Jay's Ways - RAW 25 Review
Submitted by Justin Watry on 01/27/2018 at 03:59 PM

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I decided to wait until the weekend to write my RAW 25 because if I wrote it right away, my feelings may have been a little too raw...


...okay, bad jokes aside, let's get to it!

WWE Raw 25 Review

- Loved the opening video. Awesome stuff. Better than the EPIC RAW 1000 opening video from July 2012. If you have never seen that, go check it out.

- Cool venue choices. Nice idea to split the arenas but can be challenging. Certainly was a controversial decision. I see the pros and cons to each side.

- Predictable but fun segment with The McMahons and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Nothing better than a beer bash and some stunners.

- Womens tag match was what it was. Usual hype six days away from the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Asuka stands tall in the end. No doubt she is THE favorite on Sunday. No doubt. I know that is my pick, barring a *certain somebody* showing up.

- I am not going to mention every single special guest that was there, so I will simply state that it is always good to have the legends back on television. Whether well known or in a cameo role. Two thumbs up on all the guys/gals there for Raw 25.

- Very interesting segment with The Undertaker. Old school venue, old school introduction, old school kinda look. Most fans were likely waiting for a showdown with John Cena or something. Instead, it felt more like a retirement tease...except reports say it was not that at all. I don't know. This fell flat. My guess is we will get a clear picture of Taker's future this weekend. A Rumble surprise? Cost Cena the Rumble? I have long suspected that WrestleMania 33 was NOT his final match. I remember saying as such back in June because nobody ever said it for certain. Always implied or thought about but never outright spelled out for us. Time will tell though.

- Quick note: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are a match made in heaven and are amazing, but I didn't really care to hear them back together again. For nostalgia and all that, I understand. Every week or more often, no thanks! We are well beyond them in 2018.

- The past General Managers were introduced to the crowd. I miss Vickie Guerrero. She was one person I wish had been there. Real quick: I saw there was a big uproar over the fact that the legendary women from Raw's past were just flown in to wave to the crowd and leave. For the record, I AGREE that was disappointing. The women absolutely deserved more. However, can we NOT make this into a man/woman thing? Right here, Eric Bischoff, William Regal, Daniel Bryan, and John Laurinaitis all came out and just waved to the crowd too. Newsflash people - those are men! There was no gender BS from Monday night. Stop it.

- The Miz defeats Roman Reigns to become the IC Champion. Again. Uhhhh, whatever. The Miz feels like he has outgrown that spot, but I get it. Reigns clearly was going to drop the belt at some point. Might as well get it out of the way now before thee Rumble. Miz holding it for the 476th time does seem like a repeat. Been there, done that. Right result despite my grumblings.

- The Peep Show was okay. Uh oh, no entrance for Christian!!! WWE must hate men, right? Oh, oops. Wrong argument. The Jason Jordan/Seth Rollins pairing is doing its job in getting the fans to turn on Kurt Angle's son. That is all well and good. Just sucks that Dean Ambrose is injured. I really believe we were headed towards him turning heel on Rollins soon. Oh well, The Bar getting the tag team title shot on Sunday is pretty 'blah.' Tag scene needs a refresher I'd say. All talented guys.

- Alexa Bliss and Charlotte get a moment backstage. Ric Flair shows up too. We already saw them battle at Survivor Series 2017. Just a teaser for the Rumble. My money rests on Asuka winning...or if that *certain somebody* decides to pop in unexpectedly.

- Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt was a dud. No surprise. Why was this match even happening? No build, no drama, no nothing. What a waste. After weeks and weeks of back and forth, it comes and goes in a flash. Worse yet, Bray won. I have not been a fan of the BROKEN WOKEN nonsense since it started, so this didn't mean much to me. For fans of the gimmick though, wow! Matt better go back to North Carolina and collect his thoughts. This thing is running on fumes at this point...

- Alright, past women wrestlers came out, waved the crowd, and stood there. As noted above, I felt they deserved more. That being said, the men (GMs) did the same earlier, so this was NOT a big gender issue like some critics are trying to portray. My guess is Lita and Molly Holly weren't there because they are being saved for the Rumble. Both have denied being a surprise entrant. I wonder.

- Hey, Chris Jericho back on RAW! Backstage with Elias and singing about The List. For everybody who (again) believed Chris Jericho's words about not being back with WWE, there you go. The guy has proven a million times not to be trusted. Kayfabe, fooling, or trolling. Regardless of what you want to call it, I believe nothing he says. Here he is weeks after his much talked about New Japan Pro Wrestling stint on Raw. Yeah.

- Okay, so John Cena gets to be attacked by Elias on Raw 25. This was weird. I am 100% on board with a new talent interacting with a legend in front of a big audience (ratings and viewership would be up). I get the mentality. At the same time, we all know this is just a filler feud for February and March. I would have taken that big TV audience and hooked them for the Rumble AND Mania. Those are the money makers. Not some Elias/Cena story line that will last a few weeks. I think the ball was dropped by not using the Raw 25 platform and showcasing a mega-showdown with Taker and Cena...if that is indeed the WM34 plan.

- I know it is old news by now, but congrats to Bill Goldberg on the WWE Hall of Fame induction. Thought he may have made an entrance and crushed Curt Hawkins or something but whatever. Cool for him complete his comeback story.

- The Dudleyz show up and put poor Heath Slater through a table. No harm, no foul. For RAW 1000 in 2012, Slater was also used to perfection as the goon who kept getting beat up by legends in the build up to the event. Then at the event, ALL those legends came out (plus Lita) to really beat him down. It was fun.

- Quick and painless AJ Styles promo. Small Hulk Hogan shout out and good ol' Gene Okerlund standing by.

- The Revival got beat up and destroyed by The Balor Club and DX. Scott Hall was there too, haha. My guess is this is where Kevin Nash would have fit in as well minus the recent surgery. Too sweet taunt and one pose later, we were done in the Manhattan Center. Again, a little passing of the torch moment with legends interacting with the current roster.

- We end the evening at Barclays Center with a brawl between Kane, Braun Strowman, and Brock Lesnar. Simple yet effective. The Universal Title match at the Royal Rumble is less than impressive on paper. The triple threat deal just feels like a way to protect Braun but keep the belt on Brock. Sorry Kane, you lose Sunday. Not the best way to end the historic show but understood with the PPV coming up.

SUMMARY: It was good but not great. Felt like a few missed opportunities. With all the legends there, just putting them in a poker game with the APA was meh. I enjoyed the RAW 1000 anniversary show much more. Go find that on the WWE Network. It hit all the right notes and ended in grand fashion. Raw 25 did not do that. I didn't HATE the show. However, I also have no urge to re-watch many of the segments. Bring on the Royal Rumble!

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