Written by M.J. Rawls
WWE RAW: The Road To GBOF, Makeups to Breakups and You Can’t Teach That
We are coming off a rather rocky version of Raw. The Brock Lesnar/Samoa Joe confrontation was done well, but the show was rather lukewarm. This weeks episode of Raw did have some good mmoments where they developed feuds for the Great Balls of Fire PPV in July (I still can’t believe I’m calling it that) including a good swerve at the end. However, there were still some head scratches.
Roman Reigns Announcement | Match vs. Samoa Joe: What do you do when your universal champion is not on Raw every week? Well, you make use of your upper card talent, which thankfully Raw has a lot of. Roman’s announcement for Summerslam was that he is the number one contender for the Universal Championship. It was rumored that they were waiting to do a Brock vs Roman match at Wrestlemania, but perhaps things changed. Also, where is Kurt Angle? Isn’t he supposed to be doing this?
The stare down and match between both Joe and Roman was great. It’s two tough wrestlers having a brawl where they both did not suffer. Joe won by submission and Roman didn’t tap. Coupled with the return of Braun Strowman which was great from the back of the ambulance, we have two top matches set for GBOF. Brock vs Joe which will be a great just from a strength standpoint. Braun vs. Roman in an ambulance match that will seal this feud once and for all.
Seth Rollins | Bray Wyatt: First off, congrats to Seth Rollins on getting the WWE 2K18 cover. I’m glad to see that a non-part timer got it. Seth is the quintessential, “make your own path” babyface that the crowd can get behind. Bray Wyatt interrupts, but with someone who portrays himself as a God, he looked bad getting taken out by the top rope splash right away. The story is the real hero vs. villain motif, but I hope they ratchet up the rivalry so we can invest in it.
Welcome Back, Finn, Love, The Drifter? It’s been two weeks since we saw Finn Balor on Raw and that’s definitely crazy considering this guy was once the first Universal Champion. Another quick match with Bo Dallas who resembled Rhyno with the new gear had your usual spots. At first, we thought that The Drifter would go into a feud with Dean Ambrose, but attacked Finn in an backstage interview. As Finn awaits his turn at the Universal Title, this is a place holder for now.
We’re Going To Have Ourselves Some Tag Team Matches: The tag team matches on this show were decent. The Hardys and Anderson and Gallows work together really well. The Sheamus/Cesaro vs Titus and Apollo match was a bit rushed due to it being at the end of the show. There’s a collision course for the rubber match between the Hardys and Cesaro/Sheamus. With certain “top guys” coming back to action, I want to see the tag titles go into a new feud.
Tozawa and The Titus Brand: I’m really enjoying the apprehensiveness of Akira Tozawa in joining the Titus Brand. The match with TJP started off fast, then took a slower pace, but was not bad overall. Neville is the best champion on the Raw roster right now, so this new feud with him and Tozawa could really go somewhere.
What Is Going On With The Raw Women’s Division: First off, this was at the end of the show. I know that the booking choices in the first Money In The Bank match on Smackdown was questionable, but at least the show puts emphasis on the women’s division. This segment was a rushed mess where everybody got a spot in, but you could not keep track of what was going on. What’s the story line? Who is Alexa Bliss going to face? Seriously, why can’t RAW get the booking of the women right with the talent that they have?
Miz Gets An Entourage: Happy wife, happy life! Dean Ambrose continues to make The Miz’s life miserable in sabotaging his attempt to make up for that broken grandfather clock. Miz gets an entourage that looked a little funny in bear suits; both Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas have made a new stable. Not quite Mizdow, but it gives a storyline for two additional wrestlers. The Miz and Dean feud will continue at least through July and now, there’s a new wrinkle as the IT couple are probably on the outs on screen.
Who Dun It? The Enzo and Cass Breakup: Much like the breakups of tag teams past, not a quite as brutal as the Rockers and the barbershop – we see another one come to an end. It’s sad that Enzo and Cass did not get any tag team title run before their breakup. The interest was definitely there, especially when they debuted on the main roster. Perhaps this was coming for a little bit. Enzo sold the disbelief well and while it ran on a little long, Cass’s delivery worked.