I’ve never been the biggest fan of Goldberg, he’s never been fantastic in the ring and I always found him to be a pretty weak promo. But his return here was great. It was simple and effective, and I really enjoyed his promo, surprisingly. It felt very sincere, it didn’t feel overly scripted and it came across as him just telling it like it is and being himself. I like that they haven’t made some bogus storyline to accompany this to try and get it over, it’s just two big guys wanting to fight each other and that’s all it needs to be. The crowd went nuts for him and it was just a good way to cap the show while building excitement for his big return match. I really do think that this should be a Wrestlemania match more than a Survivor Series match, but this at least makes Survivor Series feel like a big deal for the first time in a long time.
JeriKO open the show
I liked the opening promo between Jericho, Owens and Rollins. Rollins still isn’t clicking to me as a babyface, but he’s getting there. I just feel like I’m more interested in what’s happening between Jericho and Owens more than Owens and Rollins. I liked that Jericho and Owens sold the idea of Hell in a Cell as being a devastating thing that no wrestler should want. I feel like that element of Hell in a Cell is forgotten this day in age and its treated as just another stipulation like a cage match or a street fight. Jericho and Rollins also had a pretty decent opener.
Paul Heyman interview
Heyman is so great. Even in this little sitdown interview he got the crowd so heated and did a brilliant job of setting things up for Goldberg. He’s just such an insanely good salesman really.
Lita interviews Charlotte and Sasha
These weren’t the best sit down interviews that I’ve seen, and I’m not sure that Lita was all that great in this role. But Charlotte and Sasha were both solid for the most part. I especially liked Charlotte’s arrogance and ego showing here. She’s really developed into a great heel. I have this weird feeling that she might actually win the title again at Hell in a Cell, I’m not sure that’s the right move right now. But we’ll see what happens.
Braun Strowman squash match
Strowman might be kind of awful in the ring, but watching him throw guys around that are half his size is just fun. Honestly I was expecting him demanding a bigger challenge every week to lead up to Big Show calling him out, but instead it looks like we’re getting Strowman vs. Sami Zayn. If there’s a guy on Raw that can carry Strowman to a passable match, it’s Sami Zayn. But at the same time, I’m not sure I like the idea of Zayn being fed to Strowman right now. This is a position that you maybe could have put Neville in instead. At least there’s not really any shame in jobbing to a guy like Strowman, compared to Bo Dallas.
I enjoyed this segment, with Rusev showing pictures of the Rusev family. There’s something hilarious about Rusev’s character and him believing thousands of people would be interested in his family photo album and pictures of his family dog. It went for ages, and I guess the idea was to bore the crowd so much that they’d be happy to see Roman Reigns. I think it partially worked. I really liked the beat down though and Rusev looked strong for a change, considering he’s looked more like the underdog against Reigns over the last few weeks.
Bo Dallas beats Neville
I don’t care about serious Bo Dallas. This gimmick isn’t clicking and out of all the people on the roster for him to beat, I’m not sure that it should be Neville. Neville should be way higher on the card than he is. And Bo turning against Curtis Axel isn’t exactly going to garner him any real heel heat. It’s Curtis Axel. I’ll wait to see where this goes but I just have a feeling that in a few weeks time, Bo will be back to jobbing and this will have meant nothing.
Dana Brooke vs. Bayley
The match was what it was, but that finish was really sudden and awkward. Even the announcers seemed surprised by the finish. It just felt like someone messed something up there. I am not too pumped about this Bayley/Dana feud right now, but they have another week to sell it.
This was just a time filler. At least it was a short time filler. But even so. I have zero interest in any of the six men involved in this match and it just felt like a really bad pre-show match. I’m surprised that Titus O’Neil is losing so much now that he has a new gimmick, but at the same time, I don’t overly care.
Cass vs. Anderson
This match was over with so quickly. Wasn’t it just a week ago that they were trying to make Gallows & Anderson out to be serious business? And already Karl Anderson is getting pinned in like 60-seconds. I wonder if Vince McMahon has buyer’s remorse over signing The Club, so now he’s just using them to put over all the tag teams. Give it another month and they’ll be doing some goofy feud with The Golden Truth.
Sheamus vs. Big E
So you build up for a championship match by having the challengers hate each other and lose to the champions individually each week? I don’t believe that Sheamus & Cesaro will win the tag titles, this feels like just a holding pattern to give them something to do for a while. This feud kind of sucks and while the odd couple thing can be funny for a while, it’s nothing that we haven’t seen before. And the babyface/heel team going up against the babyface team is just a weird dynamic and I really don’t know how the crowd is going to react once they have their match. This just isn’t doing anything for me.
All photos via WWE.com