Triple H Makes Some Wonderful Announcements
For some reason the crowd was rather quiet. Triple H went through the results of the Elimination Chamber before confirming that DX will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He then announced that the who’s who of NXT will be on RAW which again was met by relative silence from the crowd for whatever reason.
Our take from it: Based on the crowd reaction, this segment might have seemed like a dud but in reality it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, this announcement about NXT was actually exciting. This seems like a tough crowd and if Triple H can’t incite a good reaction then the rest of the roster has a tough job ahead of them. As a segment, this was a nice start to RAW.
Baron Corbin Gets The A**-Beating He Deserves
The story here was that Strowman had hurt his ribs on Sunday night and Corbin kept targeting it. Strowman started getting on a roll and Corbin brought him down with hits to Strowman’s side. That was until Strowman used the ring steps and neutralized the threat from Corbin.
A few attempts were then made by Strowman to put Corbin through a table but Corbin managed to avoid them all until Strowman managed to counter a dipsey doo clothesline into a running powerslam through a table for the win.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Our take from it: Like last night, this wasn’t the match that would set the world on fire but it is the best way to manage these talents until something big opens up for them. This was actually a pretty good match and these men really put on a good show. The spots really looked painful and everything was paced nicely. This entire angle has plenty of life left in it.
Paul Heyman Gets Interrupted While Ricochet and Balor Team Up
Paul Heyman came out as Strowman was walking back and Heyman almost got attacked by Strowman. Heyman then went on to air a video explaining why Seth Rollins taking on Brock Lesnar is a bad idea but got interrupted by Finn Balor.
Lio Rush joined in and said that Balor didn’t deserve to win but Lashley did last night. Lashley attacked Balor from behind and Ricochet made the save. A tag team match was announced between the four men.
It was Ricochet and Rush who started things off and from the get go Ricochet brought his unorthodox style and pretty much flattened Rush who did not even have time to realize what hit him. Lashley was a bit more in control but still got outsmarted by both Ricochet and Balor multiple times.
Some nice tag action followed with the typical heels preventing the faces to tag each other and working on them until Balor and Ricochet got into a rhythm and isolated Rush. Ricochet hit a picture perfect 630 for the win.
Winners: Ricochet and Finn Balor
Our take from it: Most RAW viewers would be unaware of talent like Ricochet and it showed. There was only a slight buzz as he made his way to the ring. He did give a very good account of himself and of NXT and hopefully that might bring more eyeballs on NXT.
The match itself was quite captivating and exciting and even Lashley seemed to be on point today. Overall, a nice continuation of great matches and segments.
Two Pointless Tag Team Matches
The first of these was between Lucha House Party and Hawkins & Ryder. It was short and ended with Hawkins being pinned again (duh!). Needless to say, the losing streak continues.
The other match featured the team of Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano taking on the RAW tag champs, The Revival. This of course was a lot better and showcased how good the NXT roster is. The Revival looked completely out of sorts and were put out of their misery by Gargano and Ciampa as they hit Meet in the Middle for the win.
Winners: Lucha House Party, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano
Our take from it: There is nothing to say about Hawkins losing again. It is not even funny anymore. The other match was bittersweet. It was wonderful to see NXT talent being treated as a big deal on the main roater but having them take out the RAW tag champions in the process was a big misstep. This takes away any legitimacy of the Revival as champs and they will probably go down The Bar route.
The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection Celebrate Followed by McIntyre Squashing Dean Ambrose
The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection were out in the ring and they seemed happy and at a loss for words. They went on to tell how they will be fighting champs and will defend their titles on RAW, SmackDown and even NXT. Nia Jax and Tamina tried to attack them but Sasha put Jax in a Bank Statement through the ropes and Tamina freed her and the two retreated.
The match between Drew McIntyre and Dean Ambrose was short and McIntyre hit two Claymore Kicks with the second one being more of a statement for the win.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Our take from it: Again the crowd seemed a bit cold towards the Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection and apart from a few kids, there wasn’t much excitement elsewhere. Hopefully that doesn’t affect the champs too much. Nia Jax and Tamina maybe the next challengers and that is probably not the best way to go from here.
The McIntyre-Ambrose match was about making a point and it did. It is great of Ambrose to put over a talent on his way out. The backstage segment following the match where Rollins asks Ambrose if he has completely lost it and Ambrose actually thinking about it was hilarious and showed how good a talent Ambrose is.
Aleister Black Walks With Elias
Aleister Black carried out his typical style on Elias and managed to stun him a few times. Elias rallied back a few times himself. Elias then got the upper hand and managed to floor Black a couple of times. Elias hit a high knee as Black jumped from the ropes for a pin but Elias kicked out. Elias then got pinned after a Black Mass.
Winner: Aleister Black
Our take from it: Aleister Black is an interesting talent and there were shades of an early Undertaker with a modern touch. The match was again entertaining and Elias played his part perfectly. It did feel though that Elias is on the precipice of becoming a joke and WWE need to put him in an angle that is meaningful and drawn out.
Ronda Rousey Stays Dominant As Ever
This had a bit more substance to it than last night and Ruby Riott actually managed to get plenty of offence in with the occasional help of her squad. She even managed to pin Ronday Rousey a couple of times but towards the end Rousey used a flurry of fancy moves and put Riott in the armbar to retain the title.
Our take from it: It is great to see a world title actually being defended on RAW. It was even better to see the challenger being shown as fair competition. Neither Charlotte nor Lynch showed up but it was probably for the better. The crowd didn’t cheer much for this one either. It wasn’t the best main event WWE could have put on today but it wasn’t the worst either.
Winner and still RAW women’s Champion: Ronda Rousey
Overall Review: The silent elephant in the room tonight was the crowd that was cold as anything. Matters only became worse as the show was dominated by NXT talent who were thrust into the faces of the fans without any proper introduction and worse still, they won everything.
It is almost unforgivable that the RAW tag champions were defeated by guys from NXT. The matches were actually very good and entertaining but the presentation coupled with the cold crowd sucked the soul right out of every performance tonight.
Moment of the Night: Dean Ambrose thinking if he had gone completely crazy
Overall Rating: 3.9/5