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Kurt Angle returns to ‘Monday Night Raw’ as the general manager. (WWE.com)
A new episode of Monday Night Raw just aired on the USA Network.
This was not a particularly noteworthy show, nor was it a horrible one. With two more weeks until Payback, the show mainly set a few more storylines in motion. Still, there were plenty of highlights during the episode, the key one coming during the main event.
Here’s a look at some of the most memorable moments from tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw.
10. Bray Wyatt Speaks to Randy Orton About the House of Horrors
— WWE (@WWE) April 18, 2017
In the third hour of the show, Bray Wyatt cut one of his best promos in months.
Wyatt in a pre-taped segment delivered a lengthy monologue to the camera, only this one was interspersed with random horror shots that didn’t seem to mean much but that definitely added to the atmosphere.
During the segment, Wyatt said that fear is something that brings everyone together, but Wyatt is someone who stands above the rest of us in that he doesn’t fear anything. At Payback, Wyatt says he will bring all of Randy Orton’s fears to life. Finally, Wyatt called back to Randy Orton burning down the Wyatt family compound, with Wyatt saying that he will burn down the House of Horrors with Randy Orton inside of it.
A lot of the build to this match has been disappointing, and we still don’t even have a clue what a House of Horrors match is. But on its own, this was one of Wyatt’s better promos in a while.
9. Karl Anderson Intercepts Enzo Amore’s Tag
The second match of the night was one between Enzo Amore and Big Cass and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
Overall, it was a pretty standard match featuring Enzo Amore being thrown into a whole lot of things. However, there was a great moment in this match in which Enzo Amore jumped forward to tag in Big Cass, only to be intercepted by Karl Anderson.
Soon after, Anderson again tried to intercept Amore’s tag, but he was successful this time, with Big Cass getting tagged in.
8. Jeff Hardy’s Swanton Bomb
— UnderhookDDT (@UnderhookDDT) April 18, 2017
Towards the very end of the show, there was a match between Jeff Hardy and Cesaro, with Cesaro describing this as his dream match.
It was a classic Jeff Hardy showing with several impressive spots, but the clear highlight was the finish: Jeff Hardy performing a Swanton Bomb and pinning Cesaro.
The match was elevated by the fact that Jeff Hardy really sold an apparent injury to the knee.
7. Braun Strowman Brags About Destroying Roman Reigns
During the opening of the show, Braun Strowman entered following his viscous attack on Roman Reigns last week.
Strowman said that he’s very proud of the fact that he put Roman Reigns in the hospital with several broken ribs and that because of him, Roman Reigns will not be able to compete tonight. This prompted a response of about half cheers and half boos from the crowd in Ohio.
Kurt Angle interrupted Braun Strowman’s segment, asking him what exactly he’s trying to prove. Angle said that he should suspend Strowman, but for some reason he did not actually suspend him, instead allowing Strowman to walk around backstage attacking random people.
Not a whole lot was accomplished during this segment, but Strowman’s delivery remains excellent, and this entire opening was made worth it by Strowman’s evil smile.
6. Chris Jericho Adds The Drifter to the List
As usual, Chris Jericho’s backstage promo was a delight on Monday Night Raw this week.
Jericho said in an interview with Mike Rome that he may have lost to Samoa Joe tonight, but he’s looking ahead to Payback, where he will defeat Kevin Owens. Jericho added that Owens is a horrible “face of America,” especially since his face is so ugly.
Jericho continued to call Mike Rome “Tom” throughout the promo, once again confusing the WWE announcers with one another. But just as Jericho was about to add Mike Rome to the List of Jericho, he changed his mind, instead adding The Drifter, who had interrupted the promo by walking right through it.
Once again, Jericho shows complete command of the crowd, with the audience in Ohio being as enthusiastic about Jericho lifting up the List of Jericho in front of the camera as they were about anything else.
5. Braun Strowman Attacks R-Truth & Goldust
Monday Night Raw could just be three hours of Braun Strowman attacking random people and we’d be totally fine with it.
In the first hour of this week’s show, Strowman went after R. Truth and Goldust back stage. Why? No reason whatsoever other than he was really angry that Kurt Angle wouldn’t give him a match, and so he presumably went and attacked the first people he saw.
The image of Strowman coming in out of nowhere during what appeared to be a transition shot was surprisingly hilarious, and this was followed up by Strowman attacking Kalisto, telling him he’s garbage and then literally throwing him into the garbage.
4. Alexa Bliss Becomes the Number One Contender
— WWE (@WWE) April 18, 2017
Towards the end of the show’s second hour, a fatal four-way match was held between Alexa Bliss, Nia Jax, Sasha Banks, and Mickie James.
The match itself was nothing too special, although Nia Jax actually performed better in it than she has in her past few matches. But the highlight came at the end, when Alexa Bliss came in to pin Sasha Banks, stealing the win from Nia Jax, who had executed a Samoan Drop on Banks.
Putting Alexa Bliss at the top of the Raw women’s division was an excellent choice, and we’re looking forward to seeing Bliss face off against Bayley, both on the mic and in the ring.
3. Miz TV With Dean Ambrose
The Miz continues to entertain with another fun Miz TV segment, this one with Dean Ambrose.
In the segment, Miz went on an extended rant against Dean Ambrose, arguing that Ambrose does not take the WWE seriously enough. Miz’s rant was reminiscent of some of his best recent work on Talking Smack, and the angle is an interesting one; there’s certainly a contrast here between the guy who always wears suits to the ring and the guy who wrestles in jeans and a t-shirt with messy hair, making a joke about everything.
Ambrose held his own in a promo with The Miz, although Miz’s mic skills are clearly superior. It was also a bit strange to see Ambrose criticize The Miz for being obsessed with branding when this is exactly the argument Miz made about John Cena just a few weeks ago. Still, it’s hard to go wrong with a Miz TV segment, and we’re looking forward to seeing what Monday Night Raw does with one of the best heels in the WWE.
2. Samoa Joe Calls Out Seth Rollins
— WWE (@WWE) April 18, 2017
After a superb between Samoa Joe and Chris Jericho, Samoa Joe showed off his mic skills.
Joe called out Seth Rollins, who had been sitting in on commentary, calling to mind the exact moment in late January when he injured Seth Rollins and almost caused him to miss WrestleMania. Rollins being injured in late January was not planned, but it has been worked into the WWE storyline beautifully.
Joe in his promo also stated that the match with Seth Rollins is personal for him, and his delivery was so good that the viewer kind of overlooks the fact that what he really means is that he’s upset that Rollins beat Triple H fair and square in a WrestleMania match.
1. The Ring Collapses During the Main Event
— WWE (@WWE) April 18, 2017
The main event of the show was a match between Braun Strowman and Big Show, which concluded with the ring collapsing.
This came as Strowman and Big Show both landed onto the mat after Strowman performed a super-plex. The match did not actually end with the bell, but Strowman was the first one to get back on his feet, and he walked out as his theme song played.
This was clearly what the audience in Ohio wanted to see, and it got a huge reaction from a crowd which otherwise only popped a few times here and there.Brendan Morrow is a Heavy contributor who covers news, politics, professional wrestling, and more. He has previously written about film for Bloody Disgusting, We Got This Covered, What Culture, and The Celebrity Cafe. Follow him on twitter @brendanmorrow.
April 17, 2017 11:42 pm
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