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Monday Night RAW in Newark, NJ: Gary the Goat, & A Miss for the Heyman Era’s Second Show

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Monday Night RAW in Newark opens with Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch defeated Andrade Cien Almas and Zelina Vega. Decent match, inserted the elimination stipulation for some added drama, I guess. Zelina eliminated first by Becky, then Lacey shows up to ruin things so Becky chases her away. This led to Rollins pinning Andrade. Post-match, Seth and Becky are ambushed by Bacon Bits Rorbin and Loosey Evans. Bah. They suck.

Post-whatever that was, Rabbi Paul Heyman comes out to talk about Extreme Rules taking place in Philadelphia, a city which knows all about extreme. I guess this either teases an ECW Reunion or Brock Lesnar may show up.

The Miz & The Usos defeated Elias & The Revival

This was decent, seemed like Elias and Revival might have been together in a stable with Shane and McIntyre but after Elias bails, leaving Revival to lose in this best of 2/3 falls match, I’m guessing that’s not happening.

Tonight Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre face Roman Reigns and a partner of their choosing. So, they look at custodians, beer guys, etc… fast forward, they settle on a janitor. Sigh. (Editor’s Note: We interviewed the custodian “Tony” last year. Check it here.)

Noticing we’re getting at least one “best of” match each week. Not a bad idea, as long as the novelty isn’t worn out.

Rey Mysterio returns to make an open challenge. Bobby Lashley answers said challenges and metaphorically devours Mysterio for breakfast. Wow. Way to bury.

Speaking of burial, No Way Jose took yet another loss, but at least he put up a fight against Cesaro.LOVE Cesaro’s entrance. Epic. He needs to be in a line to be champion.

Street Profits do some weird hype of Extreme Rules. Argh. Not good. Hurt my ears. It was like Lio Rush but in stereo.

Viking Experience Raiding Raiders defeated Jobbers. Sigh. again.

Ricochet defeated Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in individual matches. Post match, Aj Styles jumps in, and destroys Ricochet with a legit brainbuster. Good grief.

Throughout the night, Drake Maverick gloats about his being 24/7 Champion, and how it enhanced their honeymoon, although his wife thinks the opposite. She is way too hot-looking tonight. Good lord. He runs around the arena being chased by low-tier midcarders.

R-Truth and Carmella have a bunch of comedy bits throughout the chase. There were about four or five segments. Careful folks, you don’t want to wear this gimmick out. Came very close to killing it tonight.

Beat the Clock Challenges:

Bayley vs. Sara Logan, the one who SHOULD have won the WrestleMania Women’s battle royal. Tonight she put on a great show with Bayley. I feel Logan needs more airtime. She is good. Bayley wins in 4:32, and now Nikki Cross is up against Dana Brooke to beat this time. Interesting start, Brooke bails from the ring and buddies up with Bayley. This is interesting as Cross is aligned with Alexa Bliss who is booked as heel, yet here is Bayley also acting a bit heelish, all the while this pushes Nikki as the uber-underdog who the crowd feels for. Cross manages to win the challenge, and the stipulation will be turning the title bout into a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. The verbal exchange breaks down as Bayley slaps and suplexes Cross, with a top rope elbow as the exclamation point. I’m really intrigued here.

Could Cross be playing both sides in order to try to get the title for herself?

The last half hour takes some strange turns. For starters Maria and Mike Kannelis have some odd conversation, ending with Maria losing her mind and screaming over ice cream, pickles, and whether Mike is really the father. Hoo boy. Backstage, Corey Graves interviews Lynch and Rollins steering their eventual implosion when they lose their titles. Rollins and Lynch take offense to Graves trying to drive the wedge, and wind up taking over the rest of the segment. Entertaining, however very predictable.

RAW was a confusing mix, and did not feel as though the mark of Rabbi Heyman was present. If I had to chose how to rate this episode as either “Hit or Miss” then I would have to vote “Miss” based on the convoluted storytelling.

In the final segment, Shane and McIntyre introduce the janitor with a limp, also wearing a luchador mask, as Reign’s tag partner. Sigh, the whole “best in the world shtick” has jumped the shark, and I’m really tired of seeing Shane somehow being put over more than McIntyre. Well, as many expected, the masked janitor suddenly broke out a wrestling arsenal, this of the high-flying type. Although he wound up eating a Claymore, Cedric Alexander held his own for a few minutes before being overwhelmed and pinned. Not a bad surprise, but would have been better had he won and then revealed himself.

Let’s not forget Shane McMahon is an up-and-coming star who needs all the pushing and victories he can get in order to be taken seriously.

That was sarcasm. I’m sick of Shane winning, I’m sick of Shane dominating the main event storyline. Good grief.

So, overall not the best show, but not the worst either. This did not feel like a “Heyman” episode to me.

Monday Night RAW in Newark, New Jersey will air on Hulu tomorrow. Click here to stream.

Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis has been a writer for The Pop Break since 2010. For over a decade he has contributed columns featuring Anime, Comics, Transformers, Television, Movies, and most notably, Professional Wrestling. Additionally, one of the key players in the original Angry Nerds column and a guest on one of Bill's various podcasts. When he is not grinding away at his next feature, or shouting expletives at the television while playing video games or watching wrestling, Michael actually has a full-time job,as a Mental Health Professional, working at a medical practice in New Jersey, and runs his own telehealth private practice. A family man through-and-through, requiring his three children to memorize all the Autobots and Decepticons on the collection shelves while also educating them in all things Marvel and Star Wars. You know, the stuff Disney owns.
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