Dean Ambrose/ Randy Orton/ New Day
When I saw Dean Ambrose opening RAW, for a moment there I thought that the Lunatic Fringe might be getting a push into a new, solid rivalry of his own; something fresh that would allow him to show his potential. Unfortunately, I was quickly reminded that seeing Ambrose being used correctly is nothing but a distant dream.
What’s shaping up here is yet another filler. The Viper and the Lunatic Fringe will have to work together, despite not wanting to, in order to solve something that should predominantly be Roman Reigns’s issue. And that will be at the Kick-Off show…
At least the New Day brought some positivity into this segment. Even though I was tempted to call the New Day’s promo something in the lines of “blatant attention whoring” or “a series of bad puns”, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing when they called Randy Orton a “groupie” based on his rich stables history. How can you possibly fault the New Day?
The New Day def. Ambrose & Orton
As a wrestling fan, I’ve seen this particular storyline play out over and over again so many times that I can accurately predict exactly what’s going to happen next.
Ambrose and Orton worked well to begin with, which meant that they’d definitely clash over some ridiculous misunderstanding by the end. As the match progressed, they started butting heads and in the end an accidental shove by Orton threw Ambrose outside the ring and subsequently caused them the match.
The entire point of this match was to show that Ambrose and Orton don’t like each other and that they will have to overcome their personal issues, in order to face the Wyatts. Supposedly, this should create suspense. However, it’s terribly stereotypical and we all know how it’s going to end.
Nikki Bella def. Naomi
Here’s another story of an initiated break-up. Team Bella did everything in their power to make Naomi jealous of Sasha’s success. To be fair, the WWE help as well by showing images of Sasha’s incredible Iron Man match against Bayley.
The distraction from Brie caused Naomi the match. With so much attention to the action at ringside and the crowd’s reaction, it was easy to miss how well the ladies did in the ring. Naomi is terribly underrated.
Until now, there still are no indications that Naomi cares about the Boss’ growing popularity. However, you can be certain that she will very soon.
John Cena def. Dolph Ziggler
This was a show match. It was brilliant, 5 stars action but the audience knew how it was going to end. The only thing left was to enjoy the action for its own merit.
Having finally ended the absurd love drama storyline with Rusev and Lana and not being given a title to hold, Ziggler is once again drifting in limbo.
Cena, acknowledging that recently-engaged guy in the audience was a clever move. You have to admit, Cena knows how to engage the fans. He is The Guy because he knows how to make the WWE Universe feel like a tight community.
The Dudley Boyz def. The Ascension
This was a quick squash match to keep the #1 Contenders for the Tag Team Titles in action on RAW. However, the difference in standing between the champs and the Dudleyz is huge. Bubba and Devon get to gloat over squashing the Ascension, who didn’t have a chance to begin with, while the New Day are dominating the main event scene. This is the thing- the New Day are main event material.
I wonder, what will the Ascension do now, since the New Day have pretty much stolen their “best team in history” gimmick. You are right, probably they’ll ignore it and keep jobbing.
Sheamus & King Barrett def. Neville & Cesaro
King Barrett seems to have an ongoing issue with Neville. It appears that this is the thread to follow, as an interference by Barrett led to Sheamus pinning Neville.
However, in the end of the day, all four of these European superstars are being neglected. They have no real storylines going on, which is sad, knowing how good they actually are.
Roman Reigns/ Bray Wyatt
I felt bad for Reigns. His segment was hard to watch because the crowd just wouldn’t listen. He was trying to deliver a long face promo but got the complete opposite response from the fans. Reigns tried to react on the spot and turn things around but it didn’t really work out for him.
After Bray Wyatt came, the two of them somehow managed to end this painful tain-wreck of a segment and move on to a match.
I keep saying that Reigns is a case of the fans being prejudiced because he really isn’t all that bad. However, it might be that “not that bad” is not at all enough when it comes to the standard of mic work that the best in the WWE have. The WWE Are making it worse by giving him scripted promos. Reigns can’t act. He needs to be allowed to improvise, to be Roman Reigns and he might actually deliver, everything else is destined to fail.
Roman Reigns def. Braun Strowman
The WWE keeps trying to sell Braun Strowman as a force to be reckoned with but I just don’t buy it. He’s way too generic for my taste. Reigns was selling with all he had and yet, the Black Sheep still looks like a man whose 15 minutes of fame are running out. Also, Strowman just cannot sell. He had to sell one move, one and he failed.
Reigns won by a countout but he worked for it, so both Strowman and himself were protected. Avoiding the 3 on 1 confrontation that could have followed was a good call. After all, Reigns is not superman. Then again that cheap shot to Bray, which was supposed to be viewed as a final act of defiance might have annoyed the crowd more than anything else.
Ryback def. Rusev
Ryback defeated Rusev so quickly that it got me pondering over the possible things the Bulgarian Brute could have done to deserve such booking. Then, the match ended and Summer broke up with Rusev over his real-life engagement to Lana and it all took some rather positive colours.
Forget the IC title; nothing better could have happened to Rusev. This terrible love drama storyline that was dragging him down is over. Lana is back by his side where she should have always been. The Easter European duo will rule the WWE again once Lana recovers from her surgery and that is great news.
Kevin Owens def. Kalisto
The IC champ and his #1 Contender had back to back matches and they were equally one-sided. Kalisto did not stand a chance but it was an entertaining fight, nonetheless.
Kevin Owens is brilliant at telling a story in and out of the ring. In this very short match he had the time to mock both his opponent and the crowd. The response of the fans was overwhelming. They loved being taunted by Owens because he does it with finesse.
If the WWE is truly looking for a Latin American luchadore to promote, they must be totally blind because he’s right there, in front of them. Kalisto is by far the most entertaining luchadore I’ve seen in the WWE ring and I’ve watched Ray Mysterio enough times.
Brie Bella & Alicia Fox def. Charlotte & Becky Lynch
The action in the ring was of no interest. Paige on commentary was the focus. She’s playing a jealous little girl, who only wants attention, thus she has an issue with Natalya, who might be taking the focus off of her.
This is not the right direction for Paige. It’s too far up AJ’s alley to be Paige. The Brit should be a dominant, hard-core rock chick, not a spoilt insecure girl, who needs recognition at any cost.
Kane def. Seth Rollins
The Authority, who were running so late that they missed RAW, forbid Kane over the phone to fight Rollins, so Corporate Kane replaced himself with Demon Kane. This was way too predictable, which made it that much less interesting.
The lumberjacks provided some entertainment, largely because the New Day were part of them. They were rocking Seth’s tune, they were the only ones to let Rollins attempt an escape an in the end, they ended up directing traffic amongst all heels. The New Day simply dominated the scene once again.
However, despite all the help and a KO punch from Big Show, Seth Rollins still got pinned by the Demon Kane.
Although I understand that the WWE needs to give Kane momentum if he’s to be taken seriously at Hell in a Cell, I disagree with this one-sided build up. Yes, Rollins should have tried to escape the match, but he should have fought when he realized he couldn’t. Seth looked just way too scared throughout the match.
What were your impressions from RAW? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!