Here’s my weekly instant Raw Review. Away we go:
I thought the promo to start the show was really strong. Sure, Braun looks completely lost, but both Ziggler and McIntyre continue to impress with their increased mic time. I thought Dolph was particularly good at planting seeds of doubt as to the status of The Shield.
I was pleased to see that McIntyre and Rollins have excellent chemistry together. I thought the match was very good, and I was actually happy with the count out finish. Rollins had to go over – McIntyre wasn’t a good fit for The World Cup in any way shape or form. I hope that Rollins gets paired with Kurt Angle as that has always been a dream match for me. The non-finish tells me that the WWE has plans to run this one again in the future, and I’m more than on board with that.
It’s refreshing to see The Undertaker work as a heel. He’s the man, but his character had gotten stale and he was living off his reputation for years. This feels new and I am a fan. The backstage promo just had a different feel than anything he’s done in years. I want to see more.
I was pleased at the announcement of the Battle Royal with a title shot on the line for Evolution. The WWE has loaded the match up with star power and there are worse vehicles for ensuring that everyone gets on the show. More interesting to me was that the only two women on the roster that weren’t announced for the match that don’t already have a match were Bayley and Sasha Banks. Could the WWE be running that one back for Evolution? I sure hope so.
The tag match between the teams of Jax/Moon and Tamina/Brooke was uninspiring. While Smackdown has been loaded with strong matches on the female side, Raw hasn’t had a really strong women’s match in what feels like forever. I have never been a fan of the “I’m going to toss you over the top rope for no reason other than because we’re going to complete in a battle royal”. The better avenue would have been to let the women have a great match and perhaps, just maybe, I’d care about them as individual entrants into the battle royal.
We’re only an hour in and we’ve already had recap videos for the DX formation and Bella Twins heel turn from last week’s Raw. I watched the show. I don’t need to see it again. This is something that the WWE needs to stop dead in its tracks.
Overall Hour 1 Grade:
B+. I really enjoyed the opening segment and Rollins/McIntyre. The rest wasn’t anything spectacular, but not terrible either. Onto hour 2.
Oh boy – that Ronda Rousey/Bella Twins segment was FIRE. Sure, Ronda was being fed lines. Who cares – it was amazing. She cut right to the bone in what was EASILY her best promo of her career. The crowd reaction told me everything that I needed to know – the WWE made the right decision by having Rousey v Nikki Bella main event Evolution.
I liked the tease for Finn Balor v Bobby Lashley. Lashley needs to be booked as a monster heel, and Balor is the perfect guy to be used as enhancement talent.
There’s no reason that Tyler Breeze is being squashed by Bobby Lashley when Dolph Ziggler is winning important matches. Breeze is a tremendous talent and could be used in a much more effective manner than he currently is. I just don’t get it.
I hated everything about Dolph v Dean. Neither guy impresses me in the ring unless they have the right dance partner, and they aren’t the right person for each other. The most insulting part at all is that out of all the people that could be in the Crown Jewel World Cup tournament, Dolph Ziggler is the least inspiring wrestler that could be picked. The WWE didn’t need to push the tension between The Shield any further than they already had – Ambrose was the much better fit.
Jinder got squashed in two minutes by Finn F’N Balor. I should fail the entire show just for that.
Overall Hour 2 Grade:
I’d honestly have given it an F if not for the amazing segment between Rousey and The Bellas. This hour was utter trash outside of that. It was an hour of television so bad that I am contemplating going to sleep rather than checking out hour three.
Hmmm. Elias is very good. Every week. No matter how repetitive he is. That’s about all I can muster up about this $hit bag of a show.
I was excited to see Kurt Angle return to action, even in a handicapped capacity. Instead, the WWE pulled a bait and switch. The excitement from Angle sneak-attacking Corbin wasn’t enough to overcome my disappointment with not seeing Angle wrestle. This hour has not been good.
Could the WWE have made Sasha Banks’ return any less impactful? I couldn’t care less about a six woman tag featuring Bayley, Sasha and Natalya v The Riot Squad for Evolution. That feels like filler and anything they do on television together between now and Evolution will feel that way too.
Man, that segment between Trish, Lita, Alexa Bliss & Mickie James was brutal to sit through. I’m talking Bayley “This Is Your Life” bad. It was cringe-worthy. The misplaced laughter, the lack of crowd response – just awful. They deserved the “WHAT?” chants that they received. Less is more – the match and the star power in it sells itself. This segment went so far off the rails before Trish and Lita started going into their worst Allen Iverson impression. Woof.
It’s like the WWE didn’t even bother to try this week. We got the exact same main event for the third week in a row. Yawn. If they aren’t going to put the effort in, neither am I. I’m going to bed early.
Overall Hour 3 Grade:
F. Completely unwatchable nonsense.
D. This was the worst Raw in a long time. There were a couple of bright spots, most notably the opening segment and the Rousey/Bellas segment. Completely and utter trash beyond that.
That’s a wrap kids. Tune in next week.