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RAW In A Nutshell: Watch Them Fly

Happy Monday everyone!

As if RAW needed more ratings challenges, tonight things just get tougher. A good Monday Night Football matchup (go Eagles!), coupled with the return of many prime time television shows, means that the competition for viewers on Monday nights just got tougher still, and will largely remain this way for the next several months. What does it all mean? Maybe nothing, as with DVRs and such, people record a lot and watch later…and who knows if you watch RAW along with The Big Bang Theory?

If nothing else, it gives WWE an excuse for when ratings sag. If they sag. And they might. But on the bright side? The cruiserweights are making their long-awaited return to WWE’s main roster programming. So there’s that to look forward to.

Best Match of the night:

For this, I go with the #1 contender match for the cruiserweight title. Simple enough. Good action, good story, very enjoyable match.

Worst match of the night:

There were a couple, but I will go with a toss-up. The first? Strowman/Sin Cara. I get it, have Strowman beat up someone a little less like a jobber. Fine enough, but nothing worth watching. Second? The big tag match, because it was just thrown together and lacked any purpose other than to get a few matches hyped at once, however awkward it ended up.

Crowd Chants of the Night:

Foley! Foley!

Yes! Yes!

Let’s go jobber

how you doin’

New Day rocks

stupid idiot

this is awesome

Star of the Night

Going with four, because I am allowed-I mean, it’s my column, I can make the rules, right? Why else have your own column?

And tonight, it was Gran Metalik, The Brian Kendrick, Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander. I am so glad that WWE decided to do more than just run a tournament for these talented workers. Right now, these guys are the most exciting, non-Women’s Division act to watch on RAW. Maybe part of that is because they are new, but you cannot deny their excitement.

Because he won the match and will challenge Perkins Sunday, I give Kendrick the nod as the star of the four.

Spot of the Night:

I am not picking just one. Well, I am, but I am not. Confused? Fine, don’t be.

I am not picking a spot. I am, instead, picking one match. The four way cruiserweight match to determine the #1 contender to face TJ Perkins at Clash of Champions. Why the whole match? Because cruiserweight matches are, or can be, a thing of beauty. And tonight? Tonight this one was.

That, or Rollins, leaping onto KO and Rusev…from the TOP OF THE CAGE. Granted, it was lame to a point, because both Owens and Rusev were staring up at Seth getting into position, so it was a bit forced, but still, big spot.

Jobber of the Night:

Has to be the jobber fed to Bo Dallas tonight. And for another Monday night, we got a “let’s go jobber” chant. Gary Graham, enjoy your 15 of fame. As in, one minute, 15 seconds. That’s about how long the match went.

Upset of the Night:

Reigns going over on KO. Not a huge upset, but surprised that, heading into a title defense, Owens would take a loss-even if it was in a gimmick match.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Vince Carter is in the house. He plays for the Grizzlies now? Wait, he still plays? Sorry, slight tangent there, but I honestly thought that guy had retired!

And, in a really good move? Jericho wrestled in pants instead of trunks. I started watching him wrestle, back in his Lionheart days in ECW, when he would sport the full pants. And I think it’s a better look for him.

Botch of the night:

Dana Brooke needed a couple tries to get a tag made.

Commentary of the night:

All Jericho wanted to do was air some greivances!

Not much else stood out. This happens…

LOL Moment of the night:

The jobber going against Bo (Gary Graham)…what was up with those tights? Half off should be a discount, not a fashion statement!

Noteworthy Moment:

In what really is no shock, Roman Reigns versus Rusev has been made official, for the US Title, at Clash of Champions on Sunday.

In what I can only think was odd booking in order to get a lot of people some TV time, we had the List of Jericho being read by Y2J, initially intended as a list knocking GM Foley, but which became a chance for all the key tag teams to come out and beat up each other, and for Sami Zayn to come down and go after his opponent this Sunday. Just odd booking. Granted, it led to a filler big tag match at the top of the 10pm hour, but it was just so…odd.

Overall lowlights:

Reigns getting booed. WWE has a problem with him, because they book him as a babyface, and most people….or at least….enough people…don’t respond to him as such. He’s too divisive with the crowds to be considered a decent face at this juncture, so to me it says a lot that he’s even getting the US Title shot. But, no matter what, they need to figure his booking out, and fast.

Ditto Seth Rollins. Crowd wants him to be a face…WWE has him work matches against heels…but…no full on turn. Can’t tell if they are just waiting to flip him back, or what.

It’s your first night of Cruiserweights on RAW. You just last week crowned your first Cruiserweight Champion in a long time. Where was he tonight??

Overall highlights:

Anyone surprised that the lackluster Best of 7 went from 3-0 Sheamus, to tied 3 all? With the final match taking place this Sunday? OK, the series has been so-so, but things are getting interesting.

The cruiserweight division. It will end up sucking that it is ONLY on RAW, but the way things are going, in order to sustain three hours, RAW needed them. Badly.

The last few minutes of RAW. Might we finally have gotten the definitive face turn for Rollins? Not sure, but possible. Saving Reigns won’t put him over all by itself, and it could easily be dismissed as more like Rollins wanted at Owens, as opposed to saving Roman (which, of course, is what Cole pointed out).

After the final bell:

After a long wait, the cruisers delivered.

It was not a horrible show, nor was it a horrible build toward Sunday’s Clash. Compared to SmackDown and Backlash, this build (and the card) feel more promising.

But, in spite of some good bits? RAW, overall, felt lacking. Again. Waiting for them to put together three hours, or close to three hours, where you don’t want to turn the show off or even step away, outside of commercials. I don’t know if that kind of writing even exists in pro wrestling anymore.


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