By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Paul Heyman Interrupted Chris Jericho
The verbal exchange between Jericho and Heyman was entertaining and you can definitely tell the two like working together. John Cena and Seth Rollins played their parts well, but this could have been another segment all on its own. Granted, it set up two major matches for later in the night, but no opening segment should go over 20 minutes. That said, I enjoyed it and I'll take it over a drawn-out Authority promo any day of the week.
Big Show and Luke Harper def. Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler and Erick Rowan
This was a solid match and a logical follow-up to both matches from TLC. Tag team matches are usually a lazy way of furthering feuds, but that's nitpicking things. What we saw of the match was good and I really liked the aggression Ziggler showed when brawling with Harper. Show pinning Rowan for the win really bothered me. I realize it's more than likely building to Rowan beating Show, but Show lost relevance ten turns ago. I fear this will hurt Rowan's momentum in the long run, but time will tell.
Natayla and Alicia Fox def. The Bella Twins
I gave WWE until the TLC pay-per-view to explain away why The Bella Twins are back together after they spent countless months feuding. They didn't, so now I'm annoyed. It's an insult to our intelligence to act like it never happened. As for the match, it was fine for what it was, but I found it comical when Natalya tried to rally the fans behind Fox and they didn't respond. They just haven't had a reason to care about her since she turned. Natalya appears to be next in line for a title shot which is cool and all, but where does AJ Lee go from here?
Chris Jericho Hosted 'The Highlight Reel' with United States Champion Rusev and Lana
I believe this was the first time that Rusev and Jericho have ever come face-to-face, so I found their interaction to be really entertaining. The crowd loved Jericho's one-liners and Lana's reactions were priceless. They were also receptive to Ryback coming out and it looks like he'll be Rusev's next feud. Ryback feels like an actual threat to Rusev, so I really like the idea of the two feuding for the foreseeable future.
The New Day def. Gold and Stardust
This was no different from the match these two teams had on the TLC show only with Xavier Woods in action and not Kofi Kingston. It was equally boring and I don't blame the live crowd one bit for chanting for CM Punk or NXT (which was both hilarious and fitting). The New Day gimmick just isn't working. They either need to ditch it or turn them heel. Kingston being overly optimistic on commentary and JBL saying there's something strange about them gives me hope that'll actually happen.
Kane def. Adam Rose
If this wasn't WWE's way of turning Kane babyface, then point was this supposed to serve? I was an advocate of turning Rose heel at first, but it's been two months and there's been no advancement in the story whatsoever. If anything, they've backtracked on the story since there hasn't been any tension between Rose and The Bunny in forever. I did get a kick out of Kane taking out The Bunny with a Tombstone, though.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar Attacked Chris Jericho
Lesnar was advertised by the arena going into the show, so you could see his return in this segment coming from a mile away, but it was still very well done. To my knowledge, Jericho and Lesnar have never encountered each other prior to this point, so it felt special. Lesnar looked like a beast when he took out Jericho and it's great to see finally see him on WWE TV after three months. He should've been back a while ago, but that's on WWE.
Roman Reigns Attacked Fandango
Well, this beat the hell out of Fandango wrestling a match! The crowd popped for Reign's return and his sweet spear on Fandango. Big Show's interruption also saved us from hearing Reigns botch another promo, so I've never been happier to hear his music. Reigns' attack on Show was kept short and sweet and leaves a match between the two hanging in the balance. A hot return for Reigns in a very well booked segment.
Jimmy Uso def. WWE Tag Team Champion The Miz
The Usos were a lot more serious and aggressive here than they were at TLC. Why? I've enjoyed the simple story they've been telling so far even if it's not the most exciting. This was a rather standard match with Jimmy's win keeping them in title contention. I don't what the end game of this angle will be, but at least it's peaked my interest.
Seth Rollins def. John Cena in a Steel Cage Match
I noted last night that I felt the Tables stipulation hindered Cena and Rollins more than it helped them, but they were definitely allowed to go all out inside the cage. The action was excellent and they thankfully kept the interference from J&J Security to a minimum. I had a hunch Brock Lesnar would come out, but I figured he would attack Rollins as well. I'm not sure if Paul Heyman's handshake with Rollins solidifies him as a Heyman Guy, but it was nice to see Rollins win in the main event of Raw.
I've seen some mixed reviews on the show, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was definitely a step up from the TLC pay-per-view and most of the recent Raws. Chris Jericho was a fun general manager, Brock Lesnar finally returned and there was some storyline development. Not much more one could ask for, especially since there's a lot of time to kill between now and Royal Rumble. On a side note, WWE did a solid job of hyping up the Main Event and SmackDown for Tuesday night.
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