In this week’s episode of WrestleTalk’s WWE Monday Night Raw …in about 4 minutes, Shane McMahon, The Undertaker and Vince in the same ring for the first time since their Wrestlemania 32 feud began, Dean Ambrose gets some hardcore words from Mick Foley ahead of his Brock Lesnar street-fight, Roman Reigns returns to throw a TV set at Triple H (which is how most WWE viewers feel sometimes), and more…
What did you think of this week’s RAW? Let us know in the comments down below.
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THE NEW DAY BEAT RUSEV AND ALBERTO DEL RIO
Raw opened on a match for once! Well, kind of. The New Day were involved so there was the standard 5 minutes of booty chat, but then we got into their tag title match against Rusev and Alberto del Rio.
The crowd didn’t really know who to cheer for, with their chants eventually morphing into “New Day Sucks Rocks!”
After Xavier Woods hooked the tights for the win, the League brutally beat down New Day for a very long time, turning the Kofi, Big E. and Woods completely face and presumably building towards a Wrestlemania match between the two teams.
HAVE A NICE DEAN
Questionable good guy tactics popped up again in Dean Ambrose’s showdown with the Brock Incarnate. Dean taunted Lesnar to get in the ring, and when he tried to, Dean got a crowbar out.
I know he’s a lunatic, but that’s a cowardly heel move. Brock has beaten Dean clean a bunch of times, to Ambrose’s request, which makes him a noble babyface. Dean, in comparison, punches Brock in the Pauls and threatens him with weapons. I’m not really sure h-
Oh crap, it’s Mick Foley saying the name of the town Raw is in. And he’s just given Dean a barbed wire bat to hurt Brock with! That’s so awesome. I love Mick Foley. What was I talking about again?
TRIPLE H BEATS DOLPH ZIGGLER
The Authority were doing their usual Authority promo thing when Dolph Ziggler came out to interrupt. Building on their backstage encounter last week, Stephanie slaps Ziggler – because the good guys better not look too strong – and then makes a match between him and Triple H – the Game’s first bout on Raw in almost 3 years.
It’s a decent, well-paced match, very similar to Triple H’s one against Ambrose at Roadblock. Trips gets a storyline knock to the head at one point and acts concussed. It’s a really weird angle if we’re meant to be hating Hunter, because this makes you sympathetic to the guy. So when, after Triple H valiantly wins the match, and Roman Reigns makes his return and starts beating him down, everyone in Pittsburgh is like, ‘whoah, calm down mate. You’re being a bit of a dick.’
The crowd boo Roman heavily, but as the angle progressed, and Reigns beat Triple H up with bins, LCD TVs and referee Charles Robinson (REF BUMP!), it got really good.
I like this aggressive streak. It’s much better than coming out all laughing and smiley. Trips got cut open, a referee stubbed his toe – this was carnage; so much so that other babyfaces came in to stop Reigns.
Unfortunately, those babyfaces were The Usos, who ran in shouting ‘U’, ‘Us’, ‘U’, ‘Us’, like they’re pokemon who can only say the syllables in their own names.
Here’s a quick rundown of the other stuff…
RYBACK BEAT SIN CARA
Ryback beats Sin Cara, continuing the ‘Ryback hates little wrestlers’ story they’ve been developing, to challenge Kalisto for the US title at Mania. This might be controversial, but I like Ryback.
SAMI ZAYN BEAT THE MIZ
The crowd were pretty dead here, even for Zayn’s very impressive high spots. Weirdly, when Owens interfered at the end, Miz threw a few punches at KO, too.
With Neville mixed up in this feud also, this could be the beginnings of a multi-man ladder match for Owens’ intercontinental title.
TEAM NAOMI BEAT TEAM BRIE
Lana came out to distract Brie, and every single male viewer. It looks like poor Paige is getting slowly sucked into the Team Naomi/Team Brie program.
Run, Paige! Run as fast as you can!
THE USOS BEAT THE SOCIAL OUTCASTS
The Dudleys were on commentary to keep the heat bubbling between them and the Usos.
NEVILLE BEAT CHRIS JERICHO VIA DQ
Jericho is a full blown, temper tantrum heel now. He’s so good in this role. He got DQ’d when he pushed referee Charles Robinson – REF BUMP NUMBER 2! – and AJ ran down to lay him out.
And now, the main event.
Shane McMahon, Undertaker and Vince were all in the same ring for the first time in their build to Wrestlemania. It was a really well-rounded piece of character work, where everyone kind of hates each other but uneasy alliances are maintained. Vince hates Shane, Shane hates Vince, and Undertaker hates everyone. Shane ended the talky part by reminding everyone that Undertaker isn’t Vince’s son, he’s Vince’s bitch.
After escaping a Taker chokeslam, Shane then either did an impression of Ian Curtis dancing at a Joy Division concert, or punches. I’m not sure. Vince pushed Shane into Taker, Taker chokeslams Shane and then Vince escapes as quickly as a 70-year-old man can.
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 ‘Cor’.
I really enjoyed this week. Everything felt important, and there was at least one twist with every segment. All the matches meant something. The Reigns/Triple H beatdown was surprisingly engrossing, the Taker/Vince/Shane showdown at the end was effective and succinct, Mick Foley turned up and the promo time was kept in check so a wrestling show, for a change, actually featured a lot of wrestling.
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: