Good wrestling, smart booking and logical storytelling will almost always lead to an enjoyable wrestling program. The problem WWE Raw encounters so often is that in filling a three-hour program, they have to cram in a bunch of nonsense, which ultimately drags everything down.
They seemed to somewhat solve it by booking a fatal four-way ladder match that ate up the final half-hour of Raw and threw in a 10+ minute tag title bout. Doing that probably saved us some goofy 24/7 “comedy” shtick or other painful backstage segment.
What we got was a pretty decent “season premiere” of Raw, with the newly drafted superstars taking center stage for a good portion of the show. All of the champs (except for Reggie) were highlighted here, as programs for the upcoming weeks were laid out, and new contenders were identified.
Sure, we had to endure a five-man opening segment promo train, which then set up the main event, but that’s just par for WWE’s course. We’ve learned to endure this stuff, so we mark it as annoying and move on. It ain’t gonna change until several people at the top are finally incapacitated.
There’s still plenty wrong with Raw and WWE in general – tropes like the royalty characters that are just poor retreads, turning a unique superstar into a more boring version in the hopes that gets him over – but we’ll give this one passing marks.
Let’s get to it…