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

A big thank you to Erin Dick for covering me last week whilst I had “laptop issues”. I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, Brad’s clogged up his laptop with all that porn he watches”. Well, no. It was clogged up with all the wrestling material I write week in (take a break) week out for your enjoyment. So now that a bit order has been restored let’s get right to it and take a look at what disappointments Raw had in store for us this week.

The biggest disappointment of them all, Roman Reigns, opened the show this week much to the fans dismissal but in what would be a theme for the night the segment started off on a low and ended on a relative high. The female McMahon (not Linda) interrupted the Samoan followed by everyones favourite Foley after Noelle, Hardcore Mick. The Raw GM commenced in his duties and continued where he left off last week putting Rusev and Seth Rollins in a match against each other. Unfortunately, Mr Foley has suffered one too many chairs to the face over the years and deemed it fit that Reigns should face Rusev for the United States Championship at Clash of Clans but not before going heel to heel (or something in between) against Kevin Owens in a non-title steel cage match for the nights main event. It’s strange, add a little bit of steel and everyone gets excited.

"So, Mick. Where does Roman Reigns NOT belong?"
“So, Mick. Where does Roman Reigns NOT belong?”

As promised by the GM the first match of the night was Seth Rollins vs. Rusev which, rightly so for the sake of both mens reputation, ended in a double count-out. The pair battled their way up the ramp and proceeded to be counted out thus rendering the match a draw and more importantly keeping Rusevs brutal United States Championship run in tact. With Rusevs figurative status unharmed it was time for Rollins to cause physical harm and hit the Bulgarian Brute with a crossbody off the announce table onto the lovely cushioned floor below.

Braun Strowman defeated unknown Mexican jobber, Sin Cara, for the second time in three weeks. The fuzzy faced giant caught Sinjamin Cara mid air and hit a running powerslam for the easy win. I can’t see how Sin Carragher could possibly get one over in this mini feud with Strowman so he may as well cut his loses while he still can.

In an earlier backstage segment, Charlotte and Dana ‘Brazzers’ Brooke, told Mick Foley what we already knew – last week’s No. 1 contenders match ended with a double pin. Foley agreed with the ladies and made this Sunday’s Women’s Championship Match at Clash of Titans a triple threat between Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Bayley as if that wasn’t the plan all along. Following this, Charlotte and her plucky protege, Dana, defeated Sasha Banks and Bayley in a tag team match. No doubt Dana will have some involvement on Sunday.

Dana: "As you can see, Mr Foley, this position replicates something I could only manage outside of a WWE ring filmed by a bunch of dudes wearing cargo shorts and featuring alongside a male co-star"
Dana: “As you can see, Mr Foley, this position replicates something I could only manage outside of a WWE ring filmed by a bunch of dudes wearing cargo shorts and featuring alongside a male co-star”

Bo Dallas was at it again – No, not drinking himself off a plane and into a cell… allegedly – He defeated small timer, Gary Graham, in another squash match for the ages. This is the third match in a row that Bo Wyatt has won using the rolling cutter – a move that looks a lot like the Sister Abigail. In fact, for a second he even stuck his tongue out like Bray following up the Sister Abigail with a pin. Could there be a new Wyatt in our midst? No, of course not. He doesn’t even have a beard!

Catching flies in his mouth...
Catching flies in his mouth…

The Best of Seven Series went the way we all thought it would; a draw going into the decider at Clash of Kingdoms (that’s a very old PC game and I think I’m just about done with this joke now). Cesaro levelled the series over Sheamus after hitting the Gotch Neutralizer. In fairness we have seen five good matches from these two and one that went unseen by most at WWE London. The series is now tied at 3 a piece and having got used to seeing these two compete with each other for weeks a small part of me is sad to see it come to an end on Sunday. Yet, a larger part of me is very much looking forward to seeing Cesaro challenge Owens for the WWE Universal Title.

In true parody fashion, Chris Jericho, in homage to his list of 1,004 holds, came mincing down towards the ring to read from a list of gripes he has about Mick Foley. Yes, Jericho is that brilliant he is the only person that could get away with doing a homage to himself. Sadly, before he could reach 1004, he was cut off by little Enzo and Big Cass. The Jersey boys were in turn interrupted by Puerto Rico’s finest, Shining Stars, who were then intervened by The New Day. Dr’s Gallows and Anderson (MD pending) then came towards the squared circle and once again insisted they will be taking the Raw tag team titles away from New Day on Sunday. Just as that sneaky Chris Jericho tried to leave he was ambushed (a heel tactic) by Sami Zayn (babyface). As Zayn proceeded to beat up Jericho the rest of the men started a very unorganised brawl which resulted in a very organised 5 man tag team match. In true mass tag team fashion the babyface team defeated the heel team before Gallows and Anderson become the new Raw Tag Team champions on Sunday night.

"Number 914 - the way Mick Foley is now just a watered down version of the mad man he once was"
“Number 914 – the way Mick Foley is now just a watered down version of the mad man he once was”

The Cruiserweights made their Raw debut and four competitors: Rich Swann, Gran Metalik, Cedric Alexander and Brian Kendrick were welcomed to the ring by the Raw GM. Foley then announced the lightweight stars would be competing in a Fatal 4-Way match to decide the number 1 contender for the Cruiserweight title. In what was an exciting and electrifying match, the oldest Cruiserweight on the bill, Brian Kendrick, wound up as the winner by locking in the Captain’s Hook, aptly named for his pirate-like appearance, on Cedric to force the tap. Kendrick used this move to win two of his matches in the Cruiserweight Classic tournament and will no doubt execute it perfectly when he faces TJ Perkins for the Cruiserweight Championship on Sunday. Hopefully by then he realises the only people interested in the whole Johnny Depp/Captain Jack look is your mum who still thinks it’s 2003.

In the nights main event Roman Reigns faced Kevin Owens in a non-title Steel Cage match. WWE are a lot smarter than we give them credit for when it comes to protecting the in-ring integrity of its top talent. Not only are they perpetually pushing Reigns in new ways that continue to be shunned by the Universe but they’re doing it ways that still manage to not harm the reputation of the much better stars that surround him. Despite Reigns winning the match by exiting over the top of the cage Owens was still able to exit seconds after through the door. Therefore Owens is still the legit boss (yes, that’s gimmick infringement) as he is yet to lose to Reigns via pinfall or submission – you know, how it really matters in pro wrestling to be worth anything. The show came to an end when Rusev and Rollins made there way into the cage. The latter hit his second crossbody of the night this time from the top of the cage onto the poor suspecting Rusev and Owens.

Locked away inside a steel cage - a metaphor for how WWE treats it's talent
Locked away inside a steel cage – a metaphor for how WWE treats it’s talent

As is custom with the Raw before a Pay Per View we have been left cathartically void until the big pay off at Clash of Champions and some questions still need answering: Will Cesaro put away Sheamus once and for all leaving the Celtic Warrior to fend for his wages in a Best of 21 Series against Bo Dallas? Is Braun Strowman going to flatten Tom Phillips with his crushing words in a surprisingly lingual promo? And are we finally going to see lowly jobber, James Ellsworth, hit his big finishing move? Only one thing remains certain. Prepare for disappointment this Sunday at Clash of the Champions (WCW™ owned by WWE©).

By Bradley Tiernan

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