Monday Night Raw Review: MLK Day


For all of Vince McMahon’s failures, one thing he does right is he honors the late, great Martin Luther King Jr. every year with a video package before the show. Did he continue that honorable tradition this year? And after tweeting that he would show up, was Triple H at Raw? Brock Lesnar made an appearance, did anyone eat an F-5? Did Emmalina finally debut? Find out below in the Monday Night Raw Review: MLK Day.

Monday Night Raw Review: MLK Day

Before the show even started, ESPN and WWE reported that Kurt Angle will be the headliner of the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame Class. This is outstanding news for so many reasons. Firstly, Angle was and still is an amazing talent. For someone who wasn’t a fan of the product, he immediately got the idea. There are people that have been around for years (Roman Reigns) that still don’t get it the way Angle got it right away. Secondly, this means he’ll be back on WWE TV soon, and that’s good news. That’s great news! It’s true, it’s damn true!

Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman, JeriKO,  Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Brock Lesnar, Sami Zayn, and Judy Bagwell.

Kurt Angle aside, the show started with a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., and then Roman Reigns made his way to the ring. Once again, the tool forgot his United States Championship. OH WAIT. NO HE DIDN’T. Because Chris Jericho is the United States Champion now! Well how about that!

The future Universal Champion started Monday Night Raw with a promo. That’s never a good thing. However, he started it by pandering to the crowd, bringing up his Shield history. I’m about to say something I thought I’d never say. Roman Reigns cut a promo, and it wasn’t actually terrible. He was bragging about how he’d win the title and main event WrestleMania for the third year in a row… when Paul Heyman came out.

The crowd blasted Heyman with “Gooooldberg” chants, and the advocate began talking about what Lesnar would do at mania when the “U.S. Universal Champions” made their way to the ring, and explained how not only would Owens retain at the Rumble, but Jericho would win the main event. Throwing this out there… is Kevin Owens going to screw Chris Jericho at the Royal Rumble? You read it here first.

Owens was bragging about how he’d still be Universal Champion after WrestleMania when Seth Rollins came out. This part was really interesting because Seth kinda mouthed off at Roman Reigns. Maybe they read my article.

Braun Strowman was making his way to the ring when, who cares, Brock Lesnar came out! Then Sami Zayn attacked Braun Strowman and all hell broke loose. Roman and Sami ate suplexes and Brock had a staredown with Braun Strowman. Strowman bounced off the ring, and then everyone ate superman punches. Lesnar hit Reigns with an F-5 and what the hell is Raw supposed to do, the entire roster just participated in the first segment.

Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s

Rusev Mahal w/Lana vs. The Certified G’s

I don’t know who thought this feud was a good way to follow Brock Lesnar killing everyone, but that person is wrong. The real problem with this feud is that it’s stale and predictable. Despite Rusev being the best worker of the group, it’s obvious that this feud is just a vehicle to get Big Cass over because he’s seven foot tall and apparently, that can’t be taught.

Eventually Enzo got the win with the bada-boom shackalake on Jinder Mahal and the match was over. All in all, a forgettable bout.

Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Woo’s

Ariya Daivari vs. Lince Dorado

Jack Gallagher was on commentary with Austin Aries, and guess what? It was still an improvement over Byron Saxton. I mentioned it last week, and I’ll say it again here. Having feuds that go between Monday Night Raw and 205 Live is a bad idea. Some people don’t have the network or simply don’t want to watch the show, and it makes it even harder to be emotionally invested in these matches.

Daivari won very easily, and Jack Gallagher was a perfect gentlemen. I want a WrestleMania match between Gallagher and heel Neville. Please, WWE?

Segment/Match Quality- 4/10 Woo’s

Sheasaro vs. PG Club (Fa-Fa-Fa-Lyf)

Sheasaro defended their Raw Tag Team Championships against Karl Andersonand Luke Gallows, and with the match so early in the show, it seemed pretty obvious that the titles weren’t going to change hands.

Anderson and Gallows dominated early, displaying tag team expertise. They isolated Cesaro and beat him up for the first chunk of the match. All-in-all, the match was pretty sloppy. At points, it seemed like everyone was moving in slow motion, and not just Luke Gallows.

Cesaro beat up Gallows and Anderson by himself at one point, and then Sheamus accidentally hit the ref. Gallows and Anderson hit the magic killer on Cesaro for the win, but because Sheamus hit the ref, it’s a DQ.

WWE, read this, and believe me when I tell you.
New Japan Pro Wrestling is better than you at this. What a creative finish. The good guys win via shenanigans. Haven’t seen that 500 times this year.

Segment/Match Quality- 3/10 Woo’s

Tony Nese vs. Rich Swann

Before the match could even start, (the best thing on Monday Night Raw) Neville came out and attacked Swann. However, Swann got back up and began to beat Neville down. Unfortunately for the champ, Tony Nese blindsided him and beat him down.

There was some tension between Neville and Nese as Neville threw him out of the ring and walked to the back. Huh. That was fun.

Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s

The New Day and Titus O’Neil

The New Day came out and teased a break-up before saying that if one of them won the royal rumble, they would all win the royal rumble and main event WrestleMania. Of course, out came Titus O’Neil, saying that he no longer wants to be in the New Day anymore. Now, he wants to replace the New Day.

He came out and said that he wanted one of their spots in the Royal Rumble, and that he would wrestle one of them for their spot. If the New Day won however, Titus O’Neil would have to leave them alone forever.

Segment/Match Quality- 7/10 Woo’s

Titus O’Neil vs. Big E

The match started during a commercial, and a solid five minutes went unwatched by most of the world. In a battle of former football players, Big E looked much more comfortable in the ring. Post-New Day, I hope they give him a real shot as a singles competitor. He has what it takes to succeed in this business.

Eventually Big E hit the big ending for the win, and in case you didn’t already know… Never, ever, ever bump into Vince McMahon. Bad things happen when you bump into Vince McMahon.

Segment/Match Quality- 5/10 Woo’s


Charlotte came out and mocked the crowd, calling all of them, as well as Bayley average. She pulled out a bunch of pictures of Bayley as a child with several WWE Superstars, including Bret Hard and RVD. Charlotte tore Bayley and her childhood dreams of being a pro wrestler apart.

Eventually, Bayley had enough and she interrupted Charlotte. She chased Charlotte out of the ring and Charlotte scampered down the ramp until Bayley grabbed a microphone. Charlotte did a fantastic job of reinforcing Bayley’s relativity while also putting her down. Charlotte is one of the few heels in the WWE that actually gets booed for being a heel.

Bayley recited some iffy poetry and these two managed to have a great segment without even hitting each other. Good stuff gals.

Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s

Brian Kendrick vs. Cedric Alexander

Three CruiserWeight matches? Jeez WWE. I guess you really were lacking material. Gotta feel bad for the ring-hands that have to change the ropes and everything. The whole match, you kept waiting for Alicia Fox to come out and cost Alexander the match, and it took away form the bout.

Alexander and Kendrick are both remarkably talented wrestlers, and this was a solid match. How good was it? The crowd was actually invested. That’s something you couldn’t say about the first two cruiserweight bouts.

Kendrick had Alexander in the captain’s hook when Alicia Fox came down and helped him get to the rope. Eventually Alexander got the win. It was a good match, and after Alexander gave Fox the cold shoulder, their drama continues.

Segment/Match Quality- 8/10 Woo’s

JeriKO Strowman vs. Sami Shield

The match started with chaos as Braun Strowman threw pretty much everyone over the top rope. Get it? Because the Royal Rumble? Get it? Got it? Great.

With a cringe, I realized that Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens were in the ring together again, a couple of months after we were told it wouldn’t happen for a long time. Sami Zayn had pay per view matches against all three of his opponents, and Rollins had faced everyone but Strowman. Things are getting Rawpetitive.

Curiously, Reigns got the hot tag before Rollins got into the match, and he absolutely took it to Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. People hate how dominant Reigns is booked, but there’s no question that he plays his part well.

We went to commercial, and when we came back, there was inexplicable chaos in the ring. It got sorted out and somehow, Reigns and Owens were still the legal men in the ring. Eventually Reigns got to Rollins for the hot tag and Owens got to Jericho. There was an amazing spot where Zayn and Rollins both did suicide dives.

Dear WWE,
Please give us THAT tag team.
The WWE “Universe”

Strowman got in, and despite catching two kicks and a superman punch, he wouldn’t go down. Rollins tagged Zayn in, and then dove onto Jericho and Owens. Eventually, Strowman crushed Zayn and got the pinfall for the heel team.

Strowman threw Zayn out of the ring, and carried him up the ramp. It looked like he was about to put Zayn through the table when Rollins attacked him with a chair. While Strowman was distracted, Reigns ran up the ramp and hit him with a spear.

Reigns and Rollins were going for the mini-Shield reunion when JeriKO came to the rescue. They tried to powerbomb Reigns through the table, but Rollins saved him, hitting Jericho with an ugly pedigree on the stage. Reigns tried to spear Owens, but ate a chairshot instead. Then Owens powerbombed Reigns through the announce table to end the show.

Hey… did the Universal Champion just end the show standing tall? What a crazy concept.

Segment/Match Quality- 9/10 Woo’s

Best Segment/Match of the Night- Kurt Angle Video Package

As funny as it is, the best segment wasn’t even part of the show. Just the announcement that Kurt Angle would be in the hall of fame, playing that classic theme song with the “you suck” chants, it brought back a ton of feelings. It was easily the most enjoyable part of Monday Night Raw this week.

Worst Segment/Match of the Night- Sheasaro vs. Gallows and Anderson

What do you gain from having the bad guys get screwed out of wins? This is so stupid. If they cheat to win, that’s fine. But getting cheated out of a win? It doesn’t get them over, it doesn’t protect them, it just makes it seem less and less likely that they’ll ever actually get to win the belts. They’ve done it too many times, and it’s just not good anymore.

Show Quality- 5/10 Woo’s

This show started with a bang and proceeded to take a nap. After a fantastic main event, this show was just boring. Three cruiserweight matches, the 1,000,000th dusty finish in a tag team match, and a bunch of forgettable nonsense. Not to mention the criminal underuse of Brock Lesnar. There was all the hubbub about Triple H and Seth Rollins and then nothing happened. Can we just get to the Royal Rumble and start building for WrestleMania already???


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