Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, Last Word on Pro Wrestling proudly (right?) brings to you, the best Monday Night Raw review in the woooooorld! After four months off, Ryan Smith’s Monday Night Raw Review is back in Birmingham for one night only! Will (F) the revival be an (ECW) one night stand or will it return to it’s former glory? Only time will tell! But for now, grab your crappy coffee, throw on your favorite variation of the Bullet Club shirt and enjoy!
Monday Night Raw Review: The Revival
The show opened up with Miz TV, with The Miz himself boasting that tonight would be “The Mizzies: Part 2”, with several trophies sitting on a table. He awarded the first Mizzy, the one for Perseverance, went to Curtis Axel, who accepted the award to chants of you deserve it. He dedicated it to Bo Dallas, who is still selling the beatdown from Roman Reigns. The second Mizzy was for Best Supporting Actor, and it went to both Sheamus and Cesaro for “The Destruction of Roman Reigns”, which if you ask me, wasn’t as good as “The Self-Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior” in hindsight.
The Bar came down to the ring and accepted the tiny trophy, thanking Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose for… well… getting beaten up by the talented duo. Miz began talking about how the trio put an end to Reigns, which Undertaker, John Cena, and other superstars couldn’t do. Then he awarded himself a Mizzy for being responsible for putting it all together. He was dedicating the win to his unborn son when Roman’s music hit, and the big dawg himself came out.
Reigns came out and he said he was giving Miz, Axel, and the Bar one chance to get out of his ring. Miz pointed out Roman’s mathematical error, starting a Shield chant. Miz said the rumors about the Shield reunion were the same as Roman himself, just hype, and then Roman said… “who said anything about rumors?” before Reigns and Rollins came out.
The three men circled the ring, just like they used to, and climbed up onto the ring before jumping in and attacking. The best faction in modern WWE history cleaned house before turning their focus to Miz. Miz tried to escape, but Rollins and Ambrose corned him, forcing him into the ring. Ambrose hit Dirty Deeds, and they hit Miz with the Triple Powerbomb before doing the Shield fist bump. Beautiful. Just beautiful. How the actual F (the revival) do you follow this? Wanna guess how many Woo’s this one got?
Segment/Match Quality- 11/10 Woo’s
Jason Jordan vs. Karl Anderson
In a battle of second generation superstars, the son of Kurt Angle took on the son of Arn Anderson. What’s that? Karl Anderson isn’t AA’s son? Well, that makes way more sense than Jason Jordan being Kurt Angle’s son, so I’m running with it.
There’s a ton of tag team trauma happening in WWE lately, and while some of it is awesome, some of it just isn’t. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens getting back together? Sure. The Shield reuniting? You saw the Woo-count. But why break up American Alpha so Chad Gable can team with Shelton Benjamin and Jordan can hang out with Matt Hardy while Jeff Hardy is hurt? It’s madness!
What is there to say about this match? It was solid. Jason Jordan has Roman Reigns syndrome. He’s a great athlete with a ton of physical upside, but what is his character? Does he know? Does WWE? It’s just hard to get invested in him when his character is so vanilla. There’s room for an angle here where he’s actually manipulating his dad to get a bigger push, but they’re not using it.
Luke Gallows tried to distract Jason to help his tag team partner, but it didn’t quite work. He hit that aerial neckbreaker thing for the win and ran away before the Good Brothers could give him a Chad 2 Badd beatdown.
Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s
Walking With Elias
The best variation of the Honky Tonk Man/Jeff Jarrett gimmick, Elias was sitting with his trusty guitar when we came back from commercial, and he got a huge pop from the Indianapolis crowd. He took a shot at Nascar, and teased not playing music at all before saying “Just kidding, I like the sound of my own voice too much, this one’s for me”. He strummed on his guitar, but no noise came out, and instead the sound of banjos filled the arena. Out came Titus O’Neil, with, to quote my best buddy, a banjo, banjo, banjo.
Titus strummed the banjo, and got some cheap heat by name-dropping Indy and introducing Elias’ opponent, Apollo Crews. Between you and me? I’m a mark for just about everyone in this segment.
Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Woo’s
Apollo Crews vs. Elias
If you squint at Elias, doesn’t he look like the lovechild of Seth Rollins and Damien Sandow? This crowd was still so hot from the Shield reunion that the cruiserweights could’ve gotten a reaction, and they were letting both men know.
This was a fun match, but it ended abruptly. There was a great spot where Elias threw Apollo onto the ring apron, but he landed on his feet and leapt back onto the wanderer. It was t&# sweet, but then they got back in the ring and Elias hit his finisher for the win. Solid bout, but a little underwhelming.
Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Woo’s
The man who… sigh… saved the cruiserweight division came out as we kicked off the second hour of Raw. As much as I can’t stand Enzo Amore, there’s no questioning what he’s done for the division as far as elevating it. Back to back weeks in the main event spot? Can’t question that.
Anyway, Enzo Annoying came out and complained about “Tolisto” being able to attack him because the other cruiserweights hadn’t been able to. He called Kurt Angle to the ring, and asks why Kalisto was allowed to attack him. Angle explained the obvious, that the clause didn’t apply to Kalisto, who joined the division after Kurt signed the original.
Angle, visibly annoyed, said Enzo didn’t have to worry about defending the belt at TLC, because he’d be defending it against Kalisto tonight instead. Enzo agreed to defend the title, but he said he’d only defend it in the main event. Angle agreed to that, but changed the stipulation so that it would be a lumberjack match. Enzo main eventing three weeks in a row? I don’t know that CM Punk main evented three shows during his 434 day run as WWE Champion…
Segment/Match Quality- 2/10 Woo’s
Braun Strowman vs. Matt Hardy
You know, I was wondering how they were going to break Matt Hardy. I think this is it. They’re going to have Braun Strowman murder Matt Hardy, and then he’ll be broken. Easy enough.
Wanna guess how competitive this match was? Have you been watching the Raiders lately? It’s a lot like that. On paper, you think, oh yeah, sure, maybe. But then the match actually starts and good god, nobody is safe. Then the Raiders start to come back, and then they fumble. In this scenario, Matt Hardy was the Raiders.
This crowd was red hot, and when Matt Hardy hit the Twist of Fate, the crowd lost it. They lost it again when Strowman kicked out at one and then absolutely killed the Broken one and picked up the win. He stalked Hardy down, carrying the former TNA star up the ramp.. and then the SHIELD CAME OUT.
Strowman attacked Reigns, but then the tag team champions pulled the monster among men off of the big dawg, who speared him. The three men beat Strowman down before clearing off the announce table, triple-powerbombing Strowman through it. Oh. My. God. This was a solid 7 or 8 segment before. BUT GUESS WHO BROKE THE SCALE AGAIN. I’m gonna Meltzer this nonsense.
Segment/Match Quality- 11/10 Woo’s
Mickie James came out and said she felt left out, and blamed Alexa Bliss for it. She insisted that Bliss spent every single second she’s spent on Raw trashing James and trying to turn everyone against her. And then she said that every single time she tried to attack her, Nia Jax got in the way.
And absolutely none of that is true. Nia Jax attacked Alexa Bliss like two weeks ago, and Bliss has been preoccupied with literally every other woman on the roster. It’s nonsense. But then the most beautiful, wonderful, talented, pe- I mean, the women’s champion came out and said she put together a career retrospective for Mickie.
It was an old-timey video showing Alexa Bliss highlights in black and white with vaudeville music and voiceover work in the background. Bliss kept making old lady jokes, and Mickie James overacted way too hard, and while it wasn’t as bad as “Bayley, this is your life” was, it was still pretty bad.
Bliss teased coming to the ring, but tried to walk away. James dragged Bliss into the ring and then attacked her before the Raw women’s champion escaped. Womp womp womp. Are we sure the Shield couldn’t have interfered in this segment?
Segment/Match Quality- 2/10 Woo’s
Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher vs. Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali
Discount Marty Scurll and THE Brian Kendrick took on Cedric Alexader and Mustafa Ali as we approached the final hour of a very good episode of Raw.
Corey Graves just called Gallagher “unique”
Unique, huh? Unique? pic.twitter.com/O4cAKFsJ24
In any event, I was wrong. This match was fun and well paced, but the crowd didn’t care. All four men are very talented, and it had a great pace, but with the exception of one guy in the front row, this crowd didn’t care at all. Gallagher and Kendrick got the win, but honestly, it just didn’t seem to resonate with the crowd and it really hurt the bout.
Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s
Finn Balor Meets Sister Abigail
Lately, Bray Wyatt has become something of a joke. He reminds me of the cheesy WWF gimmicks like Mantaur, where McMahon would try his hardest to get the gimmick over. Seriously, imagine the announce team of McMahon and Macho Man trying to hype up Bray Wyatt and Sister Abigail. Fits, doesn’t it?
On that same note, isn’t it wild that Finn Balor started Bullet Club? Like he’s a midcarder in WWE now, but he started the most popular faction in the world. Think of the level the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega are on, and now look at Finn Balor, cutting the same promos that Seth Rollins, John Cena, and Daniel Bryan have already cut on Bray Wyatt.
Finn isn’t a strong promo by any means, and the crowd was eating it up, but it’s 2017. Everyone else is fighting for something meaningful and you’re talking about the supernatural powers of a jobber based on a Robert De Niro character.
Things went from ugh to wha when Bray appeared on the screen and after his repetitive nonsense, the screen warped and I don’t even know how to explain what happened next. He was wearing some kind of facedressing and makeup, and he cut a promo, as Sister Abigail, with some cheesy voice modifier.
So. I’m not sure how to take this. It could be really great… but it’s WWE… and it’s Bray Wyatt, so I’m not optimistic.
Segment/Match Quality- 1/10 Woo’s
Sasha Banks vs. Bayley vs. Emma vs. Alicia Fox vs. Dana Brooke
So these lunatics actually want to lose to Asuka at TLC. Like I don’t know why these women all want to die, but to each their own, I guess. Alicia Fox and Emma have to ecstatic that Dana Brooke is in this match, because that means there’s a chance they won’t be the one Bayley or Sasha Banks pins!
Here’s something you might not know. Dana Brooke is the worst. She’s absolutely terrible. She looks like she’s wrestling at 45% speed, and then botches whenever she is involved. Bayley finally pinned Dana Brooke and the match… is apparently elimination. Oh. Okay. Sure. That was something they definitely announced beforehand… right?
This match just continued to turn into nonsense as Alicia Fox pinned Bayley. Why? Why? Excuse me, why? Can you please explain why? Hey thanks. If anyone needs me, I’m gonna go watch the Last Jedi trailer until this cat-fightastrophe is over.
The show went from bringing us a Shield reunion to a final hour built around Bray Wyatt in makeup, a disaster of a fatal fiveway, and we haven’t seen Enzo Amore’s match yet. Oh fantastic. Really. Sweet. Good job team.
On a positive note, Emma actually got the win in the end, and she should be able to have a decent match with Asuka. Make that a hashtag or whatever her gimmick is. More like hashgag, am I right? Heh. Unrelated note, check out #MondayNightRyan for my live-tweets every Monday night.
Segment/Match Quality- 2/10 Woo’s
Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto
Enzo came out and started doing his usual bit and Corey Graves absolutely ripped him apart and I loved every second of it. Kalisto came out second, which always bothers me because the champ should come out last, and they totally played the lucha dragons theme instead of his new EDM theme. Great start, gang.
In all fairness, I do like that they keep giving the cruiserweights the main event spot. Partially because it gives fans a chance to beat traffic, but mostly because they really are trying to make 205 Live interesting.
As for the match, you knew it wasn’t going to be a mat classic because Enzo Amore was involved. The whole bout was a little boring, and it would’ve been nice to see Enzo spend more time being attacked by the lumberjacks outside of the ring. Eventually chaos broke out outside the ring and all the cruiserweights starting fighting for absolutely no reason at all.
Kalisto hit the distracted Enzo with a superplex onto all of the cruiserweights. After some buffoonery, Enzo was actually about to retain when Mustafa Ali pulled him out of the ring, breaking the pin. Enzo attacked Ali and then was about to superplex Kalisto when he reversed it and hit a Salida del Sol from the top rope for the win! We have a new Cruiserweight Champion!
Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s
Woo Count- 57/110 Total Possible Woo’s (52%)
Absolutely. Regardless of how bad the last hour was, the Shield reunion alone made this show a must-watch. Be it on DVR, YoutTube, or Hulu, you need to re-watch the Shield wrecking everyone at least once.
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