Monday Night Raw aired live from Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois. While the majority of the city was likely enjoying the Cubs’ second postseason win in 12 years, the fans in attendance were treated to a very forgettable episode.
One notable occurrence took place during John Cena’s U.S. Championship Open Challenge when a fan proposed to his girlfriend. Cena stopped mid-match to congratulate the couple while the other fans in attendance chanted “she…said ‘Yes'” a la the New Day’s cadence.
But otherwise, Monday’s episode was pretty lackluster. New Day provided an entertaining promo, John Cena won and Kane continued to wreak havoc on WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. Here’s a look at the WWE’s Top-5 superstars post-Raw.
5. John Cena: Cena put on another spectacular match against in his U.S. Open Challenge, this time against Dolph Ziggler who — prior to an ambush by New Day — was supposed to answer the call last week. The match stood out compared to the rest of Monday’s card but the ending may have left fans with a sour taste in their mouths. Ziggler basically hit Cena with his entire arsenal, yet still couldn’t put the 15-time world champion away. However, it took just one Attitude Adjustment for the “showoff” to fall victim to a pinfall. Look, I like Cena and I think most of the negativity from fans is unwarranted, but I definitely see the problem here. Whether it was his call or someone backstage, the match did less to put Ziggler over and more to bury him. Obviously, Cena still has momentum leading in to his reported leave of absence and will likely continue to.
4. Kevin Owens: Kevin Owens competed against fellow NXT-alum Kalisto in a 1-on-1 match, one week after calling him a “12-year-old” during his match against Lucha Dragons teammate Sin Cara. It served as a squash match to make Owens look strong entering his bout at Hell in a Cell against Ryback, who defeated Rusev minutes earlier. It’s great to see KO being used to elevate the Intercontinental Championship back to its once-great prestige. Owens needs to continue his dominant reign during the months leading up to Wrestlemania for the resurgence to be successful.
3. Seth Rollins: We’re still in that phase of a pay-per-view buildup where Rollins continues to get his comeuppance each week as the cowardly heel champion. The champion was once again outsmarted by Kane, this time in a Lumberjack match where he lost to the Director of Operations’ demon persona. Rollins could lose every week — which WWE pointed out with a skewered stat midway through his match — and still has the momentum of being the company’s top champion. That alone keeps him in the top-3.
2. Kane: It’s been said before, but Kane has been masterful in his schizophrenic role as both Corporate and Demon Kane. His disturbing calmness as the director of operations is definitely the highlight of his schtick. But his dominance of Rollins and presence in the main event scene is what places him at No. 2 this week.
1. New Day: New Day was featured in Raw’s opening segment. The group interrupted Randy Orton and Dean Ambrose — who will team to face Wyatt Family members Braun Strowman and Luke Harper at HITC — and defeated the duo in a sporadic match. The trio was also present during Seth Rollins’ Lumberjack match with Kane both dancing to Rollins’ entrance music and causing the inevitable unraveling between babyfaces and heels. New Day has the most momentum its had since coming together at the end of 2014. The group remains one of — if not the — most entertaining aspects of Raw on a weekly basis and needs as much air time as possible.