Hello everyone. Last night WWE came to the Allstate Arena in Chicago for Monday Night Raw. In the past, the company had has had great moments and memories in the building. Unfortunately, I didn’t really feel that the company used all their assets in the build to Hell in a Cell.

While I enjoyed the fact that given the schizophrenic nature of last week WWE removed The Authority from the equation. However in its place was a show along storyline in which for some reason Triple H puts Kane in charge in which he puts himself in the main event a Lumberjack Match against the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Later in the night, Stephanie and Triple H would later tell their Dir. of Operations not to do that and find a replacement. To say their logic holes in all this is an understatement. But I thought the comedy fell flat in a lot of ways. I would’ve liked them to put Seth in charge to shake things up a little bit.

All that aside, I like the opening segment with Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton and The New Day. Kingston, Woods and Big E would again show their worth as a trio as they continue to interact with the brands top stars. While I wish they would have kept the more aggressive, darker tone of the group established last week. But at least they kept them strong getting another when It over Orton and Ambrose. This establishes the old school can these two renegades battle the juggernaut of The Wyatt Family at Hell in a Cell.

The Divas Revolution once again felt like an also-ran bunch of segments. Nikki Bella defeated Naomi with little fanfare. The most interesting part of the match was Brie Bella chanting “We Want Sasha” on the announcer table followed by a hellish bump from Mrs. Daniel Bryan.

I guess WWE wanted to give the impression of Team Bella was trying to create dissension between Naomi, Sasha and Tamina saying that The Boss has outshined the other two members of Team Bad. Given that Sasha is not the focus of the title picture this month. Doesn’t make sense to do this though as it really deemphasizes Charlotte. Not to mention The Divas Champion losing to Brie Bella in a tag match.

And WWE did themselves no favors showing the footage from NXT Takeover: Respect. They should’ve just done Sasha getting praise from people backstage and then that be it. You can be more subtle in your storytelling. Add this to the Paige on commentary during a later segment with Charlotte and it just falls flat again.

How ironic that WWE acknowledging the real life engagement of Rusev and Lana made Summer Rae the most female empowering character on WWE television. I’m sure this will be forgotten about shortly. But she was one of the most real characters on that show given her reaction. The Bulgarian Brute lost in two minutes to Ryback makes me think that he is persona non grata in the company.

The other part of the equation, Dolph, got the short end of the stick as he lost to John Cena in the US Open Challenge. The Show Off lost clean while using some dirty tactics. So maybe given his recent showing on Total Divas and the fact that his storyline pretty much exploited maybe he’s going to turn heel. But my question is will it really matter in the long run? When a wedding proposal gains crowd favor over your match it’s not a good sign.

The rest of Raw felt like filler.

Kevin Owens battled Kallisto in a good match but there’s not enough of something there to care. You told the audience The Dragons really don’t mean as much. I wish that there was a Cruiserweight division again so talent like The Lucha Dragons can be focused on more. Sheamus and Barrett defeated Neville and Cesaro in record time. My question is why do the match at all? This does nothing for no one.

WWE also didn’t do Roman Reigns any favors putting him in a lie promo against the voracious Chicago audience. Much like his Hell in a Cell opponent they said “anyone else but you”. To his credit Reigns tried to wrangle them in but his verbal skills are not there. Hell, the crowd hath no fury more than Bray Wyatt who got a Husky Harris chant. While I understand the crowd frustration on the segment in general but it seems like the crowd trying to get themselves over.

The company is really trying to get over Braun Stroman as a mountain of a man. However, the match with Reigns later in the night really should the weakness of Stroman. It doesn’t make sense to expose Stroman that badly yet.

Brock Lesnar and Undertaker were relegated to a video package which strangely enough did not show their original encounter in 2002 taking place inside Hell in a Cell.

The main event was more a backdrop for Kane versus Big Show than Kane versus Seth Rollins. It really turned into a cluster fuck with everybody going after one another. I’m sure WWE wanted a chaotic ending but I don’t feel like it felt frenetic it just felt predictable. Overall the wrestling was solid but the storylines really didn’t emphasize the characters properly in the roles going forward. I know I feel like a broken record at times but that’s very very important. There’s a reason why the N XT brand is so much stronger with audiences than the main roster. You’re connected with who is competing you don’t really have the same feeling on Raw or Smackdown that is no fault of the talent it’s definitely a creative issue.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.