By Steven Flora
Raw’s newest superstars looked to make the most impact this week, with some severe consequences lying ahead. With some hard hitting action and a first ever “Dumpster Match,” Raw’s go-home show ahead of WWE Payback was quite underwhelming.
Wyatt rises again
Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz ended in a no contest match
This match came about when Raw GM Kurt Angle announced that both Jericho and Ambrose will team up to face Miz and a partner of his choosing. Searching far and wide, Miz was convinced he found a partner and walked to the ring quite confidently. When he announced his partner, he no-showed and the match instead turned into a 2-on-1 handicap match. Jericho chokes out Miz, keeping control as they work a solid, but bland match. Miz begs off, and then slaps Ambrose before running. Jericho tags in, runs wild, hits the double sledge off the top and then the bulldog and lionsault. Miz fights off the code breaker, but Jericho sends him to the floor and Miz takes a walk, only for Ambrose to attack. They brawl to the announce table, and on top of it. But Bray Wyatt appears after the lights went dark to attack Ambrose, hitting Sister Abigail on the stage. Jericho then attacks Wyatt, but Miz cuts him off and they take Jericho to the ring. Miz then walks into the code breaker, but Wyatt hits Jericho with Sister Abigail and stands tall. Wyatt then lays out Miz with Sister Abigail and poses over him.
Side Note: Honestly, I’m confused with Wyatt at this moment. One minute he’s feuding with Orton for the WWE title, then he sets his sights on Finn Balor, and now he’s got problems with Ambrose. Wyatt needs a clear direction and a couple of wins under his belt because as of now, he’s slowly becoming irrelevant.
Braun ‘reigns’ supreme over Kalisto
Kalisto def. Braun Strowman in a Dumpster match
There were so many things wrong with this match, I don’t even know where to start.
Kalisto smartly uses his speed, hitting and moving with leg kicks. He hits a springboard missile dropkick and then a jawbreaker. Braun then looks to toss him in the dumpster, but Kalisto works a guillotine and tries to pull him into the dumpster. Braun just destroys him with a corner splash and then caves in his chest with a clubbing strike. Braun then tries to toss him in the dumpster, but Kalisto hangs onto the ropes and they battle on the apron until Kalisto escapes. Kalisto then dropkicks Braun into the dumpster (he lands on his feet) and wins.
Side Note: I’m still scratching my head as to why Strowman had to lose. The only option I can come up with his how if he lost, he’d beat Kalisto to within an inch of his life. Though even if he won, he still would’ve done that already because he’s Braun Strowman and he runs Raw, not Roman Reigns. I’m still holding out for Strowman to challenge Lesnar later down the line for the WWE Universal title because that would be an amazing match between two goliaths.
Rollins looks for redemption
Seth Rollins, Big Cass & Finn Balor def. Gallows and Anderson & Samoa Joe
Now I know what you’re thinking, where is Enzo Amore? Well, Amore walked down the ramp where he and Cass were jumped by Joe, Gallows and Anderson. One magic killer later and Amore was out cold, unable to compete in the 6-man tag match. Enter the ‘Demon King’ Finn Balor. Everyone brawls to begin, with Cass working over Gallows and hitting the sack of shit slam. Rollins and Balor work quick tags, continuing to work over Gallows. Gallows cuts off Balor, tags in Anderson, but Balor fights them off until Joe tags in, allowing the heels to take the heat and work over Balor in their corner. Balor takes out Joe, allowing Rollins to hit his wind up knee strike after teasing a pedigree for the win.
A random cruiserweight match because why not?
Jack Gallagher & Austin Aries def. Neville & TJ Perkins
Neville & Perkins took the heat on Gallagher. Gallagher fired up, tried to fight out of the corner and then slams Neville & Perkins together. Aries gets the hot tag, runs wild and sends Neville to the floor. Aries hits the heat seeking missile to both opponents, back in and covers Perkins for 2 and transitions into the last chancery. Neville makes the save, Gallagher comes in and it breaks down as Gallagher takes out Neville with the head butt. Two rolling forearms by Aries on Perkins are good enough to pick up the win.
Side Note: This match was a great show of athleticism and energy from all four men. TJ Perkins is stuck in a huge rut at the moment because whether he’s a face or heel, he’s not getting any reaction from the crowd, which is not a good sign. Gallagher still enjoys playing the comedy face role, however, it seems momentarily that’s all he’s good at. Neville continues his reign as ‘King of the Cruiserweights’ and Austin Aries seems wasted in the cruiserweight division.
Other notable moments
Matt Hardy and Sheamus had a below standard match. Sheamus jacked Matt with a great knee strike, sending Matt to the floor. Sheamus followed and hit the Finlay roll on the floor. He shoved Jeff away, and Jeff gets on the apron, Cesaro pulls him off as Matt hits Sheamus with the twist of fate for the win. Winner: Matt Hardy.
Apollo Crews took on the jobber Curt Hawkins in a pointless match. At one point when Crews came out, he got zero reaction from the crowd, which really annoyed me because he’s so good in the ring. Crews needs a new direction, like Wyatt, and fast because at the moment, both are indeed irrelevant. As soon as the bell rang, Crews hits the clothesline and the enziguri and then the Apollo bomb for the win. Winner: Apollo Crews.
Overall Raw Rating: F+
Things to look forward to next week
What’s next for Nia Jax?
Who will be the next rising star to take on Neville for his Cruiserweight title?
When will we ever see Brock Lesnar again?
Will Elias Samson ever wrestle?
How will Roman Reigns stop Braun Strowman?