Just one night removed from WWE’s latest pay-per-view ‘Stomping Grounds’ Raw kicked off with the Universal Champion Seth Rollins addressing the WWE Universe, but before Rollins could get going, Becky Lynch interrupted and made her way to the ring.
Rollins and Lynch (a real-life couple) began recapping their very successful night where both were successful in their title defenses. After trashing their opponents from Sunday, Baron Corbin’s music hit, but alas, it was Lacey Evans attacking Becky from behind, and Corbin was close behind.
When the dust settled the two champions laid out the challenge, face them in a mixed tag team match at the next pay-per-view. However, the heels raised the stakes and made the mix tag match for both the Universal championship and Raw Women’s championship.
After Stomping Grounds, it was pretty clear this was the path WWE was going with these four superstars, and it will be interesting how they manage to keep this feud building for four weeks until Extreme Rules.
The crowd was very hot for this opening segment, as continuous “Becky, Becky!” chants filled the arena. Overall it was a fine opening segment and looked to set the tone for the night.
Below is the recap of Monday Night Raw, with the segments ranked from best to worst, with my rating at the end.
Shane McMahon Receives a Deadly Surprise:
On Sunday night, Roman Reigns got a bit of revenge on both Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon as he overcame the odds to defeat the Scottish Psychopath.
However, McMahon used his authority to make a two-on-one match between himself and Drew against Roman.
Reigns briefly got the upper hand, but like always the numbers game caught up to ‘The Big Dog’ and the heels began a vicious, methodical beat down.
But as McMahon went for his patented coast-to-coast, the lights went out and a familiar gong sounded. When the lights came back on, the Undertaker was in Shane’s path, and the Deadman proceeded to beat down both McMahon and McIntyre.
Saving Reigns was interesting giving their history from Wrestlemania 33, but wow what a moment. The crowd was hot for this and it got a genuine pop, which is hard to come by nowadays. I am interested to see where this angle goes in the coming weeks. (After Raw went off the air Undertaker was announced for a tag-team match at Extreme Rules with Reigns taking on McMahon/McIntyre).
Tag Team Divison on Display Early:
We got our first two wild cards of the night as both the New Day and the Smackdown Tag Team Champions were set to take part in an eight-man tag match.
Per usual, The Revival (Raw Tag Team Champions) and Daniel Bryan/Rowan did now mix well as partners, as the ‘Top Guys’ took out Bryan and Xavier Woods pinned one half of the Raw Tag Team Champions.
After both Smackdown wild cards were out of the match, the Usos and Revival actually had a solid tag team match. It is amazing what happens when you give two talented tag teams time to show what they can do.
In the end, the Usos picked up the ‘W’ and this will likely set up a future title opportunity for the Usos down the line.
Miz TV turns into the 24/7 show:
Before Miz TV even began, we got a backstage shot of the A-lister getting set for the show, when in the background Abbey the witch from Bray’s Firefly Funhouse was seen. This completely caught me off guard and was a nice surprise.
Once Miz officially kicked off his show, the seven-time 24/7 champion R-Truth and Carmella cautiously made their way to the ring. Truth said the title has consumed his life and he cannot do anything without looking over his back.
Then we saw footage of Truth pinning Drake Maverick at his own wedding to win the title back. After seeing how far Truth would go to win the title, Maverick came out and asked for a rematch.
Truth’s comedic response was brilliant, and the crowd loved it. Once the actual match started though, we saw Truth pick up a QUICK win. This was overall a great comedy skit and a great change of pace for this three-hour show.
More 24/7 chaos:
In the span of minutes, Heath Slater, R-Truth, Cedric Alexander, EC3, and R-Truth again all held the title. Considering we were going to see a match between Slater and Mojo Rawley, this content with the 24/7 title was 100 times better.
Pay-Per-View Worthy Match in the Raw Main Event:
AJ Styles and the new US Champion Ricochet squared off in Raw’s main event. But before things truly got going, the Good Brothers reappeared, much to the dismay of Styles, and he ordered them to leave before the match would go on.
Once the match fully got underway, it took a bit for these two to pick up the pace and hit their stride, but in the ten minutes, we really saw what these two had to offer. In the end, Styles would hit Ricochet with the Phenomenal Forearm to pick up a win over the champion.
Personally, I do not see the need to pin Ricochet here, just 24 hours after he won the US Title. I am guessing this took place so Styles could battle Ricochet at the next pay-per-view for that title. I hope that is the case because a pay-per-view match between those two would be epic.
KofiMania on Monday Nights:
Since the Wildcard rule is basically non-existent at this point, Smackdown acts Kofi Kingston and Kevin Owens were on the red brand. They were both out here because Sami Zayn had a match with Kingston, after K.O. and Zayn took down Big E and Xavier Woods at Stomping Grounds.
However, once the talking was done, Zayn and Kingston had quite a good TV match. Kingston was worked over by Zayn for quite a bit of time, while Owens provided some help when needed.
In the end, Kingston would gain the upper hand and then defeat Zayn on a roll-up. Not exactly a great finish to what was otherwise a solid match.
But Kingston was not done, as Owens would challenge the WWE Champion and Kofi would accept. This match was not nearly as long but after taking an SOS on the ramp, Owens was unable to beat the ten count and Kingston retained.
Kofi’s night was not done though, as former US champion Samoa Joe planted Kingston in the video board and the steel stage. If this means we are getting Joe vs Kofi for the WWE Title, I am all for that match.
Throwback to 6th Grade Field Day:
It is not a Vince McMahon show if you do not get two beefy men doing beefy men things. That is what we got here with Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman.
These two strong men took to the ring to compete in a tug-of-war competition, which Strowman won after toying with Lashley. But in heel fashion, Lashley beat down Strowman and stood tall in the end. While I do not think it was a terrible segment, it definitely killed a bit of the show’s momentum, but the crowd was still buzzing from seeing the Undertaker.
The Good Brothers Suffer a Bad Beatdown:
Well, this is now two weeks of seeing Gallows and Anderson featured on television along with AJ Styles. Just like a week ago, this tag match actually got going early but after the Good Brothers got a bit cocky, the Viking Raiders came back to win.
I honestly would like to see the Good Brothers featured on television more often, but actually picking up wins and making the tag division stronger. Hopefully, that is not too much to ask for from WWE.
Naomi & Natalya suffers the wrath of Alexa Bliss:
The Goddess of WWE made quick work of Naomi, but this was all about the angle from earlier in the night. Nikki Cross appears conflicted with helping Bliss, and Naomi and Natalya warned her about Bliss’ past.
I smell a women’s tag match coming out of this and guess what, that is exactly what happened when the commercial break ended. Cross did the majority of the work, but Bliss jumped in at the end to get the pinfall win. This Bliss/Cross pairing is destined for a bigger and better storyline.
Overall this Raw was the second quality show in a row, and I think WWE is beginning to establish a new bar for their shows. While far from perfect, this show was highly entertaining at times and I was engaged for the majority of the night.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5.