Triple H & Seth Rollins opened Raw. HHH told Seth he was the measuring stick on Raw and would have several people gunning for him. We would soon find out who would challenge Rollins for the Universal Title at Money in the Bank.
Samoa Joe arrived on Raw (was supposed to be there last week but was ill) and cut another great promo on his way to the ring. Rey Mysterio also joins the party in the ring. Next out was McIntyre. Then Miz, Baron Corbin, AJ Styles rounded out the crowded party in the ring. One of these six men would challenge for the title at next month’s pay-per-view.
The ring got a bit crowded, but the segment was not too bad for the opening act of Raw. We heard some great lines from the superstars above, and in the end, two pretty loaded triple-threat matches were slated for later on in the night.
Below I list Raw’s moment from best to worst & my final ranking for the show comes at the bottom of the page.
Styles, Joe, and Mysterio do battle in Raw’s first match of the night
Styles, Joe and Mysterio were in the first triple-threat match. These three had quite the match, and the crowd was into the fast-paced action as chants of “This is Awesome!” echoed throughout the building.
The match ended with quite a move from “the phenomenal one” as hit the ‘Styles clash’ on Mysterio onto Joe and then pinned the US champion to advance to the main event of Raw.
With Styles moving over to Raw, it was only a matter of time before he was put into the Universal Title picture. On just his second week as a Raw superstar, Styles switch to the red brand is off to a great start.
Miz, Corbin, and McIntyre face-off in Raw’s second triple-threat match
Unlike the first triple-threat match, this match didn’t meet the star power that we saw earlier in the night. Miz is reinventing himself as a babyface and is developing a tweaked in-ring style.
Truth be told the only Superstar that is believable as a main-event act right now is the “Scottish Psychopath” Drew McIntyre. I still don’t understand why Corbin is in the main-event scene, he is not a believable top star and would be much better suited as a mid-card act.
This match exceeded my expectations, and there were quite a few exciting near-falls. But in the end, Corbin stole the pin after McIntyre hit a claymore kick on Miz and Corbin advanced to the main event to take on Styles. This is a match that not too many thought would happen & the crowd was audibly frustrated.
Seth Rollins has a new Universal Title opponent
Styles and Corbin actually had a solid back-and-forth match in Raw’s main event. However, it ended in the manner that we all hoped for, that is Styles hitting the phenomenal forearm and pinning Corbin in the middle of the ring.
This now sets up a dream match between Rollins & Styles, who are arguably the two best in-ring performers in all of the world today. The staredown these two elite superstars had to close out the show was bone-chilling and has me amped for their match in four weeks at Money in the Bank.
No offense to Becky Lynch, but this match is hands down the main event.
Becky two belts in action against Alicia Fox
First off Becky Lynch took some nice verbal jabs at Lacey Evens, who eventually made her way to the ring to try and trade words with Lynch on the mic. However, Lynch was superior on the mic & her raw emotion came through in her promo and took it to Evans.
Evans is an okay first feud for ‘The Man’ post-Wrestlemania & it should be a quality match at Money In the Bank, but I fully expect Lynch to have both belts on her shoulders past MITB.
As for the match against Fox, they threw down for a good bit before ‘The Man’ took charge at the end of the match she tapped out Fox with her Disarmher submission.
That is when Evans came back into the ring and delivered not one, but two ‘Women’s Right’s’ and laid Lynch out flat on the mat. I get what WWE is doing here, trying to make Evans look like a legitimate competitor for Lynch, and turning her into the outright heel in this feud. This match is picking up steam & should get even hotter and heavier as MITB gets closer.
IIconics pinned again?
So the IIconics came out to the ring for Billie Kay’s upcoming match and cut another spectacular promo. They are two of the best on the microphone and continue to display that every week.
However, what was not IIconic was the ensuing match between Kay & Naomi. After getting pinned last week, you would think WWE would want to make their Women’s Tag Champions look strong. But that was not the case as Naomi got a fluke roll-up victory & the IIconics are now on a post-Wrestlemania losing streak, which cannot be good for their future if they are to be taken seriously as the tag champs.
The Viking Raiders?
Last week the current NXT tag team champions debuted on Raw as the Viking Experience (barf) which was a far cry from their War Raider days in NXT.
I guess Vince McMahon & the WWE creative team heard those criticisms of how awful the name was because the tag team came out this week with yet another new name, the Viking Raiders.
This may be a compromise with their old tag team name & their new name that Vince insisted on just last week.
They made quick work of the Lucha House Party, and the match never officially got underway. These two giants should make waves in the tag team division and in no time should be up there in contention for the Raw Tag Team titles.
Sami Zayn continues to “speak the truth.”
Sayn continued his war of words against the WWE Universe, saying his 10 months away from WWE were excellent and the problem with WWE is all of the fans that provide a toxic culture.
Heel Sami Zayn is pretty tremendous & his verbal jabs at the crowd are a good play on his character. Here’s to hoping WWE uses him the right way now that he’s back full-time.
Cedric Alexander debuts on Raw
The next Superstar to make the jump from 205 Live to the main roster was Cedric Alexander, who took on Cesaro. Alexander was outmatched by the stronger, taller Swiss Cyborg, as he dominated the majority of the match.
Though the former cruiserweight champion got in a flurry of moves toward the end of the match, it was Cesaro hitting a vicious uppercut and picking up a big ‘W’ on his first appearance since coming from Smackdown Live.
We got another name change on Raw, as Robert Roode (formerly Bobby Roode) debuted not only a new name but also a new mustache.
Roode took on the highflyer Ricochet, and ‘The One & Only’ dominated most of the match with an arsenal of aerial attacks. This match was pretty standard, no real eye-opening moments and went far too long in my opinion.
Also, the result of the match doesn’t do much of anything for either superstar. If anything, Ricochet getting pinned by the new Robert Roode hurts the momentum the new NXT call-up had just a couple of months ago.
Bray Wyatt or Steve from Blue Clues?
For a few weeks, WWE has been teasing the re-debut of Bray Wyatt with a buzzard & a sister Abigail look-alike doll. So naturally, the big payoff for this was a children’s show segment titled “Firefly funhouse.”
Wyatt said he is no longer a bad man and took a chainsaw to a cardboard cutout of his old self.
I’m not really sure what to think of Wyatt’s re-debut, it is a different look for the former Eater of World’s and could be a fresh reboot for him. However, this new firefly funhouse act could get stale really fast
Overall this was a pretty solid episode of Raw, several feuds advanced, and we saw some debuts and re-debuts of characters. The 3-hours went by relatively quick, and there were a few moments that seemed boring or stale.
My rating: 3 out of 5