WWE RAW 29/08/16






Look, like I said last week, I can appreciate how miserable Finn Balor must be watching this at home right now but the sad thing is Balor’s injury seems to be the best thing that has happened to Monday Night Raw all year. There are still plenty of problems with the brand, which I’ll get to, but in terms of the Universal Title scene I can’t remember a time when Raw was better and after swerve after swerve in tonight’s Main Event the excitement is seemingly just beginning. I’ll drink to that.

The only real strange aspect to all of this is Roman Reigns, not so much that he got taken out first by Triple H or even that he lost at all, this all seems to be part of their master plan to get Reigns over which from the sounds of the crowd appears to be working. But it was the look on his face, while Reigns performed well in the ring, every time the camera went to his face his heart just didn’t seem in it. Like he didn’t want to be here. Is this part of the mythical “heel turn” or what? Because I remember this guy being high energy even while getting booed out of the arena, now he’s starting to get the fans behind him again and his face is a picture of sadness.

Sadly there was still a whole two hours of Raw to get through before we got here and I’m disappointed to say that while I’m loving every second of the Universal Title picture the rest of Raw is a hot mess.

Examples this week include things like Bayley and The New Day marking out for each other, which was pretty funny, but what does this tag match do for Bayley or Dana Brooke? Or for that matter The New Day and Gallows and Anderson? Considering they are so desperately trying to fill these three hours, squashing together two unrelated stories into one match is just bizarre.

Likewise, Nia Jax is made to look really strong in those squash matches but with no clear endgame she’s losing momentum with every jobber crushed. This should have been done on NXT so when she arrived on Raw or SmackDown she could immediately gun for the titles and been a credible threat. Instead they’ve done it in reverse order? Why? WWE lol.

And with how quickly Charlotte reclaimed the title and the complete lack of evolution for her character, despite just how great her match was at SummerSlam (both as a match and a piece of storytelling) I was inclined to believe I just dreamt up Sasha Banks winning the title. Surely they wouldn’t award the belt on Banks so late after it would be relevant to do so and give her such a throwaway reign where she drops the belt on her first defence/rematch? Wait… that actually happened? Oh… and now they’re trying to keep momentum for the feud by having Banks saying things like “she threatened my career” (or some shit) and her having some back injury or something? Oh.

This best of seven series between Sheamus and Cesaro is nonsense, I know they are fighting for a title opportunity but why do they need to go through so many hoops to get one? No one else needs to. Do they really think that lowly of Sheamus and Cesaro that this is what they need to do to get them over or something? Ugh.

It’s also a real shame that after last week seemed to suggest Neville and Sami Zayn’s stock had finally been raised, this week it seemed they had taken an even further step backwards than where they were before the Universal Title Qualifier. Both thrown into nothing matches, Neville got his ass kicked and Zayn is still made to sell the leg against jobbers for some reason, even when winning clean in quick fashion. Right now they’d be lucky to get back on the preshow.

But overall? There has been no better moment in WWE this year than when Owens roared in triumph as he held up the belt in one hand, while Triple H lifted his other. Owens still not truly understanding what is happening but happy to take the offer. Rollins out on the matt, Reigns out on the outside of the ring. EPIC.

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