It’s hard to accurately rate an episode of Raw when it opens
with such a gut punch as Monday’s episode delivered.
Roman Reigns walked out in street clothes to announce that
he was relinquishing the WWE Universal Championship because his leukemia had
returned, forcing him to step away to fight the disease. It was an emotional
opening that resonated throughout the show, even without the hourly replay of
his promo. You could see it in wrestlers’ and announcers’ faces and hear it in
But Raw managed to put together a serviceable episode that
set up Sunday’s all-women’s PPV Evolution, as well as set the table for next Friday’s
PPV Crown Jewel, which is emanating from somewhere that WWE is not currently
disclosing. It’s as if the company is embarrassed and/or trying to keep the
location secret or something…
Regardless, while Raw was perfectly acceptable viewing
Monday night, it wasn’t a must-see program, save for Reigns’ heartfelt promo
and the fans’ universal encouragement to fight leukemia. We saw a few
characters turn, saw a contract signing that didn’t end in a brawl, and saw a
truly memorable main event moment.
With that said, let’s find out what beat down the
competition and what got beaten down. Let’s get to it…
Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.