The first RAW without Seth Rollins definitely felt odd without his evil laugh and weasel-y antics. The crowd, for sure, missed him, cheering for him as if he were a babyface whenever his name was mentioned. It was great to see everyone acknowledge how valuable Rollins has been to the company. Now, onto the show…
Thank You Seth
Triple H opened the show, cutting a promo about Seth Rollins and the newly vacant title. The crowd showed a lot of love for Rollins, which was awesome to see. Triple H then brought out Roman Reigns, and tried to turn him to the dark si-I MEAN The Authority. Roman, to nobody’s surprise, rejected it.
This set up a very interesting way for Seth to return: the idea of him being the Authority’s second choice out of the Shield. I hope Ceative remembers this when Rollins is healed and ready to return.
Roman Reigns vs. The Big Show
Big Show took control early in the match, despite the fact that he’s in a brace. Reigns powered back, as he does, but big Show gained some momentum with the Bear Hug. This didn’t last long, of course. Roman returned with a fury (much to the crowd’s non-amusement), only for Big Show to almost get the pinfall with a chokeslam. But all it took was a Superman Punch and Spear to get Reigns to the next round.
Honestly, we’ve seen this match a thousand times (dark days indeed) so I didn’t pay much attention. We all knew how this match would end anyways, because WWE is disgustingly predictable.
Kevin Owens vs. Titus O’Neil
Kevin Owens, now the top heel in the company in my opinion, came out in true heel style: blasting the UK. It was pretty funny. He and O’Neil put on a solid match, and Owens surprised O’Neil with a Popup Powerbomb for the win.
With Rollins out of the picture, I hope Owens is allowed to step up as the top asshole heel we all love to hate. He’s got the perfect attitude to fill in the gaping hole Rollins has left. He seems to be getting pushed yet again, so here’s hoping his momentum continues!
Becky Lynch vs. Paige
Boy is it good to see Lynch getting in the ring.
Without the strain of having to simply put someone over, Becky was really allowed to shine here. She and Paige brawled, with Lynch taking control early on in the match, before Paige turned up the heat, much to the delight of her hometown crowd. Becky made a comeback with a clothesline and dropkick, but Paige answered back with a punch and attack of her own. Paige took Lynch down with the Rampaige, but Lynch grabbed the bottom rope. Paige tried to win with a rollup, but Becky reversed it for the win. Afterwards, Paige attacked Lynch, putting Becky in the PTO, but ran when Charlotte emerged to help her friend.
Lynch has desperately needed a chance to emerge from Charlotte’s shadow, and this match definitely helped. She’s owed a push. Her energy and skill are too valuable to waste.
Paige was heel-ish as ever, but her in-ring work was a bit lacking this week. I suppose I’m just spoiled by watching Banks and Bayley, but I hope she expands her move-set, otherwise she will be lost in the mix.
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
Ziggler wins with a dropkick. Pretty standard match.
Zeb Coulter raised the heel game with his politically-driven promo given before the match. Hearing him and Del Rio say the word haters was very unsettling.
Naomi vs. Natalya
It didn’t take long for the “WE WANT SASHA” chants to begin. The match was pretty simple: Natalya encouraged crowd chants, Sasha got involved, Nattie won.
The match itself was pretty bland. In comparison to what I’ve seen the Horsewomen do, Naomi and Natalya aren’t the best. That being said, they both have got swagger and are very talented, certainly preferable to the Bellas.
I hope this leads somewhere for Sasha. She is one of the best wrestlers in the WWE, period. Not having her wrestle is an absolute travesty. I hope Creative breaks her away from Team BAD and gives her a title shot, or better yet a title run, by the Royal Rumble or else I’m going to be very upset.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro
Sheamus came out with his British buddy Barrett, who remained at ringside after antagonizing some football fans and Wayne Rooney. Cesaro had the crowd eating out of his hand the entire match, showing off his technical prowess and athleticism for the delighted crowd. However, Barrett provided a distraction, earning himself a slap, and Cesaro took advantage, getting the win.
I’m surprised Sheamus lost. Happy Cesaro won. But we all know how next week will turn out.
Dean Ambrose vs. Tyler Breeze
The two put on one hell of a show. Both are incredible in-ring workers, and did not disappoint. Tyler breeze did not lose face at all, showcasing some of the high-energy aggression that made him not only entertaining, but credible as a heel. Ambrose shone as well, getting the crowd behind him and messing with Breeze throughout the match before getting the pinfall with a rollup.
Breeze’s introduction is being very well-booked. He and Ambrose had a surprisingly fun in-ring chemistry, putting on a fun match that was great to watch. Ambrose was electric as ever, and I hope Creative noticed how much the WWE Universe adores him. Breeze, as well, is still on the right track despite the loss.
Ambreeze for the winnnnn.
The New Day vs. Neville and The Usos
The New Day, after properly insulting England, proceeded to honor their buddy Seth Unicorn style before their match, which was a nice touch and brought me great joy. New Day took an early lead, in what JBL called a “Unicorn stampede.” Neville brought back some momentum, which the Usos continued. Neville cleaned house, however, bringing the house down with a dive onto everyone, including his team, and nearly took out Xavier Woods, but Big E helped Woods get the rollup victory.
The little Unicorn tribute to Rollins was a great callback to their alliance with the former champion, and New Day’s heel game was strong as ever. Neville also looked great, thriving with two exciting spots that reminded me of why he was such a force early on in his run on the main roster. The Usos also put on a good show. I hope to see them challenging the New Day more.
Oh HELL Yes!
OH MY GOD.
Basically, The Brothers of Destruction returned and cleaned house. AND IT WAS GREAT.