Its the last time we’re going to see Monday Night Raw in its current format. On Tuesday night, Smackdown Live is, err Live for the first time in the new run and the brand split officially kicks off as the WWE Draft happens.
For those unaware of the rules, they’re probably fairly confusing. Raw gets the first pick – flagship show innit – and for every two picks Smackdown gets, Raw gets three – because its longer, (can they not just draft the final hour to elsewhere on the network?) Also six picks will come from NXT.
GM’s are back and its a hardcore YES
Steph and Shane kicked off the show and did the same schtick they’ve been doing since Daddy Mac, (Mac Daddy? Hmm, anyway) put them in charge of Raw. Eventually each of the McSiblings revealed their pick to run their shows.
Steph introduced the hardcore legend Mick Foley to a fun – and not so cheap – pop. Its always great to see Mrs Foley’s baby boy, but his introduction was weird. It seemed to me as if he missed a line – spot Steph whispering in his ear at one point, uncomfortably telling him what to say next – something wasn’t clicking live.
Shane blew it out of the water with the return of the Yes movement as Daniel Bryan was introduced as GM of Smackdown Live! Its no shock that D Bry received a massive reception, its Daniel Bryan, he’s the man the fans love, a true champion and a great guy. Yes, Yes, YES!
I don’t know how long Mick will last before the spectre of HHH will arrive. Whereas its cool to see a man claiming he wants to bring back the feeling of the Attitude Era back to Raw, yet all I could think of was that Mick was there to shill Holy Foley on the network whilst on Raw. Lets see what Smackdown brings.
Cruiserweight’s are a-coming to Raw.
If you haven’t watched the Cruiserweight Classic series on the WWE Network yet, do so, right now, its brilliant. From the visual presentation to the commentary from Ranallo and Bryan, the CWC is a great product. In the opening spiel, Steph announced that the cruiserweights will be exclusive to Raw and this is exciting – or maybe not. The CWC is unique and exciting and Triple H wants it to be a ‘brand’ of its own. Bringing it onto Raw is genuinely going to make it or break it. There’s no middle ground here, we’re either going to get exciting action that the fans are into AND the management allow to breathe and work or they’ll get bored of the spot monkey stuff they’ll encourage when the third Cruiserweight match tanks in the ratings and it’ll be pushed to back on the network. I hope its option one.
Getting all the talent on the show
Something that is generally reserved for Wrestlemania but appeared here on Raw was the, ‘lets get everyone into one big match’ routine as Cena, Enzo & Cass and the New Day took on the Wyatt’s and The Club. The huge pre-match, ‘all parties do your promo’ bit seemed more of an opportunity to sell that Cena isn’t totally on the same page as Enzo & Cass than push any other feuds. It was a bit clunky and the only highlight was when Enzo called out Styles’ barnet – finally. Saying that Enzo was on fire & the finish of the match was furthering the cause that Cena & the hottest tag team in NXT (past) are not on the same page. I would have preferred to hear the Wyatt’s talk too, but hey COMMERCIALS.
WWE World (Heavyweight) Championship controversy
Ever since the brand split was announced fans have theorised that the WWE World (Heavyweight) Championship may just be splitting into two titles again to give each show a flagbearer and something for the talent on each brand to strive to achieve. Last night’s main event may have been the first steps taken in that direction. After an awesome match – we know this because we have eyes and also Shane kept telling us as he was arguing with Steph after the finish – the title appeared to be in limbo as a double pin lead to confusion. On the show Rollins was declared the winner, (by Steph) and left with the gold, but this was reversed on the website and UGH WE’RE ALL CONFUSED!!! It does open a door to have a new title introduced tonight and Rollins/Ambrose to be on different shows. What was more bizarre was the insistence that Roman Reigns was set to return from his Wellness Policy ban at Battleground and that will be earlier than expected. Are WWE going to break their own rules for their (potentially former) golden boy? Where will Reigns end up in the draft? Will that give us a clue? I’ve no idea, believe that.
Bits and bobs
- Sasha Banks is awaiting the arrival of Bayley in the draft to be her partner against Charlotte & Dana, that is all. Seriously give ‘The Bo$$’ the title, then let her and Bayley at it,
- Darren Young isn’t allowed days off under the tutelage of Mr. Backlund, but its kind of fun for now,
- Sheamus, ADR, Ziggler & Ryder need career revival now – and never to be in tag matches in these combos again
- Lucha Dragons are splitting? OH FFS…