WWE Raw Thoughts – August 29, 2016

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Source: WWE.com

Anticipation was high for last night’s Raw as there was going to be a new WWE Universal Champion crowned after Finn Balor’s unfortunate injury that required immediate surgery. Who is the new champ and did WWE pull off a good show? Let’s break it all down!

I liked the beginning of the show where all four participants in the Fatal Four Way elimination match (Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens, Big Cass, and Seth Rollins) were in the ring to cut promos on each other and show their passion to become the new champion. Rollins, Big Cass, and Kevin Owens did great work and Cass really impressed me! We know the other two are great with promos but Cass held his own and I really liked his line about Seth Rollins’ leaked dick pick that appeared over social media last year.

Roman Reigns didn’t say anything but the segment ended with him being booed by the crowd although he was portrayed as an ass-kicker and not a talker – and that’s fine with me.

Fast forward to the end of the show when the match took place – there was excellent work from all participants. Big Cass was the first one eliminated, which wasn’t surprising but he showed that, while he is the newest person there in that ring, he held his own and I’m sure that got him praise backstage after the show.

After Cass’ elimination, it seemed the match went into high gear. One thing that I didn’t like was Reign’s performance for the last bit of the match. I’m not in the boat where I think the guy can’t wrestle (same with Cena), but how many “Superman” punches did he throw last night and where was his other offense?  It seems like Reigns is on the receiving end of someone throwing their best moves at their opponent but they continue to kick out.

Just when you thought the match wasn’t crazy enough and you were anticipating the next person to be eliminated, Triple H appeared (for the first time since Wrestlemania) and laid out Reigns outside the ring with a Pedigree while Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley (who were both at ringside) both appeared in disbelief.  Reigns was tossed in the ring to be pinned by Rollins.

From there, HHH picked up Owens, who was also on the outside of the ring and threw him back in. It looked like HHH was setting up Owens to get the Pedigree from Rollins, but in an interesting turn of events, HHH hit Rollins with the Pedigree and a shocked Owens was prompted to pin Rollins. After the 1-2-3 and we witnessed the birth of the new WWE Universal Champion, Kevin Owens, HHH raised his hand while the crowd was going nuts. HHH left with Stephanie looking really confused and Foley showed much disdain. The show ended with Owens celebrating in the ring with the crowed yelling “you deserve it.” It was excellent.

Due to this ending that I sure as hell didn’t see coming (which is fantastic), there is so much WWE can do from here. So many new match combos and feuds could come from this: Owens vs. Rollins, Owens vs. Reigns, Owens vs. Cass, Rollins vs. Reigns, Rollins and Reins vs. Owens and HHH, Reigns vs. HHH, Rollins vs. HHH, Steph and Foley  vs. HHH, Steph and HHH vs. Foley (although I really don’t want any more angles with The Authority). This makes me really want to see next Monday’s show to see where they go from here.

Another stupid vignette written for The Club before their mix tag match with Dayna Brook vs. The New Day and Bayley made me tune out immediately. Why the hell can’t WWE Creative book these guys as a team that kicks ass and can be deemed a threat instead of resorting to comedy BS like The New Day (who STILL rarely are booked to put their belts on the line).

Sheamus vs. Cesaro’s second match was another decent one and to keep fans tuned in, they didn’t do 50/50 booking and gave the second win to Sheamus.

I just have a few other quick thoughts/opinions:

– Where the hell was Rusev this week?
– Titus O’Neil and Darren Young’s feud isn’t meant for Raw or needs to be rest (and put in the first hour).
– Braun Strowman and Nia Jax’s squash matches need to end. They are boring and pointless. I do like that Strowman tried to get heat by ripping of a Luchadore’s mask, which is a big no-no but until they’re against actual talent on the roster, these “superstars” m.
-Neville vs. Jericho was pretty good, but where does Neville go from here? Actually, where does Jericho go? Does he get jealous of Owens? I guess there’s another program that could be set up.

I thought the show was decent overall, but the majority of it seemed to be filler until we got to the main event.