart #NN #NBNC ?????

    No ten second bell salute for Chyna. Just a video tribute. Kind of sad that the only closure she gets from WWE is from a video package.

  • Lisa

    Ambrose sucks big time. The less said about him the better.

  • Robert Krause

    How could have anyone missed that the tag #1 contenders match would be at payback they literally announced it before, during, and after the match. They even had pictures of it MULTIPLE TIMES. The fact that this made your low-lights is in itself a low-light.

    • jcice13

      I guess sometimes when one gets an idea in their head a certain way it stays in there that way so I imagine he thought it was to be on RAW

  • jcice13

    if I’ve ever agreed with anything you’ve ever said I couldn’t agree more than on your Miz analysis…I know he’s a heel and we’re supposed to despise him but he could be the pope( and I don’t mean the guy un TNA) and I’d still hate the guy…and I don’t want to get nasty but Maryse sure doesn’t look all that good at all.what happened to her face? I’m not saying she’s ugly or doesn’t have a smoking bod but is it just me? wasn’t she much more attractive a few years back?

  • jcice13

    I also noticed they are having less matches that are lasting longer….6 matches…wonder if that’s the way they’re leading the company into a different style of TV? and also am curious to see how it works out if they continue this.

  • Mike

    Good solid raw leading into payback. The whole is aj with gallows and Anderson thing is great. Three totally new guys involved in the main event scene. Ambrose and Jericho could steal the show at payback, it will be a great match. The same
    Could be said for zayn vs Owens, of course reigns vs styles is a great main event. I can’t really say immnot looking forward to any match. The miz
    Is annoying yes, but that makes him a good heel. So few heels can just get on the fans nerves these days. I think Jericho is the best heel
    On the roster, the way he gets heat is brilliant,
    considering how over he was as a baby face

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