Here it is! It’s finally here! Yes indeed, it’s the biggest RAW of the year! The post-Mania RAW has become the most hotly anticipated show on the calendar, and tonight has proven no different. What surprises are in store for us? We have three hours to find out. What we know we are seeing? Matt and Jeff Hardy continue their welcome back tour, defending their newly won gold. We get to see new Universal Champion Brock Lesnar in action. And so much more. We expect to see a new GM, especially because Stephanie took a table bump last night, and that’s just the obvious surprise. So, let’s see what we are getting tonight!
Best Match of the night:
The main event was satisfying enough. The crowd had been begging for Balor all night, and when they finally got him back, the main event had a chance to send folks home happy. It was not a great match, certainly no match of the year, but it was easily match of the night. Worth noting that Balor and Rollins even played nice.
Honorable mention to Neville and Ali, who delivered an impressive match too.
Worst match of the night:
Zayn and Jinder Mahal. Do I need to say any more?
Crowd Chants of the Night:
F you Roman
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Thank you Brock
Finn! Finn! Finn!
We want Balor!
Star of the Night
The crowd, hot as always for these shows.
The Hardys, getting much love for their homecoming.
The Revival, victorious in their debut.
Finn Balor, also victorious in his return match.
Spot of the Night:
Nothing spectacular, but it was sweet to see Shatter Machine on RAW, and the Coupe de Grace back on RAW.
Jobber of the Night:
New Day, but not in the traditional sense. They looked good enough against The Revival, but they did the job and put Dash and Dawson over in their debut on RAW.
Upset of the Night:
None. Just was not an upset kind of night.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
KO and Samoa Joe destroy Chris Jericho backstage. The men are scheduled, along with Seth Rollins, for a tag match later on. Makes you wonder if a certain Demon might take Jericho’s place? Stay tuned!
And the answer to that question, of course, we had a bit later, as Finn Balor did indeed make his long awaited return.
Botch of the night:
Sasha and Dana Brooke whiffed on their double drop kick on Nia. Graves nicely said it was a glancing blow.
Heyman had a couple fumbles too.
Commentary of the night:
What is Woods wearing? What are they, the Legion of Dumb?
Go ahead Saxton, go count ’em. I promise you, no one will miss you.
Yes, yes a thousand times yes! I’ve been waiting for this day!
That won’t separate your shoulder. That’ll divorce it.
LOL Moment of the night:
You just forget how much comedy gold Angle can provide. And tonight was a great reminder. His interaction with Enzo and Cass? Awesome. He actually responded to Enzo asking “how you doin'”. When Enzo said you can’t teach that, Angle said “not in any school I’ve ever been in”. And after Cass spelled out S-A-W-F-T and they left…Angle chuckles and says “that’s not how you spell soft”. I love Mick Foley, but this is a nice change.
Your new GM of RAW is Kurt Angle. And he has a bit of a perspiration issue, soaking through his suit coat.
Mr. McMahon announces that next week there is going to be some manner of Superstar shakeup between RAW and SmackDown. Details were sparse, so no news if it’s a draft, or just a couple guys changing spots.
New Day issued an open challenge, and finally The Revival have made their main roster debut. And, they laid waste to New Day, in rather impressive fashion.
Emma finally returns, as just Emma. And she actually wrestled!
Reigns, basically getting booed out of the ring during the opening segment. And, worse, WWE spins it as fans being mad at him because he beat the Undertaker last night. Yes…that’s the ONLY reason he has heat. Not…
Kurt Angle as GM could be a blast. His first was rather good, mixing the serious and the comedic elements, and with his unique delivery and timing, it’s a refreshing change from the Foley Era. And, to be clear, I liked Foley.
The Revival making their long overdue debut, and the crowd loved it.
Finn Balor returned, and was victorious as Seth Rollins’ tag partner.
We have our first title match for Payback, as Cesaro and Sheamus will challenge Matt and Jeff Hardy for the RAW tag titles.
After the final bell:
I think it was a less electric RAW than in years past, as I thought could be possible. I blame this on really needing to split the excitement and surprises between two live shows. It used to be all would come out and be revealed tonight, but I have to believe (and I certainly hope) that they saved a call up or two for SmackDown.
I give Angle high marks in his debut, even though it was about as poor a secret as the Hardys returning last night. Like, neither one was announced, but both had been long rumored and expected. All things considered, however, I can not be upset with either one.