Jay's Ways - MSG WWE Raw Review Submitted by Justin Watry on 09/11/2019 at 11:54 PM
After working the past 19 out of 20 days, I am here to write about WWE Raw live from Madison Square Garden. A New York sized edition of RAW means I get the call up to cover the show, using my beloved Good, Bad, and Ugly format...
WWE Raw 09.09.19
THE GOOD: The Opening Segment - Oh heck yeah! Stone Cold Steve Austin being back in Madison Square Garden is a big deal and something worth hyping. The contract signing or whatever was just background noise. This was about the Texas Rattlesnake appearing to draw viewers away from the week one of NFL Monday Night Football on ESPN. Beer, talk trash, WHAT chants, and stunner. As for the actual story line, it was paint by the numbers but acceptable. Nothing special. Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman are both fan favorites (and tag champs), so this had to be handled carefully. Luckily, The OC (California!) showed up to take care of that small issue. Poor AJ and his United States Championship. Gotta defend against somebody, right? Loved this all. Hot crowd, main eventers, and ad libbing on the mic. Classic opening segment of RAW.
THE GOOD: AJ Styles VS Cedric Alexander - After eating a stunner, AJ stuck around, His match with Cedric was up next. Of course it was. As mentioned, Clash of Champions is Sunday night. We need a quick feud. Based on the random attack last week, I guess the company feels Cedric/Styles is pay-per-view worthy. Hey, it probably is! This was just another step getting there. Not very exciting or noteworthy. A means to an end. Eh, it was okay. What put this over the top for me was The Viking Raiders getting involved. Great! I think they are NOT getting the cheers they should be by now, but little run ins like this go a long way. An 'A' for effort.
- No comment on the Roman Reigns segment.
THE GOOD: The Four Horsewomen Explode - The one major negative was that this did NOT main event. Like, come on. In hindsight, I understand. Still though, Clash Of Champions (to me) is being sold on these four women tearing down the house and officially taking over the main roster. From NXT to headlining PPVs. All four of them. None overshadowing the others. In Madison Square Garden on RAW? Very big platform, no doubt about it. I love the fact that Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair were skeptical of each other and just stared at one another backstage earlier. Excellent little tease. As for the bout, good stuff. Charlotte beating Bayley is a fine outcome, as it adds intrigue to their clash but also keeps Becky/Sasha a mystery. I like it. Sunday can't come soon enough.
THE GOOD: Rey Mysterio Returns To The Ring - Solid followup to Rey Mysterio teasing a retirement only to be talked back into the ring by his son. A match was Gran Metalik did the trick. Some mask versus mask action is never a bad thing. Slightly disappointed we didn't get MORE here...but this is clearly a long-term story.
THE BAD: The Street Profits - Alright, it is time to do something. If they are just hype men and not wrestlers, is the payoff worth the weekly yawnfest? I dig the gimmick. I dig their matches. I dig the theme music. I dig them in NXT. Doing two minute backstage promos on Raw each week feels like a waste. There is no added exposure if they aren't going to be having matches. Let's get to it.
THE GOOD: Baron Corbin VS Ricochet VS Samoa Joe - If you listened to the newest 411 Foresight Wrestling podcast episode last week Friday, you would have known this was coming. I called the exact ending sequence. Ricochet hits his move from the top rope on Joe, and then Corbin comes in like a clown to steal the victory. Why do you think Joe and Ricochet had a funky finish on seven days ago? Remember the BS double pin? It was to protect Ricochet. If Ricochet was going to advance to the finals, he simply would have won last week and then this week. Easy peasy. Not the plan though. Corbin had to somehow advance without Ricochet losing. WWE got a little creative with things last week and got through it here with the triple threat finish. I like it. Best of all? Basically guarantees a Chad Gable win on Tuesday night over Elias and a Chad Gable victory over Baron Corbin at Clash Of Champions. All hail!
THE UGLY: Natalya VS Lacey Evans - Huh? Why? What was this? I know Nattie follows me on Twitter, but we were done with her getting consistent television time after Summerslam. 2017. I have no idea why Lacey was tapping out clean here in front of such a historic setting. If anything, this was time to create a Kofi Kingston like MSG Moment to replay a decade later. Like having Ms. Evans absolutely destroy Natalya and send her packing. Finish what Sasha (and Becky) started by putting her on the shelf. Instead it was a BLAH the fickle New York City crowd crapped all over. I can't really blame them. Worst part of the show.
THE GOOD: 24/7 Title - Silly fun. Not everything in WWE has to be super serious, and it took up two minutes of air time. No harm, no foul. Also got them the coveted 'SportsCenter Moment' for the mainstream audience.
THE BAD: Firefly Funhouse - Not the best episode. Actually may have been the worst. Cool hint of a Stone Cold attack but without an actual payoff, it was just an excuse to name drop him. I know The Fiend is going to be in the Universal Championship scene starting next month (hence the stalling), but it really does feel like the huge buzz from Summerslam is gone. Bray Wyatt is talented. He is a former WWE Champion for crying out loud. He will get this back on track and even may win the title at Heck On A Deck. Certainly feels that way. For this week though, in this moment, not a good segment. Even my girlfriend, who was 100% legitimately creeped out by Bray for the past few month, said "they need to get more creepy again" after Bray started waving bye.
THE GOOD: Main Event - A whole heck of a lot of bodies in there. You could sense this was filler right as it was announced. Just a way to get 10 dudes in there to deliver the goods. What made it work was the ending. Cedric ultimately pinning AJ was predictable, as it gets us to Clash Of Champions. However, Stone Cold Steve Austin coming out to endorse him and his teammates was the icing on the cake. Tiny bit of endorsement from the legend himself can go a long way. What started as filler turned into a picture perfect ending at MSG for the good guys. I'll toast to that.
SUMMARY: It was fine. Clash Of Champions is a B-level PPV, while Heck On A Deck is obviously more anticipated. I mean we have Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan on the card. That tells you everything you need to know. As for Raw...I liked the matches. I am always in favor of a Stone Cold Stunner and beer bash. The triple threat King of the Ring match was fun and is sure to draw interest to the finals on Sunday. The Four Horsewomen had a big time tag team bout that got nearly a half hour, and this all took place in Madison Square Garden! Good, bad, or ugly - it was going to be memorable.
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