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RAW In A Nutshell: Happy WWE New Year, Kind Of

It's the RAW after WrestleMania, which means it's Happy WWE New Year...kind of. With the pandemic raging, it just isn't the same...or is it?

It’s the RAW after WrestleMania, which means it’s Happy WWE New Year, kind of. Kind of, because this is not like a usual RAW after WrestleMania. Let’s crack open this Nutshell!

Best Match of the night:

Let’s not call it “best match”, but how about great opportunities? We had a lot of time given to The Street Profits and Austin Theory and Angel Garza. Those four were joined by Zelina Vega, and as we learned, the now-on-RAW Bianca Belair.

Another pair that got a nice chunk of TV time? That would be Aleister Black and the back-on-RAW Apollo Crews. I enjoyed the runtime they were afforded, even if we know why (have to fill time with whomever is there).

Worst match of the night:

I really wasn’t loving the heavy use of replays from WrestleMania, but I get why. So, it makes sense, but I don’t have to like it.

Also, for whatever reason, just could not really get into Brandon Vink and Humberto Carillo. Ricochet and Cedric Alexander versus Burch and Lorcan just was too short, too (considering how much time other matches got).

Star of the Night

How about a nod to anyone who worked this taping? A general star works for me…

Jobber of the Night:

That poor fellow whom Seth Rollins pummeled quickly would be one choice.

The other would be Deonna Purrazzo.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Interesting post-WWE Championship match interview. I know it was all taped, but I think that was the first time we’ve ever seen WWE have the guy go back, get his plates changed, and then come back out to the ring for an interview.

Of course, that interview was randomly interrupted by a part-timer in The Big Show, who is looking to push his new Netflix show.

And just like that, we have an impromptu WWE Championship match. Someone who fans genuinely wanted to see win the belt, versus someone no one cares about anymore.

Fortunately, McIntyre slayed the giant. Interesting first defense, for sure.

Happy WWE New Year indeed.

Noteworthy Moment:

It’s a Happy WWE New Year, so let’s see what the RAW after WrestleMania brought us this year. Considering the circumstances, expectations were low, but WWE didn’t underwhelm.

Bianca Belair showed up at WrestleMania. She did so again on RAW, announcing she was now on the main roster.

Nia Jax returned, after a year away. She got herself a squash match.

We knew she was coming, just was a question of when. Everyone said she was due back any day now…so it was good to see her back.

All of a sudden, that RAW Women’s Division looks rather crowded. Wonder if we aren’t going to see some sort of a shuffling of the decks sooner than later.

Happy WWE New Year indeed.

Overall lowlights:

I think I said this before…but especially with the current state of things, WWE probably ought to consider dropping RAW to two hours. Like, I enjoyed WrestleMania, but I just spent six hours over the weekend watching it.

I don’t need to lose an hour on RAW to replays. I know why they did it…but if that’s what they have to do, maybe cut the show by an hour and run something else for that other hour. Plenty of WWE Network-type content that they could air as a broadcast special to lure new subscribers in.

Overall highlights:

I think Bianca Belair with The Street Profits is both obvious and intriguing.

I am curious to see what WWE opts to do with Aleister Black now. Also, I do think it’s time to get him in a title program, though we shall see if WWE agrees.

After the final bell:

Well, for a RAW after WrestleMania, I expected not much. The big returns and graduations haven’t been the same the last year or two, and with things on lockdown, no reason to expect a change.

WWE did actually deliver a few, though nothing incredibly crazy. Belair was expected based on her WrestleMania appearance, and Crews is likely a mid-card addition.

The big news was the appearance of, and impromptu title match for, The Big Show. But it probably was more of a one-off showing, so nothing significant.

Also, without the crowd, it just wasn’t the same. Better than I expected, but not the same.

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