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

After not taking any sly digs at our Smackdown Live! Reviewer, Elliot Dyson, for the last two weeks he’s continued to hit me with cheap shots with no response from myself. Well, this week I’ll just let you all know just what I think and set the record straight. Although he can make some funny jokes about the main talking points of Smackdown the truth is he can’t be bothered to write for the next two weeks just because he’s moving house or some other lame excuse like that. I’d like to see that Jabroni write week after week about a three hour show where the same thing happens all the time. I work my ass off trying to make writing about Titus O’Neil seem interesting where as Elliot lazily skims over the minor details of Smackdown every week because he simply can’t be bothered. I care about the VultureHound fans and I will continue to give them what they want every week if it makes me bluer than your balls after looking at my Tinder profile!.. It’s time for this weeks Raw Review

The show opened strongly with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho, aka Y2KO, aka JerichOwens, aka the best duo in the history of wrestling. Owens was persistent in his claims that Raw GM, Michael Foley, has a personal grudge against him. Your Dad, Jericho, reminded us all how dangerous Hell in a Cell really is and Owens assured us all that he plans on ending Seth Rollins career. Sethanie Rollins wasn’t having any of this and soon appeared. The Architect called Jericho “sparkle pants” (childish but pretty good, right?) and attempted to cause a rift between Owens and Jericho. As the GOAT was set to face Rollins he insisted that KO stand in the back and not interfere in the match. Though Jericho was dominant over Rollins for most of this opening match it was Rollins speed that would get the better of the Ayatollah of a 4-Pack of Corona. Owens appeared much to the annoyance of Jericho and this resulted in a distracted Y2J being beaten by Rollins. Jericho and Owens continued to squabble after the match much like your Mum when your Dad won’t let her out on a Friday night. Leading up to Hell in a Cell this could be the beginning of a Owens and Jericho feud while Rollins takes away the title.

"I'm not your friend, buddy!" "I'm not your buddy, guy!"
“I’m not your friend, buddy!”
“I’m not your buddy, guy!”

In the continuing story of Titus O’Neill’s quest to become his own franchise he lost once again, this time Mark Henry of all people. In fairness Henry is the World Strongest Man and was joined by the most formidable tag team in The Golden Truth whilst O’Neill was paired with the Shining Stars. It’s a silly little feud that doesn’t serve much purpose other than the fans in the arena to have a toilet break or for you at home to go and pop the kettle on. Do yourself a favour and make me one whilst you’re at it because this feud does not have my interest.

Sheasaro’s push for the Raw Tag Team titles has been put on hold for a week as Sheamus lost to Big E representing the current holders of the tag team gold, New Day. It was only fair that Enormous E picked up the win last night as the New Day were celebrating their 420th day as tag team champions. In completely unrelated news Raw was taking place in Denver, Colorado… Just like Sheamus did last week Cesaro was streaming the match live via Facebook whilst he was ringside in support of his partner. The unlikely duo are much like chilli and chocolate, Mel Smith and Kim Wilde, or Kane and Daniel Bryan – they shouldn’t work but just they do. It would be nice to see them win the tag titles just as long as Gallows and Anderson win them immediately afterwards.

Big E flying high on day 420? hmmmmm
Big E flying high on day 420? hmmmmm

What’s more surprising than Bo Dallas beating Neville on live show? That’s right, Bo Dallas then beating down former Social Outcast, Curtis Axel, after his win over Neville. These were the shocking turn of events in what is surely going to be feud of the century as alleged drunken flyer, Bo Dallas, takes on Mr Irrelevant, Curtis Axel, probably at the Pre Show of Hell in a Cell and subsequently Survivor Series – we know WWE like to get their monies worth and believe me when I say this one has dollar signs all over it. Yep, just the one dollar.

Hold on to your hats because I’m about to say something genuinely sincere about Dana Brooke. In her match against Bayley, the former protege of Charlotte, Brooke, put on one of her best performances yet. I know that’s easy when you’re used to such a low standard but she actually did well for a change. That was until she botched a move in the corner at least. Almost killing Bayley in the process, the match ended on a weird pinfall victory that looked more awkward than Stone Colds Stunner to Linda McMahon. It’s hard to watch Dana as she goes from week to week practically learning her trade live on television. It’s a reminder that she was brought up to the main roster far too early and could probably do with going on a manual handling course.

As I predicted last week Braun Strowman was indeed in a 3 jobbers against 1 yeti squash match. Of course Big Hairy (like Big Sexy but you know, less sexy) put away the three men with ease and again won the match by pinning his opponents on top of each other. It was then, just as we thought Strowman was going to make the same speech to Foley in the previous two weeks, that Sami Zayn came charging out to answer Strowman’s cry for a better competitor. Zayn was easily pushed away by the giant but he didn’t back down as Strowman made his way up the ramp. Zayn vs Strowman could be a massive push for either one of these men but it all depends on who wins. Strowman has been built up as an unstoppable monster since he was drafted to Raw and a win for him over Zayn could be the first big scalp on his route to the top prize, the tag team titles with Titus O’Neil. Similarly for Zayn if he can put away the giant that is Strowman it keeps in line with his plucky underdog spirit and would surely grant him a shot for at least the US Championship. Yet, you gotta feel for Zayn if he gets buried in this one. He’s not been on the main roster for even a year yet and he could be resigned to the depths where he will find Sin Cara and Mark Henry waiting to greet him. Now that’s a spin off series I’d like to see!

Just look at those nostrils!
Just look at those nostrils!

In the latest attempt to make Roman Reigns look cool he came out to interrupt Lana and Rusev as they were sharing his family photo album with the WWE Universe. There was no match between the two (probably because we have seen it a thousand times already) but we did get to see Lana slap the smirk off Reign’s face before Rusev beat him down with the ring steps and pinned him down with an Accolade. It’s a shame this feud is going on for so long without Reigns being the obvious heel. It’s rapidly devalued the US Championship a mere matter of weeks after he became the Champion. The title deserves change and realistically I think Rusev having a prolonged reign as Champion was a huge missed opportunity.

Just when you think Gallows and Anderson are set to completely dominate the tag team division they then go and have Karl Anderson lose in minutes to Big Cass. There isn’t much I can say on this because quite frankly it’s all too ironic that I expected better on this one. Unless the Bullet Club duo go on to ultimately win against Enzo and Cass at Hell in a Cell I can’t see there being much point to them ever being brought to the WWE without wanting to make them look like complete badasses.

It’s already been established that Lita isn’t the WWE’s best journalist but being the most charismatic of former Women’s Champions she was granted access with Charlotte and Sasha Banks for an exclusive interview ahead of their upcoming Hell in a Cell match for the Raw Women’s Championship. It was the classic shoot of the heel being arrogant and the babyface playing down any injury scares. Even though both women will look to tare the other apart there is no doubt that they will make history at the first ever Women’s Hell in a Cell match. Rumours have it that Vince McMahon himself turned down a top of the cell Moonsault request from Charlotte. With that sort of tenacity there’s every reason to think that Charlotte will go on to be the greatest Women’s Champion in WWE history.

"Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my incompetent presenter at this time... Lita"
“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my incompetent presenter at this time… Lita”

Once again the Cruiserweight’s put on the most electrifying match of the night as Brian Kendrick, Drew Gulak and Tony Nese faced Cedric Alexander, Rich Swann and T.J. Perkins in a 6 Man Tag Team match. There was spots all round which featured an awesome 450 Splash from Nese, front flips from Swann and all-round heelish antics from Brian Kendrick. It’s a shame that the WWE audience is so used to absurd storylines that they can’t get into the spirit of a truly entertaining piece of wrestling without knowing who hates who and for what reason. Maybe once these up and coming stars get the right angles against one another then the fans will truly appreciate why the Cruiserweights are proving to be the wrestling highlight of Raw each week. Oh, and Kendrick won the match again with the Captains Hook.

The main attraction going into this weeks Raw was the return of Gooooooldberg after his 12 year absence from the WWE. Paul Heyman has single handedly been doing his upmost to convince the world that this match will be the biggest in both men’s careers. Financially, that may be true but given the lack of prize at stake it may not be as important to Lesnar as it will be for old Bill. The former WCW Champion talked about his journey, wanting to kick ass again and even teased that he might not fight Lesnar at all but in the end he vowed to take on the Beast Incarnate as the now greying, Jackhammering, Spearing brute made his way out of the arena to a chorus of cheers from the WWE Universe.

Let's all take a moment to appreciate Big E's reaction to seeing Goldberg backstage
Let’s all take a moment to appreciate Big E’s reaction to seeing Goldberg backstage

Raw continues to prove why it’s regarded as the flagship show for WWE with the Cruiserweight’s on their way to the top and old stars return for one last paycheque to settle their retirement plans. If you want to catch up on Smackdown Live tomorrow then be sure to return as Elliot Dyson’s has someone else covering for him. Maybe this week, with someone else at the helm, there will be a legitimate conclusion rather than an underwhelming sign off of “bye”.

By Bradley Tiernan

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

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