Raw Review – July 1

Right from the jump, Monday Night Raw had a different feeling. And in a nice change, we got a match to kick off the night instead of 20 minutes of talking.

After weeks of strongman competitions, Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley took part in a falls count anywhere match.

This match predictably went all throughout the arena, with both men trading blows. When the two men made their way on the stage, Lashley appeared to gain the upper hand until Braun put Bobby through the LED board on the stage.

Wow, what a moment! The lights on the stage all went out, and sparks flew everywhere. To add to the situation, Corey Graves yelled out, “Holy Sh*t!” and the crowd chanted “This is awesome!”

This is how you kick off Monday Night Raw, bravo WWE. Down below is the rest of what happened on Raw ranked best to worst, followed by my overall rating.

AJ Styles reaches his breaking point:

In his first match back from injury last week, AJ Styles barely beat Ricochet, as was brought up by the ‘Good Brothers’ Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. Styles’ buddies brought up the fact he was next in line for the US Title, but they were split on if he could get the job done.

Anderson and Gallows later approached Ricochet backstage to try and get in the champions head. Ricochet did not want any trouble but was more than ready to get back in the ring to defend the US Title.

Styles then approached Ricochet backstage, challenging the champion to a match for the title in the main event. Styles and Ricochet then exchanged slaps. Game on.

This match began got off to a fast pace in no time, and in a matter of minutes Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm and appeared to win the title, but Ricochet’s foot was under the bottom rope before the full three count.

After the break, the match was restarted, and Gallows and Anderson were now at ringside. The last five minutes of this match were action-packed with flips, and displays of power.  However, Ricochet would counter a Styles move with a roll-up to retain the US Title.

However, Gallows and Anderson were asking about the real AJ Styles, and he showed up tonight, turning heel and reuniting with his buddies. To finish things off, AJ hit a ‘Styles Clash’ from the second rope.

Great heel turn (although you could argue this should have happened earlier) and we get to see the reunion of the club!

Kofi Kingston goes “night night.” 

After the insanity that we saw to kick off the show, it looked like we would be treated to a pretty solid tag team match between Viking Raiders and The New Day.

The Viking Raiders seemed to dominate the majority of the matchup, and just when Big E and Xavier Woods looked to have the edge, Samoa Joe jumped the barricade and attacked Woods.

This blindside attack prompted Joe’s opponent at Extreme Rules, Kofi Kingston, to run out and even the odds. In an interesting turn of events, the Viking Raiders looked like they have turned heel, after assisting Joe in his attack on the New Day.

When Raw came back from commercial break, we had ourselves a six-man tag team match. From the jump, this match was hard-hitting, with the New Day getting worked over early on.

Later on, each superstar had their chance to shine, and the action got fast and furious rather quickly. But amid the chaos, Joe caught Kofi in the Coquina Clutch, and the WWE champion faded fast.

WWE has really built up Kofi the entire year, so seeing this was a bit of a shocker, but I like the idea of building up Joe to look like an unstoppable force.

Is the 24/7 title really worth it?

Throughout the night, Drake Maverick was stuck in a tough situation. He brought his wife to Raw, but she told Maverick that he must choose between her or the 24/7 title.

This would bring on an interaction between Maverick, and the current 24/7 title holder, R-Truth, who witnessed Maverick tell his wife she chooses her over the title. In hearing that, Truth would provoke Maverick throughout the night.

The best of the interactions came when Truth was part of No Way Jose’s conga line out to the ring and sat on the barricade taunting Maverick. But at the end of the night, Maverick could no longer sit idly by and pinned Truth to win back the 24/7 title.

I fully expect there to be more interaction between Truth and Maverick, and now that Drake is off to his honeymoon, that seems like the perfect time for Truth to show up and win the title back.

The Deadman is coming for Drew and Shane: 

Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre came out and first admired their handy work last week on Raw, as they beat down Roman Reigns. However, their attention quickly turned to the Undertaker, as Shane said Roman begged ‘the deadman’ to come and help.

Then Drew and Shane called the Undertaker out, and the Phenom graced us with his awe-inspiring entrance. As the duo retreated to beyond the barricade, the Undertaker cut a rather extended promo and got lost a bit during his message. But his point is that he is there to put Drew and Shane down for good.

NXT Tag Champs “Debut” on Raw:

After winning the NXT Tag Team Titles last month, the Street Profits turned up backstage at Raw. Their segments were quite good, especially with Paul Heyman, but I am not sure the reason for them being there. Maybe this is hinting at something later on down the line? Nevertheless, they gave off an entertaining vibe and drip charisma.

Becky and Seth interrupted by an unlikely couple: 

During a backstage interview, Lynch and Rollins encountered an unlikely duo. Mike and Maria Kanellis, who we have not seen in quite some time, interrupted the champs. Maria wanted a title for having a baby and then said Seth was only the Universal champion because Mike has not taken it from her yet.

This led to a mixed tag match, but it did not get too far as rather than entering the ring when tagged in, Maria announced she was pregnant. She then berated her husband, then Lynch tapped him out with the dis-arm-her. Maria was not done though, as she told her husband that the only ‘Man’ here tonight was Becky, and the next time she will ask Becky to impregnate her.

WOW, what a line.

Overall this segment was wild, and I can totally see some people not liking it, but it was something different, and we saw two superstars that have been off TV for a while, so for those reasons, I actually enjoyed this segment a bit.

A Moment of Bliss becomes FABULOUS: 

Carmella came out and interrupted ‘A Moment of Bliss’ with Alexa and Nikki Cross and actually made an excellent point. She told Cross that Bliss is taking advantage of her and that she had to win a match for Bliss to earn a title shot, which does not seem fair.

Mella then challenged Bliss to a match, which Mella won in seconds when she rolled up Bliss. But after the break, Cross was in the ring with Mella having a match. This time though Cross was victorious, and Bliss was all too happy.

This is a good story thus far, as Bliss is riding Cross’ coattails to success.

Baron Corbin Lends a Hand: 

Lacey Evans had a match with Natalya, but this honestly seemed to take a backseat to the storyline between Corbin/Evans and Rollins/Lynch. I also think this match took place to try and show Evans’ skill set in the ring.

While Evans may be getting better, she is not a believable challenger to Lynch and her title. In fact, she needed the help of Baron to even win on Raw, as Corbin tripped Natalya which led to Evans landing the ‘Women’s Right’ and picking up the win.

Evans may have some momentum, but it still is not her time yet.

Miz and Elias do battle….again: 

In ANOTHER two out of three falls match, the Miz did battle with Elias. In just mere seconds the Miz picked up the first fall. Then a couple minutes later, Elias hit the “drift away” to tie the match a 1-1.

After a commercial break, these two went back and forth for a good five minutes, before Elias tried to hit a running knee, but caught the ring post instead. This allowed Miz to submit Elias and pick up the win.

Hopefully, this is the end of this “feud,” but honestly, I expect it to continue in some way.

Well, this episode of Raw surely had a different feel from the jump. There was edgier content, and storylines also were progressed. It was not a perfect episode of Raw by any means, but better than what we have been getting the past number of months.

My rating: 4 out of 5.

 

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