Raw 4/17: The Monster unleashed

What a night for the Monster among men, eh?

Monday Night Raw this week kicked off with a recap of Braun Strowman’s destructive actions the week before when he wiped out Roman Reigns. From there, Braun continued to devastate the roster, taking out the Golden Truth and Kalisto after GM Kurt Angle put him in a match with the Big Dog at the upcoming Raw PPV “Payback.”

For a Columbus crowd that was dead most of the night, Strowman got the pop he deserved. The ambulance spot last week with Reigns put him over with most of the crowd, and that continued this Monday.

Strowman is becoming a draw and a reason to tune into Raw each and every week. Something I was not expecting I would ever say this time last year.

The monster demanded competition tonight and he got just that. He squared off with the Big Show in Monday’s main event. Something many people pointed out on twitter — the LED lights were not up on the ring posts, possibly alluding to a broken ring spot. That’s what we got and boy it did not disappoint.

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Yes, it has happened before, but it is just as amazing in 2017.

Strowman continues to prove he is the dominant force in WWE, and continues to be booked as such. After destroying the ring, he got back on his feet, raised his arms, and his music hit before Raw faded to black.

So, what’s next? The monster takes on the Big Dog, Roman Reigns, at Payback in two weeks. It is an exciting match that can go a number of ways.

My take: The match will not end clean. Neither of these guys can afford to lose right now. Roman is coming off the biggest win of his career at Wrestlemania 33, defeating the Undertaker, and Strowman is one of the hottest superstars on the roster, possibly building to a Universal Title match with Brock Lesnar before the beat begins a feud with Reigns. I call shenanigans, but I can’t put my finger on the finish just yet.

The Best of the Rest:

Samoa Joe picked up a solid clean win over The GOAT, Chris Jericho. Joe is also on a destructive path quickly cementing himself as a top heel, and will meet one on one with Seth Rollins at Payback. Joe is the man who injured Rollins and almost knocked him off the Wrestlemania card.

Titus O’Neil offered to become Apollo Crews’ manager… I think? Call me crazy, but I would say this is a great move for Crews, who has not been a strong character since his call-up from NXT. At least having Titus would give him something to build on.

Alexa Bliss is the next contender for the Raw Women’s Championship. She will take on Bayley at Payback. For the second straight week, Bliss has received one of the biggest pops on the show despite being a heel. Her fatal-4-way with Mickie James, Sasha Banks and Nia Jax was a solid match giving each woman a few spots. But Bliss continues to prove she is a superstar in the making with both her in ring work and her work on the mic. She has “it.”

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Jeff Hardy and Cesaro had a fun singles match with both Matt and Sheamus ringside. Jeff certainly cannot take the bumps he did in his prime, but he can definitely still perform at a top level. The fellas behind the announce table also mentioned Jeff’s previous World Title reigns. Is there where Hardy is once again the Universal Champion? I wouldn’t count it out. Who saw these two actually returning in the first place. My only requirement if the Hardy’s go back to singles matches: They must be fully broken. (BTW: The ring mic picked up on Matt calling Jeff “Nero” during the match. There is hope, folks.)

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