By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day def. Cesaro & Sheamus and The Club in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match
Kicking the night off with a hot match is such a refreshing change of pace and something I wish they would do more often. Despite Cesaro and Sheamus along with The Club not having much momentum as of late, this was an extraordinary match with all three tandems putting forth a strong effort. Some may say the ending outcome was predictable, but you can never know for sure with this company, so I honestly bought into a few of the nearfalls down the stretch. I also liked how New Day soaking Stephanie McMahon during their backstage celebration led to them defending their titles for a second time in the main event against two teams the fans are more invested in at the moment.
Braun Strowman def. Curtis Axel
I still don't know what turned Axel into a babyface, but whatever. The important thing is that Strowman continued to come across like a ruthless monster. As I've said before, his push has been one of the Brand Split's more pleasant surprises. This was kept short and sweet as it needed to be with Mick Foley and Sami Zayn engaging in a heated confrontation backstage afterward that set up an intriguing story for later on.
Ariya Daivari def. Lince Dorado by Disqualification
Daivari was the perennial enhancement talent of the Cruiserweight division initially, but it looks like his win over Jack Gallagher last week on 205 Live has given him a sense of direction. This match was nothing of note, but Gallagher announcing his intentions to interfere was wonderful. This is a nice little program for the Cruiserweight division right now, even if crowds aren't responding to it. And why should they? Their characters are hardly developed, but hopefully this changes that.
United States Champion Roman Reigns Saved Seth Rollins From WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho on The Rollins Report
I really hope The Rollins Report doesn't become a regular segment on Raw going forward similar to The Ambrose Asylum. It was good for some cute comedy over the summer when Rollins mocked Reigns during their feud, but it doesn't work as well with Rollins as a babyface. That said, Owens and Jericho seemingly putting their differences aside for a moment before Reigns made the save was logical storyline progression, also explaining why both teams were "worthy" of a tag title match later in the night.
The Brian Kendrick def. T.J. Perkins
I'm enjoying the crossover so far between 205 Live and Raw and the storylines have been playing out nicely. They produced a well-wrestled matchup that was on the same level as their past encounters. Kendrick winning clean shocked me, but he needed the boost coming off two straight losses to Rich Swann. Here's hoping Perkins will be headed for a heel turn eventually, and I'm anxiously anticipating when Austin Aries can enter the Cruiserweight ranks.
Bayley def. Alicia Fox
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to see Bayley featured on Raw two weeks in a row, but what was the point of doing the same match again? It was fine for what it was, but this was valuable time they could have used for Emmalina's re-debut, which has seemingly been pushed back yet another week. If nothing else, it's good to see Bayley stacking up wins and it should lead to her challenging for the Raw Women's Championship at WrestleMania 33.
Rusev and Big Cass Brawled
I would say this feud has jumped the shark for me, but that would imply I was digging it in the first place. Fans just aren't into Cass on his own. I'm glad Enzo Amore sold his injuries from the hotel beatdown, but Cass vs. Rusev on the Roadblock Kickoff show does little for me as this segment fell flat. Enzo and Cass should be chasing the tag titles while there is no reason why Rusev shouldn't be United States Champion right now.
Sami Zayn def. Jinder Mahal
Zayn squashing Mahal was a total squash, but Zayn's face-off with Foley was fantastic. Foley can be hit or miss most weeks, but this was excellent mic work from him. Zayn showing aggression for a change was also welcomed. It's really telling that the crowd popped big when it was teased Zayn was being traded to SmackDown Live, so I'm slightly sad that didn't come to fruition. That said, it was an effective way of getting to Zayn vs. Strowman at Roadblock.
Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day def. WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho and United States Champion Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match
There might have been just as much drama in this match as there was in the opener even though neither of challenging teams are full-time tandems. All six Superstars worked well together and put together a hell of a match, bringing a largely quiet crowd throughout the night to life. It furthered the feuds involved, and while it was cool they made a big deal about New Day breaking the record as they should have, it didn't make me any more excited for Roadblock considering New Day (as of now, anyway) aren't scheduled to defend on Sunday. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining Raw main event.
If you couldn't already tell, I am looking forward to Roadblock far less than I was TLC earlier this month. The video package that aired for Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair on this show was incredible, but everything else was just kind of there. Zayn and Strowman should be interesting, and the tag title matches were great, but where was Emmalina? It's painfully apparent the two top programs are merely meant to kill time ahead of the Royal Rumble, so WrestleMania season couldn't be here soon enough. Fingers crossed the pending pay-per-view exceeds expectations.
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