It’s his yard!
After a brief video recap, Raw starts with a cold open of Roman Reigns coming out with his intercontinental title. Reigns runs through the last few weeks of the Shield reuniting, beating The New Day, and finally winning the Intercontinental title last week. After a quick write off of the Miz, so he can do another straight to DVD movie, The Miztorage found a new leader in Elias. Who then accepts the open challenge to take on Reigns later tonight
It was a weird start to RAW. They skipped the intro music and then started with a recap of the Kane vs. Strowman feud. Then instead of leading with that, we get Reigns taking the lead. Just an odd start to the show.
Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro
According to the announcers, Sheamus is on a sabbatical to Ireland, and Dean Ambrose is absent because of his honeymoon. To keep the feud going they match up Rollins and Cesaro. As the announcers continue to tell us why the other two are not there, Cesaro takes control of the match going into the commercial. Despite Michael Cole trying to talk about momentum and going after the tag titles, Booker T wants to say this match is just about pride. Seriously who is feeding this man his lines?
After Cesaro dominates most of the match, Rollins starts a rally back with a blockbuster off the second rope. A leg drop on the back of the neck and a suicide dive out of the ring and both men are down just in time for another commercial. Back from commercial, we have Rollins hitting the broken arrow, then Cesaro with the eye poke of death into a roll up. A quick airplane spin into a Sharpshooter allows both men the rest. Rollins is able to pull off a superkick as Cesaro attempted to springboard off ropes. A knee to the head and Rollins gets the win.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Flat Earth Society
A weird interview after the match with Rollins hints at the Shield breaking up again. Rollins says no. Ambrose just may have fallen off the side of the earth while on his honeymoon. But don’t worry next week Rollins and Ambrose will challenge for the tag titles.
Again, something just felt off this entire match. I do not know if it was the announce team who could not let go of the fact that Sheamus and Ambrose were not there, or Booker T and his complete anti-story line advancement. Add in the weird interview that was perhaps supposed to set up a later breakup, but it just didn’t seem to click
Angle remembers the Cruiserweights
After the four face Cruiserweights got beat up during 205 live last week, they are complaining to Angle about Enzo. Angle oversees the cruiserweights by setting up two fatal four-way matches, that lead to a one on one, a rock paper scissor contest, and then a pie eating contest to determine the number one contender for the cruiserweight title.
Titus O’Neil vs. Samoa Joe
After being attacked from behind by Samoa Joe a few weeks ago, Titus decided he would rather be beaten by Joe face to face. Titus gets a few offensive moves in to start the match. Titus gets in more offense until Joe hits a straight punch into the Coquina Crunch for the win.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Hopefully, this is the write-off from this feud. Samoa Joe should really be doing other things than fighting Apollo Cruz and Titus.
Paige, Soyna Deville, Mandy Rose vs. Bailey, Mickie James, Sasha Banks
After Sasha Banks made her way to the ring, neither Mickie or Bailey answered the call when their music played. Paige, Soyna, and Mandy made their way out to Paige’s music. Thankfully cameras in the back happened to be there to see Mickie James and Bailey rolling around in pain. Paige explained why they attacked everyone last week. Paige lets everyone know that the name of her little faction is called Absolution. Turns out, all Sasha must do is pledge her alliance to Paige. Instead, she pledges a right forearm to Paige’s face. The beatdown of Sasha Banks ends with the RamPaige as Absolution poses in the ring.
Winner: No Finish
I like that we are getting an explanation as to why these women are all working together. Having two newer wrestlers want to follow Paige works well, and will give an out later as one of both might feel like they are being held back by Paige.
The Most Popular Jobber
Bray Wyatt makes his way to the ring. Cole talks about the mysterious Wyatt. The real Mystery is how Wyatt continues to be popular as he jobs more than Al Snow did. Wyatt tells the crowd how pathetic everyone is and how their suffering brings him joy. So evidently, Wyatt thinks he is the kid from the Sixth Sense and can see dead people.
Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt
The match is already in action. We are told that Wyatt is dominating the match and Matt Hardy isn’t the man he used to be. Anyone who followed Matt Hardy in TNA can probably guess where this storyline is going. As the action goes back and forth, the announcers continue to harp on Hardy’s losing streak and passion. Hardy misses the moonsaw, and Wyatt sets up the Sister Abigail for the win.
Wyatt continues to be popular with the fans for his entrance alone. Once his match starts you see the same move set over and over. At this point, it is paint-by-numbers with Wyatt. He gets in someone’s head, which leads to a feud and a loss at a PPV for Wyatt. Small hints were made before it became evident with Hardy’s reaction. After the match, we will be seeing a version of Broken Matt Hardy sooner rather than later.
Cruiserweight Fatal Four Way
Davari vs. Darr vs. Rich Swan vs. Tozowa
Kick, Flip, Highspot. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Rich Swan begins to take control as Corey focuses on Swan growing up in the streets of Baltimore. Davari and Darr team up to take out Swan by suplexing him on the floor. As we come back, the Zo train is focusing on Tozowa. Tozowa is able to mount a bit of a comeback before getting suplexed off the top rope. A few more high spots later and Rich Swan is our Winner and moves on the step two of trying to become the number one contender.
Winner: Rick Swan
Other than a spotfest, not much was going on here. The Announcers made it obvious from the beginning that Rick Swan would be the winner
Elias vs. Roman Reigns – Intercontinental Title Match
Elias asks once again who wants to walk with Elias, before wishing The Miz a speedy recovery. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel show of their Air Harmonica skills while Elias ends with saying the Intercontinental Title will walk with Elias. As Reigns heads out for the match, the announce team runs down both competitors. Booker T compares the Miztourage to Doc Holiday and Billy the Kid. Booker T continued to play up this being Elias’s first title match.
After some tie-ups, Elias began to slow the match down with a few basic power moves and quick attempted pinfalls. Coming back from break, we get Reigns greatest hits with the Drive-bye, the Superman Punch, and the Spear. This is until the distraction by Curtis Axel allowed Elias to run Reigns into the ring post outside. A top rope elbow leads to yet another near fall for Elias. After a block of one spear Reigns is able to hit a second spear for the win.
The real story came as Reigns made his way to the back when Samoa Joe came out and choked Reigns out from behind. Joe continued to yell about coming for Reigns as he was pulled off Reigns.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Two big takeaways from this match. First off, Elias showed that he has the potential to become a big star. He has the size that WWE execs then to fall in love with. He also showed a ring presence that even some of the most seasoned veterans do not have.
The attack from Joe after the match does a couple of things. It allows for Elias to move on to another feud and hone his skills a bit more. It also gives Reigns an opponent who feels like he is a legit threat to Reigns’ budding championship reign.
Is this feud still going?
Asuka vs. Dana Brooke
Even Michael Cole seems to wonder why this match is happening. Brooke claims that she has found the flaw in Asuka’s style and that is she starts slow. And by the time the sentence ends, Asuka hits the Asuka lock for the win.
Absolution came out to surround the ring after the match. After a stare down, Absolution backed away from the ring, and Asuka left the ring without a punch being thrown.
The match was just the vehicle to get to the showdown after the match. It will be intriguing moving forward to see how this is handled moving forward.
Jason Jordan vs. Kane
Jordan whines about social media not liking him. Being a world-class athlete, he knows his body, and he could not finish last week. As Kane heads out, we hear about how Jordan does not know what he is getting into. After a flurry of offense from Jordan, a toss over the top rope by Kane leads to a count out. Jordan continued to roll around on the floor as if he just got hit by a car. Kane’s beatdown of Jordan continued until Finn Balor’s music kicks in.
Winner: Kane via Count-out
Finn Balor vs. Kane
Evidently, during the commercial break, Kurt Angle made the match between Balor and Kane. Thankfully Balor was sitting in the back for the last three hours in his ring gear with nothing to do. Otherwise, the show would have had to end 15 minutes early as the main even was already over. Balor started out with quick hits until Kane slows down the match with a series of power moves, punches and kicks. Balor knocked Kane out to the ringside where he hit a dive to the outside and the dropkick. Kane having enough ended the match by hitting Balor with a steel chair.
Winner: Balor via DQ
Just as Kane is about to smash Balor’s head in a steel chair, Braun Strowman surprises the crowd, but not the sound guy as his music kicked on. Strowman continued to beat down Kane with the ring steps until he sets up and chair and smashes Kane’s throat with the chair like what Kane did last week.
In a 20 minute, two matches took place that did not end in a pin fall. In neither case was the result of the match important. Instead, they were there simply to extend the Kane/Strowman feud. The crowd was showing no interest at all in the beatdown other than a few fans calling for more chair shots. Why the WWE after years of burying Kane have decided that they want to push the 50-year-old is beyond me. Meanwhile, they continue to bury Finn Balor.