RAW – 5/23/2016

I don’t normally do RAW recaps, because I don’t usually watch it live and I don’t have time to get proper recaps up in any kind of timely fashion.  I know you guys aren’t trying to wait until the weekend to read my not so hot takes on a show that aired six days earlier. But I’m making an exception this time because I went to the show.  Baltimore is a great wrestling town so taking in a show is always a good time.  I took some pictures, too.

This show was huge, and a kickass way to follow up a pay per view event.  Seth Rollins made his return to RAW after 200 days away and got a warm reception when he came out, but was able to turn the crowd on him like a real pro.

20160523_200642 Seth returns

Then out came Roman Reigns and Shane McMahon and we got our big announcement of a WWE Title match between the two set for Money in the Bank in June.  (We know, of course, that it isn’t just going to be so cut and dried by the time the show happens).

20160523_201114   20160523_201241 Shane o Mac!

One takeaway from this for me was that when Rollins becomes a RAW regular again they need to keep him away from the 20 minute monologues he was doing last year.  OK, they should keep everyone from doing any of those.  That’s not a dis but there just aren’t too many guys who can do that kind of thing week after week and keep it compelling, not to mention following it up with backstage vignettes and a match every week, sometimes two.

But that wasn’t the only thing popping at the show.  There were five qualifying matches for Money in the Bank won by Sami Zayn over Sheamus, Chris Jericho over Apollo Crews (special shout out to Y2J for wearing a bunch of band aids to sell the thumbtack spot from the night before), Cesaro over the Miz (both guys were way over and put on a really good match), Dean Ambrose over Dolph Ziggler (crowd was mostly quiet for this one until the finish, maybe because we knew who was gonna win), and in the show main event Kevin Owens over AJ Styles (complete with some pay per view worthy spots).

20160523_202418 Sami vs Sheamus

20160523_205655 Miz and Maryse

20160523_210129 Cesaro

20160523_223730 AJ Styles

20160523_224916 Kevin Owens

But wait, there was more!  New Day came out and did what they do best.  Those guys are still rocking the house after almost a year of putting their personas together and it’s still fresh.  Those guys are so over that when I was in the parking garage afterwards there were a ton of people honking their horns to the tune that Xavier Woods plays on his trombone during their matches.

20160523_204036 New Day Rocks

Enzo Amore was back, and he and Big Cas were way over with the crowd.  Enzo is even crazier to see live in person than on TV.  And lastly, there was the big shocking promo segment of the night where Charlotte completely roasted her Dad Ric Flair.  She got more heat for that promo than any other segment I’ve seen her do.  For someone like me who grew up watching Ric work at the Baltimore Arena, seeing him get cooked like that was shocking.  And you could tell it was hard for her to get all the words out (it was a quasi shoot, basically) but Ric’s still a pro and sold it like the champ he is.

20160523_220055

All in all, this was a great show.  I personally think writing RAW is the hardest job on TV.  Three hours of live television with no hiatus.  The shows that are normally recognized as the best on TV run anywhere from a dozen to 22 episodes with breaks during the season.  No such thing here.  Yes, you or I could probably write a good episode or even a few good ones.  But what they do is a whole other matter.

So who’s going to be the sixth and final person in the Money in the Bank match?  I’m betting on either Bray Wyatt or Randy Orton.  We shall see…..

 

 

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