This whole WrestleMania season strikes me as somewhat subdued with Fastlane being used to determine the number one contender for the WWE World Title, and then dropping Roadblock on us this coming Saturday.
That said, this was a pretty good Raw and had more noteworthy segments than some of the recent ones I thought. As usual, I am only going to look at those things that struck me as worthy of discussion. For a full(er) review I recommend giving Jason Powell's WWE Raw Live TV Review a look from DOT NET.
On to the show itself...
- Shane McMahon faces off with Mr. McMahon--This was fine, but here's my ultimate issue here. I tend to believe the Undertaker v Shane McMahon match will turn out to be an entertaining spectacle. I also don't really have any desire to see the build for this. I am also tired of Undertaker in general, but if you're going to trot him out at Mania I do not want him against Shane McMahon.
- Main Event: Dean Ambrose v Bray Wyatt--I like Dean a lot of course. I like Bray Wyatt a lot even though they've repeatedly dropped the ball on him. This was a fun main event, but the most interesting thing was the face off between Triple H and the Wyatt Family. Bray caressing the WWE World Title was a nice visual.
Dean standing tall at the end of it all was a good moment, but I must admit I was kind of hoping they'd have Roman make the save no matter how Chicago may have crapped on it.
Good build for the Roadblock main event, Bray Wyatt needs a face turn.
- New Day v Y2AJ--This wasn't surprising, but it didn't need to be to be effective. Ultimately, I do not really want to see AJ Styles stuck wrestling Chris Jericho any longer, but the turn itself was well executed.
I will be glad when we get past WrestleMania and hopefully AJ moves on to something with Kevin Owens or someone like that.
As for New Day, they bring such a great energy to the arena, but it's wasted by them being storyline heels. They need to fix that. Much like Bray Wyatt, they desperately need a face run.
BONUS: The move of the match from Georgia's own, AJ Styles.
- Owens v Neville with a surprise appearance--Great match out of these two which is not at all surprising. Neville does things in the ring that really impress me.
The big moment, of course, was Sami Zayn showing up to continue his feud with Kevin Owens on the main roster. This Chicago crowd was the right type of crowd to debut/re-debut Zayn. That guy has a connection with the crowd like Dean Ambrose or even Daniel Bryan. At least he did in NXT, it will be interesting to see if this translates.
- Divas Title Angle--They are putting Charlotte over strong which is smart I guess. I like Sasha and Becky a lot, but other than chuckling at Ric Flair, Charlotte does little for me.
Beyond that I am baffled by the decision to make Undertaker even remotely heelish in this day and age. The whole thing is just bizarre. As a father of two young children who went to their first wrestling shows the last few years, I did appreciate the picture of Vince and Shane together.
Like I said, I think this was a really solid Raw. The big drawbacks for me were no Roman Reigns and the idea that we've inserted another event between the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania.
I am excited about Roadblock for what it's worth, but it has thrown the rhythm of the Mania build out of whack to a certain degree. In that regard I will be glad to see how things fall on next week's Raw as we get beyond Roadblock.
Again, if you're interested in a full review of the show I always recommend Jason Powell's WWE Raw Live TV Review.