Chris Jericho & Kevin Owens Have ‘The Talk’
Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens opened Raw with ‘the talk’. You know, the ‘why did you break up with me and shove my head into an LCD screen’ talk? We’ve all had them. Owens continued the heartbreak from the Festival of Friendship, saying he didn’t stab his best friend in the back, because Jericho was never his best friend.
I don’t believe him, though. I think he really did love Chris. But his own blind ambition has forced him to rationalise otherwise. That’s the true sadness in this story.
They then made a match between themselves for the United States Championship at THE ULTIMATE THRILL-RIDE Wrestlemania 33. Michael Cole did not let that tagline go.
The two brawled, and then Samoa Joe blindsided Chris, for Sami Zayn to come out and even the odds – it looks like we got ourselves a tag team match, playas! Shut up, Teddy Long. We’re gonna have two singles matches.
Kevin Owens beat Sami Zayn
One of the best feuds of last year got about five minutes here as Owens beat Zayn.
Neville beat Rich Swann
Despite potentially being overshadowed by Austin Aries’ impressive package, and only getting seven actually televised minutes – with two commercial breaks crammed into them – Neville and Rich Swann put on the best Raw match this year. And it was followed up by a great angle where Aries finally got physical, attacking Neville in their post-match interview.
I was curious to see how the Chicago crowd would react to Goldberg as Champion. And as soon as Goldberg’s entrance was over, the ‘CM Punk’ chants began. WWE had a plan, though – master crowd manipulator Paul Heyman and the sheer star presence of Brock Lesnar, who gave Goldberg his first bump since his WWE return with an F5. Goldberg reaching for his title on the mat afterwards was a really nice touch.
Galanderson beat Enzo & Cass
This was more of an angle to further the Enzo & Cass, Galanderson and Sheamaro three-way title feud rather than a match. Enzo getting kicked in the face is becoming a my weekly highlight. Mick Foley made a number one contenders match for next week.
Akira Tozawa beat Akira Daivari
Akira Tozawa is so good, he even gets me invested in three minute cruiserweight matches without Austin Aries on commentary. Ha.
New Day beat The Shining Stars
Up until this point, Raw had been an excellent show. Then this meaningless New Day vs Shining Stars ‘match’ let out the steam.
Sasha Banks beat Bayley
This was followed up by an overlong talking segment for the women’s division, with the crowd getting bored and drowning out Stephanie McMahon with deafening CM Punk chants. But she had a prepared reply: “You’re all just like CM Punk, right? That’s right, you’re all losers and you always cheer for the wrong person…”
Banks beat Bayley in the following match, which means it’ll be a three-way at the ultimate thrill-ride Wrestlemania.
Triple H Shoots On CM Punk?
Following a very good video package on Seth Rollins’ rehab, Michael Cole cut to Triple H via Satellite, who opened with:
“First off, you gotta take your hat off to the WWE. The world class care they provide their athletes is second to none. That’s Kevin Wilk in that video – that’s like the best in the world…WWE spares no expense when it comes to the health and welfare of their talent. We just have to hope that somebody like Seth Rollins actually listens to the experts, listens to what they’re telling them and utilises that advice.”
Triple H said that in Chicago. CM Punk’s hometown. The same CM Punk the crowd had been chanting for throughout the night. And the same CM Punk who is currently being sued for libel by WWE doctor Chris Amann for accusations of malpractice. They don’t call him the Cerebral Assassin for nothing.
The MakeUnder of Emmalina
We got our first video package teasing the return of Emma! I can’t wait for her eventual debut…in 9 months.
Samoa Joe beat Chris Jericho
Jericho should’ve played up his Festival of Friendship injuries more here. He didn’t look strong in defeat at all, getting choked out by Samoa Joe on the outside. The codebreaker after the match was too little, too late to help either of them.
Braun Strowman Calls Out…The Undertaker?
In the main event, Braun Strowman called out Roman Reigns, but instead, got…The Undertaker. The two actually had a really tense staredown. They look good in there together. Are they doing Braun vs Taker at Mania now? I’m actually OK with tha-ah, no wait, here’s Roman Reigns. It’s his yard now. Boo. They both look at the Wrestlemania sign, and then Taker chokeslams Roman.
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 thought this was a great episode of Raw. The first half of the show was very, very good – with the excellent Swann vs Neville match and Lesnar/Goldberg clash, and it finished strong with The Undertaker returning. The show did sag with the women’s division, though.
What did you all think? Let me know in the comments down below…