By Professor Diesel @Diesel_vftr
After a weeks hiatus the Raw Report Card is back. Last Monday the Miz made his return and declared that in 2018 he was going to become the best I.C. Champion ever. Jason Jordan cost his team of Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins a match against the Balor Club. Braun Stroman was more destructive than ever when he pulled a lighting tower down on top of Kane and Brock Lesner. With two weeks out from the Royal Rumble and one from Raw 25, what could be in store for Raw this week? Also, maybe it’s just me but what happened to Roman Reigns defending the I.C. title in an open challenge? Maybe we’ll know the answer to that by the end of this article. Now lets see if this weeks Raw will get a passing grade.
Braun Stroman, Kurt Angle Promo
- Braun tells Angle when he’s interrupted “I was telling them a story.”
- Braun is fired. I like the heat that it gives Angle.
- Typical authority promo to start the show.
This was shorter than your average opening segment. I like that because it’s straight to the point. It was nice for a change to see Braun on the mic. He did a very good job telling his short story. I think that it’s hilarious security is escorting Braun out too, even a dozen men wouldn’t be able to make him leave. This segment has added intrigue and a possible thread for the entire show.
Segment Grade: B
The Bar vs Titus Worldwide
- They are adding depth to the tag division with Titus Worldwide.
- The chemistry between the Bar just keeps getting better every week.
- I’m not too fond of the Jason Jordan distraction.
This match was a fun tag match to start the show. It had the heels/face dynamic that you want to see in the story they are telling. This match wasn’t anything to write home about but it did it’s job. I understand why Jason Jordan distracted the Bar, it’s just I don’t agree with it. I think it undermines Titus Worldwide. It makes last weeks win feel like a fluke. Now i’m assuming Titus Worldwide will be added to the Tag Championship match at the Royal Rumble. Where I’m predicting Titus Worldwide take the pin for a Bar victory.
Match Grade: C
Tony Nese vs Cedric Alexander
- Quality in ring action.
- Goldust is involved in Cruiserweight storylines. It makes no damn sense and does nothing to help the division. Also while I’m at it, what in the world is with Goldust’s hair? It’s starting to resemble Scotty 2 Hotty.
- The match started during the commercial break. If they don’t care about the Cruiserweights, why should I?
Take away the Goldust stuff and focus on what went on in the ring, then this was a solid match. In the beginning the crowd wasn’t into the match, by the end Alexander and Nese had them hooked. I love the Cruiserweights but it’s hard to watch how they treat them sometimes.
Match Grade: C+
Everything Braun Strowman
- Destroying security
- Destroying Kurt Angle’s office
- Destroying Curt Hawkins
- Eating the chocolate cake
- Scaring everyone in the production truck
- Flipping the semi tractor
- Manhandling Michael Cole
- Rehiring Braun only an hour into the show. They should have stretched it out more and rehired him at the end of the show.
This all was awesome. Braun is so good at being the monster. He is going to be a star for years to come.
Nia Jax vs Asuka
- I like the fact that match is a David vs Goliath type match.
- Even though Asuka is out powered she never gives up.
- Although I’m not a fan of the finish, I am a fan that it protected Asuka and should lead to a rematch.
- I think this match could’ve used more of a build.
- Don’t like that this match was called off by a Nia Jax injury. I would’ve prefered the count out.
I really liked the dynamic of this match. A couple years ago these two faced off at a NXT Takeover, and this match showed how much Nia Jax has improved since then. I love that Asuka had a never say die attitude. I also loved that everytime Asuka tried to get something started Nia shut her down immediately. The finish wasn’t the best but it did the job.
Match Grade: B
The Revival vs Nameless Jobbers
This match was meaningless, it was a decent way to showcase the Revival. It wasn’t long enough to have any likes or dislikes. The match was to set up a promo after. I like what the Revival is all about and there promo is upping their match grade.
Match Grade: C+
- Wishes Michael Cole well.
- I love how Elias says WWE stands for walk with Elias.
- Nothing because I love Elias.
Great song and I’m interested to see Elias vs Cena again. This time hopefully it’s more competitive. I’m also a fan of how Elias now introduces the Miz.
Segment Grade: C+
Roman Reigns vs the Miztourage
- The best part of the match was the Miz’s pre-match promo.
- This match was boring
This match went down the way you would expect. The Miztourage was in control the majority of the time before Roman essentially hot tagged himself and took over.
Match Grade: C
Sasha Banks vs Sonya Deville
- I like that Sonya Deville dominated and won.
I like that Sonya Deville won because it almost feels like a shock. It is a change of pace and that is definitely good for the Raw Women’s Division. This wasn’t a very long match but it was a solid match.
Match Grade: B-
Matt Hardy vs Heath Slater
- I like the fire Slater was showing in this match.
- For the second time on this show a match is started during the commercial break.
- This match was kind of slow paced and boring.
Matt Hardy gets the win and that’s really it. It’s a shame Heath Slater is a joke. I didn’t care for this match to much.
Match Grade: C-
Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor
- Too sweet woop woop chant.
- I liked Rollins selling of the knee.
- I can’t believe it but Seth Rollins hit the Curb Stomp and I love it.
- Confusing count by the ref even had the announcers confused.
This match was good. I like interference by Jason Jordan. I really can’t believe Rollins hit the Curb Stomp. I wasn’t sure we would ever see that move again. It was also perfect too because of the fact it took every move in Rollins arsenal to win the match.
Match Grade: B+
This show was all over the place. It started with an interesting angle with Braun Strowman, but it really should’ve been a thread through the entire show rather than the first hour. The wrestling was nothing special. Two of the best matches in my opinion were the Women matches, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact that’s the way it should be. The Braun stuff definitely helps the curve for this week’s final grade. If not for the Braun stuff this would be a pretty forgettable show.
Final Grade: C+
If you have any comments or you just want to chat about Raw. Or any wrestling at all, you can find me on Twitter @Diesel_vftr. You can listen to my podcast View From the Top Rope on Itunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, Stitcher and Podknife. In association with @kayfabeToday