WWE Raw 25 Review

I thought I'd do a review for this show as it is a bit of a one off. 

We are live at both the Manhattan Center and the Barclays Center. 

The show kicks off with Shane and Stephanie thanking people for attending and introduce big Vinny Mac. They offer him a plaque for his 25 years of Raw but he runs it down, calling it cheap, just like the people of Brooklyn. His chastising of the locals is interrupted by Stone Cold Steve Austin. Vince doesn't want to be hit with a Stunner so he tries to convince Austin that he is a broken down old man and suggests that Austin should attack Shane instead. Austin gives Shane a Stunner and shares a beer with Vince. You can't get away that easily though and Vince eats a Stunner too. Shane gets a second helping. Fun way to start the show. There was never a time when Austin hitting Stunners wasn't great.

Asuka, Sasha Banks, Bayley & Mickie James vs Nia Jax, Alicia Fox, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville - This was pretty much the same as any other multi woman match that they have been booking for the last year. The faces won when Sasha submitted Fox. After the match Asuka throws the other members of her team out of the ring.

Kurt Angle meets with former IC Title contender Jonathan Coachman. A host of characters such as the Brooklyn Brawler, Harvey Whippleman, Teddy Long and Brother Love turn up to join the party. The fun is stopped by the arrival of the Boogeyman, who disappointingly doesn't smash a clock on his face. It was something.

We head over to the Manhattan Center where JR and the King lead us into a video package for the Undertaker. It's great. Undertaker then makes his entrance, complete with introduction by the Fink. Undertaker runs down the list of people that tried and failed to take him out. It's a bit meandering if I'm honest.

There is a procession of GMs. William Regal, John Laurinaitis, Eric Bischoff and Daniel Bryan. Miz interrupts them and goes eye to eye with Bryan. Miz is great. 

Roman Reigns vs The Miz (IC Title) - Reigns is fully booed in NY. Every time Cole says 'It's the Big Dog!' I think of travelling to America and giving him a slap. I have solid hopes for this. Reigns get the early advantage but the Miztourage run interference, allowing Miz to take over heading into the break. Reigns is in control again after the break. He spears himself into the ring post and Miz tries to take advantage with a rope assisted pin. Reigns is quickly back in charge with a big powerbomb and a Superman punch but neither can get the job done. Miztourage gets ejected from ringside. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale but Reigns kicks out at 2. They go back and forth before Reigns goes headfirst into an exposed turnbuckle, allowing Miz to hit another SCF to capture his 8th IC Title. That was fun. It obviously wasn't going to be clean as a whistle but it worked well. 

The APA are playing cards with the Hardys, Slater & Rhyno, the Usos and Ted DiBiase.

Christian is here to host the Peep Show. He introduces his guests, Rollins and Jordan. Jordan tries to speak but the crowd rips him to shreds. It's vicious. The Bar turns up and everyone is thankful. Cesaro says that it isn't Angle that sucks, it's Jordan. He then leads a vociferous 'You suck' chant. Jordan attacks them and Rollins helps but ends up kneeing Jordan in the face. We've all wanted to.

Alexa Bliss does an interview but gets interrupted by the Flairs. Ric says that Charlotte will hold the title for as long as she wants. 

There is a Mixed Match Challenge promo featuring my favourite team, Miz and Asuka.

The card game continues. Slater is losing a fuck ton of money.

Bray Wyatt turns up at the Manhattan Center. Matt Hardy is here too, so I guess this match is happening here. 

Bray Wyatt vs Matt Hardy - This wasn't anything worth your time. Wyatt won clean with the Sister Abigail.

We welcome some of the greatest female wrestlers from the history of Raw. Apparently this is the Bellas, Maryse, Kelly Kelly, Lilian Garcia, Jacqueline, Michelle McCool, Terri Runnels, Torrie Wilson and Trish Stratus. Some of those names are definitely justified, others not so much. 

Elias is backstage and he meets with Jericho. Jericho sings a song and puts Elias on the list. Jericho is at the forefront of the 2018 wrestler of the year list. It is January though.

Elias is in the ring this time. His 'WWE stands for Walk With Elias' thing is over like rover. He sings a song running down some legends but it is interrupted by John Cena. Cena challenges Elias to a fight. Elias declines the invitation and goes for the cheap shot. Cena sees it coming but he still gets hit with a low blow and a guitar shot to the back. Elias just beat up John Cena. So there's that. I thought Cena was going to be doing something special tonight but instead he is putting over Elias. I shouldn't rag on him for that.

The poker game is back and Heath has been cheating. DiBiase wins the pot, which elicits a 'Damn!' from Ron Simmons.

Mark Henry meets the Godfather backstage, who introduces him to his wife.

Titus Worldwide vs Slater & Rhyno - Why is this match even on this show? It turns out it is so the Dudleys can fuck some people up. It's Slater that takes the inevitable 3D through a table. That was pretty pointless.

AJ Styles is doing an interview, he has his own interviewer and its Mean Gene. Styles channels Hogan briefly and says that he will win the handicap match and keep his title.

DX are at the Manhattan Center. They say very little and introduce the New Age Outlaws, X-Pac and Scott Hall. It then cuts to break abruptly. Back from the break Scott Hall mentions 'Too Sweet' and that brings out Balor Club. Everybody Too Sweets and the Revival breaks up the party which means they are gonna get murdered. 

The Revival vs Gallows & Anderson - The match was short and pointless and the Good Brothers won. The Revival then took the procession of finishers. I don't think anyone benefited from this.

Angle is out to oversee some kind of contract signing between the Universal Title contenders. He has half the roster with him to try and stop some mayhem. It won't work. Heyman introduces Lesnar and he immediately goes after Braun. Braun won't be stopped though and chucks Lesnar through the announce table. It ended very abruptly. I think they may have been pushed for time.

Overall Thoughts

I was hoping for something good or impactful here, but that didn't happen. It started off well enough with Austin Stunnering McMahons but the only other worthwhile things were the IC Title match and possibly the Cena/Elias angle. The rest of the matches were hot garbage and the DX angle was fucking awful. The Undertaker promo was nonsensical too, he may as well have not turned up. I would have thought that they would have set up something big here to put them on the path to Mania but there was nothing. I'm slightly annoyed I stayed up to watch it.