A Legit Boss For A New Era – Fresh Faces Lead The Way

The WWE makes a lot of promises. Promises of change, a new beginning, and ‘something you’ve never seen before’. Rarely those promises are fulfilled, until last night. A second attempt at a ‘brand extension’, having separate rosters for RAW (WWE’s flagship show) and SmackDown seems to have breathed new life into the world of Monday Night RAW.

RAW of The New Era
The RAW roster of the new era
photo: WWE

Last night was the first night of the new era of RAW, with Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley in the ring addressing the RAW roster. Three matches were announced, along with a new championship title. Two fatal four way matches, in which the winner would face Seth Rollins for the new WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam in August.

Why is there a new championship title, you may ask?

Dean Ambrose, the current WWE Champion, was drafted to SmackDown and retained the title this past Sunday at WWE Battleground. The participants of these matches included Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns (fresh off his 30 day Wellness suspension), along with a new arrival. Drafted from NXT, the former NXT Champion, Finn Balor. One other match was also announced. Current WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte would defend her title against Sasha Banks.

Typically any match involving the current champion and Roman Reigns would end predictably. The WWE has been pushing Roman Reigns forwards as “The Guy” for some time now. So his involvement in one of the fatal four way matches would lead you to believe that Roman would face Rollins. You would also believe that a current champion, that would be Charlotte, would be defending her title going into the WWE’s second biggest show of the year in SummerSlam.

You would be wrong, and wrong in the way that you are ecstatic to be wrong.

Balor vs Reigns - The New Era
Balor puts the boots to Roman Reigns
photo: WWE

In a shocking turn of events, Finn Balor, making his main roster debut, would win one of the fatal four-way matches while Roman Reigns would unsurprisingly win the other. While Finn Balor vs. Roman Reigns may not set the world on fire, it was a better match than most expected. Finn Balor would surprisingly defeat Roman Reigns via pinfall and will be part of the main event at SummerSlam for the newly minted WWE Universal Championship. This match was last of the night, and by logic, would be considered the main event…it was not.

Prior to the Reigns vs. Balor showdown, Charlotte would face Sasha Banks for the WWE Womens Championship. Charlotte has been champion for 300 + days since winning the title last year from Nikki Bella. This was also Sasha’s first one on one match for the title since Charlotte became champion, and they would tear the house down. Both women went at each other with everything they had. Both women pulled out every stiff kick and high risk move at their disposal. Even the requisite interference from Charlotte’s protege, Dana Brooke, was brushed aside when Banks would “pull a Guerrero”, making it look like Brooke hit her with the title, and Brooke would be tossed from ringside. Sasha Banks, in a stunning upset, would make Charlotte tap out to the Bank Statement and become the new WWE Women’s Champion in a match that sets a clear tone for the women in NXT and on the main roster on both RAW and SmackDown. The standard has been set, the bar has been raised, it is time to step up if you plan to compete in the WWE Womens’ Division. To think, barely 3 years ago, the WWE Divas matches were a “bathroom break”, and now they are co-main eventing WWE programming.

Monday Night RAW airs weekly at 8pm on USA


Mat Douglas
Mat Douglas
From Connecticut, that state between New York and Massachusetts, he enjoys well-made cookies, sarcasm, and Liverpool FC.