It’s that time of week once again, we are back for another exciting edition of Monday Night RAW! With the explosive aftermath of last week’s events still fresh in everyone’s minds the WWE universe has more questions than ever. Will Braun Strowman ever be finished with Roman Reigns? Will the Bar be open for business tonight? Can five head banks and Bayley the chin kill every erection in the world? All these questions and more will be answered, for this. Is. Monday. Night. RAW!
Who is the number one contender?
We get a recap of the end to last week’s RAW before GM Kurt Angle comes out. He mentions that his new black son Jason Jordan will have his first match tonight. BTW did they trade someone to Smackdown for him? Or did Shane McMahon just hand him over for free? Angle goes onto announce who will face Brock Lesnar at Summerslam but is interrupted by…”Brauuuuuuunnnnnn!!!”He stakes his claim for a Universal title match and claiming he doesn’t fear Brock Lesnar but Braun finds himself interrupted by Samoa Joe who throws in his two cents to why he should be number one contender. Gee I wonder if Roman will come out. Oh look its Roman! Never saw that coming. The announcers keep glossing over the fact that Reigns legit tried to murder Braun at GBOF. Roman lists his accomplishments which pisses off the crowd whilst saying that Joe and Braun have done f all in comparison. Kurt Angle intervenes before things get out of hand and announces that all of them will get a Universal title match at Summerslam in a fatal four way match. And as usual as soon as Angle leaves the ring all three men attack one another and brawl around the ring until Kurt calls out security and the RAW locker room to separate them, which fails miserable as they all get battered. Strowman stands tall to end the segment.
Author’s notes: This was a pretty good way to start the show. They cut straight to the point and let us know that the main event of Summerslam will be a fatal four way. Braun Strowman decimating security and a good chunk of the raw roster was a nice touch too.
Match 1: Finn Balor vs Elias Samson in a No DQ match
Once again it is time to walk with Elias!!! He serenades the unappreciative WWE universe before he is rudely interrupted by Finn Balor. He doesn’t waste any time and attacks Samson to kick-start the match. The two wrestlers brawl around the ring as we head to the break. We come back to Elias taking control and for some reason they decide to show via split screen Elias’ guitar shot to Balor even though we saw it twice before the match started, hmm I wonder if the guitar will play a part in the match finish. Samson spends the majority of the match working Balor’s shoulder before he finally uses a weapon and hits Finn over the back with a chair as we go to another break. We come back from the break and Balor starts his comeback hitting Elias with his signature offence before wailing on him with a chair and manages to nail a coup de grace just as Wyatt’s music hits. The lights go off and on and we find Wyatt in the ring who hits Sister Abigail on Balor as Samson crawls over to pick up the scraps and get the win. Post-match Wyatt spider walks over to Balor and invites him to follow the buzzards.
Winner: Elias Samson
Author’s notes: This was a decent match that kinda failed to live up to a no DQ match. There were a few chair shots and some interference by Wyatt, but that was all the no DQ action we got. Samson winning was the right choice even if it was thanks to Wyatt interfering. Well now we finally get that long teased Wyatt/Balor feud that Bray is destined to lose.
Match 2: Big Cass vs Enzo Amore
Pre-match we get Big Show warning Enzo to be careful, Enzo, however, blows it off. Yeah, Enzo because you have such a great chance of winning. We get another incoherent Enzo Amore promo before Big Cass comes out and absolutely annihilates him in a few minutes and pins him after a big boot. Afterwards Cass continues his assault before the Big Show comes out…and gets battered by Cass too.
Winner: Big Cass
Author’s notes: This was a glorified squash match. Cass winning was a no brainer but they are dragging out this feud with him and Enzo/Show, hopefully after Summerslam this feud ends and Cass can move onto someone who is actually relevant in 2017.
Match 3: Nia Jax vs Emma
This match came about after Emma complained to Kurt Angle about not getting any chances, well she gets her chance against Nia Jax who dominates the majority of the match before ending the shirt match with a leg drop for the win.
Winner: Nia Jax
Author’s notes: This was a match that happened. Nia destroyed Emma and that was it. Emma has to be the most miss-booked women’s wrestler on RAW, she got passed over for the Rock’s cousin, a 27 year old child and Snoop Dog’s balding cousin.
Match 4: Akira Tozawa vs Ariya Daivari
Backstage Akira is interviewed before his match but Titus O’Neil tries to convince him to cancel the match as he is risking serious injury competing tonight. Tozawa storms to the ring anyway followed by Titus. After the break instead of Daivari we get the Cruiserweight champion Neville coming out to berate Akira who responds with a head-butt and a diving senton. Ariya Daivari then runs out and attacks Tozawa before turning his attention to Neville who he hits with his rainmaker-like clothesline to end the segment.
Winner: Match never started
Author’s notes: Thankfully we were spared a third Tozawa vs Daivari match by reintroducing the CW champion Neville who was mysteriously missing last week and teased a potential triple threat matchup between the three international superstars, this would be a welcome change to the usual formula of one number one contender at a time and give more than one other cruiserweight the spotlight.
Match 5: Bayley vs Sasha Banks: Number one contenders match
It is now time for the battle of the body parts. It’s the chin vs the five-head. The two women start off with some basic mat wrestling spots with both women jostling for control. Bayley has the upper hand as we go to the break. Even though both women are babyfaces Bayley is the de-facto babyface as she is liked more than Banks who has been showing heel tendencies as of late. Sasha eventually locks in the Bank statement but Bayley is able to fight out of it and attempt a Bayley to Belly but it’s blocked as both women exchange fists. The two then trade knees as neither can put the other away. The match ends when Sasha hits the shittest looking frog splash on Bayley who rolls through and pins Banks for the upset win. Post-match Alexa Bliss gets in the ring and stares down Bayley.
Author’s notes: Ok this was a good match, the two women have excellent chemistry with each other and it showed as they put on an entertaining match, even if both of their characters are the worst in the women’s division. Bayley surprisingly picked up the win here which means that at Summerslam Sasha is 100% turning heel and costing her the title.
Match 6: Jason Jordan vs Curt Hawkins
All night we have been getting hype from the announcers, commentators, interviewers and Kurt Angle himself about his son’s debut tonight. He is facing the very credible Curt Hawkins…a man who has not picked up a televised win since his return last year. Hawkins cheap shots Jordan to start who decimates him with mat wrestling and a pop up neck breaker to pick up the win in a short squash match.
Winner: Jason Jordan
Author’s notes: This was a simple and effective way to showcase Jordan’s talents and to push him as Kurt Angle’s son, expect him to break out the Angle slam and ankle lock in a few weeks.
Match 7: The Revival vs Gallows and Anderson
Pre-match the Revival are interviewed in ring and list their accomplishments and recent dominance over the Hardyz. Gallows and Anderson interrupt and call the Revival nerds as we get ready to start the match. The two heel teams go onto have a very basic by the numbers tag team match that the crowd didn’t care about since they’re both heels. It ends when the Hardyz music hits and the Revival take advantage of the distraction and hit a shatter machine to steal the win. Post-match the Hardyz attack the revival who escape the ring to end the segment.
Winners: The Revival
Author’s notes: This was meh. The two heel teams never really meshed well with one another and it didn’t help that the crowd couldn’t care less about either team, which sucks as both teams are world class and have had many classic tag team matches in their time. This could all very well be leading to a tag team turmoil at Summerslam as WWE like to fit as many superstars as they can onto the card. Oh and Shesaro were watching the match via backstage monitors…so, that was nice.
Main Event: Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs The Miz and the Miztourage
It’s time, for our main event!!! In one corner we have…hmm what was that? No please tell me you’re joking, do I have to review this match?…Fine. Out first he have the most unbelievable baby faces in WWE right now, ol wonky knee Seth Rollins and the charisma hoover himself Dean Ambrose. They are teaming up to take on The Miz and the Miztourage. The faces take full control of the match early on and dominate despite having disadvantage in numbers, they clear the ring as we go to the break. We come back and Miz and the Miztourage are in charge as they isolate Rollins as the hoover looks on worryingly. After 6 minutes of isolation wacky knee is able to make the hot tag and in comes the hoover ready to clean house (get it? It’s cause he’s a hoover!) Ambrose batters all of the Miztourage but gets caught with a skull crushing finale but the pin is broke up by Rollins who is subsequently taken out by the Miz. Ambrose sends Miz to the outside and we get stereo suicide dives by the babyfaces who throw Miz back in the ring who takes a diving knee from Rollins and dirty deeds from Ambrose to end the match with the babyface win. Afterwards they celebrate until Rollins goes for the signature shield fist bump which annoys Ambrose as he bails out of the ring to end the show.
Winners: Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins
Author’s notes: This was an unexpectedly entertaining match that got the crowd on their feet and sent them home happy. The faces winning might mean we eventually get a triple threat title match at Summerslam. Although midway through the match we got a shot of Shesaro watching, could this lead to a massive Summerslam tag team turmoil match?
Final thoughts: Overall this was an ok edition of Monday Night RAW. There were one or two decent matches but there was even more filler. Half the show was dedicated to glorified squash matches and this was a lazy formula to build towards Summerslam. However the main event and Women’s number one contenders match were decent, Balor vs Samson could’ve been better and the tag team division deserves better than one throwaway segment a week. All in all this was a better than average episode of RAW. Well until next time we leave with more questions than answers. This has been Monday Night RAW.