Last week on Raw, WWE dealt with the aftermath of Seth Rollins’ injury and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament began with the first round matches. Last night, that tournament continued, and the semifinals have been determined for Survivor Series this Sunday.
Bray Wyatt has been overpowering the WWE since abducting The Undertaker and Kane and harvesting their souls for weeks. Unfortunately for The Wyatt Family, The Brothers of Destruction reemerged from the darkness and are now after vengeance against their captors. What mind games did they play headed into Survivor Series?
Charlotte and Paige finally have a confrontation in the ring, Cesaro had a huge moment to shine, and The New Day brought out this week’s batch of hilarious jokes. Booty-ade isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Here are the top five moments of this week’s Monday Night Raw:
5) Del Rio Beating Kalisto Was a Mistake
My thoughts on Kalisto have been made very clear. Alberto Del Rio is the United States Champion. Excuse me, he’s the “MexAmerican” Champion. His alliance with Zeb Colter has him into the semifinals of the WWE Championship tournament, but his direction is still unclear.
These two had a very good match. Kalisto looked good against Del Rio, but the problem is Del Rio doesn’t have a set finisher. He’s not using the Cross Armbar, even though that’s a good move for him. That chest stomp thing looks devastating, but it’s funny how WWE allows that but bans the Curb Stomp.
Del Rio loses to Reigns at “Survivor Series”. That is obvious, but if the WWE knows that going into Sunday, why not keep Kalisto’s momentum going for a few more days and put him over a little more by having a great match with Reigns? The only reason is Del Rio has a higher salary, so WWE needs him on PPV. It’s a shame.
4) Owens Remains Dominant
Another very good match between two stars of NXT finally colliding in a big match situation. They have good chemistry in the ring together, and Neville looked very good despite the loss. He could challenge anyone right now if the WWE wanted to push him into the spotlight.
Something occurred to me last night: Kevin Owens is the only major heel in this tournament now. Sure, Del Rio is still there, but he’s not nearly as over as a heel. Ambrose vs. Owens on Sunday is also far more unpredictable. The odds favor Ambrose vs. Reigns in the finals, but I disagree.
For me, the finals should be classic face vs. heel. Reigns vs. Owens is the way to should be. Unless the WWE is planning a major swerve for Ambrose vs. Reigns, Owens is the guy to push. Reigns is probably winning the WWE title, and he’s probably not turning heel. I don’t think Ambrose is either.
In that scenario, Reigns winning the championship is just step one. The WWE still had a good gap of time between Survivor Series and Royal Rumble. Reigns will need a heel to feud with through that time. There isn’t a better heel on the roster now that Rollins is gone. It’s time to push Owens and Reigns together. Their feud would elevate both titles and create a great rivalry to get us on the path to Wrestlemania.
3) Undertaker, Kane, Wyatt Play Mind Games
The Brothers of Destruction should have come back this week instead of last week. It could be me, but I lost some interest in this match at “Survivor Series” last night. Last week, The Wyatt Family was dominant. This week, they’re playing mind games and parlor tricks that Undertaker and Kane thwarted without issue.
Obviously, the point here is Undertaker and Kane are stronger than ever and the Wyatt’s time running the asylum is over. My issue is tonight didn’t help the Wyatt’s at all which should be the entire purpose of this feud. After last night, I’m not buying anything but The Undertaker and Kane walking out with a win in a match that Bray won’t wrestle.
Last night, The Wyatts should have beaten Undertaker and Kane down in dominant fashion. They’re the heels, so they should have been booked as such. The whole point of this feud should be Wyatt stepping up to the next level and elevating his character. He’s not going to do that rocking in his chair during the match on Sunday. The WWE better have something else planned for this match. The result could be disappointing.
2) Cesaro vs. Reigns = Match of the Night
What a contest between Cesaro and Reigns. Both men deserve a lot of credit for putting on an extremely entertaining match that made both men look good while doing the same for the tournament. It was the best match of the tournament thus far and Cesaro once again proves his value to the WWE product without getting a reward.
Reigns is ready to be WWE Champion. This match sold me on him completely. As much as I wanted Cesaro to get that huge win, Roman is deserving after the year he has had. I’m not that excited for Del Rio vs. Reigns, but it’ll serve it’s purpose and get Reigns into the finals for the final match that is highly speculated to be special in one way or another.
My only concern is Cesaro. He just keeps outperforming his opponents and not getting wins. It’s extremely confusing from a fan’s perspective because he is so good in the ring, but he’s not being booked fairly. Cesaro should feud with Del Rio immediately after Survivor Series. I just hope he does anything besides floating around until someone else needs a win over the talented Cesaro.
1) Charlotte and Paige Finally Get Personal
Last week, I wanted to know why WWE was booking Charlotte vs. Paige without any personal segments. Until last night, they hadn’t been in the same ring together for weeks. It makes sense now because WWE wanted to drop the Reid Flair bomb in their rivalry to bring out the rage and passion of Charlotte and make Paige brutal on the microphone. It worked very well.
The segment was a little awkward and Paige’s delivery needs a lot of work, but it set up their match on Sunday well. It finally feels personal between them. For some reason, the WWE thinks they can just claim that these women were close friends and the fans will believe it. They didn’t feel like friends on WWE television, even if they are in real life. That claim doesn’t work until the performers sell it in the ring.
The table has been set for them. Now, they have to do the work in the ring and tell a great story. In my mind, Paige is on the verge of losing and she gets herself disqualified. This feud has legs though at least. Let’s keep a good thing going for now. Just get Sasha Banks on Raw in another feud. That woman off NXT and Raw is unacceptable.