Main event and new Universal Champion
What I loved going into this match is the unpredictability of it. While Rollins appeared to be the favourite to win, it seemed possible for just about anyone to win the title. I even thought WWE might try and hotshot Big Cass with a huge win, although it would have been way too soon. I was happy to see Kevin Owens win the title and get the main event spotlight put on him, finally. And the intrigue around the Triple H run-in was great. On one hand it looks like they’re restarting the Reigns/Triple H feud, but then Triple H turning on Rollins and giving Owens the win adds more layers to the story. Further to that, Stephanie was really selling it like she had no idea this was going to happen and it appeared as though Triple H had more or less gone rogue. There was also the staredown between Triple H and Foley. Is Rollins turning babyface? Is Triple H gunning for Foley’s spot? Are they going to do some kayfabe split of The Authority? Maybe we’ll see Reigns and Rollins allying to go against Triple H. Who knows, but there were a lot of questions left at the end of a very newsworthy Raw and it actually makes me look forward to next week’s Raw.
I really liked the sit down interview with all four guys in the main event. Cass, Rollins and Owens got some good lines and Reigns looked pretty badass coming out of it, even if the live crowd was totally against him. A really strong segment that built some good tension for the main event.
Bayley and The New Day
Bayley is such a natural fit teaming with The New Day and their segment and match was a lot of fun. Bayley was great, and Dana wasn’t even that bad in their six-person tag. I was worried that WWE might do something to butcher Bayley’s character once she got to the main roster, but I’m glad to see that they’re more or less remaining pretty true to her NXT character. Bayley vs. Charlotte should be a good match as well, just so long as they don’t throw the belt on Bayley straight away. Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing Bayley chase the title for a good long time before finally winning it. And I think we really need to see Sasha get back into the title scene as soon as she’s returned.
Chris Jericho vs. Neville
A decent TV match. Jericho and Neville have good chemistry together. It’s just a shame that Neville always seems to be on the losing end of these matches. I do hope they give Neville something more to do soon, but I still feel like they’re just keeping him busy until the cruiserweights debut. I’m also interested to see what happens with Jericho now that Owens is the champion, if this will be the end of “Jeri-KO” or they’ll still stay on the same page.
I love the squash matches. And while Nia’s squash match wasn’t anything special, Braun Strowman looked pretty damn fierce tonight. And the jobber of the week, Americo, was great at selling his complete and total fear of Strowman. Really good stuff.
Cesaro vs. Sheamus
Another fine match from Cesaro and Sheamus. This gives Sheamus two wins now, and they were really selling that Cesaro may have a back injury now. There’s a championship match waiting at the end of this, but they haven’t specified which championship, almost as if it doesn’t matter, but I assume that means that they haven’t even figured out which title match to do. Still, a pretty good match. There’s going to be a real challenge for Cesaro and Sheamus to keep the next five matches interesting and different, considering we’ve already seen them wrestle four times now.
Paul Heyman and Stephanie McMahon
I don’t know what the purpose of this was. It dragged and they started to lose the fans. And I’m a big fan of Paul Heyman, and his mic work is always great, but there was just nothing to this segment. While I’m sure in their minds this is building to something big, but on screen, it felt like a major time waster. It doesn’t help that Stephanie seems to change from babyface to heel every 30-seconds either so no one knows how to react to her. I really hate that there’s no discussion about what Lesnar did to Orton. Instead all the talk is about Lesnar giving Shane an F5. I really hope this isn’t leading to a Lesnar vs. Shane match because I just have zero interest in that. The idea of Lesnar maybe having to sell for Shane McMahon really bothers me, and honestly, one of Lesnar’s limited yearly matches shouldn’t be used a non-wrestler. But hopefully that isn’t the direction they’re going in. Hopefully.
Darren Young vs. Titus O’Neil
Ughhh. They’re just so awful. This match completely sucked. The crowd died a slow and boring death watching this. And the worst part about it? Titus laid out both Darren Young and Bob Backlund afterwards, leading us to think that they’ll probably continue this feud. This feud completely sucks and is the worst ongoing thing on Raw at the moment.
Gallows & Anderson
I like Gallows & Anderson but the lame backstage gimmicky stuff is doing them no favours. At first it was them being doctors warning about ringpostitis, now they’re in the retirement home business. It’s not funny, it’s just kind of eyerolling. And for a team that should be taken seriously, this is just really hurting their credibility.
All photos via WWE.com