After several hectic weeks, WWE was bound to stop and catch their breath. And that's exactly what last night's RAW was - a rest period.
Certainly, the easy thing for fans to do would be to curse Vince McMahon for wasting 3-hours of their Monday night, but what other options did we actually have? Watch an anemic Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens game? Read a book? Spend time with our kids? No way, even a bad RAW is better than those pastimes.
While RAW was indeed slow, it was by no means awful. Despite missing core components like Dean Ambrose, Sheamus, Triple H and of course, Brock Lesnar, WWE as able to move the chains just enough to keep us coming back for more.
Last night's show was primarily about 3 people: Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and Asuka. And to WWE's credit, they advanced each of those characters, specifically the Big Dog. And in 2017, when Roman Reigns has a good night, that means WWE had a good night.
So let's break down the RAw that was. Here are The 5 Things We Learned From RAW Last Night:
Typically, Roman Reigns only gets the Let's Go Roman/Roman Sucks chant. But last night in Knoxville, TN, The Big Dog received not one, but two different choruses:
1. You Deserve It
2. We Want Roman
6 months ago, songs like these would have never been dedicated to Reigns. However, thanks to some savvy decisions by WWE, one of the most hated men in WWE is trending towards being loved. While Roman's steadfast detractors will continue to boo him, the shift has already begun.
Even more, it looks like he'll be fending off WWE's nastier heels on a weekly basis. After defeating Elias, Reigns was jumped by the sweaty and perpetually shirtless Samoa Joe. They'll likely have a match next week.
Ever since her debut, WWE chose to tell us how good Asuka is rather than letting her show us. However, instead of dominating her competition, Asuka has routinely had competitive matches, even allowing local jobbers to get in some offense.
Well, that ended last night.
Dana Brooke got her rematch with the Empress of Tomorrow but she would have been better off staying in catering. Asuka beat her in under 5 seconds. This was perfect.
10-minute matches for Asuka are just not the answer for these early chapter fo her main event run. If she is going to be the ruthless goddess of wrestling that WWE tells us she is, then she needs to keep having laughable wins like this.
She may not be wholly ready for it, but Asuka looks to be in the infant stages of a feud with Paige. It could be a lot of fun.
Did this really happen?
While WWE has yet to utter the word "BROKEN," Matt Hardy's tailspin after losing to Bray Wyatt looked to confirm that he'll be resuming his beloved character from Impact.
We're not sure if there are any legal limitations for WWE and Hardy to shimmy past, but regardless, this is a fun development. With ghosts of the past like Kurt Angle, Triple H, and Kane all planted in WWE's main event, why can't they make room for the 42-year old Hardy?
WWE continues its methodical pace for Jason Jordan's heel turn. Even though it's been subtle, the Knoxville crowd did not hesitate to boo him like he was Greg Schiano during his main event promo.
Jordan continues to use his knee injury to his convenience and even resorted to justifying his dubious ways to the live audience. While Jordan has yet to have a defining moment as a heel, just know it's coming. It's only a matter of time until he starts opening his promos with timeless "you people," line.
As the morally inept son of Kurt Angle, Jordan instantly become one of the most compelling bad guys in recent memory. Now it's just a matter of who he decides to betray...
In the final 15 minutes of RAW WWE shot-gunned 4 lukewarm ideas for us to remember:
1. Jason Jordan isn't that cool
2. Finn Balor is still relevant, but not enough to beat Kane
3. Kane is strong
4. Braun Strowman is stronger
Technically a lot happened, but in reality, little of it mattered. This is what happens when guys like Brock Lesnar and John Cena aren't around to anchor shows. WWE is forced to put quasi-main eventers (Strowman being the exception) in the closing segment of RAW. With 52 episodes of RAW per year to manage, WWE is due a stinker or two, but last night's main event was particularly bad.
WWE is using Kane as some sort of gatekeeper for Strowman to annihilate, but It just doesn't feel like fans are into it. Let's hope this doesn't carry into the Royal Rumble. I mean, Kane has to get back on the campaign trail eventually, right?