If we were to grade Monday Night Raw as a two-hour program, then it would probably get an enthusiastic thumbs-up and kudos for a hot opener, great confrontation at the top of the second hour and solid main event at the end of the second hour.
But Raw is three hours, which meant getting an Enzo Amore match (but with a scorching Miz promo) and an eight-man tag match that felt more like a house show main event than the close to WWE’s flagship program. Thus, Raw went from a triple to a single: good enough, but could have picked up a couple more bases.
John Cena and Braun Strowman get top marks for their roles in multiple segments, including a first-ever match between the two that whetted everyone’s appetites without giving too much away. Roman Reigns continued his run of being overmatched on the mic, but he and Jason Jordan opened Raw strongly.
And Brock Lesnar conveyed the right amount of shock when one of his German suplexes was no-sold. If No Mercy is indeed a two-match card, it’s got a hell of a one-two punch, and Raw continued to deliver on pushing those two feuds. For that reason alone, Raw is an easy thumbs-up, with a wish that they could have tied a couple things together a little better.
With that said, let’s find out what got the job done and what fell short. Let’s get to it…
WWE really has dropped the ball when it comes to some of its female talent, and it shows when some matches are greeted with silence.
Take Emma versus Sasha Banks on Monday. Emma has become a delusional but boring person – who can get invested in someone who quotes fake hashtags and talks about trending on Twitter? Maybe a more charismatic person could pull that off, but it’s a tall order. It’s clear the company hasn’t cared about her since the failed Emmalina angle.
And while fans still react strongly to Sasha, it’s nowhere on the level of two years ago when she came up to the main roster and fans chanted, “We want Sasha!” during matches she wasn’t in. You can partly blame her multiple lame-duck title reigns, winning the big one, only to immediately lose her next big one.
Large swaths of their match on Raw was met with silence. That’s not to say that fans don’t care, but when both wrestlers are somewhat marginalized, you can’t expect fans to be completely invested in the bout either.