The 2/20/2017 Raw Reaction features a little big about Kevin Owens, The New Day, Braun Strowman, Bayley, and a whole lot more!
The Kevin Owens Show
For many weeks, I voiced my displeasure with how Kevin Owens’ character has evolved on Raw. I felt like it was a step back. This was a man that used to care about himself and himself alone. He used to be a dominant Superstar who everyone was afraid of, someone who did unspeakable things weekly with no remorse. That was what made Kevin Owens special. When Kevin was with Chris Jericho, he became more cowardly and was more of a comedy act. It was such a different direction and didn’t make a lot of sense. Now, we’re seeing more of the Kevin Owens that everyone came to fear and that’s a great thing. He’s not scared of anyone, not even Goldberg. That’s the personality that Owens needs to have heading into WrestleMania season.
Whether he’s the champion or not, it now truly feels like The Kevin Owens Show.
New #1 Contender’s to the Raw Tag Team Titles
It’s nice to see the Raw Tag Team Division starting to gain a little bit of traction. I thought that Enzo and Cass deserved to be doing a lot more than they were when they were locked to Rusev, but it looks like that is changing. It’s also been very nice to see Cesaro and Sheamus start to trend more toward being heels. I feel like those two could really become a very popular heel tag team. Cesaro has been a face for so long that I’m not so sure there’s much left for him to do if he remains that way. Sheamus has always been a much better heel than a face as well.
Enzo and Cass won the match, but Enzo got Brogue Kicked for talking some smack after the match. I don’t think this feud is over yet. I can see Cesaro and Sheamus costing them the titles when they have their shot. It’s just nice to see both of these teams doing something meaningful. I really like how personal it’s getting and it feels very personal, as it should.
Tozawa Feels the Captain’s Hook
For the last couple weeks, The Brian Kendrick has been trying to become the mentor of Akira Tozawa. Last week on 205 Live, Tozawa said he didn’t like Kendrick. Kendrick took great offense to this and beat up Tozawa on Raw. I like the way that Kendrick still tries to justify his actions. The funny thing about that is that it always seems to make sense. Kendrick is such a good heel because he can find those ways to bend the rules without making it seem like he’s cheating or being evil. I think these two can have a fun feud that should end with Tozawa getting his revenge.
Roman Reigns ended up facing off against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson yet again. I don’t really get this whole concept. Sure, it makes Reigns look strong, but it just makes the best tag team on Raw look pathetic. Reigns took both men out with a chair and a few special moves. I just don’t really understand why these 3 men would even be involved with each other. It’s a pointless concept that isn’t going anywhere. Reigns already looks unbeatable every week, he doesn’t need any help.
The Ravishing Russian Steals the Blueprints
I usually am not in favour of some of the crazy skits that WWE does sometimes, but the segment between The New Day and Rusev/Mahal/Lana was pretty entertaining. The premise was that The New Day had blueprints to an ice cream machine and that Lana hacked those blueprints and now New Day was trying to get them back. It was utterly ridiculous, but it was highly entertaining amidst the Russian hacking scandal. Eventually, Xavier Woods blew his horn behind Lana who flung her tablet through the air and into his hands where he promptly destroyed it. It was a fun segment that WWE should do more of. It made sense, it was family-friendly, and it worked out well for everyone involved.
Gallagher Gets the Upper-Hand
Neville and Jack Gallagher had a good segment on Raw with their contract signing for Fastlane. Neville talked about how Gallagher was nothing more than a walking stereotype of what Americans think an Englishman is. Gallagher responded by saying it’s not an act, that’s really how he is. Neville would try to attack Gallagher, but Gallagher got the upper-hand in the end.
I really like these feuds where there’s a touch of reality there. Neville hates what Gallagher stands for and Gallagher needs to defend his lifestyle. It works on so many levels and it really makes you cheer for the good guy. These are the types of things that are going to get Neville over the most as a heel. The more he tries to bully people, the more hated he’ll be. I don’t see Gallagher winning the title, but this will be an important match for both men. Gallagher has the opportunity to prove that he can be more than just an entertaining segment, he can be a champion.
Stephanie McMahon came out after Bayley talked about how much it meant to her to be Raw Women’s Champion to try and force her to relinquish the title due to Sasha’s interference. Suffice to say, Bayley did not relinquish the title and decided to keep it. We learned that Bayley will face Charlotte at Fastlane with the title on the line. Bayley would go on to return the favour by helping Sasha defeat Charlotte by taking out Dana Brooke.
I’m just waiting for Bayley to inevitably lose the title, I know how these things go. I can see her losing it at Fastlane only to win it back at WrestleMania. I still think it was peculiar timing to have her win last week and that win does feel a bit tainted. I would have preferred the traditional route for her first title win. With the said, I’m really happy she got what she deserved. That title is where it belongs.
Strowman vs. Big Show
This match was so much better than I thought it would be. It’s hard to believe how agile Strowman is being such a big guy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone that big do a kip-up like he did. Eventually Strowman did get the hard-fought victory after two Powerslams. I think that Braun is ready to big the top guy on Raw. There’s no weakness in his character at all right now. He’s been built up for so long that I really think we’ll see him getting a very big push sometime after WrestleMania, if not before.
Samoa Joe beat down Sami Zayn before his match with Kevin Owens. Joe was annoyed at Sami talking about him. I’m kind of curious why WWE hasn’t been utilizing Joe more. His appearances have been very brief thus far.
Paul Heyman had some high praise for Kevin Owens while talking up Brock Lesnar in his promo. That could be quite a pairing, but Owens can speak for himself so it probably won’t happen. It didn’t stop CM Punk and Heyman though…
Nia Jax is putting Bayley on notice…
Emma was nowhere to be found. Ugh. Here we go again.
The Final Word
I’m not sure how I felt about this episode of Raw. There was some good and some bad. It was definitely worth watching, but you’ll probably want to fast-forward through a few segments.