Well last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw was, at least for me, all about the retirement of Daniel Bryan. I felt that WWE did such a classy tribute to Bryan throughout the night and I couldn’t have been happier that I was able to watch this as it unfolded. In many ways, I hate to say this, but it was reminiscent to the tribute episodes of Raw that WWE has done in the past when someone has passed away, it’s just that the subject was living and got to make a speech at the end. You really got a feel throughout the day and up until the wee hours of the evening just how much Daniel Bryan meant to so many people in the wrestling community, whether it be fellow wrestlers, promoters or fans. In many ways twitter last night was very therapeutic in that it felt like the whole wrestling community was going through the loss of Daniel Bryan’s wrestling career together. Bryan meant a lot to me as a fan and I’m going to get into all of that later in the week but for right now I want to focus on last night’s show, some of the highlights of the show as a whole and what I thought about Daniel Bryan’s speech. Let’s get right into it.
WWE Monday Night Raw just went off the air emanating live from Machester, Great Britain and I honestly thought it was a pretty strong show. We found out 2 quarterfinal matches for the WWE World Title Tournament as Roman Reigns will take on Cesaro and Dean Ambrose will take on Dolph Ziggler in two unique, fresh matches. Aside from that I also really enjoyed some of the other build for the Survivor Series as WWE is really making it feel like one of the big four shows, at least in my opinion. Let’s get right into some of the highlights on the show.
1) The Brothers Of Destruction Are Back– This one I’ll probably get a little flack for but I really enjoyed the ending of Raw with the returns of both the Undertaker and Kane. I also appreciated that, for the second week in a row, they continued to show old school clips of both the Undertaker and Kane to really point out how big of a deal what Bray Wyatt had done was. Say what you will about the hokeyness of the last segment with the lightning and the special effects but that’s part of what I love about wrestling. Whoever said wrestling had to be so serious? Furthermore, the crowd absolutely lost their minds when the Undertaker and Kane came out and they ate up the staredown with the Wyatt Family showering the ring with “This Is Awesome” Chants. Some of the folks on twitter seem a bit upset that Undertaker and Kane left the Wyatts laying but the Wyatts had done the same over the past few weeks. Now there is still one last Raw before Survivor Series to see how the Wyatts regroup. I’m hooked into this one, can’t wait to see where they go next.
2) The Tournament– I really enjoyed the way that they did the first round of the tournament throughout the night while leaving three more of the first round matches for Smackdown. By spacing out the matches throughout the night, this gave the viewers reason to remain engaged in the show all night and I felt the tournament matches made the show go by pretty fast for a 3 hour show. As for the tournament matches, I felt that Dolph Ziggler and The Miz had a good match and especially felt that Dean Ambrose and Tyler Breeze had a good long match. I didn’t feel like Breeze lost anything by losing because he hung in there with Ambrose for so long and simply got caught by a rollup. The shock of the tournament so far, for me, was seeing Cesaro pick of a win over Sheamus (with a nice little assist from Rooney!). I assumed that Sheamus would get the win to set up a face-heel match with Roman. Instead we’re going to get Roman vs. Cesaro in a really intriguing match between two fan favorites.
3) The New Day- The New Day was in rare form tonight and hysterical by dropping in disses on Harry Potter and talking about how they really outdid themselves. They remain a highlight on every show they’re apart of and I was glad that they mentioned not being a part of the tournament because that;s the first thing I thought when I saw the bracket as well. As for the six man featuring the New Day against The Usos and Neville, it was the match of the night as all six of them busted their hides with high flying moves at every turn and Neville even getting a “Holy Shit” chant due to his Red Arrow off the top to the outside. Go out of your way to watch that match, it was great.
Overall, the crowd deserves some credit here because they were great throughout the night and gave Raw a really unique feel to it. One of the first things I thought from watching the crowd was “Wow NXT: Takeover is going to be the best!” I can’t wait for that show.
In closing, we also found out that next week on the WWE Network it will be Undertaker week leading into the Survivor Series and his 25th Anniversary. Ironically, it will also be Undertake week here on the daily spotlight as I’ll be counting down my top 25 favorite Undertaker moments of all time. Hopefully, my piece will act as a good companion piece to Undertaker week on the Network. The WWE Network alwasy does a good job with their themed weeks and I’m sure next week will be no different.
Well that’s going to do it for me tonight but if you haven’t done so I’ve posted the first part of my Survivor Series Retrospective looking at the first 9 years of the Survivor Series from 1987-1995, so be sure to check that out. Until then, what was some of your favorite moments from Raw? What did you think of the Brothers of Destruction returning to Raw?