Raw 25 recap
VINCENT KENNEDY MCMAHON
Robert O’Neill: There was really no other way to start this show. Shane and Stephanie came out to give Vince a plaque and he was none too pleased about it. He was cutting a phenomenal heel promo on the Brooklyn crowd and then the glass shattered and it was 1998 all over again. Stone Cold’s pop tore the roof off the Barclays Center, and it was only a matter of time. He came out, Vince plead that he was an old man now and he shouldn’t get stunned, but Shane should. So Austin stunned Shane, then stunned Vince anyway. It was amazing.
Robert O’Neill: It’s cyclical at this point. Every year we say we’re tired of seeing The Undertaker, and then he shows up and we’re all right back as kids, mesmerized and a little frightened. Undertaker’s last few Wrestlemania matches have been terrible. He clearly can’t go anymore. But nonetheless he’s an icon and he had to be included in this section. In fact, I put him here because he didn’t announce that he was going to be in a match. He is, ironically enough, aware of his own mortality.
Robert O’Neill: It wasn’t particularly hard to see this coming, but Miz beating Roman Reigns to get the Intercontinental Title back was awesome. After a great back and forth match, Miz sent Roman into an exposed turnbuckle and hit a Skull-Crushing Finale for the win. He’s now had eight Intercontinental Title reigns, trailing only Chris Jericho’s nine. Roman now gets opened up for bigger things down the line and Miz has his prized possession back.
Walk With Elias
Robert O’Neill: Where to begin? While heading to the ring, he ran into Chris Jericho (in an Alpha Club shirt) and MADE THE LIST. Then when he got into the ring and started his concert, he was interrupted by John Cena, who did four of the five moves of doom and then got dropped by a low blow and a guitar shot. It’ll be fascinating to see how the two of them interact in the Royal Rumble on Sunday.
BRAUN wrecks shop
Chris Novak: It was good to see that RAW 25 ended with Braun Strowman on top. Strowman powerslammed Universal Champion Brock Lesnar through the announce table to cap off the night, a display of dominance that was much-needed as he heads into Sunday. Of course, that could be a sign that he’s not walking out as champion, but this was the right move for all involved. At least Kane wasn’t the one on top to end the night.
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
Robert O’Neill: I get it. They were iconic voices in their time. But it’s 2018, and both of them are about 10 years removed from being anything close to good announcers. It was painful to listen to the Manhattan Center parts of this show because of them.
Chris Novak: Could’ve really gone without a “Puppies” reference in 2018. Glad this is a one week thing. Get them both outta here.
Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt
Robert O’Neill: I would rather watch literally anything else.
TOP GUYS WATCH
Robert O’Neill: Revival lost to Balor Club in the “main event” and then got finishers from every member of DX and Finn Balor. It’s nice that they’re on the show and they can’t win every week, but it would have been nice to see them keep their momentum from last week’s promo going, perhaps by beating up the Dudleys instead of being on the receiving end of a 9-on-2 beatdown. Ultimately, they’ll probably be fine though.
Asuka/Bayley/Sasha/Mickie d. Alicia/Nia/Mandy/Sonya
Robert O’Neill: It was always going to be tough to follow that opening segment, but these eight did an awesome job. They had to have a multi-women match both for time and for the Royal Rumble build, and it was great. It featured a big brawl at both the beginning and end, Sasha got the pin over Alicia, and then Asuka turned on the other three members of her team and threw them over the top rope. There are no friends in the Royal Rumble.
Robert O’Neill: This was fantastic. The APA hanging out drinking beer and playing cards with Heath Slater (who doesn’t know how poker works) and Rhyno was great. Ted DiBiase showing up and throwing a stack on the table was even better. Then they cut back later and Jeff Hardy, MVP, and The Usos joined the fray. Eventually, New Day and Titus Worldwide ended up there and it led to a match between Titus Worldwide and Slater and Rhyno. The match was OK. Bubba and D-Von ran in and put Slater through a table.
GM and Diva Cameos
Chris Novak: It was nice to see some of the old heads show up, and WWE had two segments dedicated to welcoming a few of them back. It was particularly great to see “Eazy E” Eric Bischoff, who got a HUGE pop from the Brooklyn crowd. Would be great to see him back in the fold wouldn’t it?