Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The Raw Review
Last week saw the crowning of the new WWE BrightRedBelt Champion, Kevin Owens, so this episode of Monday Night Raw followed up nicely with the first official episode of the Kevin Owens Show with him as Universal Champion. The show opened with earlier backstage footage of Noelle Foley’s dad confronting Shane McMahon’s sister about her husband’s interfering actions the previous week which saw him aid Kevin Owens in winning the title. It was all rather tense but as Steph claimed she had nothing to do with it, whilst Foley was getting rather irate, it seems as though we’re finally getting a bit of conflict between the two heads in charge of Raw and some much needed emotion behind Mick Foley’s lifeless position as Raw General Manager.
He went one step further by then stamping down his authority when Steph tried to get Rollins suspended for attacking Owens… Like that doesn’t happen every week? Foley then laid down the main event for Clash of Champions (basically Night of Champions without Smackdown): Seth Rollins vs Kevin Owens for the WWE Universal Orlando Resort Florida Championship in three weeks time. Unhappy about the decision, the GOAT, Chris Jericho came to Owens defence backstage to argue with Mick Foley who put both of them in separate matches against Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn respectively.
When we finally got to see some wrestling, about an hour into the show, Bayley picked up a major coup by beating Women’s Champion, Charlotte. Unfortunately for Bayley, who won the match with the Bayley-To-Belly, it was a non-title match so she will have to wait a little while longer for any title shot. In the long run she could win her first WWE Women’s Championship against Nia Jax or maybe even a heel Sasha Banks? Now thats sports entertainment.
In a shocking twist to recent reports, Bo Dallas, returned to television by doing the Strowman and Jax routine of defeating a local jobber. This very quick squash match made Dallas look pretty ruthless and he even won that match with a new finisher which wasn’t quite dissimilar to the Sister Abigail. Maybe this slight re wording of his catchphrase is a reinvention of himself as the alleged drunk and disorderly man that he is. “Bo-lieve in Bo”? “Bo-lieve in Strongbow”, right?
Lower down the card than usual, Seth Rollins defeated Chris Jericho, whilst Owens watched backstage. This will probably be the same run of matches for the next 3 weeks with varying results until Night, sorry, Clash of Champions. Considering Jericho is the legit greatest of all time this now surely means by default Seth Rollins > Chris Jericho. For those of you who struggled at GCSE Maths you might need to contact AQA for some help on that one.
The Best of Seven Series between Sheamus and Cesaro continued and left me eating my stupid words from last week where I didn’t see it possible that Sheamus could take a 3-0 lead. Well guess who took a 3-0 lead against Cesaro? It wasn’t Hornswaggle that’s for sure. The fuzzy faced Irishman took advantage of Cesaro’s “injured” back and completely dominated the match from start to finish ending it with a Brogue Kick to take an unassailable early lead. “I think we’d all be very surprised if Sheamus was to win this 4-0.” – Bradley Tiernan, The Raw Review (30th August). Words that will be echoing around our own Smackdown Live reviewer’s, Elliot Dysons, smug little face if I was to get this one so categorically wrong.
Speaking of smug little faces, The Shining Stars defeated Enzo Amore and Big Cass, much to my delight! Michael Cole once again infringed upon somebody else’s gimmick and called Cass ‘The Big Guy’. After he called Big E the same previously, it seems as if the gimmick is up for grabs since Ryback’s departure. It’s Braun Strowmans turn next week. Despite this it was another unclean win for the men from Puerto Rico but they’re unlikely to care as a win against the likes of Enzo and Cass is a pretty big scalp compared to beating part timers like the Dudley Boyz. Hopefully Primo and Epico can continue to annoy the WWE Universe with their Caribbean Tourist Board gimmick and finally get a clean victory along the way.
Once again Nia Jax defeated a jobber and this time it was the turn of spring-breaker lookalike, Ann Esposito? Once again, my guess is as good as yours. Hailing from Kansas City and apparently a friend of Alicia Fox’s, she was no match for the dominant Jax who ground down her opponents bones to make her powerslam bread. Alicia Fox and Nia Jax would later go face-to-face backstage which could set up Jax’s first televised match against main roster talent. As I mentioned earlier, I’d like to see Jax announce her intention to challenge for the Women’s title soon where she will hopefully go on a destructive reign till at least Royal Rumble.
Gallows and Anderson were back acting like a couple of goons as they brought out ‘The Old Day’ – a very bizarre future version of The New Day. The real New Day then appeared and chased off Gallows and Anderson before beating up the retirement home doppelgängers. I love Gallows and Anderson purely because this shtick adds a bit of comic relief to their mean exteriors. I know they’ve had their critics since debuting on WWE but I really think this skittish side is the beginning of their character developments ready for when they take the tag team championships away from the New Day. Don’t sigh! They’ll be great champions, trust me!
Jinder Mahal lost again but only to serve as a stop gap in the Darren Young and Titus O’Neil feud. It’s a repetitive story which has seen O’Neil attack Young and vice versa. If they really want to make Darren Young great again then they need to at least be making their story fresh and exciting. Can we go back to the inspiring little vignettes with Backlund? I actually started to like them before they got Titus O’Neil slurring his lines.
Braun Strowman, seemingly one week ahead of Nia Jax in his push, defeated small time jobber, Sin Cara?.. Never heard of him! Since the brand extension, this was The Yeti’s first match against main roster talent at the request of Sin Cara. You might think I haven’t given you any context but we wasn’t given any context to begin with, so if you could tell me why Sin Cara wanted to take his chances against Strowman then please enlighten me, because I am none the wiser. Yet, the Mexican or rather Mexican’t (amirite, lads?) lost the match by countout so he doesn’t lose much of his already little credibility.
We got the first glimpse of Sasha Banks since SummerSlam and she stated she had some bad news from the doctors. Real doctors I assume, not Gallows and Anderson. Just when we all thought she was about to announce that she caught chlamydia, she was interrupted by everyone’s favourite Brazzers star, Dana Brooke. Dana said she was going to end Banks’ journey but she even botched that earlier than planned when Sasha hit her with the Backstabber and the Banks Statement. Sasha then clarified that her bad news was actually targeted at Charlotte because she will be losing her title at Clash of Clans. Oooooh!
Every time theres a match up between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn you can’t help but get excited. No doubt they will always have a past that is the driving force between them and fuels most of the hype around their matches with one another but on this occasion it was Owens who had to win to demonstrate his superiority as the champion. In years to come there will certainly be a one-on-one title match for the top prize between these two Canadian star crossed lovers and when that does happen we’ll all mark out harder than your mom. Unfortunately Reigns came out after the match and was promised a chance to join the title match at Clash of the Titans if he can beat Kevin Owens next week.
Stick around for a disappointing result next week where I’ll give you all of my ramblings, but in the mean time I’m off to watch some of the best matches Backlash has to offer – something SteelChair Mag will be bringing you a list of this week!