RAW25 had so much promise. There were so many big names announced and it was the go home show before the Royal Rumble. Easy, right? Somehow, with so much to work with, WWE found a way to make this show underwhelming.
The show was coming from two separate locations, the Barclays Center and the Manhattan Center (where RAW was born). The show peaked in the open. Shane O Mac and Stephanie introduced Vince McMahon and he heeled it up for the crowd like we would expect from Mr. McMahon. Glass breaks and the crowd loses it’s mind. Surprisingly, Stone Cold didn’t say a word during this segment, but words weren’t needed. The fans only wanted one thing and Austin delivered. First, Mr. McMahon sacrificed Shane to Stone Cold to take a stunner the way only Shane O Mac can. Vince thought he was safe, but of course he got a stunner. The fans lose their minds even more. Shane gets one more stunner before Austin drank/bathed in several beers. Perfect open. Too bad the writers forget their creativity for the rest of the show.
The rest of the RAW25 portions of the show felt like any other special edition of RAW when they bring back the old-timers/former stars. You had APA playing cards, The Dudleys doing their thing to an unsuspecting mid-carder, DX doing their shtick, and various stars in situations backstage. The DX thing was cooler than normal because HHH, Shawn Michaels, Scott Hall, X-Pac, The New Age Outlaws, and The Balor Club shared a Too Sweet moment after Gallows and Anderson dispatched of The Revival. Poor Revival, they lost their match with the Good Brothers and then got hit with everyone’s finisher.
The Undertaker cut a promo at the Manhattan Center. It was confusing. I was expecting something big; he would officially announce his retirement or he would call out Cena for a Wrestlemania match. Neither happened. At least, I couldn’t tell if either happened. He said something about his opponents finally being able to rest in peace. Then he left. WTF was that? I’ll give Taker this, he looked to be in good shape.
The fans at the Manhattan Center got screwed. They paid minimum $250 to watch RAW on a screen, a couple of 205 Live matches, The Undertaker, and the DX segment. How do they not have Rob Van Dam show up there? He was only Mr. Monday Night. The fans were getting restless throughout the night. I was worried a riot would break out.
Woken Matt Hardy vs Bray Wyatt also happened at the Manhattan Center. Why would you have these two guys fight before the Royal Rumble? WWE, that’s why? Of course, Wyatt beats Matt with Sister Abigail. Why? WWE, that’s why. This location and this crowd was perfect for Woken Matt to take it to the next level. Why not introduce Vanguard 1, Senior Benjamin, Brother Nero? Why WWE, why???? Opportunity missed.
As for the Royal Rumble build part of the show, there wasn’t much to it. The Miz beat Roam Reigns for the IC Title with a smooth exposed center turnbuckle move. I guess this opens the door for Roman Reigns to win the Royal Rumble in Philly? WWE wouldn’t do that, would they?
Osuka showed her dominance ahead of the Royal Rumble by clearing the ring of her tag partners after winning the match against the four heels. Jason Jordan pissed off The Bar and Seth Rollins. Elias had a great night. First he got to interact with Jericho, who called him a stupid idiot and put him on the list. Elias was able to anger the Brooklyn crowd with one of his songs. John Cena comes out and eats a guitar shot across his back for his troubles. The shot looked strong. Jeff Jarrett could learn a thing or two from Elias. The final segment of Braun Strowman putting Brock Lesnar through a table seemed a bit rushed.
I kept waiting for a big thing to happen on RAW25, but it never did. Where was The Rock? Where was Mick Foley? How can you have Steve Austin and not The Rock and Mick Foley? I get that The Rock is some big movie and TV star, but you could’ve at least had a taped segment or something. Are we going to have to wait until RAW30?
The WWE missed a big opportunity with this show. There were probably some fans watching who tuned out long ago and this was the best WWE could do? They had an opportunity to wow some long ago fans and they blew it. Way to play it safe WWE.
- Match of the night: The Miz vs Roman Reigns
- Pop of the night: Stone Cold Steve Austin
- No reaction of the night: Michelle McCool when they brought out the divas….errrr…..women