5 Stars From Last Night’s #RAW – The Beast, The Diva’s & NXT Arrives
The first Raw after WrestleMania is always one of WWE’s best shows, and while we didn’t get any major surprises like year’s past, there was still enough solid wrestling and returns/debuts to keep us satisfied. A few NXT superstars made a big impact, and a returning Irishman put his boot back to work. Let’s get to it!
1. Brock Lesnar is the best wrestler going right now
If you missed WrestleMania last night, you missed one of, if not the hardest hitting main event in the show’s history. Lesnar took on Roman Reigns, and they literally beat the shit out of each other. For most of the match, Lesnar suplex, clotheslined and F-5’d Reigns like he was playing with a toddler. Reigns mounted a comeback, but just as the tide was turning, Seth Rollins snuck in and stole the WWE Championship from both of them, leaving WrestleMania as the new champion. Needless to say, Brock Lesnar was not happy. He came out to start Raw still in his wrestling gear, and Heyman announced he would like his rematch right now. Seth Rollins initially agreed, then backed out, and Lesnar snapped. The reason Lesnar is the best wrestler going right now is because he is the most believable guy in the ring at all times. Back in the day the monster heels used to legitimately scare audiences because even though they thought it the show itself was fake, THIS guy was real. That’s how I feel about Lesnar, which is something I never thought I’d say about a guy in 2015. Even guys like Kane and Big Show, who are larger than life, don’t put the fear of God in me when they get all bug eyed like Lesnar does. Brock just wrecked any living creature that was on his side of the barricade, including F-5ing Michael Cole right out of his loafers. They needed to write Lesnar off TV until his next appearance, and now that he’s clearly over with the fans, this is better than the usual “I’m a prize fighter” excuse. In the interest of my affection for this beast, I hope he’s not away for long.
2. The Intercontinental Championship
It hasn’t even been 48 hours, but the IC and US titles already feel important again. It’s amazing what happens when you give the belts to two established guys and let them have enough time in the ring to have great matches. That’s what the mid card used to be about. Before HBK and Bret Hart were in the main event, they were having the best matches on the card as tag teams or mid card champions while guys like Hogan and Warrior were holding down the main event. Then when HBK and Bret made it to the main event, guys like HHH and the Rock took over the mid card roles. WWE lost it’s way somewhere along the journey, but a Ziggler/Bryan feud is the spark that could reignite the division. As silly as he looked, it was good to see Sheamus back as a heel, which is where he belongs. Bryan defending against Sheamus, Ziggler and a motivated Barrett not only makes for great matches, but they’re all talented enough to create great storylines as well. And please for the love of God be careful with Daniel Bryan’s precious neck.
If you’ve watched NXT, you know that Kalisto is at his worst a poor man’s Rey Mysterio and at his best an actual Rey Mysterio. He tags with the new Sin Cara and like most Lucha Libre wrestlers they rely on high flying moves and the selling abilities of their opponents. Most of the time they’re good, but they do have some stinker matches in them as well. Last night, Kalisto was ON. He was flying around the ring, and everyone from Cesaro to Viktor was selling their ass off for him. The crowd was eating it up, too. The post Mania crowds are great, but sometimes they can get a little carried away, which is what happened in the main event. There’s never a need for a crowd to chant ‘we are awesome’. Watch the show and chant all you want, but as someone watching on TV, that chant’s a little much. Anyway, the crowd was great for this match, and I’m glad Kalisto got the pin but didn’t beat either of the tag team champs. A Lucha Dragons/Swinging Cats feud is definitely something I could get on board with.
4. The United States Championship
I can pretty much copy and paste what I wrote about the IC title and put it here, because it’s pretty much the same, glorious thing. If John Cena turns into a mid card super worker and elevates the US title I will forgive a lot of things he’s done in the past. This SHOULD lead to a new and improved Rusev eventually beating Cena, but for now, I want Cena having matches like last night’s match with Ambrose. Cena’s reputation automatically makes it believable when he beats guys like Ambrose, but it’s much more effective when they have a match like this and both guys end up looking great. Ambrose doesn’t really have any knockout blows, so he’s stuck trading punches and secondary moves with a guy like Cena, and that’s a battle Cena is going to win every time. Ambrose is a little nuts, which helps him kick out of the AA and power out of the STF, but ultimately he just doesn’t have enough in the tank to win. This is how guys SHOULD be fighting over a title, and I hope Cena becomes a fighting champion, because there are guys like Ambrose, Harper and possibly Neville waiting for a shot.
5. The Divas
Their match was a little short at Mania, but it seemed like AJ, Paige and the Bella’s were really enjoying themselves out there, and same goes for last night. They were given more time and a few additions in Natalya and Naomi, and they put on a solid match. I liked the story, too, as the tease pre-Mania was AJ and Paige fighting, but now it looks like the Bella’s are no longer on the same page. As good as the Bella’s are as heels, it is time for them to split again. Nikki especially has grown into her own character, and she could benefit from a run with the title without the assistance of her sister. The Diva’s as a whole seem like their enjoying themselves more out there, and there’s a noticeable difference in the in ring product. The Give Diva’s a Chance hash tag should help the Diva’s, and it goes beyond just giving them more time in the ring. The storylines should be more wrestling centric, and the announce team should treat their matches as seriously as any other match on the card. If not, get Brock Lesnar back out there and have him take out the announce team again.