Monday Night Raw aired live from Buffalo. It was an episode many expected to be better given the previous week’s historically low ratings.
We did get treated to a Paul Heyman promo, which was abruptly shortened by the Big Show, so yeah. Overall it was a pretty standard episode that featured several, thrown together tag-team pairings.
Here’s a look at the WWE’s Top-5 superstars following the Sept. 28 edition of Raw:
Honorable Mention: Roman Reigns: Monday’s episode was the strongest booking of Reigns we’ve seen since Wrestlemania. He didn’t win his match against Bray Wyatt — it resulted in a double count out — but laid the final blow as he put his opponent through an announce table before Raw went off the air.
5. John Cena: This week’s Raw was another example of how much WWE values Cena. After disappointing ratings the week prior, who was called on to open the show? John Cena. He also brought back his U.S. Championship open challenge on Monday. Xavier Woods of The New Day — quite possibly the hottest act in WWE today — answered the call. Cena working an angle with New Day is both a credit to their popularity and his own. WWE wants Cena working with the top talent and vice versa. Unsurprisingly, Cena retained before the match turned into a six-man tag involving all three members vs. “The Champ” and the Dudley Boyz.
4. Kevin Owens: Kevin Owens is still the Intercontinental Champion. So life is good in the world of pro wrestling. Though he had an uneventful Raw this week, he’s still in a much better position than many internet fans expected after consecutive losses to Cena and purgatory booking before his angle with Cesaro. Owens may not be the main heel in WWE just yet, but he’s in incredible position for someone who made his main roster debut just a few months ago. Push Owens Push.
3. Seth Rollins: Rollins is still the champ and mastering the art of cowardly heel. He had some great one-liners in his promo with Kane and Director of HR “Ashley” — more on her later — and committed a dastardly attack that left the Corporate Kane carted off on a stretcher and taken away in an ambulance.
2. The New Day: New Day opened the show with John Cena. That speaks volumes to how over the trio is right now. And, of course, they did so with yet another hilarious promo. They even picked up a victory over Cena and the Dudleys in the sporadic six-man tag match. And to think, this was a gimmick that seemed doomed in its early months.
1. Kane: As mentioned, Corporate Kane was taken away via ambulance. Seconds later, he walked out as Demon Kane and dominated Rollins.
All of a sudden Kane is incredibly interesting again. Just ask these guys on Reddit:
Three consecutive “I love what Kane…” comments? Is this 1998?
But credit to Glen Jacobs for mastering the schizophrenic personality switch between Director of Operations and Demon Kane. He’s revitalized his character and has been the most entertaining we’ve seen since Team Hell No.