Over the last couple of months, we’ve seen Raw start to right itself after a long period of lackluster story arcs and matches, and last night’s was the best yet.
Here’s a list of the highlights in no particular order
- Breaking glass to start the show never gets old. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin came out to a roar from the crowd, bringing back memories of what used to be. Nostalgia can be a powerful thing, and he spent the initial moments of the show sharing some of his favorite memories in Madison Square Garden.
- After the expected schmooze fest from Strowman and Rollins toward Austin, the pair signed their contract for Clash of Champions. Not to be outdone, Styles and the OC came out, and Styles poked fun of Austin for being old and claiming no one cared about him anymore. The fans drowned him out with “whats” and chants of “a—hole!” Once in the ring, Strowman and Rollins took out Gallows and Anderson, and Styles ate a specialized Madison Square Garden Stunner. Good times.
- The Vikings Raiders were finally put over. Instead of another squash match, the Raiders came out to help Cedric Alexander after the OC jumped him when he nearly had Styles beat. Not only did they get a good pop from the crowd, but it seemed to energize them and promise bigger and better things to come.
- In a touching moment, Roman Reigns came out to plug Connor’s Cure, the WWE’s yearly drive to fight pediatric cancer. After an impassioned speech where he explained his battle with cancer and wanting to pay it forward for, he brought out five local children that have defeated cancer. Each were dressed in their own wrestling personas, and were introduced with their superstar names to cheers from the crowd.
- Rey Mysterio survived. After a scary moment when his head snapped sideways after Gran Metalik hit him outside the ring, it was beyond awesome seeing him not only being able to continue, but to seem to show no ill effects as he hit a 619 for the win. Injuries happen, and thankfully this appeared to be minor compared to how bad it could have been.
- Regardless what the outcome was, the Four Horsewomen put on possibly the best match of the night. They were given time to work instead of the normal five or so minutes most matches run anymore, and they didn’t disappoint. The fans loved it as multiple chants of “This is awesome!” rocked the house.
- The ten man tag match to close the night was close to the Four Horsewomen’s performance, but what put it over was Austin coming out to celebrate with them. Once again, he got the loudest pop of the night as he shared beers with Rollins, Strowman, Alexander, and the Viking Raiders. Each of them loved it and soaked up as much time as possible with the hall of famer as he put them all over.
In closing, there’s little doubt that having a legend like Austin open and close the show would put it in the stratosphere. Seeing him never gets old for most of us, so it’d be a nice if they keep him coming back regularly.