A Positive WWE Raw Review Submitted by Justin Watry on 11/28/2018 at 10:19 AM
This is my WWE Raw review live from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 26th, 2018. The return date announced was March 16th, 2019 - a Saturday live event with Ronda Rousey advertised as well as Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose for the IC Championship in a Lumberjack Match.
WWE RAW REVIEW
Leadup - Waking up at 4:30 am for work may seem like a rough start to most, but I'm in the middle of 13 out of 14 days (including Thanksgiving), so it was just the cherry on top of the sundae before my big wrestling show Monday night. My date for the evening was my girlfriend. She had never been to a WWE event before, which made this even more fun than usual. For those that don't know, Milwaukee just opened up a new arena. I have been there five times now since the grand unveiling (Bucks games). Really is a nice place. Parking for the NBA games is $25. For WWE, it was $30. I asked why that was. The reply: "Because it is a special event." Okay...
After nearly hitting another car, we headed towards the doors around 5pm, two hours before Raw went live on the USA Network. The doors were not yet opened. Ticket said 6pm; it ended up being around 5:30 or so - not too much of a wait. My excitement for the show was not just to see WWE but also knowing it was my girlfriend's first time going to WWE. Her eyes were wide open, as we took in the scene. Floor seats ($65 each) were right by the stage and very nice. Pictures can be found on my Twitter account. Good view and well worth the price. My girlfriend was ecstatic over the view and how close we were to the entrance ramp. There were a few people sitting by us also very excited about being there for the first time. Lots of kids with parents, not many snarky snarking snarks around which was a pleasant surprise.
Quick note - the little girl with the Ronda Rousey outfit on was sitting right in front of us and also attends GLCW events regularly. She is a big fan and was in tears the first time The Rowdy One came out and passed her by. She got Rousey's gloves and plenty of attention by the end of the night. Good for her. Onto the actual wrestling..
Main Event Taping - Meh. The type of appetizer you should expect when going to a RAW taping. My girlfriend didn't know anybody who wrestled, so that is something. People were just happy the show was finally starting after waiting for an hour plus. When it came time to get ready for the A-Show, it was Renee Young who received the loudest ovation of the commentators.
Videos - Yes, there are a ton of hype videos in between segments. That is obviously done to keep the fans busy during commercials. The Miz got his own video package, as did AJ Styles. A celebrity edition, a CarpoolMania teaser, a sports edition, a WrestleMania edition, etc. All kinds of videos which were about a minute each. There was a Sign Of The Night thing too, which was funny. Nothing too clever to note.
Raw Opening - Baron Corbin was HATED. I mean, HATED! He was the heel of the show, which is either a good or bad thing depending on your perspective. Bobby Lashley with Lio Rush is gold and deserves kudos for finally coming together as an act. Drew McIntyre is a stud, no complaints there. Fans were mildly disappointed Braun Strowman wasn't there and up until the final seconds of RAW were expecting him. Elias more than made up for it though with his song. Ladies and gentlemen, he is over like over. Doing a great job as a face right now. Sitting right next to the stage, we saw the guitar out there earlier as well as the quick chair set up when the lights were being dimmed. Elias losing to Lashley via BS was predictable but also the correct move. My girlfriend immediately cried foul over Corbin and his cheating ways. BOO!!!
Ms. Bliss - First big pop of the night from my girlfriend was for Alexa Bliss being on the big screen. That means she was in the arena, which meant a very happy young lady sitting next to me. Running the women's division is interesting and something to keep her pre-occupied on television as she heals up from the concussion(s).
Deano -My girlfriend didn't care that Dean Ambrose wasn't there. Since he turned on The Shield she no longer likes him. I was fine either way. If he was there, cool. If not, it made sense due to the ongoing Seth Rollins issue. Ambrose said he will be in Houston next week; yay? Fans do want to see him and Rollins go at it though. That I can tell you. As for the doctor stuff? Who cares? It is silly over the top shenanigans that only Ambrowe can make work. Heck, it would not shock me in the least if a report came out it was Dean's idea to take the medical shots.
Filler - Lucha House Party beating The Revival was short and sweet. The live crowd enjoyed all the high flying action and got a chuckle out of The Revival being screwed yet again. The "Lucha" chants are catchy.
Nia Jax Speaks - Ugh. Nia Jax will hopefully go back to doing nothing after TLC. This is Jinder Mahal but ten times worse. At least we all understood why Mahal won the WWE Championship. It didn't work and was a huge bust, but at least there was some sense to the decision. Jax? Been there, done then. It sucked then and will suck again if she somehow gets the RAW Womens Title. Her promo was dreadful, and her pairing with Tamina is about as dull as...as...as Tamina. My girlfriend cheered when Nia came out, and I said "No, we don't like her." By the end of the promo, she was booing her. Thanks babe.
Ronda Rousey - There is something unique about Ronda Rousey. She just brings a different aura about herself that nobody else matches. The live crowd got jacked when she made her entrance, and it was nice to see her again. Last time RAW was in Milwaukee was March, the night her WrestleMania 34 match was made official. Got a great reaction then and is still on fire eight months later. The momentum is NOT slowing at all, despite what others may claim. Good promo from Rousey and focused on Jax, Charlotte, AND Becky all in one. Love it.
Riott Squad - Even though Natalya follows me on Twitter, I do not believe many people care about her getting beat down every week as Ronda looks on. They must have aired the Total Divas commercial about her father dying ten times last night. No joke. Same commercial repeatedly. Each time, no reaction whatsoever. I didn't tell my girlfriend but before this segment, the lights went out and about 15 'stage crew members' came down to the right with a few of them completely covered in dark clothing and a hoodie over their head. Yeah, Riott Squad. I decided to tell her later about that small tidbit. Let's end this Rousey/Jax thing ASAP.
AOP Retain - Bobby Roode is a glorious idiot. Super talented dude and a main event worthy wrestler...but seriously, who cares about the robe? Win the tag titles and buy a million of them. Really silly. I knew AOP would keep the belts, but due to Drake and his AOPee? There is not much to write about here, so I will tell a funny story from Monday afternoon. Before we left, I was telling my girlfriend not to expect Braun Strowman or Roman Reigns. Also not to expect the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. She replied and I quote: "Oh, he doesn't count."
Filler Again - I don't watch Mixed Match Challenge, so this was simply a quick match to showcase Ember Moon, and that is okay with me. It is almost Royal Rumble time, so it is cool to begin showcasing a few different women. Moon is worth the investment. I may not have cared for the two minute bout but so what? My girlfriend looked at me and asked why this match was even happening. I said Facebook Watch. She said no. Ember Moon was wildly popular all night, let it be known.
Filler Again Again - No Way Jose! Freakin' No Way Jose! Catchy tune and fun to dance to, have to admit. Still, No Way Jose has not been a fixture on Raw since ever, so it was strange watching him come out. Wrestling Jinder Mahal was also not going to do him any favors. I asked my girlfriend who her pick was. She said the Egyptian guy. She meant Jinder Mahal...
IC Title Open Challenge I had no idea who would accept the open challenge. Maybe Dean Ambrose? Nope, it was Dolph Ziggler. Kinda deflating but the two had an awesome match. Easily the highlight of the night in terms of bell to bell action. My girlfriend was super into the bout, as was the rest of Milwaukee. Make no mistake, Seth Rollins is in the front of the line right now to dethrone Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 35 of the Universal Title. Milwaukee has been accused of being a garbage crowd through the years, and I don't get it. Being there live, it was nothing but energetic.
Sasha Banks/Bayley - Yeah, that female fan sure appeared out of nowhere. I loved the Bayley/Sasha Banks entrance with the waving buddies right next to us. This is the perfect example of live vs. television when watching. Bayley got a loud reaction when her music hit. On TV, it sounded like crickets. I often tell this story, but it reminds me of Kevin Nash returning to WWE in April 2003. That was in Milwaukee, and I was there live. Let me tell you - the crowd went BONKERS! It was super loud in the building. I remember it to this day. Go find the clip on YouTube and WWE Network, and it sounds like a quiet crowd reaction. I was there, and I swear fans were cheering wildly. Bliss is a star, so fans came alive for her more than Jinder, Alicia Fox, or The Revival wrestling. I am not sure why Dana Brooke was out there, but I can forgive that because my girlfriend loves Alexa Bliss and got to see her live.
Finn Balor VS Baron Corbin - Amazing seeing Finn's entrance so up close and personal. His struts and gyrations and movements are just so...oh, wait! Yes, the fans went back to hating Baron Corbin in a hurry. Like the opener, I was a fan of the stud Drew McIntyre looking like a main eventer. Bobby Lashley, Lio Rush, Drew, and Corbin may seem like a thrown together stable. However, it works. Fans were booing all four, chanting for Braun, and it truly does seem like a lost cause with a crooked General Manager in charge and everyone else hurt or beat down. Perfect. Just the way it should feel.
10 Woman Tag - We were treated to a bonus main event. Right after the RAW copyright bug showed up and disappeared, Ronda Rousey's music hit. Some fans had already left, but most stayed. Every girl got their moment in the sun, and it is worth mentioning again how much fans love Ember Moon. Everything built to Rousey getting the hot tag and arm bar victory over the screaming Liv Morgan. Satisfying finish. Ronda's crew danced and celebrated up the stage, and that was all she wrote. Bad Reputations by Joan Jett blared through the loud speakers as we exited another great WWE Raw show in Milwaukee.
SUMMARY: My first live WWE show was in June 2000, so I have been doing this every few months for over 18 years now. This is nothing new to me. For my girlfriend though, it was an introduction to a whole new world. Just being there with the lights, fans, and all that jazz made it extra special for her but also for me too. Seeing her happy and enjoying the show was my moment of the night. I hear NXT is coming to town in a few days. Hmmm?