This week Raw kicked off with the ‘Big Dog’ Roman Reigns making his way to the ring. Reigns, who is officially on the Smackdown brand, is now a fixture of both brands as WWE tries to find a solution to their sinking ratings.
Shane McMahon’s music he and the “Best in the World” cut a promo on Reigns on how he is going to make him tap out on Friday at ‘Super Showdown’ for the first time in Roman’s career.
Reigns was not having any of it and told Shane after he was done with him, he was turning his attention to beating Drew McIntyre’s ass at the Stomping Ground pay-per-view later this month.
This brought out McIntyre, who rushed the ring with McMahon, but Reigns was also ambushed by the Revival from behind. Luckily Reigns’ cousins, the Usos, came in to help the ‘Big Dog’ out.
It was nice to see more than just talking in the opening segment, and this encounter led to a six-man tag match, with McMahon lurking around the outside of the ring.
Below are my rankings of the rest of Raw’s segments, as well as my overall ranking at the bottom.
Miz TV with the Universal Champion:
Rollins came to the ring as a marked man, as over the weekend Paul Heyman made it known that his client Brock Lesnar would be showing up to Raw to cash-in his contract.
After Rollins cut a promo on not only Lesnar but also Baron Corbin, the video board showed Heyman and Lesnar arriving at the arena, ready to cash in on the ‘Beast Slayer’ himself.
However, Brock and Heyman took a detour to the locker room area. Lesnar was playing mind games with the champion, as Seth Rollins was visibly anxious with the presence of ‘The Beast’ in the arena.
This was a solid segment all-around, and Rollins did a great job at selling his nervousness, while Lesnar continued to stalk the champion. Miz TV was almost an afterthought, but Miz did a terrific job at driving home the point of what Lesnar holding the Money in the Bank briefcase truly means for Rollins’ fate.
Six-man tag match better than advertised:
The skirmish between the six men from the opening segment led to a tag match, which actually was pretty entertaining, and had the crowd engaged.
From the beginning, the Usos took their turns in the ring, going back and forth with McIntyre and the Revival. The crowd was audibly chanting for Reigns throughout the match, but of course, the hot tag came during a commercial break.
Roman took control when he made his way into the match, but after pursuing McMahon on the outside, took a vicious Claymore kick from the ‘Scottish Psychopath’ and took him out of the match.
Drew made his way back into the ring and delivered another Claymore kick to pick up the win. However, the beat down did not end there, as the four heels took their turns hitting finishing moves on Reigns before Shane used a spear to leave his opponent on Friday down for the count.
The final angle was obviously setting up for the ‘Super Showdown’ match, and if history tells us anything, Roman will be winning come Friday, and he should. Roman gains a lot from winning on Friday, as he is in the midst of getting built back up after returning a few months ago.
The Man Comes Around:
Becky admitted that she had become content after winning the Main Event of Wrestlemania, but said when Lacey Evans helped Charlotte beat Lynch last month, that awoke something inside of her.
Lynch was fired up and cut one of her better promos of late, saying she was pissed off and would be coming after Evans, which of course brought the ‘Sassy Southern Belle’ out.
Evans did her best to cut a promo, but it was the same re-hashed words that we have heard from Evans since this feud began. But, before these two could go any further, Charlotte Flair would appear.
I thought it would be the end of these three women standing in the same ring after Money in the Bank but looks like WWE is going back to the well with this feud.
After Evans attacked Flair, those two would have an impromptu match. However, during the match, the crowd was chanting, “Becky, Becky!”
But the two ladies in the match had an alright match, but it ended when Lynch pulled Charlotte out of the ring and then attacked Evans with her new finishing move.
Becky still is the class of the Women’s division, but still is stuck in a feud with Lacey, which will likely lead to another match at the Stomping Grounds PPV. Evans is making a name for herself and is turning into a solid heel, but has a ways to go to be a believable women’s champion on the red brand.
Baron Corbin strikes again:
Seth Rollins, who we saw earlier on Miz TV, was back out in the ring waiting for the inevitable cash in from Brock Lesnar. However, we got Baron Corbin instead. After a brief exchange of words, these two men got into a brawl, before Seth was distracted by Lesnar’s music.
This allowed Corbin to attack Rollins, and leave him lying there ripe for the picking. Lesnar came down, hit Seth with a low blow, then proceeded to punish Rollins with a steel chair.
Lesnar beat down Rollins for several minutes, even coming back to nail him with the briefcase, but did not officially cash in the contract. He instead shouted at Paul Heyman that he would be cashing in on Friday at Super Showdown.
For Rollins, he left the ring on a stretcher and his status for the upcoming pay-per-view unknown.
Firefly Funhouse strikes again:
This time around, we met Wyatt’s new friend, Huskus the Pig, who loves sugar & sweets. Then we saw a puppet dressed in a suit & tie, presumably a Vince McMahon lookalike, and also back from the dead, Ramblin Rabbit was throwing out some fresh beats while Wyatt began to work out.
We then saw Wyatt take part in a weird-looking exercise video, before ending the episode by finishing with his signature “All you have to do is let me in” line.
This wasn’t the best Firefly Funhouse, but still was entertaining nonetheless.
United States title relinquished:
Just as Rey Mysterio was about the lay the United States title in the middle of the ring, Samoa Joe interrupted the moment and told Rey to stop lying to the people, he never beat Joe.
Rey then did give up his title to Joe, which was quite the honorable move. Joe, however, attacked Mysterio as he was leaving the ring, meaning these two are not finished.
Joe has his belt back, and with Rey on the shelf with an injury, it will be interesting to see who steps up and challenges for the U.S.Title next.
The Deadman returns:
No matter how many times I see it happen, watching the Undertaker make his way to the ring gives me goosebumps. This man is a legend, and arguably the best wrestler to ever step foot in a WWE ring.
Taker will do battle with WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg for the first time ever at ‘Super Showdown’ on Friday. Granted, this match is about 15 years later than many had hoped, but I personally am still looking forward to seeing it take place.
This was actually a great promo from the Phenom, who said he wanted Goldberg the icon to show up on Friday and not Goldberg, the family man. The show closed with Taker saying that Goldberg “is next!”
Randy Orton & Triple H come face-to-face:
These two have down battle before on the biggest stage of them all, and the next chapter is going to be written. This match has little hype, and before this segment, the only thing we had seen hyping the match was a video package.
Nothing really had to be said, but both Orton and Triple H had some incredible lines on the mic. This match won’t be the best one on the card, but it should be better than some anticipate.
Cesaro & Ricochet do battle again:
It is no denying these two have some great chemistry in the ring, and for the third week in a row, we saw that on display. While it is fun to see these two superstars do battle, it would be nice to see WWE mix it up a bit, instead of going back to the well with the same matchup 3 weeks in a row.
After each superstar hit a flurry of moves, Ricochet won the match on a….rollup. It is getting REALLY old seeing great matches getting these kinds of finishes. Heaven forbid someone wins with a finishing move?
Lars destroys the Lucha House Party:
I know, the title above is not exactly creative, but this is what happened. No beating around the bush, Lars came to the ring after the three members of Lucha House Party entered the arena.
They were advertised for a tag match, but Lars slowly walked to the ring, before beating down each member. However, the Lucha House Party fought back and drove Sullivan through the ropes.
Again, this did a fine job of setting the stage for their three-on-one handicap match at ‘Super Showdown’ but we all known how that will go, right?
Nikki Cross faces Peyton Royce:
In a matchup set up earlier in the night, Nikki Cross (with Alexa Bliss in her corner) took on one-half of the Women’s Tag Team champions.
This wasn’t the best wrestling match we have seen, but Nikki hit a nice looking neckbreaker to put away Royce after Billie Kay forced Bliss to spill her coffee.
Bliss then rushed the ring and attacked the IIconics. Does this mean Alexa is cleared for in-ring competition?
Arm Wrestling Match:
Yes, you’re reading that right, There was an arm wrestling match on Raw last night. Bobby Lashley & Braun Strowman, who face off at ‘Super Showdown’ Friday, squared off for a different type of match.
After Strowman won the arm wrestling match, Lashley threw chalk at ‘The Monster Among Men’ and hit a running power slam on Braun.
Whatever the point of this segment was, I think it missed the mark. We get it, these two are incredibly strong men, but having an arm wrestling contest does what exactly?
Considering this was the go-home episode for ‘Super Showdown’ I thought this edition of Raw was great at times but fell completely flat in other areas.
Between the 24/7 championship segments and the Firefly funhouse, that helped boost my rating, but not a whole lot outside of seeing the Undertaker and the Triple H/Randy Orton face-to-face got me the least bit excited for the pay-per-view on Friday.
My rating: 3 out of 5.