I’m always curious to see how the Monday Night Raw after a pay-per-view plays out. Will there be excitement, a debut or any major announcements? Monday Night Raw certainly delivered all of the above last night. So much so, that I felt like I should have prepared myself with a box of tissues and a pint of chocolate ice cream. What can I say? I’m undeniably invested in WWE and members of their roster. The way Raw kicked off last night, I know I’m not the only one who shed a few tears.
Finn Balor had the match of his career Sunday night. After working in the industry for 16 years, “The Demon King” became a WWE Champion. Not only that, but he made history at SummerSlam. Finn Balor is the first WWE Superstar to win an inaugural Championship on his pay-per-view debut. His victory was just “too sweet” and every wrestling fan couldn’t have been more proud of him. Unfortunately, reality set in just hours into his victory. Balor sustained a shoulder injury while competing against Seth Rollins in their Championship match. His shoulder popped out which he immediately popped back in but the damage had already been done; it’s possible Finn will need surgery followed by the necessary time to recover which is reported to be six months. As a result, the newly crowned WWE Universal Champion had to relinquish the title. Before handing the title over to General Manager Mick Foley, Finn thanked WWE, the locker room, Seth Rollins for giving him the match of his life, and us – the WWE Universe. Finn promised us with such conviction that he would be coming after the Universal Championship as soon as he was medically cleared to compete.
With the WWE Universal Championship being newly vacant, practically half of the male roster came out wanting an opportunity at the title. The situation began getting out of hand so Stephanie and Mick put a stop to it real quick. The resolution being there would be a series of matches to take place that night and whoever won their prospective match would move on to a Fatal 4Way match next week to determine the new WWE Universal Championship. The matches consisted of Seth Rollins vs Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville vs Kevin Owens, Rusev vs Big Cass and Chris Jericho vs Roman Reigns. The four gentlemen that won their matches and will be advancing to the Fatal 4Way are Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Big Cass, and Roman Reigns. Next Monday, one of these men will be crowned our new WWE Universal Champion!
Speaking of Champions, our new Women’s Champion Charlotte came out to boast about her victory against “The Boss”, Sasha Banks. Right about the time Charlotte and Dana Brooke were about to leave the ring, General Manager Mick Foley wanted to introduce these ladies – and the WWE Universe – the new, hottest free agent that he and Stephanie signed to Raw’s Women Division. The newest (and excellent) addition to the roster came in the form of the most notorious hugger in WWE history, Bayley! The fans immediately welcomed her with open arms and were just as thrilled as she was to see her on Monday Night Raw. She had her debut match against Charlotte’s protégé’, Dana Brooke and was successful in picking up the win. This is only the start of amazing things to come for Bayley and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her! She truly deserves all of this success and more.
Of course, I chose to end this Raw recap on a sad note but it deserved to be saved for last. The Dudley Boyz announced that on Twitter that a year after their return to WWE, they would be leaving. It wasn’t your typical departure; these men were retiring after an amazing career in professional wrestling. Bubba Ray Dudley, who is a brutal being, gave the WWE Universe a heads up that he may get emotional. Bubba reflected on his last year with WWE; they arrived, they kicked some ass, they had some high moments and some low moments. We loved them and we hated them, but deep down he knew that we respected them. D-Von took an opportunity to address the WWE Universe as well, saying he spent 20 years up and down the highway with Bubba Ray creating history; history like the legendary TLC match that fans talk about to this day being one of the best matches of all time. D-Von reflected about the history that he made with fellow tag teams Edge and Christian as well as The Hardy Boyz. The WWE is his home and always will be and if it weren’t for the WWE Universe, there would be no Dudley Boyz. At that time, Bubba Ray wanted everyone to give themselves a round of applause since they always applaud them. Bubba Ray ended this farewell saying, “In this business and in this industry, you don’t get to go out on your own terms. Even though things didn’t go perfectly for us this year, being able to say goodbye to our hardcore brothers and sisters in our own backyard, this is our own terms. Thank you very, very, very much!” Of course, D-Von had to appropriately end it with “Oh my brother, TESTIFY!” It was sad to see them go but at least they busted out some classic maneuvers on The Shining Stars prior to Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson beating them down. Maybe they’ll have one more match to invoke revenge on Gallows and Anderson before they officially close the book on their professional wrestling career. One can only hope!
So do you see why I should have been stuffing my face with ice cream as my tears fell into it!? Monday Night Raw was like an emotional roller coaster ride; I was sad, happy, content then sad again. I can’t handle it! I did however handle all of the entertainment value Raw gave us last night and I look forward it continuing next week when we see a new WWE Universal Champion crowned!