The 4/17/2017 Raw Reaction features my thoughts on Alexa Bliss’ big win, Braun Strowman’s destruction, and the mediocrity of Enzo and Cass as a team.
Braun Strowman came out to brag about how he injured Roman Reigns last week. It was nice to hear Strowman get a few minutes of promo time. Big guys don’t seem to get a lot of promo time historically, but I think it’s one of Braun’s strengths. Kurt Angle would tell Strowman that he would face Reigns at Payback after Strowman said there was more to come. This match was an obvious addition to that PPV and hopefully, these two will be done with each other after that. I will say it has benefitted both guys quite well, though. Strowman said he wanted competition…or else.
Joe Makes Jericho Tap
Samoa Joe made Chris Jericho tap out on Raw as Seth Rollins was on commentary. It was a pretty basic match by most standards. After the match, we actually got to hear Joe talk which he hasn’t had much of an opportunity to do since arriving on the main roster. He talked about taking care of his benefactor and being disgusted with what Seth did to Triple H and his wife. I like that both men have the motivation with Joe saying that and Seth getting payback for Joe re-injuring his knee. I’m still not very invested in these two as far as feuds go, but I’m sure it’ll be a quick one.
Strowman Takes Out Golden Truth
Just as I was wondering why The Golden Truth had a match on Raw all of a sudden, Strowman attacked them. There, I don’t have to wonder anymore.
Gallows & Anderson Steal One
After seeing Golden Truth get beaten down in the back, Gallows and Anderson mention that they got the United Airlines treatment. Awesome! They would go on to face Enzo and Cass for the hundredth time. With the injury to Dash Wilder taking The Revival out of the division for a couple months, I can see Enzo and Cass being put in a more prominent position. I’m just not all that impressed with them as a tag team. I like Enzo’s promos, I’m not a fan of his in-ring work so much. I like Cass’ in-ring work and not so much his promos. They just don’t do a whole lot to differentiate themselves as a team. The excitement for Enzo and Cass is before the match when they do their routine. Beyond that, it’s average.
Gallows and Anderson would grab the win, well steal one as Gallows pre-occupied Cass and Anderson threw Enzo off the turnbuckles. Gallows and Anderson seem to be similar to The Revival, but don’t use as many dirty tactics as they do. I feel like if they tried to be darker heels that they’d reach another level. I don’t think we’ve seen them at their best quite yet, even during their title run. A lot of that is poor quality of competition besides Enzo and Cass. Thankfully, The Hardys and The Revival will provide some fresh opposition for them.
Ambrose Chases Miz
The Miz had Dean Ambrose on MizTV and talked about how he was Superstar material while Dean was not. He pointed out how Ambrose looked and carried himself. Dean took exception to this talking about how he loves being in the ring and doesn’t do it for endorsement deals or anything like that. Maryse then talked down to Dean. Everything broke down after that and ended with Miz escaping before Ambrose could hit Dirty Deeds. Leave it to Miz to create a new feud out of thin air. How new is it really, though? Haven’t we already seen a bit of this on SmackDown Live. I was looking for new match-ups and I’m tired of Miz stuck in this perpetual Intercontinental Championship loop.
Strowman Trashes Kalisto
Braun Strowman literally threw Kalisto in the trash. He’s been on a tear tonight! That was short-lived as Big Show would knock him into the bay door. Big Show vs. Strowman is announced for later tonight.
Perkins Gets an Assist From Neville
Jack Gallagher battled TJ Perkins while Austin Aries and Neville looked on from ringside. Aries even had a banana for potassium. Gallagher and Perkins had a match similar to any other match they’ve had. I like the edge to TJ’s character, I feel like he’ll be a much better heel than face and I can’t wait to see what he does with it. Neville ended up taking out Aries on the apron so that Perkins could get the win. It’ll be interesting to see how long those two remain aligned and whether or not Aries will get an ally in all of this.
Titus & Crews?
Titus O’Neil has big plans for Apollo Crews and used his name with numerous examples such as an Apollo Cruise. If this goes any further, it could be interesting. Titus could take care of Apollo’s weak promo skills and be his manager. I’m all in favour of Crews getting some more TV time.
Alexa Bliss returned home to Columbus, Ohio and became the Number One Contender to the Raw Women’s Championship in a Fatal 4 Way Match with Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, and Mickie James. I liked how well-promoted the match was all Raw with profiles on all the women. Alexa stole the match in perfect fashion after Nia hit a Samoan Drop on Sasha. Bliss would knock Nia out of the ring and grab the pinfall. I can’t say enough good things about Alexa. She’s a perfect heel and does everything so well from a personality standpoint. I feel like her in-ring work has really matched that of late as well and I think she could have a decent match with anyone if given the chance. Her opportunistic character doesn’t require that right now, it’s strong with her just capitalizing at the right times.
Balor Beats Hawkins
Finn Balor beat Curt Hawkins in a quick match. This was due to Balor suffering a concussion last week and it keeps him on TV. Hawkins made note of his Star Factory since Big Show face him last week and now he’s in the main event. I think they could run with that tiny story for Hawkins and make it something comical each week.
Jericho Puts Samson on The List
Jericho talked to Mike Rome, or Tom as he called him, about not caring where he goes mentioning Nitro, Heat, and Velocity because The Friends of Jericho will always follow him. It was pretty standard until Elias Samson walked through the promo and made The List. If anyone could put Samson on the map, it’s Jericho. I really hope they get to do something together, but I think it was more of a one-off comedy thing as we saw Samson earlier in the night as well.
Wyatt’s Cryptic Promo
I like the direction that Bray Wyatt’s character has taken lately. It seems that he is channeling an evil much like The Undertaker did when he formed The Ministry. He is taking himself to new heights right now with how invested he is in making his character a must-see entity. The House of Horrors Match should be plenty interesting.
Jeff Hardy Wins
Seeing The Hardys back in WWE is still kind of surreal to me. I really didn’t expect them to ever come back, especially Matt. Yet here we are. Jeff got the chance to battle cesaro in a pretty one-sided match as most matches with Jeff are. He then rallied to win with the Twist of Fate into the Swanton Bomb. I like the feud that these two teams have going. It’s the best tag team feud that Raw has had in quite a while. I wouldn’t mind seeing this one last a few months if they book it properly and have a couple different gimmick matches mixed in here and there.
Strowman & Big Show Break The Ring
My unpopular opinion is that I dislike seeing the ring break in this day and age. It was cool the first time a decade ago, now it’s been done a few times and it’s not that great anymore. The fans did love it, but I’m just not a fan. I did enjoy Show vs. Strowman though. Those guys have great chemistry and it’s been nice to see Big Show on Raw in some meaningful segments as he’ll be retiring shortly.
The Final Word
This was a very good episode of Raw. We saw a lot of interesting match-ups and the Superstar Shake-up has seemingly done its job. I think a refresher every 6 months as far as the rosters go is a good thing. You can only go with the same people for so long before people get tired of seeing the same thing. I really liked the focus on Braun throughout the night. We don’t see enough running stories through the show like we used to in the Attitude Era and I really miss that type of thing. It was definitely a step in the right direction for Raw and I hope this continues.