Hey wrestling fans, the other wrestling columns here on the site have done fairly well, so I figured let’s try to get more regular content going, and such I’ll be breaking down the weekly shows as much as I can see them, starting tonight, with discussing of tonight’s Raw. This was going to be a pretty big show, with it’s setting up for the Fastlane ppv as well as Wrestlemania, with the news of Seth Rollins’ injury, the match that I’ve been looking forward to for over a year now will likely have to wait some more. So, where do they go from here?
We start off the show with Samoa Joe’s contract signing to join the Raw roster. He comes out looking like a champion in a nice suit and tie, real classic stuff. Stephanie McMahon does her best heel work in announcing and supporting him and her husband, Triple H, and what happened to Rollins last week. Foley is a bit more reluctant to be happy about having the man who injured Rollins on his brand, but even he knows that this is best for business.
Roman Reigns comes out, and challenges Joe to a match, and I’m actually finding myself excited about a Roman Reigns match for the first time since The Shield broke up. What is going on here? Is this real life?
Next up we have Bayley vs Nia Jax. Decent match overall, I like the speed on Bayley, using the outside of the ring as a weapon, common quick person vs lumbering adversary type move. Classic boss beating strategy for a Spider-Man vs Rhino fight. Charlotte comes out with a distraction as that feud is still going on, and Bayley gets hit with a Samoan drop for the one-two-three.
Next up, we have Braun Strowman in another squash match. This time against four jobbers. I don’t know why/how this dude is getting pushed so much, other than that he’s a big guy and Vince likes big wrestlers. They don’t really have an overall story for him right now other than interfering with Roman Reigns, which he gets a match at Fastlane for after squashing the jobbers in quick fashion, in a completely non-shocking turn of events. What’s next, is he going to interfere in the match with Samoa Joe tonight?
Now we get some Cruiserweight action, with the Raw debut of Japanese sensation Akira Tozawa, taking on Drew Gulak. I like his energy, not sure about the Bruce Lee like screaming, which comes off more spider monkey like then martial arts-y to me, but his moveset is quick and full of action, so I like him, we’ll see more of this guy on 205 Live, I’m sure.
One hour down, and it’s time for the Kevin and Chris show. Jericho puts Tom Brady on The List, which was hilarious. Then, they discuss Wrestlemania, and try hyping up the Elmination Chamber ppv on Sunday, before Jericho suggests a champion vs champion match at Wrestlemania, Best Friend vs Best Friend, which Owens turns down, saying he couldn’t fight his best friend. Goldberg comes out unexpectedly, and Jericho challenges Goldberg to a match at Fastlane with the title on the line…against Kevin Owens, which Goldberg accepts, putting the rumors as true, and he also accepts Brock Lesnar’s challenge from last week, so the rumor mill seems to be spitting out truth right now. Owens and Goldberg at Fastlane, making the Lesnar match at Mania a title match. Well, that’s one way to make us actually care about this match. What they really need to do is up the ante a bit more before the show though, make it a title vs career match. That’d be money right there.
Tag Team Title match, Gallows and Anderson vs Sheamus and Cesaro in a rematch from the Royal Rumble kick off show. Really great match here, a lot of back and forth action all around, ending in a DQ win for Gallows and Anderson as Enzo and Cass, who were sitting at ringside seeing who they would challenge for the titles, kicked Anderson when they got too close to them. So it’ll be a triple threat match at Fastlane I’m sure for the titles. Could be good.
New Day is out after the break, a great New Day promo as only they can do, and…are they hinting at bringing back the WWE Ice Cream bars? not even CM Punk could get those back out again. Or will this be an offshoot of Booty O’s… Booty Cream? Will we see Christian make a comeback?
New Day vs Shining Stars in a match to kill time, since neither team really has anything to do, and New Day sells merchandise like no other team in the division. Pretty great high energy match, ending with Xavier Woods yelling out Ice Creeeamm! As he goes for the win.
Another title match up next, with Sami Zayn vs Chris Jericho for the US Title. I was really hoping after last week that Zayn’s burial was over, but, despite a great match, Kevin Owens super kicks Zayn into a half codebreaker from Jericho, ensuring that the burial of Sami Zayn..continues.
After an attempted Neville interview by Austin Aries, it devolves quickly into a 6 man Cruiserweight tag match, like Teddy Long was still in charge of the show. It’s TJ Perkins, Cedric Alexander, and Jack Gallagher vs Tony Nese, Noam Dar, and King of the Cruiserweights, Neville. A lot of high energy from all competitors, ending with Cedric getting a great ariel move for the win.
Now, it’s finally main event time, Reigns comes out ready to go, and Samoa Joe attacks him from behind like a WWE 2K17 cutscene. The match was pretty one sided for a bit, Joe just beating on Reigns mercilessly, tossing him about like a ragdoll. Then Reigns starts to fight back and bah gawd, we have ourselves a slobberknocker! Back and forth, they trade blows and moves, like the makings of a great match should. It comes to a head with Joe is down and out, Reigns is readying the spear….and there’s no way that Joe gets beaten his first night on Raw..no way…
And then here comes Braun Strowman to the surprise of no one, Braun attacks Roman, ending the match with a DQ, and then throws Roman around some more, finishing him off by putting him through a barricade in another OMG moment straight out of the video game.
All in all I was kept mostly entertained the full three hours tonight, which is more than can be said for some of the other Raws as of late. Here’s hoping that Smackdown is just as good, if not better tomorrow.
Final grade for the show tonight- B+ show.