This Raw flew by, which is an automatic thumbs-up in my book. There was Brock and Joe, there was Sasha smashing Alexa in the mouth, and there was a 2 out of 3 Falls Main Event for a championship. I don’t ask for much, but I do want stakes in my main event, and this Raw had it.
Onto the show…
Brock and Heyman kicked off the show instantly, which is NEVER a bad thing in my eyes. I was a little confused when Heyman started saying that SAMOA Joe hides the fact that he’s Samoan, as it’s in his f’n name! Also, calling Joe a “mutt” a few times was a bit much, but I guess he wants that heat. Joe’s music hit, and it showed just how perfect it’ll be for cutting off future heels cutting promos on the baddest dude Raw has to offer.
Brock and Joe fighting until the entire locker room emptied, instead of talking, is the way to start feud/episode of Raw. When Joe snuck a superkick in, after breaking free from half of the Raw roster, I was in shock and joy at the best Raw open of 2017. Joe getting a big blast in, and Brock not getting to retaliate, was a huge step-up for Joe in the WWE Universe.
They came back from commercial with Elias Samson, my boy THE DRIFTER, and I was right back into the proceedings. I wish the crowd could come up with something besides Bray’s fireflies to show their appreciation for Samson jamming, but perhaps these two ‘long-hairs’ can end up fighting for them.
Dean Ambrose vs Elias “The Drifter” Samson
It was your usual Dean Ambrose match. It featured rest-holds, the weakest clothesline/suicide dive in the business, and a Miz run-in. The surprise came when Ambrose got into the ring before the 10-count, which I thought would be his demise, but instead Samson finished Dean-o with a Kneedrop, and then his rolling reverse DDT move.
Goldust stays promo’n, but I’m ready for him to get back to in-ring work!
Miz and Maryse have a little run-in with GM Kurt Angle. For some reason I just tune out with Angle in a suit comes on screen.
Cedric Alexander vs Noam Dar
Noam Dar, Cedric Alexander, and Foxy are all sharing the screen(s) still for some reason. We’ve ALL moved on. Alicia Fox annoyed the world/crowd by saying “Noam” twenty times, and a Lumbar Check is the only move it took for Cedric to get the victory. It took longer for the ring crew to get the purple tape on the ropes than the match itself, and that was also probably more interesting.
A long Bray Wyatt promo from the back to the ring. Then Seth Rollins came out to the ring to argue with Bray, and then Bray teleported to the back to laugh at Seth. It’s so hard to give a damn about any of these WWE promos for some reason.
Kalisto vs Apollo Crews w/Titus O’Neill
I like that Titus is stepping his brand up by having Tozawa sit front row for this match. Apollo Crew’s version of the Blue Thunder Bomb is way nastier than whatever Sami Zayn is doing. The awkward post-match celebration with Tozawa was worth tuning in for.
It took Rhyno, Heath Slater, and The Miz to pull off a backstage segment that was as entertaining as it was plot furthering. Heath wants an IC Title shot, Rhyno punks Miz, and it was funny. More Heath and Rhyno would be a plus, but it seems Heath is about to swerve ol’ Rhyno’s cheese guzzling self.
Alexa Bliss starting a promo that just leads to all of the Raw Women’s Division interrupting each other until Sasha Banks starts a brawl. The biggest takeaway was the the crowd only seems to care about Sasha, and Emma had the deadest crowd reaction on Raw in months, but she probably injured herself on her walk to the ring anyway. Seems like Raw is just stealing its segment from SD Live! here.
Dana Brooke, Sasha Banks, & Mickie James vs Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, & Emma
Alexa went FULL-Kevin Owens with her walk-out, as Sasha made Emma tap-out in a mercifully short match. Dana Brooke looks out of place every time they cut to her face.
Bayley with an awkward promo about how she’s showing little kids to live the dream. It ended with her asking Graves for a hug, and making her seem even more like a weak child. Bayley doesn’t seem to be going anywhere but down in her Raw run.
Rhyno & Heath Slater vs The Miz & Mystery Partner
A man in a bear costume rode a little tri-cycle out, and joined The Miz. I imagine many people turned to the NBA Finals during this segment. They pointed out that the bear was holding the tag rope, but then Cole said “most superstars don’t do that anymore”, which made me want to spit in Cole’s face.
This match was silly, and the bear reveal was a nobody, so in the end it was lame. Ambrose coming in as a second bear didn’t help, but the Cavs lost their lead to the Warriors during this segment. Sucks for Miz. Slater gets the win after Dean The Bear killed Miz with some double-arm DDT’s.
Neville vs Rich Swann
Swann gets whooped, and Neville says “it feels good to be king”, and then complained about it while namedropping Tozawa. I get a kick out of the “KING OF THE NORTH”… I mean “Cruiserweights”!
The Club vs Enzo & Cass
The match almost didn’t start because Cass was found “assaulted” in the backstage area. Eventually it went off, but The Club overpowered Enzo and weaker Cass. Almost hit the POST-MATCH Magic Killer, but The Big Show broke it up. Cass reacted like a scorned lover, and seemed mad that Enzo had Big Show’s help. The whole storyline is played out, and has taken the energy out of E&C entirely.
The R-Truth production was all right, but he’s mostly just doing a bad impression of Goldust in their build-up.
Enzo confronting Big Show about attacking Cass ended up being pretty good stuff. I like how Show delivers his lines, and there’s some edge to him calling Big Cass “SAWFT’.
Joe cutting a late show promo had some suspense, as I was hoping for a Brock attack. No such thing happened, but Joe brought the energy.
2 out of 3 Falls WWE Tag Team Championship Match – Hardy Boyz vs Sheamus & Cesaro (C)
The perfect Raw main event. It’s all about stakes (as I mentioned earlier), and pulling off a great match, and it was all there.
First fall came down to Jeff Hardy catching a BROGUE KICK while trying to pop over Sheamus in the corner. The second fall began with a big fat commercial (including a pizza commercial featuring The Club and Noam Dar), then gave Jeff Hardy enough time to build some energy for the Matt Hardy hot tag. Matt deleted Sheamus and Cesaro for the tying fall after a Twist of Fate on Cesaro.
Final fall was all about near-falls, as Cesaro kept saving Sheamus at the very last millisecond. Both teams battled to the outside where they were inevitably counted out for a tie. They figured NJPW did a Broadway ending, so why not Raw?
Top 3 Stars of the Show
- * Sheamus & Cesaro – These dudes are the hardest hitting guys on the Raw roster, and that’s my favorite thing to see in wrestling. If you’re going to do a move then you should make it look like there’s solid contact, and Sheasaro never have a problem there.
- ** The Hardy Boyz – They don’t need a wacky gimmick to tear the roof off the Cajun Dome, as they proved tonight. I still love “DELETE” chants.
- *** Rhyno – That’s right! RHYNO! He was just too hilarious punking Miz in their backstage segment not to give a shout-out to.