RAW In A Nutshell: Will The Red Brand Make Cleveland Rock

red brand cleveland rock
source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

It is another RAW in a Nutshell, and with the show in the Buckeye State…will the red brand make Cleveland rock this week?

I would say there is a fair chance of it.

Fans are buzzing, and for several good reasons.

Reason one? A big United States Championship match between Ciampa and Bobby Lashley…and people are wondering if we see a Gargano return.

Another? The WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament begins tonight.

Will we see Sasha Banks and Naomi return? With the bracket revealed, there isn’t a wild card spot for a surprise team…

And while we can’t get huge surprises each and every week…will we get more tonight? We did have quite a few in the last week and change…

So, with all that coming to us-and a lot more, it’s worth wondering if the WWE red brand will make Cleveland rock.

I think so, but it’s time to find out…

red brand cleveland rock

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

RAW In A Nutshell: Will The Red Brand Make Cleveland Rock

Let’s crack things open and find out!

Best Match of the night:

Ciampa and Bobby Lashley.

Honestly, aside from ending things on a cliffhanger, this one should have been the main.

I assume at least part of why it was not is tied to the “whodunnit” mystery that ran for most of the show.

red brand cleveland rock

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

It culminated with the arrest of the barely mentioned Dexter Lumis at the end of the show.

Another part, I assume, is giving Miz a nice present-a main event match in his hometown.

Could have given it to Dolph, too…but nah.

The main event we did get was pretty solid too.

Worst match of the night:

Omos and the two on one handicap match.

I did not miss Omos.

Crowd Chants of the Night:

No chants, but the show was hot.

Owens got a nice pop.

Star of the Night

He lost, but I have to give a huge shout out to Ciampa.

Lashley too.

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

The two didn’t get the main event spot for reasons…but that match might as well have been the main event.

Spot of the Night:

I mean, I loved that era of NXT and I hope to see Johnny back…so seeing Ciampa use the Gargano Escape?

Plus, Graves saying if you need it done, Do It Yourself?

Yep, I dug it.

Also…four words. White Russian Leg Sweep.

Jobber of the Night:

The two local guys who got fed to Omos.

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Upset of the Night:


Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

I have questions…and while I stepped away…I don’t think I heard this one explained? Like was this storyline or did someone really goof up and crash?

Because…that is legit crashed…

Also, Dom Mysterio looked like he could have been in the car…but…we saw him like an hour before the crash.

Or…damn, it’s an NXT Takeover…see what I did there?

Dexter Lumis is BACK. And on the main roster.

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Plus I guess involved in the car crash…and does that mean THE WAY is main roster bound?

I mean…all we are missing is Johnny and Candace…

Or…InDex? I am here for either one.

Botch of the night:

We have a few choices.

Bayley called Dakota Kai Dakota Sky…and fans got on her quick. She owned that one.

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Kevin Owens slipped on the ring steps coming into the ring. Not sure what happened there, but it was an oops.

Tamina, right toward the end…not sure it was a botch as she landed to I think avoid boots to the face. Either it was a botch, or just a really bad looking spot.

Commentary of the night:

Maybe it was just words. Perhaps it was a hint.

But saying “do it yourself” during Ciampa’s match…and Graves saying it…yep that was intentional.

Only topped by Graves and his nod to ECW’s Sandman, as Styles delivered a White Russian Leg Sweep.

LOL Moment of the night:

I mean, someone crashed a car, but Kevin Patrick is standing there, interviewing Kevin Owens, with said crash clear in the background…

And not a single person called it out. Not Kevin Patrick, not Kevin Owens, not the announce team.

Sure, I am curious…but it was kind of funny, in a Naked Gun sort of way.

The payoff…for now…was worth it.

Noteworthy Moment:

Did we see Kevin Owens write off Ezekiel…so that Hunter gets to bring back Elias?

Ciampa and Lashley delivered an exceptionally good match.

It elevated Ciampa even in defeat, and the title as well.

And, with nods to Gargano with Ciampa’s use of Johnny’s finisher…seeds are there. It makes too much sense.

Nice to see one NXT team in the women’s tournament. Honestly, surprised it was not Toxic Attraction.

The car crash storyline that was not really talked about, led us to a Dexter Lumis arrest, at ringside. This one is going to be interesting to see where it goes.

More curious was…when the cops ran from the back to the arena floor, Bayley and friends looked guilty as all can be.

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Is Lumis lining up with Bayley, or was that just a red herring?

Overall lowlights:

Tamina has been a trooper for a long time, but it would have been nice seeing another NXT team or someone else thrown in there.

That said…no one was beating IYO and Dakota in round one, so it didn’t much matter.

Overall highlights:

Nice nod for Ziggler getting a win in his hometown…and sporting the pride flag too.

Really good show, top to bottom.

Several strong matches, and some really subtle builds throughout (like the crash and who did it).

Some might be concerned we are seeing Hunter lean on his NXT guys, but…anyone who saw his era of NXT knows it was far, far more watchable and entertaining than RAW and SmackDown at that time.

Part of that was the creative touch. A lot of it was the talent executing the vision.

Now, we are seeing both elements leaned on heavily on the main roster, and I think it will make Vince look really really silly.

Hard to do, but…just watch.

To be blunt…some fans who only watch RAW or SmackDown might never have known how good some NXT Superstars were or could be.

Too many, when they arrived, were neutered by Vince. Were they all the next iteration of Seth Rollins or Roman Reigns?

Maybe not. But…if Vince had used Dakota and IYO and Karrion Kross and now Dexter Lumis and Ciampa too…this way?

Well, RAW would have been more watchable a lot sooner.

After the final bell:

Man oh man, did the red brand make Cleveland rock or what.

Curious that we are watching much of The Way re-appear on the main roster…but after taking a lot of abuse in recent weeks…no Theory.

Still, another good show. Twitter was buzzing about a lot of it, the car story, the United States title match and more.

Just thinking out loud, but just a few months ago, Twitter would mostly be ripping RAW apart.

It’s nice to see the change. Fans have wanted this for a while.

Introduced to professional wrestling in the 1980’s thanks to Superstars and Saturday Night’s Main Event, John’s passion for the... More about John Deegan

Mentioned In This Article::

More About: