Best Raw I’ve seen since post Mania Raw a couple of years ago. I loved it for many reasons.
1 – It gives Orton and Batista something to do instead of just having them fight Bryan in singles or triple threat matches. Keeps them in the main event without having it be boring old Batista and Orton doing their usual shit. I was never a huge fan of Evolution but I respect their spot in WWE history, so it’s neat to see them working together again.
2) Re-uniting Evolution is kind of awesome.
3) STABLE WARS! Re-Evolution vs Bryan’s Shield has so much mileage, it’s not even funny. I can’t express how happy I am that they held off on splitting up the Shield for now.
4) Down the road, the Shield will break up during this war, and will join HHH, and it will be brilliant, and it will have been 3-6 months of seeing The Shield in a kick ass face role
5) Once upon a time The Rock was just starting out as a heel. He generated a ton of heat in The Nation, but eventually became so cool that people started to like him. Just as he was reaching a point where people thought he would be the next big face, BAM, Corporate Rock was born and he became a mega heel.
That is how I view Cesaro. Starts off as a heel, but eventually people just respect him too much to hate him, so he turns face, and then I assume, they will make him a Heyman super heel guy. Now, Swagger played the role of the heel tonight, and you can never quite tell how a Mania crowd will dictate the direction of a show, but I assume Cesaro goes mega heel from here, especially with Heyman as his manager. I just don’t know how that will happen if he feuds with his ex-partner Swagger, who is also a heel…. We shall see.
6) The crowd was amazing. The Bray Wyatt match? Holy lord was that something to behold.
7) Heyman’s promo with Lesnar just showed the brilliance of Heyman. Just had the crowd hating him, but in a good old fashioned heel hating way. He is truly the best in the business right now. It also speaks volumes that he went from being the most hated man in the building earlier in the night, to being one of the loudest cheered men later in the night with Cesaro.
8) Speaking of Cesaro, when he said he’s a Paul Heyman guy (what a pop by the way), I legitimately marked out, complete with fist pumping and some “HOLY SHIT!”‘s thrown in. I had forgotten Heyman had said he was bringing in a new Heyman guy, so this was an insanely nice surprise and a perfect fit. It will also let us all forget about that Ryback Heyman Guy nonsense. Just stick Ryback back into bullying people in the food lines, I was honestly starting to love that. Just have him pour soup on some guy and go about his day.
9) NXT was featured heavily, and I don’t know a lot about them, but I wonder about Paige being given the title. I mean, it’s not like you can hurt the Diva division, but it’s kind of shitty to have her beat AJ like that off of what was just a leg sweep. Everyone else taps to that move, but this pale looking girl gets out of it, sweeps a leg (though I guess Karate Kid shows how deadly that can be….) and she’s the champ?
I certainly hope this ends with them pushing Paige or at the very least, giving a good feud for the belt with someone. AJ was right in her speech, though, she is the Divas division.
10) Some dude named “Adam” was featured with some vignettes. While I appreciate the cheesy throwback intro vignettes being used (HHH is apparently a big fan), I just view Adam as looking like an unfunny version of Russell Brand. Again, I haven’t seen him wrestle, so hopefully he’s good, but from first glance it just looks like another warm body with a quirky gimmick a la Fandango that is just going to end up being thrown in the jobber meat grinder.
11) Bo Dallas got some love, too, with his vignettes. I don’t think Bo will ever amount to much (The WWE will only allow so many small wrestlers to do much) but I think he can carve out a solid niche for himself with his cheesy Bo-Lieve gimmick. Maybe he can have a nice run like The Hurricane? I just don’t seem him doing more than that.
12) Ultimate Warrior made me fast forward his promo. Wrestling is hard to explain to people at the best of times, but Warrior makes it almost impossible to explain to an outsider.
“Who is that guy, why the fuck is he snarling when he breathes in?”
“I….I don’t know….”
I was never a Warrior fan, though.
13) Roman Reigns spearing HHH was immense. What a great payoff for people who have been watching the Authority angle for so long. Much better payoff than the garbage they did with the Big Show finally punching HHH.
14) STABLE WARS! DID I MENTION STABLE WARS??
15) I wish every Raw could be a post-Mania Raw.
16) Seriously, they have set themselves up nicely, booking wise. They have enough going on with Re-Evolution vs Bryan’s Shield to keep Bryan busy until they want to work Lesnar (or Cesaro?) into the title picture. At the very least, they finally have several fresh angles to work with, and it looks like Bryan’s title run might actually have some originality to it. This is a welcome relief after the WWE ran with the Authority storyline getting the upper hand far far far too long.
17) Best sign of the night:
18) Paul Heyman just made Cesaro’s next t-shirt with his nickname for Cesaro. #KingofSwing. Seriously, Heyman with Cesaro is so good for him.