Monday Night Raw Review: Raw Reacts

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For the millions (and millions) of the Ryan’s fans that were looking forward to the Monday Night Raw review that never came, I have a very simple explanation. See, I was also attacked by the invading SmackDown Live roster, and I was so rattled, I couldn’t put my feelings about the show into words. Never fear, this week #MondayNightRyan returns, and Raw reacts to the devastating invasion from the Blue Brand.

Monday Night Raw Review: Raw Reacts

The show opened up with a recap of said invasion, which I must admit, was very difficult for me to watch, but I managed. The Raw GM, Kurt Angle was in the middle of the ring, and the entire Raw roster stood on the stage. Friendly reminder- Heath Slater and Rhyno are still signed to WWE, but Emma lost her job this week. Just remember that.

Annnnnd insult to injury, Stephanie McMahon’s music hit, and the worst heel in professional wrestling came to the ring. She immediately started emasculating Kurt, which is great, because she’s definitely not going to get any comeuppance any time soon. Seriously, she’s taken three bumps in the last five years. Yay for burying the talent!

Anyway, the daughter of the man that held kayfabe underwater until the bubbles stopped recapped what we all knew about Raw’s 25th anniversary coming up before, shocker, she started tearing Angle down. She blamed Angle for SmackDown invading last week, but as one of the victims of said invasion, I forgive him.

It was at this point that Mrs. Levesque announced Angle was the captain of Team Raw at Survivor Series, and if they don’t dominate, he’d lose his job. This segment wasn’t terrible, but for the love of God, can Stephanie stay off television unless she’s participating in a feud that’s building to Angle vs. Triple H at Mania? Speaking of vs. Triple H at Mania, has she forgotten about her beef with Seth Rollins?…

Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s

Bayley vs. Not Emma

Bayley is fantastic. I love some Bayley, even if the WWE don’t share my feelings. Know who I don’t love? Alicia Fox. Hey, speaking of which. Never forget that Alicia Fox has a job and Emma doesn’t. Fortunately, apparently she’s too busy making up a kayfabe team so she introduced Nia Jax, who apparently hasn’t pulled a CM Punk after all.

Anyway, the returning Jax and Bayley had the same match we’ve seen 800 times where Nia was in control for most of the match before underdog Bayley managed to mount a comeback. However, it was brief, and Jax was able to beat Bayley with a leg-drop, brother.

Alicia Fox forgot what she was supposed to say for legitimately 30 seconds before asking Jax to be part of the Survivor Series team. And then something else happened, and I refuse to let that something else save this segment.

Segment/Match Quality- 3/10 Woo’s

Samoa Joe vs. Apollo Crews

SAMOA JOE’S MUSIC HIT AND HE CAME DOWN TO THE RING. Oh Joe, how I’ve missed you. And he addressed that we missed him, only for him to turn around and say that he didn’t miss us at all. He said he didn’t care about any of us, and that he was going to use our disrespect as fuel with any man that steps in a ring with him, pretending his opponent is each and every one of us.

At this point, Apollo Crews’ music hit and he and Titus O’Neil came down to the ring. I’m not going to lie, I thought it was going to be a squash, but Crews actually put up a pretty decent fight before tapping out to the coquina clutch. After the win, Titus got in the ring and took off his suit.

Joe acted like was going to leave the ring before sneaking up on Titus and locking the clutch on him as well. Welcome back, Mr. Joe, we missed you.

Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Woo’s

The Miz vs. Matt Hardy

The Miz irritated Kurt Angle, because that’s what the Miz does, so he booked him in an Intercontinental Championship match against a mystery opponent. That opponent? Matt Hardy. Before the match, Michael Cole gave the bit about Raw being the longest running weekly episodic TV show, and I wanted to address that really quickly.

Raw isn’t the longest running TV show on air, but that’s not what they’re claiming. They’re simply saying that no other show has been running weekly episodes as long as Raw, which is true. That’s impressive in it’s own way, but when you realize just how specific that is, it loses a big of the shine.

How many shows are on every single week? A few, sure, but not many. Of those few, how many are scripted, story-based shows? If there are any that meet both of those qualifiers, have they been on for 25 years? Probably not. So the bit is a little misleading, but still very true. You’re welcome.

Anyway, back to the match. It was pretty obvious from jump street that they weren’t going to take the belt off of Miz, and they weren’t going to give it to Matt Hardy. Does anyone else feel like WWE just signed the Hardy’s to get the Broken gimmick off the indies?

Shout-out to Baltimore for saying “NO!” when Miz did the Daniel Bryan kicks. Far too many people chanting yes and they just don’t get that that defeats the purpose. Anyway, this match ended kind of awkwardly because Matt Hardy hit the Twist of Fate and then Miz sold for a minute before hitting Skull Crushing Finale for the win anyway. Not good, not bad, but hey, welcome back Bo.

Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s

Asuka vs. Jobber

Just in case you forgot, no one is ready for Asuka, who made her Monday Night Raw debut tonight, and she did so against random jobber number five! Asuka took her time tormenting the jobber, smiling all the while. The jobber was not very good, and wasn’t selling at first, so I think Asuka actually started kicking harder so she wouldn’t have a choice.

She locked in the Asuka Lock for the win after playing with her food for a minute, and honestly I thought this was what was going to happen with Emma. Can we talk about that again? Why make Emma look strong if you were just going to release her? I don’t understand, and no, I won’t drop it. Hard to grade a squash match, but we’ll just say it earned six woo’s because Asuka’s gotta Asuka.

Segment/Match Quality- 6/10 Woo’s

Finn Balor vs. Cesaro

This match was a lot of fun. I think that sometimes we forget just how good Finn Balor is because he’s been limited by stupid feuds, and obviously Cesaro isn’t a slouch either. Having match where he could actually be a little stiff and just hit someone did him a ton of favors.

There were some crazy spots, like a pop-up uppercut and Cesaro superplexed Balor into the ring. I love a good superplex, it’s fantastic, and I hate to get all Cornette here, but that should really be a finisher. Anyway, Cesaro also went from a sharpshooter to a crossface to a headlock and that was just a ton of fun to watch.

Throughout the match, Sheamus would try to get involved, and this lead to Balor doing a suicide dive onto both of them. Balor hit an awkward coup de gras where Cesaro was standing up and got the win? Which didn’t help the match.

And then as Balor was making his way to the back and Kane attacked him. Kane is 50 years old. He’s 50 years old. Just reminding everyone.

Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Woo’s

Seth Rollins vs. Kane

Kane stayed in the ring after attacking the man that is 15 years younger than him, and the Shield music hit. And for the first time, I was not happy to hear it. Look, love him or hate him, Roman Reigns is a crucial part of the Shield. Just play Seth’s music if it’s just Seth. It cheapens what is already a very superficial reunion.

Anyway, Seth made his way to the ring, accompanied by Dean Ambrose. Finn Balor is one thing. But honestly, if Seth Rollins loses to Kane, I just don’t know man, I just don’t know. You only have so many main eventers on Raw, you can’t have Rollins losing to 50 year old Libertarian Kane.

During the match, Sheamus and Cesaro returned to ringside, and this doesn’t make a ton of sense. Are Balor and Kane feuding and then Rollins and Ambrose feuding with the Bar? Then why have Cesaro wrestle Finn and oh, whatever.

I don’t know if it’s ring rust or what, but Kane was botching all over the place. He completely failed to catch Rollins on a suicide dive and then after missing Rollins on a catch-chokeslam, Rollins had to do it again. They improvised by doing a spot where the Bar attacked Ambrose so Rollins could escape the ring to dive again.

Anyway, the second time around, Kane actually caught Rollins, and got the win. And then the Bar attacked. So why are we building Kane up? He’s beaten Finn Balor and Seth Rollins in back-to-back weeks, he chokeslammed Daniel Bryan, and he hit Ambrose and Balor with Tombstone Piledrivers. Is he going to feud with Brock Lesnar? Is Vince aware that he’s 50 years old?

Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s

Rhyno and Heath Slater vs. CHAD 2 BADD AND TEX FERGUSON

IT’S CHAD 2 BADD AND TEX FERGUSON. STOP EVERYTHING. STOP EVERYTHING. STOP. EVERY. SINGLE. THING. Okay, so it was a stupid gimmick match, a trick or treat street fight or whatever, but this match is getting a huge Woo boost because of the gimmicks. Yeah, Rhyno and Slater were Mr. and Mrs. Claus, but IT’S SOUTHPAW REGIONAL WRESTLING/THE WRESTLING ROAD DIARIES.

Wait, weren’t Gallows and Anderson in the stupid gimmick fight last year too? Against Enzo and Cass? Stop this WWE, these two deserve the world and you’re giving them a Halloween match against the only member of 3MB without a title and Rhyno dressed as Mrs. Claus.

God bless Gallows and Anderson for trying their best to make this match entertaining. They trie their best. But you can’t get by Rhyno, in makeup and a dress. I saw up Rhyno’s dress far too many times, and after a screwy finish where Gallows and Anderson put pumpkins on their… I just can’t.

WAIT. IT’S HALLOWEEN, WHY WERE THEY CHRISTMAS CHARACTERS? SHAME. This bout gets two woo’s, solely because of Chad 2 Badd and Sex/Tex Ferguson.

Segment/Match Quality- 2/10 Woo’s

Elias Never Gets To Sing

As we stumbled away from the drunken disaster of a Halloween gimmick match, Elias was sitting in the ring with his guitar, and one of the first thing he did was take a shot at Joe Flacco. I guffawed. Anyway, he was playing a hilarious song about how he hit Jason Jordan with a guitar when Jordan stormed the ring and chased him off. Unfortunately, he left his guitar behind, and Jordan snapped it in half.

I’m confused, is Jason Jordan supposed to be the babyface here?… Why?

Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Woo’s

Drew Gulak w/Unathletic Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Kalisto

Drew Gulak doesn’t get enough credit. He really doesn’t. And he’s a good worker. Unlike the other thing in the ring. Enzo was bashing Kurt Angle and Kalisto, and Gulak decided to do the “ONE WORD TO DESCRIBE YOU!” bit in the whitest voice possible before spelling it S-O-F-T. I cracked up. In any event, Shredde- I mean Drag- I mean Kalisto came to the ring, apparently to wrestle Gulak.

Kalisto won in less than two minutes and the Enzo attacked him from behind. Well, fortunately it was a very short segment and we weren’t exposed to Enzo for very long!

Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Woo’s

Mickie James vs. Alexa Bliss

The main event saw Alexa Bliss defend her title against Mickie James, and with these bouts, you never quite know. I don’t know if any singles title has changed hands on free television as much as Raw’s women’s championship. Only four women have held SmackDown’s women’s title since it was created last September. Now, only five women have held Raw’s women’s title, but it’s changed hands eight times over that span.

A really annoying thing about this match? They just kept harping on how old Mickie James is. She’s 38 years old. That’s two years older than Finn Balor, and 12 years younger than Kane, who is crushing world champions for. no. reason.

Anyway, this match wasn’t very good. Mickie is great, and Alexa is a great entertainer, but she’s still not a very god worker in the ring, and she shouldn’t necessarily be in the main event of Raw.

Side Note- Do you think Tye Dillenger has been so underutilized on SmackDown because they’re trying to kill the Ten chants during counts? Just asking. Anyway, Alexa retained pretty easily. Pretty underwhelming bout.

Segment/Match Quality- 3/10 Woo’s

Woo Count- 50/110 Total Possible Woo’s (45%)

Worth Watching?

No. Not really. You could catch everything significant from this episode on YouTube tomorrow. Laugh at a picture of Chad 2 Badd and Tex Ferguson, cringe at a 50 year old crushing younger talent, and fondly reminisce about when there was another wrestling show to watch on Monday nights.