Jay's Ways - WWE Raw Review: Now What? Submitted by Justin Watry on 04/24/2018 at 06:46 PM
“I have been reading your stuff on 411mania and nodq.com for the longest time now and I have never felt inclined to email in. The general consensus of you not being most popular is harsh at times but also can be well-founded too. But I still read your stuff because I do enjoy your articles and find your perspective interesting most of the time.
That said, your article about your friend Megan and trip to Wrestlemania was the greatest thing you have ever wrote. Forget about the predictions you brag about getting right. This is your crowning piece. Maybe it is because I can relate as going to Wrestlemania is my ultimate dream and it will be happening next year. But I genuinely loved your article.
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- Jay's Ways reader
New column should be posted later tonight. I wrote about the Superstar Shakeup, this Friday's Greatest Royal Rumble event, and a lot more including a good question - did Ronda Rousey have the best debut match ever? Think about it. Who had a better debut match than her in WWE history? I discuss that, exclusively in my new 411mania.com column! Check it out.
The First Raw After...
With the Superstar Shakeup for 2018 over, let's take a look at how RAW kicked off their new era.
- Nice Bruno Sammartino tribute.
- Beginning with a Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar. Not the most unique way to start the show but okay. Makes sense. The Beast has not been seen since Mania and will be defending the Universal Championship in a few days against Roman Reigns inside a steel cage. I get it. Gotta get those eye balls on the WWE Network. Reigns played his part too, even if it was only a few seconds. Calm, cool, and confident. Perfect.
- Elias over Bobby Roode was the first match of the evening. Not the ending I would have predicted for sure. My only hesitation is on what WWE has planned going forward. I do not think a heel turn for the Glorious One is a MUST...but it would be welcomed. Hoping he loses a few more matches and then snaps! Roode needs a reboot on Monday nights.
- Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt over The Ascension. Well, Roode lost and so did the new tag team from Smackdown LIVE. Not a good start for the Superstar Shakeup guys. All joking aside, this was fine. I don't care for the WOKEN thing, but if others do, wonderful! New RAW Tag Team Champions on Friday.
- The Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn segment was alright. I expected a bit more from there. My fear is that they have already been slotted as The Miztourage goons who just get beat up every week. They are better than that. Solo and together. Kurt Angle was fun here in plotting the demise of the two loud mouths. Solid build for the 50 man Rumble on Friday too. So strange it is such a huge/historic match but will have limited promotion. Raw did mention the WWE Network live special a million times though...better late than never I guess.
- No Dallas and Mr. Imperfect got humiliated by Seth Rollins and Finn Balor. Backstage and later in a tag match. The two are clowns, so it works. Again, like the 50 man Rumble, there was minimal promotion for the IC Title ladder match with Rollins and Balor. Hands are tied a little with the Superstar Shakeup and absence of Samoa Joe and The Miz. Still, this is a stacked card on Friday. VERY stacked. Nothing at all from John Cena or Triple H for their showdown either...
- Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler beat Titus O'Neil and Apollo Crews. Drew is a freakin' stud. Dude is legitimate. I have super high hopes for him in 2018 as a RAW main eventer. With or without Dolph, I don't care. Easy victory here for him and one heck of a promo afterwards.
- Chad Gable over Jinder Mahal. Two new Smackdown LIVE arrivals fighting. Oh joy. I didn't really care for the upset win. We already had the roll up finish earlier. I would have had Jinder beat him down for a few weeks and then get the big upset win on a pay-per-view. Make it mean something. Doing it right away kinda lessens the payoff. Also, last April, Mahal was in the WWE Championship hunt. Only 12 months later, he is losing to Gable. Maybe he wins the United States Title on Friday and brings it back to Raw? If so, that would mean either Joe or Miz would have to take the IC Title over to the blue brand? What a mess. I assume it will all be sorted out somehow.
- Riottttt Squad promo. Okay.
- Samoa Joe promo about his Backlash match with Roman Reigns. Interesting. Win or lose, title or non-title, we will get one final Joe/Reigns battle. Like the above stuff, my guess is WWE will sort everything out eventually.
- Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley dominating Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens was all kinds of fun. Crowd was into it and loved every second. So did I. All four guys long-term though...I don't know. What to do with them? Any ideas?
- Baron Corbin beat up No Way Jose. Yeah, figured that would be the case. Jose is the lovable comedy act. Corbin is the big bully who the fans hate. No issues here.
- A Moment Of Bliss was entertaining. Same with the WrestleMania 34 story line. It is a feud where the heel says bad things, and the face stands up for herself to shut up the mean girl. Simple, easy, effective. Didn't have a problem before and don't now. Part of the show folks...
- Quick promo from the face women on the Raw roster. One girl was missing, but we saw her later!
- Main event was a ten woman tag team match. Your basic style outing from all of them. The obvious note was that Alexa Bliss didn't tag in. Make of that what you will ladies and gentlemen. Big takeaway was Natalya had her knee taken out and was attacked numerous time by Mickie James down the stretch...UNTIL RONDA ROUSEY CAME OUT FOR THE SAVE! That is who I wanted to see. Mickie should have ran for the hills but didn't. Arrive, armbar, leave. This sets up a Ronda/Nattie pairing and an eventual showdown the Ms. James. Two long time veterans to work with Rousey as she gets used to WWE. I love the idea.
SUMMARY: Not exactly a fresh start post Superstar Shakeup but was a fun show. I am absolutely looking forward to the Greatest Royal Rumble event and swll surely be writing about that more in the next couple of days...