WWE RAW Review (10/2/17): S.H.I.E.L.D.
Welcome back to Ryan’s Raw Review, the only Raw write up on the internet that embraces alliteration. This week’s show was live from Denver, Colorado and opened up with a moment of silence for all the victims of the Las Vegas terror attack. Sunday’s horrific incident marked the 273rd instance of a mass shooting in the USA just this year, and it’s hard to remember a time when there was more division in this country. Wrestling is obviously not the answer to all our nation’s problems, but I’m especially glad it exists on day’s like yesterday, when you could take a break from the chaos and enjoy the ridiculousness that is the WWE. And hey, it was a great show!
Average Nobodies note: make sure to follow us on Twitter – @averagenobodies and like us on Facebook – Facebook.com/AverageNobodies. We love talking pro wrestling, so you can comment on this post or reach out to us on social media if you want to join the discussion. You can also find all of our wrestling content by clicking the ‘wrestling’ tab under the banner on our home page.
And now, the Raw Review for October 2, 2017.
Booking Like It’s 1997
From a storyline perspective, this might’ve been one of the best Raw’s of the year. Over at With Spandex, Brandon Stroud is doing the lord’s work with his vintage best and worst of Raw reviews, and he’s currently reviewing late September Raw’s from 1997. This is the era of WWE (then WWF) where Stone Cold turned into a cult hero, The Rock finally turned heel, Shawn Michaels and HHH formed DX and Bret Hart was a Canadian folk hero. It was an amazing time for pro wrestling, and one of the best parts of those shows were that storylines intersected and things that happened earlier in the show tied into what was happening later. Fast forward 20 years and a few weeks and you have last night’s show, which beautifully tied together three segments and brought back one of the best factions of all time.
The show kicked off with Braun Strowman vs. Seth Rollins, and it was a great match without giving too much away. Rollins/Strowman is a money matchup, so I’m glad they gave us just enough to keep us wanting more. I’m also glad Strowman went over clean, and if you ever doubted Strowman’s ability to recover from shitty booking, look at him last night versus after No Mercy. He’s such a unique guy that all it takes are a few good matches against guys who aren’t afraid to let him throw them around and he’s back to being the beautiful, unpredictable, violent monster that we all love.
The story they told was great too, as Rollins pulled out almost all the moves in his arsenal just to weaken Braun, but Strowman ended up being too strong and reversed Rollins’ dance move knee into a vicious clothesline. One power slam later and Braun was victorious, but because he’s a violent monster he went back for more and slammed Rollins again. That brought out Dean Ambrose to defend his fallen partner, and he got predictably squashed. Before Braun can even get to the back The Bar came out like a couple of vultures and hit a Neutralizer and Brogue Kick for good measure. All of this happened in 15 minutes. Braun Strowman is a monster again, the tag champs showed they actually care about each other and the #1 contenders for the tag belts showed why they’re big time jerks.
Later in the show Roman Reigns took on The Miz for the IC title and it was another really good match, because The Miz is the best and whether you love or hate Roman Reigns, the guy is consistently aces in the ring when he keeps it under 15 minutes. I was in love with this match before it even started, and it had to do with the little things great performers do that enhance the story. The crowd wants The Shield to reform so bad, so what did the Miz-Tourage do last week? They attacked Reigns with chairs and did The Shield fist bump over his unconscious body.
This week? They enter from the crowd a la The Shield. It’s GREAT. What is also great is Roman Reigns dropping the sarcasm and indifferent attitude and beating the crap out of Axel and Bo Dallas with Superman punches and a steel chair. Reigns is close to being the total package, and he’s at his apex when he drops the silliness and uses that focused aggression that made him so badass in The Shield. While I’m not the biggest fan of ending title matches with interference, it was the best call for everyone involved. The Miz is not beating Roman Reigns clean at this point and Reigns doesn’t need the IC title. Plus, if you’re going to have the match end in a DQ, why not bring back out The Bar to take out the only member of the former Shield that they haven’t murdered yet?
The Bar linking up with The Miz might seem random, but Cesaro and Sheamus hate Rollins and Ambrose, so why wouldn’t they also want to take out someone like Reigns who has a shared history with them? Miz, Cesaro and Sheamus have also been hearing the non stop chatter about The Shield reforming, so instead of sitting back and waiting for it to happen, they’re being proactive and taking them all out. It also ties in the opening segment, and leads to one of the best Raw moments of the year:
SHIT IS ON. My only drawback to The Shield reforming last week was that them vs. Miz-Tourage would be like me and my two friends facing Lebron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in a game of pickup basketball. But when you sub in Cesaro and Sheamus for Axel and Dallas, you have a legitimate, compelling matchup. Well done all around.
Wait, that wasn’t the whole show? Now that I’ve written almost 1,000 words about The Shield reuniting, let’s get to the rest of the show.
Mickie James, #1 Contender
I think the most unrealistic part of last night’s show was WWE trying to convince us that Mickie James has her own dressing room. The writers didn’t even know she was apart of the women’s division a few weeks ago, but now that Alexa needs some fresh meat before Asuka shows up, Mickie is given a title match. I would complain that Mickie got a title shot after hitting one move on Nia Jax and winning via DQ, but Bayley got inserted into the Fatal Five Way match at No Mercy by just showing up, so I guess it’s par for the course.
Later in the show Emma and Alicia Fox take on Sasha Banks and Bayley, and the only notable thing that happens is Emma betraying Alicia Fox and walking out on the match. It’s clear the women’s division is in a holding pattern until Asuka shows up at TLC, and while that’s not the most exciting thing in the world, Asuka is legitimately going to change the entire division, so I’m ok with it.
Elias vs. Denver
Elias continues to deliver, especially during his pre match promos dissing whatever town they’re in. Last night’s might’ve been my favorite of the bunch, as he told the crowd he’d rather drown himself a mile below the ocean than live in Denver. Elias would rather commit suicide than live there. That is cold blooded. The match with Titus is fine, but nothing special, and Elias continues to single handedly take down Titus Worldwide.
The Club Win! The Club Win!
Jeff Hardy tore up his rotator cuff so Matt Hardy and Jason Jordan have joined forces. They beat Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel last week but this week they go up against an actual tag team, and they lose. I know The Club aren’t exactly The Midnight Express, but from a logical standpoint, the tag team that dominated Japan and have been together for years should beat two singles guys who teamed up because of an injury. The match isn’t going to be on any best of year end lists, but it worked and had a clean finish. Plus, Hardy and Jordan are another tag team in a division that desperately needs tag teams. If The Revival can hurry up and get back and stop being injured we might have a real division on our hands.
Sister Abigail is Alive!
Speaking of 1997, here’s was my first thought when Bray Wyatt said Sister Abigail was alive:
Fast forward to the 5:30 mark if you don’t want to watch The Undertaker slap the shit out of poor Paul Bearer.
I don’t know why Finn and Bray are still feuding, but Bray needs a change more than any character on the roster. Bringing in Sister Abigail might be that change, but nothing will matter if he keeps losing all his important matches. Per usual, I will let this storyline string me along and then be very disappointed when Bray loses at TLC.
For the second week in a row Enzo & the cruiserweights (great band name) close out the show, and while it worked well last week, there was too much other stuff going on in this episode for this to be the final segment. Enzo roasting each cruiserweight was great, and Kalisto has belonged in the division since it’s inception, but making Kalisto the grand reveal at the end of a show that saw THE SHIELD reform isn’t fair to Kalisto. I don’t know how much Enzo affects ratings for 205 Live, but unless it’s astronomical they need to ship him away and let Kalisto, Neville and the rest of the division tear shit up.