WWE RAW – Review, Highlights & Analysis From 11/04/2016

Shane’s second night as a RAW GM and we already have a dream match, happening in AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn. Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt team up – you couldn’t ask for more intensity, right? And let’s not forget Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson debuted last night. What else was there? Let’s talk RAW!

Shane/Kevin Owens

It’s good to have some justice and balance back to the WWE. Sami got screwed and was given an opportunity to redeem himself. However, I can’t disagree with Kevin Owens. He is OWED a rematch. He was the champion, he lost and never got the lawful rematch, so he has all the right to be frustrated with Shane on this one.

Zayn vs. Styles definitely was a crowd-pleaser and with the fan reaction he gets, I don’t see Shane going away after this week. Vince will probably come up with something about ratings and “best for business” and Shane will become a permanent RAW GM.

Cesaro def. Kevin Owens

I don’t know what Cesaro’s been doing while he was out but since he came back, he’s been unbelievable. He’s always been amazing but these days he’s on a completely different level. The Swiss Superman seems to be inexhaustible. He never slowed down throughout the entire match.

Kevin Owens didn’t allow Cesaro to outshine him, though. Owens was his typical arrogant self and used the Sharp Shooter. KO knows how to make a statement.  Also, I was once again amazed at the height he got on the Frog Splash. For a man Owens’ size, he’s incredibly athletic.

Halfway through the match, I was reminded that these two were fighting for the right to challenge the Miz. The thought made me laugh. The A-Lister, as good as he is, stands no chance against any of those two.

New Day’s #1 Contender’s Tournament

Get used to not having the New Day in action. With this tournament going on, the most you’ll get from your favorite tweener champs is a loud promo here and there. And, by the end of this, the New Day most probably won’t be champs any more.

The Dudely Boyz  def. The Lucha Dragons

The burial of the Lucha Dragons, Kalisto and the US title is disgraceful. The match was about three minutes long. And, we’re talking about the US champion here. All credibility goes out of the window.

On the other hand, Enzo and Cass couldn’t be doing any better. The crowd is on fire the moment their music hits and they haven’t even wrestled yet. I’ll be surprised if they don’t end up Tag Team Champions in the next few weeks.

Roman Reigns/ League of Nations/ Wyatt Family

Now this was one strange segment. Roman was booed – nothing new there. He then repeated word for word his “not a bad guy, not a good guy” line for the THIRD time in THREE consecutive promos. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think the WWE’s intention is to get Roman to wind up the fans even more.

The League of Nations, poor them, don’t seem to have improved their standing whatsoever by kicking Barrett out. Even if the Wyatts hadn’t showed up, I’d have completely bought the idea of Reigns destroying the entire League of Nations on his own. Jobbers are jobbers after all.

What made things bizarre was the Wyatt Family’s involvement. Bray helping Roman felt surreal, despite Bray being a jobber and Roman being the one to hate. There is something in Bray’s aura that can’t be killed, no matter how deep he gets buried. Every time he shows up, the faith that something new and exciting might happen arises.

Natalya def. Charlotte /via DQ/

The match was great. Natalya has never looked better – the fluidity of her movements and the intensity in her acting are on point. However, the title didn’t change hands. To be fair, it would have been too early. The feud just started and it would have been anticlimactic to end it now. Wait until Payback.

What surprised me was the Dr. Phil didn’t get involved in any way. Having seen his backstage interaction with Charlotte and Ric Flair, I expected him to play a role in this match. Then again, it was a positive surprise. Guest star interferences are annoying.

The Usos def. The Social Outcasts

Much to my delight, the Social Outcasts didn’t straight out job. Of course, they were always going to lose but, at least, they showed some fight. Slater and his friends are much underrated. If Enzo and Cass hadn’t been involved, I would have rooted for the Social Outcasts to win.

What we didn’t see coming was Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. I would have expected them at the end of the tournament or during the match where the title changes hands. Appearing that early on makes me think that they might take out the Usos and replace them.

Miz/Maryse/Cesaro

Maryse is making the Miz look even more like a diva. I didn’t think that was possible. Yet, it works so well.

Cesaro, looking like a Hitman, in his suit and glasses, definitely completed the picture. This feud will be very movie-like.

AJ Styles def. Sami Zayn

You may say whatever you want to about the WWE product but you can’t deny that the quality of the wrestling has improved. The company attracted some of the best and it shows. Matches like these make you want to tune in every week. Respect to Styles and Zayn.

It made sense to keep Zayn out of the Reigns match because he already has his feud with Kevin Owens. Yet, it felt disappointing. Sami’s always that close but never there. He absolutely deserves a long, eventful title reign.

Jericho/Ambrose

Jericho is simply amazing. He can interview himself and still dish out such entertainment that you’d never want him to stop.

Ambrose hijacked his show and the fans were happy to see him. However, it’s still hard to ignore that Dean’s been once again demoted to the irrelevant part of the midcard. For Jericho, that’s not an issue. He already has a brilliant career. He doesn’t need titles. He’s there for the fun of it. Ambrose, however, deserves more in his career.

Apollo Crews def. Adam Rose

Apollo Crews is still on his crusade to destroy all jobbers and no distraction from Bo could have stopped him. However, concerned Bo at ringside was so funny that it makes you wonder why Bo doesn’t get more screen time.

Primo and Epico

I’m confused about this new gimmick of Primo and Epico. This looks like an audition reel for a travel agency.

Wyatt & Reigns def. Sheamus & Del Rio

This was a strange match but I liked it. Bray seemed to actively challenge and taunt the League of Nations while they were beating Roman up. I have the feeling that Bray’s not nearly as invested when saving his family members in a match.

You’d expect Bray to betray Roman but he stayed till the end and with joint effort, they defeated the League of Nations. The crowd reaction when Bray entered the ring as the hot tag was off the charts. If he was to turn face, the fans would immediately follow.

Roman, on the other hand, is so hated that he made the League of Nations feel face. The amount of SI SI SI chants and cheers for Sheamus when the League of Nations were decimating Reigns was just hilarious. All Roman needs to do is turn heel. He’ll be on top of the list.

What are your impressions of RAW? Share your thoughts in the comment section or on Twitter!

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