Its the Raw after the Royal Rumble PPV! Yeah! This is usually when a wrestling show will kick-off new storylines and feuds since all of the old stories should have either reached a conclusion at the PPV or had something so major happen that stories have changed in some way. So what are the odds that pretty much nothing has changed with our favorite Raw wrestlers and the Raw writers gave us not much new and exciting? Hmmm?
Joe’s Gonna Kill You
Thank the wrestling gods Samoa Joe has finally been promoted from the WWE’s bootleg ROH, NXT and is now on one of the main shows. Having a guy who is better than 80% of your roster spend so much time in the D-League was idiotic. And it is great that Joe is being thrown into a main event level feud with Seth Rollins, I am expecting some really good matches from these two. I do have one minor quibble though…making Joe be HHH’s hired muscle is not my idea of a great intro. Maybe it is just the anti-Authority Figure feelings I have but I’d have enjoyed it more if Joe just showed up on Raw to make an impact by beating up one of the show’s top stars. And if Joe wasn’t wearing a tight-ass pair of mom jeans.
Turns out Braun Strowman has a memory like an elephant because I think he is the only person in the world who remembered that Kevin Owens promised to give him a Universal title shot a month ago. And we should all be grateful for Strowman’s good memory because we got a pretty good match between him and Owens (well at least up to the point that Roman Reigns came out to interfere).
The action started with Strowman chokeslamming Chris Jericho (who was going to be doing color commentary) through the announce table to prevent Y2J from interfering on behalf of his BFF. And then a short but competitive and really entertaining match got under way. I am a bit shocked at just how well Owens and Strowman worked together in the ring.
Here’s hoping we get these two guys to run it back in a match that has a proper ending.
So it turns out at the Royal Rumble PPV, Goldberg manhandled Brock Lesnar like he was a prelim bum yet again. Now I am not sure what type of deal Goldberg worked out with WWE but I can only assume that it included a clause that states he will always get the upper hand on Lesnar. On the bright side this did result in another classic Paul Heyman promo that culminated in a challenge from Lesnar to have Goldberg face him at Wrestlemania. One. Last. Time. Dun-dun-dun!!!!
Paid The Cost To Be the Boss
In the latest stop on the “Nia Jax Demolishing Sasha Banks” Tour, we got to see Nia toss Sasha around like a rag doll and then attempt to further injure Sasha’s already busted knee until Bayley came down to make the save. I am curious to see how her path of destruction will continue. If she’ll be feuding with Bayley or if WWE will leapfrog her into a program with Charlotte for the belt. Either way I have to give WWE creative kudos because the building of Nia as a monster is one of the best things WWE is doing.
Like Kissing Your Sister
Sami Zayn and Chris Jericho had a perfectly serviceable match that once again showed that Jericho may be a vet but he hasn’t lost a step from his “Lion Heart” days. These two guys work well together in the ring even though Zayn is a bit like low sodium potato chips…just a bit too bland for my tastes. Anyway, the reason this match is in the “BAD” section is because Sami Zayn won the match but he didn’t win Jericho’s United States title since it was a non-title match for some inexplicable reason. So basically these two guys wrestled for nothing.
OK, I am enjoying the weekly makeovers we are getting from Mick Foley as much as the next guy (his snazzy Riddler inspired suit from this ep of Raw was quite snazzy) but where exactly is this thing with Mick and Stephanie having a power struggle going? Aside from Stephanie getting to make Foley look like a chump every week I don’t see any payoff on the horizon. So unless Mick is going to whip out Mr. Socko and slap the Mandible Claw on Stephanie, this stuff is just a waste of time.
Yet again the Cruiserweight Division segments disappoint. First we got Paul Roma 2.0, sorry I meant Tony Nese vs Mustafa Ali which was a prime example of everything that is wrong with this division. Nese and Ali wrestled a match that could have been wrestled by pretty much anyone on the roster instead of a match that stands out like the CW division used to in WCW or how the X-Division does in TNA. Cruiserweight matches should be faster paced with a lot more high flying action that results in fan pleasing spots galore. Instead we got a moderately paced, standard Raw match that the fans barely reacted to.
And then there was the face-off between newly crowned Cruiserweight champion Neville and the guy he beat for the belt, Rich Swann. Now neither one of these guys is known for their mic skills and their back and forth didn’t have me thinking I was seeing some top level Austin vs The Rock jawing. Instead the two guys awkwardly yelled at one another before getting into a quick scuffle all while the fans in attendance barely noticed. Something really needs to change and I mean ASAP.
This Can’t Be The Main Event
For some reason the tag match between Enzo & Big Cass vs Rusev & Jinder Mahal happened in the main event slot of Raw. Think about that…Enzo & Cass were the main event match of Raw. Against Jobber Mahal and Rusev. In what drug fueled hallucination would anyone ever think that is a main event match? Sure HHH coming out right after was the big moment for Raw but this nonsense was still in the main event match slot and for that atrocity someone should definitely be fired.
Time To Play The Game
Before Samoa Joe’s surprise attack on Seth Rollins viewers were subjected to what was quite possibly the most self-indulgent, ego driven, look at how great I am promo from Hunter Hearst Helmsley I think we have gotten from the guy since he hung up his wrestling gear and became an executive. I understand HHH is the heel in this angle with Seth but shockingly HHH didn’t give a heel promo instead he gave a promo with the sole mission of getting the fans in the arena to start chanting his name. See that is not what his goal should be. HHH needs to go watch some videos of Vince McMahon vs Steve Austin to see how masterfully Vince played the “Evil Authority Figure” role because everything that has happened between him and Seth leading up to this promo on Raw seems to be more about putting HHH over instead of making Seth look strong.