With less than one week until Money in the Bank, last night’s WWE RAW promised to be one heck of a show. But did shoddy booking and last-minute build hamper the three-hour show? Read on to find out…
It worries me when the company decides to spend so much time on an angle completely irrelevant to the Pay-Per-View on a go-home show. So I wasn’t a big fan of the Vickie Guerrero and Stephanie McMahon opening segment. And although things went south fairly quickly (the whole “beg for your job” situation reeked of classlessness), there was hope. Fans were actually supporting Vickie. Yes, WWE still managed to get in its last minute humiliation for a departing personality (again), but at least Guerrero got the last laugh against Stephanie and was able to leave with a smidge of dignity intact. Consider this: the boss’ daughter has looked like a flake for three weeks in a row now, mostly for comedic relief. Strange, huh?
The other major unknown going into WWE RAW was the Money in the Bank briefcase match participants. Having Triple H announce them, while positioning Seth Rollins as the overall favorite, told the right story. Letting Ambrose assault Rollins to “fight” his way in also made some kind of sense. I’d love to see how Triple H (in character) decided on guys like Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger over, say, Rusev or Big E Langston. But a well handled announcement. Plus, seeing Seth Rollins and Rob Van Dam square off was kind of fun. Sort of.
Damien Sandow continues to humiliate himself so he can… be more entertaining? I didn’t really get it. But this IS harming Sandow’s future potential, so it needs to stop immediately.
The final match and segment, including the surprise return of Kane, actually kept me awake. Putting all these guys together was a great final push for Sunday. Plus, after the dust finally settled, nobody looked as impressive as Roman Reigns. It’s clear that WWE wants to position Reigns as the “favorite” only to swerve our expectations. Still, a hot finish to a hot show.
Last night’s wrestling was kept short and sweet. The Usos and The Wyatt Family squared off in single’s competition, which was surprisingly decent. Then we got to see Seth Rollins and Rob Van Dam deliver an effective, if mildly entertaining, match.
Shame on WWE for not better advertising Dolph Ziggler vs Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship. This match was fantastic. Not only was it a logical way to advertise for Money in the Bank, allowing both of these guys to work gave fans incentive to believe that either man might walk away with the briefcase come Sunday. Well-paced, effectively sold, and fantastic near-falls down the stretch. Match of the night.
Even Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger got to work! I guess WWE needed to remind fans of who these two men were.
That main-event was solid. Yes, it was only a lengthy lead-in to the hot closing segment, but at least it gave everybody involved in the championship match a little face-time. Major star power, plus a few fun spots, made this a worthwhile endeavor. Notice this: Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, AND Cesaro closed a show. Nice.
Bo Dallas continues to monopolize my attention. His character is fantastic. His promos are fantastic. Sure, his in-ring work is only “fine,” but everything else about Dallas has me hooked. That “butterfingers” comment? Priceless.
It was great to see Seth Rollins in some non-Shield ring gear. That association needed to be broken.
People need to stop acting like they don’t know what happens on those “public/private” backstage segments. It just makes everybody look dumb.
Paige is great in-ring, but she still seems a little stiff on promos. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is…
How entertaining would it be seeing The Wyatt Family all walk away with gold this Sunday at Money in the Bank?
Overall Show: 8 gold briefcases out of 10
No, it wasn’t perfect (WWE Raw rarely is these days), but it was still a pretty fantastic go-home show. WWE needed to give fans a reason to watch Sunday, and it did just that, with almost every segment dealing with a Money in the Bank match, storyline, or relevant development. And those final five minutes? Hot, hot, hot.
What did you think about last night’s WWE Raw? Will you be watching this Sunday on the WWE Network? Make your voice count in the comments below!