This week’s RAW had to address the controversy surrounding the Universal title among other things. Let us see how it fared.
Opening segment: Kurt Angle, Baron Corbin, Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley
Angle begins by acknowledging that last week he did announce a title bout for the Universal Championship at Extreme Rules. Before he can finish his announcement, Reigns interrupts him saying he wants to hear this in person. Angle is again interrupted by Lashley who then gets into a war of words with Reigns.
While Lashley takes digs at Reigns’ inability to beat Lesnar despite getting multiple opportunities, Reigns mocks Lashley for being a failure in the MMA world. Angle finally gets to say what he came to say and it is that due to a loophole in Lesnar’s contract he won’t be defending the title at Extreme Rules. This prompts Reigns to ask for a fight with Lashley then and there. Angle says that is not happening but he will think about it. They are interrupted by the Revival with the same old lame excuse that their push is not happening because of Reigns and Lashley and Corbin books a tag match between the four of them.
Verdict: While the whole idea of this segment was right, the execution wasn’t all that great. Both Lashley and Reigns are just okay on the mic and Corbin’s presence doesn’t help either. The ending of the segment with the Revival seemed so phony. The segment began somewhat well but it was downhill from there.
Bobby Lashley and Roman Reigns vs The Revival
The match begins with both Reigns and Lashley taking turns to display their strength and prowess in the ring. There is a funny moment when Reigns and Lashley try to work together but are not able to coordinate well. The Revival briefly take control of the match before the other two get back in it. Reigns hits the superman punch and Lashley tries to tag in like last week. Reigns avoids the tag. The ensuing commotion allows Wilder to roll up Reigns for the victory.
Winners: The Revival
Verdict: While this was almost a squash match, it did have its moments and the Revival finally get a win. It was interesting.
Curtis Axel w/Bo Dallas vs Woken Matt Hardy w/Bray Wyatt
Before the match, the B-team is dressed up as Wyatt and Hardy. The match itself is short. Hardy tries a superplex from the top rope but slips with Axel falling on top of him allowing Axel to get the win. After the match, Hardy applauds the resilience shown by Axel.
Verdict: Strange segment and match but it was different and fun to watch.
The Authors of Pain vs Gibson Brothers
While heading for the match, the AOP pushes a stagehand and is stopped by Titus World Wide. The AOP makes short work of the Gibson Brothers and picks up the win quite easily with the Last Chapter. After the match, they begin assaulting the Gibson Brothers when Titus World Wide hits the ring and The AOP backs off.
Winners: The Authors of Pain
Verdict: Finally Titus World Wide seem to be in a decent feud. The AOP can benefit if this is done right. So far it has been great and today’s segment was no different.
Backstage segment: Finn Balor, Baron Corbin, Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens, Hurt Angle
Balor asks for an explanation for the cancellation of the multi-man match that was supposed to happen. Corbin tries to mock Balor but gets served right back. Balor asks if Corbin’s TGIF’s manager knows he stole his vest. Strowman walks in and says he feels bad for the way he has been treating Kevin Owens and would like to be his tag partner today. Angle books the match.
Verdict: Funny segment. Interesting dynamic putting the opposites on the same team.
Alexa Bliss w/ Mickie James vs Natalya w/Nia Jax
Before the match, Bliss insults both Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey and complains about her rematch. The match itself is decent. Bliss tries to escape multiple times only to be stopped by Jax. She eventually is put in a sharpshooter by Natalya and taps out.
Verdict: Nothing to complain. Keeps the storyline moving forward.
The Riott Squad vs Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Ember Moon
Moon and Morgan begin the match. The faces dominate the first half of the match. The Riott squad then find their momentum. They are briefly upstaged by the athleticism of Moon only to wrestle back control and roll up Sasha banks for the win. After the match, Bayley destroys Sasha Banks and walks away.
Winners: The Riott Squad
Verdict: The match was pretty good. What followed was even better. Bayley as a face hasn’t really clicked on the main roster. Hope this gives her the momentum she needs and deserves.
No Way Jose vs Mojo Rawley
No idea where this is going. Jose gets sucker punched by Rawley even before the match starts and walks away.
Verdict: A clear sign that WWE has no idea what to do with either party involved here. The attempt to be funny here came across as pointless.
Bayley is informed that she has to go for counseling or she is fired.
Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens vs Finn Bálor and Baron Corbin
One of the most dynamic matches we have seen in RAW for a long time. Corbin and Owens begin the match only for Owens to tag in Strowman. Balor is actually happy seeing his teammate about to be destroyed at the hands of Strowman. There is a nice tandem teamwork between Owens and Strowman.
The match picks up the pace until Balor and Corbin try to tag themselves in, get into a brawl outside the ring and get counted out. After the match, Owens tries to shake hands with Strowman only to get chased away. Owens is then shown sneaking out of a closet and tries to get to his car only to find it flipped at the hands of Strowman.
Winners: Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens
Verdict: The refreshing match that RAW needed. What followed was even more interesting and fun.
Intercontinental Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) w/Drew McIntyre vs Seth Rollins
The last match on the card was also the best. Ziggler and Rollins are two of the best workers in the business and this match brought back memories of the awesome battles that HBK and Bret Hart used to have. As expected there is a lot of back and forth with Ziggler trying a lot of heel tactics as well. There are a plethora of two counts. McIntyre gets involved as well and causes a distraction that prevents the referee from seeing a roll-up cover by Rollins.
Some high flying action follows and Rollins slowly begins to take control. He hits a Falcon Arrow only to be attacked by McIntyre to cause the disqualification. After the match, the two heels try to attack Rollins but Reigns joins in to even the odds and makes the save.
Winner: Seth Rollins by DQ
STILL the Intercontinental Champion, Dolph Ziggler
Verdict: A great match. The end was fun to watch and we like the uncertainty of where all this is heading to.
Overall Verdict: One of the better RAWs, it started weakly but ended strong. Some great matches and some funny backstage segments made for some great TV.