1) It's Showtime! – In a relatively refreshing start, Chris Jericho kicked off the show with...his show! He barely got going though before The Miz and Maryse sauntered out to get MizTV up and running, complete with the ring crew literally changing up the scene in the ring. Miz continues to be one of the top heels going, as the live crowd immediately jumped on him. This would include a "You suck" chant that Miz returned back to them, "I couldn't possibly suck, I'm not from Kansas City." Boos ensued, fun was had by all. Out came Dean Ambrose who rearranged the set for the Ambrose Asylum, while finally (sort of) paying Chris Jericho back by getting him a jacket with Christmas lights on it. Not quite the $15,000 that he owed Y2J - for destroying his previous coat - but it's the thought that counts, right?
Nice way to push two feuds in one segment, especially with Kevin Owens now on SmackDown. Nothing mind-blowing, but it was entertaining for sure, it's still amazing how Jericho can get literally anything over these days. My one major issue with the segment was Dean Ambrose getting another Dirty Deeds on Miz. We've had this happen two out of the past three weeks with Miz getting out of the move last Monday. My hope is whenever Dean and Miz meet up for the title, Miz will get it back. All will be forgiven, if that is the outcome.
2) Who Am I? – If rumors are true, we should eventually see more of "Broken" Matt (probably Brother Nero, too), for now Matt is subtly sliding in and out of his different personalities, much like he did last night. The matches are solid enough, but can't say this feud against Sheamus and Cesaro is really "must-see" for me. The Hardys had such a great resurgence thanks to what they did in Impact Wrestling, that needs to return, reverting back to the "Xtreme" gimmick isn't going to keep me for long.
3) No Reigns – Have to give credit to WWE for keeping Reigns off the show for two weeks in a row. Although, he wasn't physically there, his image was splashed on the screen throughout the night. After Braun disposed of Kalisto, we got a full on face promo about Reigns, he did all the talking for their Make-A-Wish segment, quotes from a WWE interview, and they ran basically his entire storyline against Braun near the end of the night. WWE continues to sway on their stance with Reigns (maybe, it's intentional?), one week he feels more like the bad guy ("This is my yard now"), then in the middle, and last night, he's Superman again. Despite their attempts last night, he's still getting those boos on Sunday.
4) Strange Ending – First, I have no idea if Bray was actually the partner Miz was all excited about (Miz had a look of complete surprise when Bray showed up), so I'm going to reserve judgment to see if we actually do get someone new on Raw. Second, if it wasn't obvious before, Bray is definitely losing to Orton on Sunday with how much they just built him on Raw. People were not so excited to see another Ambrose vs. Wyatt feud, but I'm thinking Bray's total destruction of all parties in the main event was just setting him up to be a major player on Raw going forward. In theory, I didn't mind what they were doing, but the execution felt off.
Cruiserweights – In the past, I've been critical of when Raw puts on tag or 6-man tag matches with this division. Typically, no matter how good the actual match is, the live crowd dies off badly. This time they put together Aries, Gallagher, Perkins, and Neville together, four guys who have been getting steady reactions as of late (TJP, since turning heel). The match was solid and the crowd's attention was kept focused throughout. I enjoyed the match quite a bit, especially with Aries going nuts on both TJP and Neville at the end. A strong showing for the number one contender as we head towards Sunday.
Rhyno – For his heartbreaking reaction to his crackers being completely wasted!
Dumpsters – So, the match itself was fine, although, we did just see Braun flip an ambulance, how hard is it to toss Kalisto into a dumpster? Putting that aside, I didn't mind how Kalisto got the sneaky win by kicking Braun's feet out from under him, mainly because the destruction afterwards would kind of nullify the loss for Braun, or so I thought. After Braun hauled the dumpster all the way up to the stage, he tosses the dumpster off the stage, which was maybe three feet from the floor. The initial camera angle WWE used didn't help things at all, making the destruction look not all that impressive, despite Kalisto getting put on a gurney and rushed off to the nearest "Medical Center." Again, fun in theory, but this missed the mark, stage drop needed to be higher.
Seth Rollins' Finisher – It's weak looking, and yet, we know he completely rearranged John Cena's nose with a similar looking move. WWE won't let him use the Curb Stomp anymore and it doesn't make sense for him to use The Pedigree, so he's in a tough spot at the moment. Steve Austin was talking about Rollins not being "over" enough, how about the Stunner? Someone should be given that move eventually, why not Rollins as he attempts to get over as a good guy? It won't happen though, I just want to see that move on my screen again...now I'm sad.
This Week's MVP
Alexa Bliss – Not many standout players this week, but Alexa tricking the crowd with the line above was absolutely hilarious. They just said it right back to her! Working next to Bayley (who's promo was awful) just showed how awesome Alex is on the mic, outshining another of the "Four Horsewomen." The real drama came when Sasha Banks made her way down and went into a bit of a verbal war with "Little Miss Bliss." This is the feud we all want to see, and I really hope Alexa wins the title, so these two have something more to fight over. Loved that Alexa backed out of the match (and beat up Bayley), got her heat, and kept fans wanting more between Sasha and her. My favorite segment of the night.
When it comes to interviewing wrestlers, Charly Caruso may not be quite as casual/fun as Renee Young, but I appreciate her newscaster-like style. Bray's promo put me to sleep and then gave me more nightmares. Between filler segments and the big moments fizzling out, this was a long three hours for WWE fans. Let's just move on, shall we?
Grade (out of 10): 4.5 (Last Week: 7)