(Almost) Live Reactions to WWE RAW
GO HOME SHOW. Yeah, we’ve got a go-home show. Seriously. I wasn’t aware of that until just now. Hopefully WWE was more aware of that, eh? So, with only three more hours of RAW until Extreme Rules, how would this show go down? Would we be more excited for the PPV by the end of the night? There’s only one way to know for sure, so you’d best read on to find out!
The Miz is the first man out tonight with an edition of Miz TV. He talked up his upcoming IC title match before welcoming out his guests, Cesaro and Sheamus. The number one contenders to the tag titles talked up their upcoming steel cage match against The Hardy Boys. Enter Dean Ambrose, flanked by both Matt and Jeff Hardy. They all charged the ring and brawled. It led to a six man tag right after.
I was rather bored by this. Not only was it the same old thing that happens literally every single week and thereby rather lazy, this was way longer than it needed to be. There were almost 20 minutes before any punch was thrown. There’s no reason this needed to take so long.
Dean Ambrose, Matt and Jeff Hardy vs Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro
The heels quickly used quick tags and cheap tactics to keep Matt isolated in the corner, trapped and unable to reach his teammates. Finally, he made a tag to Ambrose. Dean quickly fired off some offense, but was cut off by a Sheamus knee strike that knocked the Lunatic Fringe off the top rope. After Miz teed off on his once and future rival, Ambrose made the tag to Jeff. Jeff cleared house with all his signature moves. Matt came in to help out and team face picked up the win with a Twist of Fate/Swanton Bomb combination.
Result: Dean Ambrose, Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy win by pinfall
The heels came off looking pretty good here with a pretty dominant showing, right up until the end. I wouldn’t have minded seeing a heel victory to really solidify that, though. Oh well. The match taken on it’s own merits was fun, if nothing else.
Elias Samson vs Zac Evans
Local talent Evans was toyed with for a few minutes before Samson hit a Rolling Cutter for the win.
Result: Elias Samson wins by pinfall
I’m rather intrigued by what they’re doing with Samson. I really enjoyed his debut last week, and last time they went and gave a guy a bunch of squashes, it turned out pretty well. I’ll have to give them some more time on this, since he’s not currently involved in any type of clear story or anything, but so far I’m behind what they’ve done with the guy.
Samoa Joe vs Bray Wyatt vs Finn Balor
Finn Balor took the initiative in the early goings as Wyatt rolled out of the ring to let the former NXT rivals go at it. Joe wasn’t having none of that and all three battled. Joe locked Wyatt in a Coquina Clutch, but Balor broke it up with a head kick to the Samoan destroyer. Joe and Wyatt allied and battered Balor about the ring before The Eater of Worlds turned on Joe and layed him out with a clothesline. Balor went on a roll and hit the Coup De Grace onto Wyatt. Joe tossed the Irishman out of the ring and picked the bones for the pin.
Result: Samoa Joe wins by pinfall
As an unabashed fan of Bray Wyatt, this segment made me sad on a personal level, as this match benefitted everybody but him. Joe comes out looking strong as he picked up the victory against two game opponents, but it’s Balor’s finishing move that now looks lethal. Unfortunately, Wyatt now officially enters as the least plausible victor on Sunday. So that’s a shame, but somebody had to take the hit. At least it was a really good match.
Noam Dar vs Rich Swann
Accompanied by their partners for an intergender tag match that will take place on Sunday (Alicia Fox and Sasha Banks, respectively), Dar opened the match strong, keeping Swann grounded. Swann fired back with an elbow strike that shifted the momentum. Banks distracted Fox on the outside, allowing Swann to hit a Phoenix Splash for the quick win.
Result: Rich Swann wins by pinfall
I’ve been saying it for just shy of a year now, Noam Dar is awesome, but you’d not know that if you’ve only ever seen him in WWE, where he’s been more or less wasted since showing up. Hopefully he gets a chance to prove that on Sunday.
Kalisto vs Titus O’Neil
Kalisto started strong, landing kicks in an effort to slow the big man down. Titus countered a Salida Del Sol, sat down, grabbed a handful of tights and got his first singles win on TV in quite a while.
Result: Titus O’Neil wins by pinfall
Ok, I’m lost. I’ve been patient with this storyline for weeks now, it’s not really been done well, and I’m reaching my “I no longer care” point. Hopefully something meaningful will happen soon, wherein Crews either accepts Titus and turns heel, or rejects him and beats him up. And when I say soon, I do mean soon.
Alexa Bliss Mocks Bayley
In the ring were various mementos of Bayley’s life. Bliss went object to object and spoke to a few people, portraying Bayley as too nice to handle any distress whatsoever. Bayley ran out and beat on the champ, before Bliss grabbed a kendo stick and smashed it into Bayley to bring a close to the segment.
That was far longer than it ought to have been. The crowd grew uninterested pretty quick, but the segment was only just beginning. It was fine for what it was, Bliss is always great on the mic and all that, but the worst sin a segment of wrestling can commit is to be boring, which this was.
Austin Aries and Jack Gallagher vs Neville and TJP
Aries started strong, and team face ran all over TJP briefly. Neville got the best of Jack Gallagher to swing things back into the heel’s corner. Gallagher eventually fought free from the grasp of TJP and both men made tags, leaving champ and challenger facing off. They traded hard strikes, and Neville was reeling. Aries avoided an aerial maneuver Neville before locking in the Last Chancery for the win.
Result: Austin Aries and Jack Gallagher win by submission
Great stuff! Good, fast paced action ended with a strong result that sees the champion in serious trouble heading into Sunday. Because Neville never loses, this felt like a huge deal, which is exactly how it should feel when a champion loses on TV! This was very, very well done top to bottom. Easily the best cruiserweight segment in recent memory, for my money.
Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins
Main event time! Roman began by overpowering Rollins right away. They chain wrestled back and forth, trading wrist and waist locks. Rollins hit a moonsault for two, and Reigns responded with a big uppercut and a drive-by dropkick into the ring post. Roman goes for the Spear, but eats a knee strike counter instead. Rollins dove all about the ring, trying everything in his high-flying arsenal to put The Big Dog away. Both men traded their various big moves; superman punches, buckle bombs, and Rollins closed things out with a buckle bomb. Reigns avoided a phoenix splash (Jesus, that’s the third one tonight!) and hit the Spear for the win.
Result: Roman Reigns wins by pinfall
That was a great match. Last time I can remember them going one-on-one was at MitB last year, but I enjoyed this even more than that. You gotta love it when they send you home like that.
What an odd show that was. The high points were very, very high. The rest? Not too hot. Given the quality of the two matches featuring Sunday’s main eventers, I’d say I’m looking forward to that match, if maybe not too much else. So, as a go-home show this… kinda did it’s job?
That’s all for tonight. Make sure to subscribe (For free, mind you) to our site if you’d like to get notified of all our new articles, including this series that I know you love so much. Leave your thoughts on this show in the comments, or come tell me on twitter @ejdupras_VVV. I hope you’ll all join me tomorrow when I’ll be taking a look at bit of SmackDown Live. See you then!