This week’s edition of Raw (the go-home show before Stoping Grounds on Sunday) started off with Elias in the ring, berating the crowd as always.
Just as he was getting ready to perform, the Universal Champion Seth Rollins came up from behind with a steel chair. Rollins was sending a warning to his opponent for Sunday, Baron Corbin, who gets to pick the referee for their match.
Rollins then issued a message that if anyone sides with Corbin, he would be on the other side waiting with the steel chair.
Personally, I love this side of Rollins. This makes him looks like such a badass and added a nice wrinkle to his babyface character. This edgier side of Rollins was seen throughout the night, and the story-telling was rather good.
The rest of my Raw review is below, ranked in order from best to worst, along with my final rating at the bottom of the article.
Best episode of Firefly Funhouse:
I am not even really sure how to break this episode of the Firefly Funhouse. It was creepy, delusional, and fully displayed Wyatt’s terrifying behavior. You just need to watch this and enjoy Bray and all of his greatness.
Becky is done playing games:
‘The Man’ is tired of hearing Lacey Evans talk, and said the next time Evans comes within striking distance her, Becky will drop her.
Evans rambled on about how she is going to class up the Women’s division and then said Hollywood should make a movie about her life, as she was once a United States Marine.
Becky then made an excellent point, as she pointed out that it makes no sense, given Lacey’s background, that she would attack from behind and sucker punch at every turn.
Lynch did precisely what she said (which was good to see) and hit Evans with the ‘Bexploder’ shortly after she entered the ring.
Their first match last month was alright; hopefully, this one of Sunday will be better. Lynch still gets quite the reaction from the fans, and thinking about taking the belt off her now would be a mistake.
Dash & Dawson clean up nice/McIntyre doesn’t care about your kids.
After winning the Raw Tag Team titles last week, The Revival strolled into the Staples Center dressed to the nine’s. The champs then strutted into Shane McMahon’s private lounge and began celebrating with ‘The Best in the World’ and Drew McIntyre.
This was another rather well-told story throughout the night. Later on in the night, Heath Slater approached Shane & his groupies to ask for a raise. McMahon declined and sent McIntyre out to handle his business.
The former ‘3MB’ mates had a quick chat before McIntyre beat down Slater with his wife on the phone. In a nice bit of comedy, you could see the Revival trying to pick up the money that McIntyre dropped earlier in the segment.
Now, this is an act I can get behind, as you have your heels all chumming it up together, but also throwing in bits of comedy is also a great way to keep the crowd engaged.
The ‘Big Dog’ strikes:
The complaint of so many WWE fans over the years is that Roman Reigns has been shoved down our throats. Well, this was the first time in a long time that Roman looked like such a badass.
Reigns got tired of Shane and McIntyre, and during Drew’s promo left the ring and went to find McMahon. After tossing around the Revival, Roman entered the private lounge, and Shane looked terrified.
Even his lackey, McIntyre, could not stop the ‘Big Dog’ from getting to Shane. Roman chased McMahon back to the ring, and then beat him down. As he was leaving, Regins uttered a superb line to Shane, telling him to “crawl to the back and tell Drew I’ll whoop his ass on Sunday.”
The Main Event breaks down:
A rather great main event of Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins was cut short when Rowan slammed Seth on the ring apron. This brought down The New Day, Sami and Kevin, The Revival, and the Usos.
After the dust settled, the main-event match was restarted and these top uber-talented wrestlers put on an incredible showing for the LA crowd. In the end, Rollins hit the stomp on Bryan to pick up the win.
However, Corbin picked his moment and attacked Rollins with a steel chair to stand tall as Raw went off the air. Overall it was a pretty great main event.
The 24/7 title still rules:
R-Truth and Carmella were in the front row, wearing some pretty elaborate costumes to try and blend in with the WWE Universe. However, the other Superstars figured out it was Truth, so he made an escape under the ring.
Then out from under the ring came, Titus O’Neil? Truth then used this distraction to run away with the title, and the babydoll. Gosh, this 24/7 rules. See what happens when you give the Superstars a chance to be creative & have some fun with their character.
Corbin is running out of options:
As a guest on the Sami and Kevin show, Baron Corbin came on to announce his next choice as the special guest referee. Corbin’s next pick was EC3, who barely made it on the stage before Rollins, a man of his word, came out and put down a beating to EC3 with a steel chair.
But this was not the end of the segment, as the New Day surprised the LA crowd by showing up to Raw. Another GREAT bit from this episode was Owens and Zayn counting on their fingers in the background the number of Wild Cards that already appeared on Raw. These are the little things WWE needs to continue to do, as it just makes the overall quality of the show better.
After verbal jabs were traded, the New Day then used a knocked out EC3 to get a sanctioned six-man tag match, which was another great bit of comedy.
The match that followed was not as great, but the New Day stood tall and picked up the win in a 2-out-of-3 falls match after Sami and Kevin bailed on Corbin.
Rollins does not trust anyone:
Corbin is later seen talking to Eric Young backstage, who then notices Rollins lurking in the background. Young stumbles over his words to let Seth know he just talked to Corbin to make him feel good.
After seemingly reassuring Young that all was good, Rollins came back and decked Young with the chair. The Beast Slayer is surely taking no chances, and at the same time frustrating his opponent on Sunday.
Samoa Joe has a new challenger:
The first match of the evening was a fatal five-way match to determine who would go on to face Samoa Joe for the United States title this Sunday.
Before the match even got underway, the five competitors each took their turn hitting Elias with their finishing move. Not a good night for one of Shane McMahon’s henchmen.
But as for the match, it was rather entertaining. It managed to make all five competitors look strong, as even after getting eliminated, Cesaro and Bobby Lashley teamed us to help Ricochet take out the ‘Moster Among Men.’
Then Cesaro showed an INSANE amount of strength by picking up Braun Strowman and planting him with his finishing move.
The final two, Miz and Richochet, proceded to go back and forth for a bit (and it was actually pretty entertaining) before the ‘One and Only’ gained the upper hand and put away Miz and win the right to face Joe on Sunday.
Ricochet has all the potential in the world and putting the U.S. Title on him now makes a ton of sense.
Paul Heyman is here…where’s Brock?
A running theme throughout the night was WWE heels taking shots at the LA Lakers after their recent trade to acquire Anthony Davis, Paul Heyman was no exception.
Heyman is overall a great promo, but do we really need him out here like this cutting what is basically the same promo every other week? He teased that Lesnar MAY BE here tonight (yeah I didn’t believe that for a second).
The whole point of Money in the Bank is to cash-in when the fans least expect it or at least forget about the person holding the briefcase. The best thing for Lesnar & Heyman is to go away for a bit, let fans forget about it, and then around Summer Slam, bring Lesnar back to haunt Rollins (or whoever is champion) again.
AJ Styles keeps it real with his friends:
Styles ran into his buddies Gallows and Anderson backstage and did not mince words when he told the two they have become soft since getting to WWE. The Good Brothers then announced they had a match with the Usos later on, and they would show everyone that they still are an excellent tag team.
The tag match, however, did not even get off the ground. The Usos took advantage of The Good Brothers showboating and picked up a win off of a double superkick.
Women’s tag titles still exist:
Earlier in the night, Alexa Bliss got her and her new “BFF” Nikki Cross a shot at the IIconics and their Women’s tag team championships. Bliss has been telling Cross that her opponent on Sunday, Bayley, has been spreading nasty rumors about her.
We have all seen this story before, but Cross seems to falling hook, line, and sinker for Bliss and her tactics. The IIconics were able to pick up the win, as Bayley prevented Bliss from getting in the ring to help break up the pin.
To me it seems like WWE is setting us up to have Cross interfere and help Bliss win the title Sunday, then Bliss will turn on Cross and there you have your next Women’s title feud.
With that being said, I hope Bayley retains, but I am not sure how much the top brass like Bayley as a long-term champion.
Viking Raiders dominate:
After being called up just a couple months ago, the Viking Raiders are back on WWE TV, this time beating down a couple of jobbers. After not seeing this team for what seems like forever, hopefully, this is the start of a real push for this destructive tag team.
Overall I thought this was the best Raw in months. There was not one specific moment that stood out to me, but instead, just the overall quality of the show was solid. The Seth Rollins character took a nice turn, and Roman and Becky both did what more wrestlers should do, just take the fight to the heels. I hope this carries over into the following weeks (fingers crossed).
My rating: 4 out of 5.