The RAW after every PPV gives the company a chance to build on the results, answer questions asked, and progress the story’s of the night before. However, I feel like this week’s episode didn’t live up to it’s potential.
All started well. We once again saw a prolonged opening segment of talking between Shane and Stephanie McMahon. However, we don’t have 15 minutes of talk before the opening match every single week! Things got shook up at the entry of Kevin Owens who demanded his Intercontinental Title rematch form Wrestlemania. Clearly he had forgotten he lost that opportunity by losing to Cesaro four weeks earlier. So how to solve the situation? Place him in a match with Cesaro… This good opening bout was brought to a halt at the interference of The Miz followed by Sami Zayn. This may be the start of a lengthy build to a Fatal 4-Way match at Extreme Rules, which could become boring unless it evolves at some point.
Biggest shock of the night, by far, Tyler Breeze won a match! His first victory since January sees his win-loos count at 3-70. Way to go Tyler!
I was curious to see how the WWE would address the unfortunate situation with Enzo Amore following his injury. After showing the incident several times, and letting us know Enzo is OK, The New Day and The Vaudevillans proceeded to take jabs at the Trashtalker Skywalker. The best course of action for the Tag Team Division will be to allow Gotch and English to take the titles, and start a feud with Enzo and Cass once they’re back together.
The only Women’s match of the night featured Becky Lynch take on Emma following a war of words on Twitter. It felt somewhat refreshing to see a different match – even if the premise was dumb. Emma is a fantastic wrestler who should share the top of the division with the other recruits from NXT. A short term rivalry between these two would showcase some decent technical wrestling on a show which seems to be dominated by talk segments. It made for a more better use of time than the segment between Charlotte and Natalya. The one good thing from that, particularly poor, section is that we will see a submission match at Extreme Rules, in which Ric Flair will be banned from ringside.
Rumours have been rife about Chris Jericho parting ways with WWE in the near future. This, however, did not stop him from showing up to attack Dean Ambrose and hit him over the head with a plant. The Ambrose Asylum is not a good segment of the shows. It achieves nothing and serves only as a toilet break for those in attendance. I think everyone would rather see a good match over the very tame “Asylum”.
The most interesting match of the night was the number one contender battle royale for the US Title. There were many legitimate competitors who could win including Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Sin Cara, Apollo Crews and the former members of the League of Nations. Sadly enough, despite Zach Ryder making it to the final two, Rusev will be the next challenger for the belt. The Bulgarian Brute is deserving of a good story line, but going back to the title he held 13 months ago shows how much he has stagnated in the past year. If he doesn’t take the belt, it will be very interesting to see what becomes of the former League member.
The main event saw a six-man tag between AJ Styles, Max Gallows and Doc Gallows, and Roman Reigns and The Usos. Aside from the match itself having no real faults, this was not the best course of action for this rivalry. I would prefer to see the Bullet Club dominate the Samoan family. However, it feels more apparent than ever that Gallows and Anderson will turn on Styles at Extreme Rules. AJ is being made out to be full of honour and respect towards his opponents, a view which isn’t shared by his friends. The only question is whether AJ will take the title before the split. Rightfully, this feud will remain at the forefront of the company for the next month, so we should expect a few turns along the way.
Finally, with RAW ending with Roman Reigns powerbombing AJ Styles through the announce table, could this be the start of a turn which sees Roman finally become a “bad guy” (and stop being “the guy”).