Welcome to Monday Night Raw, the night after WWE Payback, and there’s lots to discuss!
So, Roman Reigns returned last night and faced an angry Braun Strowman. Well the night didn’t end well for Roman as he was defeated and then crushed with the steel steps. This puts Braun on a collision course with Brock Lensar for Great Balls of Fire in July. This leaves more than a two month gap between now and that match, which obviously leaves us in a weird position. We all know this is the shitty part of having a part-timer as Champion, and building your entire show around him. What fills the time for Strowman between now and July 9th? Well it isn’t clear yet that Lesnar won’t be at Extreme Rules on June 4th, however the press release said Lesnar would defend his title at Great Balls of Fire, not appear, leading one to assume that will be his first defence. And of course, where does Roman go from here? The Big Dog is beaten and no longer worthy of the moniker. Does he take some more time off? Or does he start feuding with someone like Samoa Joe? Hopefully we get a better idea after tonight.
Speaking of Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins defeated Joe last night with a roll-up. It was a fairly boring match that was all-too-similar to Rollins Vs. Triple H at ‘Mania. That’s to say that the knee-angle was fine but it’s getting old fast. Yes we know Seth got injured again but it’s not like any of it stops him from hitting the Phoenix Splash, suicide dive’s, and even a finisher that uses his knee as a weapon. It’s hard to buy into his injury, or care, when he can still beat someone like Samoa Joe. “Please cheer our hurt babyface even though he never loses clean and more often than not, finds a way to win.” It’s the same Roman Reigns shtick that we hate. I would imagine this feud isn’t over but for Samoa Joe’s sake, I wish it were.
Alexa Bliss dethroned Bayley to become the new Raw Women’s Champion, and to become the first ever woman to hold the Raw and SmackDown Live Women’s Championship belts. This was a solid match that showcased how far Alexa has come since NXT, how amazing her facials are, and how she can run the division as the top heel. Not to mention a DDT finished the match! Somewhere Good Ole J.R is over the moon with glee. Bayleys title run never really took off in my mind, it just never kicked into a higher gear. Plus Bayley is much better at chasing titles than she is holding them, so I’m looking forward to part 2 of this feud.
There was two shocking moments last night at Payback: 1) Sheamus and Cesaro turned on The Hardy Boyz, and 2) Chris Jericho defeated Kevin Owens for the United States Championship. Now, considering this is Raw, the latter fact isn’t all that relevant here. However I just wanted to mention that Y2J won a fun match, when everyone assumed his chances were zilch, seeing as he’s heading out with Fozzy to tour. The more Raw-centric development though, was the good tag team match that saw Matt and Jeff retain over a game Shesaro. It was a hard-hitting match that saw Matt get busted open and Jeff lose a tooth, then Shesaro beat them down after the fact. This was a much-needed development for these two teams to continue the feud, get fans invested, add some intensity to their matches, keep Shesaro relevant, and, most importantly, perhaps signal the forthcoming of BROKEN Matt and BROTHER NERO! Matt and Jeff might not appear on Raw tonight, to sell the injuries, but we’re all hoping they do and they are ready to DELETE!
Also on Payback last night, Bray Wyatt won a pretty awful match against Randy Orton, which did not further Bray as a credible star in any way, Enzo and Big Cass beat Anderson and Gallows in a forgettable affair, and The Miz and Finn Balor set in motion a feud with a great Miz TV segment. There’s sure to be a ton of fallout on tonight’s Raw, so buckle in and get chattering in the comments section! Don’t forget to check out the free Ringside News app, and enjoy the show!