For the first time in a long time, I thoroughly enjoyed Monday Night RAW from start to finish. For a show that’s three hours long, that’s an impressive feat. It got me thinking. Was it good because a) The Superstar Shakeup has given the creative team the jolt of inspiration it so desperately needed? Or was it so good because b) Roman Reigns and Stephanie McMahon both weren’t featured on the show. Hmmmm.
SmackDown wasn’t as strong, but it really has proven itself to be the land of opportunity. A new Number One Contender for the WWE Championship was named, somebody literally nobody thought they would ever see rise to the top so fast, if at all. Who was it? Read on for the five best and five worst moments this week in WWE.
10. WORST – Why Dean Ambrose And The Miz? Again?
The Miz and Dean Ambrose were just in a feud together on SmackDown a couple months ago. Now that they’re traded to RAW, shouldn’t they be wrestling different people? Hopefully, this is all in WWE’s grand plan to get the title back on Miz at least. But really though, how interesting can this feud possibly be?
9. BEST – Kevin Owens’ Open Challenge
Remember when John Cena was United States Champion and issued out open challenges every week? Well, Kevin Owens is doing the same thing now, but instead of taking on real challenges, he’s facing local nobodies instead and obliterating them. I love it. It just goes to show you how great of a heel Owens is.
8. WORST – Jinder Mahal???
This is a mixed bag. On one hand, surprise is good. On the other hand, WWE should have done a little more to convince us Jinder Mahal is an actual threat before naming him Number One Contender to the WWE Championship. He has been consecutively losing all year, and it’s hard to believe he has a real chance at defeating Randy Orton next month. He may have The Bollywood Boys backing him now, but this all just seems a little too fast.
7. BEST – Jinder Mahal!!!
Like I said though, this is a mixed bag. Change is good. Surprise is good. Everybody’s talking about Jinder Mahal even though nobody thought they would be talking about Jinder Mahal. However, WWE does have to be careful. Making the only Indian wrestlers the bad guys could turn this entire thing into a PR Nightmare.
6. WORST – American Alpha’s Quick Defeat
So I guess moving to SmackDown makes you a better wrestler over night. After being the resident jobbers of RAW for the past year, Primo and Epico have been repackaged as The Colons and now they’re apparently the team to watch as they’ve now defeated former Tag Team Champions American Alpha. Just like Jinder Mahal, it’s moving a little too fast. If WWE wanted to give The Colons a win, it should have been a longer more competitive match, or they should have first defeated a lesser team in Fandango and Tyler Breeze.
5. BEST – Charlotte and Naomi
Charlotte opened up SmackDown Live to demand a title shot, in which Naomi replied by bashing her in the face with her fists. The two later wrestled in a match and Charlotte actually defeated Naomi f[l]air and square, which means next week Charlotte will get to face Naomi again but for her Women’s title. Though not the best match, Charlotte has given the entire division on SmackDown much more credibility by her presence alone.
4. WORST – Alicia Fox Storyline Makes NO Sense
The storytelling here makes little to no sense, so try and follow along. Or don’t.
Rich Swann was revealed to be Alicia Fox’s “secret admirer” last week when he gave her a box that exploded white powder all over her face. Turns out he was just giving her gifts to embarrass and show the world how horrible she is. Fast forward to this week, Fox breaks up with boyfriend Noam Dar because apparently he’s a loser and then tries to kiss Swann, the same man who publicly embarrassed and laughed in her face last week. He stops her, being like “No, I don’t want you. Duh!” And she’s like “meh, I want to be single anyway.”
3. BEST – Fatal Four Way
Axing Charlotte out of the division and bringing in Alexa Bliss to take her place was one of the smartest moves of the entire Shakeup. The Fatal Fourway was expertly crafted, Nia Jax dominating Bliss, Mickie James, and Sasha Banks throughout most of the match up until Bliss wisely took advantage of Jax by stealing her pin on Banks and earning herself a shot at Bayley’s Women’s Championship next Sunday at Payback.
2. WORST – Braun Strowman Talks Too Much
I love Braun Strowman, I do, but does WWE need to script him to speak so much? For example, at the beginning of the show, he said he would plow through everyone in the locker room to prove he’s a monster among men. So when he later attacked Goldust and R-Truth, did he really have to say “I SAAAAID… EEEEEVERYYYYONEEEE!”
1. BEST – RAW Main Event: Braun Strowman vs. The Big Show
Now when Braun Strowman gets physical, it makes for awesome television. He and The Big Show wrestled one another for the second time in a match just as good if not better than their first outing. Show is in the best shape of his life, and you could argue the same for Strowman. A superplex in the end would cause the ring to collapse and although we’ve seen this twice before, this IS the first time somebody stood up from the wreckage.
As long as WWE doesn’t screw things up, they have a big star on the rise in Braun Strowman. WWE would be wise to continue on this momentum. Having him lose to Roman Reigns next Sunday at Payback would have made this all for nothing.