WWE Raw gears up for Clash Of Champions in style, at the world’s most famous arena! Who stood out in the process?
WWE Raw was live on September 9th, a night that provided the Raw go home for Clash Of Champions, and Steve Austin’s special appearance at Madison Square Garden. Who stood out?
The Third Star for WWE Raw: Rey Mysterio & Gran Metalik (Tie)
In a fantastic encounter, Rey Mysterio proved that he is still a viable top performer in WWE. He did so against Gran Metalik, who reminded everyone why he was such a big deal coming out of the Cruiserweight Classic. I know this match was treated as a special attraction for Madison Square Garden, but it also came off as a trial run for a match on a bigger stage in the future. Could Gran Metalik get a WrestleMania moment when he and Rey Mysterio perform in front of over 70,000 masked fans in Tampa Bay?
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The Second Star: Baron Corbin
Don’t look now, but Baron Corbin was the second most over man on all of Raw, right behind “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. I incorrectly thought this King Of The Ring was all about Andrade, and it suddenly appears that it was all about Baron Corbin. But here’s the important part: he deserves it.
That’s right, the guy behind the Baron Corbin Sucks shirt just told you that Baron Corbin deserves to be King Of The Ring. He’s really coming into his own, and he meshes well with almost any opponent. Tonight he won in such a way that didn’t hurt Ricochet or Samoa Joe, and made both look like a million bucks in the process. He escaped with a win, like a good heel. Assuming we get Baron Corbin vs. Chad Gable, King Baron is going to reign supreme and–GASP!–restore glory to The King Of The Ring throne?
Honorable Mention: The Madison Square Garden crowd
Seriously, this crowd was fantastic. They deserve all the praise in the world for being a great crowd. Yes, they had some self-pleasing moments, but for the most part they were into the action throughout the entirety of a three-hour show. Kudos to you, NYC.
Monday’s Raw Reaction!
The First Star for WWE Raw: AJ Styles
AJ Styles was the goat all night, but he was also the GOAT of the night. (Yes, that means Greatest Of All Time Of The Night.) First he plays foil to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the Madison Square Garden crowd. That culminates in him eating a Stone Cold Stunner to give the crowd the moment they so desired, and early on in the show. But he wasn’t done yet.
Then he went one-on-one with Cedric Alexander, and while the finish might have been predictable, it allowed Cedric to shine, putting him over as a credible threat to Styles’ United States Championship thanks to the interference brought by The O.C. Then he was the link needed in The Viking Warriors destruction of Like Gallows and Karl Anderson, holding that post-match brawl together.
Finally, you get to the main event. AJ Styles delivered in every way possible, ending in the ultimate–laying down for Cedric Alexander in Madison Square Garden, giving Alexander a rub like never before. In what was a really good episode of WWE Raw, AJ Styles served as the glue that held the biggest moments together.
In hockey, a game’s “Three Stars Of The Night” represent the top three performers of the night. For more clarification, I defer to this Pittsburgh Gazette explanation:
“The tradition dates to the 1936-37 season, when Imperial Oil became the principal sponsor of Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts and was seeking a way to promote one of its products, Three Star gasoline. The idea of doing so by selecting the top three performers in a particular game purportedly came from a Canadian advertising agency.
Many clubs do recognize the player with the most three-star selections with an award or trophy, usually in conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, at the end of the season (or sometimes, each month). All six Canadian franchises, for example, have an affiliation with a well-known brewery.
The NHL keeps track of its own Three Stars Of The Night selections, but that is done on a league-wide basis. The league employs a system that awards 30 points to a first star, 20 to a second star and 10 to a third – a running total can be found on the league’s website – but it does not present an award based on them.”
In hockey tradition, the first star represents the best of the three, but all three are considered to be receiving a high honor.