Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Raw OLE Review

Right off the bat, the hot Chicago crowd got going because Shane McMahon opened things. He thanked the fans for their reaction and ripped into the company. He even went so far as to say that when he takes over "guys with no talent will not get all of the breaks." It's like Shane is the entire IWC right now. A gong went off and the crowd popped but it quickly turned to "No Chance in Hell" as Vince trolled the Chicago fans. They chanted "CM Punk" but Vince quickly owned them and the chants stopped. He showed a picture of him and a young Shane at Shane's first WWE show before stomping on it. He brought out security to escort Shane. Of course, this led to Shane shadow boxing them like he does. Solid enough segment to build towards WrestleMania.

The first match of the night saw Kevin Owens take on Neville in a non-title match. They worked at a fun pace and had a really strong match considering they had no backstory or anything leading into it. Neville came close to winning on some massive spots like a shooting star press to the outside and second rope Phoenix splash before Owens rolled him up to win. Owens went to continue the attack with an apron powerbomb but SAMI ZAYN showed up and attacked his lifelong rival.The Chicago crowd reacted perfectly as Zayn and Owens went at it before they sent the IC Champion packing. Give me Zayn/Owens at Mania please. Things had to cool down after two hot segments so we got Brie Bella vs. Summer Rae. Brie was in shorts, which gets ***** from me. Lana came out for the distraction finish to give Summer the win. Remember when Lana and Summer were rivals? Lana was also in her weird denim attire from her Ziggler faze and she planted Brie with her own Bella Buster. I still don't get where this is going. Moving on, Dean Ambrose came out and cut a similar promo to the one he did on Smackdown. Triple H interrupted and they hyped the upcoming WWE Title match at Roadblock this Saturday. It was nothing special as a segment but still better than anything from the Reigns/HHH camp. HHH announced Dean/Bray as the main event tonight. Oh joy.

Earlier in the day on Twitter, Dolph Ziggler said some negative things about the Authority. Because of that, he was was put in a handicap elimination match against the League of Nations, minus Alberto Del Rio. Ziggler eliminated Barrett only, most likely as a punishment for leaving the company, before losing to Rusev and Sheamus. Nobody cared. After a great video package highlighting Shane McMahon's career, we moved onto performers that people care about. Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch. They beat Team BAD in about two minutes but got attacked by Charlotte post-match to sell the Triple Threat at WrestleMania. A perfectly acceptable segment.

I haven't been the biggest fan of the tandem of Y2AJ but they got their Tag Team Title shot against New Day. What followed proved to be the best match on Raw so far in 2016. Both teams worked hard to put together a great match with several near falls and we even got to see AJ bust out the springboard 450 splash. Surprisingly, New Day not only retained but did so cleanly. After the match, Chris Jericho turned on AJ, laying him out with three Codebreakers. This segment worked on many levels, delivering a great match, showcasing Styles and getting the heel turn over. Following this, Kalisto defeated Tyler Breeze in what was basically a squash match. Fine for Kalisto, but poor Tyler Breeze. He got his wish of the callup and it's been a nightmare.

Staying with Kalisto, he got interviewed by Jojo and spoke of his idols growing up as a fan. Ryback interrupted and cut a WAY too long promo on big guys vs. little guys and things like that. He then went out and squashed Curtis Axel. The Social Outcasts cut a pretty fun promo beforehand at least. After some unimportant backstage stuff, Bray Wyatt cuts a very short promo on his upcoming match with Brock Lesnar. He then faced Dean Ambrose in an okay at best match. They never clicked the way they should have. The crowd couldn't care less either. The Wyatt Family showed up for the DQ and took out Ambrose. Triple H showed up and they teased Bray challenging him as he touched the WWE Title. The problem is, nobody buys Bray as a serious threat. They left and Triple H cleared off the announce table to attack Dean. Instead, he was hit with Dirty Deeds and Ambrose stood tall with the WWE Title.

This episode got off to a great start with Shane McMahon and the arrival of Sami Zayn. Owens/Neville was strong and the Tag Team Title match was fantastic. The final hour of the show was lackluster and things kind of died down. Still, the crowd was hot for the most part and it helped along the show. 7/10.