The not-top moment of the night?
Daniel DeMarco: Everything involving Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson’s guest appearance on the show. Everything.
Thank goodness this is only going to be a one-week deal. It was awful. The “we’re better friends than you two” storyline which started this nonsense last week was ridiculous, and its result was unsurprisingly horrendous. If it was not my responsibility to watch Raw every week, I would have turned the channel 30 seconds into their segment with Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho. Obviously it was all for promotional purposes of the two actor’s new show, but who in their right mind even cared after that promotion? Talk about complete filler material on a show that is far too long. How about we just stop with the celebrity appearances on WWE product, Vince?
Jason Hall: Another Strowman squash. Mick Foley was right. There’s no point to Strowman running through jobbers. In kayfabe, if he’s so dominant he should face a full-time WWE. When I hear his music and see a local wrestler in the ring, I put back on Monday Night Football (I’m a Vikings fan). There’s no point when you know it’s going to be the same result it’s been for the past two months.
Riley Kontek: Having TJ Perkins lose a non-title match so early in his title reign. I hate how so often, the WWE allows the champion to lose a non-title match to set up a title fight. It’s asinine. There are so many ways to set up another title bout between the two, but they went with Perkins tapping out. That hurts him and his momentum so early in his title reign.
Joseph Nardone: Roman Reigns’ interactions with Lana.
This is getting creepy at this point. Roman talks to her as if this were the 1950s and if belittling women in the fashion he does is cool. Honestly, it is getting uncomfortable to consume.
Not to mention the entire xenophobia of the angle, or the fact Roman says “balls” a ton, or that Rusev is getting more cheers than Reigns still.
A combination of creepy, uncomfortable and probably accomplishing the opposite of what the WWE wanted, the company might want to rethink this angle a bit.
Travis Wakeman: I’m going to say the promo between Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens and New Day. Nothing against their match, but the promo was cheesy. Jericho’s “list” is stupid and having Owens trying to be a comedic character is something I don’t particularly understand. Then you had New Day. I’m tired of these guys and their jokes. It was funny at first, not so much anymore. Unfortunately, it won’t stop anytime soon.
After his spiel Monday, who should Strowman feud with next?
DD: That is a tough call, because here’s your problem: You need everybody on the Raw roster to look as strong as possible with how watered-down the product is after the brand split, but if Strowman does not continue to dominate then the last couple months were a complete waste of time. So I guess you can feed Titus O’Neil to Strowman. He has zero momentum, but he is not some random local wrestler. I’m not sure how much that does for Strowman, or who you feed to him after that, but in the meantime O’Neil is great fodder.
JH: It will probably be some other big veteran. I’d guess Big Show or Mark Henry. But in reality, it would probably be better to put Strowman against an undersized opponent, like a Sami Zayn. Zayn’s capable of putting on a great match with just about anyone. This could be a decent feud if booked properly.
RK: There aren’t a whole lot of faces that are singles wrestlers that are available to feud right now, except for Sami Zayn. So I guess I will go with him. It would be a good mix of power vs. precision. I also had the idea that Strowman attacks Byron Saxton after an interview, leading to him matching up with Saxton. That wouldn’t be a long-term feud, though.
JN: I think this is ending up in less a feud and more a running angle. Each week Foley will send out a super heavyweight to battle with Braun, and each week he will squash said super-giant-humanoid.
It can be the build to a feud with Brock Lesnar or the Undertaker. But I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. For now, however, I don’t think there’s an actual feud coming down the pipe. Just that, at least over the next month or so, Strowman will be beating up various “older” WWE behemoths.
TW: I don’t know who he “should” feud with, but I imagine the best answer is anyone but the guy we’ll get. WWE has always been obsessed with the “monster vs. monster” matches so I fully expect to see Mark Henry be the guy who challenges Strowman. Then we’ll have weeks of buildup that will center around whether Henry can actually pick this guy up. Even though we all know he can and will. In the end, Strowman will go over.
All love for Sasha Banks aside, did WWE make the right call by taking the title off Charlotte?
DD: I’m not sure I would necessarily call it a right or wrong decision, but I do not have any immediate problems with it. It was kind of odd to do it on Raw again, but it continues to add that element of surprise and give Raw some importance as a show. I also like the idea of the two trading the title back and forth. It gives the feud a significant competitive feel to it, as opposed to the usual babyface-heel feud where the heel is always just squeaking by or cheating their way to wins. The way WWE is handling Banks and Charlotte makes them both come off strong, and how can you complain about that? As always though, a lot of the answer to this question depends on how WWE is going to follow up. A lazy, uninspired follow up makes this all a waste, but if WWE continues to push the women’s title and this rivalry strongly, then it will come off as an effective title change.
JH: Yes. Charlotte’s been established for the past year. It’s time to give someone else a shine. There’s no doubt that Sasha would still be champion had it not been for her injury. On Monday, WWE just went back to its original plan of making Banks the face of the division. Now there’s a chance to move the division forward in several different ways.
RK: I am not completely sure. Playing hot potato with the belt can take some credibility from it. Also, Banks has shown that she has a hard time staying healthy. Can you risk somebody prone to injury with the strap? That said, she’s the most popular woman on the roster and her rivalry with Charlotte has been good. Let’s see what the future brings us.
JN: I think so. Not only because Sasha is a boss, but because sometimes it is good for a title to change hands on a regular edition of Monday Night Raw. Not to mention it resets the division a little bit. It helps everyone be in a position to re-find themselves in the pecking order.
Also, Charlotte has been really underrated during her run. I don’t think she needs the title to function as a top-level performer in the company. While I feel the same about Sasha, her having the belt adds some interesting future dynamics into the fold (Hugs!).
TW: I would say no. Sasha now has won the title live on Raw twice in two month. It makes me wonder why WWE took it off her in the first place. That’s anyone’s guess, but it leads to a lot of questions. How long will this feud go on? Where does Bayley fit in? I feel the company need to do something surprising with at least one of these women. If not, you’ll see the three of them in the same storyline for the foreseeable future, and I feel that would be a detriment to each of them.