In this week’s episode of WrestleTalk’s WWE Monday Night Raw …in about 4 minutes, a massive call-up from NXT, Shane McMahon calls out Vince, a fantastic tag team titles match with a (rather obvious) betrayal, Bray Wyatt is good again and more…
What did you think of this week’s RAW? Let us know in the comments down below.
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SHANE O’BACK (2)
The show opened on Shane McMahon calling Vince an egomaniacal, miserable old bastard. Free Titus!
Then Undertaker’s massive dong hits. The Chicago crowd go wild – it’s an unannounced appearance by…oh, it’s Vince. Good trolling.
The old bastard smashes a photo of him and Shane from happier times. It’s probably on Facebook, but that’s beside the point. It’s symbolic – not just of Vince disowning his son in storyline, but also how this match is really Shane vs Vince rather than Shane vs The Undertaker. It’s classic McMahon booking, which is to say, make the McMahons the focus of everything.
KEVIN OWENS BEATS NEVILLE
This was a really fun match, but it’s what went down afterwards that made it memorable. Owens is beating on Neville after the bell, for Sami Zayn to run down for the save. Sami and Neville fight off Owens and it looks like Zayn is now – after three kind-of-debuts so far – finally on the main roster. Just go easy on the fist bumping celebrations at the end, Sami. Let’s keep that shoulder in its socket.
LEAGUE OF NATIONS BEAT DOPLPH ZIGGLER
Earlier in the day, Dolph Ziggler had tweeted about how he was watching the Survivor Series where he defeated the Authority. It raises two interesting points: 1) the Authority are still here, two years later, even though that stipulation meant they should be gone – which doesn’t bode well for Shane McMahon; and 2) Dolph sits at home reliving all his failed pushes on the WWE Network.
Stephanie puts Ziggler in an elimination handicap match against Rusev, Sheamus and an in-ring returning Wade Barrett. He’s eliminated first, but Ziggler loses shortly after.
NEW DAY VS Y2AJ
This was match of the night, with a few really good near falls, especially after AJ hitting his 450 splash. But, in the end, Jericho took the pin, to then turned on AJ with three codebreakers and by calling him a son of a bitch. Mrs Styles is a saint!
Here’s the stuff that’s too insignificant to properly talk about…
BRIE BELLA VS SUMMER RAE
Lana came out during the match for everyone’s favourite finish – the distraction roll up! Lana then kicked off her shoes and laid out Brie with her X Factor move. I think I’ve found my new niche: barefoot female wrestlers.
BECKY LYNCH AND SASHA BANKS BEAT NAOMI AND TAMINA
Sasha made Naomi tap out in a very short match, for Charlotte to beat down Banks and Lynch after the bell. This feels like the most genuine feud going into Wrestlemania. And surprise, surprise – it’s one that’s simply built over a title belt.
KALISTO BEAT TYLER BREEZE
Tyler Breeze gets squashed by Kalisto in minutes so he can go home early.
Afterwards, Ryback provided Raw’s ‘awkward popular culture reference of the week’ – telling Kalisto how superheroes should be big like Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman, rather than small like Ant-Man. Which led to Ryback’s match against Curtis Axel…
RYBACK BEAT CURTIS AXEL
He’s an Axe Man – bewp bewp. I’m a fan of Ryback’s Big Guy heel here. This is what his bully character should’ve been from a few years ago – actually intimidating as opposed to being played for comedy.
And now, the main event…
DEAN AMBROSE VS BRAY WYATT
This was a slow match, seemingly just filling time until the rest of the Wyatt Family appeared. Eventually when they did, they beat up Ambrose up and Triple H walked down to gloat. But then something bizarrely unexpected happened.
Despite being beaten over and over again, conditioning fans not to think of them as a real threat, Bray Wyatt suddenly seemed like he could win the WWE Title. In a call-back to this year’s Royal Rumble, Bray went face to face with Triple H. Bray isn’t the guy here. This segment is about Dean. But with one fleeting moment of tension, the WWE felt like a place where anything could happen, where storylines aren’t linear and wrestler motivations are unpredictable – where everyone is out for themselves to win the WWE Championship. This was genuine wrestling magic, giving you something you never knew you wanted so bad. And, just as quickly as it started, it was over. Bray strokes the title and walks off.
Triple H went to beat down Ambrose some more, but Dean got up and hit the Dirty Deeds. The show ends with Ambrose holding the title up high, because you want both challengers to look like equals going into their big match at WWE Roadblock this Sunday.
So that was this week’s Raw in about four minutes. Here’s the usual ratings recap, from top to bottom – In Awe, Cor, AVERAWGE, Poor and Bore.
This week’s Raw is ‘AveRAWge’. That might sound a little harsh, with three very enjoyable matches, several decent angles, and, most importantly, nearly everything that happened developed their respective feuds. There was very little treading water. But this is a three hour show. The butter might be grass fed organic, but it’s spread over an enormous piece of long-life, budget bread. This, really, is the level of quality every episode of Raw should be at, which is why it’s only AveRAWge.
But what did you all think? Let us know in the comments down below.
And while you’re here, you might as well watch the latest episode of British Wrestling Weekly: