The start of Raw was a stroke of brilliance. After the ending of Mania the night before and the news that Undertaker had retired the fans started out with a very lengthy tribute to the Deadman. While the chant started with an ‘Undertaker’ chant the hatred for Reigns crept it’s way in and eventually over took the chants for The Deadman. This was the perfect moment and WWE capitalised by sending out Reigns to one of the loudest reactions I have heard on Raw in some time. He stood in the ring for nearly 10 minutes as fans chanted as many offensive chants they could come up with. Roman drank it all in and seemed to love having this much Heat and being the most Hated person in the WWE.
So after returning at Mania and winning the Raw Tag Titles, The Hardys were successful in their first defence against Anderson & Gallows. I’m happy the Hardys are back in the WWE it’s a win for both as the Raw tag division was looking very weak before this and after the shit TNA/Impact have put the Hardys through I am glad they are able to show they are still one of the best teams in the world. While we may not get to see a full Broken Matt gimmick there are still traces of the character that he is still portraying and the fans will never be silenced as they not only chanted Delete through the tag match but also during other parts of the show that the Hardys were not involved in.
Neville cut a decent promo and was then promptly put in a match with Mustafa Ali. While it was a good match (not that the fans thought so as a portion of them began to be even more disrespectful to the performs who put their bodies on the line to entertain them by hitting a beach ball around the arena and chanting about it just incase the viewers at home did not know what immature antics they were up too) I really did not see much point to it. But I was impressed with Ali again he is so agile and after more experience we could see him being a top contender in the Cruiserweight division. I loved Neville teasing at going for the Red Arrow then dropping down and locking in his submission move it was a very good Heel move that some don’t care about and rather than being more if a heel they would still rather get a Pop from a high spot than get heat from the crowd.
Next we were treated to a rare appearance by Vincent K McMahon who firstly announced a ‘Super Star Shake Up’. It’s not a Draft but a Shake Up so while we may see a few changes it may not be like the draft we have seen before (I will discuss who and what I think may happen and what I think should happen in another post). Then VInne Mac announced that Steph will be out of action after taking the bump through the table at Mania but then he also introduced the new Raw GM, Kurt Angle.
The New Day issued an open challenge and it was answered by The Revival. The former NXT Tag Champs received a great ovation from the audience, they made a huge statement firstly kicking over that stupid Ice Cream Bike, then they defeated the longest reigning tag champs in history and after the match they decided to inflict more punishment to Kofi. Within 24 hours the Raw tag division went from very weak to very exciting with the addition of The Hardys and The Revival.
The backstage segments that Angle was involved in were pure gold. The chemistry between him and Enzo was fantastic ‘That’s Not How You Spell Soft’ had me cracking up. The delivery and facial expressions from Kurt Angle during this segment and the one with Sami Zayn proved the difference between him a pro and the rest of the roster who are still learning. After one segment Kurt Angle was far more entertaining than Mick Foley was in his entire run as GM. I just hope Angle does not receive the same treatment that Foley received from Stephanie when she returns.
The six women tag match proved a few things:
1. Dana Brooke is still not ready to be on the main roster and some how she is getting Worse!
2. Sasha sucks as a face and she is suffering from being held back from being The Character her Boss gimmick should be, she needs to be an arrogant bitch. The sooner she turns the better.
3. This division just like Smackdown’s is very weak and they need a lot more work on the women on the show and they need others that are ready to come in. I can see a couple of the women from SD coming over in this Shake Up maybe Natalya and Carmella with possibly Asuka and Ember Moon moving up from NXT to SD. What ever they do they need more female talent thank goodness they are holding a 32 Women’s tournament with women from all over the world coming to compete because they need them.
Another boring promo from Heyman and then out came Strowman to challenge Brock and then he backed away for no reason. Imagine the statement Braun could of made if he took out Lesnar here. This looks like something that could happen in the near future but not at the next big show as rumours are Lesnar will not be there so I am guessing they will go back to Roman vs Strowman and maybe save Strowman vs Lesnar for SummerSlam. Also technically Owens still has a rematch from when he lost the title so they may even throw him in to a match with Lesnar at a big show before SummerSlam.
After Jericho was jumped and then powerbombed through a table by Kevin Owens with help from Samoa Joe it became clear that it would not be Jericho teaming with Seth Rollins to take on Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe. So when it came time for the main event it became clear to most who would be replacing Jericho, out came Finn Balor after a lengthy time of from injury. While I love the in ring skills of Balor, his character sucks, he is just a guy in a leather jacket that’s it. Why can he not be The Demon 24/7 there is so much money in that gimmick it’s crazy.
Raw was an okay show the matches were standard and the debut of The Revival and the return of Finn Balor was good but the one thing that really let the whole show down were the very disrespectful fans who attempted to once again ‘Take Over’ the show but they made the show a lot worse in my opinion.
I was surprised with the reception Orton received from the fans at the start of the show, he actually got a few cheers. But I was even more astonished that they still think there is money in this awful feud with Wyatt is hilarious and now they bought back Rowan and his impactful return lasted until the end of the show. Wyatt and Rowan attacked Orton only for Harper to make a save and that made little sense as Harper split from the Wyatts because of Orton. Then in true Teddy Long Style they announced a Tag Team match for the main event.
Naomi retained the Women’s championship against Alexa Bliss. I thought this match was ten times better than the pathetic contest they put on at Mania. Both showed they can put on a very good match when they have room to move and don’t have to worry about four other women attempting to impress. This should of been the match at Mania but it did help make this show slightly better.
It was obvious when Curt Hawkins issued an open challenge and gave his opponent till the count of 10 to get to the ring who would be making his debut. The crowd absolutely exploded into a 10 Chant as Tye Dillinger made his way to the ring. The match lasted all of three minutes and I was surprised it lasted as long as it did and that Hawkins was allowed to get in some offence. But overall Dillinger impressed and the fans love his 10 gimmick. The only problem I can see happening with him is they will not know what to do with him and just like Apollo Crews, Tyler Breeze, The Ascension and many others will be lost in the lower/mid card shuffle.
Even I was fooled at first by Miz and Maryse when they came out dressed as Cena and Nikki. The mannerisms they both used for them were spot on and I enjoyed every moment of this segment it’s a shame it’s coming to an end.
Then just as Miz and Maryse were about to leave a Man with an Electric Violin came out and began to play with that the crowd absolutely exploded as yet again they new they were being treated to another debut and this time it was ‘The King Of Strong Style’ Shinsuke Nakamura hopefully him coming out at this point may signal that he will begin with a feud with The Miz and I could not think of anyone better. Miz is gold on the mic which is probably the only weak area of Nakamura’s and he can help make him shine. As for in ring again I am positive they can put together a very good and entertaining match.
Another match that was ten times better than the one they had at Mania was Ambrose vs Corbin. Okay it was a ‘Street Fight’ (not a real street fight it stayed ringside and in ring but they used lots of weapons and who had ever seen any street fight in the history of time end with a Referee counting a Pin Fall ? So it was more like a Hardcore Match. I really hate it when Wrestling companies have matches called Street fights as it’s like they have never actually seen a real street fight and it’s just embarrassing for everyone involved again just call it what it is a Hardcore or Extreme Rules match) but it was a good match and very entertaining both put on a much better performance. Why could this match not of been at Mania ? And why did Corbin win the title on SD and not at Mania were a young guy like he is could of had another Mania moment and then they could of connected it to his Andre the Giant Battle Royal win and say look what that did for him last year and that could of set up Rawley after winning this years Battle Royal and given Corbin two huge mania wins and moments and build his stock up a bit but no they do this shit that is so baffling and confusing.
There was a moment of respect from AJ and Shane and I like AJ hope he does not go over to Raw they have no need for him there at the moment and he would be a major loss to Smackdown and with Cena gone for a lengthy amount of time him going as well would hurt them even more.
Mojo Rawley is already proving to be a flop just like most thought would happen. The promo he gave backstage was badly written for him and his execution of it was even worse. What was Dasha supposed to be feeling ?
The main event was just as awful as expected and to finish of the whole Wrestlemania period like this was just sad. It just seemed like they were tired and had basically given up and just thrown together anything but then most of the show had that sought of feel to it.Rowan lost the match when Orton hit an RKO and the major impact of Rowan’s return was squashed and he is back to the same spot he was in before and that’s nothing more than a jobber to who ever Bray is gonna job to eventually.
Another two nice surprises with Dillinger and Nakamura debuting, Corbin is IC Champ and Miz and Maryse were brilliant in their segment apart from that there was not much else going on in this show. Where are the F’N Tag Teams ? The Usos are by far the most entertaining and gifted in ring than any other team and they don’t use them, Breezango are hilarious and they get nothing, The Vaudvillains are done as of writing Gotch has been fired, The Ascension have sucked in my opinion since Cameron aka Bram left and they bought in the smaller Victor to replace him (go back and watch early Ascension in NXT and tell me I am wrong) and as for American Alpha they are like others that have come from NXT and have not been nearly as over with the entire WWE universe as they were in NXT. I am hoping this shake up might change a few things for the better not only for the tag divisions but for every one.