A look back with me at one of the best week’s of television the WWE has put on in a long time.
Monday Night RAW
This is the best way to use Strowman. He was an angry hothead who wrecks anyone that gets in his way. It’s good for them to move away from the cold Lesnar/Strowman match and rehab Strowman. In recent times Strowman has been booked poorly but a return to smashing stuff and being an actual monster can only help get him back to his best.
It is so good to see Sasha Banks being given something to sink her teeth into. Instead of being in 50/50 tag series with the Riott Squad she’s now getting to team with Rousey and interact with the most popular woman on the roster. She’s also been showing the attitude that made her so popular in NXT, this Banks isn’t the babyface Banks that we’ve had for far too long but instead has all the arrogance and cockiness of The Boss.
A New Hope
With Strowman no longer in the Universal title match at Royal Rumble we needed a new challenger. First four people pitched themselves to Vince McMahon in the hopes of being chosen to be the new challenger. Three men had a rightful claim to deserving a shot and then there was Baron Corbin being Baron Corbin. I don’t like that they presented Balor as this underdog that management doesn’t believe in but it’s a character arc that made his win feel that much better. It also made the moment with Cena after the match mean so much more as Balor now has one of the biggest names in the company backing him to beat the Beast. Balor is someone that fans have long wanted to see pushed to face Lesnar and now we have it and I cannot wait.
A Classic Encounter
Rey Mysterio vs Andrade was one of the best main roster WWE matches in ages. Nothing in 2018 even came close to this match between the two luchadores. From the start, this was a smooth, crisp technical match which escalated to counter wrestling and crazy spots. This wasn’t wrestled in the usual WWE style they let two great workers go out there and put on a great match that everyone should check out if possible. This match had the right result as well as Andrade got put over big time and looks like a star with this performance.
Anything The Man can do An Empress does better
Becky Lynch and Asuka dominated the opening quarter of this show. Asuka was allowed to scream aggressively in Japanese, something that only Asuka can make work, and even looked a little bit more impressive than Lynch on this show. Lynch had her usual swagger and pomp and circumstances but Asuka got to look like a killer.
Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles have managed to slowly build tension in their feud over the past few months. With Bryan taking on a newer, more crazed approach and Styles needing to prove to himself and Vince McMahon that he IS STILL the real AJ Styles they have ended up getting very aggressive and having these two personalities clash.
Joe heats back up
Samoa Joe was meant to face Mustafa Ali in a match that I was excited to see but Joe was having none of it. He attacked Ali mercilessly and credit to Ali he sold it like death. Joe needs to do this every now and then to reheat himself from losses and Ali gets sympathy
This was a well-paced main event match that was roughly 10 minutes long. Lee got to show off his inhuman athleticism and Ohno delivered the hard hits and they kept a nice pace throughout. A fun main event match that builds Ohno up ahead of the Riddle match.
More Bark, Less Bro
Matt Riddle showing aggression is great. We’re all so used to the cool, laid back stoner that seeing him rush down to the ring, in flip-flops of course, ready to take Ohno’s head off was a fun change and something that NXT and the main roster will need to see more of from him.
Un-De-Fea-Ted Or O-Ver-Ra-Ted
Bianca Belair’s attitude and swagger came across so well against the less charismatic but stronger character of Shayna Baszler. Belair got to look badass by not backing down from Baszler and her cronies and oozed attitude. This match might be one of the worst on Takeover workrate wise but the two characters and stars colliding make it extremely interesting.