Monday Night Raw aired live from Dallas, Texas. And after weeks of poor ratings, fans finally got an episode filled with memorable moments.
The show kicked off with a segment that included “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the Undertaker, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. Fans also got a standoff between Shawn Michaels and Seth Rollins which eventually led to Michaels talking the WWE Champion into a one-night reunion with The Shield vs. the Wyatt Family.
Here’s a look at the WWE’s top five superstars post-Raw.
5. Kevin Owens: So this happened:
Which was a bittersweet moment. On one hand, the unnecessary jobbing of Mark Henry continued. But, the push of Kevin Owens continued, prior to Ryback rushing down to the ring and giving him his pre-PPV match heel comeuppance.
4. Wyatt Family: Erick Rowan made an appearance during the most anticlimactic return in WWE history. Seriously, he kind of just showed up and the announcers were like, “Here’s Erick Rowan, he’s been out for months.” So the Wyatts — sans-Luke Harper — faced the Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns for the 586th time, only this time the duo would have heel, rival, backstabbing former Shield “brother” Seth Rollins by its side. The match ended with Ambrose being disqualified after using a Kendo Stick, which helped keep the Wyatts looking strong.
3. New Day: WWE’s most entertaining trio continued its roll with another victory against The Dudley Boyz and John Cena. That’s right, the New Day defeated the WWE’s franchise superstar and the most decorated living tag-team in Raw’s second segment. Sure, Xavier Woods went through a table while Big E and Kofi Kingston watched in agony, but the trio’s momentum is too strong to ignore. New Day rocks, yes it does.
2. Seth Rollins: Rollins played with the emotions of marks and smarks alike when he teased the idea of tagging with former Shield-mates Reigns and Ambrose. While there was skepticism that the match would even take place, the thought of the three — even with a hesitant Rollins — standing together in a stare down provided a nice pop. And, in true Rollins fashion, he swerved his former group by leaving the match early due to a “leg injury,” because it you can’t trust the heel champion who stabbed you in the back, who can you trust these days?
1. Roman Reigns: “You gotta make Roman look strong.” This was a quote from CM Punk’s revealing podcast with Colt Cabana almost a year ago where he recounted his final months in misery with WWE. At the time, the company was planning to make Reigns its breakout star. That was never more obvious than his early 2015 push which included a Royal Rumble victory and a spot as the challenger for the WWE Championship against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31.
This brought obvious heat from fans who preferred someone else to be thrust into the title picture. Time has passed and Reigns’ heat has simmered down as a midcard babyface. But it’s obvious that WWE still has invested interest in Reigns as a top babyface moving forward. Raw ended with him looking as strong as he has in months, which will likely lead to another title push in the coming months. We’ll see if fans react favorably or voice their displeasure once again.