On the back of an awesome Royal Rumble PPV comes Monday Night Raw live from Miami, Florida. It’s weird as a wrestling fan these days to be looking forward to a show rather than the skepticism and regret. You can argue that WWE television has slowly been improving over the last month or two anyway, but now that it’s officially Wrestlemania session I expect WWE to up their game and give it their all.
Normally when I review Raw I discuss The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, however I’m going to switch it up this week. Stay positive, Think happy thoughts and focus on The Good.
Sure, I could go on and on about The Authority opening the show (yawn) or how annoying it is seeing Kevin Owens Vs Dolph Ziggler yet again. I could even go on a rant about how pointless Kane is these days or how sad I am about how far Rusev has fallen in the past year. Yet when you’ve got plus points that include AJ Styles and The Roc, I can forget about those things for a while. So here we are my three favourite things from Monday Night Raw.
Chris Jericho Vs AJ Styles
How can you have a list of good points and not include AJ Styles. It’s still incredibly surreal seeing him inside a WWE ring after all this years, one that it might take a bit of getting use too. I’m just happy to see someone with as much talent as he has finally make it to the ‘big leagues’. More specifically though, I’m delighted he didn’t go back to TNA. Styles gets another big reaction from the crowd on Raw, they even chant his name during The Authority’s opening promo.
His first match on Raw is with Chris Jericho. This is what dreams are made of folks! Jericho is a legend in wrestling, famous around the world, and I know I’ve been frustrated with his recent run but this is a fantasy booking dream match. It must have been pretty special for AJ as well. Styles has wrestled some of the most talented people in the business, but going one on one with Jericho in a WWE ring must have been on his bucket list. It would certainly be on mine. During his entrance AJ shouts that “this is where he belongs”. You’re God damn right it is!
One minor criticism, if you can call it that is hearing JBL call AJ Styles a kid, when he actually wrestled for WCW, is really weird. He might be new here, but his a veteran who’s respected around the globe.
It’s starting to look more and more likely that Chris Jericho will be turning heel as well, which is great news. He’s always been at his best as a heel and his current run is certainly lacking. I’m thinking once he does he’ll feud with Dean Ambrose over the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania. Which should be awesome.
Divas Triple Threat?
Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch faced off on Raw and it was a pretty solid match until Charlotte interfered and took out both women. Revenge on Sasha for the Royal Rumble and continued decent into her new heel character. One huge plus point this match had was that Sasha Banks came out alone. I hope this means it’s the end of Team B.A.D or at least her involvement with them, she’s good enough to go alone and was only being held back.
Banks has neatly added herself into the best booked feud on the main roster. Which I think is heading towards a Triple Threat match at Wrestlemania or at least Fastlane. Personally I’d save it for ‘Mania though. WWE do need to be careful with Becky Lynch here though, we don’t want her to become the forgotten third person again.
One question though. How is it that the former NXT women can be booked so well (granted it took a while to get the ball rolling) with the best built feud on the roster. Yet the other ‘divas’ are still struggling with throw away three minute tag team matches. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad they’re focusing on them but can you not multitask WWE?
The Rock is back! Hell Yeah! The Miami crowd go crazy for the hometown hero. Rocky proceeds to cut an amazing promo. It starts with him interuppting The Miz, upsetting the Big Show, flirting with Lana much to the annoyance of Rusev. Every conversation and confrontation is hilarious. He’s even come up with a new catchphrase “You alright!”.
The fun continues as The Rock makes his entrance to the ring. He talks to some cosplayers, dressed as Macho Man and Hulk Hogan, who just got moved from the hard camera. Vince must be pulling his hair out, but Rock can do what he wants and goes on as long as he wants at this point. In what must be the least PG anything on WWE television Rocky talks about weed and llama penises just to name a few. Again, The Rock can get away with anything. If Adam Rose cut this promo he’d be fired before he got backstage.
New Day join in the fun, which is amazing as well. I love The New Day so much. The Usos get involved too and we get a rock bottom and a peoples elbow. Great stuff and the crowd are very happy.
This was without any doubt the best promo Raw has seen in years. The Rock and The New Day were on point. i’ll even forgive the involvement of The Usos. When Rock is good, he’s untouchable. Past and certainly not present. I wanted this promo to last at least til the end of the show, if not forever. It was so, so good. The downside is that whenever Rocky does come back, it’s bitter sweet as it really shows us what we’re missing these days.