Raw reaction

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Best match: Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns
Worst match: Brie Bella, Naomi & Cameron vs. Layla, Alicia Fox & Aksana

Night of Champions was a bit of a shock to the system, but the way they folllowed up was some of the best storytelling WWE has done in a long time. I was genuinely upset that the title was stripped from Daniel Bryan. They are going full throttle in making the audience feel sympathy for him, and it's working. All this adversity will only help to make the character more likable. 

Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler: This was much better than the Night of Champions contest. The way Ambrose recovered from the botched bow and arrow spot was the work of a genius.

The Dusty segment was sensational from start to finish. Having Dusty talk about how much he loves his sons and then to be given a "Sophie's Choice" style dilemma was brilliant. Steph played her role expertly. She's a lot more effective when she's just straight-up mean and vindictive as opposed to being passive aggressive and coy. It's hard not to be emoted by what she says, because there's always some truth in it, and it's always a cold, hard truth. The only thing I didn't like about the segment was the use of the word "dismember". I get the feeling ripping Dusty's limbs off would of gone a little too far.

I thought Natalya's mic work was a lot better and her face-to-face with A.J had a real good feel to it. They are the best Divas in the company and I hope they work something half decent. I really liked Natalya's line, "you are a titleholder, I am a born champion".

Randy Orton vs. The Miz: Another psychological home run. Beating up Miz in his home town, in front of his own mother, what's not to like? This really got the sick, twisted Randy Orton character over, which is impressive because it's mainly due to his demeanor and not the abhorrent actions he committed. The slow walk and the scowls at the audience were just as effective as a steel chair wrapped around the neck.

And the hits just keep on coming. Heyman and Ryback were great. The explanation that there was no "plan b" for Paul and Ryback just helped because he doesn't like bullies was acceptable. I wouldn't of done it like that, but then again, I'm just a dumb mark. I've been a fan of Ryback for some time now and I'm looking forward to this partnership. Heyman's the perfect remedy to mask the "big guys" limitations and accentuate his strengths. The kiss and adoring stare from the wheelchair was hilariously creepy. I'm probably reading too much into it, but I'm sure terms like "vegetable" and "dismember" had been words excluded from the WWE lexicon. With words like, dick, piss and bastard being used over the last few weeks, it feels like they're softening their stance.

Tons of Funk vs. The Real Americans vs. The Uso's: This was probably the highlight of The Uso's career. An absolutely fantastic match. Obviously The Real American's played their part, but The Uso's found a new gear. They really reminded me of The Rockers.

Wyatt's promos continue to get better, if that's even possible. This one even had me a little scared. It seemed a lot darker in theme and tone than previous efforts.

Daniel Bryan vs. Roman Reigns: This match was better than anything on the PPV. Reigns looked good, particularly with that jumping lariat move he did. But, it was Seth Rollins who really made this memorable. The bump he took from that stiff looking baseball slide was insane and he followed it up after the match with a nasty head drop. He's crazy. The post match melee was unexpected and a nice touch. Certainly a solid way to wrap up a classic Raw and left me looking forward to next week.

Jonny Clare

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