The show kicks off with the RAW power couple introducing the new roster, recapping last night and how RAW left the PPV without the WWE title, and that because of that, we are getting a RAW-specific belt. Dubbed the WWE Universal Championship. More on that later.
Best Match of the night:
I love it when you have options. And tonight? Tonight we have options.
Choice one: The opening fatal fourway, which propelled a debuting Finn Balor into RAW’s main event.
Choice two: Sasha Banks versus Charlotte, which saw Banks win her first Women’s Title.
You could even give the main event a nod, honestly.
For me? I go with Sasha’s title win.
Worst match of the night:
I guess Strowman’s match lands here? Just by default. It was forgettable.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
New Day Rocks
Let’s go Sasha
Yes! Yes! Yes!
You deserve it
How you doin’
Star of the Night
Two of ’em.
Sasha Banks, for her Women’s Title win.
Finn Balor, for winning a fourway and defeating Roman Reigns, on his first night on RAW, to claim the #1 contender spot for the new Universal Championship.
Spot of the Night:
It’s sweet to finally see the Coup de Grace on RAW.
It’s also extremely satisfying to see the Red Arrow back on RAW.
Jobber of the Night:
Britt Baker. Amazing that she was actually named, but she got absolutely mauled by Nia Jax, as WWE works to build her up as the next big thing in the women’s division. Remember the last time WWE had numerous legitimate title contenders in the Women’s Division? Yeah, it’s been a while.
And then there was the Elsworth fellow, whomever it was, that they fed to Strowman. Man we got some throwback jobbers, back to when jobbers were actually jobbers. Love it!
Upset of the Night:
Not sure if I can really call this an upset, more of a stunner. I had expected Sasha and Charlotte to face off at SummerSlam, with that night being Sasha’s night to win the Women’s Championship. Instead, it happened just about a month sooner, with Sasha defeating Charlotte and claiming her first WWE Women’s Championship in the process.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Sasha’s suicide dive onto Charlotte, where the challenger landed awkwardly on her face and neck. This could have been in the spots of the night, but looking at replay after replay, the landing made me say holy sh@$.
Gallows and Anderson interrupting the New Day party to attack the longest-reigning tag team champions and send a message that they want the gold.
I am impressed. Amazed, even. That WWE would put Reigns in the main event and against Balor, but that they let Balor go over. It wouldn’t have been all that long ago where they’d give us the same match, with Reigns going over.
Botch of the night:
After coming back from commerical, the cameras and announce team are clearly not used to the new position. As the camera panned up to focus on the match being introduced between Neville and Curtis Axel, the guys didn’t know quite when to stop looking at the the camera. Cole kept looking up, Saxton looked kind of bored. It was awkward and funny.
Commentary of the night:
Gallows and Anderson aren’t worried about balloons and cereal. They’re all about checks and championships.
Pokemon Go just cost the Shining Stars the match.
Roman, you can pick up your teeth in Section 118.
LOL Moment of the night:
New Day, talking about how it was a nice/huge/big package, commemorating their 337 days (and counting) as tag team champions.
Goldust and R-Truth, walking around the backstage area playing Pokemon Go.
Charlotte, losing extensions during an intense championship match.
Nice debut by Finn Balor, winning his opening RAW match, a Fatal Fourway to fight to be in the SummerSlam match for the new RAW title.
The WWE Universal Champion will be crowned at SummerSlam, in a match between Seth Rollins and Finn Balor. Who is going to have himself a busy SummerSlam weekend, facing Nakamura during TakeOver and then Rollins the next night.
Sasha, paying tribute and pulling a page out of the late, great Eddie Guerrero’s book-tossing the Women’s Belt to Dana, then making it look as though Dana had, or was about to hit her, which got Charlotte’s minion booted from ringside.
Brock Lesnar is live on RAW next week. That ought to be interesting.
Not a huge fan of the proliferation of championships brought about by the brand split. It’s not as though we didn’t just get rid of two belts in favor of a redesigned WWE Championship. I mean, it hasn’t been that long, right?
And, I am all for the New Era, and a new look. But the new RAW logo? Uninspired. Bland. Lacking. Totally unimpressed by it. The graphics packages aren’t horrible, but the logo itself just begs for something more. It’s not every day that they get to re-brand their shows, and I feel like they fumbled this one. I’m nervously anticipating the new Universal belt.
Kudos to WWE that they feel they have a surge in roster depth, that they can not only sustain the brand split, but also warrant two world-ish champions again. Because it wasn’t that long ago when the roster was decimated, no one seemed able to stay healthy, and certain guys were working while injured just because things were so bad.
A nice debut by Finn Balor. And Nia Jax, for that matter.
And a huge. HUGE. win, for Balor to challenge Rollins at SummerSlam.
Neville looked strong in his TV return.
Congrats to Sasha Banks on her title win.
After the final bell:
A pretty strong show to kick off the new era.Â Some mis-steps (the logo), but all in all some good wrestling. I am ambivalent on the name of the RAW title (why not just call it the RAW Heavyweight title). But if the belt looks good, the name won’t matter. If the belt is fugly? Then God help them.
Looking forward to next week, and tomorrow night for that matter. If tonight’s any indication, the new era ought to be interesting.