The last RAW before the draft laid out the battleground for the RAW vs. SmackDown feud that’s about to come. Needless to say, the decisions made caused a lot of controversy. What happened on Monday night? Let’s talk #RAW!
The RAW/SmackDown GMs
The choice of Daniel Bryan for SmackDown GM was to be expected. It just made sense. SmackDown is the underdog face show. Who would be better to represent it than the most beloved underdog of this generation?
Appointing Mick Foley for a RAW GM is a smart move. The show is already shaping up to be a heel show with Stephanie in charge. However, the WWE can’t risk ratings dropping, so placing a legendary face as a GM was simply necessary.
The competition between the two brands is incredibly smart. Regardless of who comes on top, the WWE always wins in the end.
Zayn & Cesaro def. Owens & Jericho
Out of these four men, Cesaro is the one that should have the highest hopes for the draft. Maybe he’ll finally get a proper shot, once there’s less competition. If I were Cesaro or Sami, I’d want to be on SmackDown.
KO will do well anywhere but if Raw is to properly be a heel show, he’d fit in straight away. As for Jericho, he doesn’t care. He’s already had all the success in the world. All he’s looking for now is to do what he loves to do, so this situation shouldn’t bother him.
Sami needed the win. And he needs to replicate that at Battleground. Owens has such strong presence that he’d easily draw some spotlight even after a lost rivalry. Zayn, on the other hand, needs the momentum because his character is much less bold.
Darren Young def. Del Rio
Darren Young pulled off an upset victory again. Granted, Miz can be blamed for it, but Mr. No Days Off seems to be on a roll. I can absolutely see him luck his way into a championship reign.
The Club & The Wyatt Family def. New Day, Cena, Enzo & Cass
This was the best segment of the night. The promos were brilliant. Enzo’s roast is far from PG if you pay attention. The New Day are much more subtle in comparison but they also pull off some well-masked dirty jokes. It’s exciting to see a situation where John Cena is just another guy again.
The match itself was ace. The New Day suddenly lost all fear of the Wyatts, which surprised me. Kofi in particular was outstanding against Bray and his flock. Xavier Woods took on everyone, no doubt what so ever. The New Day might actually turn things around and pull off a victory on Sunday.
The Club vs. Cena and friends ended in the heels’ favour. It won’t be impossible to have the Club win at the expense of Enzo and Cass at Battleground. That way, it won’t be all about Cena and people can move on from the Cena vs. Styles feud.
Baron Corbin def. Sin Cara
The Lucha Dragons have broken up but that I could see coming. I said it last week – Kalisto would do better solo than in a team.
Baron Corbin seems to be poised for a shot at success. His character is being built slowly. His loss in the Battle Royal for the IC title #1 contedership was questionable but the way he squashed both Sin Cara and Kalisto was definitive.
Becky Lynch & Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte & Dana Brooke
The faces were never going to win this. Charlotte and Dana, unlike their opponents, would actually be the team to wrestle on Sunday. Therefore, they could only lose momentum, which was not going to happen.
Natalya, attacking Becky saved everyone form the trouble of losing. It also reminded the fans that this Becky/Natty issue actually exists, so I’d call it a win-win situation.
Rusev & Sheamus def. Ziggler & Ryder
Rusev destroyed Ziggler. It’s impressive how much legitimacy Rusev has gained as a champion. Out of all the League of Nations members, he’s done the best after the break-up.
Zack, rescuing Dolph? That’s new. Maybe Zack truly is getting a push. The only downside to it would be that Rusev had just become great again.
Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose
Ambrose vs. Rollins is always great but the moment all these authority figures entered the frame, things changed completely.
The screw finish with Stephanie handpicking Seth, regardless of the ref was telling and then Shane, reversing it – I can already see Rollins face of Raw and Ambrose – face of SmackDown.
However, this ending leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. What I see now is a new era, in which the focus is entirely on the rivalry between Stephanie and Shane. It should not be like that. The focus should be on the wrestlers and their feuds. Now we are about to get an Authority storyline on a bigger scale.
What do you think of the last RAW before the draft? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!