Roman Reigns def. Bray Wyatt
Was it really necessary to have Wyatt kick off Raw with another one of his pointless promos? It would have been much more refreshing to open the show with their match and not waste time talking, and it isn't as if either of them had anything intriguing to say. Sure, Wyatt said he would target his fellow Fatal 5-Way competitors from Extreme Rules, but that threat means nothing when he loses so frequently. At any rate, Reigns and Wyatt typically work well together as opponents and this was a quality match from them. Wyatt losing clean is nothing new, though I'm curious where he goes from here. Then again, I don't care.
Dean Ambrose vs. Elias Samson Went to a No Contest
As I mentioned in my Extreme Rules review, I'm not a huge fan of Samson doing the same singing shtick he was doing in NXT because I feel it generates the wrong type of heat. I would have been disappointed if he was completely overshadowed during Ambrose's verbal exchange with The Miz (the rivalry that will never die), but thankfully, he resurfaced and laid out Ambrose, which was an encouraging sign for his immediate future.
Samoa Joe Attacked Paul Heyman
One of the coolest things I was looking forward to coming out of Extreme Rules was not only Joe vs. Brock Lesnar but the promo battles between Joe and Heyman and the magic that would ensue. Well, they definitely did not disappoint in their first official face-off in a WWE ring as Joe cut an excellent promo on Lesnar, Heyman built up Joe like an absolute beast, and then Joe looked even more ruthless in describing to Heyman what he would do to him before actually doing it. It's been less than 24 hours and this Joe vs. Lesnar feud is already money.
Raw Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro def. Heath Slater and Rhyno (Non-title)
Those who don't watch Main Event (which is admittedly everyone with the exception of myself and a few others) probably forgot Slater and Rhyno were a part of the Raw roster. This was a standard squash match in favor of the new champions and it was needed coming off their constant losses to The Hardy Boyz these past two months. Their post-match promo was fine and also confirmed that their program with The Hardyz is not yet over.
TJP def. Mustafa Ali
I was shocked TJP once again fell for Neville's false claims that he would get his promised title shot if he won his match. Haven't we heard that from Neville at least two or three other times recently? Sadly, crowds continue to sit on their hands for the Cruiserweight matches and this audience was no exception, but this was well-wrestled in the time it was given. Neville betraying TJP was inevitable, but I hope this doesn't mean TJP isn't turning back babyface any time soon because he is far more comfortable in the heel role it seems.
Kalisto def. Titus O'Neil
I can't say I've been too enthralled with the whole saga surrounding O'Neil, Apollo Crews and Kalisto lately, but as I said in an article last week, I do think the Crews and O'Neil pairing could have potential if it wasn't being done for comedy. I don't know how much Kalisto is benefiting from these victories, but him vs. Neville for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship could be fun. As for Akira Tozawa, I pray to God he doesn't join the "Titus Brand," but him and Crews would be a cool duo given their real-life friendship.
Dean Ambrose Crashed The Miz's Intercontinental Championship Comeback Tour Celebration
Okay, it's getting to the point where, despite how well they work together, I am ready to move on from the Ambrose vs. Miz feud. Miz's celebration was as over-the-top as you'd expect and didn't overstay its welcome, while you had to know Ambrose would crash the party at some point after he was seen reentering the building once Kurt Angle exited. That said, teasing Ambrose was in the bear costume and then in the gift was well done and the live crowd enjoyed it.
Enzo Amore and Big Show def. Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows
Before Amore introduced Show as his tag team partner, I started fantasy booking in my head: what if Finn Balor teamed with Amore and turned on him, revealing that The Balor Club (him, Anderson and Gallows) were the ones who attacked Big Cass and Amore? Of course, I was slightly let down when Show came out instead. Not because I hated seeing Show but because it didn't serve a purpose storyline-wise. Plus, Anderson and Gallows were beaten decisively here like losers.
Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss def. Nia Jax by Disqualification
Bliss vs. Jax would have benefited from a longer build because crowds have popped for them appearing on-screen together before, but Jax has been off TV for three weeks and for some reason Creative figured fans would care about this contest. Unsurprisingly, they did not. Worse yet, the finish was lame with Bliss convincing Mickie James and Dana Brooke to attack her and allow her to retain her title by disqualification in the process. Brooke and James then followed Jax into the ring moments after getting roughed up by her at ringside. Why do the babyfaces in the women's division come across so terribly?
Samoa Joe def. Seth Rollins
I'm glad WWE took the time to wrap up this rivalry because it never received a proper conclusion following Payback. I liked how dominant Joe was for a majority of the matchup and the second half was solid, but the crowd heat just wasn't there. Being the No. 1 contender to the Universal Championship, Joe winning was the right call, and Rollins was protected via the distraction from Wyatt, but who the hell could possibly care about Wyatt going after Rollins when he literally just lost to Reigns earlier in the evening?
Coming off a middle-of-the-road Extreme Rules pay-per-view, this edition of Raw was extra important in offering aftermath from the event as well as setting the stage for the summer storylines for Team Red. Joe was the focal point of the program on this night and he did an exceptional job of getting me even more excited for his upcoming encounter with Lesnar (in addition to Lesnar's Raw return next week). The rest of the episode was entertaining I thought for the most part, especially the first hour and a half, though it wasn't as hot of a show as it should have been one night removed from a pay-per-view.
©2010 - 2017 Next Era Wrestling, Inc. All Rights Reserved.