Raw took place in Omaha, Nebraska tonight and was, like the crowd for 99% of the show, extremely stale. Most of the wrestling was solid, but was bogged down by so many backstage segments and Network/YouTube promotion. While I know all of that stuff kills time, I just don’t want to see it. Tonight was the first night I said “huh, maybe this should go back to being two hours”. But for now lets ignore all that and focus on the in-ring stuff.
Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel
Considering I never cared for inanimate objects like Mr. Socko or The Cobra, I didn’t think I would be amused by all the talk of Mitch The Plant, but I actually was. Sure, Jericho did his whole “I’m the best in the world at what I do” shtick, but he was also able to use the plant to crap on Ambrose. I enjoyed it. I’m obviously a fan of Cass, but I’m a little confused as to why he’s getting the “big-man push” when he’s clearly still in a tag-team. He looked good out there though, dwarfing Jericho in size and giving “this isn’t is a cry for attention. it’s a warning” line.
*I’m waiting for Stephanie to do something that will explain her sudden complete 180 from heel to face. Two weeks ago she would have sided with Jericho and now she’s putting him in dangerous matches. Weird.
Baron Corbin vs Dolph Ziggler
This was clearly better than their match on the Payback pre-show. They had some great spots like the sequence outside the ring before the commercial break and of course the Deep Six, which looked phenomenal being used on Dolph. The transition to the End of Days was nice too. These guys aren’t going to get any significant amount of time and it seems like they’re pretty limited in terms of what they can do in there together, so I think its time to feed someone else to Corbin. Dolph did his job.
Winner: Baron Corbin
R-Truth vs Fandango
I’m sorry, this whole program is so boring. And poor Tyler Breeze is stuck in the middle of it. I’m sure he appreciates being able to work more but not only is it all not funny, but the matches are quick and pointless. The fans were the quietest they’d be the entire show, which is saying something.
Paige vs Charlotte
Easily one of the better parts of the show. These two always have solid matches, and tonight was no different. They have really good in-ring chemistry, and that allowed for some nice stuff on the outside and kick sequences by both, and of course Paige’s Superplex from the second rope. The finish was actually really fun to watch, with Ric Flair coming down despite being banned from ringside earlier in the night by Shane who would send some referee’s out to get him. Paige would get the roll-up win (a move we saw way too much tonight) and hopefully this gets her back in a title storyline soon. She’s too good to be stuck with all the generics.
Sami Zayn vs The Miz
Sami was the only one working in the first few minutes here, as his arm-drags and some of his other stuff was spot-on, whereas Miz didn’t do anything of interest for quite a while. Throwing Sami off onto the steps followed by the boot to the face was very cool to watch, as was Sami’s moonsault off the barricade. He hit a Michinoku Driver as well, and Cole finally knows the difference between that and a Blue Thunder Bomb apparently, so that’s a step in the right direction. Miz looks strong even in defeat, and I have no doubt he’ll retain the IC title at Extreme Rules
Winner: Sami Zayn
* Dana Brooke attacking Becky Lynch during her words with Emma was very cool. Good choice for a call-up.
Rusev vs Sin Cara
Nothing noteworthy here, except maybe that Sin Cara didn’t mess up any of the high-end moves. Rusev barely gets a chance to show his real ability anymore which is sad, and taking a 6-second roll-up pin from a dude half his size doesn’t help him either. That end was a mess. Kalisto got up on the apron too early, the ref wasn’t in position….just bad.
Winner: Sin Cara
Roman Reigns and The Usos vs AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Why this was happening at 10 p.m. made no sense to me. That would’ve been a solid way to end the show, and quite frankly a more interesting way but hey, I’m not booking the show. This match had one of those what I like to call “Nexus vs WWE at SummerSlam” feels to it where everyone took a pin to something they would never usually take a pin to; one of the Usos to a quick roll-up (again), Gallows to a Superman Punch. I know it was an elimination match and they weren’t gonna go for a half hour but still. It was a fun match though, especially AJ/Roman’s brawl outside before the DQ and even the stuff after that. I wasn’t sure how great of chemistry the two of them would have, but they’re really doing well with each other. Roman can learn a lot from the three of them.
Winners: Reigns and the Usos
Kevin Owens vs Zack Ryder
Did anyone really think Ryder was going to win here? No. The answer is no. The IC title picture is so clustered right now with some of the best workers in the company and even though he deserves a fair shot at it again, he’s just not going to get anywhere right now. Ryder didn’t get completely squashed, but Owens get the decisive win with the Pop-Up Powerbomb looking as dominant as always. He’s a beast.
Winner: Kevin Owens
New Day vs The Dudley Boyz
The lack of any reaction from the audience at any point in this match made it the hardest to get through. These two teams can’t, and didn’t, have a bad match together, but the crowd was sleeping. The Vaudevillians coming out and not attacking Big E even though he went after them first didn’t make a lot of sense to me as they’re supposed to be heels, and neither did Kofi losing via Clothesline, but again, I’m not booking it.
Winners: The Dudley Boyz
Big Cass vs Chris Jericho
Ambrose coming out and attacking Jericho for the jacket with the lights down was cool, and I can see why they waited till the end of the show to do it. With all the involvement of inanimate objects I’m just scared that their stipulation for Extreme Rules is going to be something super gimmicky now, so hopefully that won’t be the case. I do hope that Cass gets to hang out in Ambrose’s corner as “the muscle” while Enzo is out of commission and I think that’s what they may have been going for but you really never know with WWE. I don’t think it’ll be worth closing the show again, but it was solid ending.