RAW is live from Columbus, Ohio tonight, and it’s a week removed from the Superstar Shakeup. We’ve seen, for the most part, who from RAW changed from red to blue. So tonight is all about moving forward. Will Braun Strowman be punished for his attack on Roman Reigns last week? Will he be at it again? All that, and a whole lot more as things are set up for Payback in two weeks. Hold on tight!
Best Match of the night:
Jeff Hardy and Cesaro. That, right there, was really and truly your main event. It was a nice tease to a possible/probable/eventual return to singles action for Jeff (or Cesaro). It was pretty nice to see a really great match, and even though both tag partners were at ringside, it was an absolutely clean match. And, post-match, nice show of sportsmanship.
Honorable mentions tonight? The women’s number one contender match was a good one.
Also, Jericho and Samoa Joe was a strong opening match, and another clean match, too.
And, can’t sleep on Show/Strowman. Far better than I expected.
Worst match of the night:
Balor and Hawkins. It’s not here because of Balor. Just a throw away match, though given Balor reportedly suffered a concussion during his singles return, this cupcake match would have been a good way for fans to get to see him, and for him to get an easy, low risk win. But still, would have rather just had Balor out to talk.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
How you doin’
There was a weak Awesome chant during Miz TV
Let’s go Big Show/Let’s go Strowman
Star of the Night
Strowman. It’s all about him lately, isn’t it?
Spot of the Night:
Show running Strowman into the metal door, after Strowman throws Kalisto in the trash.
Nia Jax, using Sasha as a battering ram to knock Mickie James off the top rope.
Strowman. Show. Superplex from the top. Busted ring. And, now we have confirmed why they went on last.
Jobber of the Night:
Hawkins. It’s always Hawkins. Unless it’s not.
I have to give a nod to Golden Truth and Kalisto too. I mean, you get fed to Braun Strowman, you at least deserve a mention here, if not the win, right?
The ref in the main event, for either taking a nasty looking bump and selling it well, or taking an actual nasty spill.
Upset of the Night:
Minor surprise that Bliss won, not Nia or Sasha. But I wouldn’t term it an upset.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Braun’s rampage, even after destroying Roman Reigns last week. He obliterated Goldust and R-Truth. He took Kalisto and threw him into the trash
Botch of the night:
Less a botch, more of a “way to be too obvious”. Gallows was like three seconds too early and too obvious in taking Cass’ big boot. He was like five feet from the ropes. Cass heads to the opposite rope, and as soon as Cass took off, Gallows backs up and grabs the ropes, preparing himself to flip over. Have to make it less obvious.
Cole, talking about Miz and others who came over as part of the Superstar Shakeup, said “he came over from RAW”. Meant over to RAW, but still. A botch is a botch.
Commentary of the night:
No folks, don’t adjust your audio…you are hearing Booker T back in the announce position, if only temporarily (not commentary, just a public service announcement).
Tell me he’s not going to do that!?
That wasn’t a Mary Poppins. That was falling with style!
I don’t think the umbrella does much to break the fall.
The weather forecast earlier tonight called for a Supermoon, but they might have to cancel it. That match might eclipse it!
If the comet didn’t eliminate the dinosaurs, these two sure would have.
LOL Moment of the night:
Gallows and Anderson saying Strowman gave Golden Truth the United Airlines treatment. Yikes. Maybe too soon there.
Miz: “Why don’t you go ahead and put on a fanny pack and Zubaz and take us back thirty years”. That was a good one.
Hawkins, claiming that Big Show is main eventing the show tonight because he faced him last week.
Jericho, with Mike backstage, calling him Tom. He was about to have him make The List, but then Elias Samson walked through the segment, and Samson made the list instead.
They kicked it back stage, outside the trainers room, for a medical update on the trio that Strowman put down earlier. Then Slater and Rhyno (eating crackers and spray cheese) came up, hyping how he’s on RAW. Strowman was heard coming down the hallway, and Rhyno tried to cover himself up with his plate of crackers. I have no idea what he was thinking, but it was funny.
Braun Strowman will face Roman Reigns at Payback in two weeks. Even though they want us to believe severely injured his shoulder and ribs last week in the ambulance debacle. Memo to WWE…having Reigns come back quickly like this, from fake injuries? Not going to make fans like him more. As it is, a great many of the fans probably are rooting hard for Strowman to bring the Roman Empire to a decisive end.
Alexa Bliss wins a fatal fourway #1 contender match, and gets to face Bayley at Payback.
Is it just me, or did Balor get a bit of a new intro? Not the music, just the graphics. Last week it was Balor Club, today it was neat, but definitely different.
Maybe it’s me, but the cross-branding of the “brand exclusive” Payback is kind of annoying. Like…someone waited a week too long to do the Shakeup, or something.
And, I am sure I am in the minority, but the Bray Wyatt vignettes and all? Getting a bit less interesting by the week. Clearly, when they show all the fans with their cellphone flashlights on, I am one of the minority. But it’s just overdone. Perhaps WrestleMania, with the videos cutting in and out during the title match, was where he really jumped the shark for me, but either way, jump the shark he has.
The Hardyz are bringing it, the crowd loves it, and honestly, I wish we did have more hard fought, spirited matches between rivals who, when the match is over, can still shake hands. I get that the bitter feud where you want to tear each other apart is a part of wrestling, but the handshake and mutual respect is super cool too.
Kind of like how WWE is pushing Strowman. Hell of a visual to end the match. Now, just have him bury Reigns…
After the final bell:
Not a bad RAW. Pretty good for the most part, a couple lulls in the middle but overall a nice show, and a really strong finish.