When I saw that this week’s episode of Raw was going to be a reunion episode, I scratched my head because this is the most random reunion episode I can think of. Most of the time they do these specials to celebrate a landmark episode or an anniversary for how many years Raw has been on the air. A lot of legends and talents from the past were announced and I was looking forward to seeing how most of them would interact with the talent of today. The one person I was not looking forward to seeing was Hulk Hogan. I have said my piece on the man who I believe is a racist despite what he has said. When he part of Raw comes up, I will make sure to treat it with the proper critique that it deserves. So, let us jump right in and talk about this episode of Raw.
John Cena In-Ring
I must say that it was so nice to see John Cena back in a WWE ring again and I didn’t realize how much I missed seeing him in it. Cena came out and did his thing and hyped up the episode like only he can. Seeing Cena on the mic makes me realize just how amazing he is on there and how his mic skills are among the greatest of all-time. The Usos then came out and they said that they didn’t want to see the John Cena that left for Hollywood, they wanted to see the Cena that was the Doctor of Thuganomics. Cena eventually gave in and delivered some good jabs at the Usos and took a great shot at them for their problems with the law. Rikishi then came out to join in on the fun and he had a nice back and forth with Cena as well. Just when it looked like we could get a dance segment with these four, the Revival came out with D-Von Dudley to interrupt and that would be the set-up to the opening match of the evening.
The Revival vs The Usos
As much as I enjoy seeing these two teams go at it, it is getting a bit repetitive. Don’t get me wrong, I do love seeing the matches between the Usos and Revival, but I would love some variety with each match. Maybe we could get a one-on-one match or something different. This did a good job in furthering the program between these teams and D-Von tried to get involved but Rikishi was there to deter him from it. The Usos would pick up the win here and it looks like they will more than likely be challenging for the tag titles at Summerslam. Booker T came down to join the commentary team and I could have done without it. A four-person table just doesn’t work because someone always gets left out and I just wasn’t into it.
Divas in the Back
Alicia Fox is just one of a kind, isn’t she? The outfit she had on had her looking like a disco ball and I loved it. I loved seeing Kaitlyn back as well as she was one of my favorites back when she was in WWE. Dana Brooke was there as well and she just kind of blended in and didn’t add much. Torrie Wilson then made an appearance and I loved the embrace between her and Fox. Santino Marella then came into frame and I loved that they did a Santina reference. Santino is one of the greatest comedic acts in this history of WWE and I think a case could be made to have him inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame someday. Drew McIntyre then came into the picture and just scoffed and shook his head at the legends as he made his way out to the ring for his match with Cedric Alexander.
R-Truth was with Carmella as they were interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso about his close calls at Comic Con this past weekend. Truth and that 24/7 Championship are just a match made in heaven and I have loved every minute of it. It is amazing how Truth has found a way to be one of the best things on WWE television. Drake Maverick’s wife Renee Michelle popped up to get in Truth’s face about how he has caused a rocky start to her marriage with Drake and Drake would take the opportunity of a distracted Truth to roll him up for the win. I thought that would be it until the Godfather’s music hit and he came in and did his usual schtick. It was fun seeing the Godfather and Charly dance to his theme song and it was a nice way to cap off this segment.
Cedric Alexander vs Drew McIntyre
It was supposed to be a rematch of their match from last week, but McIntyre had other plans. Before Cedric could get in the ring, Drew came out to attack him. Cedric put up a good fight and looked like he would get the upper hand but that did not last long. Drew would eventually take control and just lay into Cedric. Drew would pick up Cedric for his inverted Alabama Slam and teased doing it on the floor until he decided to hit the move on the apron. I don’t know if this is the end of this. but Drew did look rather dominant here.
Drake Maverick & The 24/7 Championship
Drake found his way into his locker room and was gathering up his things so he and his wife could escape Raw with the 24/7 Championship when he had an unwelcomed guest. He opened up his luggage to find a bunch of worms and we all knew that the Boogeyman would pop up and he did. Drake was scared to the floor and could not get up so that opened the door for Pat Patterson of all people to pin Drake and win the 24/7 Championship. More shenanigans with the 24/7 title are soon to come.
Viking Raiders vs Hawkins & Ryder
The best parts about this match was having Christian on commentary, Lillian Garcia back to be a ring announcer for a match, and Hawkins’ Edge inspired tights. I know I just criticized Booker being on the commentary desk, but we rarely get to see Christian anymore in the WWE, so it was nice to have him for a bit. I would talk about this match, but it was your typical squash match that saw the Viking Raiders look dominant and they picked up the win. Now I do not mind squash matches as long as they are used to build up a talent and I think they are doing that here. The only problem is that I am wondering how long they will be squashing talent before they move to the tag title scene. I hope it is sooner than later because I want to see what kind of match we can get between them and the Usos or Revival.
Mike Kanellis at The Raw Reunion Party
I have been saying it since the start of this program, but I am liking what I am seeing here with Mike and Maria Kanellis. I love that she came in and started berating Mike for not rubbing lotion on her belly to prevent stretch marks. I also loved seeing Eve Torres and how she nonchalantly offered to give Maria and Mike parenting advice. I also loved seeing Eric Bischoff there and how he ever so smoothly tried to get Maria to join Smackdown Live. Maria berated Mike and of course Ron Simmons had to come in to deliver a perfectly timed “Damn!”. I know many fans are hating this story, but I am loving every minute of it so far.
The OC Backstage
So, the Club are going to be known as the OC for now on and I don’t know if I like it or not yet. Growing up in Southern California, the OC for me has always meant Orange County and of course that Fox show from years past. I get where they are coming from with this and I guess this is a fair compromise since they can’t be called the Bullet Club. This was a nice segment here and showed off their comedy and their seriousness all at the same time. I like this segment but the thing about this I liked the most was the new shirts for the OC.
More 24/7 Shenanigans
We cut to somewhere else backstage and Gerald Briscoe pinned Pat to win the 24/7 Championship. I loved how he walked down celebrating the title and bumped into Kelly Kelly. They embraced for a bit and Kelly took the opportunity to sneak attack Briscoe and pinned him for the 24/7 Championship. I didn’t think that Kelly Kelly would be the first woman to hold the 24/7 Championship and I think it is kind of a waste. It will get revealed later why she was the one to win it but still, I think Carmella or Renee Michelle should have been the first woman to win the belt.
Samoa Joe In-Ring
When it comes to people on the mic in WWE right now, Samoa Joe has to be right up there as far as the best. You hang onto every word he says, and it reminds me of dialogue I would hear in a Tarantino movie. Imagine Joe in a Tarantino movie, that would be epic on every scale. Joe decided to take some jabs at the reunion that was happening tonight. and I loved every bit of it. The way Joe took down our love of nostalgia was picture perfect and he eventually started talking about the Usos and Rikishi. Roman Reigns’ music then hit because he was not going to take insulting his family sitting down. The one thing I did notice is that Roman went back to taking his sweet time in getting to the ring and that always turns me off. Roman got in Joe’s face about insulting his family and this would lead to a nice brawl between the two. Eventually, Roman would challenge Joe to a match and Joe would decline at first but Roman threw an insult his way and that was enough for Joe to accept the challenge.
Samoa Joe vs Roman Reigns
If I were to be honest, I think I enjoyed their brawl better than this match. Not saying that this match was bad, but it just didn’t engage me as much as the brawl did. I think it might also go to the fact that we were all pretty sure that Roman was going to come out on top here and that is what happened. Now it isn’t the superman booking that he had last year but it is rather obvious when Roman is going to pick up a win. Good back and forth happened throughout the match and good hard-hitting stuff as well. These two have good chemistry and I would like to see how they would do in a stipulation match. I am not talking about the typical ones we see in WWE but more like one we haven’t seen in some time. I think a strap match could work very well between these two if they gave them the chance. Back to this match and after much back and forth, Roman hit Joe with a spear from out of nowhere to pick up the win here.
As much as I hate to say it, this was probably one of the weakest Miz TV segments I have seen. This was just really all over the place and I know what they were going for but it all just fell flat. Seth Rollins gave some of his worst promos in some time and it was only saved by Paul Heyman. It looked like it was going to pick up with Heyman, but Seth would threaten him with a Stomp and Heyman would run away. Seth then continued on, but it just missed on every marker. The other bad part about this is that Miz didn’t contribute much to this so I have no idea why he was out there in the first place.
Raw Reunion Party
Charly Caruso was backstage at the Raw Reunion Party ready to conduct an interview when Sami Zayn came in a vented his frustrations over this event taking place. Much like Samoa Joe, Sami made a lot of great points about the reunion and it was hard not to agree with him. I loved the line that Sami delivered about them not being legends but being people that happened to be there. That was a sick burn and I was waiting to see who would step up to him. Eventually Rey Mysterio would step up to Sami and Kurt Angle would pop into the frame and suggest the two have a match. Rey was good with that and he headed off to the ring.
Kelly Kelly & The 24/7 Championship
Kelly Kelly was backstage proudly holding the 24/7 Championship when she bumped into Candice Michelle, Melina and Naomi. They got to talking and Melina mentioned getting her license and the women were all wondering what she meant. Melina then revealed she had a referee shirt on, and Candice would pin Kelly to become the new 24/7 champion. Her reign would be short lived as Alundra Blayze would come out and make her tap to become the new champion. Blayze said she wouldn’t be champion for long and I think we all knew what she meant by that.
Rey Mysterio vs Sami Zayn
The worst part about this match was that WWE decided to have Coachman join in on the commentary desk. There is a reason why Renee Young replaced him on commentary and why nobody has been clamoring for him to return. He added absolutely nothing as usual and why oh why did I have to sit through this again. This match was much of what you expected it to be and there were some great spots. Rey continues to defy father time by being able to perform at a high level and Sami is just one of the best in the ring in WWE. Sami had enough of the match and tried to walk off when Rob Van Dam made a surprise appearance to stop him at the entrance ramp. He would be joined by Sgt. Slaughter, the Hurricane and Kurt Angle. Sami eventually went back into the ring, but he would go on to eat the loss and Rey picked up the win here. In case you wondered, apparently RVD got permission from Impact to make this appearance but he just couldn’t actually wrestle. How nice of Impact to let RVD have another moment with WWE, even if it was minor.
Street Profits Backstage
I think if you look up “oozing charisma” online, Montez Ford would be one of the first things that popped up. The man just has “it” and they like to say, and he has such a bright future. He has helped bring Angelo Dawkins to the promised land and I loved that when he found Dawkins, he referenced how hanging out with RVD gets you to cough and use eye drops. I love how Dawkins started name dropping Mark Henry and Ric Flair and then they started to woo. I love that this ended with the Godfather calling Dawkins and Montez just having a look of he wishes he could join in on that fun.
Alundra Blayze & The 24/7 Championship
We all knew where this was going and that she would tease throwing the 24/7 Championship in the trash. She made jaws drop when she threw the WWF Women’s Championship in the trash on Nitro, so this was easy to spot. Right before she did it though, Ted DiBiase’s music hit and he offered to pay her some money if she gave him the title. She couldn’t turn down the money and she handed the title to DiBiase and he became the new 24/7 Champion. The one thing that came out of this segment was the fans online clamoring for DiBiase to be credited as being WWE Champion now. He bought the title from Andre the Giant but has not been recognized as WWE Champion. If buying the 24/7 Championship made him champion, shouldn’t the same be done now with the WWE Championship? I am all for it and WWE should embrace it.
Seth Rollins vs AJ Styles
The match itself was good but man oh man was this overbooked to death. First off, I wasn’t into hearing Jerry Lawler on commentary because he really doesn’t have it anymore much like Jim Ross. They were good at one time, but time has passed them right on by. Secondly, I get why Triple H and HBK came out to help Seth, but it didn’t really need to happen. It came out that this spot was originally supposed to be for Ricochet, and I don’t know if I would have been into it if he was in this spot. The match gets thrown out when Gallows and Anderson get involved and HBK and Triple H come in to even the odds. The OC got chairs to regain the advantage but out came Road Dogg, X-Pac, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to up the odds in their favor. Road Dogg did his thing on the mic and the OC didn’t try to engage them. Seth then did the closing “We got two word for ya” and that was it. I hope we get to revisit this matchup some other time and have it without the overbooking.
Ted DiBiase & The 24/7 Championship
Ted DiBiase was making his way to his limo to leave the arena with the 24/7 Championship and I noticed Renee Michelle in the background on rewatch and that was the clue you needed to know what was about to happen. We hear a skirmish happen in the limo and Drake Maverick emerges with a referee and the 24/7 Championship. Drake recaptured the title and was ready to be able to consummate his marriage but the locker room came after him so he would have to make his escape.
Mick Foley In-Ring
Mick Foley was in the ring and was ready to speak on some things when Drake Maverick came into the ring and Foley made an attempt to grab him but was not able to. Drake then kept on running as he was still being chased by the locker room. Foley then when back to remembering things and tried to play a video about his WWE Championship win when it started to fade away. We all knew what that meant, and the light started to turn off one by one. The light then came on in the ring an we saw the Fiend Bray Wyatt in the ring. He then applied the Mandible Claw to Foley and looked as menacing as ever. I think it would be nice to see Bray use that as a finisher because it isn’t used very much anymore. Su Yung is the only one I know of that uses it and it does wonders for her and I think it could do the same for Bray. I am loving this version of Bray Wyatt and am looking forward to where they go from here.
A Moment of Bliss
A Moment of Bliss has had a rough start so far because the segments don’t really work for the most part. Alexa was there with Nikki Cross and they introduced their guest Becky Lynch. Before Becky could really say much, Natalya came out and tried to show some edge and emotion, but it just came out forced. I love Nattie as an in-ring worker, but her mic game has just not caught up with her at all. She spoke and Becky had some words of her own and they started to fight. Referee came out to break it up and that was pretty much it. The best part about this whole thing was Alexa and Nikki just standing off to the side drinking coffee and watching the whole thing unfold. Charly interviewed Natalya after the commercial break about what just happened, and it was just more of the same. I am really getting tired of WWE going to the well of “I was the real catalyst for the women’s revolution” because it seems like that is all they have when the vets go up against someone like Becky.
Drake Maverick & The 24/7 Championship
It looked like Drake was going to escape with the 24/7 Championship and his wife Renee as he made his way to the limo when R-Truth came from out of nowhere to try and roll him up. Drake held onto Renee. but Carmella was able to kick his hands away and that allowed Truth to pin him to become the newest 24/7 Champion. Truth jumped into the limo and it took off with him, the 24/7 Championship and Drake’s wife Renee. Drake started going off about losing the title and he thought his wife was there. When he looked up to see it was Carmella and the realization that his wife just left with Truth was priceless. This title would not be where it is today if it wasn’t for Drake Maverick and R-Truth and that is a fact.
Braun Strowman vs Jobber
You know what, I am no even going to waste my time with this. Braun should not be squashing local talent at this point in his career and that is all I will say on the match. SKIP!
A Toast to Monday Night Raw Part 1
There is a reason as to why I am breaking the closing segment up into three parts and I think it will be pretty clear as to why. Ric Flair was the first to come out and to my surprise, he didn’t say anything on the mic. He simply came out and did his usual strut and hop and skip and I loved it. He then signaled to the back and the legends and past talent that we saw earlier all came out and joined him on the entrance ramp. That was a fun little thing and I really was surprised he didn’t talk on the mic.
A Toast to Monday Night Raw Part 2
I just absolutely hate that WWE continues to bring back Hogan and are finding ways to bring him back. I do not care to see him on my television, laptop, smart phone or any other device at all anymore. I know some people may put on the nostalgia glasses for him, but I refuse to. He is a racist, even though he doesn’t think so, and he does not deserve any cheers. I can go on and on about Hogan but instead I will just say that his part in this can be summed up by one word, SKIP!
A Toast to Monday Night Raw Part 3
I needed a palate cleanser after Hogan and there is nobody better than Stone Cold Steve Austin. The fans love him, and I surely still do, and he carried this whole segment like only he can. He got to the ring and did his usual corner spots and his traditional beer chug. He got on the mic and started saying how much Raw has meant to him and how the fans are a part of the success just like the superstars are. He pointed out some people by name and shared a quick story about them. He then invited them all down into the ring and they all joined him in drinking some beer. Side note, the beer they drank was Stone Cold’s IPA and I think it is rather good. Back to the segment, and I loved that Austin asked how much time they had left so he could see if he could share some more stories. He was told he had a minute, so he shared another quick one and then once he got the signal to “go home”, he quickly did and that was it for Raw this week.
Honestly, this Raw Reunion was a lot better than I expected it to be. More often than not, these types of episodes focus too much on giving the old talent tv time and pushing aside the current roster. They didn’t do that this time and gave both sides enough time to shine. The biggest highlight of the night was all the shenanigans that involved the 24/7 Championship. Bray’s appearance was another highlight and I enjoyed seeing John Cena again. Stone Cold capping off the night was a great way to go and I liked seeing that the OC officially have a name now. The low points had to be the random Braun squash match and that we had to endure Hogan. I am Sovereign S.A.M. and make sure you come by next week for another Sovereign Statement.