- Roman Reigns def. King Barrett via Pinfall
The match was decent for what it was, and kicked off the night of Reigns earning his way in to the Money in the bank match. I was probably the better match out of Reigns’ night.
- Ryback vs The Miz never starts
It was all just setup for Big Show vs Ryback
- Dolph Ziggler def. Kofi Kingston via Pinfall
If given enough time, this could have been the best match of the night. It was fast paced throughout the entire match, and Dolph Ziggler landed a killer drop kick to Kingston that was worthy of a few replays. The match ending so quick wasn’t as big of a deal once the six man tag match started immediately afterwards.
- The Primetime Players def. The New Day via Pinfall
The New Day attacked Ziggler after his match against Kingston before The Primetime Players ran in for the save. Titus O’Neil was the standout in the match as he tossed The New Day aside like a sack of old laundry he swore he’d wash, but knows he’ll get around to. As good as the match was, it felt more like an extension to Ziggler vs Kingston than a separate event. So I’m going to group both Ziggler vs Kingston along with The Primetime Players and Ziggler vs The New Day as match of the night.
- Roman Reigns def. Mark Henry via Count out
Although Henry didn’t look nearly as good in the ring with Reigns as Barret did, it ended in a way that made a lot of sense. And despite losing, Henry delivered a serious beat down to Reigns after the match. This was an obvious setup for Reigns to take on another opponent later while suffering from the abuse he had taken earlier from both Barret and Henry.
- Nikki Bella def. Paige via Pinfall
WWE doesn’t have a clue as to what they are doing with the Bellas. First they were a heel group, then WWE hoped they would just get over as a face team without really developing them, now I guess they are heels again judging by how the match ended. The match was awkward as Nikki did push ups like a heel out of nowhere before Brie helped her score the win. The crowd simply had no idea as to how they were suppose to react. Until WWE actually take the time to develop the Bellas, the way they are being handled will always be a reminder of all of the problems the Divas division have continued to suffer from.
- Randy Orton def. Sheamus via DQ
A good match, but ended in a disqualification before Sheamus viciously attacks Orton afterwards. Not sure if this was the beginning of a feud, or simply Sheamus just heeling up the joint. But I like the idea of this new dominant and aggressive version of Sheamus taking on The Viper.
- Neville def. Bo Dallas via Pinfall
Not as interesting as their match the night before, and extremely short. Neville never seemed like he was in any real danger of losing the match.
- Roman Reigns def. Bray Wyatt via Pinfall
This match was the biggest disappointment of the night. I can buy Reigns beating Bray Wyatt. But a hurt Reigns beating Wyatt after having two previous matches earlier in the night is unbelievable. Bray Wyatt has been marketed as the new face of fear, and had recently defeated Ryback clean. It seems like he is too big of a threat to serve as just another opponent for Reigns to run through at the end of the night. Simply put, Reigns should have lost due to what he had to endure earlier in the night. Wyatt scoring the win would have given him a believable victory over Reigns while not hurting Roman’s momentum at all. And as for Reigns entering Money in the bank, there are plenty of ways he could have still entered it if written smart enough. Having the show go with the Authority winning and successfully screwing Reigns over would have served him better than him going out as unbelievably unstoppable.
After one of the best pay per views WWE has had in a while, Raw turned in to “Everybody Loves Roman” as he became the focus of the entire show. WWE has been piggybacking Reigns off of Ambrose lately in hopes of getting him over. And while it was growing more obvious of their plan as weeks went by, the act became completely blatant as Reigns hit the ring at the beginning of Raw to speak on the behalf of Ambrose.
Dean Ambrose received a huge reaction after fans thought he had won the world title. Instead of capitalizing off of that along with him stealing the belt the night before, he’s basically left off TV as Reigns relayed his demands for him. Although it would have been better for Ambrose to handle everything on his own, Reigns speaking for him would have had a bigger impact if Dean would have actually had the night off. Having him show up at the end of the show did nothing but render Reigns’ involvement in his feud with Rollins completely unnecessary. In fact, it actually makes Ambrose look weaker for not handling it on his own.
The night also booked Reigns entirely too strong after he defeated Wyatt. A better storyline would have consisted of Reigns losing to Wyatt and losing his spot at Money in the bank. The show would have went off the air with the Authority getting the last laugh. The next Raw could have consisted of Ambrose deciding to trade the world title in exchange for Reigns receiving his spot back in the match. Simple storytelling like that would have made the Authority look great in their heel position, Wyatt look good, and it would have kept Reigns strong while still allowing him to compete at Money in the bank. It would have also showed how much Ambrose valued his friendship with Reigns. Simple and subtle storytelling can accomplish a goal without overbooking one particular superstar entirely too strong to reach it.
But aside from it being the Roman Reigns show, the episode had an amazing segment between John Cena and Kevin Owens that truly stole the show. Their promos against each other were strong and emotional. It brought the same excitement and intensity as their match against each other at Elimination Chamber. Their feud against each other is one of the best things both men have been involved in from a storytelling perspective.
While the episode had some good moments, it suffered from a lack of stand out matches. Roman Reigns focus aside, there just wasn’t enough good in ring content. I loved the Sonic commercial segment as well as Owens and Cena, but it wasn’t enough to keep me entertained throughout a three hour show. So to judge the episode in its entirety, it was slightly below average, and didn’t capitalize off of the ending of Elimination Chamber at all.