In case you were completely unaware, WWE’s brand extension resumes on the first episode of Smackdown Live (yes, that’s the official name, despite Raw having been live for years at this point). And with the matches for Battleground already set up, and any further developments rendered unimportant due to the fact that the entire dynamic of the company will shift in less than a day, Raw itself was an exercise in filling three hours of programming with watchable, but ultimately meaningless content. Well, aside from the first ten minutes of the show, which introduced the GMs of Raw and Smackdown. Overall, nearly half of Raw was dedicated to two matches: a 12-man tag, and Dean Ambrose facing Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship, a match whose outcome really doesn’t matter, since they’ll do the whole thing over again in less than a week at Battleground. Still, even on show with absolutely no lasting consequences, some interesting stuff happened, right?
10. The End Of The Authority
Okay, we know it’s hard, because we love him too, but ignore Daniel Bryan for a second here. Obviously, we’re happy to see Mick Foley back and looking in far better shape than he has, since he was probably the best authority figure WWE’s ever had, or at least the most enjoyable. The real good news is that WWE didn’t go the obvious route and put The Authority back in power by naming Triple H as GM (hopefully, with a GM installed, Stephanie will make far less appearances and go back to her real job now), returning the show to the doom and gloom that we’ve experienced from a long string of evil people in power dating back to…actually, when wasn’t Raw under the heel of a bad guy? Theoretically, Roman Reigns will get the credit for ending The Authority’s reign at WrestleMania, but it does feel like we never really got that proper blowoff to their reign of terror. Also, we probably could have lived without Mick doing a little speech about how Stephanie’s dedication to slapping people is actually a sign of passion. We can deal with all those minor issues, however, because for the first time in a long time, the good guys are in charge!