5 Things Learned: Monday Night Raw (7.11.16)

What were the major takeaways from the first ever Raw to emanate from Scotland?

5 Things Learned: Monday Night Raw (7.11.16)
Dar made his long awaited debut. Photo- Sky Sports

Monday Night Raw was broadcast from Glasgow, Scotland for the first time in WWE's history, but if you were hoping for a historic episode of the flagship show, sadly, you would have been let down. That's right, WWE produced another poor episode of Raw that was only made bearable by a few good segments. Instead of a fun show we were given a seriously promo-heavy episode where we witnessed one match in the opening hour and 15 minutes which ultimately resulted in a show that dragged on as WWE once again proved that a three hour Raw is simply too much.

5. Sami Zayn get's a title shot 

One of the main issues with the WWE post brand split is that the argument for it taking place was that superstars would get more opportunities, yet in the case of Sami Zayn (one of the most popular stars on the roster) that hasn't been the case. In fact, Zayn has been used even less since the brand split even though there is only half the roster and a three-hour show to fill, makes sense doesn't it? 

No, it doesn't, however, this week the former NXT Champion was given an opportunity and as usual the Underdog from the Underground took it with both hands. With Mick Foley handpicking him to take on Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series and Stephanie McMahon choosing Rusev and number one contender's match was made between the pair, a match that was very entertaining. 

When you put two talented wrestlers in the ring and just let them wrestle the results are always positive (take note, WWE) and Zayn once again proved his abilities and the connection he has with the fans. Thankfully for fans of Zayn he came out on top and will now get a chance to actually feature on a PPV and once again showcase his skills. 

On the other hand, whilst this is all positive the emasculation of Zayn by Stephanie during their backstage promo is exactly the sort of thing WWE shouldn't be doing. The wrestlers should be the stars, not the GM's or authority figures and this is something that Steph does too much, making the wrestlers appear weak.

4. Painful Promo-Time with the tag teams

Raw was incredibly promo-heavy this week with long 15/20 minute segments taking place several times throughout the show which had no real purpose other than to seemingly bore the crowd to sleep (this nearly worked). The worst of those promos came from the tag team division as all five teams who will be competing for Team Raw at Survivor Series entered the ring and all had time to speak, that's 11 people, making this segment seriously drag.

Promo's are all well and good when they have a purpose, the problem here is that this one didn't. Some people threatened to leave and in the end none of them did the only positive was that Sheamus was very entertaining here as a heel and it's good to see the Celtic Warrior back in a strong position within the company as he has real talent, other than that this was a segment to quickly forget about. 

3. Main Event delivers 

KO pinned his best friend. Photo- WWE.com
KO pinned his best friend. Photo- WWE.com

Sometimes when Raw is poor a good main event match can salvage the episode to some degree and thankfully this week, that was the case. All five men from Team Raw (now with Seth Rollins added) competed in a Fatal Fiveway match, not a stipulation we see all the time and that made it feel fresh instantly. Also, the fact that weapons were involved helped, we always see triple threats where there are NODQ's and nobody ever uses weapons, finally some logic. 

All five men clicked really well and the inner feuds within the team played into the match, however, the real star of this was Braun Strowman. The big man looked like he belonged and the WWE are booking him the way they should've done all along, he had his time to be strong and dominate and then they used a table spot to take him out after all four guys had beaten him down, smart booking. 

The finish of the match was also incredibly well booked with a Superman Punch to Kevin Owens accidently knocking the champion out onto a fallen Chris Jericho to get the pinfall victory over his best friend. It's a clever little seed to continue the build towards this friendship exploding and WWE has done a great job with teasing that in recent weeks. 

2. Bayley is Scotland's girl 

"Hey, hey Bayley, ooh-aah, I want to know if you'll be my girl?" That was the chant that hijacked the entire women's segment from this week's Raw. Scotland made it clear from the moment her music hit that they loved the Hugster and she showed them the exact same affection back but even she couldn't silence the crowd. The reaction from the fans made what was turning into another long winded promo slightly acceptable and the match that followed was of good quality, but this moment was all about Bayley and it shows that WWE has a true star on their hands with her. 

1. Hometown hero debuts

One of the major saving graces from this week's Raw was the debut of cruiserweight sensation and Scottish superstar, Noam Dar. The youngest competitor in the CWC was advertised for the division ever since it first arrived several months ago and fans were growing impatient waiting for the Scottish Supernova but his debut was certainly worth the wait. 

The reaction he received was fitting for the hometown hero as his entrance was built up with fireworks, giving him a big star feel. Despite the fact he was on the losing end of the tag team match, Dar placed himself in the pile to be a contender for the Cruiserweight Championship with his actions following the bell, taking out Brian Kendrick and standing tall,  a brilliant moment on a sadly, lacklustre show.