Raw came to you LIVEEEE from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan tonight. After last weeks somewhat underwhelming holiday edition of Raw, hopefully WWE picks it back up again tonight. With John Cena apparently not coming as he is in LA rehearsing for his hosting gig at the ESPY’s later this week, the rest of the roster will have to step up to make it a memorable show. Let’s see how it goes.
Battle Royal to determine the #1 contender for the Intercontinental Title
When I looked around the ring at the start at the match I thought to myself there’s maybe 4 people in here who, if it comes down to them, SHOULD win and only 2 that I wanted to see win. A Dolph Ziggler/Miz program is interesting because of their real-life relationship, and a Baron Corbin/Miz program would be something different. Would we get either of those? Nope. Darren Young, a guy who hasn’t been relevant for his in-ring work in months, scored the victory when Corbin and Apollo Crews went over the top rope together. Bob Backlund’s reaction made everything worth it, but I just didn’t see enough of Young tonight to be happy about him winning over guys who quite frankly, deserve it more.
Winner: Darren Young
Sheamus vs Zack Ryder
Ryder scored the win over Sheamus in their match on Smackdown, so the ladder was out for revenge. It was a relatively quick match that saw an angry Ryder get a lot of offense in, but ultimately fell to a Brogue Kick from Sheamus. Rusev came down to the ting after the match and attacked Ryder, accepting his challenge to a match from earlier in the night. Wouldn’t be surprised if they have Ryder win the title from him.
Breezango vs The Lucha Dragons
Finally! Breezango wrestling someone other then Golden Truth! Asides from the obvious Kalisto botch this match was fun and energetic, two words that sum up members of both teams very well. Tyler Breeze was showcased very well here, picking up the win with a Superkick and an innovative roll-up. He’s easily one of the most underrated stars in the company so it’s great to see him being utilized well.
Seth Rollins promo with Dean Ambrose
Seth Rollins using clips of Roman sitting there with the title in his little “Rollins Report” thing was actually one of my favorite parts of the show. I think most of the audience knew it would be one of those joke segments so they didn’t get too excited when Seth said he’d had a sit-down interview with Roman.
Some people don’t like Dean’s promos for some reason. I’m sure people will complain about this one too, but I like that they’re portraying him as a champion that is willing to fight for his title at any opportunity: the kind of champion Seth isn’t. He talked about what he’s gone through to get to the top and if you don’t believe him and don’t respect him for it, then you need to check yourself.
The fans were really hyping up over the thought of a title match, but of course Seth, being the great heel he is, scurried away, wanting to do things on his terms. Love it.
Kevin Owens vs Cesaro
The Owens/Zayn feud gets more interesting every week. I still think there should be a stipulation added to the match at Battleground or else it’s just Payback 2.0, but even that would be ok. Only Owens can get away with calling Sami being out there on commentary an unsafe work environment but then kick ass and get a clean win over someone like Cesaro. Such a great heel.
The match was fun…Owens/Cesaro is one of WWE’s “lets just throw these two together cause we have nothing else to do with them” matches but I doubt anyone is complaining. Some of Cesaro’s offense is as annoying for me as some of Dean Ambrose’s offense is to some of the IWC, but he still puts on great matches and I’m always amazed by some of the stuff he does. Owens as well of course…that Torture Rack-style neckbreaker is just another example of him evolving.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Heath Slater vs Titus O’Neil
Titus looked impressive tonight, throwing Heath around for a majority of the match before Heath took advantage and started to gain momentum. It was only when he decided to act like an ass and run around the ring with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel that Titus hit the Clash Of The Titus for the win. Yawn.
Winner: Titus O’Neil
WWE’s version of Final Deletion
I thought TNA’s Final Deletion between Matt and Jeff Hardy was crap. Some parts were funny and of course it was unique, but I just thought the match, which should have been the focus of it all considering its a WRESTLING show, was way too short and was extremely hard to keep up with.
WWE had their version of this tonight, and while it was shot in total darkness (obviously), I actually knew what the hell was happening and there was no 10 minute somewhat-corny promo beforehand. It felt like a real fight to me with the environment they were in not being the safety net they’re used to the ring being. New Day was resilient, coming back for more every time the Wyatt’s would gang up on one. The ending with the buzzards surrounding them was brilliant, and it’s clear which company came out on top in terms of quality. WWE always does.
Enzo and Cass vs Anderson and Gallows
If this match did one thing, it’s show that WWE is extremely high on Cass as a singles star. They kept mentioning him as one of the premier draft picks for both Raw or Smackdown, and made Enzo out to be an afterthought in that regard. Not sure how I feel about that, as I feel like Enzo is more viable for longevity.
This match was fine….Gallows didn’t do much, Cass did as much as he usually do, and Enzo got the crap beat out of him. So nothing different really. AJ threw Cass into the crowd causing the DQ and just as Enzo was about to face a 3-1 situation, out comes John Cena. At first I was annoyed that he wasn’t there and instead hanging out in LA, but he proved once again that he is the workhorse of that company.
Winners: Enzo and Cass- By DQ
Sasha Banks vs Dana Brooke
Dana Brooke showed some improvement tonight, but I was still bored. And for me to say I was bored during a Sasha Banks match, that’s saying something. Maybe I just want to see something different for once because I’ve grown tired of the Women’s Title segments basically being the same thing every week? Who knows.
Sasha looked a little tired in the second half of the match; that forearm and double-knees in the corner having no muster behind them whatsoever. She scored the win with the Banks Statement, but I hope her matches with Charlotte rejuvenate her a bit.
Winner: Sasha Banks
Vince McMahon promo with Shane and Stephanie McMahon
Vince doesn’t appear on TV a lot these days (I saw him at Nassau Coliseum in New York last May- you can find that on YouTube) so seeing him is always a treat. I was hoping for something a little less predictable then Shane and Stephanie coming out there, giving reasons why they should be the Smackdown GM then both be awarded a show, but that’s what happened. Stone Cold and Mick Foley would have been incredibly newsworthy choices, but WWE decided to not think outside the box for this one. The live crowd ate Shane up like crazy (Detroit is good to him) but they had to have been a little deflated by it. I guess not expecting much is what we’re expected to do these days.
Kevin Owens/Cesaro and the Final Deletion- WWE Edition were the highlights of the show tonight, by far. The rest of the matches were average or just above it, but the Vince McMahon appearance, while the outcome not-so-exciting, is a highlight regardless. We’ll find out who Shane and Stephanie’s GM’s are next week, so hope for big names.
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