Raw’s moment of the night?
Jason Hall: The Kevin Owens celebration/Seth Rollins babyface turn. I mean, we can call it that, right? Rollins questioned Stephanie McMahon, was unsuspended by Mick Foley and faced Chris Jericho. All of those actions scream babyface. Owens, on the other hand, was established as the brand’s top heel. The segment did its job in pushing both Superstars.
Travis Wakeman: For me it was right after the show started when Mick Foley overruled Stephanie McMahon’s “indefinite suspension” of Seth Rollins. I’m pretty sure that less than 1 percent of fans out there want to see Stephanie throw her power around like this anymore, and the element and having a fair and impartial authority figure such as Foley suggests that maybe we won’t see that anymore, at least not as often. To me, this was quite refreshing, especially since what Rollins did happens just about every week on the show so a suspension of any sort made no sense.
Daniel DeMarco: It’s pretty sad to say, but the opening in-ring promo with Stephanie McMahon, Mick Foley, Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins. From that point on, it was basically a down-hill show. Sure, we had an Owens-Zayn match, which I would never complain about, but it does go to show how the draft has affected WWE negatively after its Battleground match was supposed to squash their feud for some time to come, but it lasted all of six weeks. From The Shining Stars getting a win over Enzo and Cass, to WWE’s continued persistence to push Nia Jax and Braun Strowman, to a dreadful segment with The Club and New Day, to the continuation of the awful feud between Darren Young and Titus O’Neil, to Sasha Banks’ history-revised-by-WWE speech, Raw was a night full of moments for all the wrong reasons.
Riley Kontek: In a night full of absolute crap, I would say the moment came in the opening promo. Not only was Kevin Owens on point by cutting a great heel promo on a crowd that was totally in favor of him, which turned them against him, but Seth Rollins had the energy and intensity which is going to aid his babyface turn. Usually for me, matches are the best moments because promos get old quickly, but this was a great segment.
Joseph Nardone: I am going to go with the Chris Jericho-Seth Rollins match.
Personally, up until about two months ago Y2J’s mere being tired on me. But he has reinvented himself as a character just enough to be interesting. Then on Monday, he and Rollins put on a legit match, and possibly Jericho’s best in roughly a year (or longer).
With a lot of other angles playing out through the rest of the show, but providing no real closure of any sorts, I am going with a match over whatever other happenings. And to me, a good match will always be more gnarly than a good promo or story.
Do you approve or disapprove of WWE’s decision to not feature Triple H on Monday?
JH: Approve. It makes his appearances mean more, while also not overshadowing Kevin Owens. We don’t need a 20-minute Triple H promo. He’s already established as a legend. Owens is the one who needs TV time and build up. It also adds to the speculation of “who actually knew” for a longer period of time. I think it was a smart decision.
TW: Approve. It adds to the mystery of why he did what he did. If I were booking the show, Triple H wouldn’t be on for months. That would allow Stephanie to continue to say she had no idea of her husband’s plans and give fans the chance to decide whether they believe her or not. The audience would also be able to construct their own theories as to why Triple H turned to Owens to become “his guy” and then later, after all the suspense has been built up, he can return to say why he did it. Good move to keep him off this week and as far as I’m concerned, the longer, the better.
DD: Disapprove. Typical WWE to not capitalize on momentum. The final segment of last week’s Raw was essentially the only thing that had some good momentum on it, and the second core component of it was completely missing. I sure wish I could listen to a WWE creative meeting, because I would absolutely love to hear the logic and reason into a lot of decisions big Vince makes just so I could have some sense of understanding the process. Because it just comes off nonsensical to me on the surface. I guess it comes with the territory of being crazy like Vince is known to be as a man obsessed by his work. Sometimes the crazy comes off as genius, and sometimes it just comes off like someone is lacking a grasp of reality.
RK: I approved of it, honestly. There is no reason to rush this potential feud between Seth Rollins and Triple H, especially if the end goal is to have them throw down at WrestleMania. They don’t need to hot shot any part of the storyline. If the WWE wants believability that Stephanie McMahon was not in on Triple H’s plot and if we are supposed to believe that Triple H has no part in Raw’s operations, he needs to make sporadic appearances. It will make for more interesting story going forward.
JH: My gut reaction is to boo because I want immediate satisfaction and closure right now. It is also worth noting, I’m an impatient little twit.
After having some time to digest this, I’m in favor of holding him off TV until needed. Kevin Owens, Rollins, and now apparently Roman Reigns, all had to deal with the fallout of last Monday. We didn’t need that extra boost of Triple H this week. Would it have been nice? You bet. But I’d rather save his next appearance for a rainy day.
It’s best for business for Roman Reigns to ________(win or lose) his match against Kevin Owens next week.
JH: Lose. Kevin Owens needs to be a strong champion and be booked as such. Having said that, Reigns should always be close to the title match. He fits under the logic of “either he’s going to be at the top of the card or not on it at all.” But the title match doesn’t necessarily need him.
TW: That’s a tough question as to whether it’s best for business or not. Personally, I don’t want to see him in the match. I’ve always felt that multi-man title matches should be few and far between and WWE just has them way too often. To me, it shows a lack of creativity. I suspect that he may find a way into the match but I believe that Chris Jericho will play a role and cost Reigns, which would then set up a match between the two at Clash of Champions. It should be Owens vs. Rollins one on one. I’d guess that at least three-fourths of the viewing audience would agree, as well.
DD: Lose; come on now. It would be absolutely awful for business for Reigns to win. I did not think the title should have come off him earlier this year, but now that it has and things have moved on, that ship has sailed for the time being. Keep him away. Keep him away not just for his own good, but for the sake of what WWE looks like it is trying to do. Clearly WWE is positioning Seth Rollins as a babyface finally, and now trying to make Kevin Owens a more concrete heel. With the latter, you know what a terrible way is to make fans hate Owens? Pitting him against the ultra-hated Reigns. Because Reigns is not hated in a heel way, he is hated in a John Cena way. So either way, you lose in this situation. You either make Reigns champion again and make people hate him more, or you have Owens defeat him and give people more reason to love Owens.
Again, can I get in on these WWE creative meetings? Because, is WWE even trying? Or am I just missing something?
RK: Lose. I am seriously sick and tired of him being gifted title shots for no reason. It makes no sense, story-wise, that he keeps just falling into title shots with lack of logic. Owens vs. Rollins on its own is an awesome matchup and would make for a potential 5-star classic. Reigns is good and all, but he’s not needed in the main event of Clash of Champions. He would be better served in a side feud else where to build himself up if he eventually wants to challenge for the title.
JN: This is something I am going to write more in-depth, so forgive me for not giving away all my eggs in this roundtable basket, but Reigns should win.
The match itself can use Reigns. Not only from a quality standpoint, but from a big event feel that he — no matter how you feel about him — brings. He is similar to John Cena in that regard.