Raw took place at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma tonight. Not the hottest crowd in the world, but a decent show to say the least. Not only did Roman Reigns, WWE’s champion, and Seth Rollins get NO in-ring build tonight, Roman didn’t get his ass in the ring either. Instead, they focused on the real main events of the show, with guys who actually work. Lets take a look
Money In The Bank Match Promo
All six participants from Sunday’s upcoming MITB ladder match are in the ring, but on ladders. Each man, well, mostly Kevin Owens, took turns on the mic to proclaim their eventual victory on Sunday, or to take jabs at the other men in the ring. Having them on ladders allowed them to be right next to the briefcase, which for me was a cool visual to see. Jericho ran his mouth enough to start a brawl between the men, who were interrupted by a returning Teddy Long. He expressed his interest in becoming the General Manager of Smackdown (I think) and rambled on and on. Stephanie McMahon made her way out and made sense of things, announcing singles matches between the participants throughout the night. Fun opening segment.
Chris Jericho vs Cesaro
This match started off rather slow and was pretty uneventful until after the commercial break. Then the action started to pick up and we had some really cool spots, such as the counter from the Cesaro Swing into the roll-up, and from the Springboard Uppercut into the Codebreaker. Cesaro, to my dissatisfaction, rolled out of the ring and scored the win after a few more minutes of fast-paced action. Wasn’t too pleased that he won via the Sharpshooter since that isn’t HIS move, but after Jericho had that split-second delay in one of the closing moments of the match, I guess I’ll take it.
Seth Rollins’ Perspective
This is essentially for anyone who didn’t see the WWE 24 episode on Rollins. If you didn’t, you should because it was fantastic. Get the Network.
Rusev vs Jack Swagger w/Titus O’Neil on commentary
Nothing has even happened yet and I’m already yawning. Good for Jack for getting a hometown moment though. However, this one ended up being more competitive then generally all of the squash matches they’ve been in over the last few years. I loved the double clothesline spot on the outside…perfectly set up the opportunity for Rusev to push Swagger into Titus, scoring him the count-out victory. Titus is clearly next in line for a US Title shot: probably as a ‘We’re sorry for suspending you for no reason” gift.
John Cena Promo w/AJ Styles, Anderson and Gallows
Once AJ was out there (again, chills), Cena honestly gave one of his best promos in years. He overstated AJ’s failures since arriving in WWE, but then AJ came back with the “You bury guys like me” line and all was forgiven. It doesn’t matter that Cena is the stepping stone of the wrestling business, we’ve seen him, whether he intends to or not, bury some bright ass talent over the years. AJ is too big of a star to be buried so I’m not worried about that, and he’ll be getting a win or two over Cena before it’s all said and done, but this feud is still one of the most exciting in recent memory. I still don’t think that they will have done enough promo wise after next week to have built up the match, but they’re clearly going with it no matter what so I’ll live.
Enzo and Cass vs The Vaudevillians
A good match, but relatively short for my taste. Check out their match from WrestleMania Axxess on YouTube…goes for about 15 minutes and it’s a super fun watch. Anyway, I thought it was funny that the crowd did not seem to care whatsoever about the re-done spot that gave Enzo a concussion at Payback, and even less that Cass was standing in the corner about to go nuts. He did look pretty phenomenal during the beatdown though…all he needs to do is change some of his moveset and he’ll be somewhat golden. The look Enzo gave when he got back in the ring said it all. What a great heel he’ll be one day.
Sami Zayn vs Alberto Del Rio
Was this a first time ever?? I might not like Alberto Del Rio but THIS is a program I’d like to see in-depth. I enjoyed it for what it was and while there weren’t any spots I was particularly wowed by, they delivered. It started off fast righ away, with Zayn hitting that moonsault off the barricade almost right into it. Zayn’s arm-drag off the top was cool as well. What surprised me most of course was the fact that Del Rio won as clean as anything. That doesn’t happen to Zayn often, so when Del Rio pinned him, after gloating by the way, after the Double Foot-Stomp or whatever he’s calling it, I was intruiged. We’re in for an exciting MITB match for sure….lots of developments in there
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Roman Reigns’ Perspective
This was way less exciting then Seth’s promo. It’s stuff we saw in the build-up to WrestleMania 32 as well, and Reigns is so dull, that I tuned it out a bit.
Kevin Owens vs Dean Ambrose
These two always put on great matches. My favorite of course, was the one at the Rumble and while this one wasn’t as extreme, I enjoyed it immensely. Some of the camera angles here were 100% on point such as the spot with the Cannonball in the corner or the Frog Splash on the outside. Both guys are stiff, but Owens just does it with such ease that you cringe watching him do stuff, while at the same time loving every second of it. Ambrose did not need the win here at all since he literally wins all the time, and it would have greatly benefited Owens had the gave it to him. There’s a really good chance he’ll win the whole thing at MITB so it makes sense to have him lose, I just hate seeing it happen against a guy who shouldn’t be winning half the matches he does.
Winner: Dean Ambrose
Charlotte Promo with Dana Brooke, Natalya and Becky Lynch
Well that was kind of awkward. So far there’s been no Women’s Title match announced for MITB and for good reason. There’s no story anywhere except for maybe Charlotte and Nattie, but we’ve already seen that multiple times. Dana Brooke faking switching sides wasn’t even interesting considering how awkward it looked….she just stood there with a weird look on her face, slowly walked to the other side of the ring, then for some reason, had an issue with punching, because she either missed or barely even threw a real one. Sasha Banks where you at?
Tyler Breeze w/Fandango vs R-Truth w/Goldust
A quick throwaway that ended with Fandango awkwardly getting thrown into the ring and onto R-Truth. Really?
Muhammad Ali tribute
A beautiful tribute to the greatest of all time. Thank you for that WWE.
New Day vs The Club
The brawl we got before the bell rang might as well have been the match, cause it was pretty damn good. Woods looked pretty fantastic on his own, before AJ hit a Styles Clash of all moves on the outside of the ring. Not a lot of things make me genuinely mark out, but that really did.
A three-on-two handicap match followed, and a good one at that. Kofi and Big E carried themselves well, taking some nice bumps and dishing out some good offense of their own. Big E wasn’t ready for a singles push when he first came up, but he certainly is now. Loved him and AJ doing their thing on the outside and again, that camera angle thoooo. AJ hit a pele kick right in front of it and it looked fantastic. AJ pinned Kofi with a Phenomenal Forearm and proceeded to beat New Day down before Cena came out for the save. We’ll probably have a six-man tag match next week on Raw, but I need for AJ and Cena to get in a little time together cause the match will be way less interesting if they go into it having barely touched each other at all. It was predictable, but I didn’t mind it.
Overall a good show, but I feel like Rollins/Reigns, which should be the most important thing for WWE right now, went absolutely nowhere. They weren’t even on the damn show. This is more towards Roman, but I’d hate to be in the back and know that I have to carry a show while my champion isn’t even on TV. AJ/Cena and the ladder match were booked well tonight…I’m excited for those, and I can actually see progression there. Since next week is the go-home show they’ll clearly be on TV for that one, but still. Not a fan of that. In terms of matches, the whole main event segment was my favorite…The Club gelled better with New Day in a week then they did with the Usos in a month, so I wanna see more of it.