As fans, viewers, wrestlers and WWE itself reacclimates to having fans back in attendance each week, it should get easier to grade episodes of Raw, but right now, it’s tough to state if a show is good, or if crowd energy was so high that it overcame subpar writing.
Raw delivered a few good matches – which you’d expect from the largest, richest wrestling company on the planet – and had some entertaining moments, but it also produced several turkeys and lemons, which is standard fare. When Eva Marie is jobbing to a Lilly vignette, championship contenders matches are in almost every other segment, and one of your champions is giving a Stuart Smalley spiel, you’ve got problems.
Don’t fret though: Raw produced some decent little matches and continued setting the table for SummerSlam nicely. Nothing feels rushed, and there’s still plenty of time before the PPV, which is so weird for this promotion. Usually, stuff gets thrown together hastily and it’s up to the wrestlers to save things in the ring.
Then there are the fans: Even bad segments and moments can be elevated by fan reaction, and after being away from the action for 16 months, fans are reacting to a lot of stuff they might have booed out of the building or simply ignored before, making it tough to evaluate things.
Still, we’ll continue chugging along here and hope things settle down a bit. Let’s get to it…