A new Universal Champion was crowned this week on Raw in spectacular fashion. Find out what I thought about that and the rest of Raw inside!
I wish that more people in wrestling were like Chris Jericho. This guy literally does everything he possibly can to help WWE. Chris also has his own podcast, band, and numerous other commitments. He still shows up on Raw every week to contribute to the show and that’s something you don’t get to see very often from a veteran in his mid-40s. Jericho had a great match with Neville this week and always seems to make the other guy look great even if they lose. As I’ve written before, I hope Jericho stays until at least next year’s Wrestlemania or longer. His latest run has been one of his most productive working with the likes of AJ Styles, Enzo and Cass and many other up and coming stars like Kevin Owens. Jericho has been one of the better Superstars on the roster in terms of elevating talent and having quality matches. He’s definitely a Hall of Famer when his career does finally come to an end. It was great to see the Liontamer make a comeback this week as well! Drink it in, maaaannnnnn!
What are they doing with Sami Zayn? He’s obviously not hurt because he beat Jinder Mahal, but he’s done nothing of note since his Battleground match with Owens. I think it’s sad that a guy like Sami is sitting there with nothing on Raw when he could be on Smackdown challenging for the Intercontinental or World Titles. I could see a trade developing between the two brands if things like this continue with popular stars.
Dana gets a lot of flack for not being perfect in the ring, but she’s actually been put into some good situations for someone who is still new to the main roster. Fans need to let performers grow in front of them. Jumping on them and criticizing their in-ring skills doesn’t help them gain any confidence. I think Dana will benefit from being in the ring with people like Bayley, The Club, Charlotte, and The New Day. All of those stars mentioned are solid in the ring and will only teach her even more valuable knowledge. Give Dana a solid year on the main roster before writing her off as just another bodybuilder or model. If you’ve watched Breaking Ground on the WWE Network, you’ll know she trains as hard as anyone and wants to be the best she can be. She’s getting a lot of ring-time every week and is already starting to improve a lot over the time that she was in NXT.
I think Cesaro is taking this best of 7 series with Sheamus as a way to stand out. Cesaro has been very outspoken about wanting better chances in WWE and how he wanted to be on SmackDown. I think Sheamus will go up 3-0 before Cesaro eventually wins 4 straight to gain some incredible momentum towards a Universal Title shot. Here’s hoping his hard work pays off. Cesaro has scratched and clawed for years and has been denied at every turn through injuries or others being ahead of him in the pecking order.
Paul Heyman/Stephanie McMahon
This was a weird scenario that we haven’t seen before. Basically, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar have the Board of Directors over Stephanie after Brock’s actions. It seems to me that Brock/Heyman will have some power over Stephanie in the coming weeks. I’m not so sure what will happen but things are certainly getting interesting with this.
The Cerebral Assassin has returned! I bring out that nickname because that’s exactly what we saw on Raw. I’m thankful that Triple H came back as a heel, he’s been much more successful with that in his career. Hunter dropped Reigns and that had Rollins pin him, but THEN, dropped Rollins with a Pedigree and told Owens to pin Rollins to become the new Universal Champion! It was one of the most shocking endings to Raw in recent years and one that was necessary after weeks of general predictability. Triple H stared down Stephanie and Mick Foley as he walked out through the crowd. I can’t wait to see Raw this week to understand what Triple H’s plan is here!
Congratulations to Kevin Owens on his first Universal Championship victory! Who cares how he got it? KO has been one of the best guys on the roster since he joined it last year. Kevin showed that you don’t have to look like you’re chiseled out of stone to be a champion, you just have to be a good performer. Owens is more than a good performer, he’s great. He deserves this opportunity and I’m glad that he was the one to take the title. KO is about to be involved in a very high-profile feud and he is certainly ready for the challenge. 5 years ago, a guy like Kevin would have never been signed. I’m happy the culture has changed in WWE and has allowed guys like Bryan, Balor, Owens, and Zayn to shine despite not having the traditional “look”.
Braun Strowman and Nia Jax continued to squash competitors this week. How long are they going to continue along this road? At some point, these two will have to face some worthy competition.
Bayley fits right in on Raw and her friendship with The New Day is perfect for now. Let’s just hope it doesn’t stall her momentum.
The wrestling world lost another iconic figure this past week. RIP Mr. Fuji.
You can’t beat an ending like that on Raw. I haven’t been this excited for a Raw in a long time. Tomorrow night will certainly answer a lot of burning questions!