Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The Raw Review

Following all the chaos from Extreme Rules 2016 WWE settled back into Monday Night Raw with a more relaxed tone in contrast to the previous nights intense viewing. Many questions were raised that needed answers but only a few were given on this 1200th episode of Raw. Those pesky devils inside WWE Creative have left us all wondering what will happen in the weeks leading up to Money in the Bank.

One person who is very much part of the plans in the coming weeks is Seth Rollins. The Man, aka The Architect, aka The (Undisputed) Future of WWE, aka OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR is a comparative God when it comes to his opponent, Rosey Reigns brother. It was no surprise to hear such a fantastic reception for the returning star. However, it was a shock to hear Rollins disregard the WWE Universe and once again confirm his status as a heel. The only potential Roman Reigns actually has is the capacity to become a great heel so it’s disappointing to see creative keep him in this apparent black hole where he is neither “a good guy” or a “bad guy”. I was almost certain Rollins was going to return as a face but then again I was almost certain that Sheamus would never be a bigger movie star than The Miz…

The greatest member of the Anoa'i family and Roman Reigns.
The greatest member of the Anoa’i family and Roman Reigns.

The participants for this years Money in the Bank ladder match are shaping up nicely. Monday nights handful of qualifying matches firstly saw Sami Zayn cause an “upset” by beating Sheamus with a Helluva Kick. Now I don’t know about you but I’m quite content with Zayn being portrayed as the plucky underdog. Everyone loves to see someone overcoming the odds. Especially when that person looks like Seth Rogan. My only issue with this match was with the announce team doing their best at making it painstakingly obvious that Zayn was the underdog. We get it, he’s not supposed to beat the former World Heavyweight champion, Sheamus but when the rocksteady Celtic Warrior hasn’t featured in the last month or so it’s very much believable that Sami Zayn was going to be the winner. If you didn’t get the ‘rocksteady’ joke then you must not be a fan of adolescent fighting monster turtles.

It was only fair that New Day got to celebrate Raw’s 1200th episode with a cake. After all, they are the most entertaining part of Monday Night Raw on a weekly basis. Despite the merriment the New Day were interrupted by a surprise attack from the Social Outcasts. A Big Ending saw the jobbing trio with egg (and flour) on their faces – quite literally for Heath Slater. It’s a shame the Outcasts don’t seem to be going anywhere as I quite like them. So much so that I proudly bought a t-shirt for WrestleMania. Yet with the departure of Adam Rose I believe their fate is all but sealed as the New Era equivalent of The J.O.B. Squad.

Job Squad Version 2.0
Job Squad Version 2.0

Cesaro overcoming The Miz to qualify for the Money in the Bank ladder match can be considered as the right move on this occasion. I say that because Cesaro, just like Zayn, fits the bill for the IC championship and I’d like to see them feuding with The Miz more in future. For now though its smart booking. The ladder match will be full of spots and you can’t really not have someone like Cesaro in there. Considering he struggles to climb ladders, as was the case at WrestleMania, Miz can be spared the Money in the Bank and focus on his next feud. Hopefully AJ Styles doesn’t have to job out any more than he already has.

Jericho is the one I am most looking forward to in the ladder match. Just imagine how great he would be as Mr Money in the Bank! It made a great deal of sense that he beat Apollo Crews. As much as I like the smiley faced, high-flying, muscle man it would have been far too soon in his career to be placed in the Money in the Bank match. He’s a future star no doubt but at 28 he has plenty of time to make his mark in the WWE and possibly work on not smiling so much.

After beating both of the Dudleyz in one match I was left wondering what next for Big Cass. When Enzo Amore returned to a huge pop from the Baltimore crowd from a concussion injury on Monday night I starting agreeing with the idea that maybe they don’t have to be a tag team all the time. If Enzo doesn’t wrestle for a while I’d love to see him be a manager for the gargantuan that is Colin Cassidy. He could even feud with Brock Lesnar. Just think of the potential that match has – Enzo shouting “how you doin’?” to which Paul Heyman sarcastically responds “I’m fine, thanks for asking” – The mic work alone from Enzo and Paulie would be enough to keep me tuning in every week. Having said that, I already do tune in every week to a show that uses the brother of an overweight superhero as its main selling point. So its not too hard to entice me.

The Beast and The Big Bambino
The Beast and The Big Bambino

The storyline for the Women’s Championship has been making all the right moves – apart from the Chicago Screwjob of course. Charlotte turning her back on her daddy was a great way to cement her place on her own but it may have come a little too soon considering there is still no relevance as to why Dana Brooke is involved in this storyline. I mean, she’s not even good enough to lace Charlotte’s boots let alone stand in place of the two time Hall of Famer, Ric Flair. I stated last week that it was about time Ric Flair left Charlotte to fend for herself but the manner in which she dismissed him was rather disappointing for the old geezer.

Once again I have very little to say about a match involving Dolph Ziggler. Following up his Asylum victory over Jericho it was only right that Ambrose won this one. It continues his feud with Jericho into the Money in the Bank match and will no doubt add an extra bit of insanity into the highly anticipated ladder match. Credit does have to go to the slippery show off for putting over two opponents in consecutive nights though!

The final match of the night saw AJ Styles suffer another defeat, this time, at the hands of Kevin Owens. It’s a great way to portray the WWE as a tough place to be even when you’re the Phenomenal One. Struggling after his defeat to Reigns and now without the Club by his side this has to set up the much demanded Bullet Club feud or it will probably end up with Styles leading The Social Outcasts to tag team glory only to see them lose the following night to Big Show and Kane – I wouldn’t put it past them!

Is Bullet Club about to get reloaded?
Is Bullet Club about to get reloaded?

Interestingly there was no US title coverage on the show which makes me feel as though they’re leading for it to be a Smackdown exclusive for when we get a highly awaited brand split. Is big match John going to come back and make the US open challenge the weekly highlight of Smackdown? That’s one way to make me watch the product. Of course the 1200th episode of Monday Night Raw wasn’t as good as last weeks edition but with plenty of feuds to develop over the next month it certainly leaves me excited for next weeks instalment.

Due to the horrific nature of his insults towards Byron Saxton at Extreme Rules there will be no JBLs Best Bits this week to allow both of us time to recover.

By Bradley Tiernan

"Wrestling is better than the things you like" - John Oliver