No messing around to start this episode of Monday Night RAW as the Universal Champion, Seth Rollins met his tag team champion partner Braun Strowman, in the ring for a contract signing. Rollins will defend his Universal title against Braun Strowman. On the same evening, the two will team-up to face Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler for the Tag Team Titles.
Michael Cole moderated the contract signing, and it went pretty much as expected. Rollins said he has one intention, to walk in, “Burn it Down” and walk out with both titles. Strowman said he would win the Universal Champion and retain the Tag Team Titles. Rollins reminds Strowman he beat Brock Lesnar, something Strowman hasn’t done.
Before Strowman could sign the contract and make the match official, AJ Styles comes out to the ring. Styles said he deserves a shot at the Universal Titles because he is a champion and that Strowman hasn’t done anything to earn the title opportunity. He’s kind of right. Styles then insults Roode and Ziggler and rips up the title contract. Strowman flips a table on Styles, and then we head to break.
RAW has been so much better since Paul Heymen has taken over. This was an excellent open and sets the stage for what should be another fun episode of RAW.
This is my first RAW recap, so see what grade I give out as I rank the show, starting with my favorite and then give the show a grade at the bottom.
Corbin to the Semis!
“This is awesome,” indeed. Match of the tournament so far!!! I never thought I would say that about a Baron Corbin match, but WOW! Well done, Corbin and Cedric Alexander. Corbin worked over on Alexander’s arm for most of the match. Then Alexander turned the match around. Alexander has several great spots.
While I would have liked to see Alexander win, he is too young to win it. Surprisingly, I wasn’t mad that Corbin won. Despite the loss, Alexander did wonders for himself, in fans and hopefully the WWE’s eyes.
Corbin will face Ricochet or Samoa Joe in the semifinals next week.
Clash of Champions Gone Wrong
For the first time ever, all the women’s champions meet in the ring together. Before things could get rolling, Sasha Banks predictably comes out to watch the match. Becky Lynch loses her mind, and we head to break.
Alexa Bliss and Nicki Cross work over Bayley for several minutes. Eventually, Lynch gets the hot tag and goes on a roll. Lynch takes out Cross and then stares down Banks. Lynch is all set up to finish the match when Banks runs in and hits Lynch with the backstabber.
Banks grabs a chair and hits Lynch with it. Just as she is about to really beatdown Lynch with the chair, Bayley runs in and stops it. Bayley and Banks stare at each other and then Bayley takes the chair and hits LYNCH with it!! THEY’RE STILL FRIENDS!! Bayley hits Lynch with the chair several times to close out the show.
Throughout the show, Bayley teased that she and Sasha aren’t as close as they have been. But the two stay friends and we could be seeing the start of a Bayley heel turn!
This was another really good match. Samoa Joe looked fierce and dominant at times, but Ricochet used his speed and athleticism to his advantage.
However, the story was the finish. Joe locked in the Coquina Clutch on the top rope. Ricochet leaped off and both men at their shoulders down, with an arm on top of each other. The referee counted to three and ended the match; however, there was no winner. The referee went to the headset. After getting off the headset, he says the match is over, and he will make a decision.
AND THEN WALKS OFF!!!
No winner announced. Perhaps we will know later?? The winner is supposed to face Corbin next week.
After a new episode of FireFly Funhouse, Corey Graves goes backstage to get some answers. The referee tells Graves that WWE management has decided that neither superstar has been eliminated and BOTH will advance to face Corbin in a triple-threat match next week.
Wyatt confirmed the rumors that he will face either Strowman or Rollins at Hell in A Cell for the Universal championship.
That was really good but so creepy. Puppet Vince told Bray that Strowman and Seth are so valuable to him, but Bray shows him he has been making “all da moneyz.”
Either way that will be a great match, and I’m sure The Fiend will capture the Universal championship, which should be incredible.
RAW is Classy. Natalya is Not!
Before Lacey Evans could finish her catwalk, Natalya’s music hit and she ran down the ring and bulldozed Natalya.
Lacey hit Natalya with the Women’s Right. Evans looked strong, dominating for most of the match. I find it odd that they are burying Natalya after not using her for five months. The WWE is obviously trying to build Evans to be one of, if not the top heel on in the company. I like this move. I know a lot of people don’t like Lacey, but I do. I think she is entertaining. So yes, I may be a little bit bias, which is why this is higher than others would put it.
Boss vs. The Man at Clash of Champions
Becky Lynch aka “The Man” comes down to the ring and says Sasha is so talented she should be more successful than she is. Lynch says that she was the third wheel to Sasha and Charlotte Flair.
Banks comes out, agrees that yes she should be in Becky’s position, but the only reason Becky is in that position is because Nia Jax broke her face. Becky challenges Sasha to a match and Banks says she will, at Clash of Champions. Cool!!
Because Sasha hasn’t been on Smackdown or around since we’ve last done a podcast, you all don’t know this, but Banks is actually my favorite female superstar.
She always has been since I started watching. I love that she is back, a heel, and seemingly around for a while. Yes I am incredibility bias, and that’s why this segment is so high, but it was good. Both superstars had some excellent lines, and this is a feud that can extend over several PPV.
The Champs Win, But Pay:
The match started off slowly with Rollins and Strowman not getting along. After a commercial break, Seth Rollins gets the (dumb) rollup pin on Anderson for the win. Styles tries to jump Rollins, but Seth throws him out of the ring.
The OC, still don’t like the name but whatever, attack the champions. Ziggler and Roode come out to join The OC and the attack. The five heels beatdown the two champs, including hitting Strowman with the steps.
This was a fine segment and sets up Gallows and Anderson to possibly join the RAW Tag Team Championship match at Clash of Champions in two weeks.
The Miz Defeats Cesaro:
The Miz defeats Cesaro with a Skull Crushing Finale. The Miz continues to build momentum for his IC title match against Shinsuke. I hope Cesaro gets a push after this because he has produced some excellent matches lately.
Roode and Ziggler Beat Former Champions:
Robert Roode and Dolph Zigger team up to take on former Tag Team Champions, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. This was a fine, short match. Roode pinned Hawkins with the Glorious DDT.
Mission accomplished. The challengers looked strong. Any longer, I would have been annoyed, so I am glad it was short.
Viking Raiders Squash:
I honestly did not watch this squash match. These two really need something else to do because this does nothing for them. Time to fight a real tag team.
This was my first time recapping and grading RAW, and it did not disappoint. RAW was really good. I loved the Sasha Banks segments; the King of the Ring matches did not disappoint AT ALL and Lacey Evans got a win! The only things I didn’t like were the Viking Raiders, and The OC stuff was a little tiresome. They set up Stone Cold and some good segments for next week.
Oh yeah and anytime you get a Fiend appearance, it’s a good show.
I give this episode of RAW a very solid 4.5 out of 5.