The Eternal Optimist Presents: An INSTA Review Of Monday Night Raw (10-22-18)

Hi kids.

Welcome to my INSTA review of Monday Night Raw. It’s the go-home episode for the first ever all women’s PPV, Evolution. Evolution has been largely treated like a second class citizen to Crown Jewel, but I’m thinking that the WWE lays it on hot and heavy tonight. Without further ado:


Hour 1:

The Good:

I thought Sasha Banks had a solid match against Ruby Riot in her return match. I’m good with Banks losing even though it was her first match back. Her, Bayley and Natalya are going over at Evolution, so there was no reason to give her a win here. I’m happy to see her back, as she’s the best in-ring female performer on Raw.

The Bad:

What was the point of having Finn Balor beat Lashley?  If you’re going to turn Lashley heel, push him as a monster.  Handing him a loss like that immediately makes no sense at all.  Zero.

The Ugly:

I’m absolutely gutted about Roman Reigns announcing that his leukemia has returned.  Absolutely sick to my stomach for him and his family.  We can discuss what this means to the WWE as a whole at a later time.  My thoughts are with him and his loved ones.

Overall Hour 1 Grade:

C.  I can’t even crush the WWE that badly.  I’m so shook over Roman’s announcement that I feel like I can’t be impartial.  The hour wasn’t the greatest that has ever been put on, but they did the best they could given the circumstance.


Hour 2:

The Good:

The DX promo was kind of clunky, but I continue to enjoy a heel Undertaker.  His promos feel fresh after years of bordering on being stale.  I think he could have a somewhat prolonged run with his newfound edge.  Sting is talking about how The Undertaker is the only opponent that he’d come back to the ring for.  I’m still all in on that.

Man, no one conveys emotion better than Paul Heyman.  I was getting emotional just hearing the pain in his voice as he talked about Roman Reigns.  Strowman cut another promo that reminded me of just how limited he is.  Fortunately, the Claymore from Drew McIntyre saved a segment that was starting to go off of the rails.  I can’t help but feel that Braun is going to be a transitional champion until Drew ascends to the throne.

Elias v Apollo Crews was good.  I can’t help but feel like this was Apollo’s last chance to get over.  The fact that the WWE had him lose to Elias is likely not a good sign for his long term future.  Nonetheless, this was an enjoyable two week program that worked for me.

ELIAS FACE TURN!  ELIAS FACE TURN!  HE’S THE NEW GUY!  ELIAS v MCINTYRE AT WRESTLEMANIA 35 FOR THE UNIVERSAL TITLE!

The Bad:

Nope, all good here.

The Ugly:

Good here as well.

Overall Hour 2 Grade:

A+.  What an awesome hour of television.  I loved every minute of it.  I feel like the Elias face turn is the start of something huge.  I can’t wait.


Hour 3:

The Good:

I loooooved the segment between Nikki Bella and Ronda Rousey.  Nikki came up with some fantastic material regarding Ronda’s mother and her shortcomings in other combat sports.  There was an intensity to Ronda’s response that made me much more excited to see their match than I was prior to tonight.  I’m starting to wonder if Nikki may actually win the title.  The feud is hot and it has legs.  Time will tell.

Strong backstage segment between Trish, Lita, Alicia Fox and Mickie James.  I thought it was curious that Lita and Trish got the upper hand on them.  That tells me that the heels are going over on Sunday.  I’m curious as to whether or not Alexa is going to be able to go with her most recent concussion, or if Alicia Fox is sliding into her spot with little fan fare.

Loved the main event.  These four have amazing chemistry together, and tonight was another chapter in their legacy of fantastic matches.  PThe Braun run-in told me everything that I needed to know – Braun v Drew is going to be THE feud on Raw.

Holy cow at that Ambrose heel turn.  This was perfect timing.  A great end to a great show.

The Bad:

More filler from the women’s division.  Again, nothing that happens between random competitors from the battle royal is going to make me care about said battle royal.  Book something interesting and I’ll care.  Don’t and I won’t.  It’s pretty simple.

The Ugly:

Nothing to see here.

Overall Hour 3 Grade:

A.  The hour was bookended by fantastic angles.  Not much to nitpick here.


Overall Show Grade:

A.  The WWE had a lot to deal with tonight, and they came through with flying colors.  A thoroughly enjoyable watch.

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