Welcome to the wonderful world of Raw reviews, steering you into the abyss is myself, Dan. Last night’s Extreme Rules PPV brought about a United States title change,two MOTY contenders and a Worst Match of the Year contender, and the return of Seth freakin’ Rollins. A lot of hype surrounding this Raw, so let’s jump in headfirst, as always.
Seth freakin’ Rollins kicks us off, the metalcore music rocking the arena, the crowd popping louder than I’ve heard in months. The Man is back. The crowd won’t let him speak and Seth says he’s been waiting 200 days to step back into HIS ring again, and he’s been waiting for 7 months to take back the title he never lost. Rollins berates the crowd for booing him when he was around, begging for someone to beat him for the title. Rollins said his knee buckled.. from carrying the company on his back for so FREAKIN’ long. Rollins said he put all get well letters and flowers in the garbage because he doesn’t need any of them. Seth went from babyface to heel in about 2 minutes. It doesn’t work though, as Rollins gets cheered through every berating line he says to them. Reigns comes out looking for a fight but Rollins retreats until Shane butts in to eat up the pops he gets though he’s been here for nearly 3 months by now. Shane runs down Rollins’ accomplishments and makes a match that could be main eventing Wrestlemania, but we won’t have to wait that long, Reigns vs. Rollins for the title will happen at MITB, but tonight we have a bunch of MITB qualifiers starting with..
A solid hard-hitting match between the two, as you would expect. Zayn brings out a really good Sheamus, and the closing minutes were pretty stiff. Zayn nearly decpaitated Sheamus with a lariat that makes Michael Cole’s voice crack in excitement. Zayn ducks a Brogue Kick, and sends Sheamus out of the ring, going for a dive but Sheamus counters with a punch to the head. Zayn nails a Helluva Kick outta nowhere to win the match and advance to the MITB match.
New Day celebrates this being Raw’s 1,200th episode with a birthday cake, Big E teases smashing the cake in JBL’s face as JBL retreats in horror. The Social Outcasts appear and attack New Day, leading to this match. Not much to be said, highlights being Xavier hitting a suicide dive on all three of them and Kofi and Big E hitting the assisted Big Ending on Heath to win the match. Heath gets murdered with the cake after the match, in what I can only describe as another dark hour in the history of Heath Slater’s life.
Cesaro starts off the match by destroying Miz with some uppercuts to tremendous reception from the crowd. This match is pretty much all Cesaro destroying Miz. So many uppercuts Miz is just taking right to the face. Miz nearly gets a three off multiple attempts to sneak in a pin but Cesaro doesn’t let it happen. Miz goes off the top and gets caught with the uppercut of death and then is Neutralized for his troubles. Cesaro moves onto the MITB match, god bless.
Rollins is backstage getting interviewed and runs into Steph who gives him a bit of a cold shoulder on his triumphant return.
Apollo is still in this match despite the attack from Sheamus, favoring his back throughout. Jericho’s back is all bandaged from the shitshow of a match he had last night, Crews attacks his injuries while Jericho does the same to him. An odd match between a guy who’s still very green and a guy who shouldn’t be wrestling in the year 2016. Some horribly weird botch happens
Big Cass is out here and motions to the back to a huge pop and out comes ENZO AMORE~! He has returned and he’s going crazy and so is the crowd. Enzo does his opening bit to an on fire response. Enzo describes his concussion as just a ‘hard sneeze’. Cass blesses him and Enzo says you’re friggin’ right he’s #blessed! Enzo said if he had a dime for every time he got knocked down and didn’t get back up.. zero dimes. Enzo turns his en fuego promo to the Dudleyz who Cass has been feuding with. Enzo calls Bubba’s head a target for Big Cass’s boot, and Cass says he won’t miss, because they’re S A W F T.
Enzo’s antics on the outside help Big Cass make short work of Bubba, destroying him with a big boot, and then the Empire Elbow to win the match.
Oh boy. This is your weekly ‘what the fuck’ segment. Charlotte, Ric, and Dana Brooke are out here. Ric Flair cuts a completely incoherent promo and I couldn’t tell you a single fucking word the man said. He’s truly lost in the sauce tonight. Charlotte screams a promo that ends up in her booting Ric Flair from his life in a 10 minute long yelling promo in which she let the crowd get to her about five different times, interrupting her ‘passionate’ yelling to break character and tell the crowd to shut up. Ric Flair cries and Charlotte sings na na na hey hey hey goodbye to him. I cannot even put into words how horrible this was. I get the point of it, and I’m glad she’s dropping Ric (even though she just picked up Dana Brooke who awkwardly stood there the entire time), but my god what a needlessly long, uncomfortable promo. Charlotte was on the verge of tears multiple times when it seemed like she shouldn’t have been. Charlotte’s promo delivery is so confusing, you have no idea if the perma-sarcastic tone is intentional, or if she just has to no idea how line delivery works. My lord, what a disaster.
Not many match-ups can make me have zero interest, but this one has certainly done it. No part of me is ready for anything after that horrific trainwreck I just witnessed. A quick back and forth affair with Ambrose hitting a Dirty Deeds after a failed Zig Zag attempt to win the match.
Styles comes out and cuts a promo about last night but the good brothers come out to interrupt. Karl says if things were the way were back then, Styles would be buying them drinks in Roppongi after last night, Karl says Styles has changed. Big LG says if they hadn’t dropped anyone he had a problem with, he’d have lost a lot of bar fights, and wouldn’t even have made it to Extreme Rules. Styles says they don’t need to ruin their friendship, just professionally separate. Styles says nothing can stop them from being brothers. Karl and LG are having none of it, saying they’re not brothers or friends anymore. Styles says there’s no reason for them to be in the ring together, and Karl and LG retreat. Tears for the broken up Club.. for now at least.
KO focuses his atack on the back of Styles after all the punishment he took last night. Owens’ banter is on point as he tells Cole to shut up cause he can hear him from the ring. Very fun back and forth match between these two with Styles sacrificing himself even further, taking ridiculous bumps including a powerbomb on the steel steps from KO. KO tries to put him down with another one in the ring but Styles counters with a pele kick, going for the phenomenal forearm but KO kicks the rope to make him crotch himself, and finishes him with the pop-up powerbomb in a really great clean win for KO. I got all bets on him winning the briefcase and that’s a helluva way to build him to it.
A great finish to a Raw that started great and then kinda flatlined. Rollins’ segment was great and the hype for him being back is very real, but him returning to heel gimmick he was working with before he got injured doesn’t sound very great to me. Let him ride the momentum of him being back, don’t kill it that quickly just to make him a heel for Reigns. It just seems like they’re taking the easy way out there and it seems very lazy. All the qualifiers were solid or real good with the exception of Jericho/Crews. The Charlotte/Ric segment pretty much killed the whole show for me, my god was it draining and just painful. KO/Styles was great and the stuff with The Club is very interesting. We’ll see where it all goes, but for now, thank you for reading.