WWE RAW Review (5/1): Bray Wyatt, Alexa Bliss, Finn Balor, Who Won This Week's MVP?

Standout Moments

1) Five Feet of Greatness If it wasn't obvious why Alexa Bliss would be Raw Women's Champion in a relatively "short" period of time, this segment should have made it perfectly clear. To kick off her reign, Alexa basically ran down the entire Women's Division for ten minutes straight and she made it look so easy too. Alexa pretty much called Mickie James old, made Bayley get all teary-eyed, and Nia Jax...well, "We're good." Her interaction with Sasha Banks was gold (as always) as the two jawed at each other, like two Alphas who refuse to back down. As much as I enjoyed the SmackDown's Women Division since the WWE draft, I think that tide has turned since the Shakeup. I haven't even had a chance to mention Emma, who is on the back burner at the moment, but will get more involved as time moves on.

This coronation turned into an 8-woman match, which I actually didn't mind, considering the lead-in brawl between the entire division. It was random, but loved how Alexa demanded Alicia Fox (who was stuck in a headlock) tag out and Alicia just yelled, "I'm trying!" We all are, Alicia, we all are. Ending was a bit of a surprise with Alexa getting another win over Bayley, using a DDT, of all moves. Jake "The Snake" Roberts would be so proud. Nice to see the Women's Division get nearly 30 minutes of time right from the start.

2) Back To Earth After that really entertaining first segment, we get Luke Gallows vs. Enzo Amore to bring everything to a sudden halt. We all knew who was going to lose and all it took was a simple Karl Anderson distraction for Gallows to get the win. Honestly, if they are going to do this 50/50 booking, at least have Gallows take care of his own business. I've already lost interest in writing about this segment, which is indicative of tag teams that lower on the totem pole, come back to us Dash and Dawson.

3) Not These Again - Raw was doing so good with staying away from these meaningless 6-man Cruiserweight tag matches, and then last night happened. If anything, it continues to highlight how weak the heels are in this division, and because of that, live crowds can barely muster a grunt during these contests. Sure, Jack, Rich, and Tozawa are varying levels of "over," but without decent stories, why should anyone care? I will just continue to put it out there, on Raw, Cruiserweights should either have title matches or showcase only their top tier guys in one-on-one matches or promos.

4) Evil Cesaro I appreciate the outfit changes, but I just can't boo Cesaro, it's not happening. On the plus side, the heel turn gave a nice wrinkle to their feud against The Hardy Boys, which desperately needed something more than just a handshake. Despite going against how they have acted in the past, Cesaro and Sheamus bailing out of the ring as the Hardys charged was pretty funny and got them some nice heat. I'm intrigued, still not booing Cesaro, but I'm intrigued.

Trending Up

TJP Yes, even WWE is referring to him more as TJP these days. Despite losing to Austin Aries - and the fact that I was completely over Raw at this point - I really enjoyed how Neville sent TJP out to carry his weight against Austin Aries. As I suspected, TJP is getting a lot of traction with his new grimy personality, as he ended up attacking Aries post-match and received a decent chorus of boos from the live crowd. One small critique, he may need a remix on that entrance theme.

Trending Down

Seth Rollins His good guy promos are not great. It's not even him being a face, but just the "Hey, how's everybody doing? Good, man, good." It reminds me a bit too much of laid back Dean Ambrose, and I can't stand what he's doing at the moment. Rollins' sweet spot is when he gets all intense and starts calling people out, like Triple H at NXT TakeOver or even when he turned things up and called out Brock Lesnar, last night. I know WWE is trying to make him more likeable, but pandering to the crowd doesn't come off natural with him.

Brock Lesnar His continued absence lands him in this section. WWE actually had Rollins throw out his name in the beginning of a segment, just to remind the WWE Universe who was the Universal Champion. Once that goal was accomplished, things somehow got switched to the Intercontinental Championship when Dean Ambrose came out and tried to convince everyone his title was top dog, yeah, whatever you say, Dean.

This Week's MVP

The Main Event Typically, I've gone with the winner of whatever the big match of the night was, but Miz, Balor, and Rollins were all fantastic in last night's main event. It had beautiful pacing with Miz attempting to stay out of the fray in the beginning, before being forced into the ring by his two opponents. Steadily turning up the intensity, it got to the point where I had no idea who would win the match- hey, it's Samoa Joe! Fresh off his loss, Joe made sure to let Rollins know things were not over between them. Well, that just left Miz and Balor- Bray Wyatt?! Bray instantly put down Finn, allowing Miz to get the easy win after an incredibly hard fought battle. Loved how interference were used here, both times felt natural, and with the match being no DQ, it didn't leave us with a lame ending. Props to everyone involved in this final segment.

Overall Thoughts

Random thought: I really miss Byron Saxton. He played such a great punching bag for Corey Graves and it's completely gone now that Booker is on the team, if anything Cole is the one who throws a few playful jabs towards the Hall of Famer. Even when Otunga returns, I doubt he'll be down with getting blasted by Graves and that's unfortunate. I don't know how long they can continue Elias drifting around, but I'm still not tired of it. This week had a number of matches that I had no interest in seeing and that took the wind out of my sails early on, also no Reigns or Strowman really hurt this week's show. Raw started and ended really well, but basically everything in the middle was a struggle to sit through.

Grade (out of 10): 5 (Last Week: 4.5)


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