source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

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RAW In A Nutshell:Red Brand Red Hot In New York City

It's a fresh new RAW in a Nutshell, and the red brand is hoping to be red hot in New York City as we head home to SummerSlam!

After a crazy last few days, it’s time for RAW in a Nutshell, and the red brand is aiming to be red hot in New York City.

Because, well, if you missed it…it’s our go home show. SummerSlam is on Saturday, so it’s time for final hype to be delivered.

And, if that alone wasn’t enough? It’s the celebration of Rey Mysterio’s WWE debut, 20 years ago.

So, a lot going on, and that was true even before Friday’s retirement news.

Fans might be hoping that the new creative boss makes big changes, but given that we are less than a week away from one of the big four shows?

Changes aren’t likely just yet.

But, with NYC just at the tail end of a heat wave, the red brand is aiming to be red hot as they roll into Nashville.

Because again, tonight is the red brand’s last shot. It is the go home show, and then it’s SummerSlam.

No pressure, right? So yes, the red brand is aiming to be red hot.

So, with that said, it is time for…

RAW In A Nutshell:Red Brand Red Hot In New York City

red brand red hot
source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Let’s crack open this Nutshell and find out!

Best Match of the night:

Can I give it to the opening and closing segments?

By that, I mean…well…almost all of the first hour, and then the main event.

red brand red hot
source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Sure that is like…40% of the show.

But the opening (from when The Bloodline hit the ring) till Reigns and the Usos laughed last after the opening tag bout…good start.

And the main event was superb. Having Rollins out at the end was interesting, because while it made sense…I am sure folks were hoping for Lesnar.

But…WWE is smart to keep these two apart more than not.

Worst match of the night:

Three choices.

Two are segments.

Match-wise? Alexa Bliss and Doudrop.

Like, I am all for Alexa Bliss as the next challenger, to Bianca or Becky.

But this match was meh.

Segment-wise, outside of Maryse as Barbie with her ball-purse, the Miz/Paul “actual” segment was tedious.

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Bianca and Becky wasn’t much better.

Crowd Chants of the Night:

Not a chant, but New York City was HOT for Roman Reigns and the Bloodline for that first segment.

As for chants?

Roman

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Daddy’s gone

Who’s your daddy (reminded me of the 2004 ALCS between Boston and the Yankees, after Pedro Martinez’s famous comment).

Star of the Night

Yes, he was also jobber…but Theory deserves a slight nod.

However, a few others do too.

Reigns and Heyman were on point tonight.

Ziggler and Styles could be something. Or a flash.

source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

And that NYC, MSG crowd? Fantastic audience, or at least they came off that way on TV.

Spot of the Night:

Priest bombing Rey through the table during the celebration.

Mildly surprised we didn’t get some assault in-ring, with an Edge return for the save…but at this point I am betting we are having that saved for next week.

Jobber of the Night:

Theory.

In a good way, I think.

The young Superstar took a ton of abuse when he and Drew (mostly) worked a good chunk of hour number one.

Part as a one on one, part as a tag match, but he and Drew were there, and Theory took some serious chops and throws, and even his partner seemed to laugh and smile when Drew was making his chest red.

Like…could it be the veterans giving the hot young guy some tough love before he cashes in?

Reigns and The Usos toyed with him, he didn’t like that, but Jimmy and Jey laughed last.

But, I don’t see this as a “bad” jobber thing. Because, Theory worked with the top guys for the first hour of RAW, and he fit fine.

Upset of the Night:

Otis was upset after the Alpha Academy was beaten by the new or temporary team of AJ Styles and Dolph Ziggler.

As good as that new team did look…should Robert Roode be upset too?

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

RAW opened without the usual sequence, but instead broke live to an in-progress brawl between Miz and Logan Paul, mid-ring.

Surely planned, but still up there.

Also up there? A couple digs at the now retired Vince McMahon.

On one hand, you had to expect them at some point. However, considering his daughter is now co-CEO and son-in-law is heading up Creative…

Either they got clearance (maybe), people went off-script (unlikely), or they all figure Vince did what he did and you reap what you sow (this is where my money is).

And, after a bit of time off for injury…Rhea Ripley is back and helping the Judgement Day.

Botch of the night:

Audio issues to kick off the show’s first truly official segment.

Commentary of the night:

Not a remark…an observation.

Vince McMahon was famous for giving most of the announcers lines to use, via their headsets.

With McMahon gone…is someone else now feeding lines? Or will the teams have more freedom?

And if they have more freedom…how will things go?

Pat McAfee I am sure will be fine. Graves should be too, he was fine without Vince in his ear in NXT.

LOL Moment of the night:

Paul Heyman, ever the improv master, was brilliant dealing with the audio issues.

First, the native New Yorker trolled the poor audio guy, pointing out that “he must be from New Jersey”.

Then, he made a note to get his name so that he could be the next one out (clearly a shot at Vince, I’d say).

And, if that was likely a shot at Vince, Roman Reigns left no doubt about his shot, when knocking Theory down a peg or three.

“Your daddy isn’t here anymore”. Made me laugh, but it’s also elsewhere in this Nutshell for a reason.

Noteworthy Moment:

Honestly did not realize Theory was as tall, or perhaps a hair taller, than Reigns.

Interesting that on Friday, WWE used Theory’s usual Tron video, featuring a ton of his selfies, including a few with Vince.

On RAW, however, no selfies. No chance of any Vince imagery.

Overall lowlights:

The good thankfully overshadowed the bad. But, it’s hard to hide that some talents just are not clicking.

Here’s hoping that, as new blood and ideas are (hopefully) shot into the creative process, that some of that gets fixed.

Overall highlights:

If WWE wants to consider actually turning Reigns to a babyface? I think the MSG reaction shows us it’s possible.

And, depending on how Brock behaves…maybe it’s a thought? I don’t know…I don’t see it, because he’s been such a strong heel.

But…you cannot ignore fans popping for him now (finally…).

All in all, outside of a few minor downers-and there always has to be some, honestly-this was a superb show.

Maybe it was talent really amped up by the fresh changes? Or the hot crowd boosting things?

Perhaps all that and more. Regardless, the red brand was red hot tonight.

After the final bell:

Really strong show, go-home or otherwise.

red brand red hot
source: @wwe, twitter, screenshot

Of course, I am going to say that tonight was more a boost from the changing of leadership, and perhaps fewer re-writes and last minute changes driving people nuts?

Because, Hunter has not been truly on the clock THAT long. I am not expecting he did a lot of revisions tonight, as compared to what I expect to change in the months ahead.

Still, whatever got done, however it came together, this show was a good start.

If SmackDown on Friday, and SummerSlam on Saturday, build off of this?

We are in for a treat.

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