Following a disappointing Survivor Series and subsequently disappointing RAW and SmackDown, this week’s RAW had the daunting task of being somewhat fresh.
Creative managed to somewhat deliver, giving us plenty of New Day and some much-needed development for Charlotte.
New Day’s Sheamusbration
Oh man, there’s no better way to start a night than by starting it with the New Day, who, after cheerfully heckling the Pittsburgh crowd, welcomed Sheamus to the ring. Sheamus thanked The Authority, and then mockingly thanked Roman Reigns for leading to his time with the belt. Sheamus continued to celebrate until Roman Reigns hit him with a Superman Punch outta nowhere and left with the belt, very much like Ambrose did back in the summer during his feud with Rollins.
After showing it off backstage to the Usos and Ambrose himself, Reigns gave it back to The Authority, who informed him that his match with Sheamus would occur that night, but Reigns would have to win in under 5 minutes and 15 seconds: the length of his reign.
Most important takeaway from this? Sheamus’s heel game is stronger than ever, and I am happy with him.
Tyler Breeze vs. Dolph Ziggler
In a pretty standard match (see what I did there?), Ziggler and Breeze battled it out, with Breeze looking dominant for a good portion of the match before Ziggler got the pinfall with a surprise kick.
I don’t understand where WWE is going with this feud, but honestly? Either save it for TLC or have them move on.
Miz TV with Rusev and Lana
Rusev couldn’t get many words in before the “WE WANT LANA!” chants began to ring out, but he shut them down before complaining about how everyone forgot about him…except his lovely lady, Lana. They then proceeded to reference sex too many times for a PG show, and then make out. Luckily, this smoochfest was interrupted by Ryback, who challenged Rusev to a match.
Ryback vs. Rusev
This match was shockingly short. I blinked, and Ryback had accidentally thrown Rusev into the steps, hitting Lana, and Rusev lost by countout. Rusev then escorted his injured fiancee from the ring.
Backstage, Triple H informed Ambrose that if Reigns lost his match, he would lose his title shot as well.
The Dudley Boyz and Tommy Dreamer vs. The Wyatt Family
The Dudley Boys revealed some tables with the Wyatt family’s names on them, proclaiming they were ready for action. The Wyatts answered the call, not looking very fazed, before the Dudley Boyz introduced Tommy Dreamer in an ECW flashback.
The match was on. It quickly descended into an all-out brawl, with Strowman taking Dreamer out and Bray getting shoved into a table.
All in all, it was business as usual.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Goldust
Del Rio told the veteran star that he was out of date and full of hate, and thankfully the cosmic man punched him and began the match before Del Rio could speak any more. Del Rio emerged on top, but Jack Swagger crashed his party, sending him retreating.
Backstage, Becky Lynch asked Charlotte for a match against each other, just like old times, and Charlotte agreed…if her dad could join her at ringside. Woo.
Honestly, this entire angle makes me sort of…uncomfortable. I love Jack Swagger, but this feud reeks of the kind of nationalism that puts idiots like Donald Trump ahead in polls. I love America and all, but is NOW the time to pit a Mexican wrestler who preaches no hate against an all-American good guy?
The Usos vs. The Lucha Dragons
Awww, yes. Two talented tag teams in a good, old-fashioned number-one contenders match, with the New Day on commentary. I honestly couldn’t pay much attention to the match itself because New Day’s old-timey commentary had me in stitches. The Lucha Dragons wowed as usual, flying through the air, but the New Day attacked both, disqualifying both teams to ensure no opponents at TLC.
Stephanie, backstage, ensured the Lucha Dragons would face New Day at TLC, and the Usos as well…if Reigns won.
Sasha Banks vs. Brie Bella
Sasha carried Brie through a standard match, with Team BAD providing some excellent heel comedy throughout. Brie gained some momentum with her husband’s kicks, but Sasha hit the Backstabber into the Banks Statement for the win.
I can’t contain my thoughts on why Sasha Banks should main event every show she is in into this, so I’ll just move on.
Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus (WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match)
This match happened with an hour left in RAW. Like…what?
The match happened, and Sheamus’s henchmen interfered when it looked like Reigns would get the win.
I was surprised this was where it was, but in hindsight, it makes sense, I guess.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte
Good seeing Charlotte wrestling with someone who is well-equipped to put on a proper bout with her. The two delivered, providing a fast-paced, physically impressive match, and Ric Flair was in Charlotte’s corner.
In true Flair fashion, Charlotte faked an injury as her dad provided a distraction, and rolled up Becky for the win. A dejected Lynch confronted Charlotte backstage, who told her it was just tough love. A smug Paige, who had been on commentary, merely told Lynch she told her so.
This is exactly what Charlotte’s character needed. She was a fantastic heel who would do anything to win on NXT (remember her matches with Bayley?) and this gave her some much-needed depth. Additionally, it was an interesting choice to include Team BAD watching. Future conflict, maybe?
League of Nations and New Day vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and The Usos
There’s no neat way to recap this, so I will simply assure you that a chaotic, spot-filled match happened. Highlight? Dean Ambrose’s hot tag and following rampage. In the end, the numbers game proved too much, and Sheamus hit the Brogue-kick on Reigns for the win. The heels stood tall to end the show
Notable absence? Kevin Owens, another heel champion. But whatever.
Overall, a pretty decent RAW with some much-needed story progression and character development. Hope WWE doesn’t mess this up in the weeks to come.
Don’t expect much from me this week as I prep for tests and finals, but I’ll be back next week with more recaps and blog posts. Have a great week, friends!