Roman Reigns opened Raw, but soon enough was joined by Dolph Ziggler, who had gone after Reigns this past week on Twitter. Ziggler came down for a match but had words for “The Big Dog” beforehand. Ziggler then caught Reigns off guard and hit a superkick before the bell to try and gain the upper hand.
It is nice to see Raw kickoff every week with a wrestling match instead of a long, drawn-out promo segment. This definitely prevents the fans from getting bored, and these opening matches are often given time to showcase what these wrestlers can do.
Was Raw able to meet the bar it has set the past month? Read the rest of my recap below to find out what took place, and to see my rating for the show at the bottom.
New Tag Champions!
Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman teamed up to face the OC in a tag-team title match. For Strowman, this was his second title match of the night.
The action was fast and furious in the start, and the makeshift team of Strowman and Rollins looked to be working well together. Rollins did get in quite a bit of offense, but his injured ribs took a toll in this match.
Gallows then took out Strowman outside, leaving Rollins to fend for himself. Seth put up a heck of fight despite being outnumbered 3-to-1.
The final sequence of the match was incredible. Strowman got back to his feet, ran over Style and Gallows. Then ran wild in the ring, hitting the running power slam. Rollins prevented any interference by nailing Styles with a stomp, and the unlikely duo were the new Raw Tag Team Champions.
This was an incredible match, but Braun was teasing wanting Seth’s Universal Title throughout the night. I wonder how long this pair will be champions?
More Tag Team Action:
I guess the wild card rule is still in effect? Anyways, the New Day was on Raw to take on the Revival, who the six-time tag team champions have never beaten.
Big E took over the match and looked to have it in the bag when the Viper struck with a lethal RKO. The crowd popped big-time for this.
Kofi came down to even the odds (with an impressive flip through the ropes) and took out the Revival, but forgot about the Viper and suffered an RKO as well.
Orton and the Revival would clean house, and hit a wicked-looking shatter machine into an RKO. This heel trio forced Kofi to watch while they took out Xavier Woods’ knee. This was an excellent way to build this feud further.
King’s Court Interrupted:
Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler is for another edition of The King’s Court. His guest was supposed to the new-look, Sasha Banks.
However, Lawler was interrupted as the lights went out. Lawler darted out the ring, but couldn’t avoid “The Fiend” as he creepily snuck up behind and attacked.
Looks like The Fiend is still going after legends, taking them out one by one. After not being featured on TV last week, it was great to see The Fiend. He is relentless and is still the best act going in WWE now.
Samoa Joe advances:
Cesaro came right out of the gates and hit a vicious uppercut that nearly put Samoa Joe away in seconds.
These two heavyweights would go back-and-forth in the ring, not holding anything back to advance.
Cesaro hit a plethora of uppercuts and even swung Joe around the ring. But, every time it looked like the Swiss Cyborg would advance, Joe stayed alive.
Joe ended the match when he plucked Cesaro out of the air and applied the Coquina Clutch. This was a very good match, and I hope that with this tournament WWE gives these wrestlers time to have a good showing in the ring.
Sasha Banks speaks out:
I would have rather seen Sasha Banks in the ring than be interviewed by Michael Cole.
Banks was obsessing over her blue hair, but when Cole asked about her attacks last week, The Boss was short with her answer by simply saying “you’re welcome.”
Later in the night, Banks would attack Natalya backstage. Possibly setting up her first feud back in WWE? However, this situation has to be leading to a Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks title feud down the road, right?
Another solid Reigns match:
Once the match was underway, Dolph would gain the upper hand on the outside. Back from break, Roman regained the edge but could not put Ziggler away.
There were plenty of really good near-falls, and Dolph pulled out all the stops to try and beat Reigns.
This is the second straight Roman Reigns match that impressed me. Reigns let Dolph get in quite a bit of offense, but in the end, Ziggler got a bit too cocky, and Roman hit a vicious spear to pick up the win.
Women’s Tag Champions wrestle AGAIN:
How crazy is this? The Women’s Tag Champions were once again in a wrestling match. This time they faced the team of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. Fire and Desire look to work well together as a tag team, and I was impressed with their work throughout this match, especially Deville.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross barely escaped in this match, as Fire and Desire got the majority of the offense. Would not mind seeing this match again on a pay-per-view, and that is something I do not think I would have said a month ago.
More King of the Ring action:
Cedric Alexander took on Sami Zayn in another first-round matchup. This was a much different type of match than the one we saw earlier.
This match was not as impressive to me as the first King of the Ring contest we saw. However, it still is great to see a guy like Alexander getting an opportunity and making the most of it. This tournament is made for Cedric to show what he can do in the ring when given time.
What’s next for Mysterio?
Rey Mysterio was backstage to explain what has been going on recently after his consecutive losses to Andrade. Mysterio got very emotional and told us that his injuries have finally caught up to him, and he was hanging up his mask.
But, just before Mysterio took the mask off, his son Dominic begged him not to. Dominic wanted to tag with his dad, just like Rey did with his father, it has always been his dream.
Could we be getting a tag-team match with Rey Mysterio and his son somewhere down the line? It sure looks that way.
Styles gets help from his friends:
After Braun Strowman came in to save Seth Rollins from The OC last week, AJ Styles challenged the “Monster Among Men” to a U.S title match this week.
Strowman had the upper hand for the majority of this match, Braun even swatted Styles clear out of the air when he went for his patented Phenomenal Forearm.
Styles did not come to the ring alone, and his buddy Luke Gallows would end the match in a DQ after kicking Braun upside the head. This to me drives home the point that the OC is unstoppable when it is 3-on-1.
Rollins did come down to help out Strowman, but a bit of tension was teased here during their handshake. Could Strowman be the next man in line for a Universal Title shot?
King of the Ring preview:
Four participants of the year’s King of the Ring tournament teamed up here.
Ricochet and Miz faced their opponents, Drew McIntyre, and Baron Corbin. The faces got off to a hot start here, dumping Corbin and McIntyre to the outside.
Naturally, Corbin and McIntyre would make their comeback, and this tag match turned into a reasonably solid contest. Richochet ran wild at the end and would hit the recoil on Corbin to pick up the win.
On paper, this gives Miz and Ricochet some momentum heading into the tournament.
The new 24/7 champion Elias was in the ring to perform, but for some reason couldn’t get his guitar to work.
R-Truth, disguised as a stagehand, tried three times to get “his baby” back. However, Elias escaped still the champion.
I was impressed with Raw tonight again. There were not any actual low spots for me, as the action was consistent for much of the night. The tag team title switch was a surprise, the King of the Ring matches were both solid, and The Fiend was back.
All in all, another superb episode of Raw.
My rating: 3.75 out of 5.