Live from San Jose, California this is the Raw Deal for episode #1139. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Welcome to Suplex City, bitch. Thank you Brock Lesnar for saying that at WrestleMania. Speaking of WrestleMania, you can read my very detailed review plus analysis RIGHT HERE. In addition to that I wrote about the things WWE did right at WM31 for WhatCulture, so check that out too.
There was a pyro show to start the night off. Michael Cole welcomed us to the show.
Brock Lesnar’s music hit and the former WWE Champion was out there with his advocate Paul Heyman. Lesnar was in his ring gear. He had some scars on his face from the cuts he experienced at WrestleMania.
Heyman said that he’s the advocate for the most non-PG ass kicker of the PG era…Brock Lesnar. The crowd cheered. Heyman said that Lesnar laid a beating on a Samoan badass that nobody has ever seen before and he spoke about all the suplexes that Lesnar did with Heyman saying “suplex” about ten times. There was a “suplex city” chant. Lesnar was chuckling. Heyman said “suplex city bitch” like Lesnar at WrestleMania and the crowd cheered again. Heyman told us that Lesnar almost respects Reigns, but Reigns still has a way to go. Heyman mentioned that Lesnar hit the F5 on Reigns, then when Heyman mentioned Seth Rollins the crowd cheered. He added that Rollins scored the pinfall on the challenger Reigns and not on the champion Lesnar. Heyman called Rollins “the most undeserving champion of anybody’s lifetime.” Heyman mentioned that his dad was a lawyer and that he could force an injunction so the title could be held up, but unfortunately for him Lesnar thinks all lawyers are scumbags. Heyman said Lesnar will not go to court because his client wants to invoke his rematch clause. The crowd cheered wildly.
Stephanie McMahon’s music hit and she did a promo on the stage. She said WrestleMania was amazing as they set a new attendance record. She told Lesnar that was one of the greatest main events ever, but she thinks Reigns took it to Lesnar too. The fans are chanting “Ronda Rousey” at Stephanie. She shut them up by asking if they wanted to see a rematch for the WWE Title. Stephanie pointed out that Seth Rollins had to be on the Today Show on Monday and she added that Rollins isn’t back yet. Heels lie. Stephanie said that she has no doubt that Rollins will be up for the challenge.
Heyman spoke after Stephanie walked away. Heyman gave us a spoiler: “Tonight for the first time in a decade, my client will wrestle on Monday Night Raw.” Crowd cheered. Heyman added that he’s going to pin or tap out Rollins. Heyman said after the match he’s going to announce Lesnar as the reigning, defended, undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World, Brock Lesnar. More cheers. That ended the promo.
Analysis: Heyman spoke with a lot of conviction and delivered the kind of promo that was necessary for that situation. Lesnar came out looking mad. It would have been cool to actually hear Lesnar say he wants his title back because the crowd would have went wild for it. Stephanie handled the Rousey chant very well. The “Rollins isn’t there yet” is good for the story. It doesn’t guarantee a match later, but it keeps people interested in what might happen. Good opener. Better than the usual opening promo. That’s because it was Heyman.
They hyped up some stuff coming up with John Cena holding an open challenge and Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler up next. That’s great.
They showed some pictures from WrestleMania.
There was no televised entrance for Bryan or Ziggler. That’s a bit of a surprise. I’d rather see the entrances than WrestleMania pictures. It’s a title match, so Lilian Garcia did the big match in-ring intros for them.
Intercontinental Title: Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler
Bad News Barrett joined the announcers at the commentary desk. The crowd was doing dueling chants for both guys while Barrett was complaining about losing the title at WrestleMania. There was a slow start to the match as they aggressively traded punches while on the mat. Bryan was able to ground Ziggler with some kicks, then a forearm shot and he applied the surfboard submission to break free. Back on their feet, Ziggler nailed a perfect dropkick. Ziggler did a cross body block that sent both guys over the top, but Ziggler actually went out first because he barely hit Bryan. They went to commercial in the vintage floor to commercial spot.
They were back in the ring after the break with Ziggler missing a corner splash, so Bryan hit two running dropkicks to the face. The crowd is hot while Barrett said this is fantastic because he wants to face the winner. Ziggler tripped up Bryan on the top rope, then Bryan got the advantage and did a back suplex off the top rope for a two count. Fans were chanting “this is awesome” for that. Bryan hit some kicks, but Ziggler came back with a rollup. They each got some nearfalls in and fought over a backslide. Ziggler tossed Bryan into the post. Bryan went for the running knee, but Ziggler crushed him with a superkick for a two count. Big ovation from the crowd. They exchanged shots in the ring with each guy doing headbutts. Crowd was chanting “yes” for it. That looked nasty. Bryan was able to come back with a running knee to the face for the win after 12 minutes.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Analysis: ***1/2 That was an awesome match for the time given. Of course you know I’m going to say I wish they got more time because any time guys of this caliber are in a match we want them to get 20 minutes, but I understand it can’t always happen. It was very good for the time given. There were some decent nearfalls in there. I liked the big spots like the suplex off the top and the headbutt battle was unique. Bryan getting the win is no surprise since he’s the one they want to build the title around. Hopefully there are more Bryan vs. Ziggler matches in the near future because they have great chemistry and are two of the best in the ring.
Post match, Bad News Barrett tried to go after Bryan. Sheamus’ music hit as he made his return after being out for months. He had a Mohawk haircut and a beard. It looked like he was going to help Bryan, but instead he nailed him with a Brogue Kick. There’s the heel turn as Cole wondered what he was doing. Then Sheamus went after Ziggler, pounded on him and hit White Noise. Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Ziggler as well.
Fans were chanting “you look stupid” at Sheamus. He encouraged the chants. He grabbed the microphone and said “I’m back.” That’s it. Then he left to boos.
Analysis: There’s the expected heel turn of Sheamus. We knew it was coming. That look he’s sporting is definitely different. He looks stupid on purpose. It pisses off the fans and that’s the point of being a heel. I’m glad he’s a heel because the face side of the roster is loaded right now, so they need some credible heels like him. If he goes after Bryan next that’s cool because they’ve had some great matches in the past – go watch Extreme Rules 2012. Good segment.
Here’s an image of the new look Sheamus. I don’t know who made the image, but I applaud them for their quality work.
They promoted the Lesnar vs. Rollins match for later. Sting interview coming up on WWE Network after Raw. Coming up is a look at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
There was a video recap of the Hall of Fame. I still haven’t had time to watch it yet. I was out Saturday. I might get around to it during the week, but I don’t expect to write about it.
The Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara & Kalisto) made their entrance, so they are officially on Raw now. Sin Cara has been around for years while Kalisto is new for Raw viewers, but if you watch NXT you know he’s awesome.
Tyson Kidd, Cesaro, Konnor & Viktor vs. Lucha Dragons & The New Day
Cesaro started with Sin Cara. Kalisto tagged in, then he nailed Cesaro with an incredible dropkick and then a headscissors takedown after spinning all around the upper body of Cesaro. Huge pop for that. When Woods was slapping the mat to encourage his buddies Kofi & Big E, fans were chanting “New Day Sucks” to match the beat that he was hitting the mat with his hands. That was clever. The heels worked over Sin Cara as the show went to break a few minutes into the match.
Analysis: I’m glad Kalisto got a chance to hit a few big moves on Cesaro in there. He’s so talented and Cesaro’s so great at making guys look good out there.
Back from break, Cesaro did the swing and Kid hit the dropkick on Sin Cara. The crowd was doing “ole ole ole” chants. I’d love to see Sami Zayn that’s for sure. I know it’s a soccer chant too. With Woods hitting the mat again, more “New Day Sucks” chants and here’s Kingston on the hot tag. The crowd was booing as he unloaded on Kidd. The announcers were laughing about the chant (JBL said any reaction is a good reaction) while Kingston hit a cross body block. Huge uppercut by Cesaro. Viktor tagged Cesaro in, so they argued about it. Kingston brought in Kalisto and he hit a corkscrew 360, then a rolling kick and a snap hurricane into the mat. Save on the pinfall, but then Big E nailed Kidd and Cesaro with suplexes. Konnor took Big E out, so Kofi and Sin Cara took him out. Viktor took out Sin Cara. Kalisto connected with the Salida del Sol finisher for the win. It went about 10 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Lucha Dragons & The New Day
Analysis: **1/2 It was a good match that was typical of any tag match with a babyface getting worked over and Kalisto was on fire unleashing his offensive arsenal. He’s such an athletic guys and does stuff nobody else does, so he’s going to be popular. This crowd hated New Day even though they are faces, so that should tell management something. The New Day needs a heel turn badly. I’m fine with Viktor getting pinned. A Cesaro/Kidd vs. Lucha Dragons feud would be cool.
Lesnar was shown in the locker room with Heyman and Heyman told him that Rollins is there, so they left.
There was a video package for Adrian Neville. It just showed him jumping off the top rope. It didn’t say when he’s debuting. (EDIT: Turns out it was later in the show!)
Brock Lesnar entered along with Paul Heyman. The new WWE Champion Seth Rollins entered with J&J Security at his side. Rollins held the WWE Title in Lesnar’s face to taunt him. Great heel move. The crowd cheered Rollins for the most part.
Rollins did a promo saying he’s jetlagged and his foot is hurting from curb stomping. He laughed.
Lesnar attacked Rollins at ringside. Lesnar went for a suplex, but Rollins landed on his feet. Rollins kicked Lesnar in the head. Lesnar shook it off. Rollins tried to bail. Lesnar went after him. Lesnar took out both Noble and Mercury. He sent them over the announce table. Lesnar grabbed Michael Cole. Lesnar gave Cole the F5. The crowd chanted “Holy Shit” for it while I cheered because I’m sick of Cole. Lesnar got a hold of a camera guy (indy wrestler). Stephanie told Lesnar to not touch the guy. Lesnar gave the camera guy the F5. Stephanie freaked out and suspended Lesnar indefinitely. Fans chanted “bullshit” after she walked away.
The camera focused on the announce table to show that Booker T and JBL were knocked out from the attack by Lesnar. Lesnar was furious in the ring. He gave another F5 to the camera guy. Fans chanted “Lesnar” as he walked away.
Analysis: Wow. That was amazing. That segment was so great. I didn’t expect the match because there’s no way they’re going to give it away that early in the show. What a beating. Lesnar destroyed everybody in sight. That F5 on Cole was so random, but man the people loved it. So did I! Don’t let me forget it when I have to do best moments of the year later in the year! Haha. Anyway, yeah that was great. The suspension writes Lesnar out of the stories until whenever he comes back, so that could be SummerSlam or a PPV before that. Whenever he comes back he’ll be on fire and can go after Rollins. It will be a huge angle. That was outstanding. Loved it. You have to see it you missed it.
They showed Michael Cole being put on a stretcher. The “camera guy” was too. Replays showed what happened before the break.
Stephanie McMahon was walking backstage and Renee Young interviewed her when she got back there. Stephanie said that Lesnar endangered WWE employees, so she had no choice but to suspend him. Stephanie said that Lesnar will get his rematch when she decides. Stephanie added that she has to fine Lesnar and Lesnar announced on Sportscenter that he had re-signed with WWE, so she owns that son of a bitch. Crowd let out a big “oh” for that.
Analysis: Stephanie is on fire with her heel promos. She comes off as very believable and has no problems saying or doing anything to piss off the fans. Great work by her once again.
An image of Cena’s US Title open challenge was shown. Still no commentary.
Byron Saxton was standing by the commentary table, so I guess he’s taking over on commentary now.
Stardust vs. Damien Mizdow
I was hoping that they would dump the Mizdow name and go back to Sandow, but he’s still Mizdow with The Miz’ music. Remember when this was a tag team called the Rhodes Scholars? Mizdow got some offense in early and then Stardust took control. Stardust was in control for a bit, but Mizdow broke free and hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Stardust for the pinfall win. The match went about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Damien Mizdow
Analysis: * It was just a short match to give Mizdow a win now that he’s free of The Miz.
Post match, Miz attacked Mizdow from behind. He hit the Skull Crushing Finale. Fans were chanting “Asshole” at Miz as he told Mizdow that all of this was his fault and the Mizdow ruined it. Miz yelled at the fans. The segment ended there.
Analysis: It was a good follow up to what happened at WrestleMania. They can have a match at Extreme Rules and it should be pretty good. Mizdow can go back to being called Sandow too.
After the break, they’ll show The Rock and Ronda Rousey showing up at WrestleMania on Sunday.
Analysis: Saxton was really quiet on commentary. Not sure why. I assume they’re doing a video package so they can set up the commentary team for the rest of the show. It was around the midway point of the show.
There were photos of The Rock and Ronda Rousey having their little battle with Hunter and Stephanie at WrestleMania.
There was a way too long video package showing all the events during WrestleMania weekend. We get it, WWE. You’re happy you made a lot of money.
Curtis Axel was in the ring to talk about how everybody in the back is jealous of AxelMania. He said it took 29 guys to eliminate him from the battle royal at WrestleMania.
Adrian Neville made his debut, so it was much earlier than I thought earlier! Yes. Neville had on a cape for his entrance. He was introduced as the “man that gravity forgot.” The graphic just said Neville for him. Apparently they’re dropping the “Adrian” part of it.
Adrian Neville vs. Curtis Axel
Neville hit a moonsault outside the ring to start. Back in the ring, Neville was on fire as he hit flying forearms, kicks and a running kick to the face. The crowd was on fire for the former NXT Champion. Running elbow by Neville and then a body slam. Neville to the top rope. He set up for it, the crowd was all excited and Neville connected with the incredible Red Arrow splash off the top for the win. It was a two minute match.
Winner by pinfall: Neville
Analysis: * That was an electrifying debut for Neville, who is one of the most athletic guys in all of WWE. The fans love him because there are a lot of smart fans that travel a long way to get there. They know all about how awesome he is. I enjoyed the debut. He was actually on Raw before when they did a NXT tag match a few months back, but this is really his official Raw debut. It’s his call up to the main roster. He deserves to be there, that’s for sure.
John Cena is up next for a US Title open challenge.
There was a commercial for Chris Jericho’s podcast on WWE Network with John Cena as the guest next week April 6 after Raw.
Writing Plug Time: Check out my review of last week’s WWE NXT show that featured an outstanding Kevin Owens vs. Finn Balor match for the NXT Title…My WrestleMania reviews of every 31 WrestleMania events are all up in one convenient place on TJRWrestling.net so check those out…My WhatCulture archive always has new content with the weekly Q&A, a look at some lies WWE likes to tell about WrestleMania and 31 ideas about what WWE should do after this year’s big event.
There’s another reply of Lesnar’s vicious attack at ringside. I forgot to add earlier that Heyman told Lesnar not to attack these people, but he couldn’t stop him because Lesnar was so mad.
John Cena entered with a new t-shirt saying “The Champ Is Here” with the US flag on the shirt, then the arrow pointing down to the title. Basically it’s the same as the WWE Title shirt he used to have. Fans chanted “John Cena suuuucks” during his entrance.
Cena did a promo talking about how this is the best crowd of the year and he put over the crowd’s song for his entrance. Cena did his “The Champ is Here” catchphrase. He said that he’s dressed like Johnny Cash (he’s in all black), but he’s still Cena. He talked about how earlier in the day he issued an open challenge. If anybody wants some it’s a hell of a time to come get some.
Dean Ambrose entered to face Cena. I guess he misses the title that he barely defended when he held it for so long. The crowd cheered for Ambrose, which is no surprise. Photos aired of Ambrose taking some nasty falls during WrestleMania.
United States Title: John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose
They went really slow for about two minutes without doing much of anything. The show went to break.
Analysis: What I don’t get is why Saxton is still out there alone. They had Corey Graves and David Otunga doing the pre-show in the arena. I guess they have no faith in them. Poor Saxton is out there doing a bad job. He’s not a bad announcer. This is just a tough spot even though they likely prepared him for it. He’s not that experienced as an announcer. I also realize that Saxton is playing the role of the guy that is surprised he’s out there, but it could be better. That’s all I’m saying.
Ambrose was on fire with the crowd cheering along. Jerry Lawler joined commentary to help out Saxton. Ambrose missed an attack and Cena hit the spinning suplex. Ambrose kicked Cena, then another suplex by Cena and the Five Knuckle Shuffle to boos. Ambrose got a two count and then nailed the clothesline after bouncing off the ropes. That earned him a two count. The crowd was rooting on Ambrose. Cena put up a fight, but Ambrose nailed him with a Tornado DDT for a two count. Ambrose went to the top rope and nailed Cena with a flying elbow attack to take out Cena outside the ring. Back in the ring, Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment. That was only good for a two count. Ambrose went for a sunset flip Powerbomb off the top, but Cena held on. Ambrose went back there to slam him down. I’m not sure if that was a slip. Ambrose connected with the move. Cena no-sold it and applied the STF. Ambrose made it to the ropes.
Fans were chanting “John Cena sucks” again. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment. Ambrose slipped out. Ambrose applied the STF on Cena to a huge pop from the crowd. Cena fought out of it. Ambrose connected with the Dirty Deeds for the two count because Cena kicked out at two. They went back to their feet and exchanged punches. They kept fighting out of the other guy’s finishers. Ambrose cross body block, Cena caught him, rolled through and hit the Attitude Adjustment for the win after 15 minutes.
Winner: John Cena
Analysis: ***1/4 There’s the second really good match for a secondary title on this show. That’s why I love Bryan and Cena holding these titles because they’re going to get a lot of time. They kicked out of finishers, they had some good submission moves tossed in and the crowd really wanted Ambrose to get the win. It’s funny how the fans were chanting about how awesome the match was, yet they also chanted that Cena sucks with his song. I liked the match a lot. Raw needs more 15 minute matches like that. There’s so much talent in the company. Let them wrestle.
Post match, Cena waited for Ambrose to get back to his feet. They slapped hands as a show of respect.
Analysis: The way that was done makes me think they’ll do another match down the road, possibly at Extreme Rules. That’s cool with me.
The announcers Saxton and Lawler were still standing at the announce table. They can’t move the table or do something else? It’s pretty silly.
The new WWE Champion Seth Rollins was interviewed by Renee Young backstage. Rollins said that Lesnar behaved like a guy completely unbecoming of a WWE superstar. Rollins said he earned the right to cash in the briefcase when he wanted and he did it when people didn’t expect it. Rollins added that he’s going to keep the title for a long time. Randy Orton showed up to remind Rollins that he beat him at WrestleMania and nearly ripped his head off with a RKO. Orton told Rollins that he’s staring at a problem. Big Show and Kane showed up behind Rollins. That led to Rollins telling Orton that he has three problems. Rollins gave Orton until the end of the night to find two partners to face Big Show, Kane and Rollins.
Analysis: It took over two hours to figure out the main event of this show, but we have it now.
AJ Lee entered for a six divas tag match. She was wearing an “I’m a hugger” shirt that Bayley wears.
They showed a Rousey tweet that said she was just getting started.
Nikki Bella, Brie Bella & Natalya vs. AJ Lee, Paige & Naomi
It’s interesting that Natalya is with the heel team. Her husband Tyson Kidd is a heel, but she’s not fully a heel. The fans were actually chanting “we want Bayley” because they were in her hometown. Natalya started with Naomi and gave her a slingshot into a suplex followed by a dropkick for two. Brie nailed a dropkick off the middle rope. Armbar by Brie. I could hear somebody talking there as Brie kept the armbar. Naomi nailed a dropkick, tagged in Paige and she crushed Brie with headbutts. Paige tackled Brie and they went out to the floor. The women all faced off outside the ring as they went to break four minutes into the match.
There was a shot of the announcers and they were still standing. I was told via Twitter that there was a “you suck Cena” chant directed at Nikki during the break. Also similar chants for Brie and Natalya. I’m not saying they are cool chants. Just saying they happened. Speaking of Natalya, she nailed AJ with suplexes as the heels attacked her in the corner. Nikki hit a clothesline. When it looked like AJ was making a tag, Nikki slammed AJ down sloppily. It was supposed to be like an Alabama Slam, but it didn’t look good. Nikki applied a leg lock. There was also a “Let’s Go Divas” chant as Nikki worked over the back of AJ. AJ broke free, jumped on Nikki’s back, then kicked her and made the hot tag to Naomi. Hard kick to the face by Naomi on Nikki and a cross body block. There’s an Alabama Slam by Nikki. Natalya with a German Suplex on AJ to take her out. Nikki accidentally knocked out her sister Brie with a forearm shot after Naomi moved. Naomi capitalized with the Rear View for the win after 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: AJ Lee, Paige & Naomi
Analysis: **1/2 It was a solid divas tag match that was longer than most divas matches get. In fact, it was probably one of the longest divas matches in WWE history. There were times when the action was a bit poor because Nikki and Brie’s offense wasn’t that great during the long heat sequence, but Natalya was the best of the three, which is no surprise. Naomi getting the win was likely done to either set up a title mach for her or maybe lead to some multi-diva tag. It was AJ that got the pin at WrestleMania, so now we have a couple of women that can claim a title match in the future. As for the crowd chants, they were unique. They could also be considered disrespectful when mentioning the men in their lives. I’m not defending it. I think they just did it because they were bored.
There was another replay of Lesnar’s attack from earlier in the show. He’s suspended.
Randy Orton was in the locker room. Ryback walked up to him. He said he didn’t like the Authority and said “Feed Me More” so he’s in. Orton shook his hand.
Analysis: That’s a logical partner. Reigns is the other logical choice even though this crowd will hate him.
Goldust was in the ring. Rusev is his opponent. Lawler said that Cole had some “cervical” injury. I’m not sure about saying that as a worked injury when a wrestler named Perro Aguayo Jr. died recently. I know they’re not trying to disrespect, but make up something else for a worked injury. Say it was a shoulder injury or something like that.
Rusev vs. Goldust
It was a very short match with Rusev dominating it with the superkick and then the Accolade submission hold. It was done in under two minutes.
Winner by submission: Rusev
Analysis: There was nothing to it. Just a squash match. Poor Goldust.
Main event up next.
Seth Rollins, Big Show and Kane entered first. No J&J since they were selling injuries from Lesnar’s attack. Show stood by the announce table that was by the ring that had the Andre the Giant trophy that he won.
Randy Orton walked out first followed by Ryback. The music of Roman Reigns started up.
Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Ryback vs. Big Show, Kane and Seth Rollins
Reigns hit a huge dive over the top rope early on and they went to break about a minute into it with the babyfaces on fire to start the match.
Back from break, Kane drove Orton into the corner. The crowd started chanting various names of NXT guys like Kevin Owens and they chanted “How you doing” for the team of Enzo and Big Cass on NXT. The crowd was chanting at Show to retire. Fans were doing the wave and it looked like they turned on the lights in arena as the camera panned across to show them doing the wave. They were even chanting for “CM Punk” and “we are awesome” started up. Orton gave Rollins a superplex. Reigns got the hot tag. He was on fire. Show caught him when he tried to do the Superman Punch. Everybody was in the ring as the match broke down. Huge pop for Ryback as he hit the Shellshock on Show. Rollins avoided an attack from Reigns. Orton hit a RKO on Kane after Kane choked Reigns. That led to Reigns hitting a Spear on Kane, who was the legal man and that was enough for the win after 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Ryback
Analysis: **1/2 It was the usual tag match that ends Raw when they do tags to end the show. Reigns got the win to make him look strong after losing to Lesnar the night before. The crowd was against Reigns for much of it, but they seemed to like the finishing sequence a lot since it featured the usual action with everybody hitting finishing moves. I’m not sure what else to say. It was just following the typical tag team formula that we see all the time in WWE.
They hyped that next on WWE Network we’ll hear from Sting. I was told about it after it aired and that it was nothing important.
Raw ended with Rollins alone on the ramp without his WWE Title while the three babyfaces were in the ring celebrating.
Analysis: I thought Rollins should have had the title with him there so he could pose with it. They probably didn’t think of it. It would have been a good visual to show that even though he got out of there he was still the champ.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Brock Lesnar – No question. I’ll miss him while he’s gone. I won’t miss Cole.
2. Daniel Bryan
3. Dolph Ziggler
7.5 out of 10
Last week: 6
Last 5 Weeks: 6, 6, 5, 5.5, 5.5
2015 Average: 5.58
2015 High: 7.5 (March 30)
2015 Low: 4 (Feb 9)
I’m giving it a 7.5 out of 10. The first two hours featured mostly good stuff the whole way through and that third hour dragged a bit.
That’s my highest score for an episode of Raw this year. The reason is because of the in-ring action. It was much better than the usual. There were five matches around 10 minutes or more. We need more of that!
Those IC and US Title matches were excellent TV matches. We don’t see competitive matches for titles like that very often. That’s why it’s smart to put those titles on major stars like Bryan and Cena because it’s going to make people care more about those matches. The divas tag was one of the longer divas matches in Raw history.
Lesnar came off like such a massive star and the crowd absolutely loved him. He’s a babyface from now on. When he comes back in a few months (maybe around SummerSlam) he’ll be gunning for Rollins and that will be awesome to see. The suspension thing is lame, but they had to do something. It’s good enough of an excuse.
I liked the return of Sheamus the rooster. We had been anticipating his return for months. He went all out with a mohawk as well as a crazy beard. Going heel will make him fresher than he was before. The babyface act got stale.
The debuts of Neville and Kalisto to the main roster were also really good. Both guys got a chance to show their aerial moves. Both of them bring a lot to the table. Some people are already complaining about Neville losing the Adrian part of the name. I don’t mind. Less typing for me!
They handled the commentary poorly. Why would nobody clean up the area by the announcers so Byron Saxton and Jerry Lawler could sit down? I know Saxton was out there trying to act like he was unprepared, but he came off poorly. In the past when they did announcer injury angles guys could fill and do fine. Saxton did a bad job. Maybe he was told to do that. It just didn’t go very well.
The crowd was excellent for most of the night. Some of the things they were chanting (like the stuff at the divas) were going too far, but mostly they did a good job. I know I covered a lot of the chants, but I didn’t get them all because there were so many.
WrestleMania was the best PPV of the year by far and this was the best Raw so far. Hopefully that momentum can continue for WWE going forward.
That’s all for this week. Check out my feature column archive that’s exclusive to WhatCulture.
Thanks for reading.
John Canton –firstname.lastname@example.org