Raw tried to follow up after their big weekend. After some news got thrown in their way, how did they do?
After a rather interesting weekend of WWE pay-per-view wrestling, with both NXT: Takeover and SummerSlam, the WWE was off again. This time, we entered the world of duel-branded pay-per-views and Universal Champions. Or at least that’s how it was supposed to go. If you haven’t heard by now, Finn Balor suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder. This injury will put Balor on the shelf for the next six months, and forced him to relinquish the championship.
The day of Raw, their main title picture got thrown into chaos and major audibles needed to be called. So some of my complaints about this show are explained by that major news. Either way, let’s get right into re-booking this edition of Monday Night Raw.
WWE Universal Scramble
After giving up his title, Balor headed to the back. Before he could leave the ramp, Seth Rollins hit the ring and it all started. A series of superstars wanted to stake their claim for the championship. There was Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and even Big Cass appeared. The entire time, Rollins looked like the friend that was mad with a group decision. General manager Mick Foley decided to put together a series of matches to determine who would fight for the title next week.
Where to start with this one? First, not having all the competitors that were going to be involved in this series made it feel very random and all over the place. All these other guys came out, yet Neville and Rusev couldn’t join? Really? Two extra entrances would have been too much? Speaking of the entrances, they weren’t needed. Foley could have easily said that there would be a series of matches, and said he would name opponents as the night went on.
That could have led to a series of backstage segments, with superstars entering his office wanting a shot. Another superstar could appear, and Foley makes the match. That way, the matches have a more ‘organic’ feel to them. And not some pre-determined mess that we ended up getting.
Sami Zayn vs. Seth Rollins
No offense to Big Cass, but the ‘underdog’ spot in this title match next week belonged to Sami Zayn. And that meant putting him away from Seth Rollins. Having Zayn and Rollins fight again, after they just fought two weeks ago, left a bad taste in my mouth. With all the options they had, they could have mixed it up. Rollins could have faced Neville. Commentary plays up that open challenge match between the two from last year, and that’s a good story.
Have Zayn take on Jericho and get the victory. Roman and Cass could have had a battle that kept Cass strong, or even used Enzo in the spot. And then KO takes on Rusev, with him doing the count-out spot. Heck, Jericho and Owens could have faced, teasing the tension between those guys that the ended up teasing later on.
All I’m saying is that there were better matchups that kept things fresh and new. And that should have included Zayn winning.
It’s actually impossible for the WWE to mess up Bayley, yet they certainly tried their best. Why on Earth did Mick Foley need to introduce her? People know who Bayley is. That crowd especially knows who Bayley is.
This segment is really simple. Charlotte cuts the same promo. That line she said to Foley about their being nobody else to face her? She just adds it there. Bayley’s music hits and the place goes nuts. She confronts Charlotte, wants a title match. The champ refuses, and then Foley can interject, scheduling a Bayley/Dana Brooke match for Raw. They took away a huge moment by adding Foley when they didn’t need to. As always, less is more.
Also, referring to Bayley as the “hottest free agent in the women’s division” was weird. Is NXT just a free-for-all and they can sign anywhere? That confused me a little.