By Jason Powell
WWE Raw Hits
New Day vs. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens: The live crowd had seen all six wrestlers before the main event, so they were beyond flat during the opening minutes of the match. They came to life with the tower of doom spot and were hot coming out of the commercial break and down the stretch. New Day getting the win and cementing their status as a record breaking tag team was a solid hook throughout the show. The post match angle with Reigns getting the better of Owens was hysterical for all the wrong reasons in that the live crowd started booing when Reigns took his spot in the corner before spearing Owens. By the way, are they ever going to explain the relationship between Rollins and Reigns? It feels like they skipped a chapter. Are they back on the same page? Did Rollins apologize? Are they just sort of tolerating one another?
Jack Gallagher interrupts Ariya Daivari vs. Lince Dorado: One of the highlights of the night was Gallagher living up to Extraordinary Gentlemen nickname by announcing his intention to interfere in the match. Gallagher continues to be the standout of the cruiserweight division. He’s certainly not the flashiest cruiserweight, but everything from his look to his promos to his in-ring style make him stand out as unique.
Sami Zayn and Mick Foley: Was the quirky buildup to the Zayn vs. Braun Strowman rematch worth the payoff? That’s certainly debatable, but the verbal exchanges between the duo were well done this week. We made it through last week’s Raw without Mick Foley yelling, but he made up for it by yelling twice during this show. Foley teasing that he was trading Zayn to Smackdown for Eva Marie was laugh out loud funny. The ten-minute match stipulation between Zayn and Strowman is a nice idea, as Zayn essentially wins by surviving the time limit, yet Strowman wouldn’t actually lose.
New Day vs. Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson: A good match. New Day winning the title and seemingly tying the record to start the show felt odd, but obviously they had a game plan. The backstage skit with Stephanie McMahon being upset by being sprayed with champagne, Kevin Owens lobbying her to make a second title match, and Foley adding Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns was all well done.
WWE Raw Misses
Roadblock Go-Home Show: WWE did a nice job of getting what they could out of New Day attempting to tie the record set by Demolition. Unfortunately, that seemed to come at the expense of delivering strong final hype for the pay-per-view. The post match angle with Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens just wasn’t enough, and Chris Jericho might be more likable than Seth Rollins at this point. It was odd that Sasha Banks and Charlotte didn’t appear in person when their match is the most appealing match on the pay-per-view lineup. Roadblock feels like a show that will be entertaining if you watch it, yet very missable at the same time.
Rusev, Lana, and Big Cass: Rusev and Lana swerved viewers by not showing pornographic footage of their sex life. This was about as stunning as the Cleveland Browns losing a football game. WWE seemed to take a page out of their Roman Reigns playbook by having Rusev bore the crowd by rambling on and on in hopes that the babyface would get a positive reaction for ending the misery. It didn’t work. The live crowd wanted Enzo Amore, and they had little interest in Big Cass and the odd delivery of his promo while his music played awkwardly in the background.
Bayley vs. Alicia Fox: Bayley continues to spin her wheels while Sasha Banks and Charlotte dominate the title matches. She hasn’t even had a real program on the main roster. Bayley simply betas the likes of Fox and Dana Brooke while in a holding pattern. Why has Nia Jax disappeared from Raw again? On a positive note, at least they had Bayley leave the Bayley Bears backstage this week.
Brian Kendrick vs. TJ Perkins: A minor Miss for a forgettable match that failed to leave this viewer excited by their role in the Triple Threat for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at Roadblock. Kendrick and Perkins have had some good matches lately, but this one was just an afterthought by the time the show was over.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ODB discussing the fire that destroyed her food truck, the fundraising drive to help her buy a new truck, her appearance on the latest Impact Wrestling television show, Triple H telling her to go to TNA, and much more...