Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The Raw Review
I’d firstly like to start this weeks review with a big thank you to Anton Jackson for covering the Raw Review for me last week. He slots in to do a job and instantly displays more talent in his fingers than Smackdown Live reviewer, Elliot Dyson, has in his entire body. Kudos, sir!
In a much needed change to the system, Corey Graves opened the show, in the ring with the 4 competitors for the nights main event which was a Fatal 4 Way for the WWE WhateverWeCallItTheseDays Championship. As is expected, Rollins boasted about being the favourite to win the gold; Owens cast aspersions on his opponents; The Empire State Building that is Big Cass claimed he wasn’t an underdog; and, predictably, Reigns stayed mostly hush – the way we all prefer it. Yet, he had to ruin the silence by initiating a brawl when he leapt at Kevin Owens. We then saw that old familiar picture of Reigns staring at a title he doesn’t deserve while the old SHIELD music played. He always ruins it (why isn’t he a heel, again?)
The first match of the night saw your Dad, Chris Jericho, defeat the pint sized Geordie, Neville. An altered version of the Walls of Jericho put an end to a good match but unfortunately knocks some steam off the current express train that is Neville’s push since he returned. I guess he deservers better than such a poor metaphor relating to steam trains. At least that’s two things that aren’t relevant anymore. It might yet only be a minor blip as anyone could lose to Jericho considering he is legit the GOAT.
Another squash match and another quick win for Nia Jax. This time against Hyan. Which funnily enough is the same sound she made when Jax hit her with the Samoan driver for the pinfall victory. A lot of people complain about squash matches but it’s doing no harm for to the rest of the lower midcard in the mean time whilst the WWE try and figure out what to do next with this big figure.
Jinder Mahal was back again and was no match for a (kayfabe) injured Zayn. Even though he’s carrying some form of ankle injury Zayn was able to land a Helluva Kick right into the face of Mahal and assert himself as the greatest wrestling Seth Rogan lookalike on the planet. After seeing after off the former 3MB member the world truly is Sami Zayns oyster. Maybe next week he will beat Mr Irrelevant himself, Curtis Axel.
In an earlier backstage segment Bayley encountered the New Day but was left feeling all glum as Dana Brooke did her best to form an insult towards her. This led to a mixed tag match between New Day with Bayley and Dana with Gallows and Anderson. It was all a mark moment for the faces when Bayley got the win for her team with a Bayley-to-Belly on Dana. As a side note it was great to see Gallows and Anderson extend their doctor routine on to Dana Brooke who I must say did well in making it look more like an advert for a particular worlds best adult entertainment website than for cutting edge wrestling. But thats just me.
The Best of Seven Series between Sheamus and Cesaro continued with the Celtic Warrior storming to an early 2-0 victory of the Swiss Cheeseman. As Sheamus applied to Cloverleaf this week I can see this whole series ending in a string of matches that uses different finisher from both stars. After all, I think we’d all be very surprised if Sheamus was to win this 4-0.
Braun Strowman won another squash match this time against a Captain America impersonator. “A lot of people complain about squash matches but it’s doing no harm for to the rest of the lower midcard in the mean time whilst the WWE try and figure out what to do next with this big figure.” – Bradley Tiernan, 2016.
We finally got somewhere in the next steps of Brock Lesnar’s future within the WWE. Stephanie McMahon came out and demanded Paul Heyman to apologise for his clients actions at SummerSlam. Heyman paid Lesnar’s fine in individual notes and made it rain over like I do to your mum. This attempt to mock the minuscule amount they charged the ham fisted Beast for his offence only angered Stephanie more and so the pair exchanged a heated argument which ended with Heyman seemingly apologising sarcastically to which Steph accepted and stormed out. It was all rather soap opera like but such is the vocal segments of wrestling. Hopefully it doesn’t end here because we all want to see more of Paulie.
In a repeat of the last couple of weeks Titus O’Neil beat down both Darren Young and Bob Backlund after he lost to the now great again, Darren Young. We can all assume that he is now great again considering he has defeated the man mountain that is Titus O’Neil. Once again there was no Crossface Chicken Wing from Young probably because he doesn’t know how to use the hold as has been the case in previous weeks. This better end soon because i’m just about done with this feud now. If you want to truly make Darren Young “great again” then you have to put him against much more formidable opponents. A feud with Chris Jericho could make things interesting.
The nights highly anticipated main event finally arrived. The Fatal 4-Way Match For The WWE Universal Championship. I say it correctly this time because finally the right person has the title and boy does he deserve it. Kevin Owens claimed the title after pinning Seth Rollins. He individually eliminated Big Cass along the way after a frog splash. Then the biggest shock of the night was a returning Triple H – thats if you don’t watch NXT of course – Pedigreed Roman Reigns and helped Rollins pin him whilst he was still on the floor. Based Trips then did what he does best and turned on Rollins and Pedigreed him as well. Owens was able to get the pin as he was helped up by Triple H who congratulated him.
It was a much needed surprising end to a genuinely good Raw. Owens finally getting the title he deserves albeit with help but that won’t bother him as he continues his path to greatness over the coming months. In the short term this may set up a Triple (H) Threat between Rollins, Reigns and Triple H but with the Game being, well, back in the game does this also mean the return of the Authority to Monday Night Raw? If so, they need to toppled by a much bigger force in the long run. If not, what will Steph and Mick Foley do to control it. I guess the only way to find out is watch this space!