So, how about that for an episode of Raw.
In the span of three hours Monday night, WWE reminded us just how much wrestling can mess with our emotions.
It started with the very real announcement of Roman Reigns having a re-occurrence of leukemia, forcing him to relinquish the Universal Championship. This is about as real as it can get in a wrestling ring. There wasn’t one person in that arena or watching at home that didn’t feel something watching Reigns deliver that news in the ring.
We don’t get to see the human side of wrestlers often. That’s the point of the show: it’s these superhuman characters appearing on our television. So when we see someone the likes of Reigns show vulnerability, show he’s human, show he actually has feelings that aren’t manufactured, it shakes us to our core.
When we went back to the kayfabe world, we had some awesome developments there too. Drew McIntyre hitting Braun Strowman with a claymore from out of nowhere was killer. I can’t wait until McIntyre and Strowman go one-on-one here, hopefully for the Universal Title.
Elias turned face, which was something I wasn’t expecting. It makes sense, given he gets one of the loudest reactions every week. Hopefully, this will lead Elias to more title opportunities. He vs. the likes of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Dolph Ziggler would be money.
It was a really good Raw up until this point. The show featured good in-ring action, solid promo work (Nikki Bella actually did well!) and the main event match was strong.
The show went from “good” to “great” in the last five minutes, though.
Don’t kid yourself: you had no idea that was coming. And that’s what makes it so damn brilliant.
There’s no way Ambrose would turn on Rollins after Reigns’ announcement, right? There’s no way he could turn on Rollins now, they’re the tag team champions, right? Think about all the positive momentum they have now as the champs!
Well, we were all wrong. And I’m glad I was.
It was perfect because it happened when you least expected it. It was almost an homage to when Seth first turned on the Shield in 2014. You had no idea it was coming, which made it the perfect time to do it.
Ambrose turning on Rollins was a perfect way to cap off one of the best Raws in recent memory. Ambrose easily becomes the most reviled man in the company because of this. His heel heat will be taken to the next level after his actions.
So, in one night: Reigns announces he has leukemia, Elias and Braun Strowman both turned face, and Ambrose turns heel.
What a night. It feels great to be invested in Raw again.